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Serving GRDA and serving Oklahoma

Serving GRDA and serving Oklahoma

The Grand River Dam Authority Board of Directors met for the very first time in May of 1935. J. Howard Langley, an attorney from Pryor, served as chairman at that historic first meeting.

Comprised of members appointed by the Oklahoma Governor, Oklahoma Attorney General and Oklahoma Commissioner of Labor, that first board had much work to do as it guided a state agency still in its infancy. Decisions about contractors for the upcoming construction of Pensacola Dam (which would begin in 1938), decisions about staffing, decisions about long-range planning and more were just a few of the items on the board’s agenda in those early days before Pensacola Dam or Grand Lake ever became reality.

In fact, the GRDA Board has a rich history, characterized by the men and women who have helped guide the agency through many phases. From those early days, when GRDA first harnessed the waters of the Grand River to produce electricity, right on through the present, when GRDA stands as a major energy supplier across a four-state region, the board’s leadership has always helped the agency to meet its mission.

That tradition continues today, 80-plus years later. At its most recent meeting, the board honored outgoing Chairman Tom Kimball, who served in the board’s top position over the last 12 months. During his second stint as GRDA Chairman, Kimball continued to be a strong ambassador for the organization, by giving of his time and expertise to benefit GRDA and its customers. While he will continue to serve as GRDA board member, Kimball will be succeeded in the chairman’s position by Jim Richie (Tulsa), who began his 12 month chairman tenure in September. Mike Lewandowski (Grove) will serve as chair-elect.

Along with other board members (both past and present), these members have helped position GRDA to serve Oklahoma for many more years to come.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency. 

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