Kelly Jones, John Thomas, Mark Buckner, Leslie Rush, Rhonda James, Tom Bundros, Hank Blackwood and Lori McDaniel.
Get to Know Dalton Utilities: The board of Water, Light, and Sinking Fund Commissioners of The City of Dalton, Georgia (“Dalton Utilities”) was established in 1913 by an act of the Georgia legislature for the purpose of constructing and operating the public utilities for the City of Dalton, Georgia. Electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and information technology services are provided by Dalton Utilities to the City and to customers in Dalton/Whitfield County and portions of Murray, Gordon, Catoosa, and Floyd Counties.
Dalton Utilities serves approximately 73,000 customers with the majority of its operating revenues coming from the flooring industry that is headquartered in northwest Georgia. It owns interests in electric generation facilities, the Georgia Integrated Transmission System, electric distribution, natural gas transmission and distribution, water and wastewater systems, and a retail/wholesale broadband system.
Business History in the Community: Dalton Utilities has served the community since 1886 when the Dalton Water Works was built at the site of the Crown Cotton Mill. In 1898, a new steam-powered electric generating plant was installed, and, like many other towns during that period, the community was on its way towards electrification. By 1913, the Board of Commissioners of the Water, Light and Sinking Fund was formed, and Dalton Utilities began buying hydroelectric power from the Georgia Railway and Power Company (which would become part of Georgia Power Company in 1926). Today, the Utility owns interests in two nuclear and two coal-fired plants, as well as interests in two new nuclear units currently under construction.
The bedspread industry followed by the carpet industry demanded more and more water, and Dalton Utilities responded with new water plants and plant expansions. In the 1940s, Dalton Utilities obtained a natural gas connection to serve the carpet industry’s needs for an economical power source to dry carpet and cure latex. In 1984, Dalton Utilities made a bold advance in wastewater treatment by building a 9,200-acre Land Application System, thereby expanding Dalton’s ability to treat the wastewater created by local industry. Then in 2003, Dalton Utilities installed broadband for the benefit of customers technological needs and the community’s future economic development efforts.
Throughout the history of first the bedspread industry and then the carpet industry, Dalton Utilities has been in-step with the needs of industry -- meeting immediate needs, anticipating future needs and always setting the stage for future growth.
Leadership at Dalton Utilities:
Thomas A. Bundros – Chief Executive Officer
Hank Blackwood – Chief Technical Services Officer
Mark Buckner – Chief Development Officer
Rhonda James – Chief Financial Officer
Kelly Jones – Chief Administrative Officer
Lori McDaniel – Chief Marketing Officer
Leslie Rush – Chief Watershed Services Officer
John Thomas – Chief Energy Services Officer
How did Dalton Utilities become involved with WHF? Dalton Utilities first became a supporter of the Foundation in 1990. They participated in the Foundation’s Speedy Recovery program for their employees, and their participation grew to becoming members of the Hamilton Club for six years. They joined the Hamilton Business Alliance in 2004. The Hamilton Business Alliance is a select group of business and industry leaders who are dedicated to the philanthropic support of the best in health care for our community. As members of the Hamilton Business Alliance, Dalton Utilities has given back and reinvested in the health and wellbeing of our community for many years. They have supported the Surgical Services renovation project, Maternal and Infant Care and Emergency Care Services Capital Campaign, the Cardiac and Medical Intensive Care Services Capital Campaign, and now support the ONE Capital Campaign for the cancer institute.
Current participation with WHF: Dalton Utilities recently pledged their support to the ONE Capital Campaign for the cancer institute at the Leader level. Kelly Jones, Dalton Utilities-Optilink’s Chief Administrative Officer, serves as the current chair of the Foundation’s Business Relations Committee.
In Their Own Words…
Why We Give: “Dalton Utilities has always served the needs of the community. They are our customers, but they are also our neighbors, relatives, coworkers and friends. If charity truly begins at home, giving to the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation is a perfect way to embody that.”
What Excites Us About the Cancer Institute: “The people of Dalton have always been innovators, builders, dreamers and doers. To offer this level of treatment in our town illustrates that spirit is still alive and well in our community. And what a gift to local folks who do not have to travel to other cities to get the kind of treatment and help they need.”
Dalton Utilities…You have an amazing history with this community. How fortunate are we that our forefathers established such a diverse and vibrant utilities organization to serve our community’s needs. Over the years, smart investments by visionary leaders have diversified your holdings and services for customers. We thank you for choosing to give back to the community through your commitment to health care. Your contributions to the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation enable Hamilton Health Care System to provide leading-edge care, right here at home. As a Hamilton Business Alliance member, you are part of our alliance for excellence in our community. For that, we at the Foundation and at Hamilton are deeply grateful.