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Independence Power & Light gets new director

Mike Genet
Jim Nail

Jim Nail, who has served as interim assistant general manager for Independence Power & Light since January, has been promoted to general manager.

While Assistant City Manager Adam Norris had oversight of the city’s electric utility, City Manager Zach Walker said Nail has been the point person for day-to-day operations since January and has made a strong impression both with city leadership and IPL employees.

The City Council approved DKMT Consulting as a temporary management oversight firm this spring, though Walker said Nail’s promotion came from city staff and not from DKMT. Walker said the firm had expressed initial concerns that lack of consistent leadership in recent years had hurt department morale, and he believes Nail has helped rectify that.

Since longtime IPL director Leon Daggett retired in 2017, Andy Boatright had been acting director for a year before he resigned in 2018. Brenda Hampton was general manager less than six months before she and the city parted ways in June 2019.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy who served in active duty for 10 years, Nail joined IPL as a production operations superintendent in 2004 and had been the department’s reliability compliance coordinator for seven years.

In addition to active duty, Nail was also a member of the Navy Reserves for 15 years as a nuclear submarine officer, retiring as a commander. His most recent tour of duty was Afghanistan in 2006-07. Nail and his wife continue to serve the veteran community through the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary.

Nail assumes his new role as the city recently finalized a simplified rate structure, closed the Blue Valley Power Plant and started a new power purchase agreement with a natural gas plant in Oklahoma.