Hays, Kan. (Sunflower Electric Power Corp.)–Sunflower Electric Power Corp. announced today that its board of directors has named Todd Hillman as the corporation’s next president and chief executive officer.
Hillman will begin his tenure on Jan. 16 to succeed Stuart Lowry, Sunflower’s current president and CEO, upon his retirement. Hillman is the sixth person to lead Sunflower since it was formed in 1957.
Since 2004, Hillman worked for Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), a member-based, regional transmission organization (RTO) and independent system operator (ISO) serving in 15 U.S. states. In his most recent role as senior vice president and chief customer officer, Hillman was responsible for all customer interface for the three MISO offices, including member and regulatory relationships, training, the call center, and customer experience (CX) and facilities.
Hillman led the MISO south region integration, which included 52 load-serving entities, 136 transmission customers with 35,000 MW of load, 16 balancing authorities, 10 transmission owners and 16,000 transmission line miles. He also led MISO’s strategic and regulatory outreach for MISO’s 15-state footprint.
Steve Epperson, CEO of Pioneer Electric Cooperative and Southern Pioneer Electric Company—two of Sunflower’s seven distribution member-owners—chaired the nation-wide CEO search and selection process.
“After participating in many committee discussions and multiple interviews, I believe that Todd Hillman represents the best fit for Sunflower moving forward in an industry facing vast disruption as well as transformation,” Epperson said. “Mr. Hillman’s breadth of experience, knowledge of energy markets and RTOs, and leadership approach are the best fit for Sunflower’s talented employees. I see great teamwork, collaboration and courageous decisions in our future and am confident that Mr. Hillman will deliver.”
Among other commendable traits, Hillman supports strategies and goals that lead to strong relationships and growing success for members, employees, and other customers.
“Mr. Hillman is a strong leader and visionary who brings with him a wide range of knowledge and experience. Through that experience he has developed valuable relationships in the industry,” said Wes Campbell, Sunflower’s board chairman and Wheatland Electric Cooperative director. “I have no doubt that his focus on innovation and the value of strong relationships will lead to further success for our members, helping ensure the vitality of western Kansas and those we serve. We welcome Todd to the Sunflower family.”
“It’s truly an honor to be selected as Sunflower’s next CEO,” Hillman said. “I can’t wait to get started and be a servant leader to our members and the people in western Kansas.”
About Todd Hillman— Todd Hillman earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Affair and Commerce from the University of the Pacific and a graduate degree from the University of Chicago Executive Institute Graduate School of Business. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD). He was born in New Jersey to a father who worked for Gulf Oil Company, giving Hillman his first introduction to the energy business.
• After graduating from the University of the Pacific, Hillman began working in 1992 for the New York Mercantile Exchange where he directed the largest new product marketing campaign in Exchange history, focusing on the world’s first exchange-traded electricity futures and options contracts.
• In 1995, Hillman began work with Dupont Conoco (Houston’s largest consumer of electricity and gas), where he learned electricity and gas origination and trading.
• In 1998, Reliant hired Hillman to develop a business plan to move and trade western U.S. natural gas.
• In 1999, Reliant purchased a utility business in the Netherlands, and Hillman became the Director of Transition Activity. He developed and led five electricity, three natural gas, three district heating, and two large scale transmission contracts. He established a European satellite office in Frankfurt, Germany, and developed a green power trading strategy.
• After sale of the Netherlands business, he returned stateside to work for Reliant in corporate planning and then as Director of National Accounts.
• In 2004, Hillman began his tenure at MISO. Hillman and his wife, Dara, have two children.
About Sunflower—Sunflower Electric Power Corporation is a regional wholesale power supplier that operates a system of solar, wind, natural gas, and coal-based generating plants and a transmission system of approximately 2,400 miles for the needs of its seven Members, who serve customers living in central and western Kansas. Visit Sunflower’s website at http://www.sunflower.net
Sunflower’s member cooperatives include Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative, Dighton; Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Ulysses; Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Norton; The Victory Electric Cooperative Association, Dodge City; Western Cooperative Electric Association, WaKeeney; and Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Scott City, Kansas. Southern Pioneer Electric Company is also a Member of Sunflower.