At Tuesday’s special meeting of the Board of Water, Electric and Communications Trustees, and after months of activities related to the search for a General Manager to replace retiring current General Manager, Sal LoBianco, the Board took action to authorize Board Chairperson, Keith Porter, to extend an offer for the General Manager position.
Gage Huston, MP&W’s Director of Power Production and Supply, accepted the General Manager position effective April 1, 2019. Mr. LoBianco will be retiring with 39 years of service to MP&W and the Muscatine community.
In July, the Board retained Mycoff, Fry, and Prouse, LLC to conduct a nationwide search to generate qualified and experienced candidates for the position. Ms. Lanie Mycoff, Managing Director, led the MP&W search. Ms. Mycoff delivered a long list of candidates to the Board’s Search Committee in October. According to Mycoff, there was a good number of candidates interested in the Muscatine position because, “MP&W is a good-sized municipal utility that offers multiple services with intriguing projects addressing future power supply needs, completing the Fiber to the Home project and water system expansion, and construction of a new transmission line. In addition, MP&W has a history of being a well-managed, reliable service provider with competitive rates. It’s a big energy and water producer compared to utilities in similarly-sized communities.”
Board members interviewed multiple candidates from across the Midwest throughout December and January. “We were impressed with the candidates presented for our consideration. We were pleased to interview candidates which had experience providing multiple utility services, including telecommunications services, and had General Manager/CEO experience. In the end, however, we unanimously felt Gage was the best fit to lead MP&W into the future,” Porter offered.
With 16 years at MP&W, Mr. Huston started at the Power Generating Station as an Electrical Engineer and quickly advanced within MP&W, holding positions of increasing responsibility. He completed his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2010 and has served as part of MP&W’s Senior Leadership Team since 2011.
Huston and LoBianco will use the time between now and April 1 to plan for the orderly transition of General Manager responsibilities. The Board extends its appreciation to Mr. LoBianco for his service; a retirement celebration for LoBianco is being planned for later this Spring.
Mr. Huston, his wife, Sara, and family moved from their hometown of Durant to Muscatine in 2014, to live in the community in which he served. Mr. Huston has been active in several local non-profit organizations, including the American Red Cross, the United Way, the Young Professionals Network of Muscatine, Junior Achievement, and the American Cancer Society. He recently completed a term on the Board of Directors for the Muscatine Community YMCA and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Muscatine Charities and the Advisory Committee for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muscatine.