A national search for candidates for the role of Tacoma Power superintendent led to the selection of internal candidate Chris Robinson. Pending confirmation by the Public Utility Board, Robinson will take the helm as chief operating officer on May 1. He currently serves as the utility’s Power Management manager.
“We had the fortunate but challenging task of choosing between several highly qualified, seasoned executives within and outside the organization for the superintendent position,” said Bill Gaines, Tacoma Public Utilities director/CEO. “Although it was a tough decision, I’m confident we made the right one.
I, and others on the leadership team, have been impressed with Chris’ leadership style, knowledge of electric utility issues, and commitment to Tacoma Public Utilities. He has an in-depth understanding of our organization and already has ideas for how we can perform at an even higher level. I believe our customers and our employees will benefit from Chris’ leadership of Tacoma Power.”
Appointment of the Tacoma Power superintendent requires confirmation by Tacoma’s Public Utility Board, which will vote on Robinson’s appointment at its March 25 meeting.
Robinson began his career with Tacoma Power in 2001. As power manager, he oversees the planning and management of the utility’s power supply portfolio, which includes Tacoma Power’s three hydroelectric projects and a $125 million a year power purchase contract with the Bonneville Power Administration. He is responsible for planning the utility’s future power supply needs, balancing customer loads with energy supply, marketing and trading approximately $50 million of power on the wholesale market each year and managing the utility’s energy conservation programs. Prior to his time at Tacoma Power, Robinson spent six years as a utility industry consultant.
If the Public Utility Board confirms his appointment, Robinson will succeed Ted Coates, who has served as Tacoma Power’s superintendent since 2009 and will retire May 1.
“I realized 14 years ago that I wanted to spend the rest of my career at Tacoma Power,” Robinson said. “I didn’t know at that time I would have an opportunity to lead the utility, and I am honored to be selected. Tacoma Power’s customers can be assured that I will work as hard as I can to continue to keep their rates low and their service reliable – and will seek out ways to continue to improve the services we provide.”
Robinson holds a Master of Science in Resource Economics from the University of Maine, along with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University.