Award named after OMPA’s Drake Rice

Drake N. Rice, the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority’s long-time Director of Member Services, was honored by the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma with an award in his name at the annual MESO Public Power Conference in Tulsa on April 19.

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The inscription on the Drake Rice Customer Service Award reads, “For 30-plus years of service to Oklahoma’s Public Power community and his unceasing positive attitude towards OMPA members and customers; an ever present attitude of cooperation and inclusion to ensure a focused workplace; and a personal commitment to always giving his best in every situation.”

The award was established by directive of the MESO Board of Directors.

“Customer service is a guiding principle for public power,” said Tom Rider, MESO General Manager. “Drake has dedicated his career to going above and beyond as a leader and mentor to countless municipalities on how to deliver outstanding customer service. He is a shining example of the best of the best.”

Rice has served Oklahoma municipals for more than 40 years, starting with stints as city manager at Prague and Blackwell. He was one of the organizers of OMPA and an original board member, before becoming the third-ever staff member for the Authority. That first position was as Director of Member Services in 1984, a title he still holds today.

Throughout the years since Rice joined OMPA, it has grown from an original 26 members to now 42. His department has developed many value-added programs for the members, including the Competitive Utility Program (CUP), the Demand and Energy Efficiency Program (DEEP), the Ways I Save Electricity (WISE) program, key accounts, energy audits and more.

Rice also serves on the Southwest Power Resources Association, is an ex-officio member of the MESO Board of Directors and is a representative for both MESO and OMPA on the American Public Power Association’s Mutual Aid Working Group.