Austin Utilities announces retirement, advancement

Published 6:45 am Saturday, June 24, 2023

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Austin Utilities announced Friday the retirement of Kelly Lady, Marketing and Energy Services manager with 30 years of service effective Aug. 11

Lady joined Austin Utilities in 1993 as credit and collections secretary. She moved to operations administrative assistant in 1998 and in 2000 added the gas buying responsibility to her duties. 

“Thank you to Kelly for her long-term career at Austin Utilities,” said General Manager Mark Nibaur. “We greatly appreciate her leadership to better serve our community. We wish her the best in her retirement.”  

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Lady held the energy services consultant role until her promotion as marketing/energy services manager in 2013. 

On the gas side of the business, Lady was part of a team that introduced a gas hedging strategy to Austin Utilities. It benefits customers by protecting customers from price spikes and smoothing out the highs and lows of supply and demand.

 In 2000, Lady collaborated with representatives from Rochester Public Utilities and Owatonna Public Utilities to launch the residential Conserve and Save Rebate Program that incentivizes customers to save money by purchasing energy saving equipment. In 2015, Lady, partnering with Riverland Community College, installed the first Electric Vehicle (EV) charger in Austin.

Lady’s contributions in customer outreach will be lasting. She founded the EV Owners Club and the Customer Advisory Panel. Both groups help Austin Utilities gain knowledge and feedback to better serve our customers. She was the first at Austin Utilities to use social media to communicate with our customers. Most recently, she implemented online rebate processing, making it easier for customers to submit rebates when it is convenient for them.

Lady also spent time serving on many local, state and national boards. Most recently, she was the Chairperson for the American Public Gas Association Marketing Committee and received the J. Hardie Johnson Service Recognition – an award given to individuals retiring after serving 25 years in the gas service business and participating as an APGA member system representative.

Melissa Swenson. Photo provided

As a result of Lady’s retirement, Melissa Swenson, Customer Service Supervisor, advanced to the position of Communications and Energy Services Manager, effective June 2023.

 “Congratulations to Melissa on her advancement,” Nibaur said. “We look forward to her leadership.”

Swenson began her Austin Utilities’ career in March 2010 as Customer Service Representative. She was promoted to Customer Service Supervisor in 2014.