Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 6:08 PM on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Industry group recognizes Gallagher for service to cooperative, community

Staff report


Photo provided

Homer Electric Association's Joe Gallagher, left, receives the Alaska Power Association's Hatcher-Williams-Turkington Employee Award for exemplary service to his cooperative and community from Fred Williams of the Copper Valley Electric Association. At right is Brad Reeve, APA's board president and general manager of Kotzebue Electric Association. The award was presented at the association's 60th annual membership meeting in Wasilla on Aug. 10.

Homer Electric Association's public relations coordinator, Joe Gallagher, has been honored by the Alaska Power Association for exemplary service to his electric cooperative and his community.

APA's Hatcher-Williams-Turkington Employee Award was presented to Gallagher at the association's 60th annual membership meeting in Wasilla on Aug. 10.

Gallagher was hired by HEA in 2001 with the primary responsibility of implementing the electric cooperative's communication efforts and serving as its legislative affairs liaison. He also is the lead staff person for coordinating the HEA annual meeting and its community outreach meetings.

"For the past decade, Joe Gallagher has been a well-respected voice for Homer Electric and is known for his professionalism, integrity and friendly personality," HEA General Manager Brad Janorschke said in a press release announcing the award.

"We are proud to have Joe as an integral part of our HEA team. Not only is Joe committed to professional excellence, but moreover, he is dedicated to his community. Whether it's setting a fundraising record for the local United Way or volunteering for the Boys & Girls Club events, Joe is always on the forefront to contribute to a cause that benefits the whole area."

The APA award is named after Robert Hatcher, Fred Williams and Robert Turkington. All are longtime electric cooperative directors who are past recipients of the Mason LaZelle Achievement Award, the highest level award presented by Alaska's electric industry trade association.

"It was an honor to receive an award for doing something that I really enjoy. The Kenai Peninsula has been our home for many years and working with Homer Electric Association and its members is really like working with extended family members," wrote Gallagher in an email to the Homer News. "HEA has always been a very community oriented cooperative and getting the opportunity to work with a variety of organizations and communities has really been a great experience."

Gallagher and his wife, Sheila, moved to Homer in 1982. He worked as a reporter and news director at public radio station KBBI in Homer until 1999.

He then worked as the communications director for the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council for two years, before going to work at HEA. Among his many community contributions, Gallagher chaired the Kenai Peninsula United Way campaign in 2007 and 2008.

Alaska Power Association, formerly known as the Alaska Rural Electric Cooperative Association, is the 60-year-old statewide trade association for urban and rural electric utilities. It provides advocacy and program services to member utilities.

APA members supply power to more than a half-million Alaskans in communities from Barrow to Unalaska and down the Inside Passage.