Allgood calls it good
Nuclear advocate to retire July 1
By NATE SUNDERLAND
A longtime eastern Idaho advocate for nuclear energy will step down from his post this summer.
Lane Allgood, executive director of the Partnership for Science and Technology in Idaho Falls, will retire July 1, taking "some much needed time off" to spend more time with his grandchildren. Allgood has lead the organization since its inception in 2006. He previously worked in public affairs at Idaho National Laboratory and North Wind Group.
"It's been very rewarding to build this from nothing into a pretty influential organization that is financially sound and has a diverse membership," Allgood said. "We are well respected in Washington, D.C., and when we go back we always have a seat at the table with decision makers."
The nonprofit Partnership for Science and Technology not only promotes the benefits of nuclear energy, it also advocates funding for INL at the regional, state and federal levels. Membership in the group, which ranges from 80 to 100, includes local businesses, labor unions, municipal entities and individuals.
"The point I try and stress to local businesses is that a healthy INL budget is very good for our community. It affects every aspect of business in eastern Idaho," Allgood said. "We try to promote to them that we are out there advocating for a strong lab and clean up budget and are trying to recruit other energy-minded businesses to come to town."
INL officials said Allgood has spent countless hours garnering community support for projects.
"Lane has brought INL and Idaho center stage nationally by representing Idaho's science and technology interests nationally," INL spokeswoman Amy Lientz said in an email. "... I recall he once helped bring hundreds to a public meeting in support of a new nuclear technology opportunity, not many people can fill a room like Lane."
Lientz also serves on the Partnership's board of directors.
The group played a big role in attracting French company Areva to commit to building a uranium enrichment plant in the area, Allgood said. Although the project recently stalled, Allgood still believes the Eagle Rock plant will be built.
Mike Hart, president of the Partnership board, said Allgood has worked hard to connect with key industry players, as well as keeping members informed about happenings in the energy world.
"As an executive director, Lane has done an excellent job of filtering information from publications and industry insiders and distributing it to members ... so they get a better idea of what matters to people in Idaho," Hart said.
The organization also participates in local outreach, including funding for school field trips and supporting energy-related programs at schools such as Eastern Idaho Technical College and Idaho State University.
"Lane has been extremely supportive with regards to science and technology programs that are offered at EITC and ISU, and we've both been very appreciative of that support," EITC President Steve Albiston said. "He leaves the organization with a solid foundation, so the new director can continue to champion new science and technology initiatives regionally, statewide and in the Pacific northwest."
Albiston is a member of the Partnership's board of directors. A candidate search is underway and the board hopes to name a replacement for Allgood before July 1.
"While the (Partnership for Science and Technology) is certainly sorry to see Lane leave, we will ensure that the organization uses this time as an opportunity to further improve its influence and effectiveness," Hart said in a news release. "To that end, we will be considering changes that could strengthen the organization and expand our regional influence."