Bill Elmore, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Knoxville Utilities Board, has announced his plans to retire at the end of the calendar year. “Bill has been such a valued member of the KUB team, and although we are happy for him as he moves into this next stage in life, we will all miss his leadership at KUB,” said Mintha Roach, KUB President and CEO. “Bill’s integrity, work ethic and customer focus have influenced a generation of leaders at KUB and will live on in our work after he has moved on to a well deserved retirement.”
Two of those who have followed in Elmore’s footsteps will be stepping up into leadership roles that were also announced today. Derwin Hagood, a 30-year KUB employee, will be promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations, with oversight of the day to day operations of KUB’s systems, as well as oversight of KUB’s construction forces and plant operations. Hagood, a Professional Engineer, has served in a variety of roles throughout his tenure at KUB, including previous engineering and operations roles, as well as stints in customer service and process improvement/information services functions.
Gabriel Bolas, also a Professional Engineer and a 21-year KUB employee, will be promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Engineer. Bolas, who most recently has served in a management role over KUB’s Overhead Construction Department, also has long experience in electric engineering, and has served as manager of KUB’s environmental stewardship function. Both Hagood and Bolas will report directly to Roach.
“I’ve always believed that part of being a leader is being sure that there are strong people to follow behind us. KUB is fortunate to have a strong bench of experienced staff ready to take the reins,” said Elmore. “I’ve worked with both Derwin and Gabe for years, and I am confident that I am leaving this job in capable hands.”
Elmore leaves KUB with 39 years of service, including 10 years spent on the wastewater system prior to its 1987 transfer to KUB from city government. During his tenure, KUB’s operations have won numerous awards for quality, including recent perfect scores from regulators inspecting the drinking water system; dozens of Peak Performance awards from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, recognizing regulatory performance at each of KUB’s wastewater treatment plants; and recognition by the American Public Power Association for outstanding electric reliability under its Reliable Public Power Program (RP3), just to name a few. KUB has also made great strides in the natural gas area, with the completion of the long-planned South Loop gas transmission line completed in 2015, and a continued focus on regulatory compliance in this highly regulated industry.
Elmore also played a critical role in KUB’s most notable strategic initiatives, PACE 10 and Century II. PACE 10, a $650 million wastewater improvement program, was established in 2004 to support KUB’s compliance with state and federal regulatory orders requiring massive upgrades to both the wastewater collection system and treatment plants. Under Elmore’s leadership, PACE 10 projects have been completed on time and on budget, and the program is on track for completion as required by the federal consent decree. KUB has seen an 82% decrease in sanitary sewer overflows on its system as a result of this work.
The lessons learned from PACE 10 led KUB to establish the Century II program, an infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement program for all four of KUB’s utility systems. Under Century II, KUB has established replacement cycles for all its major assets in the electric, gas, water and wastewater systems. Those capital replacement plans are in place and are already being implemented, providing benefits to customers.
“There is no doubt that KUB is a stronger organization as a result of Bill’s leadership,” said Roach. “These improvements didn’t just happen – it took a coordinated effort and Bill was a critical part of that work. KUB customers are the ultimate beneficiaries, and we thank him on their behalf.”
KUB, a municipal utility serving Knox and parts of seven adjacent counties, provides reliable electric, gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 445,000 customers.
For more information, contact: KUB Communications at (865) 594-7988 or visit KUB.org.