The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) and Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) announced four Florida public power leaders were honored with American Public Power Association (APPA) national awards. Recognized were Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director, Frederick (Fred) Bryant, former FMPA and FMEA General Counsel, Chris Gent, Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) Vice President of Corporate Communications, and Michael Perri, Jr., Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) Board member. The awards were presented at the APPA National Conference & Public Power Expo in New Orleans. APPA is the national trade association for more than 2,000 U.S. community-owned electric utilities.
Zubaly received the Harold Kramer-John Preston Personal Service Award, which recognizes individuals for their exceptional service to APPA. An active member of the organization for 18 years, Zubaly is a member of the APPA Advisory Council, Legislative and Resolutions Committee, Mutual Aid Working Group and PowerPAC. She served as Chair of the APPA Local Arrangements Committee for the 2017 National Conference.
In September 2017, Zubaly helped coordinate the largest pre-planned power restoration effort in U.S. history, lining up more than 2,000 public power lineworkers from 26 states and 200 public power utilities to respond in Florida following Hurricane Irma. Zubaly also assisted with Florida public power utilities in Puerto Rico and coordinated mutual aid assistance for Florida public power utilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Also receiving the Harold Kramer-John Preston Personal Service Award, Gent has served in leadership roles in the utility industry at the local, state and national level. He has served as chair of the APPA Customer Connections Section and Public Communications Committee. He frequently presents at the association’s National Conference, Business & Financial Conference, and Customer Connections Conference on customer service, public communications, and key accounts. Under his leadership, KUA has earned 10 APPA Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards and five Annual Report awards.
Bryant is this year’s recipient of the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award for his significant contributions to the electric utility industry and public power utilities. This is the second time he has won this prestigious award.
Throughout his four decades of service to municipal utilities, Bryant represented Florida’s public power electric utilities on critical issues before the Florida Legislature, state agencies, governor and the Florida Supreme Court. He also represented utilities at federal courts and before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Bryant is a nationally recognized expert on the legal aspects of creating a joint action agency, such as FMPA. He provided counsel to create FMPA in 1978, and he also helped public power utilities in other states as they created their joint action agencies.
Bestowed upon Perri was the Spence Vanderlinden Public Official Award, which is given to elected or appointed officials who have made substantial contributions to the APPA’s goals and to their communities.
A longstanding FPUA Board member and former chairman of the Board, Perri participates in numerous local utility and community meetings. He is an active participant in FMEA and FMPA meetings, committees, legislative rallies and conferences. As a member of APPA’s Policy Makers Council, Perri assists APPA in promoting federal legislation that is important to public power systems while opposing legislation that is not in the interests of the electric customers he represents.
Each of the Florida public power award recipients were honored for their leadership and contributions to public policy and advocacy. Florida public power leaders took home four national awards in eight individual awards categories.