Dan Gunkel was elected commissioner of the Klickitat County Public Utility District in 1991. He was appointed to the Energy Northwest Board of Directors that same year. In 1994, Commissioner Gunkel was elected to the Energy Northwest Executive Board. In April 2006, he was re-elected to serve another term on the executive board and was appointed chairman of the Energy Northwest Operations, Construction and Safety Committee in June 2006.
Commissioner Gunkel is a co-owner/business manager of Gunkel Orchards Inc. Managing the daily operations of a medium-sized fruit orchard enables him to sufficiently represent irrigators in Klickitat County. As a business owner and customer of the PUD, it is in his best interest to see that the utility is run efficiently and that it continues to provide low-cost power. He sought the commissioner position because of a commitment to public service, but admits he also has an interest in seeing the PUD provide quality service.
During his tenure as a commissioner, Mr. Gunkel has supported the PUD's policy of not cross-subsidizing irrigators with revenues from other energy consumers. In the face of potential deregulation in the power industry, he says that by having customers pay their own way, the PUD is more financially stable and less dependent on a handful of large consumers.
Commissioner Gunkel resides with his family in Goldendale, Wash.
Executive Board Member Since 1994