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Cynthia Reeves | SBJ

2022 Men of the Year: Scott Crise

Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.

Posted online

Scott Crise is in his fourth promotion at Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., the latest coming in March 2022. He’s now manager of gas plant operations for the company where he’s worked for over 20 years.

Crise joined AECI in 1999, moving from Illinois and armed with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum and mechanical engineering from University of Tulsa and an MBA from University of Chicago. Early tasks were project management of jobs that ranged from a $26 million system upgrade to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards to the $190 million completion of a power plant.

For an engineer like Crise, work conversations are sprinkled with such terms as electrostatic precipitators, steam turbines and combined cycle power. But beyond the technical jargon, Crise has developed management, communication and team coordination skills with each new role – from a supervisor of engineering projects to manager of technical services and in his current position.

“I am responsible for maintaining best in class performance in the areas of availability, reliability, safety, environmental, maintenance and cost of two of AECI’s gas power plants,” he says.

His focus is set on capital investment proposals to enhance power unit operations and work plans to meet key performance indicators.

Now, Crise also is using his experience in long-term, strategic planning as a member of the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education. He considers his election to a three-year term in April 2021 as his proudest accomplishment. 

“This was a contentious race with seven people running for three openings,” he says, crediting his endorsements from the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield National Education Association and the Missouri State Teachers Association. “Our children needed an advocate who has not only been invested in education, but also had the know-how to make firm decisions and help plan the next steps of our school system.”

Since being appointed, he’s tackled the budget and worked directly with Superintendent Grenita Lathan, who started a few months after the election.

“I know that these are strange times, but we cannot let them interfere with a generation of children and their education,” he says.

Lathan shared with the board her guide plan for entry as the new superintendent and the steps for listening and learning platforms to quickly get her acclimated. Crise saw it as an opportunity to help by asking questions and offering feedback.

“I provided input on the guide and introduced her to key people outside the school district with whom she needed to build a relationship,” he says. 

Additionally in the community, he’s Springfield Workshop Foundation Golf Tournament Committee chair and last year completed a stint on the Isabel’s House board. Prior to that, he served on the boards of Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland and Springfield Public Schools Foundation.

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