Retired Douglas County PUD Commissioner Mike Doneen received the Northwest Public Power Association’s (NWPPA) John M. George Public Service Award and the Paul J. Raver Community Service Award today at the Association’s annual conference and membership meeting in Spokane.
The John M. George Public Service Award, first presented in 1968, recognizes policymaking officers of member systems that have demonstrated remarkable service to public power. The Paul J. Raver Community Service Award is given to individuals or utilities that have shown superior leadership in the betterment of cities, locales, states, or regions. It was first presented to Dr. Paul J. Raver (posthumously) on April 18, 1963. Dr. Raver was Superintendent of Seattle City Light.
Mike was elected to the Board of Commissioners for Public Utility District No. 1 of Douglas County on December 1, 1964, and served continuously until retirement on January 1, 2007. He served numerous times as president, vice-president/assistant secretary and as secretary of the board.
During his tenure, Mike played an integral role in bringing the Wells Hydroelectric Project online early and under budget. Mike also was involved in the construction of the fish bypass system and the Habitat Conservation Plan, resulting in a 50-year program to ensure the Wells Project has “no net impact” on salmon and steelhead. His leadership contributed to the development of a Fiber-Optic based communication network for efficient operation of the electric system and to make sure Douglas County was not left behind in the digital economy. With Mike’s forward thinking, Douglas County PUD has integrated wind energy into the resource mix and is investigating building a wind project in Douglas County. All the while maintaining the lowest retail electric prices in the country.
Mike was president of the Washington PUD Association (WPUDA) in 1977 and served as first vice-president of the NWPPA for 1990-1991 and president in 1992. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the WPUDA in 2006. At retirement, having held the office of commissioner since 1964, Mike was the senior PUD commissioner in the State of Washington.