13 Aug John D. Lester
John D. Lester, General Manager of Clarksville Connected Utilities (CCU), is an accomplished leader in municipal utilities with 20 years’ experience in managing Electric, Natural Gas, Water, Wastewater, and Fiber Optic utilities. He joined CCU in July of 2013. He is responsible for the daily management, operations, and financial performance of the combined utility which includes, Electric, Water, Wastewater and a Fiber/Broadband.
While with CCU, he provided the leadership on two CCU solar power plants. The first plant was a 5.3 MW (AC) project and the second was a 2.1-megawatt MW (AC) facility. Both projects have been recognized with statewide awards including the State of Arkansas’ Department of Energy & Environment “Energy Excellence” (E2) award. With both power plants in operation in 2019, Clarksville became the first city in Arkansas to power all of its government operations with solar energy.
He has also provided the vision for Clarksville’s effort to build an ultrahigh speed fiber optic network. The network currently connects all of the local anchor institutions via dedicated fibers, and now includes a fiber to the premise (FTTx) network capable of delivering gigabit speeds to local residential and business customers. The FTTx construction began in September of 2019 and the distribution system was completed in October of 2020. By the end of July of 2022, CCU had already achieved a 35% take rate of network orders and has turned up nearly 1,600 subscribers.
During his utility career he has worked as the City Manager for two municipalities in Kansas and Missouri, as the Members Services Director for the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA), a power and natural gas agency and trade association for municipal utilities in Missouri. He has a Business degree from Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana and has studied for his MBA at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.