Under Forties 2022
Who are the up-and-coming rising stars of the utilities industry and utility regulation? This year eighty Under Forties are featured hailing from twenty-nine utilities, utility regulatory commissions, and other industry organizations.
Ali Elnaamani, 1898 & Co., Managing Director & Regional Practice Leader, is the company's youngest managing director currently leading an office location. Leadership has noted his best-in-class weekly presentations and has also asked him to train others. In the next five to ten years, leadership expects to see Elnaamani leading one of the most profitable business lines in his region, thanks to his financial acumen and innovative thinking.
Joseph Nichols, 1898 & Co., Utility Consulting Director, has been key in growing the company's service offerings to clients. Using his knowledge of the industry, he defines solutions to problems clients are facing as the electric distribution system becomes a focus of planning and modernization. The services his team offers have addressed concerns with aging infrastructure, improved reliability while reducing operating costs, integrated renewables, electric vehicles, and provided help justifying these plans to utility commissions. Since Nichols took over in 2019, the distribution planning and grid modernization business line has more than doubled in size.
Omar Urquidez, 1898 & Co., Utility Consulting Department Manager, uses his exceptional communication and strategic thought process to help solve clients' problems and help both peers and clients achieve their goals. In the next five to ten years, leadership expects to see him in the principal pool, which represents less than two percent of the firm's employees worldwide based on demonstrated exceptional performance and technical excellence.
Arnab Ghosal, Alabama Power Company, Grid Inform & Connectivity General Manager, and his team help determine and implement strategic initiatives to improve grid reliability and resiliency. This includes responsibility for communication deployments on the transmission and distribution systems, data analytics, central engineering, and AMI technology. Ghosal has been with Alabama Power fifteen years and has previously served in several other roles within the Power Delivery Organization, including Substation Maintenance Engineer, Alabama Control Center Operator, Protection and Control Engineer, Substation Construction Scheduler, Assistant to Power Delivery Senior Vice President, and Connectivity and Innovation Manager.
Brandi Hurst, Alabama Power Company, Senior Market Specialist, has more than thirteen years of experience in the electric utility industry including financial and economic modeling, project analysis, and wholesale load forecasting. She leads cross-functional teams spanning numerous groups within Alabama Power and Southern Company, as well as third-party vendors. Hurst is currently designing and implementing a portfolio of new energy efficiency and demand-side programs to help reduce peak demand and make energy management more accessible across all customer segments.
Jackie Becker, Ameren, Senior Director " Transmission Operations and Maintenance, is responsible for proactive system planning and the asset management and vegetation management teams, ensuring potential issues are identified early. As Senior Director, she leads her team of technical experts and grid operators to ensure safe, reliable service to Ameren's customers. Becker manages four teams: Transmission Operations, monitoring Ameren's transmission grid in real time; Asset Management, monitoring existing assets and responds to storms; Vegetation Management, monitoring vegetation growth and trims trees to ensure reliability and compliance; and Transmission Technical Services, providing software and hardware support to Transmission Operations.
Tyler Clarke, Ameren Missouri, Supervisor — Distribution Services, Underground Division, oversees a group designing heavy underground systems used in large metropolitan areas. He serves as an engineer for a portion of Ameren's Metro St. Louis Service Territory, managing customer-related requests, upgrades, and relocations for businesses. Clarke also manages a twenty-five-million-dollar portfolio of projects for the underground revitalization program, part of Ameren Missouri's Smart Energy Plan.
Morgan Geile, Ameren, Sustainability Program Specialist, is the first full-time sustainability hire at Ameren, supporting corporate sustainability reporting and Environmental, Social, and Governance initiatives. She is responsible for Ameren's voluntary sustainability reporting, addressing stakeholder needs, and co-leads a team managing ESG ratings reports. In her first year, she improved Ameren's ranking from a C to an A rating for its water-related disclosure report to CDP, a nonprofit that challenges companies to be more transparent in how they manage their environmental impacts. Geile also serves as President of Ameren's Multi-Generational Employee Resource Group (ERG) and as Secretary for Ameren's Young Professionals and Sustainability ERG.
