KUA CEO Announces Retirement After 36 Years


Kissimmee Utility Authority president and general manager James C. Welsh on Tuesday announced his plans for retirement, effective March 31, 2019. He will continue as CEO while the utility’s board of directors conducts a search for his successor.

Welsh has served as head of the electric utility since 1982, guiding it through the most significant period of growth in its 117-year history.

During his tenure, Welsh has overseen the expansion of the utility from 85 employees and 18,000 customers to nearly 300 employees and 74,000 customers, becoming the sixth-largest municipal electric utility in Florida.

Under his leadership, KUA has been honored for customer service, reliability, workplace safety, training, storm restoration efforts, system improvement, financial reporting, environmental stewardship, community outreach, employee development and communications.

“It’s been a tremendous privilege to lead this organization over the past three and a half decades,” said Welsh. “I am grateful for the many people who have supported me along the way, including, my family, friends, business and community leaders, and everyone here at KUA.”

Welsh is a registered professional engineer and had 11 years of electric utility experience in Pennsylvania, Colorado and Kentucky before assuming management responsibility for Kissimmee’s utility.

Welsh served on the Florida Municipal Power Agency board of directors from 1982-2014, the American Public Power Association board of directors from 1997 to 2003, and as president of the statewide Florida Municipal Electric Association in 1995-1996.

He is a past recipient of APPA’s James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award. His leadership also led the utility to earn the utility industry’s highest national honor in 2016: APPA’s E.F. Scattergood System Achievement Award.

The utility board will hold a special meeting on November 5 to review the planned recruitment process.