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ColumbiaGrid Welcomes Allen Burns as CEO and President

Ed Sienkiewicz

August 02, 2011

PORTLAND, OR.  Ed Sienkiewicz, chairman of the Board at ColumbiaGrid, announced today that Allen Burns will lead ColumbiaGrid as its President and CEO beginning September 5, 2011. Burns takes the helm from ColumbiaGrid’s first CEO, E. Jon Kaake, who is retiring at the end of August.
An electrical engineer, Burns joins ColumbiaGrid with over 30 years in the electric power industry and expertise in high-voltage transmission operations and management, power marketing and trading, industry restructuring and utility management. Burns is a former executive with the Bonneville Power Administration and consultant on electric power matters in the Pacific Northwest.
Sienkiewicz applauded Burns’s extensive experience and his technical and managerial skills, and acknowledged his reputation within the industry: “Allen has demonstrated his talent and enthusiasm for the job not only to us as a Board, but through his standing in the community as well. He is highly regarded within our power industry community, as well as in the region at large.” Burns is a native Oregonian, holding M.S. and B.S. degrees in electrical engineering.
“Allen is committed to ColumbiaGrid’s missions of improving regional transmission reliability and efficiency. He is up to the task of developing creative and collaborative solutions for regional transmission challenges, and we are thrilled to be working with him” Sienkiewicz added.

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ColumbiaGrid, a non-profit Washington membership corporation, was formed in 2006 to improve the operational efficiency, reliability and planned expansion of the Northwest transmission grid. The members of ColumbiaGrid are Avista Corp., Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan County PUD, Grant County PUD, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Snohomish County PUD and Tacoma Power. Cowlitz PUD and Douglas County PUD are non-member participants in ColumbiaGrid’s Planning and Expansion Functional Agreement (PEFA).


Member: Chelan County PUD      Project: ColumbiaGrid     
Chelan County PUD

"Chelan PUD is a strong supporter of ColumbiaGrid and the work that’s accomplished through the transmission Planning and Expansion Functional Agreement (PEFA). As a result of that process, the mid-C utilities (Chelan, Grant and Douglas PUDs) and Bonneville Power Administration were able to reach an agreement that defined the need for a new transmission line, as well as determine who will construct, own and pay for the facility. Those difficult decisions were made successful through the expert and independent expertise of the ColumbiaGrid staff."
~~ Chad Bowman, Director - Transmission and Compliance