Chuck Keiper, Vice President of the Garfield Institute for Public Leadership at Hiram College today was named Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) succeeding Leigh Herington.
Keiper, who joined Hiram in January, 2011 to develop initiatives for the College’s Garfield Institute for Public leadership, was selected from among numerous candidates in a national search.
Keiper served 17 years as a Portage County Commissioner before joining the Hiram staff, and represented Portage County on the NOPEC Board from 2004-2010.
“I’m humbled and excited,” said Keiper. “NOPEC is probably the best example in Northeast Ohio of productive, cost-saving regionalism. We work together, across political boundaries, to bring the lowest-cost electricity and natural gas we can to hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses in 10 Northeast Ohio counties. I want to grow that legacy.”
NOPEC is the largest aggregator of electricity and gas utility services in the U.S., using the group buying power of its 162 member communities in 10 Northeast Ohio counties to obtain discounted electric and gas prices for residents. NOPEC has more than 500,000 residential and small business electric customers and about 250,000 natural gas customers in the Dominion East Ohio and Columbia gas areas. The organization estimates it has saved Northeast Ohio Residents and businesses more than $130 million in the ten years of its existence. Keiper will begin his duties with NOPEC December 15.
“The Hiram community extends its congratulations to Chuck,” said Thomas V. Chema, President of Hiram College. “NOPEC is an extremely important organization for Northeast Ohio’s future. While we regret he is leaving Hiram on a full time basis, we are happy that he will be using his time, talents and experience for the benefit of our region.” He said Keiper has agreed to stay associated with Hiram and the Garfield Institute in an advisory capacity.
Keiper also served the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Area (AMATS), the Ohio Public Works Commission District VII Integrating Committee, the Natural Resources Assistance Council Region VII, and the Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium (NEOTEC), where he was the Chairman of the nation’s first Joint Office of Economic Development (JOED), for several years.