Public power mourns the passing of Columbus Light and Water GM Todd Gale
February 22, 2021
by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
February 22, 2021
Todd Gale, who served as General Manager of Columbus Light and Water in Mississippi and as a member of the American Public Power Association’s Board of Directors, passed away on Feb. 12, 2021.
Throughout his career as General Manager for Columbus Light and Water, Gale served on the boards of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association and the board of APPA. He started his term on the APPA board in June 2018.
“In addition, he served on many committees, too numerous to mention, for the Tennessee Valley Authority,” an obituary for Gale noted.
“During his time as the leader of the city’s primary utilities provider, Gale developed a reputation for competency, enthusiasm and cooperation, a man whose devotion to his duties was beyond question,” the Columbus Dispatch newspaper said in a Feb. 13 editorial.
“The public power community is devastated by the loss of Todd Gale,” said Joy Ditto, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association.
“His steadfast commitment to public power was evident in his multiple roles in public power including serving as a board member at APPA,” she said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends and his colleagues at Columbus Light and Water.”
“All the clichés apply to Todd about being smart, friendly, professional, etc. Anyone that knew him would say he was way more than any cliché,” said Mike Bernsen, comptroller and interim general manager at Columbus Light and Water.
“His business colleagues will tell you he was able to confront an issue and chart direction almost immediately but would listen to his managers and weigh their arguments and opinions before making a final decision,” Bernsen said.
“We were really included in his world and our discussions were always fruitful and encouraging. He enjoyed talking with and listening to his team and we all felt energized after our meetings; Todd most of all,” Bernsen said.
“His personal friends will tell you he wrote the definition of friendship. You felt close and special being a friend of Todd Gale’s. His support was limitless,” he added.