|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 7, 2023||Contact: Jennifer Keach 270-844-6153 Jennifer.Keach@bigrivers.com Stephanie McCombs 270-844-6116 Stephanie.McCombs@bigrivers.com|
Big Rivers Electric Names New President & CEO
Don Gulley Brings 35 Years of Energy Experience in Kansas and Southern Illinois
OWENSBORO, Ky. – Big Rivers Electric Corporation announced today that its board of directors has named Don Gulley as the organization’s next president and chief executive officer.
Gulley will start with Big Rivers on January 8 and succeed Bob Berry, Big Rivers’ current president and CEO, upon his retirement. Berry will retire from Big Rivers after a 43-year career with the cooperative and nine years serving as CEO.
Gulley has served as President and CEO for the last ten years at Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC), a generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative based in Marion, Illinois. SIPC is owned by seven Member-Owner distribution cooperatives with $700 million in assets and a generation portfolio consisting of coal, gas, hydro, and renewables. The cooperative also owns and operates 1,100 miles of transmission lines to serve its Member-Owners and their 85,000 members throughout southern Illinois.
Gulley has over 35 years of diverse utility management experience working for regulated & merchant investor-owned utilities (IOUs), as well as G&T cooperatives. Before joining SIPC, Gulley served as Vice President of Regulatory and Market Affairs for Sunflower Electric, a G&T cooperative located in western Kansas. Gulley began his career with Ameren, formerly Union Electric, in 1988, where he worked in various leadership capacities for both the regulated and merchant business units.
The Big Rivers Electric Board conducted an extensive, nationwide CEO search to replace Berry.
“Berry’s tenure brought positive change to our company,” said Big Rivers Electric board chairman Wayne Elliott. “When he took over in 2014, Big Rivers was on the brink of bankruptcy, and today, Big Rivers is one of the highest-performing G&Ts in the country. We have regained our investment-grade credit rating, and we have successfully landed some significant economic development projects across our Members’ service territory. Don has the full support of the board, and we are excited that Don has decided to join our company. Don is enthusiastic about joining Big Rivers, and he and his wife are looking forward to making Owensboro their home.”
Gulley currently sits on several industry boards. He serves as Chairman of the Board for both ACES, a national energy management organization, and the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO). Gulley is also a member of the Executive Committee at Prairie State Generating Company. He has previously served as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Member Representative for the National G&T Managers Association.
Gulley holds an MBA from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and geology from SIU – Carbondale.