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By Indiana Reed
Special to The SUN
At its regular board meeting July 16, the La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Board of Directors appointed Manager of Operations Steve Gregg as interim chief executive officer. Gregg will take over Aug. 1, filling in for retiring CEO Greg Munro while the LPEA board completes its search for a permanent CEO.
A 42-year veteran of LPEA, Gregg began his career as an equipment operator with the cooperative. He held several positions within operations — primarily construction and equipment maintenance — until he had the opportunity to join the engineering department as a design staker, part of the team that helps design the electrical system.
“I did that for about six years and then moved into right-of-way work,” said Gregg, of the job that involves negotiation of access for lines. “I think everybody should have to do a little bit of right-of-way work. It is the most humbling job … and you meet people all across the board — some not so eager to assist, to those who want to help the cooperative as they recognize there was a day that there was no electricity and they want to help build the system out to others.”
During his 10-year tenure in engineering, Gregg assisted Colorado Ute (predecessor of Tri-State Generation and Transmission) in designing/building the major 115 transmission line from the north La Plata County line through the Animas Valley and around the city of Durango, as well as construction of the initial distribution lines in the Vallecito Reservoir area.
In the 1990s, he returned to operations as a line superintendent, overseeing the work of the line crews. In 2005, Munro promoted him to manager of operations, where he has overseen all aspects of the system and its reliability.
“I’m confident the board of directors will select a very qualified CEO who will be looking at the health of the company,” said Gregg. “As soon as he or she is fully up to speed, I’ll be officially retiring as well. The lake is calling.”
A month shy of being a Durango native (he was born in Delta, Colo.), Gregg is an avid outdoorsman.