A Warm Welcome to Our New CEO
Last week, we welcomed a new CEO. Mark Bonsall is the retired CEO for one of the nation’s largest publicly owned electric and water utilities, Salt River Project in Arizona.
After the Board voted for his employment last Tuesday, he addressed the staff here at Santee Cooper. He struck me as very personable. The reason he came out of retirement for the job, he told us, was because he’s been working with Santee Cooper for years as part of the public power family and believes in the organization. And, he’s getting down to business.
Bonsall started in engineering before he moved over to the financial side, so he’s well-rounded. He brought with him Charlie Duckworth, who will serve as our Deputy CEO. Duckworth has experience in resource management and planning. Together, they’ve tackled emerging technologies, renewable energy and changes in regulation – all important to the future of utility companies.
Jim Brogdon has been our acting CEO since 2017. He’s a great advocate for Santee Cooper and our employees, and we’ll be sad to see him go. I really got to know him through Hurricane Florence and the flooding that resulted in Conway. He was working alongside us but allowing us to take the reins of our jobs to do the best we can for customers and the community. He’s trusting, influential and part of the team.
Bonsall exudes the same qualities. While we will definitely see some changes as we approach this new era at Santee Cooper, some say it’s time. I believe Bonsall can strengthen our resolve and lead us through, while maintaining our mission of creating a better life for all South Carolinians. I have no doubt that my co-workers will rise to this challenge as they do for the literal storms that so often come our way in the power business.