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New LCRA manager reorganizes agency, introduces new team

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Phil Wilson, the new general manager at the Lower Colorado River Authority, is wasting no time in making high-level changes to the power and water agency. He sent out a message to LCRA employees last week outlining his approach and laying out a new organizational structure.


He has added six new people to his direct-report team, and has retained four people from the previous administration. In addition, a number of people at the LCRA received new titles, some departments were put under different parts of the organization, and some people will be leaving the organization.


Wilson told employees that his “driving principles” behind the changes are to “(build) on the incredible knowledge and skills we already have at LCRA by blending in a handful of new senior executives who bring fresh perspectives and experience.”


He also said he wants to sharpen the agency’s focus on customer service and fine-tune the reporting structure in a few targeted areas to help business operations run more efficiently.


Named in February by Gov. Rick Perry to lead the agency, Wilson was previously executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation. Before joining TxDOT in 2011, Wilson served as senior vice president of public affairs and as a corporate officer for Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings and Texas’ largest electric generation company. In 2007, Wilson was named Texas Secretary of State.


Wilson’s new team members include John Hofmann as executive vice president of water, overseeing the majority of the agency’s water operations. Prior to joining LCRA, Hoffman was a regional manager for the Brazos River Authority, where he was responsible for lake and dam operations, water and wastewater treatment and project development.


Chief Commercial Officer Ken Price is also from Luminant and has more than 33 years of experience in the wholesale power business. He will oversee LCRA’s energy and power production services.


Chief Administrative Officer John Miri was formerly the chief executive officer of Bluewater Technology Services. He will oversee the agency’s information technology services, safety, cyber security, enterprise risk management, North American Electric Reliability Corporation compliance, supply management, engineering services, facilities, employee services, process improvement, natural resource management, parks and real estate services.


Chief Financial Officer Richard Williams was formerly director of strategy, mergers and acquisitions at Energy Future Holdings and previously held a similar position with Deutsche Bank in New York. He will oversee financial services, the treasury and accounting functions, financial planning and enterprise performance management.


Bill Lauderback brings 34 years of senior-level experience in business management, government affairs, public policy and communications, most recently, at Hill+Knowlton Strategies. He will oversee external affairs, governmental affairs and policy, internal and external communications, economic development and meeting services.


Clint Harp will be special assistant to the general manager. He has worked previously with Wilson as a coordinator of special projects and was previously the director of business development within Gov. Perry’s economic development division.


Continuing team members include John Rubottom, general counsel; Ross Phillips, executive vice president of transmission; Charlie Johnson, general auditor; and Julie Eby, executive assistant to the general manager and board of directors.


A key departure from the agency is Jerry White, former executive manager of Employee and Communication Services. That division will be separated into two parts, Employee Services and Communication Services. Permanent directors of those divisions have not been named yet


Wilson’s retooling of the organization includes a few political appointments but also several people who bring strong industry credentials to the agency. It appears by the titles in his executive group that Wilson is going back to the model of making LCRA more of a business than a government agency.


For the entire text of Wilson’s message to employees, go to the LCRA website.

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