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Allete names first woman president

Allete Inc., the parent company of Minnesota Power, has named its next president. Bethany Owen, a 16-year veteran of the company, was elected to the position by the Allete board of directors, the company announced Monday. She's the first woman to...

ALLETEBethanyOwen.jpg
Bethany Owen, president of ALLETE.
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Allete Inc., the parent company of Minnesota Power, has named its next president.

Bethany Owen, a 16-year veteran of the company, was elected to the position by the Allete board of directors, the company announced Monday. She's the first woman to hold that role at Allete, spokeswoman Amy Rutledge said.

Al Hodnik, who will remain Allete's CEO and chairman, had most recently held the title of president as well, but Owen taking over as president is part of the company's succession plan ahead of Hodnik's eventual retirement.

The company anticipates Owen will transition into the roles of chair and CEO rose once Hodnick retires, Rutledge said. A timeline for Hodnik's retirement is not yet known.

"(Hodnik) will remain fully engaged in leading the company and its strategy, with Bethany working closely with him in her new role," Rutledge said.

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Rutledge noted that Hodnik took a similar path to the top of Allete when he was named president in 2009 as Don Shippar remained CEO and chairman. By May 2010, Hodnik had added CEO to his title and a year later, in May 2011, took over as chairman of the company's board of directors.

Owen most recently worked as a senior vice president and chief legal and administrative officer at Allete, but prior to that she served as president of the Allete-owned utilities Superior Water Light and Power, director of transmission regulatory compliance and business support and led the information technology solutions department. Owen joined the company in 2002 as an attorney in the legal services department. "She has consistently demonstrated keen ability to lead and achieve strong outcomes in a variety of roles while staying true to ALLETE's values and culture of integrity, safety and environmental stewardship," Hodnik said in a news release.

As president, Owen's role will focus on Allete's growth strategy across its different divisions - Minnesota Power, Superior Water Light and Power, Allete Clean Energy, U.S. Water Services and BNI Energy.

"I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to lead ALLETE and its great people during this transformational time within our industry," Owen in a news release. "Through our strategic positioning and execution, ALLETE is financially strong, and its businesses are highly focused on serving our customers with excellence while ensuring a sustainable, cleaner and less carbon intense future."

Related Topics: ALLETEMINNESOTA POWER
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