Four Vail Valley candidates running for two seats on Holy Cross Energy board |

Four Vail Valley candidates running for two seats on Holy Cross Energy board

Kenneth Wise

Five facts

What: Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors election for the Northern District.

Where is that? Mostly the Eagle River Valley.

What’s Holy Cross Energy? An electric utility cooperative that serves more than 55,000 customers in Eagle, Pitkin, Mesa, Garfield and Gunnison counties.

Who can vote? Members (customers) of the energy cooperative.

How to vote: Mail ballots are due at Holy Cross by Wednesday, May 30. Ballots can be dropped off at the utility’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 31.

More info:

EAGLE COUNTY — Holy Cross Energy, the electric utility that serves most of the Eagle River Valley, is holding a board election this spring for representatives from its Northern District.

Four people are running: incumbents Kristen Bertuglia and Adam Palmer and challengers Kenneth Wise and George Wilson.

The board of directors sets policy for the utility, which was established in 1939.

Election ballots have been mailed to eligible voters — Holy Cross customers (which it calls members) in the Northern District. Those ballots must be returned by mail no later than 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 30. Ballots can also be dropped off at the utility’s annual meeting, set for Thursday, May 31, at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel.

Here’s a brief look at the candidates, courtesy of the profiles they submitted to Holy Cross.

Kenneth Wise

Residence: Edwards.

I was raised in rural Iowa, spent the majority of my working career in Minnesota, and resided/worked in Europe the last five years of my career. Recently retired, my wife and myself now make our permanent home in (Edwards).

We are active in our local community, serve on the Riverwalk Property Owners and Emerald Building HOA boards, volunteer at the Vail Symposium and the Vilar Performing Arts Center, and enjoy skiing, hiking and all things outdoors.

My entire 38-year professional career was spent as a CPA working with one of the world’s largest public accounting firms. I served a wide range of companies, both public and private, across many different industries and geographies. Importantly, I spent significant time working with member-owned businesses and cooperatives and was very active in the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives.

I am seeking election to the board of Holy Cross Energy because I believe strongly in its mission to provide members with the best possible services at a reasonable and competitive cost consistent with sound business and environmental practices.

Adam Palmer

Residence: Eagle

Over the past nine years it’s been an honor to serve on the Holy Cross Board of Directors to provide reliable, environmentally friendly and low-cost power to our members.

I’ve been lucky enough to live in the Eagle Valley since 1997, and as Sustainable Communities Director for Eagle County, Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District soccer coach, president of the Hardscrabble Trails Coalition; and father of two girls, I’m able to represent the values of local working families on the board.

As we navigate an evolving power supply market, develop our diversified energy portfolio to meet our renewable energy goals, energy efficiency plan to help homeowners and businesses save money, innovative low-income programs that help local families keep the lights on and consumer-centric business plan to expand dialogue with members such as you, I look forward to continuing to represent you while serving on the board of directors for Holy Cross Energy.

George Wilson

Residence: Gypsum

Providing energy is a fine line between protecting our environment for future generations and maintaining reasonable costs for all members.

I have humbly served our community as a public servant since 1996 as a firefighter, lieutenant, battalion chief and currently serve as division chief of planning and logistics for Eagle River Fire Protection District.

I have over 10 years of experience serving as a board member on various elected community boards.

I have emphasized core values, worked on balancing budgets and encouraged innovation, all while looking out for the interests of our neighborhoods and community.

I recently participated in a collaborative effort with the town of Avon and Eagle River Fire to provide solar energy to the new public safety facility.

As chief of planning and logistics, my experience will facilitate a cooperative partnership between Holy Cross Energy and our community.

This partnership will research and implement technological innovation while balancing expenses. I respectfully ask for your vote to become your voice in providing ongoing excellence in service to our members.

Kristen Bertuglia

Residence: Edwards

For the past six years it has been my honor to serve you as a Holy Cross Energy Director. In that time, my fellow board members and I have led new initiatives that have positioned your cooperative utility as a clear leader in the industry and a community partner.

We have implemented successful energy efficiency and solar programs to allow our members control over the source and use of their electricity and will continue to analyze complex cost models and power sources to ensure we’re making the best decisions on your behalf.

In 2017, approximately 40 percent of the power provided to you was from renewable energy while maintaining excellent reliability and rates among the lowest in Colorado.

As the utility industry changes we are preparing to meet the challenges of the future; balancing costs with reducing the environmental impact of electricity.

As environmental sustainability manager for the town of Vail and a manager of the town’s $4 million energy efficiency overhaul, I ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly with maximum return on investment.

My 16 years of experience in energy management includes policy development, commercial efficiency projects, residential audits and retrofits, efficient building and climate change mitigation.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 and

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