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COO, Planning Officer Join Valley Electric Association

Longtime utility executives hail from Southern California, Kentucky


PAHRUMP, Nev. (June 2, 2017) – Two executives with a combined 50-plus years’ experience in the utility industry joined Valley Electric Association on June 1.

Ramon Abueg imageRamon Z. Abueg of Glendale, Calif., is the new Chief Operating Officer, and Gary Zheng of Paducah, Ky., is the Executive Chief Planning Officer. Abueg comes to Pahrump after serving as Chief Assistant General Manager-Electric, Power Management & Compliance at Glendale Water & Power since 2003. Zheng most recently was the General Manager of Paducah Power System and General Manager of Kentucky Municipal Power Agency since 2015, but spent most of his career leading Lubbock (Texas) Power & Light.

“Valley is fortunate to have two experienced, dynamic executives join our team at this critical period in our Cooperative’s evolution,” said VEA CEO Thomas H. Husted. “The future is wide open with opportunities and challenges in a marketplace undergoing deregulation. Ramon and Gary will be instrumental in helping create a future for the Co-op and its subsidiaries that serves our member-owners.”

Abueg, 55, oversaw the overall administration of the electric utility at Glendale, which included the development and execution of strategic business plans, policies and capital improvement programs in power resources, generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. The utility serves 85,000 customers. The city’s water department, which he also managed for two years, serves 34,000 customers.

Before joining Glendale Water and Power, Abueg was Assistant Director of the Utilities Department at the city of Vernon, Calif., and served as a Senior Applications Engineer at BMI in Santa Clara and was a Business Unit Manager at Raychem Corp., in Menlo Park. He started his utility career as an electrical engineer at the city of Palo Alto. 

As Chief Operating Officer, Abueg will be second in command of Valley Electric, where he will be responsible for overseeing the ongoing business operations of the electric Cooperative. He will report to the CEO. 

Abueg received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at California State University, Sacramento, and his MBA from Woodbury University in Burbank. He and his wife, Arissa, have two children.

Gary Zheng imageZheng, 53, was General Manager at Paducah Power Systems, which has 23,000 customers and included a 124-megawatt natural gas power plant. He is experienced in energy trading and in negotiating long-term power contracts.

Prior to joining Paducah Power, Zheng had a 17-year career at Lubbock (Texas) Power & Light, one of the largest public power utilities in the country, where he served in various capacities, including President and CEO, Chief Operating Officer, Superintendent of Electrical Distribution and in various engineering positions.

As Executive Chief Planning Officer, Zheng will be the chief strategist, assisting the CEO in developing, communicating, executing and sustaining all corporate strategic initiatives for both VEA and VCA. He replaces Rick Eckert, who left VEA in March for a position at Kauai Island Utility Cooperative in Hawaii.

Zheng received his bachelor’s in electrical engineering at Liaoning University in Shenyang, China. He received several post-graduate degrees at the University of Southern California, including a master’s in electrical engineering, a master’s in computer engineering and a Ph.D., in electrical engineering.

Zheng and his wife, Dr. Du Feng, have two children. Dr. Feng is a professor at the University of Las Vegas School of Nursing.

Both Abueg and Zheng are registered professional engineers.


About Valley Electric Association, Inc.

Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is a member-owned nonprofit electric utility headquartered in Pahrump, Nev. While VEA started as a small rural electric utility in 1965, the company now provides electric service to more than 45,000 people within a vast 6,800-square-mile service area located primarily along the California-Nevada border, with the majority in Nevada. Valley Communications Association (VCA), a wholly owned subsidiary of VEA, began proving high-speed communications to our member-owners in the spring of 2016. VEA’s service area starts in Sandy Valley, southwest of Las Vegas, and extends north for more than 250 miles to Fish Lake Valley. For more information about VEA, please visit

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