Kirk Hudson named new general manager of Chelan County PUD

Kirk Hudson
Copyright Atlas & Elia Photography, LLC. Kathryn Denelle Stevens photographer. Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) senior team head shots.

The Chelan County Public Utility District commission has chosen Kirk Hudson as its new general manager, replacing Steve Wright who is retiring.

Hudson will assume the role on Jan. 1, 2022. He has served in several positions for Chelan PUD in Washington State in the past 24 years, most recently as its managing director of generation and transmission.

“During our community outreach this spring, we received hundreds of comments from customers and employees about the qualities they wanted to see in a new general manager,” said Randy Smith, president of the PUD’s Board of Commissioners. “This input was vital to our recruitment process and our selection of Kirk Hudson. He was the clear choice to advance the PUD’s mission and continue our work to enhance the quality of life for our customer-owners.”

“We heard several consistent themes from the community and employees,” Commissioner Steve McKenna stated. “There was interest in recruiting a candidate with strong leadership skills, business management acumen, integrity, background with Pacific Northwest issues, solid communications skills and understanding of renewable energy. We also heard numerous comments about considering candidates internally and within our region.”

Commissioners also reinforced Hudson’s commitment to implementing the PUD’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan.

“As part of our five-year plan, we’re making multiple investments on behalf of customers,” said Commissioner Dennis Bolz. “We’re modernizing hydropower projects, building new facilities for better customer service, accelerating fiber buildout for faster internet, building new substations and expanding tree trimming to support reliability. Kirk was the best candidate to lead these critical efforts going forward.”

“I am honored the PUD Commission has selected me to be the next general manager,” Hudson said. “I’m looking forward to serving our communities in this new capacity. The Commission and Steve Wright have developed a solid five-year strategic plan that we are two years into, and I’m excited to work more closely with the board and our extremely talented employees who are essential to successfully implement that plan.”

In addition to his experience at Chelan PUD, in 2018 Hudson led formation of the Hydropower Research Institute, a data-driven collaborative aimed at driving the digital transformation of hydropower. He also worked in the consulting industry for seven years before joining the PUD. Hudson graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in civil engineering.

Hudson is the 13th general manager since Chelan PUD was formed in 1936. The PUD offers some of the lowest electric rates in the U.S., as well as providing water, wastewater and wholesale broadband internet services. Chelan PUD owns three hydropower projects: Rocky Reach, Rock Island and Lake Chelan.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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