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Reclamation names McDonald commissioner, Johnson retires

Bill McDonald is serving as acting commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation in the U.S. Department of the Interior.


Bill McDonald
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This is the second time he has served in that temporary position. During a transition between presidential administrations in 2001, McDonald served as acting commissioner for six months. In the most recent occasion, Reclamation Commissioner Robert Johnson designated McDonald acting commissioner. Johnson subsequently retired from federal service in January.

McDonald is to serve as acting commissioner until a new commissioner is appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. McDonald had served as regional director of Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region since 1999.

McDonald began his career in water resources management in 1972 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works program. He then spent 14 years with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. In 1990, Reclamation appointed McDonald assistant commissioner for resources management.

Johnson joined Reclamation in 1975, and spent his federal career with the agency. From 1995 to September 2006, he was regional director of the Lower Colorado Region. Johnson was confirmed Reclamation’s 17th commissioner on Sept. 30, 2006.

Reclamation, the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the U.S., also has announced other personnel changes.

Fry named area manager for Klamath Basin Area Office

Reclamation named Susan Fry area manager of the Klamath Basin Area Office in Klamath Falls, Ore., in its Mid-Pacific Region.

Fry’s skills and experience include 15 years of federal service and graduation from Reclamation’s Leadership Development Program. Federal service includes a stint as the Mid-Pacific Region’s Environmental Officer.

As area manager, Fry directs program activities for the Klamath Project, which provides irrigation water for about 240,000 acres and water for Klamath National Wildlife Refuges.

Gourley named facility manager for Glen Canyon Field Division

J. Lonnie Gourley is new facility manager at 1,312-MW Glen Canyon Dam, on the Colorado River in Page, Ariz.

Gourley succeeds Ken Rice, who left the job to become area manager for the Lower Colorado Dams Office, which manages, operates, and maintains 2,079-MW Hoover, 251-MW Davis, and 120-MW Parker projects on the lower Colorado River.

Gourley joined Reclamation in January 1995 at the Glen Canyon Field Division. After three years as a control center operator in the Colorado River Storage Project Control Center, he was promoted to operations supervisor. In August 2006, he was selected to become deputy facility manager at Glen Canyon.

Gourley’s federal career and association with power plant operation and maintenance began in April 1974.

PGE names Piro CEO, president; Fowler retires

Jim Piro is new chief executive officer (CEO) and president of Portland General Electric Co. (PGE). He started the jobs Jan. 1, replacing Peggy Fowler, who retired.

PGE said it expects Fowler, who began serving as CEO and president in April 2000, will continue to play an active role at the utility even in retirement, as a member of its board of directors. Fowler joined PGE in 1974.

Piro brings 35 years of utility experience – 28 of those years at PGE – to his new role as CEO and president. He previously served as PGE’s chief financial officer. Piro worked in a number of other positions at PGE, included jobs in the areas of engineering, regulation, and planning.

PGE, headquartered in Portland, Ore., serves more than 800,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon. The utility owns five and co-owns two hydroelectric plants.

Deputy Director Ildari retires from FERC

Hossein Ildari, deputy director, Division of Hydropower Administration & Compliance at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects, has retired.

Ilardi announced his retirement in December 2008. While serving as deputy director, Ildardi worked with division director Joseph Morgan.

Hydropower Administration & Compliance is responsible for case management and for preparation of commission orders on a number of topics. The division ensures compliance with licenses, exemptions, and preliminary permits for hydropower projects.

Before being named deputy director, Ildari was chief of Land Resources & Regulatory Compliance, one of three branches in Hydropower Administration & Compliance.

Mishalanie joins Grant County PUD as civil engineer

David J. Mishalanie, P.E., joined Grant County Public Utility District as a civil engineer. Previously, he worked as senior civil engineer with Gomez and Sullivan Engineers.

At Grant County, Mishalanie’s duties include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission safety and regulatory agency compliance, oversight of dam safety surveillance programs, preparation of contract documents for civil works projects, coordination and management of engineering consultants, and oversight of construction and maintenance contracts.

At Gomez and Sullivan, from 1994 to 2008, Mishalanie was project manager for many dam and hydroelectric projects in the eastern U.S., including earth and concrete dam analysis, design, and stabilization; powerhouse design and construction; and fishway design and construction.

Mishalanie also was senior civil and lead project engineer for Harza Engineering Co. from 1981 to 1994.

Alexander retires from Missouri dams, reservoir program

James Alexander, chief engineer for the Missouri Dam and Reservoir Safety Program in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, has retired.

