Few people have impacted as many homes and businesses in Springfield during their careers as John Twitty.
Twitty worked for City Utilities for 20 years – the last nine as general manager – before retiring from the post June 10.
During his time as CU’s leader, Twitty negotiated new union agreements, secured a long-term power supply agreement, revised nonunion salary and benefit plans and managed the construction of the $697 million Southwest II power plant. He also faced the challenges of the 2007 ice storm, which left thousands without power.
Twitty says his approach has been to set the example for his team.
“If you wish to have others follow your lead, you must set the right tone and do those things that you want others to emulate,” Twitty says. “It is also important to demonstrate the highest degree of ethical behavior. A caring attitude toward your co-workers and others is very important.”
One way he fosters success in others, he says, is through assigning tasks that stretch their abilities, enabling them to demonstrate new talents and grow professionally.
“Offering advice, guidance and critical assessments of their work along the way are critical elements in these situations,” Twitty says.
During the 2011 American Public Power Association National Conference & Public Power Expo in Washington, D.C., CU received the E.F. Scattergood System Achievement Award, which recognizes APPA-member systems that have improved the public power utility image through sustained achievement and customer service. Twitty also brought home APPA’s Alan H. Richardson Statesmanship Award, which recognizes public utility leaders who have forwarded the organization’s goals on a national level. Twitty served on APPA’s board of directors 2000–08, including a stint as board chairman 2006–07. In 2009, he received the nonprofit advocacy group’s highest honor, the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award.
Twitty’s efforts have drawn other attention in the industry. Following his retirement from CU, he was chosen as the first executive director of Madison, Wis.-based Transmission Access Policy Study Group, an electric utility and transmission advocacy organization. Working from Springfield, he serves TAPS-member utilities in 33 states.
“I’ve had a number of exciting opportunities during my 20 years in Springfield. Some of these opportunities have been in the industry and others have been in community-based organizations,” Twitty says. “The important key ingredients are to be engaged, attend meetings and help the organization communicate with their audiences.”From 2011 Men of the Year