Avista Picks Up Talent From Enron, Illinois Power
Avista Energy, emphasizing people power in its drive to become a
national energy marketing and technology company, has just named
six new vice presidents, picking up talent from Illinois
Power/Illinova Energy and Enron Capital and Trade among others.
At a Washington press briefing Avista Energy Chairman Neil E.
Kelley, formerly chairman of Vitol Gas & Electric, announced
the new hires, saying the company was attracting talent by offering
a chance to create value and participate in the company's success
with incentives and options.
Chairman Thomas M. Matthews of parent Avista Corp. outlined
initiatives underway to more than double the company's value,
dropping the utility identification and becoming known as a trading
and technology company. He pointed to growth in Avista's Internet
billing and reporting system, its fiber optics and
telecommunications services, and fuel cells and distributed
resources, as well as regional and national energy marketing and
trading. Matthews said Wall Street was not recognizing the value of
Avista's new lines of business in the company's stock price and he
was considering spinning off some of the new technology units in
IPOs to get that value on the books.
Meanwhile, Avista Energy, headed by Kelley and Michael R.
Kutsch, who formerly headed up Vitol Gas & Electric, which
Avista bought earlier this year, is gathering talent. David
Dickson, working out of the Spokane, WA, office, will manage
natural gas trading and marketing-western region. Prior to Avista,
Dickson served as the managing director for energy trading at
Illinois Power. In Houston, Brent Friedman will become vice
president, risk management. He was managing director for commodity
risk for both Illinois Power and marketing affiliate Illinova
Energy. From Enron Capital and Trade, Avista picked up Darren
Lobell to run the Midwest electric desk as vice president,
trading-Midwest. Lobell had been director of trading for ECT's
Midwest regions. Another recruit from Enron, Sean P. O'Neal, will
be Avista's vice president, trading-Southeast, moving over from
managing ECT's trading at the Entergy and TVA hubs. In addition,
Mark T. Stugart has been named vice president, trading, to oversee
coal, SO2 and oil activities. Stugart had co-founded and managed
Soundview Energy, a petroleum marketing company in Boston. He also
had many years experience with the Vitol group of companies. And
Eric J. Melvin, who had established the structured marketing
program at Hess Energy Trading in New York, will be in charge of
the same area for Avista as vice president.
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