Another Nevada utility executive retiring |

Another Nevada utility executive retiring

Brendan Riley, Associated Press

Dennis Schiffel is stepping down as chief financial officer of Sierra Pacific Resources after 18 months — the latest of several executives to leave the utility this year.

Schiffel, who will replaced by longtime Sierra executive Richard Atkinson, said he would “pursue other interests.”

Sierra spokeswoman Faye Andersen said Schiffel’s move was voluntary and not forced.

Schiffel joined Sierra Pacific Resources, parent of Reno-based Sierra Pacific Power Co. and Las Vegas-based Nevada Power Co., in July 2001 after 20 years with Atlantic Richfield Co.

Walt Higgins, Sierra Pacific Resources’ chairman, president and chief executive officer, said Schiffel made “significant contributions” to the corporation. Atkinson worked closely with him in dealing with the utility’s financial hassles.

Atkinson, who joined Sierra in 1980, has served as vice president,treasurer and investor relations officer.

Reporting directly to Higgins, Atkinson will be responsible for all financial, accounting and risk management activities of the corporation. He’ll move from Reno to Las Vegas.

Schiffel’s departure follows the Sept. 30 retirement of William Peterson, who led Sierra Pacific Resources’ unsuccessful effort to get a $922 million rate increase for subsidiary Nevada Power Co., as the corporation’s senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.

This year, Nevada Power President Mark Ruelle and three vice presidents were replaced after state regulators trimmed the rate request to $485 million.

Schiffel said he believes Sierra “is on the road to financial recovery.”