Tommy Della Rocco, American Municipal Power, Director " Electrical Engineering, is responsible for ensuring safe, effective operations and maintenance of all AMP generation assets. This encompasses hydro, solar, natural gas, wind, diesel and more, and accounted for approximately thirteen and a half-billion-kilowatt hours of electricity served to members in 2021. He also works in project engineering.
Stephen Ivanko, American Municipal Power, Manager — Cybersecurity and IT Project Portfolio, oversees AMP's cybersecurity awareness efforts, which aim to help employees stay up to date on potential cyberthreats and help them to avoid falling victim to attack. He manages AMP's cyber team, leading efforts to improve AMP employees' abilities to detect and report cybersecurity threats, especially phishing attacks, by implementing a testing and reporting system directly in employees' inboxes. Ivanko also administers Cyber Assessments of AMP members, helping several to reassess their cybersecurity measures.
Michael Kyser, American Municipal Power, Assistant General Counsel, joined the AMP legal department in 2015 as Assistant Deputy General Counsel and was promoted to his current position in 2018. He has facilitated member subscription efforts for generation and program offerings, streamlined contracting processes and procedures, and overhauled outdated policies to ensure ongoing compliance.
Kyle Schimley, American Municipal Power, Director — Generation Optimization and Reporting, oversees facility staff at the AMP Fremont Energy Center (AFEC) and coordinates with generation operations staff at AMP headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Previously, he served as facility manager at the AFEC, recording no lost-time accidents or recordable events, obtaining new air permits to install gas turbine optimization package modifications, and keeping energy production on pace with AMP's original feasibility studies. He recently received the 2021 AMP DNA Award, which recognizes employees who advance AMP's vision and mission.
Tom Sillasen, American Municipal Power, Director — Risk and Internal Controls, recently joined the AMP Risk Department, where he has been instrumental in developing an internal audit and compliance program. His communication skills combined with his power industry knowledge have been invaluable in developing this program. Sillasen is also a strong advocate for public power and a vocal supporter of sustainability efforts, serving on the AMP Carbon Leadership Team.
Bryan Walsh, American Municipal Power, Director of the AFEC Facility, manages the AMP Fremont Energy Center (AFEC) facility, a nominal 700-MW natural gas combined-cycle facility in Fremont, Ohio providing power to eighty-six participating AMP member communities and several organizations. During Walsh's time as director, the AFEC has been awarded the 2019 Return on Environment Award from SUEZ Water Technologies and Solutions for saving water and chemicals, maintaining a strong safety record of nine years and four months, counting without a lost-time accident or recordable event, and recording its peak record net generation total of 745 MW.
Omaya Ahmad, Arizona Public Service, Sustainability Policy Consultant, advises on social and governance policy and strategy for sustainability, helping APS advance its clean-energy commitments. She plays an integral role in stakeholder engagement and planning for community transitions. Prior to her current role, Ahmad was part of APS's federal and state regulation organizations, working on regional transmission planning and the company's prior rate case. Today, she uses her variety of skills in engineering, education, sustainability, and even performing arts to cross industry boundaries and creatively approach the energy transition.
Justin Danielson, Arizona Public Service, Manager — Warehouse, oversees forty-four Gas & Oil, Transmission & Distribution, and Solar warehouses across the state of Arizona. He recently reduced fifty-two percent of storeroom inventory, ensuring critical equipment was identified and marked to ensure reliability. Following this, he created a new process optimizing the company's inventory management. Danielson also helped manage an over ten-million-dollar reduction in inventory by analyzing and implementing new software. He was instrumental in developing and implementing a new system for hauling material to job sites and for intra-warehouse operations, focusing on efficiency, mobility, and providing a greater customer experience.
Daniel Haughton, Arizona Public Service, Director — Customer to Grid Solutions, and his teams plan the future distribution infrastructure for the rapidly growing State of Arizona, as well as residential and commercial renewable technology integration. Under his leadership, the Customer to Grid Department has supported a record twenty percent increase in residential solar interconnections year-over-year, with a total of 1.3 gigawatts of rooftop solar capacity. The department has also launched energy storage and other technology programs for customers, paving the way for APS to adopt four hundred fifty thousand light-duty electric vehicles into its service territory by 2030.
