PEC CEO Julie C. Parsley named recipient of Gulf Coast Power Association’s 2024 Pat Wood Power Star Award

It is Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s distinct honor to share that PEC CEO Julie C. Parsley has been named the recipient of the Gulf Coast Power Association’s Pat Wood Power Star Award for 2024. Below is the press release from GCPA.


(AUSTIN Texas — April 2, 2024) The Gulf Coast Power Association (GCPA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce it has selected Julie C. Parsley as the 2024 recipient of the Pat Wood Power Star Award. GCPA presents this annual award in recognition of the chosen honoree’s significant contributions towards the advancement of competitive energy markets in Texas. The award will be presented to Parsley during GCPA’s 37th Annual Spring Conference April 16-17, 2024 in Houston, Texas.

Julie is currently Chief Executive Officer at Pedernales Electric Cooperative in Johnson City, Texas. As the first female CEO in PEC’s 86-year history, she brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the largest and fastest growing electric distribution and transmission cooperative in the country. Under Parsley’s leadership the cooperative has been recognized as a Top Workplace, receiving national recognition as a Top Workplace for Cultural Excellence Among Women-Led Businesses in 2022. She has also been recognized by the Austin Business Journal as the Best Non-Profit CEO, by Texas CEO Magazine for exceptional leadership during COVID-19, and nationally by CEO Connection as one of the Most Influential Women of the Mid-Market.

A former commissioner of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, Parsley also served on the Regional State Committee in the Southwest Power Pool, where she served terms as president, vice president and secretary-treasurer. Parsley is also an Advisory Trustee on the board of Southwest Research Institute, serves on the board of Texas Electric Cooperatives, serves as a board member of the Texas Civil Justice League, is a founding board member of the Association of Women in Energy, and is a long-time member of the Gulf Coast Power Association.

Before coming to PEC, Parsley was a founding partner of Parsley Coffin Renner LLP, an award-winning law firm specializing in utility and regulatory law. A top-rated utility and appellate attorney, Parsley gained distinct honor when selected for inclusion by Thomson Reuters in Texas Super Lawyers in 2004 and 2014-2017. Parsley also served as the first female Solicitor General of Texas prior to her appointment to the PUC. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M University, and she received her Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of Law, which later honored her by selecting her to give the commencement speech to the graduating class in December 2002 and also named her as a Distinguished Alumni.

GCPA Board President, Beth Garza, said, “I have had the good fortune to interact with Julie in all the steps of her career in our industry. Her career highlights include so many challenging leadership positions, often as the first woman to serve in a role, opening doors for new leaders to come. GCPA is proud to honor Julie for her lengthy and multi-faceted service to the Texas electricity industry.”

Jason Ryan, Executive Vice President, Regulatory Services & Government Affairs for CenterPoint Energy added “Julie’s brilliance as a lawyer was recognized when she was appointed as the first (and still only) female Solicitor General for the State of Texas. Nearly 20 years later, she became the first woman CEO of almost 90-year-old Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the largest electric cooperative in the country. And in between, she was a Commissioner at the PUC during an unprecedented time in electric market restructuring, and the lead-named partner in the law firm Parsley Coffin Renner LLP. Julie was a first so many times, and in those important leadership roles so many times, because she was (and is) the best so many times. I’m privileged that one of those bests also applies to our friendship, like so many others in our industry across the state and country feel about our best friend, Julie Parsley.”

The GCPA Power Star Award annually recognizes an individual with a distinguished career who served as a prime mover in the advancement of electric markets. The award is named for Pat Wood III, former PUCT and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman, who will assist in its presentation during the GCPA conference. Wood said, “I have known Julie since we were at Texas A&M together, and she is a Texas treasure. Her contribution to the world of energy has been comprehensive: in law, in regulation and in business. She has always focused on what is best for customers; her big heart matches her big brain. It’s a joyful day when we get to celebrate Julie Caruthers Parsley.”

Julie joins an illustrious list of past recipients including: Brad Jones, former interim CEO & COO of ERCOT, Vicky Oswalt, former Senior Vice President at Sharyland Utilities (2022), Darryl Tietjen, Director of the Rate Regulation Division of the PUCT (2021); Tom Payton, former Sr. Vice President of Occidental Petroleum (2020); Tom Foreman, former GCPA Executive Director (2019); Marcie Zlotnik, former Chairman and COO of StarTex Power (2018); Trip Doggett, former ERCOT CEO (2017); John Fainter, former President of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas (2016); Robert Webb, noted attorney and renewable energy advocate (2015); Judy Walsh, former PUCT Commissioner (2014); John Stauffacher, former GCPA Executive Director (2013); Mike Greene, former Vice Chairman of Energy Future Holdings (2012); Marianne Carroll, former Partner at the law firm of Brown McCarroll (2011); Trudy Harper, former President of Tenaska Power Services (2010); Jess Totten, former Director of Competitive Markets at the PUCT (2009); F. John Meyer, former Vice President of Regulatory & Transmission Services for Reliant Energy (2008); Sam Jones, former CEO of ERCOT (2007); and Pat Wood III, former PUCT and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman (2006).


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