SMPA Board Appoints Ridgway’s Valentine Szwarc to Fill Vacancy
Ridgway's Val Szwarc appointed to District #6 Board Seat

After interviewing four candidates, the sitting directors of San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) decided to appoint Ridgway resident, Valentine Szwarc to fill a board vacancy left by the recent passing of incumbent director, Debbie Cokes.

The SMPA Board comprises seven seats, each representing a different geographic district within the service territory. Szwarc will step in to represent his fellow SMPA members in Board District #6, which covers part of Ouray County including Ridgway and much of Loghill Village. He will remain in the position for the duration of the term, which is up for re-election in the summer of 2026.

Szwarc brings with him, a combination of system engineering experiences in the fields of Aerospace Engineering and Information Technology, along with a Master of Science (MS) in Engineering and an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA).

Locally, he serves/has served on the Ridgway–Ouray Community Council (ROCC), the Ridgway Dark Sky Committee, and the Top of the Pines (TOP) Board of Directors, along with other community initiatives.

“I look forward to working with Mr. Szwarc in the coming years on the SMPA Board,” said SMPA Board President, Rube Felicelli. “We also appreciate the efforts of the other candidates who applied for the position. This decision was not easy.” Szwarc will appear before the membership, for the first time as a director, at this year’s SMPA Annual Meeting on June 6th, at the SMPA Nucla Office (170 W. 10th Ave., Nucla). Members may also join via Zoom by registering HERE

At the conclusion of this meeting, another new SMPA Director will be announced, as the winner of the District #1 Board election to replace outgoing director, Doylene Garvey. This director will represent the area including parts of Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray and Dolores Counties including Basin, Bedrock, Naturita, Nucla, Paradox, Redvale, Slick Rock and Uravan.