Brandy Labinjo, Arizona Public Service, Leader — Transportation Operations, and her team manage the Transportation Fleet, working to improve lead time and avoid aftermarket modification costs by standardizing APS's fleet. Labinjo's career at APS includes time as a financial analyst supporting Transmission and Distribution O&M and Capital where she streamlined processes, implemented training, and found cost savings. She was quicky promoted to senior financial analyst, where she led budgeting and business processes and trained and mentored other analysts. Labinjo is also greatly involved in APS's African American Employee Network Group, having served as chair and in other leadership roles.
Leila Zaghloul-Daly, Arizona Public Service, Manager — Culture, Learning, and Inclusion, recently led scaled behavior change across the enterprise, centering on growth, mindset, and company principles. Simultaneously, she led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts, developing a multi-year strategy for conducting employee listening sessions, an executive and HR DEI education series, and a formal Inclusion calendar to celebrate and recognize various heritages. Zaghloul-Daly also led efforts to publish an Annual Inclusion Report for the second year in a row. As a result, APS was honored with the 2021 Inclusive Workplace Award from Diversity Leadership Alliance and the Arizona Society for Human Resources Management State Council.
Leon Cheung, British Columbia Utilities Commission, Senior Manager — Rates Team, is the BCUC's leading expert in automobile insurance products and all financial, credit, and cost-of-capital proceedings. These highly specialized, niche areas are necessary for the BCUC in meeting its mandate to ensure its regulated utilities can make a fair return on their investments. During the BCUC's Inquiry into the Electric Vehicle Charging Services, Cheung led his team through numerous detailed evidence, submissions, and testimony that unveiled key issues for regulating a public utility operating in a competitive market.
Charlene de Boer, British Columbia Utilities Commission, Manager — Energy, serves on the Energy Supply, Compliance and Mandatory Reliability Standards team. She is responsible for providing leadership and technical analysis to teams of Staff who have diverse skills needed to work on unusually complex projects. Most recently, she helped develop one of the largest projects at the BCUC, a Confidentiality Framework for fuel price data submitted to the BCUC as Administrator of the Fuel Price Transparency Act.
Aidan Kehoe, British Columbia Utilities Commission, Manager — Energy, is responsible for complex energy transactions and applications focused on utility policy. Aidan leads teams evaluating energy related matters such as emerging policy and transmission. He also leads the review of applications to adapt regulation to unique circumstances. One of Aidan's greatest traits is his ability to communicate complex information to those who do not share his knowledge or background in energy, policy, and risk management.
Josh O'Neal, British Columbia Utilities Commission, Manager — Energy and Fuel Price Transparency Act, is responsible for leading and training the energy supply and FPT Act teams. He recently project managed a year-long Retail Pilot exercise. He also played an integral role by supporting the BCUC to produce a Retail Pilot Report to the government, which included recommendations for future fuel data collection.
Phil Stallard, British Columbia Utilities Commission, Manager — Facilities and Planning, serves as the BCUC's resident expert on demand-side management, coaching others as they navigate their way through this complex subject. He recently led the Staff team for the BCUC's Indigenous Utilities Regulation Inquiry. This included travelling across British Columbia to facilitate public workshops, synthesizing volumes of technical information into comprehensible outcomes, retaining and organizing external experts on a scope of work, and managing the completion of the inquiry reports. He currently leads large teams of Staff in proceedings and inquiries.
Luke Thompson, British Columbia Utilities Commission, Manager — Systems Architecture and IT Operations, leads six team members in developing and implementing all the BCUC's systems, solutions, architecture, and delivery of IT services. He also works with the BCUC's internal and external stakeholders to oversee their current and future IT needs. He works to protect critical and vital information and systems and prepare a road map for the modernization of the BCUC's information and technology. Thompson has spearheaded structuring and organizing the IT environment and projects to enhance the organization's resiliency and security. His approach has recently been adopted by senior leadership and projects in progress.
Emily Asnicar, Burns & McDonnell, Senior Civil Engineer " Energy Group, is responsible for layout and design of power-related projects, creating project specifications, estimating site development costs, providing permitting documents and permitting support, and obtaining field data for civil design. She has served as lead civil engineer on several major EPC power projects and played an integral role in the success of the design and construction of a new 345-MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The project was award winning.
