The CEO/GM reports to the Public Works Commission and supervises over 600 personnel with direct reports that include Officers managing electric operations, water and wastewater operations, finance, information technology, human resources, communications and community relations, legal, corporate services, customer programs, and an Executive Assistant. The Public Works Commission is a Public Authority Chartered by the North Carolina Legislature in 1905. The Commission consists of four members, appointed by the Fayetteville City Council to serve up to two four-year staggered terms. The Commission has the sole responsibility for budgeting, policy making and rate setting for all FPWC operations and property under its management and control. The Commissioners elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer and are responsible for the selection of the FPWC General Manager.
FPWC is in exemplary condition as indicated by top quartile accomplishments in many common performance categories. Conditions most indicative of the designation include a Diamond Level Reliable Public Power Provider RP3 award, “AA” ratings with S&P, “Aa2” rating with Moody’s, competitive rates, and commendable reputation within the community.
Fayetteville FPWC provides electric, water and wastewater services to over 114,000 customers in Fayetteville/Cumberland County. Serving over 80,000 electric, 96,000 water, and 88,000 wastewater customers, FPWC is the largest municipal electric system in North Carolina and the 35th largest in the United States. FPWC is also the only North Carolina Municipal Utility to own and operate its own electric generation plan, the 265 MW Butler-Warner combined cycle plant, which also has 1MW of solar coupled to a 500kW battery storage system. FPWC also owns and operates two water filtration plants with a combined capacity of 57.5 MGD as well as two wastewater reclamation facilities with a combined capacity of 46 MGD.
FPWC’s approved Operating Budget for FY2021 is $401.9 million which is 3.7% less than FY 2020 due primarily to lower anticipated power supply expenses. FPWC’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget for FY 2021 is $127.2 million.
Moody’s Investors Service placed FPWC’s bond rating at “AA”. The rating assignment reflects FPWC’s low debt ratio, ample reserves, prudent management, as well as FPWC’s improved position as a result of renegotiation of power supply contracts with Duke Energy.
FPWC provides a General Fund Transfer to the City of Fayetteville. The General Fund Transfer is 3.1% of the Electric Net Assets (around $11 million in 2019).
The City of Fayetteville is a thriving community located in the Sandhills region of southeastern North Carolina and is the seat of Cumberland County. Raleigh, the state’s capital, is approximately 65 miles north of Fayetteville, and Charlotte, a major commercial center, is about 200 miles to the west of the city. Fayetteville is located adjacent to Interstate Highway 95, a major north-south corridor that links the city to Washington D.C., Baltimore, and New York to the north, and to Charleston, Orlando, and Miami to the south. Interstate 295 – the Fayetteville Outer Loop - is currently being built around the western side of the city, which will further increase the Fort Bragg and the city’s direct access to Interstate 95. The 39-mile outer loop with provide connectivity to the region that has previously been unseen. The bypass is about half-way completed now and will be fully completed by 2025. State highways also link the city to the beaches along the southeast coast and to the mountains in the west. Fayetteville encompasses portions of Fort Bragg and is adjacent to Pope Army Airfield. The bases add significantly to the Fayetteville area economy and to the culture of the community.
There are a lot of changes taking place across the city and for those who have not been here recently, the last 20 years have seen unprecedented development, changing the city in so many ways. We have a revitalized downtown area, complete with retail shops and dining establishments, and that area is still seeing a large amount of growth, in part due to a new 40+ million dollar baseball stadium in our downtown area that is home to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, an Astros affiliate and Class-A Advance baseball team. Coupled with that, we are seeing 80+ million dollar private investment project take place right next door to the stadium, where investors revitalized an historic hotel, The Prince Charles, into 59 one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments, known now as The Gathering at Prince Charles. Also next to the stadium, and currently under construction, is a soon-be-high-rise building; a Hyatt Place hotel and a 110,000 square foot office building, both of which are planned to be completed by the summer of 2021. We expect this reinvigorated interest in the downtown area will be sparking many other investment and expansion opportunities in the coming years.
