“Now is a good time for me to take this step,” said Wardell. “The District is financially strong and the future is bright.
“I am extremely proud of what Chelan PUD has accomplished in the last 15 years and grateful for the opportunity to contribute.”
Wardell notified PUD commissioners of her decision on Monday and shared the news with PUD employees today. She made it clear she is not retiring, but taking this step to recharge and stay healthy after working at full speed to protect the interests of Chelan PUD and its customer-owners for so many years.
She and General Manager John Janney have recommended to the board that PUD staff attorney Erik Wahlquist be named the new general counsel and chief compliance officer. The PUD Board of Commissioners and the general manager are jointly responsible for hiring the general counsel. Commissioners are expected to discuss it at the March 18 board meeting
“Erik would do an excellent job in this critical role, and I am confident in his abilities,” said Janney.
Wahlquist has been an attorney for 17 years, working on PUD and other issues at Davis Arneil Law Firm in Wenatchee before joining the PUD in 2008. His work has touched every aspect of the PUD’s operations.
Janney congratulated Wardell on having the courage to do what’s best for her well being while finding a way to continue to serve Chelan PUD.
“I’ll miss her in the boardroom, but I’m happy that we’ll continue to have the advantage of her wisdom and skill,” said Janney. “She is passionate about serving our customer-owners and will remain an important part of our legal team.”
Wardell has been an attorney for 32 years and served in private practice and as a Chelan County Superior Court judge before joining the PUD in 1998. She is a strong advocate for children and helped found Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a non-profit organization that supports children drawn into the legal system. She also mentors students, serves on the Central Foundation Hospital Foundation and is involved in other community activities.