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(Stillwater, OK) – Stillwater Electric Utility and Director Loren Smith continue to stand out for their standards and service. The department was recently named a finalist in the American Public Power Association’s 2022 Safety Awards of Excellence, in recognition of its safety record. The award was presented May 2, at the APPA Engineering and Operations Conference in Pasadena, Calif.
When informing Stillwater Electric Utility of the honor, the APPA Safety Team emphasized that records like Stillwater’s indicate high standards in the workplace that are vital to safe and productive utility operations. Stillwater Electric Utility Director Loren Smith said the prestigious award from APPA ranks Stillwater against almost 300 other public power systems in the U.S. and highlights the utility’s commitment to safety and excellence.
“The City of Stillwater Electric Utility cares deeply about sending our employees home to their families safely every single day,” Smith said. “Safety is our primary focus and is demonstrated every day by our expert, collaborative team who always strive for excellence. I am extremely proud of them and our team is proud to be honored for all the work that goes into standing behind this commitment.”
Stillwater placed third in Group E, a category based on the number of hours all utility employees worked Jan. 1 – Dec. 31. APPA reported 283 utilities from across the country entered the annual safety awards, a competition held for more than 65 years. Entrants were ranked based on incident-free records and the overall state of their safety programs and culture during 2022.
“Safety needs to be the first thing on every utility employee’s mind as they go about their work," Jim Boyd, Chair of APPA’s Safety Committee and Electric Operations Safety Manager at Tacoma Power said. “The utilities honored by APPA for excellence in this area should be proud of the culture they have instilled in serving their communities.”
Smith’s leadership is also receiving recognition. He has been selected as Chairman of the Oklahoma Municipal Utility Services Association, an organization that provides administrative and operational support to Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) members. The association provides job training, safety education and professional development for more than 60 municipalities, including the City of Stillwater, that own and operate their own electric utilities, in Oklahoma and several neighboring states. Smith also serves as a board member for MESO where he is the current President-Elect.
“Loren provides tremendous leadership and insight to both OMUSA and MESO boards,” MESO General Manager Cheryl Adams said. “He is widely recognized as a leader in the public power community, and we appreciate his service.”