GILLETTE, Wyo. — Today, Black Hills Energy announced several changes in its Wyoming leadership team.
Wyoming Vice President Mark Stege is retiring in September after 28 years with the company, according to a news release. Dustin McKen has been promoted to general manager for Wyoming, and Wes Ashton is now the vice president of Wyoming and South Dakota Utilities.
Stege said he’s confident McKen and Ashton will provide very solid guidance for the future of Wyoming’s energy.
McKen, Wyoming’s new general manager, began working for Black Hills Energy in 2010, the release said. So far, he’s been supervisor of operations, manager of construction planning, manager of operations and director of Wyoming electric and gas operations. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wyoming.
Jones said McKen has a strong track record of leadership and will continue to drive excellence in the business.
Ashton has more than 17 years of experience. With Black Hills Energy, he previously served in utility leadership roles in Colorado, Kansas, Iowa and Arkansas. He was most recently the vice president of customer experience, which involved managing the company’s external departments and programs. He has a bachelor’s degree in public relations and political science from Kansas State University. He graduated from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas.
Jones said that in his new role, Ahston will be responsible for the company’s operational, business and financial objectives while creating customer-focused solutions throughout Wyoming.
“These changes position the company with talented, tenured and energized leaders committed to serving the needs of our customers and communities while driving operational efficiencies and growth within our expansive eight-state service territory,” Jones said.
Black Hills Energy has more than 180,000 customers across 56 communities in Wyoming, the release said. It has 438 employees and drives a $158 million economic impact to the state.
The company announced in May that it wants to raise natural gas rates.