Illinois Municipal Electric Agency

IMUA Training Staff

Ed Cobau
Director - State Association Services &
Communications / Safety & Training
IMUA


As Director of Safety & Training for IMUA, Ed is responsible for the planning, development, administration and communication of all association-wide safety and training programs, seminars and related activities. In addition to coordinating the activities of three professional trainers working on IMUA's behalf, Ed also is responsible for assisting member municipalities in ensuring compliance with Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory requirements.

Ed joined IMUA in July 2003 as Member Services Director. He served in that capacity until being named acting executive director in December of that year, a position he held until becoming manager of safety and training on November 1 of 2004.

Prior to joining IMUA, he served for more than 19 years in a variety of communications positions in the Public Relations and Public Affairs departments of the former Central Illinois Public Service Co. in Springfield , now known as AmerenCIPS.

A native of Springfield , he is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and Springfield College in Illinois.


Denny Swan
Villa Grove, IL


A native of Pana, Illinois, Swan retired this past April 1 after a nearly 40-year career with the former Central Illinois Public Service Co. (CIPS), Ameren CIPS, Ameren Illinois and now Ameren, and in his most recent position as safety supervisor for Ameren’s Division IV, headquartered in Champaign. Throughout his career, he has served as a lineman, line-crew foreman, customer service representative, area operations supervisor and division electric and natural gas construction supervisor. A graduate of Southern Illinois University’s VOTECH School of Aviation and the ALBAT Lineman Apprenticeship Training Program (LATP), Swan also attended Parkland College in Champaign. He is a certified First Aid/CPR/AED instructor through the American Red Cross (ARC) and conducts OSHA compliance training on such topics as fall protection, trenching and shoring, fork lift operation and certification, asbestos awareness, lead awareness, fire extinguisher operation and safety, and general OSHA CFR 1910.269 compliance requirements training. He was instrumental in the establishment of SafeStart, a new safety program for Ameren employees designed specifically to reduce that utility’s overall accident, injury and illness rate. He also served as co-architect of Ameren’s Field (Operations) Safety Manual (the most recent edition updated in October of 2014), the equivalent of the APPA’s Safety Manual, the latter which is considered by many to be the “safety bible” of the public power industry. Additionally, he formed a 28-member Safety Council comprised of various Ameren electric, natural gas and substation employees, and instituted a company-wide driver safety program for all Ameren employees called the Smith System Driver Direct Program.



Lou DeLaby
Springfield, IL


Lou joined IMUA as a contractual trainer in May of 2018 following his retirement from a nearly 40-year career with the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) headquartered in Auburn. He was the longest-serving RECC employee at the time. Prior to his retirement, he served as RECC’s Manager of Operations and Line Maintenance and as a groundman in the cooperative’s Electric Line Department. In 1976, he became a Journeyman Lineman, learning the skills of overhead and underground electrical systems. He also was one of the many linemen working tirelessly after the April 1978 ice storm to rebuild lines and the system after every cooperative member had lost electric power. He went on to work as a service man for six years, installing meters and security lights.

During his career at RECC, DeLaby served as a member of the Job Training and Safety Committee for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) based in Springfield. He also has completed various National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) management and safety-related training programs, both OSHA 10-Hour and 30-Hour General Industry courses and is a Certified Loss Control professional. He and his wife currently reside in Springfield.



Wes Ness
Marseilles, IL


A former lineman with nearly 35 years of field and electric operations experience, Ness retired from Commonwealth Edison Co. in May of 2018 as Lead Instructor for that utility’s Lineman Apprentice Training Program (LATP) based in Joliet. He joined the IMUA Safety & Training Team in June of that year.

Ness has extensive experience as an Overhead Line Apprentice Instructor and was responsible for overseeing Com Ed’s electric-line troubleshooting program. In addition, he has extensive background in teaching various industry safety-related courses and programs, including those related to lock-out/tag-out, forklift operation, flagger training, grounding, mapping, transformer safety, and rubber-gloving safety.

A graduate of Newark Community High School, Ness currently resides in Marseilles, Illinois.