Rock Falls’ Simon honored with 2024 IMEA and IMUA Distinguished Service Award

City of Rock Falls Electrical Director Dick Simon (left) receives the 2024 IMEA/IMUA Distinguished Service Award from Kevin Gaden.

ROCK FALLS — City of Rock Falls Electrical Director Dick Simon was recently presented a Distinguished Service Award at the 2024 annual conference of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, Illinois Municipal Utilities Association and Illinois Public Energy Agency.

The conference was held May 9 and 10 in Springfield. The award was presented to Simon by IMEA/IMUA/IPEA President and CEO Kevin Gaden. It recognizes him for his “many contributions, achievements, dedicated support, and exemplary service over the years to the IMEA and IMUA and to the mission and precepts of public power in Illinois.”

“On behalf of our organizations, I’m proud to recognize Dick for his leadership, vision and dedicated service over these past years,” Gaden said.

The award is given annually to an individual – an IMEA, IMUA or IPEA board member or an IMEA, IMUA or IPEA employee – who, over the course of his or her career, demonstrates a lifelong dedication to the mission of publicly owned utilities in Illinois and has served as a devoted advocate for IMEA and the public power industry in general.

Simon began his career in 1990 as a lineman and became the electrical director in 2011. He has served on the IMEA Executive Board for five years and as both an IMEA board member and IMUA board member for 11 years. His accomplishments include refurbishing the municipality’s 2-megawatt hydro-electric facility; facilitating installation of the IMEA 1-mW solar array; leading the application process for the American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider Program Awards; and administering IMEA’s electric peak reduction program.

Organized in 1948, the Illinois Municipal Utilities Association is a not-for-profit trade association representing the unified interests of 50 municipally owned and operated electric, natural gas, cable, water, wastewater treatment and telecommunications utilities throughout Illinois.

In addition, IMUA has two affiliate members and 49 associate members/vendors, which range from consultants, engineering firms and electric supply/sales contractors to manufacturers, construction companies and businesses providing environmental, billing and utility rate-design services.

The Illinois Municipal Electric Agency is a not-for-profit agency that provides energy to 32 of the state’s 42 municipal electric systems. Each of those communities owns and operates its own electric distribution system. Some operate local power generation plants.

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.