An Alliant Energy executive who has been involved with Cedar Rapids and state government as well as the private sector over the last four decades will retire next month.
Tom Aller, 64, is president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa and Minnesota utility and senior vice president of operations support for Alliant Energy. Aller has worked for Alliant Energy for more than 20 years, having joined its predecessor, IES Industries, in 1993.
"I'll be 65 next month and since Pat (Kampling, Alliant Energy chairwoman) has become CEO, we've had several conversations about when's the right time for me to retire," Aller said. "At some point, you have to create opportunities for other people.
"We got some of the initiatives in Iowa that we were working on accomplished. The new generating plant in Marshalltown is somewhere between third base and home, and it just seemed to be the right time."
Aller supervised the utility's response to the massive ice storms of 2007 and the catastrophic flooding of 2008 that wiped out a coal-fired power plant in downtown Cedar Rapids and came close to leaving the community without power or water.
Kampling said Aller is leaving the Iowa utility in excellent shape.
"I've been working with Tom for about eight and a half years, and the resiliency that he's shown has just been remarkable," Kampling said. "He has focused the utility on doing the right thing and getting things done -- always with the customer in mind.
"It’s impossible to calculate the positive impact that Tom has had on Cedar Rapids and the state of Iowa."
Before joining the utility, Aller was executive vice president of 2001 Development Corp. from 1988 to 2008. He was appointed to the Iowa Transportation Commission in March 1995.
During his eight-year tenure, Aller served as chairman and the commission voted to include the long-delayed Highway 100 extension in the state’s five-year highway construction plan.
Aller worked for former Mayor Donald Canney and the Cedar Rapids City Council as an administrative assistant from 1972 to 1988. He also served on the Cedar Rapids Airport Commission.
Aller has been a member and past chairman of the Iowa Business Council, which represents Iowa's largest employers, the Regents universities and the Iowa Bankers Association. He also served on the Iowa Utility Association board of directors.
Alliant Energy's board of directors on Tuesday accepted Aller's retirement and named Douglas Kopp as senior vice president of Alliant Energy, effective March 1, and president of the Iowa and Minnesota utility operation effective April 1.
Kopp’s industry experience spans more than 30 years, including 20 with Alliant Energy, starting with predecessor Iowa Southern Utilities. Kopp, who grew up in Cedar Rapids, brings significant experience in economic development, customer service, regulatory pricing, generation and environmental affairs.
"Doug's experience in nearly every part of the utility business will serve him well as he oversees all aspects of our Iowa utility," Kampling said. "He brings a solid understanding of and commitment to environmental issues."Aller said he will ask the Iowa Business Council board to elect Kopp as his successor at its March meeting. He plans to remain on the 2001 Development Corp., where Kopp also will be involved in economic and business development.