LES announces 4 finalists for CEO

LINCOLN – Lincoln Electric System announced Thursday that the search to replace outgoing CEO Kevin Wailes is down to four final candidates. Emeka Anyanwu, Emily Koenig, Dawn Roth Lindell and Randa Stephenson will advance to the final stage and be interviewed by the LES Administrative Board Sept. 13-14. LES will also host in-person and virtual public sessions.

“After a national search, we are pleased to advance four industry leaders as finalists for the CEO position who have the leadership abilities and expertise to move LES forward,” said LES Board Chair Andrew Hunzeker. “LES is a vital community asset, so we are soliciting community input that will be reviewed along with other criteria to make this important decision.”

LES invites community members to a brief presentation and moderated Q&A session with each finalist Sept. 13-14. Process details, presentation schedules and other information are available at Questions for the candidates may be submitted online until 5 p.m. Sept. 11. Following the presentations, attendees may provide input on the finalists through an online or printable form that will be available at Public feedback will be shared with the Executive Search Committee about one week prior to the selection of the new CEO. Feedback must be received by LES by 5 p.m. Sept. 18.

Emeka Anyanwu
Anyanwu serves as Energy Innovation & Resources officer at Seattle City Light, one of the nation’s largest community-owned, not-for-profit utilities. He is responsible for leading functions that include utility technology (IT/OT), information security, electrification, grid modernization, and current and future power resource strategy. Earlier in his career, Anyanwu spent 16 years at Kansas City Power & Light (now Evergy) in various roles in leadership and transmission and distribution operations. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University.

Emily Koenig 
Koenig is a current LES employee, serving as the chief financial officer and vice president of Financial Services. Koenig has been working in the public power industry for 25 years. Prior to her current role, she held the following positions: accountant; senior accountant; manager of Energy Delivery Internal Operations, Financial Accounting, Financial Planning & Risk Management, and Budgeting & Financial Planning departments; and director of Budget & Rates. Key projects throughout Koenig’s career at LES include long-term and short-term debt financings, retail rate restructuring, and implementation of financial models, a budget system, and the Enterprise Risk Management Program. She serves on the Southwest Power Pool Finance Committee and the Missouri Basin Power Project Audit Committee. She is also the CFO of District Energy Corporation, a nonprofit joint entity that provides low-cost, reliable and efficient thermal energy services in the Lincoln area. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education - Administrative Resource Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dawn Roth Lindell
Roth Lindell serves as the general manager (CEO) of Burbank Water and Power, setting strategic direction and delivering water, power and business high-speed internet to the media capital of the world. She has 20 years of utility experience in water, wastewater, gas and electric distribution as well as high-voltage transmission. She led two federal multistate regional transmission utilities, served as a transformational chief information officer in both municipal and federal utilities, and led customer service in a large municipal utility to top-quartile JD Powers customer service performance. Roth Lindell has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. 

Randa Stephenson
Stephenson is Lower Colorado River Authority’s chief commercial officer, overseeing all aspects of energy commercial operations including asset management, wholesale customers and rates, business development and wholesale market policy. She previously served as LCRA’s senior vice president of wholesale markets and supply and has more than 24 years of energy utilities experience in the areas of asset management, finance, compliance, and governmental and regulatory affairs. Before joining LCRA, Stephenson held numerous management roles at Energy Future Holdings and NextEra Energy Transmission, most recently as the director of Regulatory Affairs and Strategy. She previously was the chair of the Technical Advisory Committee, which reviews and endorses market design and rule changes and reports directly to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Board of Directors and the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Stephenson is on the board of the Austin Chapter of the March of Dimes and serves on the Gulf Coast Power Association emPOWERing Women Committee. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Trinity University and a Master of Business Administration with honors from Southern Methodist University.

More information is available at LES is a community-owned, not-for-profit electric utility serving Lincoln and the surrounding communities.