Rich Wallen is stepping down as CEO and General Manager of the Grant County Public Utility District.

Effective June 14, Wallen will no longer preside over the Grant County power supplier. Yesterday his resignation was presented to the Board of Commissioners, the utility's chief administrative body.

In a statement this afternoon, Commission President Tom Flint commended Wallen's "strategic re-alignment" of Grant PUD. Under Wallen's leadership, which purportedly brimmed with "energy, vision and heart," Flint said the utility evolved to become "more efficient and fiscally sound." Wallen also placed a heightened emphasis on hydropower.

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But Wallen is not retreating into retirement. Instead he will join Chelan County PUD as its first-ever COO. (Currently the highest-ranking executive at Chelan PUD is General Manager Kirk Hudson.)

The PUD says the position was created during a re-organization of leadership within the utility to allow it to respond quickly and efficiently to the volume and velocity of change they expect in the coming decades.

Wallen will receive a salary of $325,700 a year.

He'll inherit some ambitious undertakings at Chelan PUD, including the colorfully named "Electric Avenue," a $5.7M road and utilities corridor that promises increased centralization. Construction is expected to commence this summer.

Wallen, a U.S. Navy veteran, has decades of experience in the power generation sector; his experience runs the gamut from hydro to nuclear, gas to coal. In 2017, he was enlisted by Grant PUD to manage power production. Within five years he ascended to dual-role CEO.

The search for Wallen's replacement is underway, says Flint. It was Wallen who emerged in 2021 to fill the void left by his cancer-stricken predecessor, Kevin Nordt.

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