press releases

NARUC President Taps Iowa and North Carolina Commissioners Wagner and Brown-Bland to Co-Chair Washington Action Committee


For Immediate Release: August 6, 2015
Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382,


WASHINGTON—National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Lisa Edgar appointed Commissioner Nick Wagner of Iowa and Commissioner ToNola D. Brown-Bland of North Carolina as Co-Chairs of the Washington Action Committee.

Commissioners Wagner and Brown-Bland have served as members of the Committee.

The Washington Action Committee informs NARUC of issues in and throughout the nation's Capitol. The Committee provides a framework for improving the credibility, visibility and effectiveness of NARUC in Congress, the Executive Branch, the media, and other stakeholder organizations.

Commissioner Wagner officially began serving as a member of the Iowa Utilities Board on May 24, 2013, appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to fill a term ending on April 30, 2019. He serves on NARUC’s Committee on Gas and is co-vice chair of the Committee on Critical Infrastructure. Wagner also serves on the Board of Directors and as treasurer for Smart Grid Interoperability Panel 2.0 (SGIP). He is also member of Mid-America Regulatory Conference and treasurer of the Eastern Interconnection States’ Planning Council.

Before joining the Board, Wagner was the Director of Quality Management for the ESCO Group in Marion, Iowa. His professional and management duties at ESCO Group included project execution in industrial automation including standby and emergency diesel generator control, facility energy and efficiency audits, and building control. He also served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2008 to 2012 as ranking member and chair of the Local Government Committee and as vice chair of the Appropriations Committee. Wagner also sat on the Administration and Regulation Budget Sub-Committee, Commerce, Transportation, and Ways and Means Committees.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering in 1996 and a Master’s of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1998, both from the University of Iowa.

Commissioner Brown-Bland was appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission by Governor Beverly Eaves Perdue in 2009. She is a Past President of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. In addition, she is a member of NARUC’s Critical Infrastructure Committee and Gas Committee. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute and the Advisory Council for the Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law.

Brown-Bland began her professional career as federal Law Clerk to the Honorable Alexander B. Denson, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and thereafter entered private practice in Greensboro, N.C. After several years engaging in general civil practice, she became in-house attorney for AT&T Corp. (subsequently Lucent Technologies), where she was promoted to Senior Attorney and primarily supported the company's federal contracting and related commercial technology licensing and business lines in Greensboro.

She joined the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State in 2001, serving as Director of the Business License Information Office and of the Charitable Solicitations Licensing Section. Brown-Bland’s experience in utility regulation began in December 2002, when she accepted a position with the North Carolina Utilities Commission as an attorney in the Administrative Division. From 2005 until her appointment to the Commission, she served as Associate General Counsel with the City of Greensboro.

“I am very pleased to appoint Commissioners Wagner and Brown-Bland as Co-Chairs. Their in-depth knowledge of government affairs, legal acumen and institutional knowledge of the Committee provides an excellent foundation to keep us informed and focused on issues that are most relevant to our members,” said President Edgar. “We are fortunate to have their combined leadership and commitment.”

“This Committee performs an essential role for NARUC, and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to serve as Co-Chair to help advance the mission of the Association,” said Wagner.

“Our members rely on the input, advice and knowledge of the Washington Action Committee. I am pleased President Edgar tapped me to co-lead the Committee in carrying out this important work,” said Brown-Bland.


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NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.

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