The Westar Energy board of directors unanimously appointed Debra Grunst as vice president, information technology, at its August board meeting. Grunst’s appointment as an officer of the company takes effect Sept. 1, 2015. Grunst joined the company in April 2011. She is responsible for leading the company’s strategic technology implementations, infrastructure security and overall IT operations. "During her Westar Energy tenure, Deb has provided tremendous leadership, vision and innovation as she’s reshaped our strategy and approach to our information technology and services functions,” said Mark Ruelle, Westar president and CEO. “Her focus, tenacity and expertise are adding value to the way we do business and helping us better serve our customers.”
Grunst earned a degree in computer science from South Central College, Mankato, Minn. Her 30-year career in information technology includes positions at National Independent Billing, Telcon, TXU Communications, Sprint and CenturyLink. Grunst’s volunteer service focuses primarily on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education initiatives. She is a board member for the Kansas Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education, serving on its STEM committee and she served on the vision committee for Central Exchange WiStemm. Grunst is a current board member for Shawnee County Prevention and Recovery Services.
Grunst’s family includes her husband, Bob; her daughter, Sarah, who lives in Denver; and son, Bradley, who is a junior at Kansas University. Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is Kansas’ largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided Kansans the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Every day our team of professionals takes on projects to generate and deliver electricity, protect the environment and provide excellent service to our nearly 700,000 customers. Westar has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind, solar and landfill gas. We are also a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. Our innovative customer service programs include mobile-enabled customer care, digital meters and paving the way for electric vehicle adoption. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve. For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.WestarEnergy.com.