Columbus, NE – Employees of the Nebraska Public Power District anticipated an announcement in late April or May, but NPPD’s Board of Directors did not need another month to decide who will be the utility’s next president and chief executive officer.
Today, internal candidate Pat Pope accepted the responsibility of leading the state’s largest electric generating utility in terms of size and geographic territory. The announcement came only 72 days after NPPD’s previous president and CEO, Ron Asche, officially retired from the utility on Feb. 2, 2011. Pope will begin his duties as president and CEO on April 16. Interim President & CEO John McClure, who was not an applicant for the position, will return to his position as vice president and general counsel.
In December, the Board hired Mycoff, Fry and Prouse LLC, to conduct a nationwide search for a new CEO. The firm recruits exclusively for the electric, natural gas and water industries. However, one candidate was ready at the helm.
“It became very apparent as we started looking at the applicants that there was none better suited for the position than Pat,” said Larry Linstrom, NPPD board chairman. “The Board is confident he has the vision and track record to lead NPPD into the future.”
Pope joined NPPD in December 1979 as an electrical engineer and has also held the positions of distribution planning engineer, district operations superintendent, regional operations superintendent, regional manager, Energy Control Center manager and vice president of transmission services.
Appointed vice president of energy delivery in October 2003, Pope became vice president of energy supply one year later. In January of 2008, he began serving the District as its vice president and chief operating officer. His annual salary will be $395,000.
Pope is a member of the Southwest Power Pool Members Committee and serves on The Energy Authority Board of Directors. He also is a member of the Columbus Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors.
He graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and earned a master’s degree in Business Administration in 1995. Pat and his wife Jackie have three grown children and live in Columbus.