For two decades Theresa Phillips has been the face and the voice of the Lassen Municipal Utility District for customers here in Susanville — helping us sort through the good and the bad that eventually befalls every public agency. When the public needs to know something about LMUD, our publicly owned utility district, Phillips gets the word out. That hard work all of us have appreciated for all these years has finally been recognized.
The Northwest Public Power Association recently recognized Phillips as this year’s winner of the 2023 Champion of Communications Award. The award (formerly the Lacy Peoples Award) honors an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the public power industry, communication and public involvement.
NWPPA presented the award Tuesday, Sept. 19 during the 2023 Northwest Innovations in Communications Conference at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma in Santa Rosa, California.
According to a statement from NWPPA, Phillips began working in the public power industry at LMUD 20 years ago. As a communicator, her experience includes a wide variety of programs, helping customers to better understand the industry, find the assistance they need and use electricity wisely and efficiently. Over the years, she’s helped guide her utility through natural disasters, including devastating wildfires, controversies and struggles. She has also put together community events, assisted with strategic planning, participated in the development of energy services programs and much more. She also serves as a member of the NIC Planning Committee and has been a member of the chamber of commerce.
“Theresa is one of those people who makes public power feel like home,” said Mason PUD 3 Public Information Officer Sheila Corson. “Her bright smile, her openness to share advice and lessons learned, her kindness and easy friendship make her one of the people I look forward to seeing at conferences like the NIC. Public power is better because she is part of it.”
The NIC Planning Committee selects recipients of the award based on accomplishments through at least 10 years of marketing and communication experience; at least 20 years of service to the industry; and promotion of public power through efforts such as community service. Current or former employees of NWPPA member utilities are eligible. Recent winners of the award include Libby Calnon of Hood River Electric & Internet Co-op (2022), Lena Wittler of Clark Public Utilities (2021), and Debbie Bone-Harris of Franklin County PUD (2019). This year, the rest of the planning committee voted in secret and surprised Phillips with the award at the conference.
NWPPA is a regional association representing and serving more than 150 customer-owned, locally controlled utilities in the Western U.S. and Canada. The association also serves over 350 associate members across the U.S. and Canada who are allied with the electric utility industry. For more information, visit www.nwppa.org or follow @NWPPAssoc on our social channels.