Tappan, Evans picked to fill HEA board vacancies

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tim Evans, of Sterling, and Bill Tappan, of Soldotna, were named to Homer Electric Association's board of directors at its meeting on Tuesday.

The vacancies were created when former board members Dave Carey and Hugh Chumley resigned after Carey was elected as Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor and named Chumley as his chief of staff in October.

Tappan, who filled Carey's seat, will serve out the remaining term, which expires in May 2009. Evans will serve out Chumley's term until May 2011.

"This is something I've wanted to do for a while," Tappan said. "I like the people, I'm excited."

Tappan, now retired, worked for an international engineering and construction firm, which gave him experience working with public utilities, he said.

"I have a real appreciation for some of the challenges they have."

A top priority of Tappan's is to reduce HEA's dependency on natural gas. He said there are many alternative energy sources right here on the peninsula -- coal, wind, tidal -- to name a few.

Evans, who has been a member of HEA for 25 years, is a retired telecommunications worker with nearly 40 years of experience in the electrical industry. He has served as manager of electrical wholesale companies in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

One of his main goals is to control costs, according to a written statement. Evans also wants to research and invest in the use of feasible alternative energy.

New officers were also chosen at the December meeting.

Debbie Debnam was selected to replace Carey as board president.

"I'm very humbled by the fact that I was appointed president," she said.

Debnam said HEA has many challenges to face in the upcoming months. One major challenge is diversifying fuel sources for energy to prevent large price swings for HEA members, she said. She also mentioned renewable energy projects, specifically hyrdro, as a focal point of HEA.

"I'm pretty excited about how many opportunities we've got."

Debnam said she brings several years of experience with her to the board's presidency and is looking forward to giving some of her expertise back to the industry.

Other officers selected at the meeting include Don Seelinger, vice president, David Thomas, secretary/treasurer, and Bruce Passe, deputy secretary.

Mike Nesper can be reached at mike.nesper@peninsulaclarion.com.

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