Four months ago the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s Governing Board embarked on an extensive interview process in search of VIWAPA’s next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The critical necessity to repower the leadership within VIWAPA is evidenced by the Authority’s struggles, and by extension the Territory’s utility burdens, which have stemmed from continued underperformance at the leadership level. This highlights the governing board’s focus on establishing a foundation of diverse utility experience and financial expertise through a comprehensive leadership transformation. That leadership transformation starts at the top, and the governing board is happy to announce that an employment agreement has been reached between VIWAPA and Andrew L. Smith to become the next CEO of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority. Mr. Smith’s tenure at the helm of VIWAPA will begin on January 10th 2022 and the Governing Board is looking forward to working alongside Mr. Smith to chart a path that leads to the holistic relief to the territory’s longstanding utility burdens.
Mr. Smith brings almost 30 years of experience in the Electric Utility, Power Generation, and Energy industry to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority. Most recently, prior to joining VIWAPA, Mr. Smith served as a consultant to the utility industry focusing on financial best practices, an area of expertise that will prove invaluable as VIWAPA strives to regain financial stability. Mr. Smith has balanced his financial acumen with in-depth operational engagement that enables him to diligently understand the trade-offs between investment and reliability.
Over the last 20 years utilities from Florida to Hawaii have demonstrated the capacity to innovatively evolve in ways that improve the livelihoods of their customers. It is for this reason the Governing Board is optimistic that the opportunities before us outweigh the challenges we’ve endured to date. Under veteran industry leadership during an unprecedented period of innovation there has never been a better time for the Virgin Islands to leverage these utility best practices for the betterment of the territory. With the announcement of the new CEO, VIWAPA proudly takes the first step in what strives to be a historic shift in the quality, affordability, and reliability of the services the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority provides to the people of the Virgin Islands.
The VIWAPA Governing Board requests that the community join us in extending heartfelt gratitude to Noel Hodge, Interim CEO as well as members of the 2021 VIWAPA Transition team for their dedicated leadership, hard work, and diligence during this transition period.