Kevin ChristieSenior Vice President, External Affairs and Chief Customer Officer
Kevin Christie is senior vice president, external affairs and chief customer officer for Avista. In that role, he has responsibility for communications, community outreach and philanthropy, as well as customer energy efficiency and conservation activities, and new products and services.
Christie joined Avista in 2005 as the manager of Natural Gas Planning. In 2007, he was named the director of Gas Supply. He was appointed the senior director of Finance in 2012 and named senior director of Customer Solutions in 2014. Christie has extensive experience in finance and the energy industry. Prior to joining Avista, he worked for Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN), where he served as the director of Pipeline Marketing and Development, and as the director of Pricing and Business Analysis.
In addition, Christie has held positions in finance, business analysis, regulatory affairs and revenue accounting for PG&E Corporation, Pacific Gas Transmission Company and Chevron USA.
Christie has a Bachelor of Arts degree with an accounting emphasis from Washington State University. In addition, he completed the Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho and the Finance for Senior Executives program at Harvard Business School.
Christie serves on the board of directors for the Northwest Gas Association, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Providence Health Care Foundation of Eastern Washington and the Avista Foundation.
Bryan CoxVice President, Safety and HR Shared Services
Bryan Cox is vice president, safety and HR shared services. In this role, he will continue to heighten the focus on and commitment to safety throughout Avista and will lead safety strategy in addition to other HR functions.
Bryan joined Avista in 1997, and most recently, served as senior director of HR operations. He has been Avista’s director of Transmission Operations, director of Operations West, director of Strategic Planning and director of Gas Delivery.
Bryan has a B.S. in Mathematics – Computer Science from Gonzaga University. He also earned a MBA through the University of Washington’s Executive MBA program.
Bryan serves on the boards of the YMCA of the Inland Northwest, Boy Scouts of America Inland Northwest Council and the Avista Credit Union.
Marian DurkinSenior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance OfficerMarian Durkin is senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer for Avista Corp. As the chief legal officer, she provides counsel and guidance to the Avista Corp. board of directors and officers on legal matters relevant to the company and its subsidiaries. As chief compliance officer, Marian is responsible for coordinating and overseeing Avista’s ethics and compliance programs.
Prior to joining Avista in 2005, Marian was vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary for United Airlines in Chicago. Her experience also includes 18 years with the Minneapolis law firm of Briggs and Morgan, P.A.
Marian is a native of Narberth, Penn. and graduated from Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., with a degree in political science. She received her law degree and LLM in taxation from Mitchell | Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minn. and has served as an adjunct professor there.
Marian currently serves on the boards of directors for Providence Health Care in Spokane and Energy Insurance Mutual. She also serves as a community member on the Compliance Committee of the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Karen S. FeltesSenior Vice President, Chief Human Resources OfficerKaren Feltes is senior vice president and the chief human resource officer for Avista Corp. She is responsible for developing strategic plans for enterprise-wide people systems and leading employee engagement initiatives, internal communications, safety, leadership development and succession planning, as well craft training programs. As a member of the senior management team Karen effectively translates strategic initiatives into human resources practices. In addition, Karen serves as the lead executive to the Compensation and Organization Committee of the board of directors.
Karen is an accomplished human resources professional, with a 20-year career spanning the breadth of domestic and international human resources in both the public and private sectors. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, leadership and organizational development, employee relations, benefits design, executive compensation, talent acquisition, and program design and implementation. Karen’s human resource experience also includes corporate leadership positions at King County in Seattle, Washington, and Federated Department Stores.
Karen is a published author in the human resources field and a frequent guest speaker at professional conferences. She has also served as an adjunct professor at City University of Seattle. She has served on the board for the Spokane Symphony, as well as various other community boards in the past.
Karen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Washington, a Master of Business Administration degree from City University of Seattle, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in organizational development and applied leadership from City University of Seattle. Karen has also taught human resource strategy and other management courses as an adjunct instructor in the Northwest, as well as internationally.
James M. KensokVice President, Chief Information and Security OfficerJames M. Kensok is vice president, chief information and security officer for Avista. He is responsible for the leadership and strategic advancement of enterprise technology strategies, and both cyber and physical security.
Kensok started his career with Avista in 1996 as an internal information systems auditor. He also held positions as manager and director of information systems for Avista. He has been the vice president and chief information officer for Avista since 2007 and chief security officer since January of 2013.
Kensok is an experienced technology executive with more than 30 years of national and international experience in developing, transforming and managing information and operational technologies, network communications, strategic sourcing, cloud computing and executive leadership of advanced enterprise technology environments.
Kensok holds an executive MBA from Washington State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in MIS Design from Eastern Washington University.
Kensok is active in various professional and civic organizations, including chairman of the University of Idaho’s Utility Executive Course advisory board, treasurer and chair of the finance committee for the Spokane Symphony, a member of the Edison Electric Institute CIO Strategic Advisory Committee, City of Spokane Technology Advisory board, and a board member of the National Board of Advisors College of Business at Washington State University.
Ryan KrasseltVice President, Controller and Principal Accounting OfficerRyan L. Krasselt is vice president, controller and principal accounting officer for Avista Corporation. He was named to his current position in October 2015. In this role, he is responsible for accounting, taxes, financial reporting and internal controls for the corporation.
