After a six-month, international search for a new Turlock Irrigation District general manager, the Board of Directors decided the best candidate already had the job.
Current Interim TID General Manager Casey Hashimoto dropped the interim from his title, becoming the full-time TID general manager following a unanimous Board of Directors vote on Tuesday.
“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to further serve the district that has become an integral part of my life during the past 25 years,” Hashimoto said. “I fully accept this new leadership role and intend to use my knowledge and experience to navigate the district through known and unknown opportunities and challenges.”
Hashimoto has served the district for more than 25 years, first gaining employment in April 1985 as an electrical engineering technician, doing hand-drawn and CAD distribution system maps. He worked his way through the TID ranks over the years, becoming a supervising engineer in 1995 and the assistant general manager of Electrical Engineering and Operations in 2001.
In August 2011, following former TID GM Larry Weis’ departure for the vacant GM post at Austin, Texas-based Austin Energy, Hashimoto was promoted to interim general manager. Despite his years of experience, Hashimoto said he never imagined becoming TID GM.
“It was just one of those deals where I worked hard and the opportunity came,” Hashimoto said. “When they asked me, I accepted.”
Hashimoto will continue to receive a $195,468 salary in the permanent position – the same salary he earned as interim GM. That pay is only a 10 percent bump over Hashimoto’s previous, $177,696 annual salary as AGM of Electrical Engineering and Operations, and is far less than Weis earned – $277,188 a year. Weis also received a special benefit package, above and beyond what is normal for management, while Hashimoto will receive the standard managerial benefits – plus a $700 per month vehicle allowance and a $100 per month cell phone allowance.
Hashimoto’s decision not to seek higher compensation as the long-term GM took the TID directors, including Ron Macedo, who sat on the selection committee, by surprise.
“He was fine with everything,” Macedo said. “That's the way it went.”
Many qualified applicants sought position
At first, when the district embarked on an $18,500, six-month search for Weis’ permanent replacement with Rocklin-based corporate recruiters Ralph Anderson and Associates, Hashimoto wasn’t necessarily a front runner. But as the directors gained first-hand experience with Hashimoto’s work in the interim position, it quickly became clear he was the right choice.
“As it progressed, and we saw what a good job he was doing, he became one of the leading candidates, no doubt about it,” said Director Charles Fernandes, who sat on the selection committee. “... He had the qualifications he needed and his 26 years of experience at the district made him a unanimous choice.”
The search drew 59 applicants from across the United States and from three foreign countries. Existing GMs from power companies, water districts and those with experience in both water and power were among those applying.
Six finalists were flown into Turlock and interviewed by the full TID board in a closed meeting last month. That meeting ran for eight hours, and still, no decision was made at that time.
“We deliberated for a long time as a board,” TID Board President Rob Santos said. “We had a lot of good discussions. Casey rose to the top.”
In his new position, Hashimoto said most of his near-term focus will be directed to completing the two big projects TID is undertaking: constructing the new Hughson-Grayson transmission line and the Almond 2 Power Plant Extension, both on time and on budget. Long-term, Hashimoto expects to focus on budget issues, including potential revisions to electric rates.
But right now, Hashimoto is just happy to have the title of TID general manager.
“I would like to thank the board very much for this wonderful job opportunity, and I am looking forward to working with the board to meet the challenges that face TID,” Hashimoto said to the board after his selection.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.