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Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs begins executive appointments as inauguration day looms

Photo of Cynthia Zwick who has been appointed by gov-elect Katie Hobbs to lead RUCO
Cynthia Zwick, who has been executive director at Wildfire since 2003, has been named director of RUCO, the Arizona Residential Utility Consumer Office. (File Photos/

Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs names Cynthia Zwick as director of utility consumer office
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Arizona Gov.-Elect Katie Hobbs has named Cynthia Zwick, who has been executive director at Wildfire since 2003, as director of RUCO, the Residential Utility Consumer Office, which represents the interests of residential utility ratepayers in rate-related proceedings.

Ms. Zwick will begin her new role on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, according to a press release.

The Wildfire Board of Directors has appointed Wildfire Deputy Director Kelly McGowan as interim executive director, ensuring a smooth transition as the board considers post-transition strategies. Ms. Zwick will remain with Wildfire through January.

Kelly McGowan

“My 19 years at Wildfire have been deeply rewarding, both in terms of what we have accomplished and in having the chance to work with and collaborate with an incredibly committed group of individuals,” Ms. Zwick said in a prepared statement.

“I have learned so much from each member of my staff, our partners at Community Actions Agencies across the state and those who have supported our efforts to end poverty before it starts. I am deeply grateful for Gov.-elect Hobbs’ confidence, and I am looking forward to new opportunities and new challenges. I leave Wildfire in great hands under Kelly’s interim leadership supported by a strong team committed to our work.”

RUCO, established by the Arizona Legislature in 1983, represents residential utility ratepayers in rate-related proceedings involving public service corporations before the Arizona Corporation Commission. RUCO accomplishes this charge primarily through a staff of financial analysts and attorneys. RUCO participates in a number of policy matters that also affect the rates paid and services received by residential ratepayers, officials there say.

During Ms. Zwick’s tenure at Wildfire, she and her team intervened in utility rate cases with a focus on energy affordability and equity, helped families with access to assistance for utility bills and weatherization, and positively impacted energy policy.

“This is a bittersweet time for me,” Ms. Zwick said. “I cannot begin to express how much I have enjoyed the 19 years my staff, the board and the Community Action network have trusted me to serve as executive director of Wildfire. I can honestly say that I love this work and the network of Community Action Agencies we have had the privilege of serving. I look forward to serving as director at RUCO and supporting Governor-Elect Hobbs’ work to build an Arizona for everyone.”

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