North Tahoe Public Utility District is mourning the passing of former General Manager/CEO Duane Whitelaw.
Whitelaw retired in June after four years as general manager/CEO. Prior to that, he served the district from 1985-89 as the recreation and parks director.
During his time as recreation and parks director he secured grants for projects including, but not limited to, the North Tahoe Event Center renovation in 1989, Coon Street Boat Ramp dredging and improvements through a partnership with the Department of Boating and Waterways, North Tahoe Regional Park playground, Phase 1 of the Kings Beach State Recreation Area parking lot, restroom, and playground, and the purchase and renovation of the North Tahoe Beach Center which was the first project at Lake Tahoe to utilize California environmental license plate funds.
After leaving the district in 1989 to serve as the fire chief for North Tahoe Fire District, he also served on the Placer County Parks Commission for almost 20 years representing the interests of eastern Placer County. Park projects for which he advised the Board of Supervisors include the Squaw Valley Community Park, Hidden Falls Regional Park, Commons Beach Enhancements, the Martis Valley Trail, and segments of the Lake Tahoe Bikeway.
After a short retirement from the North Tahoe Fire District, Whitelaw returned once again to public service with the North Tahoe Public Utility District. He led a strategic planning process for the board, re-engaged the Recreation and Parks Commission, and encouraged public outreach surveys to guide the district’s priorities and has worked diligently to find strategies for success for the Event Center.
NTPUD Board President Tim Ferrell said, “Duane was one of the best general managers I have had the pleasure of working with. He taught me that leading through compassion and respect unites the workforce and keeps people motivated to give their best even in the hard times. He will be greatly missed but his legacy in North Tahoe will live on for many years to come.”
District flags will fly at half-staff July 24 in honor of his service and dedication to the community. Acting General Manager Will Stelter stated, “To live a life leaving the world a better place, due to one’s positive actions, care and devotion, is a life to be celebrated; although sad to have it come to the end.”
A celebration of his life will take place on Aug. 5 at the North Tahoe Event Center. More information will be forthcoming.
— Provided to Lake Tahoe News