TOPEKA, KS – Major General Lee Tafanelli has accepted the position as chief executive officer of effective on or about May 1, 2020.
Tafanelli currently serves as the Kansas Adjutant General, responsible for three primary duties: ensuring the wartime readiness of over 7,000 soldiers and airmen of the Kansas Army and Air National Guard, coordinating the overall emergency preparedness for the state’s response to natural disasters and emergencies, and serving as the Homeland Security Advisor for the state of Kansas.
Tafanelli served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2001-2005, when he took a leave from office to command the 891st Engineer Battalion in Iraq. After his deployment, he resumed his legislative post in 2006 where he served until January 2011, when he was appointed Kansas Adjutant General.
During his time in the Kansas Legislature and as Adjutant General, Tafanelli developed a deep interest and focus on issues affecting rural Kansas. “I‘m honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead a group that does such important work for Kansans in rural areas,” he said. “I have deep respect for the complex challenges faced by KEC members who work hard everyday to provide critical and reliable service for Kansas communities.”
“Major General Tafanelli has dedicated himself to public service and defending our nation,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “In addition to his work with the Kansas National Guard, the Adjutant General led the Kansas Department of Emergency Management, where he has been responsible for marshalling resources to communities that have been impacted by disasters such as tornadoes, flooding and more recently wildfires. His efforts and leadership have benefited Kansans statewide, and I have no doubt that he will continue this same level of commitment and dedication in his new role outside of government.”
Tafanelli received his commission from Pittsburg State University, Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Tafanelli will replace Bruce Graham who has announced his plans to retire as CEO of KEC. Graham has 40 years of association and electric cooperative industry experience and has served as KEC CEO since 2012. He will continue to lead KEC until the transition date.
About Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.
Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (KEC) is the Kansas statewide service organization for 27 electric distribution cooperatives and three generation and transmission cooperatives. Formed on August 18, 1941, and headquartered in Topeka, KEC represents the interests of and provides needed services and programs to electric cooperatives that serve consumer-members within the state. KEC functions for the mutual benefit of its members to promote rural electrification and foster the principles on which electric cooperatives were founded.