Madhu Bhargava, Burns & McDonnell, Section Manager, has been an employee-owner at the company since 2018. She has grown the Distribution and Grid Modernization business from the ground up to over thirty engineers and professionals under her leadership in the Chicago office. A critical team member of one of the nation's most complex grid investment programs, Bhargava works directly with project managers, engineers, designers, directors, and construction professionals both within and outside the company with the client and subcontractors. She also works across multiple functional areas, leveraging her strategic mindset, technical background, and project management skills to develop projects for the distribution portfolio.
Brandon Graves, Burns & McDonnell, Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Project Manager, manages EPC project teams, providing them with the resources and guidance they need to develop successful, cost-effective solutions for clients. His portfolio includes managing the permitting, design, and construction of substation and transmission line projects ranging from 4.16-kV to 500-kV. He recently served as EPC project manager on the Boone to Ward Hollow EPC project, a transmission system reliability improvement project between Boone and Kanawha counties in West Virginia. The four-year long project was one of the company's most complex to date, due to its location in the Appalachian Mountains.
Matt Kram, Burns & McDonnell, Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Project Manager, has over fifteen years of experience in the construction industry, focusing on EPC power plant projects. His diverse skill set includes designing constructability integration and construction execution, power plant commissioning, project controls, client relations, project financials, contract management, project planning, and field operations. Kram has played a pivotal role in integrating the company's engineering and construction capabilities and has been instrumental in the award of several large capital projects. He currently manages two large gas turbine projects for a utility in the southeast.
Chidiebere Okoye, Burns & McDonnell, Assistant Department Manager — Instrumentation & Controls Group, is an alumnus of the 2019 class of Emerging Leaders, a Burns & McDonnell program that selects forty employee-owners for training, support, and mentorship from senior leadership. He has participated in several projects since, including serving as field engineer and startup manager for the construction and commissioning for the SaskPower Queen Elizabeth Power Station. Chidiebere was also pivotal in helping develop tools to manage internal resources and track labor loading. He recently led an internal effort working across the company to integrate information from databases and develop reports and applications to help management forecast resources and manage workload.
Kayla Voller, Burns & McDonnell, Project Manager — Electrical Engineering, serves as a project manager, helping clients modernize the grid and build critical infrastructure to power communities, homes, and businesses. A professional engineer, she has helped manage more than one hundred twenty-five projects, totaling nearly twenty-two million dollars in engineering revenue. Voller recently served as program manager for a utility client in Colorado. She implemented a gas and electric integrated-resource plan to help diversify the utility's energy portfolio, incorporating renewable energy into the utility's infrastructure.
Christianna Ambo-Jones, Con Edison, Section Manager in Program Delivery and Customer Engagement — Energy Efficiency, and her team provide energy efficiency and Clean Heat solutions to the largest energy customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. She ensures that processes and systems are designed to expedite the completion of complex equipment installation projects and incentive payments to customers. She assumed her current role after more than ten years of experience in utility energy efficiency programs in the small business, multifamily, and residential sectors. She also serves as an organizational leader for Con Edison's initiative to support managers in recruiting and hiring practices that promote diversity.
Jessica Friedland Lau, Con Edison, Section Manager — Benefits, and her team are responsible for employee health and welfare. During the pandemic, she volunteered to join the company's Pandemic Team full time while maintaining the day-to-day responsibilities of her primary role. She was part of the team that developed a health app and COVID dashboard to track absences. She also provided guidance to employees via town halls on the company's return to the workplace and was responsible for assisting in development of the plans.
Rebecca Lessem, Con Edison, Section Manager — Customer Operations, leads a team focused on enhancing the customer journey and designing and evaluating customer success metrics. Her contributions have increased customer satisfaction associated with customer communications when an outage occurs. The outage communication efforts later won the Chartwell Gold Outage Communications Award. Lessem has also helped launch Con Edison's first customer-facing virtual assistant, Watt, in 2021. The virtual assistant effort has won numerous awards, including the Esource Achievement in Utility Customer Experience and Stevie's Best Use of Technology in Customer Service awards.
Rebecca Roberts, Con Edison, Section Manager — Management Audit, has led many initiatives within Con Edison's Customer Energy Solutions department. She recently led the Innovative Pricing Pilot, a multi-year rate pilot designed to test the impact of demand-based rates on customer behavior. Under her leadership, the pilot enrolled 295,000 customers on seven delivery rate structures, utilizing smart-meter technology to inform mass-market rate strategy. Roberts is also a leader in Con Edison's Empower Balance initiative to increase diversity by removing unconscious bias in the hiring process. She currently leads a team responding to the ongoing 2021 New York Public Service Commission Management and Operations Audit.
