Former Tacoma, Wash., Public Utilities director Mark Crisson will begin his tenure as president and chief executive officer of the American Public Power Association at the end of this week, the group said yesterday. APPA, which lobbies Congress on behalf of public power utilities, announced in July that it had picked Crisson to lead the organization. “The APPA membership and board of directors enthusiastically welcome Mark Crisson as head of our national association,” Terry Huval, chair of the APPA board and director of Lafayette, La., Utilities System, said in a press release. “In the years ahead, we will rely on Mark’s leadership and managerial experience to organize and advocate public power’s national vision on a variety of complex and often inter-related public policy challenges.” Climate change, energy efficiency, and community broadband services are among the organization’s top policy issues, Huval said.Crisson, beginning in 1993, oversaw Tacoma’s water, rail and electricity services. In 1997, APPA said, Tacoma Power spearheaded Click! Network, which has become the nation’s largest municipally owned telecommunications system.Crisson takes over from Alan H. Richardson, who is retiring after serving in the top job for 12 of his 30 years with the group. He will remain with APPA until the end of this year as an adviser, the association said. “Alan leaves behind an invaluable legacy on which Mark and the APPA staff will continue to build: a satisfied and well served membership, a talented staff devoted to public power’s mission, and deep and long-term relationships within the Washington, D.C. public policy community,” Huval said.

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