The Board of Commissioners of Public Utility District No. 1 of Whatcom County is pleased to announce a new General Manager has been selected.

Mr. Chris Heimgartner is set to begin on February 1, 2022.  Heimgartner was chosen following a nationwide search to replace current General Manager Stephan Jilk, who is planning to retire early next year.   Heimgartner has over 35 years of engineering, public utility management and leadership, including development of broadband and renewable energy projects. Most recently, Heimgartner was the General Manager of Henderson Municipal Power and Light located in Western Kentucky where he oversaw the transition of electrical generation capacity to renewable energy including the closure of a coal fire power plant, and oversaw the development of the utility’s telecommunication operations. Prior to working at Henderson Municipal Power and Light, Heimgartner served at Snohomish County PUD as the Assistant General Manager in charge of Distribution and Engineering Services, and at Seattle City Light as the Customer Service and Energy Delivery Officer.

PUD Vice President/Commissioner Mike Murphy said “The PUD’s search resulted in a large pool of applicants from across the country.  Although we had many qualified applicants—Chris stood out.  His technical abilities in energy and broadband coupled with his background in business administration will be a great asset to the Whatcom PUD as we pursue new  initiatives to serve the public.  We are eager for the community to get to know him and work with him.”

Heimgartner said, “I am excited about joining the PUD and helping serve our customers and am grateful for the opportunity.  I am also excited about becoming part of the communities we serve and looking forward to getting to know them.”

On November 9, 2021, a resolution was introduced to the Board of Commissioners appointing Chris Heimgartner as the new General Manager and received unanimous first approval. As required by statute, the Board of Commissioner at its next regular meeting on November 23 will take final action on the appointment of Chris Heimgartner as the PUD’s new General Manager.

Between now and February 1, 2022, Heimgartner will work with the Commission, PUD staff and retiring General Manager Jilk to transition into his new leadership role at the PUD.

For more information, contact Commission President Atul Deshmane at (360) 305-6515.