John F. Bilda, P.E.
General Manager, Norwich Public Utilities
John began his career in public power in 1988, when he was hired as a Utility Engineer for Norwich Public Utilities. He ascended through the ranks of Water and Wastewater Operations Manager, Engineering and Business Development Manager, and in 1999 he was promoted to the senior management position of Operations Division Manager. In this capacity John was responsible for managing all aspects of the utilities natural gas, electric, water, and sewer operations. In 2006 John was appointed to his position of General Manager. In this position John is responsible for complete management of Norwich Public Utilities, a four-service utility providing natural gas, electricity, water, and wastewater collection and treatment to a community of approximately 40,000. He is under the direction of a 5-member Board of Utilities Commissioners appointed by the Norwich City Council.
Norwich Public Utilities has been a public power provider for the City of Norwich, Connecticut since 1904 and a long-time member of the American Public Power Association.
John has been an active member of the Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA), serving as President of the Board of Directors from 2010-2012. As a member of the NEPPA Board of Directors and a member of the Executive Board, John was intrinsically involved in the NEPPA's recent strategic planning process as well as providing leadership for the recruitment of the new executive director. In 2013, John was appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Public Power Association.
John also serves on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC). CMEEC is the Connecticut municipal utilities' joint action agency, responsible for the financing, acquisition and construction of electric generating facilities and implementation of power supply contracts. Notably, during John's tenure on the CMEEC Board, he was involved in the strategic planning process to navigate the Connecticut municipal utilities through electric restructuring and a participant with the regional transmission operator (ISO-New England.) John was also involved in the recent recruitment of CMEEC's new Executive Director.
Other utility-related organizations John is involved with include serving as Co-Chairman of the Southeastern Connecticut Water Utility Coordinating Committee, and participating as a planning member of the intrastate-based Municipal Defense Group (MDG) responsible for procurement of reliable, low-cost natural gas supply and pipeline capacity management for NPU.
John is a native of Norwich. He is a graduate of Three Rivers Community Technical College with an Associate's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, the University of Hartford with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering, and he received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a registered Professional Engineer with the State of Connecticut.
On a local level, John serves on the Board of Directors for the Norwich Community Development Corporation, the City of Norwich's designated economic development agency. He is a Trustee of William W. Backus Hospital and Corporator of Norwich Free Academy. He is active in a number of community civic organizations and has been a volunteer with the local fire department for over 25 years.