MEA Energy Association Names Leigh Larson as New President & CEO


Leigh Larson Bloomington, Minn. (August 23, 2022) — The board of directors of MEA Energy Association (MEA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Leigh A. Larson as president and chief executive officer. Larson assumed his responsibilities working with the board of directors and membership of MEA on August 22, 2022.

He succeeds Patrick Van Beek, who served as MEA President for 15 years while leading the organization to better serve the energy industry by growing electric distribution membership, launching electric specific training and testing courses, and maintaining a financially sound position through the 2007-2009 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. Van Beek is retiring, effective September 2, 2022.

“We are excited to welcome Leigh to lead the association at this important time for the energy industry,” said Eric Kozak, vice president of Ameren Illinois and chair of the MEA Board of Directors. “Leigh’s experience building and leading teams and his vision for the industry position him well to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Larson is tasked with determining the overall strategic direction and framework for the continued growth and success of MEA. “I am passionate about leading an organization through staff and member collaboration and engagement so we can garner the creative energy and insights of our human resources and deploy them in new directions,” said Larson about his new position. “Keeping a constant eye on the future, we can propel MEA forward by further acquiring and engaging members with innovative programs and events.”

The search committee, made up of five former and current board members, engaged the Executive Search Practice Group of Robert Half Talent Solutions to aid in the search, outreach, vetting, and interviewing of potential president/CEO candidates, The board sought an individual with proven leadership ability, experience  as a change agent, and aligning strategy with mission, values, and objectives.

Larson has over 20 years of experience in leading and managing high performing teams, including serving as executive director of one of the largest youth multi-sports clubs in the Midwest. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Edgewood College in Madison, Wis.

About MEA:
MEA serves the people that deliver electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses. We were founded as a trade association in 1905 by distribution utilities whose vision was to improve safety and efficiency. Today, we fulfill the same purpose through education, leadership development, and industry connections. Energy delivery companies, contractors, and suppliers around the country benefit from our summits, roundtables, and webinars, 400+ online technical courses, safety assessments, evaluator training, operator qualification compliance tools, and leadership courses for field personnel.