Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas names Joel Ivy General Manager of Lakeland Electric after conducting a national search and a concentrated interview process.
Ivy currently oversees the Energy Department for Imperial Irrigation District, a vertically integrated public electric utility located in El Centro, California. Imperial Irrigation District’s Energy Department serves 145,000 customers in southern California. Ivy leads the Energy Department overseeing utility operations and 500 employees.
"I am very excited to join a top performing organization in Lakeland Electric. The utility is committed to a high degree of service to its consumers and that is evident with all services ranging from customer call performance, to generation, to delivering residential and commercial customers their energy,” said Ivy. "My wife and I were given tours of Lakeland and we are fascinated by the progressive improvements to the City facilities and parks, the availability of quality healthcare and the general curb appeal of Lakeland itself. It is very obvious that the community is passionate about the quality of life for its residents and we truly want to be part of that passion.”
Ivy has an extensive professional career in the power industry that began almost 30 years ago when he started as a lineman in 1983. He has had a steady career path that includes climbing utility poles to managing multi-hundred million dollar operations with start-ups, investor owned and publicly owned utilities. Past experience includes his tenure as Chief Operating Officer at Visible Light Solar Technologies and Vice President of New Mexico Operations for Public Service Company of New Mexico, an investor owned utility with almost 500,000 customers.
City Manager Doug Thomas said, “We are very impressed with Joel’s background, which spans close to 30 years in the electric industry in both investor owned and public utilities. We believe his skills are well suited to build upon Lakeland Electric’s successes and lead the utility through its future initiatives and opportunities.”
“Joel has a solid track record of developing and fostering excellent communication programs including internal employee engagement, governing board briefings, customer outreach and community involvement in various boards and non-profit groups,” said Thomas. “We believe his strengths, combined with Deputy General Manager Alan Shaffer and his respective 33 years of experience with Lakeland Electric represent an ideal senior leadership team for our utility.”
The City of Lakeland conducted a national search for the Lakeland Electric General Manager position with the assistance from Little & Associates. The search produced 180 applicants that were ultimately reduced to six candidates who interviewed for the position. City Manager Thomas appointed a committee comprised of City administration, a representative from the Florida Municipal Electric Association and the local business community to assist in the selection process. The selection committee members include:
Doug Thomas – City Manager
Tim McCausland – City Attorney
Tony Delgado – Deputy City Manager
Brad Johnson – Assistant City Manager
Mike Brossart – Assistant Finance Director
Barry Moline - Executive Director, Florida Municipal Electric Association
Dean Boring – President/CEO, Boring Business Systems
Walker Wilkerson – Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce President and Partner/CPA, Clifton Larson & Allen
The top six candidates participated in a three day process as part of the hiring procedure that included community and utility departmental tours, selection committee interviews and individual meetings with the City Manager. Thomas said, “Joel is the ideal General Manager for Lakeland Electric at this point in the utility’s history and his operational and financial experience will help strategically position Lakeland Electric in our goal to provide reliable electric service, competitive rates and outstanding customer service for our 120,000 customers.”
Ivy graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He will officially start as Lakeland Electric’s General Manager on July 30th with an annual salary of $188,000. Ivy said, “I had an opportunity to meet with some of the employees at Lakeland Electric and I am very impressed with their demonstrated capabilities and knowledge. I look forward to meeting with the employees of the entire department very soon.” Ivy is married to his wife Penny for 30 years. They have two sons ages 28 and 30 who live in Texas. Ivy’s hobbies include fishing, boating, cooking and touring.
Lakeland Electric is the third largest public power utility in the State of Florida. The utility is also one of the first utilities established in Florida having started operation in 1889. Today, power is generated at Lakeland Electric’s two primary base load plant sites, the 937-megawatt McIntosh Power Plants and the 124-megawatt Larsen Power Plant. Lakeland Electric’s total generation capacity is about 1,100 megawatts.