Vinita – With a background in engineering and the oil and gas industry, Owasso’s Joseph “Joe” Vandevier is expected to bring a wealth of knowledge to his new role as a member of the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) Board of Directors.
On Tuesday (October 14), Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced that she was appointing Vandevier to a five-year term on the GRDA Board, through August 2019. He replaces outgoing GRDA Director Allen Wright (Edmond).
Vandevier began his service on the GRDA Board on Monday (October 20), during a special meeting in Tulsa.
“We look forward to Director Vandevier’s service and contributions to our organization,” said GRDA Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan. “His experience speaks for itself and his leadership will be valuable to GRDA as we enter this exciting time in our history.”
Recently, GRDA completed pricing on a $320 million bond issue and will soon began construction on a 495 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle natural gas generation plant. The Authority has also expanded its wind generation portfolio in recent months and will also begin a major emissions control upgrade on one of its coal-fired units at its Grand River Energy Center.
“Joe Vandevier’s experience in management, business development and engineering brings a valuable perspective to the GRDA,” said Governor Fallin in a news release announcing his appointment. “His leadership and dedication will serve the GRDA and its members well.”
Vandevier is the founder and current managing member of Downhole Dynamics, a company that provides business and technical consulting for enhanced production in the oil and gas industry.
He has worked in that industry for the past 40 years in a variety of roles, having served as vice president of operations in the United States, Canada and Russia for Centrilift. He also served as president and chief operating officer of Wood Group ESP, and as a senior adviser for Baker Hughes. Vandevier also served as president of ProductionQuest, a business branch of Baker Hughes.
A member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Tulsa. Vandevier is also a member of the University Of Tulsa College Of Hall of Fame, where he is recognized for his contributions in the field of academic support, community service and professional achievement.
GRDA is governed by a seven-member board of directors comprised of representatives from each GRDA customer class (municipals, electric cooperatives and industrials) as well as the GRDA lakes area. Two at-large representatives also sit on the board. Appointments are made by the Oklahoma Governor (3), Speaker of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate. Two other board positions are ex-officio positions, filled by the general manager of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) and executive director of the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) or by their designees. Board members serve staggered, five-year terms, with one position opening each year, to ensure continuity.
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable electricity touches75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years
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