Grand River Dam Authority board members approved accepting the resignation of Chief Executive Officer and Director of Investments Kevin Easley effective July 31, 2011, following executive session at the monthly board meeting held on Wednesday.

“Well, you know when it is time to go. I am really going to miss the senior staff and all of the hardworking employees of GRDA who have helped to turn this around. They have been instrumental in all of the improvements and changes we have undergone in the past seven years,” Easley told The Grove Sun.

He also expressed his thanks to the board, senior staff and GRDA employees.

Easley credited a ‘tremendously progressive board’ with the success GRDA has seen in recent years.

Easley took over the position in 2004 after serving 20 years in the Oklahoma Legislature.

“I came to GRDA in March of 2004 and basically what I did was find a utility in financial collapse with an outdated physical and human infrastructure with a goal of initiating cultural change with an outcome of sound financial footing. I believe that we have done that. ” Easley said.

Since taking his position with GRDA in 2004 the authority has undergone many changes including maintaining the lowest electrical costs in Oklahoma, establishment of a GRDA Ecosystems Management Department, upgrading aging facilities and GRDA infrastructure including the construction of the GRDA Ecosystems Center in Langley and the completed refurbishment and expansion of the GRDA Energy Control Center in Locust Grove and the modernization of GRDAs information technology functions to meet federal requirements.

Easley told the The Grove Sun that a lack of communication on behalf of senior staff, employees and customers was an issue when he came to GRDA.

“We were seeing a void of information trickling down to GRDA employees and once we started sharing that information life became better for employees and customers. We have been moving in a forward direction much like the pioneers who founded this authority, and since that time and as I said, things have become better,” Easley said.

Easley stated in a press release that he was proud of the upcoming GRDA double-digit rate reduction plan, also announced at the April GRDA Board of Directors meeting. At a time when other utilities are raising rates, GRDA plans to roll back its rates to December 2009 levels.(See related story)

Under the terms of his agreement with the GRDA Board, Easley will remain with the utility until July 31, 2011.