Mayor Selects Four People To Fill Vacanies on LES Board

LINCOLN–(News Release Dec. 20)–Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced her selections to fill vacancies on the Lincoln Electric System (LES) Administrative Board. The Mayor has nominated Kate Bolz, Dr. Martha Durr, Eric Schafer and recommends Karen Griffin for reappointment.

“This deeply qualified and diversely experienced slate of candidates will provide LES and our community with strong leadership and thoughtful guidance,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “We thank them for stepping up to offer their valuable time and talents in service to our community.”

Kate Bolz is the Nebraska State Director of USDA Rural Development. She was previously Mayor Gaylor Baird’s Economic Development Policy Advisory and a Nebraska State Senator for District 29. She is a Rabble Mill Board member and former member of the United Way and Lincoln Public Schools Foundation boards.

“I’ve been a consumer advocate throughout my career and want to make sure that Lincoln residents have access to the affordable, reliable utilities they need when then need them. I’ve also committed my career to public service and believe that my experience as a State Senator, federal administrator, and city employee will serve me well in managing the financial and mission related responsibilities of the Board,” Bolz said.

Dr. Martha Durr is the Nebraska State Climatologist, Director of the Nebraska State Climate Office, and Professor of Climatology in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Previously, Dr. Durr served as the Director of the High Plains Regional Climate Center and was an Applied Climatologist for the Alaska Climate Research Center.

“It is an exciting and noteworthy time to play a role in decision-making for our energy future. I would like to serve the Lincoln community in this capacity for the betterment of our citizens,” Dr. Durr said.

Eric Schafer is the President of Telesis, Inc., the umbrella company for Data Security, Inc., Lazlo, Inc., Empyrean Brewing Company, Telesis Holdings and Avert Vertical Cultivations. Telesis, Inc. has more than 350 employees and distributes products locally, regionally and internationally.

“Our company Telesis, Inc. has a long history of working with LES and DEC. We share similar values when it comes to energy sustainability,” Schafer said. “Telesis owns the largest amount of privately owned geothermal wells and solar panels in the state of Nebraska. LES has been instrumental in helping us achieve this.”


Karen Griffin is a professional geologist with more than 25 years of experience. Formally a Vice President and the Groundwater Technical Leader for Olsson, her work focused on protecting and restoring groundwater and surface water resources. As an environmental geologist, she worked in California and Colorado before moving back to her hometown of Lincoln in 2004. She has volunteered the Great Plains Trails Network, Lincoln Literacy and other community organizations.

Three vacancies on the LES Board are created by the departures of Kim Morrow, Layne Supp and DaNay Kalkowski.

“We thank the outgoing members who contributed more than 15 years in total of service on the LES board,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “The City relies on the willingness of members of our community to volunteer to serve, and engaging more community members in this type of work is a priority for my administration.”

The LES Board is a nine-member body responsible for the control and management of the property, personnel, facilities, equipment, and finances of LES. Members are appointed for three-year terms by the Mayor with the concurrence of the City Council, and members may serve no more than three terms.