After serving more than 32 years with the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC—The Reliable One), Ken Ksionek, General Manager & CEO, has announced his retirement to the OUC Board of Commissioners, effective February 1, 2018. Passionate about reliability, sustainability and emerging technologies, Ksionek has successfully led OUC’s efforts to be “The Reliable One” and “The Sustainable One” too.
His expertise, leadership and devotion have made OUC one of the most forwardthinking utilities in the nation.“For the past 13 years, leading OUC has been an honor and a privilege,” said Ksionek. “I’ve spent my entire 44-year career in the electric utility industry, and I’m proud that Orlando Utilities remains the strongest financial, sustainable and community partner in achieving the shared vision and priorities of the citizens of Orlando and Central Florida.”
Ksionek began his OUC career in 1985 as Director of Construction for the Stanton Energy Center (SEC) Unit 1. He then served as co-project manager for the SEC Unit 2 construction project while holding the position of Managing Director of Electric Transmission and Distribution. In 1995, he was promoted to Vice President of the Energy Delivery Business Unit, where he led OUC to national prominence for its reliability. In 2004, Ksionek guided the organization through the most active hurricane season in its history, with three back-to-back storms – Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne – over a 45- day period. After each storm, Ksionek coordinated OUC’s massive restoration efforts that returned power safely to customers in nine days after Charley, four days for Frances and three days for Jeanne. In October 2004, he was named General Manager and CEO.
Under Ksionek’s direction, OUC weathered tough economic times and their financial impact on the company. Today, OUC’s strong financial performance, high bond ratings, and astute refinancing have allowed it to maintain costs and provide customers with affordable rates in addition to record reliability and outstanding water quality.
“Mr. Ksionek is an amazing gentleman and an incredible leader who is committed to pushing OUC to be at the forefront of technology and sustainability. During his tenure, he guided the utility through the economic downturn to significant growth while maintaining his commitment to providing affordable, reliable energy and water to OUC’s customers. It has been an honor to work with him and he will be greatly missed,” said Gregory Lee, President, OUC Board of Commissioners.
Additionally, Ksionek’s focus on improving customer service through smart grid technology, advancing sustainability and clean energy initiatives, and developing expertise through employee empowerment and active succession planning has positioned OUC to become the Best Utility in the Nation.
OUC’s accomplishments during Ksionek’s career include:
- Ranked No. 1 in Electric Distribution Reliability in Florida for the 19th straight year compared to Florida investor-owned utilities, according to data submitted to the Florida Public Service Commission.
- Recognized by CS Week and Electric Light & Power Magazine with the 2015 Expanding Excellence Award for Innovation in Customer Service for launching 10 customer-facing technology projects, which provided robust, fully-automated self-service options. These included an upgraded website and phone system, consumption dashboards, an OUC Power Pass pay-as-you-go program, as well as more than 400 third-party payment locations offering real-time processing.
- Recognized by CS Week and Electric Light & Power Magazine with the 2014 ExpandingExcellence Award for Best Infrastructure in North America for an innovative, low-costand comprehensive Meter Data Management Project, the acceleration of digital meter deployment and the ability for customers to make real-time payments.
- Named Public Power Utility of the Year for Innovative Solar Programs in 2013 by theSolar and Electric Power Association (SEPA).
- Deployed 375,000 digital electric and water meters, allowing OUC customers to become smarter energy and water consumers, and successfully implemented a new Customer Care and Billing system that enables adoption of innovative data-driven technologies.
- Enhanced the region’s economic development efforts by recruiting, retaining and
growing businesses, including internationally-recognized organizations such as Amazon, KPMG, and the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
- Established a partnership with American Water Resources of Florida to provide home warranties for thousands of Central Floridians, which covers the unexpected costs of electric and water home repairs.
- Expanded the St. Cloud partnership, a first-of-its-kind Interlocal Agreement between two governmental entities, to serve electric customers for 35 years in the fast-growing city located in Osceola County.
- Developed the Stanton Energy Center into the most fuel diverse generation site in the State of Florida with the addition of natural gas, landfill gas and two solar photovoltaic farms.
- Championed innovative solar installations, including the first community solar farm in Central Florida, one of the nation’s first floating solar arrays and most recently, the firstof- its-kind solar field atop a by-product landfill located near a power plant.
- Blazed an electric vehicle (EV) partnership with the City of Orlando, leading to thecommunity being named one of the Top 10 Most EV-Ready cities in the United States.
- Secured a 20-year Consumptive Use Permit that ensures customers will receive highquality,affordable water from the Lower Floridan Aquifer until 2024, along with alternative water supplies and aggressive conservation measures.
- Combined Energy, Potable Water and Chilled Water Production under one business unit; and merged Electric and Water Delivery under a separate business unit in 2012 to create organizational efficiencies and streamline processes for customers and developers.
- Created a 2005 Strategic Plan outlining the vision, mission and strategic initiatives that continue to serve as OUC’s mainstay roadmap.
Prior to joining OUC, Ksionek was involved in the construction management of several major power plant projects throughout the United States while employed for 12 years with Gilbert Associates, Inc., an international engineering company. During his time there, he helped manage projects such as Tampa Electric Company’s Big Bend Unit 4, Delmarva Power & Light Company’s Indian River Unit 4 and Arizona Public Service Company’s West Phoenix Combined
Ksionek serves on the Large Public Power Council, Florida Reliability Coordinating Council, Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group, Florida Municipal Power Pool and the Orlando Economic Partnership. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. A selection committee has been created, and a nationwide search is underway for his successor.