(DES MOINES) Alan Bonderman, who will soon retire from his post as General Manager of Atlantic Municipal Utilities, has been presented with the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities Lifetime Membership Award at its Winter Meeting in Des Moines.
The award is in recognition of Bonderman’s 37 years of leadership in the public power arena, including his 12 years of service in Atlantic and significant involvement with IAMU, a statewide association that benefits more than 550 municipal utilities in Iowa.
Bonderman began his municipal utility career in 1972 in Neligh, Nebraska. After a stint with Iowa Electric Light & Power, he returned to municipal utilities in 1975 as superintendent of the Panora, Iowa electric system. In 1978 he took the job of General Manager of the Sanborn, Iowa Municipal Light Plant before heading to AMU in 2000.
Bonderman has been a pioneer in many aspects of municipal utilities in Iowa, including the establishment of the state’s first municipally-owned cable TV system that was jointly owned by Sanborn and Primghar; and the development of an energy management system for Sanborn in 1981 that earned him national recognition in the form of the Energy Innovator Award from the American Public Power Association. Also while at Sanborn, he organized a safety training program for municipal utilities in northwest Iowa, which continues to function today.
In Atlantic, Bonderman developed the first municipal WiFi service in the state of Iowa. Within months, DSL, cable modem and alternative wireless services were made available by other service providers to Atlantic’s businesses and residents – proving the value that public power delivers to a community. Under his leadership, AMU enhanced its relationship with power provider Missouri River Energy Services and he has worked to establish a scholarship program at AMU for local students to attend the power line worker training program at Northwest Iowa Community College.
His influence on municipal utilities through IAMU dates back to 1980 when he began service on the association’s Board of Directors. He then returned to the board in 1997 as vice president and later served as president. He has also provided guidance and expertise to IAMU affairs by being part of the association’s Legislative & Regulatory Committee; the Insurance Committee; the Apprenticeship Committee; the Telecommunications Committee; and two ad-hoc by-law committees. He has also been active in other utility-related groups and associations, including the Iowa Public Power Agency, which he has chaired since its inception in 2001.
IAMU congratulates Allen Bonderman on his long and successful municipal utility career and urges the residents of Atlantic to thank him for his service to the community.