Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas’ Lone Stars
Ken Price, Chief Commercial Officer, Lower Colorado River Authority
Career Highlights and Education: I have a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and I’m a licensed professional engineer in Texas. I’ve spent my professional career in the wholesale side of electric power companies. My jobs have included planning new transmission lines to grow the power grid; working in a power plant; doing cost analyses and fuel planning for power plants; evaluating the economics of large capital projects; buying, selling and leasing power plants; and managing gas and power commodity exposures. Now I’m running LCRA’s wholesale power business, which includes most of those things.
What I like best about my job is: I really like working in an infrastructure business. It’s fascinating because of the large amounts of money and technical expertise needed to make everything work successfully. I like the fact that I need to use almost everything I’ve learned in my 35-year career to do my current job well. The best thing I like about my job is the degree to which I can help to get a group of people with different backgrounds and expertise striving together to achieve a common, difficult goal.
The best advice I’ve received for my current job is: Always spend a lot of effort to hire the right people, always spend a lot of effort in figuring out what you actually want them to accomplish, give them the tools they need (and a little more) to get their job done, and then let them go do it.
Advice you would give to a new hire in your office: You’re hired to learn all of the details of your job and do it well. Others are relying on you to know and do your job, because you’ll almost always be working with others to get something done. I expect you to share your opinion, and I expect you to question anyone if something is not clear or something doesn’t make sense.
If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found: I would probably be at home, working on some project or enjoying time with my family.
People would be surprised to know that I: I’m very proud to be a fifth-generation Texan. Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be very surprised to learn I have deep roots in Texas. I’m also very proud to work for LCRA. When I was a kid, I remember my grandmother (who lived in Austin) talking about how wonderful it was that LCRA built dams to stop the Colorado River from flooding and help prevent people, including her, from drowning during those floods. I thought, “Wow, you can use science to do stuff like that?”
One thing I wish more people knew about my agency: Not only do we indirectly supply about 1 million people with electricity, own one of the largest transmission grids in Texas and manage the water supply in the lower Colorado River basin, we also have more than 40 parks and recreation areas up and down the basin that are great for getting away during the day, boating or overnight camping. LCRA provides a wide variety of services – essential power, water and community services – all aimed at enhancing the lives of Texans.