Jonathan R. Tijerina, CPS Energy, Vice President — Enterprise Risk & Development, is a veteran of the utilities industry with twelve years of company service. He currently leads the risk and internal controls program, products, and services, as well as business and economic development. Tijerina recently led the creation of an internal Innovation Council. As Chair of the initiative, he guides a cross-functional group of leaders seeking opportunities to learn, test, and validate new technologies emerging within the industry. He has also led development of a limited deployment effort with Quidnet on a landmark agreement to build a geomechanically pumped storage project in Texas.
Kari Torres Meyer, CPS Energy, Director — Federal & State Relations, represents the largest municipally owned electric and natural gas utility in the country. She recently collaborated with industry partners to help pass legislation adding utility vehicles to the Texas Move Over/Slow Down law, which previously only applied to emergency responder vehicles, TxDOT vehicles and tow trucks. She is also an active participant in the Texas Public Power Association, Texas Business Leadership Council, Large Public Power Council, and others.
Adriana N. Vélez-León, Dentons, Managing Associate, has established herself as an integral member of the Energy Group. Her critical insight into clients' day-to-day operational demands, as well as the dynamic long-term challenges facing the energy industry, has fostered her dedication to helping clients achieve success. Within her energy practice, Adriana has extensive experience representing numerous clients in complex administrative litigation and settlement negotiations before the FERC, and in a variety of proceedings concerning FERC regulations and rulemakings, ratemaking matters, interconnection disputes, exit charge methodology, tariff overhauls, and compliance filings.
Aaron Cope, Edison Electric Institute, Manager of Investor Relations, manages key finance-related activities, including the EEI Financial Conference, the industry's premier event bringing together C-suite executives and major investors. Cope is an emerging leader in EEI's Environmental, Social, and Governance activities and leads EEI's Investor Relations and Treasury Committees. He serves as the co-chair of EEI's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and recently finished a two-year term as vice president of the American Association of Blacks in Energy's D.C. Chapter.
Riaz Mohammed, Edison Electric Institute, Director — Resiliency and Environmental Policy, has been instrumental in developing and advancing partnerships across the industry and government to help mitigate wildfire risk. These efforts have resulted in the rapid deployment of technologies from the Department of Energy's National Labs and the private sector, helping to improve situational awareness, better predict fire risk, and strengthen electrical infrastructure to operate more safely in high-winds and dry conditions. These industry-government partnerships also have expedited vegetation management on federal lands, increased the use of unmanned aerial systems, and improved fire response and recovery processes.
Charles Satterfield, Edison Electric Institute, Senior Manager of Electric Transportation, brings an economics background and sharp analytical mind to EEI's expanding portfolio of work on electric transportation. His work includes helping the nation's investor-owned electric companies implement customer programs to support electric vehicle adoption, building collaborations among electric companies and stakeholders, and supporting policy development and implementation.
Samuel Johnson, EPRI, Senior Project Manager, oversees the Balance-of-Plant and Generation Solutions Program for the EPRI Non-Destructive Evaluation Technology group. He manages engineers and scientists performing research and development on non-destructive evaluation solutions for a wide range of safety critical components spanning the nuclear, fossil, hydro, wind, and solar electric generation industries. Johnson also represents EPRI on the Non-Destructive Evaluation Research Integration Committees for both the Nuclear and Generation Sector Power Councils. He is currently helping EPRI determine how to effectively engage with research to better support the oil and gas pipeline industry through his outreach to the Pipeline Research Council International organization.
Aidan Tuohy, EPRI, Program Manager — Bulk System Integration of Renewables & DER, has led many research initiatives on topics such as resource adequacy, impact of variable generation on power system scheduling, integration of renewable generation forecasting, and value of new flexible resources such as demand response and energy storage. Tuohy has recently served as a Technical Advisor on Hawaiian Electric's Integrated Grid Planning efforts. He also chairs the Energy Systems Integration Group working group on Operating Impacts and Market Design and is secretary of the IEEE Renewable Systems Integration Coordinating Committee.