Krasselt joined Avista in 2001 as a financial business partner in the accounting department. His experience at Avista has also included leadership roles within treasury and risk management. Prior to joining Avista, Krasselt was a senior manager at the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he oversaw audit engagements.
Krasselt has a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in accounting and finance from the University of Idaho and is a certified public accountant (CPA). In addition, he completed the Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho.
Krasselt currently serves on the board of directors for Mobius Science Center in Spokane.
David J. MeyerVice President and Chief Counsel for Regulatory and Governmental AffairsDavid J. Meyer is vice president and chief counsel for regulatory and governmental affairs for Avista Corp. He joined the company in 1998.
David is a native of Glendive, Montana, and is a graduate of Valparaiso University, where he received political science and economics degrees. He is a 1978 graduate of Cornell University Law School. David joined the Spokane law firm Paine Hamblen Coffin Brooke and Miller in 1978 and was a partner in the firm for 17 years. While with Paine Hamblen, David represented Avista Corp. in a number of areas, including regulatory and business-related capacities.
David is a member of the Washington, Idaho and Oregon State Bar associations and the Federal Energy Bar Association.
Heather RosentraterSenior Vice President, Energy DeliveryHeather Rosentrater is senior vice president of energy delivery at Avista Corp., where she’s responsible for electric and natural gas engineering, operations and shared services such as fleet, facilities and supply chain.
Heather has led Avista’s Grid Innovation, Smart Grid and Smart City efforts, including representing Avista as a founding member of Urbanova, a living laboratory in Spokane, Wash., to design cities for the future. She also has broad experience on both the electric and natural gas sides of Avista Utilities, having managed departments and projects in transmission, distribution and SCADA, as well as asset management.
Heather is a registered Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Gonzaga University. She serves on the board of directors for Smart Grid Northwest, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, and Spokane’s 2nd Harvest. In addition, she is a member of the Washington State University Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Executive Leadership Board.
Ed SchlectVice President and Chief Strategy OfficerAs vice president and chief strategy officer for Avista, Ed Schlect is focused on driving growth for the company through service innovation, emerging technologies and new ventures in line with Avista’s core energy business.
Schlect has over 30 years in the energy industry, initially at PacifiCorp and The Washington Water Power Company, now known as Avista. Schlect rejoined Avista in 2015 after serving as a founder of Ecova, an energy information firm, where he served in executive roles, including director of operations, vice president of product development, vice president of consulting services and executive vice president of corporate development. Schlect led the strategic planning for the company, evaluation of new energy technologies and merger/acquisition initiatives. These led to seven transactions which brought new services to customers and the eventual sale of Ecova to deliver value to shareholders.
Schlect has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Washington State University and has completed a course in Operations Management at Harvard Business School. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and has held certifications as a Green Building Engineer and as Certified Energy Manager.
Schlect serves on the board of directors of the Union Gospel Mission Foundation in Spokane, Washington.
Jason ThackstonSenior Vice President, Avista Corp.Vice President of Energy Resources, Avista UtilitiesJason Thackston is senior vice president, energy resources for Avista. He joined the company in 1996 and has held leadership positions in customer solutions, energy delivery, finance, risk management, investor relations and corporate development.
Thackston holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whitworth University with a major in international studies and an emphasis in business management. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Gonzaga University.
He serves on the board of trustees of Whitworth University as well as on the boards of the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee, the Northwest Gas Association, and the Health Sciences and Services Authority of Spokane County. Previously, he served on the boards of the YMCA of the Inland Northwest, the Northwest Business Development Association, and the Business Development Corporation of Eastern Washington.
Mark ThiesExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerMark Thies is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Avista Corp. He joined the company in September 2008. Thies is an accomplished leader with extensive experience in finance, risk management, accounting and administration in the utility sector. Prior to joining Avista, Thies was executive vice president and chief financial officer for Black Hills Corporation, a diversified energy company providing regulated electric and natural gas service to areas of South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Previously, he was manager of accounting for InterCoast Energy Company in Des Moines, Iowa and senior auditor with Arthur Anderson & Company in Chicago, Ill.
Thies holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting and business administration from Saint Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and he holds a Certificate in Public Accounting (CPA).
Thies serves on the boards for the Inland Northwest Council, Boy Scouts of America, Gonzaga Preparatory School and the Spokane March of Dimes.
Dennis VermillionPresident, Avista Corp.
Dennis Vermillion serves as the president of Avista Corp. He also holds the position of chairman of the board of directors for Avista Corp. subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company.
Dennis joined Avista in 1985 and has held various staff and management positions. His experience covers a broad range of activities, including leadership, energy trading and marketing, risk management, scheduling, resource operations, power/transmission contracting, resource planning and coordination, regulatory issues and production cost modeling. Previously, Dennis served as senior vice president of Avista Corp. and president of Avista Utilities, vice president of energy resources and prior to that, as president and chief operating officer for Avista Energy from February 2001, until its sale in June 2007.
He is a graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He currently serves as a board member for Western Energy Institute (WEI), American Gas Association (AGA), Spokane County United Way and the Avista Foundation.