Bob Clay, a civil engineer in the same program, was named acting chief engineer of the program, which is part of the department’s Water Resources Center.

The Dam and Reservoir Safety Program is responsible for ensuring non-agricultural, non-federal dams 35 feet or taller meet minimum safety standards as established by state law. About 670 dams fall into that group.

Alexander, who retired at the end of December 2008 after about 14 years as chief engineer, is a longtime member of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). He served on ASDSO’s board of directors from 1995 to 1999, and again from 2005 to 2008.Alexander also served as a member of the advisory committee for the National Inventory of Dams.

Peven forms consultancy

Fisheries biologist Chuck Peven is president of Peven Consulting Inc., a new consultancy in Wenatchee, Wash.


Chuck Peven
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Peven formed the consultancy following his retirement from Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD), where he was a senior fisheries biologist. Joe Miller has assumed Peven’s responsibilities at the utility.

While at Chelan County PUD, Peven helped develop juvenile salmon bypass systems on the Columbia River.

Peven’s consultancy focuses on process facilitation and salmonid hatchery planning.

Mone becomes an associate at GKRSE law firm

The law firm of GKRSE announces the addition of Philip Mone as an associate.

In his new job, Mone assists clients on hydropower, electric power, and natural gas matters. He also helps clients on compliance matters related to market-based rates before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Before joining the Washington, D.C.-based law firm, Mone was a corporate attorney at EnerNOC Inc., a provider of demand-side resources. In that position, Mone handled licensing matters at various state public utility commissions, and general corporate matters.

Mone earned his law degree from Boston College Law School. He also earned degrees from the Courtauld Institute of Art and from Dartmouth College.

GKRSE specializes in energy regulation, including hydropower and environmental issues. The firm represents private and public entities before FERC, other federal and state agencies, and federal and state courts.

Poncelet joins Kearns & West as director, senior mediator

Kearns & West hired Eric Poncelet, PhD, as director and senior mediator. Poncelet leads the firm’s marine resources practice, which focuses on developing collaborative solutions to marine life conservation issues, including fisheries management, species protection, and resource monitoring.


Eric Poncelet
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Before joining Kearns & West, Poncelet was an associate mediator for CONCUR, Inc., a provider of environmental mediation, facilitation, and strategic planning services; he focused on water management and quality issues affecting California. Prior to that, Poncelet served as a project assistant for the Natural Resources Leadership Institute. Early in his career, he worked as a systems engineer for Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Kearns & West provides collaborative solutions and public affairs services to a variety of industries from its six locations throughout the U.S.

Banker remembered for role in 5,428-MW Churchill Falls

Edmund de Rothschild, a merchant banker from a renowned banking family in Britain who played an instrumental role in developing the 5,428-MW Churchill Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador, died in January. He was 93.

De Rothschild helped put together what in the early 1950s was the largest project ever undertaken by private enterprise, the New York Times reported in an obituary.

In the early 1950s, de Rothschild put together a consortium of seven Canadian and U.S. companies to develop hydropower, mineral, and timber resources in an area bigger than England and Wales combined, the newspaper reported.

De Rothschild made more than 400 trips to Canada in pushing the project to completion. The project at Churchill Falls, originally named Hamilton Falls, began operating in 1971. At that time, it was the second largest hydroelectric project in North America, the newspaper noted.

De Rothschild was senior partner and then chairman of NM Rothschild & Sons, and a figure of international renown in horticulture. De Rothschild’s family announced his death in a notice published in the Times of London.

American Cast Iron Pipe names Gwynn industrial manager

American Cast Iron Pipe Co. named Mark Gwynn its industrial manager. In his new job, Gwynn is responsible for the sale of the company’s ductile iron pipe, spiral-welded steel pipe, and electric-resistance welded steel pipe to national industrial and power markets.


Mark Gwynn
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Gwynn, formerly manager of the company’s Sacramento, Calif., District sales office, joined the company in 1986. He has served as a sales engineer in the Chicago District sales office, and as assistant manager of customer service.

American’s headquarters are in Birmingham, Ala.

Envirosight names Adams operations, service manager

Jim Adams has joined Envirosight LLC, specialists in video pipeline inspection, as operations and service manager.

In that job, Adams helps Envirosight sales partners become authorized Envirosight service centers.


Jim Adams
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Before joining Envirosight, Adams managed industrial inspection services and rentals at GE Inspection Technologies, overseeing 30 technicians in eight offices.


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