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Longtime PUD leader Wayne Wright retiring; Jeff Smith to lead District Services

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Longtime PUD leader Wayne Wright retiring; Jeff Smith to lead District Services

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May 10, 2012

(Wenatchee, WA) Chelan PUD General Manager John Janney has announced that External Affairs Director Jeff Smith has agreed to join the PUD’s Senior Management Teamas Managing Director of District Services after Wayne Wright retires at the end of July.

Wayne Wright, Chelan County PUD

Wright, the PUD’s resident historian and longtime communications leader, has been with the PUD for 33 years and served about seven months as interim general manager in 2005-2006 while a search was being conducted that eventually led to hiring Rich Riazzi as general manager.

As managing director of District Services, Wright has overseen Communications, External Affairs, Security, Engineering Services, Safety and Health, and Shared Services which includes Fleet Services, Procurement and Contract Services, Warehousing, Facilities, Real Estate Services, and Office Services. His last day will be July 31.

Smith, who has more than 24 years at the PUD, will take over responsibility for all of Wright’s areas except Safety and Health which will be assumed by Human Resources and Labor Relations under Managing Director LaDawn Ostmann.

Smith has previously had leadership roles in Customer Service and Communications. Through his work directing External Affairs, Smith has helped oversee relationships and impacts in many areas of state and federal energy policy. He has helped PUD commissioners and managers forge strong working relationships with local government leaders at all levels in Chelan County.

Ostmann joined the PUD in 2008, and assumed overall leadership of the Human Resources and Labor Relations areas in 2009. She most recently led the team which successfully concluded negotiations on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. She has also led the HR team in finding improvements and controlling costs in a number of areas including employee benefits, organizational development and training, and partnering with local schools to foster educational opportunities for local youth interested in becoming the next generation of PUD employees.

“Replacing Wayne Wright is a challenge, but I look forward to the insight and perspective Jeff can bring to the leadership team with his strong background and experience,” said General Manager John Janney. “I also know LaDawn is bringing significant improvements to the whole area of human resources and employee relations – and employees are our most important asset. With LaDawn’s leadership and demonstrated commitment to employees, it’s natural to combine Safety and Health under her umbrella.”

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