ColumbiaGrid reelects board member

Members of ColumbiaGrid on Aug. 21 reelected Ed Sienkiewicz, a retired federal executive and economist who spent 29 years at the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), to his third three-year term on the organization’s board of directors.

Sienkiewicz, who developed regional transmission policies while at BPA, was one of the members of ColumbiaGrid’s first board of directors. He was elected to an initial one-year term in August 2006, to his first three-year term a year later, re-elected to a second three-year term in 2010, and simultaneously elected to a one-year term as board chair. His reelection to a third term will extend his seven years of service to the organization.

The board’s current chair is Jim Miller, a retired executive and electrical engineer who spent nearly 33 years with Idaho Power, a subsidiary of IDACORP (NYSE:IDA). Miller held a wide variety of senior management positions during his career. At the time of his retirement, he was the senior vice president of power supply with responsibility over the planning, construction and operation of the company’s hydro, natural gas and coal-fired resources. He was elected to a three-year term in 2011.

Kris Mikkelsen was elected to the board in April to fill the seat held by the previous director and original board member Shelly Richardson. Richardson’s term officially expired in August 2012, but she agreed to stay on through the end of the year after ColumbiaGrid’s members decided to delay the selection of a new director to give themselves additional time to consider strategic responses to a variety of challenges facing the industry.

One of the changes that grew out of those strategic responses proved pivotal in allowing Mikkelsen to serve on the board. ColumbiaGrid members voted in early 2013 to remove the absolute disqualification to a director having worked for a member or another market participant in the year prior to their election. Now, applicants are required to disclose any such relationship to the members as part of the application process. 

Mikkelsen spent 30 years at Inland Power and Light Company, including 12 years as CEO and 10 years as CFO before retiring on June 1, 2012.

According to the organization’s by-laws, directors must be knowledgeable about the electric power system in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, they must have either been responsible for obtaining or providing transmission or power service on behalf of a federal power marketing agency, or have had other relevant and substantial experience with an electric power system.

ColumbiaGrid’s three board members serve staggered three-year terms.