IMEA, IMUA and IPEA Honor the Service of Four Public Utility Professionals

Date Posted: 2023-05-11

IMEA, IPEA and IMUA are proud to celebrate the outstanding careers of four public power professionals by awarding them the organizations’ Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes the recipients’ lifelong dedication to their professions and to the overall cause and mission of public power in Illinois. The following four individuals have displayed exceptional leadership and expertise in the service of their communities:

Rick Abell has recently retired as the City of Metropolis’s Legal Counsel, after serving in that capacity since 2005. During that time, Abell oversaw the expansion of the local casino and hotel, as well as the development of the city’s industrial park. He served on the IMUA Board and on the IMEA Executive Board for 15 years, including a term as Chairman.

Tim Birk has served as Waterloo’s Director of Public Works since 1993. During his tenure, the city upgraded the sub-transmission system and added natural gas turbines at the power plant. Birk has served on the IMEA Board and has served as its Chairman. He has also been the city’s IMUA representative since 1994.

Dale Detmer is the Plant Operations Manager for the city of Breese. He has worked for the city for nearly 30 years. During that time, the city expanded its distribution system and installed two new electro-motive diesel (EMD) generators. He served on the IMEA Executive Board for the past eight years, the last four as Chairman.

Craig Heath is the Electric Plant Manager at the City of Bushnell. He is the longest serving employee in the city’s history – currently in the 52nd year of his career. He has no plans to retire. Heath maintains and operates 10.5 megawatts of local generation units, including two new EMD units.

Birk, Detmer and Abell were on hand to receive their awards at the IMEA/IMUA/IPEA Annual Conference Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 11. The organizations will present Heath his award in June at a ceremony in Bushnell.