October 25, 2022

SPP board of directors selects new leadership, SPP membership elects two new directors

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — On Oct. 25, Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional power grid operator that ensures access to reliable and affordable electricity, announced the selection of a new chair and vice chair of its independent board of directors, and SPP’s membership elected two new directors to the board. Susan Certoma will serve as chair, and Elizabeth Moore will serve as vice chair. Steve Wright and Ray Hepper will fill two open board seats, with Wright’s term effective immediately and Hepper’s term effective Jan. 1, 2023.

“It’s an honor to welcome Ray and Steve to our board on behalf of SPP’s staff and stakeholders,” said SPP President and CEO Barbara Sugg. “They bring with them an impressive degree of utility experience and expertise. Their perspectives will play a critical part in SPP’s success at a time when we face significant opportunities and challenges related to things like expansion to the west, ensuring resource adequacy across our footprint and equipping ourselves to coordinate the grid of the future.”

Ray Hepper has extensive experience in the electric utility industry and served as vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for ISO New England until his retirement in 2018.

“I am honored to be elected by SPP’s members to serve on the board,” Hepper said. “I look forward to working with management and stakeholders as the organization takes advantage of the opportunities created by the continuing transition of the industry. The evolution to a larger footprint and closer integration with its neighbors will bring significant benefits to the region and give me the chance to work on very exciting issues.”

Before his role at ISO New England, Hepper was a partner in the firm of Pierce Atwood where he handled regulatory proceedings and complex power contracting issues. Hepper was general counsel at Central Maine Power Company, where he oversaw the sale of the Company’s generation assets and its merger. He started his career as a tax litigator at the United States Department of Justice, and served on the ERCOT board of directors. He has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in economics from Lehigh University.

Totally blind since birth, Hepper spends volunteer time supporting education, employment and career development for people who are blind and other marginalized groups. He serves on Penn Law School’s alumni advisory board for diversity, equity and inclusion. He is an active mentor in the American Foundation for the Blind's Blind Leadership Development Program and served on the board of Perkins School for the Blind for over ten years, including as vice chair of the board. In addition to bringing RTO and utility expertise to SPP’s board, Hepper’s background will be valuable with regard to SPP’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Steve Wright brings years of industry experience in the Western Interconnection to SPP’s board of directors. He served as general manager at Chelan Public Utility until his retirement in 2021.

It’s exciting to join a dynamic organization that has a strong reputation for innovation and customer service,” Wright said. “SPP is at the center of our nation’s ambitious efforts to attain a reliable, affordable and clean electric power system. I look forward to continuing the SPP tradition of actively engaging members and stakeholders. I also hope to strengthen the bridge to potential SPP members in the west.”

Before his role at Chelan Public Utility District, Wright served as Bonneville Power Administration’s administrator and CEO.

Wright is currently co-chair of the American Public Power Association’s Climate Change Task Force. He previously served on the board of the American Public Power Association, the Alliance to Save Energy, the Large Public Power Council and is the past chair of the Public Generating Pool. Wright has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oregon.

Susan Certoma joined the SPP board in 2019 and currently serves as the vice chair. She will replace Larry Altenbaumer, the current chair, who will remain on the board. Certoma has more than 30 years of service in the financial industry and currently serves as the chair of the SPP Finance Committee and is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Elizabeth Moore was elected in 2020 and will replace Certoma as vice chair. Moore has more than 30 years of legal and regulatory experience and currently serves on the Human Resources Committee and Oversight Committee.

About SPP:  Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a regional transmission organization: a not-for-profit corporation mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices on behalf of its members. SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services on a contract basis to customers in both the Eastern and Western Interconnections. The company’s headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at SPP.org.

Derek Wingfield, 5016143394, dwingfield@spp.org