SMUD announces workforce changes to meet zero carbon goals

Frankie McDermott

Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California said that, as part of its work to meet aggressive zero carbon goals by 2030, it is aligning its workforce to optimize processes, innovation and agility.

The internal changes take advantage of efficiencies and coordination among programs to empower the best and brightest employees, SMUD said. They also put a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Without increasing the budget or headcount, we are now aligned to optimize our resources, performance and processes to reach our goals,” said SMUD Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Paul Lau. “It’s about efficiency and adapting to meet the needs of our customers, and in our business, in a rapidly changing environment.”

The alignment includes:

Frankie McDermott will serve as SMUD’s new chief operating officer. McDermott will provide strategic leadership and tactical oversight related to the safe and reliable transmission and delivery of energy to customers, ensuring efficient planning, construction, operation and maintenance of transmission and distribution facilities. This position has primary responsibility for the processes and functions related to system reliability and operations across SMUD. The COO is also the safety leader, leader of operational efficiency and responsible for all non-IT capital investments. McDermott most recently served as SMUD’s chief energy delivery officer.

Scott Martin will serve as the new chief strategy officer. Martin will oversee resource strategy, customer and distribution strategy, revenue strategy and enterprise prioritization, including zero carbon planning and rates. Martin will take a holistic approach to enterprise strategy and drive prioritization across the company. Martin most recently served as SMUD’s director of resource planning and new business development.

Lora Anguay will serve as the new chief zero carbon officer. Anguay will oversee distributed energy strategy implementation, energy trading and contracts, commodity settlements and power generation. She also will be responsible for executing SMUD’s Zero Carbon Plan and ensuring zero carbon activity alignment across programs. Anguay most recently served as SMUD’s director of distribution maintenance and operations.

Steve Clemons’ role as chief innovation and information officer has broadened to include IT innovation and project management. Innovation will be critical to meeting SMUD’s zero carbon goals. Clemons will continue to oversee IT strategic initiatives, IT infrastructure and operations, cybersecurity and IT applications. Clemons most recently served as SMUD’s chief information officer.

Jennifer Davidson’s role as chief financial officer has broadened to include responsibility for key corporate services, including facilities, security, image production and postal services, purchasing, warehouse and fleet. She will also continue to oversee corporate accounting, treasury operations and risk management, and a newly consolidated planning and budget function to drive consistency and efficiency across the organization.

Gary King will serve as chief diversity officer to focus on internal and external diversity and inclusion efforts. King is responsible for human resources, workforce diversity and inclusion, and SMUD’s Sustainable Communities program. King most recently served as SMUD’s chief workforce officer.

Brandy Bolden will serve as the new chief customer officer. Bolden will oversee customer operations and community energy services, customer experience delivery, commercial development and business attraction, and business performance and optimization. Bolden most recently served as SMUD’s interim chief customer officer and previously was director of revenue operations.

Laura Lewis serves as SMUD’s chief legal and government affairs officer. She will continue to oversee corporate legal, reliability and compliance, legislative, regulatory and government affairs.

Farres Everly joins the executive leadership team as SMUD’s director of marketing and corporate communications. Everly will continue to oversee marketing and market research, corporate and digital communications, community relations and graphic design.

SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity to Sacramento County for nearly 75 years. SMUD’s power mix is about 50% non-carbon emitting. SMUD owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), with 11 reservoirs and nine powerhouses.


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