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Wayne Manuel Joins Avista Executive Team as Vice President Jim Kensok Announces His Retirement

SPOKANE, Wash., April 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA) announced that Wayne Manuel, age 50, will join Avista as Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer on June 1, 2023.

For the past 9 years, Mr. Manuel has held the role of Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Information Officer at Valley Medical Center in Renton, Wash., the largest nonprofit healthcare provider between Seattle and Tacoma with about 4,000 employees. During the pandemic, Mr. Manuel designed and implemented near real-time COVID-19 Operational Dashboards and facilitated and instituted a plan to handle major surges in patient volumes. He also directed the implementation and operationalization of the hospital’s advanced cybersecurity team and framework. Beyond Information Technology, his responsibilities have also included Human Resources, Marketing, Clinical Operations, Process Improvement, Project Management, and Change Management.

Before joining Valley Medical Center, Mr. Manuel held roles at The Cleveland Clinic, Providence Health & Services, and ConocoPhillips. He was born just outside of Houston, Texas, joined the U.S. Army as an engineer after high school graduation and served for six years before moving to Alaska. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from the University of Alaska-Anchorage and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria.

“We are excited that Wayne is joining Avista’s leadership team. He brings a depth and breadth of knowledge in the IT space, along with business and operational leadership from other disciplines and industries. His diverse experience will offer a different perspective to Avista, while drawing upon similar experiences from leading high-performing teams and cultivating a shared sense of mission. Equally important, Wayne is attracted to Avista’s innovative organizational culture,” said Dennis Vermillion, Avista President and CEO.

Mr. Manuel is filling a role currently held by Avista Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer Jim Kensok, who will retire later this summer. Between June 1 and his retirement date, Mr. Kensok will support a smooth leadership transition under the title Avista Vice President, Technology Strategy Advisor.

Mr. Kensok has been the vice president and chief information officer for Avista since 2007 and chief security officer since January of 2013. He started his career with Avista in 1996 as an internal information systems auditor. He also held positions as manager and director of information systems for Avista.

“As Jim retires, we want to express our gratitude for the many years of service he has given to our company. We appreciate Jim’s contributions, including his work on developing and implementing an industry leading technology roadmap for IT modernization. Jim oversaw a significant renewal of Avista’s technology infrastructure, formation of a strong cyber security program, and the creation of an award-winning technology team. His team successfully implemented advanced and rapidly evolving technology platforms including automated and mobile customer-facing applications, cloud computing, and cyber security. Under Jim’s leadership, the company made significant upgrades to the Customer Service and Support Systems, introduced the company’s first Automated Metering Network Infrastructure, an Energy Marketing System, Asset and Outage Management Applications, and many other transformative technologies. We are thankful for Jim’s legacy of excellence and grateful for his team and their efforts. We wish Jim all the best in his retirement,” said Vermillion.

About Avista Corp.

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is the operating division that provides electric service to 411,000 customers and natural gas to 377,000 customers. Its service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.7 million. Alaska Energy and Resources Company is an Avista subsidiary that provides retail electric service in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, through its subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company. Avista stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the company’s current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2022.

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