Robert Johnston Named OMPA Chairman

Robert Johnston was confirmed as the sixth Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority at a monthly board meeting on Jan. 10 in Edmond.

Johnston, the City Manager at Frederick, replaces former Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb, who passed unexpectedly on Dec. 11 and was OMPA’s longest-serving chair.

Johnston had previously served as the Vice Chair for the board. He has been a board member since August of 2004.

“I am honored to be chosen by my peers for this position, and am eager to help lead an organization that is crucial to many cities and towns across Oklahoma,” Johnston said. “I hope to carry on the tradition of collaboration and important discussion that my predecessor set, always striving to do what is best for all of the membership.”

In addition to naming Johnston as Chairman, Homer Nicholson of Ponca City was also appointed Vice Chairman and Dale Bunn of Purcell as Secretary. Jim Greff of Prague remained Treasurer.

Well-known in municipal circles across Oklahoma, Johnston has been the City Manager at Frederick since 1993 and has worked for a city in some capacity for 36 years. He is a past president of the Oklahoma Municipal League and also served on the International City/County Management Association Executive Board. He received the Ray Duffy Personal Service Award from Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma in 2010, and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials in 2013.

Johnston also received the 7 Hats Award from the American Public Power Association in 2016, which recognizes utility managers who take on a variety of responsibilities well beyond those of a larger system with a larger staff.

“I want to congratulate Robert on being elected as Board Chair,” OMPA General Manager Dave Osburn said. “His many years on the OMPA board, including serving as Vice Chair, have prepared him well for this new role. I look forward to working with him as we continue to move OMPA forward in serving our member cities.”

In addition to being on the Board, Johnston also is on a variety of OMPA committees, including Election, Nominations, Executive, Legislative, and Audit & Finance.

Frederick is one of 42 municipal utilities served by the Authority, which was created in 1981 and began delivering power in 1985. The Board includes 11 members who are comprised of elected officials, city managers and others who are involved in the operating or governing of their electric systems.