'Filling a need' brings purpose and joy to Commissioner Dennis Bolz

by Kimberlee Craig | Dec 13, 2019

Chelan PUD Commissioner Dennis Bolz received the state PUD association’s highest honor last week for his commitment to public power and its customer-owners. The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington PUD Association came at the group’s annual meeting in Vancouver, Wash., on Dec. 5.

Bolz, a longtime educator, was instrumental in building the association’s training and education programs. He has served on the association board as an officer and president.

In a video acceptance, Bolz spoke of being inspired by the words of another educator, who encouraged young graduates, “to find a need and fill it” as the path to success in life. He also credited his wife of 52 years, Jocelyn, and his family, plus the many gifted educators and utility staff he worked with over the years. He said he reaped the benefit of surrounding himself with smart people.   

“I’ve accomplished nothing on my own,” Bolz said.

He served as an executive officer of the PUD association for four years. He was elected association secretary in 2013, continued to serve as vice president (2014), president (2015) and past president (2016).

In Chelan County, he represents at-large District B. Bolz was elected to his first four-year term in November 2006 and took office in January 2007. He was re-elected in November 2018 to a fourth four-year term running through 2022. Bolz was a longtime educator and former school superintendent before being elected to the Chelan PUD board.

Fellow Chelan PUD commissioner and 2019 WPUDA President Randy Smith presented the award. Bolz’ brother, Ernie, a former Okanogan PUD commissioner, accepted on Dennis’ behalf.

Former Pend Oreille PUD Commissioner Dan Peterson also received a lifetime achievement award.

Smith noted that both men have been active in their communities and the utility industry, showing exceptional commitment and dedication to public service.

The Washington Public Utility Districts Association represents 27 not-for-profit, community-owned public utility districts as well as one joint operating agency (Energy Northwest).   

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