Each year at the ElectriCities Annual Conference, we recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions to public power.
At the 2023 Annual Conference:
- Rich Worsinger received the Distinguished Service Award.
- Ethan Poppe received the Rising Star Award.
- Paul Fisher received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Let’s meet and celebrate the 2023 Public Power Distinguished Service Award recipient, Rich Worsinger.
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes leaders with 10 or more years of experience who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to public power, brought their organization to a new level of excellence, led by example, and inspired their employees and staff to improve processes, services, and operations.
Rich is undeniably one of those leaders.
He has been part of our North Carolina public power family since 2001, when he began serving as Director of Energy Resources at Rocky Mount Public Utilities. Since 2019 and until his retirement last month, Rich served as Director of Wilson Energy.
For nearly 22 years, Rich served on the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency Board of Commissioners, including when the $1.25 billion sale of the Agency’s assets to Duke was completed.
He served on NCEMPA’s Rate Committee for nearly 13 years and on the Utility Directors Advisory Committee for nearly eight years. He chaired that committee from 2018 to 2019.
Wilson City Manager Grant Goings said that during Rich’s time in Wilson, he continued and even improved upon Wilson Energy’s sterling reputation, despite the challenges of the pandemic and severe weather.
Under Rich’s leadership, the City received Public Power Awards of Excellence in all five categories for 2019, 2020, and 2021. And Wilson recently received awards in four categories for 2022.
The American Public Power Association designated Wilson Energy a Diamond-level Reliable Public Power Provider (or RP3) for 2020 through 2022, and just recently for 2023 through 2025. Diamond is the highest-level RP3 achievable.
The City of Rocky Mount received multiple Diamond-level RP3 designations under Rich’s leadership as well.
With Rich at the helm, Wilson Energy ranks among the most reliable public power providers nationwide. On average Wilson Energy customers experienced less than an hour’s outage each year under Rich’s leadership. That earned Wilson Energy Certificates of Excellence for Reliable Performance from APPA each of those years.
Rich’s service goes far beyond awards. That was obvious at his recent retirement party in Wilson. It was packed with public power leaders from communities large and small, from around the state and the country.
Rich has always welcomed opportunities to provide guidance and expertise outside of the communities he’s led. And many people have benefited from his ability to explain complex technical issues to non-technical people.
Many people have also benefitted and continue to benefit from Rich’s strategic, future-focused outlook and his willingness to make tough decisions that might not have been what people wanted to hear in the moment but were good for everyone in the long run.
Now that he’s retired, we see a lot of boating and family time in Rich’s future. That’s already started with he and his wife, Nancy, kicking off his retirement by cruising through Europe. From now on, we hope his tough decisions are limited to where to travel next.
Congratulations, Rich! And thank you for your many years of distinguished service.
Next, let’s meet the 2023 Rising Star Award recipient, Ethan Poppe, and the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Paul Fisher.