KISSIMMEE, Fla., October 2, 2013 – Kissimmee Utility Authority’s board of directors made history today with its election of officers and the installation of its newest member.
During its regular monthly meeting held Wednesday, Reginald Hardee was elected chairman of the five-member volunteer board, making him the first African-American to serve in that position in the authority’s 28-year history.
Jeanne Van Meter was elected vice chairman. Dr. George Gant was re-elected secretary, and Kathleen Thacker was re-elected assistant secretary.
Kissimmee realtor Ethel Urbina took the oath of office as the board’s first Hispanic woman and second Hispanic to serve. Former director Domingo Toro retired from the utility board in 2007 after a decade of service.
“We are very pleased to welcome another highly qualified citizen to the board, particularly an individual who helps reflect the diversity of our community,” said Hardee. “It’s certainly fitting that during National Hispanic Heritage Month we have installed our first female Hispanic board member.”
The utility’s five-member board of directors sets policy direction for the utility. Specifically, the board approves annual budgets, sets rates and approves major purchases. The board also directs a general manager who is responsible for day-to-day operations of the utility.
Hardee is the district information system manager for Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and brings nearly 20 years of strategic planning and budgeting experience to the chairman position. He joined the board in 2007 and has served as director, assistant secretary, secretary and vice chairman. In 2011, Hardee was appointed by the American Public Power Association to a three-year term on its national Policy Makers Council.
Founded in 1901, KUA (http://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent