KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 29, 2007 – Abani K. “Ben” Sharma, vice president of Kissimmee Utility Authority’s power supply department, retires March 31 after 17 years at KUA and 33 years in the utility industry.
Sharma, 67, spent much of his career in Florida and Georgia, serving as an electrical engineer for Southern Engineering Company of Georgia and planning superintendent for the city of Tallahassee’s electric department before joining KUA in 1989.
A native of the state of Assam, India, Sharma earned an electrical engineering degree in 1962 from Banaras Engineering College in India and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1965 from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
Sharma managed one of KUA’s largest departments with a current year operating budget of $128 million. He directed the design and construction of the $263 million Cane Island Power Park, held responsibility for the operation and maintenance of two electric generating plants and managed the utility’s load and energy forecasting.
In addition, Sharma spearheaded the installation of KUA’s energy control center and state-of-the-art Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition or SCADA system in 1992.
Sharma is a founding member of Florida Gas Utility, a non-profit organization that provides gas purchasing and gas management services for municipal utilities in Florida. He served as chairman of FGU from 1996-1998 and again in 1998-2000.
Sharma is an active Rotarian and recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International in 1996.
Sharma will be succeeded on April 1 by KUA’s manager of production Larry Mattern.
Sharma and his wife Kanika have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116