Agatha Vaaler Kazdan, Electric Power Research Institute, Principal Technical Leader — Advanced Buildings, leads EPRI's research on affordable and equitable housing. She has led the development of net-zero, connected communities in partnership with housing authorities, low-income housing providers, local government, commercial builders, and other stakeholders. As a trained architect, Agatha has designed and implemented numerous customer programs in multiple roles at electric utilities, implementers, and non-governmental organizations.
Gabriella Passidomo, Florida Public Service Commission, Commissioner, is the youngest serving state utility regulator in the country, with legal experience within both state and federal agencies. She currently serves on NARUC's Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety and was recently appointed to the Financial Research Institute's Advisory Board.
Nicole Fry, Guidehouse, Director — Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure, helps utility clients transition to a cleaner and more efficient energy future. Fry has influenced national energy policy and practice, serving previously in positions with the federal government, including in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy and as Deputy Associate Director of Energy Efficiency at the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the Obama Administration. Today, she has advised more than twenty clients in solving challenges in the energy industry, bringing expertise in strategic planning, market research, and program evaluation for energy efficiency and distributed energy resource programs and pilots.
Andrea Roszell, Guidehouse, Director — Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure & Canadian Energy Providers Lead, has over twelve years of experience advising utilities, system operators, and large users on a range of topics related to decarbonization and the broader energy transition. Roszell has played a pivotal role in understanding how low-carbon gas can support Canada's decarbonization pathways. She has helped utilities transform their tools and processes for advanced investment planning, developed regulatory and policy roadmaps to support the energy transition, worked closely with utility executives to develop business unit growth strategies, and supported multiple engagements related to electrification of transportation.
Danielle Vitoff, Guidehouse, Director — Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure Segment, leads the Decarbonization Solutions team, a global team with an over thirty-million-dollar line of business, focused on developing innovative decarbonization solutions and tools for clients. As part of this team, Vitoff directed development of Guidehouse's low-carbon pathways tool, built to evaluate decarbonization scenarios across the energy system. She also stood up Guidehouse's low-carbon fuels team and continues to provide strategic support for initiatives such as Guidehouse's Hydrogen Consortium, which brought together over twenty organizations to build the commercial business case for hydrogen projects focused on decarbonizing heavy transport and increasing renewable integration.
Rachel Wiedewitsch, Iowa Utilities Board, Utility Analyst 1 — Regulatory Analysis Section, reviews purchased gas adjustment filings by one of Iowa's larger rate-regulated utilities, assisting the Board with the establishment of a recovery plan for the abnormal expenses related to the 2020 polar vortex. She currently analyzes filings by Iowa's rate-regulated utilities for large energy infrastructure projects to construct additional renewable energy in the state. Wiedewitsch also plays an active role in following federal and regional matters, including developments with FERC, MISO, and the Organization of MISO States. She has especially led on developments related to distributed energy resources and FERC Order 2222.
Matt Bracey, Iowa Utilities Board, Senior Utility Analyst — Customer Service Section, works on major IT projects for the agency, from transitioning an outdated storage system to the Oracle cloud to managing the launch of a contact management system that integrates with the IUB's electronic filing system. His implementation of data oversight tools has increased management's visibility of docket trends, customer complaints, and overall productivity in general areas such as pipeline petitions or electric transmission franchise permitting. Bracey is currently working on a large project for the State of Iowa's implementation of a new HR and financial system.
Hunter Fors, Iowa Utilities Board, Attorney 2 — Regulatory Law Section, has been instrumental in modernizing and improving Iowa's rules regarding electric transmission franchises and pipeline petitions to make them more efficient and to ensure clarity for industry and the protection of landowner interests. After the IUB received multiple filings related to carbon-capture pipeline proposals, Fors took on a leadership role navigating logistical and legal issues being presented with first-of-their-kind projects in Iowa.
Stefanie Krevda, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Commissioner, has served on NARUC's committees and subcommittees for Energy Resources and the Environment, Critical Infrastructure, Clean Coal and Carbon Management, and is part of the NARUC-DOE Nuclear Energy Partnership. Krevda is one of the Commission's experts on cybersecurity, leading internal cybersecurity working groups and serving as the IURC's designee to Governor Eric Holcomb's Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity. Her efforts have also brought utility stakeholders together to participate in forums on cybersecurity to encourage industry communication and prevent bad actors in the cyber realm.