We have a plethora of historic sites, museums, local breweries, local sporting events, and shopping areas across the city as well.
While the Commission prefers candidates with breadth of experience and leadership capability over a particular professional discipline, the Commission does seek candidates with at least 15 years of senior executive leadership experience within a utility and a proven track record in leading utility organizations to admirable performance. While the Commission may prioritize municipal utility experience over other segments of the industry, those from investor-owned or other utility models are encouraged to apply. Candidates should bring a high level of respect for the customer-ownership model.
The Commission seeks an excellent strategic leader and an individual that can continue to develop a collaborative, accountable, self-aware, team oriented, and supportive cross-departmental internal culture that is committed to the mission and vision of the organization and exemplary service to the Fayetteville-Cumberland County community. The desire is to attract a CEO that encourages and welcomes diversity of thought and creates an agile business culture with aligned vision and preparedness for modern industry challenges. A continuous improvement mentality is a high priority and candidates with a track record of promoting and executing on cultural strategy are desired. As utilities often face crisis scenarios, and FPWC faces occasional large storm events, those with proven experience as an effective crisis manager that bring a consistent and calming demeanor are required.
Ideal candidates will display a natural orientation and past career success in leading a utility organization to develop a strategic plan as a guiding light for decision making and will bring accountability toward related strategic goals for the team.
Candidates that offer substantive experience in the areas of electric and/or water finance and resource management are desired and those with multi-service utility experience may have an advantage. Additional desires include experience with modern rate formulas, leadership of sustainability initiatives, a successful track record of exemplary safety leadership, and experience leading succession planning initiatives. The fundamentals of strong business acumen and political and people savvy are absolute requirements.
FPWC is entering a period of significant challenge in balancing its financial condition with the need to provide capital investment, particularly with its water and wastewater resources and its power generating facility. Candidates who successfully fostered a utility organization through significant capital investment are desired. General financial savvy is another absolute requirement.
The CEO/GM will be expected to engage deeply in providing long- and short-term vision for the organization. Candidates must bring a strong knowledge of the shifting and evolving regulatory and technological challenges that lie ahead for the industry as well as the ability to lead the organization and its stakeholders successfully into the future. Having executed on technology advancements such as automated meter reading and a new Oracle information management system, FPWC is in the midst of subsequent desire to continue to take advantage of the technology improvements and implementing process management change and continue to improve customer experience. Candidates should not underestimate and should naturally align with the organization’s commitment and ingrained culture of excellent customer service that often drives strategy and decision making.
While the governing body expects outside-the-box thinking, candidates should bring a prudent and inclusive approach to related decision making and experience and success with modern technological, financial, and operational utility initiatives.
Candidates should bring a proven track record in leading organizations to engage proactively with communities and utility stakeholders and assisting to lead those entities to rally behind a common set of goals. A naturally transparent personality with excellent written and verbal communication skills is required but listening skills are also valued. Candidates should bring a tendency to focus their external affairs efforts more locally but not ignore the value of networking and leadership at state, regional, and national levels. Utility experience within a military community is also desired.
A bachelor’s degree in a related field is required. Advanced education, particularly an MBA, is desired.
The CEO is expected to be a visible and active member of the Fayetteville community. Commissioners have a strong preference that the CEO reside in the city limits of Fayetteville as a sign of such commitment
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
FPWC offers a competitive compensation package that includes health, dental, and life insurance benefits and participation in the State of North Carolina’s Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System (LGERS). Employees contribute 6% of their gross earnings to the retirement plan while FPWC contributes 15.38% to the pension fund. The employee must retire from FPWC to receive this contribution.
RECRUITMENT PROCESS DATES:
Resume submission preferred by: July 31
Semi-Finalist Phase-one interviews in Fayetteville: Mid-September
Finalist Phase-two interviews with Commission: early to mid-October
New CEO begins employment: Late November to early December.