The Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) Director reports to the LCG Mayor-President and directly manages five direct reports with indirect management of the entire LUS division of approximately 450 employees. Responsible for the administration and operation of LUS’ electric system (generation, transmission and distribution), water system (production and distribution), wastewater system (collection and treatment) and all ancillary systems such as compliance, engineering and customer service.
In summary, the successful candidate will be a substantive and approachable leader who understands the systems implications of each and every initiative and decision. Driven by operational excellence, appropriate candidates can be described as bright, strategic leaders who are conditioned to integrate reliability and safety with operations efficiencies and commercial judgment. A principled and ethical leader, LUS Director will have an industry reputation for integrity and sound business judgment.
The LUS Director will be charged with promoting safety, maintaining reliability, improving efficiencies, and managing costs, all with an eye toward the requisite system expansion requirements to support regional economic growth.
Direct reports to the LUS Director include:
Customer and Support Services Manager
Environmental Compliance Manager
Electric Operations Manager
Water/Wastewater Operations Manager
Engineering & Power Supply Manager
From a granular perspective, the LUS Director will be responsible for maintaining ultimate responsibility for the overall system production, delivery, and reliability as well as all relative planning, construction, operations and support functions.
Financial responsibilities include the management of LUS’ budgets: $236 million operations and maintenance and $102 million five-year capital improvement program.
In addition to working closely with LUS’ Management Team, the successful candidate will proactively engage with public officials, industry leaders, suppliers, regulators, environmental groups, and customers to ensure LUS continues to meet and/or exceed its objectives.
The LUS Director will coordinate with consulting engineers on rate studies, feasibility studies regarding system expansion, preparation of official statements for bond sales, and in carrying out construction of approved projects.
The LUS Director will be an accomplished and approachable industry leader, possessing an impressive track record of safe operations excellence and human capital leadership. He/she will have a reputation comprised of astute business and commercial sensibilities, technical acumen combined with the ability to inspire and lead a large team through rapid industry shifts in operational requirements and paradigms. It is contemplated that the successful candidate will bring to the endeavor fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in the electric, water and wastewater utility industry, to include at least eight (8) years of management experience.
Further required are five (5) years’ experience as the head of an organizational unit with responsibility in any one or combination of the following areas:
Electric: generation planning, operations, construction and maintenance; transmission and distribution planning, operation, construction and maintenance; fuel and wholesale energy procurement and management.
Water: production, treatment, distribution, and construction
Wastewater: collection, treatment, disposal, and construction
General: Utility engineering services, compliance, maintaining utility equipment, and meter services.
Additionally, it is important that he/she will have had leadership responsibility for systems that interact with the retail customer.
Specific knowledge and experience requirements include:
Advanced administrative principles and methods, including goal setting, organizational analysis, program development and implementation;
Organizational structure, functions, program mandates and inter-relationships with other organizations and agencies;
Federal, state and local laws, regulations and court decisions affecting the utility industry such as environmental compliance and reliability;
Operational and capital expense budgeting;
Wholesale electric market;
Electric, water and wastewater utility design, rates, engineering, system planning and operations and maintenance practices;
Engineering and construction best practices;
Reliability performance monitoring;
Contracting management practices, performance standards and contract modification;
Related utility industry organizations, policy-setting boards and committees.
The finalist must possess the ability to:
Read, analyze, and interpret complex issues and/or sensitive documents to reach sound and logical fact-based conclusions and provide recommendations;
Understand, interpret, explain and apply local, state and federal policy, law, regulation and court decisions as they relate to LUS system operations;
Represent LUS at City Council meetings and other industry specific events;
Lead, facilitate and/or participate in the strategic planning, organization design, implementation and monitoring of comprehensive programs;
Evaluate departmental practices and make sound recommendations for improvements; develop and implement appropriate procedures and controls;
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with all levels of LUS employees, elected officials, business and community leaders, media representatives and the public;
Efficiently operate power plants, water production plants and wastewater treatment plants taking into consideration capital, fuel and other cost components, to include risk factors;
Read and understand technically complex documents, drawings and engineering specifications;
Communicate and respond effectively to inquiries or complaints from employees, customers, regulatory agencies or members of the community
Make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on complex topics to top management, public groups and forums, and/or elected officials.
A business, public administration or technical undergraduate degree, an advanced degree is a plus.
Preng & Associates is the world’s leading executive search firm dedicated to the energy industry. We are assisting Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) with the recruitment of a Director.
Lafayette Utilities System was created to improve the quality of life of Lafayette residents. In 1896, a majority of the population petitioned the mayor and city council to call an election. By 1897, the Grant Street plant was completed and generating electricity with water and wastewater following shortly thereafter. Fast forward to 2021, LUS continues to serve the City of Lafayette and also some areas of Lafayette Parish providing electric, water and wastewater services to over 72,000 customers including the local school board, hospitals, local university, manufacturing businesses and big box stores.
Lafayette Utilities System is a department within Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) that employs approximately 450 employees. LUS is an integral part of our community and helps to keep Lafayette taxes low. Approximately $24 million in-lieu-of-tax (ILOT) payment is transferred to the LCG general fund each year to support services like police and fire protection and community developm...ent.
As a publicly owned utilities system, LUS provides high-quality, competitively priced services that exceed their customers’ expectations, and contributes to the Consolidated Government to support other community needs.