Meet Gary Kelly, SDCEA’s Chief Operations Officer

Gary Kelly headshot
Gary Kelly, Chief Operations Officer

Prior to joining the team at Sangre de Cristo Electric Association (SDCEA), Gary Kelly was the manager of engineering and operations for Trico, the 50,000-member electric cooperative north of Tucson, Arizona. He has had a successful career in the energy industry in both private and public utilities. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to SDCEA as we continue to grow and serve our communities.

Kelly’s prior experience includes working for an investor-owned utility and Western Area Power Administration. While these have different business models than SDCEA, all have similar challenges in the management of time, money and resources, he said.

Kelly started his career as an apprentice lineman and then earned his journeyman designation. He became interested in engineering and embarked on his career path from there. At SDCEA, he will manage the operations department, which includes engineering, line crews, wildfire mitigation, work plans, and system infrastructure and reliability.

Balancing his role as a mix of management and in-the-field experience, Kelly said, “I still think of myself as a journeyman lineman.” His experience and technical expertise will be invaluable in his new role as he works to keep the lights on for SDCEA’s customers.

Kelly has been married to his wife, Donna, for more than 30 years and has a son and a daughter who are grown.