City's public utlities director will retire

Tacoma Public Utilities Director Mark Crisson announced Monday that he will retire later this year to serve as President/CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA). Crisson has served as the Public Utilities Director/CEO for 15 years and has nearly 29 years of service with the department.

“It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve the City of Tacoma and its utility customers,” Crisson said. “Our employees and management team have made TPU one of the top utilities in the nation, and we are well positioned for the future.”

In his new role, Crisson will be an advocate for more than 1,400 publicly owned utilities in the nation by helping shape and advance public policy. Based in Washington D.C., APPA has led initiatives to reform the electric market, influence climate change legislation and protect public agencies’ rights to provide broadband services to its customers.

“Mark has been an exceptional leader for Tacoma, and the public power industry has made a wise choice,” said David Curry, Tacoma Public Utility Board chair. “While we are sad to see him go, we are encouraged that he will continue to serve as an advocate for us at the national level.”

Under Crisson’s leadership, Tacoma Public Utilities expanded its water, power and rail services and built Tacoma Water’s Second Supply Project and Tacoma Power’s Click! Network. He has also been recognized for Tacoma Power’s strategic response during the 2001 energy crisis, which minimized rate impacts to customers.

“I want to thank the Tacoma Public Utility Board and City Council for their consistent support and guidance during my career,” Crisson said.

Crisson served as a member of the Electricity Advisory Board to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and is past chair of the Large Public Power Council and past chair of APPA. He is a member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Council. He also serves on the Board of Directors for United Way of Pierce County and the Tacoma Community College Foundation.

The energy industry and community have recognized Crisson with the following awards: American Power Association’s Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award (2005); American Public Power Association Life Member Award (2003); Tacoma Municipal League Distinguished Citizen Award (2002); Business Leader of the Year, awarded by the University of Washington Tacoma and the Pierce County Business Examiner (2002).