SMUD general manager, CEO announces retirement

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) General Manager and CEO John Di Stasio is retiring after more than 30 years at SMUD. He announced his intention to retire in 2014 to the SMUD Board of Directors Thursday.

Di Stasio’s tenure at the helm includes many accomplishments, including keeping electric rates among the lowest in California, vastly improving reliability, and launching the SMUD SmartSacramento® smart grid project, which included completion of a successful smart meter deployment. Under his stewardship, SMUD continued its globally recognized leadership in renewable and sustainable energy and in energy efficiency as well as maintaining customer satisfaction to levels that are among the best in the state, region and nation.

Di Stasio joined SMUD in 1981. He was appointed General Manager & CEO in June 2008. Prior to his appointment, he served for eight years as the Assistant General Manager of Energy Delivery and Customer Services, responsible for overseeing SMUD’s retail operations, including customer service, energy delivery, program development and communications, energy efficiency and pricing. His previous responsibilities were as Director of Distribution Services, and Manager of Supply Chain Services. Di Stasio began his career in the industrial gas business for Liquid Air of North America in the Pacific Northwest.

“John has provided excellent leadership in his tenure as SMUD’s chief executive and in his more than 30 years at the company,” said SMUD Board President Bill Slaton. “John guided this company through the rough patches of a struggling economy, especially locally. John has represented SMUD very well in the political arena, ensuring SMUD and its customer-owners’ concerns were heard at the highest levels of state and federal government. His leadership will be dearly missed,” said Slaton.

“It’s been my privilege to serve our community in my more than 30 years at SMUD,” said Di Stasio. “We have a strong executive management team that is focused on the needs of the customer, the community and the company’s role in our region. SMUD’s in good hands and well positioned for the future,” said Di Stasio.

Following Di Stasio’s retirement announcement, the SMUD Board of Directors is initiating the process of finding a successor.

Highlights of John Di Stasio’s 5-year run as general manager include:

·         The Department of Energy awarded SMUD more than $127.5 million for a Smart Grid Infrastructure Grant to help fund the SmartSacramento project, the largest awarded in California and one of the largest in the country.

·         SMUD successfully installed smart meters on 620,000 homes and businesses, maintaining customer satisfaction ratings in the mid-90th percentile for the two and a half year deployment.

·         Rates 20 to 30 percent below PG&E’s were maintained throughout his tenure.

·         SMUD continued to be ranked among the best in the J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction surveys in both the residential and commercial areas.

·         SMUD is the first large utility in California to achieve more than the SMUD Board- and state-mandated 20 percent renewable energy and nearly 50 percent non-carbon energy in SMUD’s power mix.

·         SMUD established the first solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) in the nation.

·         Expanded SMUD’s solar programs.

·         Expanded SMUD’s Solano Wind Project.

·         SMUD established aggressive energy efficiency goals. While the state mandated goal is 10 percent energy reduction over 10 years, SMUD’s stated goal is 15 percent over the same time period, leading the state.

·         Earned bond-rating upgrades from the major credit rating agencies (Fitch, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s).

·         Accomplished longer-term (5-year) labor contracts.

·         Kept SMUD infrastructure and system maintenance and upgrades current.

While serving as SMUD General Manager & CEO, Di Stasio represented SMUD prominently in the political arena. He is the past president of both the Northwest Public Power Association and the California Municipal Utility Association, and the vice chair of the Large Public Power Council. He is also a board member of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the American Public Power Association. He is a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Members Representative Committee. Di Stasio is also a gubernatorial appointee to the California Workforce Investment Board.

Locally, Di Stasio is the past chair of Linking Education and Economic Development, former board member of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, North State Building Industry Association, the Greater Sacramento Urban League and the Board of Directors of the Los Rios Foundation. Di Stasio currently serves as an advisor to the Sacramento State School of Business and as a board member of the Northern California World Trade Center.

Di Stasio has been an active volunteer in international energy issues. He has served as delegate with the United States Energy Association, where he assisted in electrification, operations and energy market development in other countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Botswana, India and Jordan.

He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.

Di Stasio is a native Californian and fourth generation farmer. He is the owner of Di Stasio Vineyards, a commercial vineyard in Amador County, Calif.

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