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SPP Promotes David Kelley to CFO; Casey Cathey Succeeds Him as VP of Engineering

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Regional power transmission organization Southwest Power Pool of Little Rock named David Kelley as vice president of finance and chief financial officer.

The promotion was one of several moves announced Tuesday to “further strengthen” the not-for-profit electric grid manager’s position “as a leader in electric reliability and affordability,” a company news release said.

Casey Cathey was also promoted, to vice president of engineering, Kelley’s previous post.

SPP President and CEO Barbara Sugg praised Kelley’s background in engineering and markets, which equipped him with “a unique perspective and problem-solving approach that will be invaluable in advancing financial strategies that ensure the continued success of our organization.” In a statement, Sugg continued, “Casey’s proven track record as a results-driven thought leader in the space of regional planning is exactly what our organization needs as we plan the grid of the future.”

As CFO, Kelley will develop and execute a financial strategy aligned with SPP’s objectives, and will oversee the financial settlement of all transactions under SPP’s rate structure. He will also oversee SPP’s accounting, settlements, finance and credit departments. He has more than 20 years of utility industry experience, as well as a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University and an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“Having had the opportunity to serve SPP in roles related to markets and engineering for a decade-and-a-half, I’m keenly aware how critical it is to consider affordability and financial responsibility in everything we do as a service provider,” Kelley said in the news release. “It’s exciting to now be given the opportunity to address those matters directly, all while working with our staff and stakeholders to achieve our collective goals.”

As vice president of engineering, Cathey will lead SPP’s evolving approach to consolidated transmission planning. He will also oversee development of the organization’s transmission expansion plan, along with other duties. Hired in 2006, Cathey has held key roles at SPP, including senior director of grid asset utilization, where he led a group responsible for developing and implementing novel electric industry policies, tools, and procedures to prepare SPP for the grid of the future. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Louisiana State University, and an MBA from the UA Little Rock. He, like Kelley,  is a licensed professional engineer in Arkansas.

“I am humbled and thrilled to embrace this new role and continue to collaborate closely with our exceptional staff and stakeholders in a fresh capacity,” Cathey said in a statement. “Our industry is navigating an evolving landscape with many challenges and opportunities, and I am eager to work with our stakeholders to develop and implement strategies that will safeguard and prepare our region’s energy future through innovative system planning.”

SPP, a not-for-profit corporation, oversees grid infrastructure and power markets in a 14-state footprint and provides energy services to customers in the Eastern and Western Interconnections. Recently it has been expanding its regional transmission organization work and developing a day-ahead power market in the western United States.

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