Letter: Thanks, Del Worley

Since Del Worley won’t accommodate a farewell interview with the press as he closes out an outstanding 25 years with Holy Cross Energy, I feel compelled to pen a few words of thanks for a job well done.

I have known Del for over 25 years, as we first crossed paths during the long process of the Colorado Ute bankruptcy where he was responsible for crunching countless numbers for the board and management, including Ken Norris, Ray Keith, Roy Palk and eventually the trustee Victor Palmerri. Colorado Ute was the G&T source of western Colorado’s wholesale power.

Although the bankruptcy was predominately a failure in all phases of leadership, Del brought to the table innovative analysis that could have made a difference in the outcome.

The eventual demise of Colorado Ute was HCE’s gain, as both Ed Grange and Kent Benham were impressed with Del’s ability and work ethic, and he soon after became an HCE employee and manager of power supply.

The Ute bankruptcy provided the opportunity for four electric cooperatives (HCE, Yampa Valley, Grand Valley and Intermountain REA) to go to Excel Energy for their wholesale power supply, while the remaining Ute members were all absorbed into the Tri State system. A lot more flexibility in power supply agreements were negotiated at this time with Public Service Co. of Colorado (now Excel Energy), and Del went right to work capitalizing on this benefit for HCE.

In fact, by his own admission at the annual meeting, the power supply portfolio for HCE is broad-based, cost-effective and diverse — wind, solar, hydro, methane, biomass and coal. Unbeknownst to many, HCE is one of the few distribution co-ops in the entire country that is also responsible for generation and transmission through the contract with Comanche 3.

Ten years ago, when Kent Benham retired the HCE board unanimously agreed to offer the CEO position to Del, and when asked if he was interested in the job his response was, “Hell yes!” Off to work he went. A needed addition on the headquarters building, which was becoming crowded, increased communication capabilities and mapping to ensure a safer climate for the workforce and more efficient response time for outages, IT improvements for membership record security and work force benefits were forthcoming. Of course he had great help by his side, but people enjoy working with Del, and he refuses personal recognition.

Typically, in his farewell remarks at the recent annual meeting in Wolcott, he gave the majority of his time to the HCE employees, each and every one of the 150-plus men and women who keep the show running smoothly on a day to day basis. He made no mention of the long banner that appeared on the warehouse fence that said, “Thanks, Del, and have a happy retirement.”

Tom Turnbull


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