BELLEVUE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Puget Sound Energy named Melanie J. Dressel as chairperson of its board of directors on January 22. Dressel will also be board chair of PSE’s parent company, Puget Energy.
Dressel, who is president and chief executive officer of Tacoma-based Columbia Bank, has served on the utility’s board of directors since 2011. She succeeds William S. Ayer, former Alaska Air Group president, chairman and chief executive, who is retiring after having been a director of PSE and Puget Energy since 2005, including serving as chairman since 2009.
“Bill Ayer knows our community and our customers well, and his leadership as a director and chairman has been invaluable these past ten years,” said Kimberly J. Harris, president and chief executive officer of Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy. “Melanie brings great understanding of our business customers. She will provide our board and our management team with deep knowledge of the local economy.”
Dressel, a University of Washington graduate, leads Columbia Bank and its more than 150 branches across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. In addition, she is an active member of the community with involvement in many organizations including the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, the Washington Bankers Association, the Washington State Historical Society and the Washington Roundtable.
Steven W. Hooper, a co-founder and partner of Ignition Partners, a technology and telecommunications venture capital firm located in Bellevue, joins the PSE and Puget Energy boards.
“The utility industry is changing rapidly, and Steve’s knowledge of technology and its benefits for our company and customers will be a great addition to PSE,” said Harris. “I am looking forward to having his insights into how we can leverage technology to do even more for our gas and electric customers.”
Currently, Hooper serves on the boards of Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), Blucora, Inc., SeaMobile, Airbiquity and AVST. Previously, he was co-CEO of Teledesic and CEO of AT&T Wireless. He is a graduate of Seattle University and the Wharton School of Business.
Puget Sound Energy is Washington state’s oldest local energy company.
We serve 1.1 million electric customers and more than 770,000 natural gas customers in 10 counties.