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Public Utility Board commends new director on exceptional first-year performance

Last night, the Public Utility Board approved an overall evaluation rating of “exceptional” for the first-year performance of Jackie Flowers, Tacoma Public Utilities’ newest Director of Utilities. The evaluation also comes with a pay increase.

“Director Flowers has brought remarkable leadership to TPU. She has established a culture of trust, innovation, and high-quality work,” said Karen Larkin, who recently took over as chair of the Public Utility Board. “She set insightful goals for the organization, and delivered on them, cultivating an atmosphere where employees can do their best.”

In their evaluation, the Public Utility Board commended Flowers on several key successes during her first year as director:

  • Transformative coordination and collaboration with the City government, including alignment with Tacoma 2025 goals;
  • Focus and actions on equity and accessibility that show sensitivity in recognizing potential issues and taking appropriate actions, such as establishing an Office of Equity and Human Rights at TPU;
  • Extensive community outreach and stakeholder engagement, attending public community meetings and meeting individually with community members to build trust and learn more about what they need from their utility;
  • Assisting policy makers in making progress toward a resolution for the Click! Network through a public process that focused on 12 policy goals to guide their decision-making; and
  • Responding to public interest and questions about the advanced meter project in a positive, engaging way, including scheduling an ongoing series of public presentations that highlight the customer benefits of the project.

“Director Flowers’ is the leader TPU needs to take us into the future,” said Vice Chair, Brian Flint. “She has quickly become a well-respected leader with the City Council and the community.”

Flowers joined the utility in August 2018 after a competitive, public hiring process to appoint a new director. The hiring process involved extensive public outreach and a series of public interviews with the top candidates. The board voted unanimously to appoint Flowers, a decision that was then confirmed by City Council, and resulted in a two-year contract. Her first-year evaluation comes with a pay increase of approximately 9 percent. Flowers will be eligible for reappointment in August 2020.

Prior to joining TPU, Flowers served as the general manager of Idaho Falls Power for twelve years, overseeing operations similar to those at TPU, including hydropower generation, power supply, power transmission and distribution, energy efficiency, engineering, operations technology, fiber optic networks, and traffic signalization. In her 27 years of professional experience, she has led publicly owned utilities for 19 years.

You can watch the video of last night’s meeting online here.

You can view the performance evaluation here.

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