INNISFAIL – The new boss leading Canada’s largest member-owned utility comes from within.
Andy Metzger, the company’s operations team leader, is now the chief executive officer of EQUS. He was chosen following a national search and succeeds Patricia Bourne, who led the rural electricity distributor and its predecessor, Central Alberta REA, for 28 years.
Metzger's appointment to the CEO role at EQUS was effective as of July 1.
“I was really pleased to see he was chosen by the board after a national search. I think Andy is well prepared to step into the role,” said Bourne, who retired from the CEO role to pursue other professional interests, including a special projects position with EQUS.
“I enjoyed working with him. I know for EQUS it’s going to be a much better transition, just simply by the fact Andy and I know each other, and we have an excellent working relationship already.”
Metzger, 54, takes on the CEO position just two years after coming to EQUS. He previously served as vice-president of operations with Studon Electric and Controls.
“I am poised, and definitely it is the perfect opportunity for me. I am very excited for the opportunity to lead EQUS with the experience I have had during my career,” said Metzger, adding his two years experience with EQUS as the company-wide operations team leader gives him the confidence required to move EQUS forward and to add even greater value to the company’s 13,000 members.
As far as what members can expect from the new CEO during the current challenging time of navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, he said the best way to describe his approach is to rely on what Bourne recently said.
“For EQUS it is business as usual. As an essential service we will continue to be there for our members,” said Metzger. “To really understand and know what we need to do, we put all measures in place to make sure our workforce is safe, and any interaction we have with our members will be safe as well.
“We have a business continuity plan and we have done lots of work to make sure we are compliant with all the recommendations and guidelines that Alberta Health Services has put in place,” he added. “We are there and ready to serve. We will ensure we continue to keep the lights on through this.”
In the meantime, that ‘business as usual” also includes nurturing the company’s priority of adding value to its members.
“Everything we are doing when it comes to our efficiencies around business and growth will definitely add value to our members,” he said. “The more members we have the better off the membership is, so priority as adding membership, adding growth, growing the organization is important as well as having the most efficient organization that we can have.”
Metzger is also a big believer that EQUS continues to reach out to support the community, such as its recently announced community sponsorship program to fund COVID-related initiatives in rural Alberta communities.
The sponsorships of up to $2,000 are available to non-profit groups that are located in or provide support to residents of rural communities in the EQUS service area. The goal of the program (equs.ca/community) is to provide support to organizations or initiatives that help seniors and vulnerable citizens, as well as schools, local food banks, or programs that promote community health and safety.
“This is truly one of the reasons why I joined EQUS,” said Metzger, adding the company is well structured internally to help the community. “What is really nice now is that we are able to focus our efforts on rural Alberta organizations that are impacted most by COVID.
“We know a lot of the support services out there that have been impacted,” he added. “If there is opportunities that we can help these organizations we are definitely interested and if they can just reach out to us we are able to help.”