TransAlta USA’s President Paul Taylor is pictured at left shaking the hand of Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire during the 2011 opening of TransAlta USA’s headquarters in Olympia, Wash. Mr. Taylor was instrumental in TransAlta entering into the US market a decade ago and now leads a team aimed at increasing the company’s assets in the US.
Behind Mr. Taylor’s experience, and with a shared history with TransAlta’s original company that has been in existence for more than a century, the US operations are primed to compete in a capital intensive, commodity-based industry that has long business cycles. It’s a business where power plants routinely run for 50 years or more. That means when we plan, we’re planning years, even decades into the future.
With 100 years of history under our belt, we have the experience and the resources to ensure our plans are realized.
TransAlta USA is a part of its parent organization TransAlta, based in Alberta Canada. The corporate officers and board of directors can be found on the following links:
President, TransAlta USA
Paul Taylor leads TransAlta’s business operations in the United States. In the late 1990s, while serving as TransAlta’s senior vice president of corporate development, Mr. Taylor’s team was responsible for key initiatives including the company’s entry into the US Northwest power market with the purchase of the Centralia power plant, the establishment of the TransAlta Power Limited Partnership and the sale of the Alberta based distribution assets. He was also responsible for leading the development of TransAlta’s corporate strategy. Mr. Taylor’s energy sector experience includes serving as president and CEO of NaiKun Wind Energy Group, a TSX-V listed company focused on developing a multi-phase offshore wind project planned for British Columbia’s north coast.
Mr. Taylor most recently served as Chief of Staff to the Premier of British Columbia, Canada’s fourth largest public sector administration with an annual enterprise expenditure exceeding $40 billion. He also served the province as Deputy Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury Board, where he played a leading role in the design and implementation of the financial and economic restructuring initiatives that helped British Columbia regain its position as an economic leader. In the 1990s, Mr. Taylor was also a key contributor to the Province of Alberta’s successful expenditure reduction and debt elimination program.
Mr. Taylor’s experience also includes serving as President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Canada’s largest auto insurance company and at the time the second largest insurance company in the country. During his tenure, the company achieved record annual net income of $640 million and retained earnings growth of more than $1 billion.
Mr. Taylor has significant experience in the governance of organizations and has served on a number of private and public sector boards including NaiKun Wind Energy Group, Partnerships BC, BC Forestry Investment & Innovation, TransAlta New Zealand and TransAlta Power Ltd., The Conference Board of Canada and the World Wildlife Fund – Canada.
Chairman, TransAlta USA
Gene Godley counsels and advises corporate clients on legislation, trade, tax, energy, regulatory affairs and international financial and transactional matters. Mr. Godley’s significant experience includes representing Latin American companies in regulatory and transactional matters, including trade and finance laws. He is certified by the International Centers for Arbitration and has served as a FINRA arbitrator. Mr. Godley combines his private practice with several public appointment positions.
In the public sector, Mr. Godley has served in various management and legal positions, including as Chief of Staff to two United States Senators and as general counsel of two U.S. Senate Committees. In 1976, Mr. Godley was nominated by former President James Earl Carter and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, where he received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the highest award of the Treasury Department. He is chairman of the Annapolis Port Wardens, appointed by the mayor of Annapolis, where he has served since 1994.
Mr. Godley has been appointed several times by the United States Trade Representative and secretary of commerce to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) on Energy for Trade Policy Matters. The committee provides advice on the concerns and interests of the private energy sector in regard to U.S. trade objectives.
Vice President, Marketing, TransAlta
Brenda Marshall, Vice President, Marketing for TransAlta Corporation, oversees the sales, marketing and contract management functions and is responsible for leading the growth of TransAlta’s direct to customer business in both Canada and the United States.
Ms. Marshall has more than 18 years of experience in the electric industry in areas including business development, commercial management, asset optimization, financial valuation and design engineering. She has performed in leadership roles in Alberta, Ontario and the United States.
An involved member of her community, Ms. Marshall is active in Social Venture Partners, is a member of a community choir, and led TransAlta’s 250 employee and retiree volunteers in the 2013 flood recovery efforts around Calgary and High River.
Ms. Marshall holds degrees in Economics and Applied Science (Mechanical Engineering) from Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Communications and External Relations Director, TransAlta USA
Richard DeBolt is the Communications and External Relations Director for TransAlta in the United States.
Mr. DeBolt has served as a Representative in the Legislature since 1997 and currently serves the 20th District in the state of Washington. Mr. DeBolt held the position as Republican Leader in 2004 and again during the period of 2006-2013.
A native of Tacoma, Wash., Mr. DeBolt traveled extensively during his youth while his father served in the military.
Mr. DeBolt earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Wyoming, and before that attended school in Germany and England.
He is the former director of the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce, past president of the United Way of Lewis County and a board member of the University of Wyoming Alumni Association. Mr. DeBolt was awarded the prestigious Henry Tolls Fellow in 2001.
Director, Centralia Plant Operations, TransAlta
Bob Nelson is director of plant operations for TransAlta in Centralia, Wash.
Mr. Nelson oversees the 1,340 megawatt coal-powered thermal plant, a 248 megawatt natural gas plant, a small hydroelectric plant with a fish hatchery, as well as mine reclamation efforts at the Centralia site.
Prior to his current duties, Mr. Nelson managed TransAlta’s operations in Sundance on an interim basis. Sundance, located near Edmonton, Alberta, is western Canada’s largest coal-fired electricity generating plant.
Mr. Nelson began his career at the Centralia mine in 1980 as an equipment operator after successfully completing the four-year Operating Engineers Apprenticeship Program. He was certified in 2003 as an equipment trainer with Caterpillar.
Mr. Nelson worked his way to director of mining in 2005. The following year, his role was expanded to include mine reclamation and the plant coal yard.
In 2008, he was appointed as director of the Highvale Mine west of Edmonton, where he brought significant productivity improvements to TransAlta’s mining operations and dramatically changed the mining relationship. Mr. Nelson then took on the role of interim director of Sundance, working with the coal plants and the mine staff to improve fuel blending and quality control.
Mr. Nelson attended Centralia College where he focused on mathematics, and is a graduate of Mossyrock High School. He has been involved in the Mossyrock Board of Education and the Mossyrock Booster Club.