Bill Radio announces retirement from MRES; organizational changes to be implemented

Bill Radio, who has served for 24 years as Director of Member and Public Relations at Missouri River Energy Services, has announced that he will retire at the end of this year.

The role of the department has increased greatly during Radio’s tenure. His responsibilities included overseeing communications, public relations, member and energy services, strategic planning, employee education, member workshops, state and federal legislative relations, and distribution system maintenance.

Following a nationwide search for Radio’s replacement, MRES CEO Tom Heller made the decision to reorganize the Member and Public Relations Department and combine state and federal legislative activities under a new department.

Joni Livingston, who currently is the MRES Manager of Energy Services, will be promoted to Director of the new Member Services and Communications Department. 

Deborah Birgen, who currently is MRES Manager of State Legislative Relations, will be promoted to Director of the new Legislative and Governmental Relations Department. 

Additionally, Jeff Peters, who is the MRES Director of Federal and Distributed Power Programs, will assume the organization’s strategic planning coordination duties that were formerly led by Radio. 

The MRES distribution system maintenance service, which had been under the direction of Radio, will continue to be led by Distribution Systems Superintendent Jeff Becthold, who will report directly to CEO Tom Heller.

Livingston has been with MRES since November 1999 and has been primarily responsible for the development and coordination of the organization’s energy efficiency program, Bright Energy Solutions®. In 2015, Livingston will serve as vice chair of the American Public Power Association’s Customer Connections Section. 

Birgen joined MRES in June 2002 and is responsible for coordinating full-time lobbyists in the states where MRES has members – Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as in Wyoming, where the organization’s major generating resource is located. She also testifies at the state legislative level for MRES, prepares lobbying materials, lobbies at each of the state capitols, and coordinated meetings between members and their respective local legislators.

All changes will be effective when Radio retires at the end of the year.