Sue Kelly’s ‘world tour’ brings APPA home.
Bruce W. Radford is publisher and editor-in-chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Reach him at email@example.com.
There's no one in the energy industry - and I mean absolutely no one - who is more on-message than Sue Kelly, now winding up her first year as CEO of the American Public Power Association.
"Are you working for the good guys?" I asked her, when I interviewed her last month, at her invitation, at her new 11th Floor office digs in suburban Virginia, overlooking the main runway at Washington's Reagan National Airport.
"In a word, yes," she answered. "At least the better guys."
"Our incentives are aligned with those of our customers. That's what has kept me going all these years."
And even during her prior lives, when she worked for the co-op sector at NRECA, the National Rural Electric Co-operative Association, in the late 1990s, and before that, when she served stints as a regulatory lawyer with both Crowell & Moring and Miller, Ballis & O'Neil, Sue has viewed her energy industry work strictly as a call to public service.
"Our guys live in the same towns as their customers. They go to church with them. They go to Rotary with them. When we say it's community power, we mean it."