David Ober, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Commissioner, has taken on pivotal roles as President of the Organization of PJM States, Inc. and Chair of the National Regulatory Research Institute Board of Directors in his four years as Commissioner. In both roles, Ober is guiding these organizations and helping navigate the transformative period that utilities across the nation are facing. He took a new job at end of June.
Alek Milewski, Iowa Utilities Board, Utility Regulation Engineer 1 — Safety and Engineering Section, reviews pipeline renewal petitions and requests for new pipeline permits. He played a key role in coordinating Staff presentations for the IUB's triennial state pipeline safety conference held jointly with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in February 2022. IUB leadership sees Alek taking on increasingly complex engineering duties within the Safety and Engineering section as he advances in his career.
Benjamin Baker, Maryland Public Service Commission, Director of the Telecommunications, Gas & Water Division, joined the Commission as a Regulatory Economist in the Electricity Division in 2017. He has since held several positions of increasing responsibility, including Assistant Director of the Commission's Energy Analysis & Planning Division. He currently leads the Commission's efforts on supplier consolidated billing and is a regular contributor to rate case proceedings. Baker also regularly facilitates work groups of thirty to fifty individuals with diverse interests and was the lead evaluator in the review of Benefit Cost Analysis of Energy Storage projects.
Amanda Best, Maryland Public Service Commission, Senior Technical Advisor, was promoted to directly advise the Commission's five Commissioners after serving the Division of Energy Analysis & Planning. Best leads the Electric Vehicles work group and manages the ongoing efforts to promote offshore wind development in Maryland. She is also responsible for advising the Commission on the operation of Maryland's successful energy efficiency program (EmPOWER). Beyond her role, Amanda serves on the NARUC-NASEO Task Force on Distribution System Planning. She also chairs NARUC's Staff Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues & Waste.
Samrawit Dererie, Maryland Public Service Commission, Staff Engineer III, is currently the Engineering Division lead for a docketed case in the Commission's grid modernization initiative for Distribution System Planning for Maryland Electric Utilities. She is also participating in efforts to develop Staff training for reviewing utility forecasting methodologies related to Multi-Year Programs and Distribution System Planning associated with a grant of Technical Assistance from the Department of Energy's Grid Modernization Lab Consortium.
James Gregor, Maryland Public Service Commission, Staff Attorney II, started in the Commission's Staff Counsel Division with no experience as a practicing attorney, and no experience in utility law. Despite this, he has learned quickly and excelled with increasing levels of responsibility. He recently served as lead counsel for Commission Staff in a utility rate case, managing the case by tracking procedural deadlines, reviewing and filing Staff testimony, and negotiating a difficult settlement process. Gregor has also taken the lead in cases considering whether to grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a solar generating facility and reviewing the maintenance of Maryland's only privately owned toll bridge.
Michael Jiang, Maryland Public Service Commission, Regulatory Economist I — Energy Analysis and Planning Division, is one of the go-to economists for the entire Technical Staff at the Commission. One of his primary roles was monitoring, analyzing, and reporting on the EmPOWER Maryland programs for Baltimore Gas & Electric and Washington Gas Light. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jiang served as cost-of-service witness in his first time as an expert witness in a rate case, despite restrictions on in-person hearings and a lack of in-person hearing preparation. His well-reasoned and thorough testimony strongly defended PSC positions on a complicated topic and challenged the utility company on a significant issue.
Drew McAuliffe, Maryland Public Service Commission, Director — Electricity Division, joined the MDPSC as a Regulatory Economist in the Commission's Electricity Division in 2016. His technical contributions cover a diverse array of regulatory topics including Multi-Year Rate Plans, Electric Vehicles, Supplier Diversity, and Community Solar. McAuliffe testifies before the Maryland General Assembly during its annual legislative session and regularly trains other Staff members in the areas of rate of return, rate design, and cost of service. He also participates in several workgroups at the Commission, serving as a senior member of the Multi-Year Rate Plans, Community Solar, Net Metering, and Electric Vehicles work groups.
Ann Barrett Ladner, Mississippi Power, Finance Director & Assistant Treasurer, leads the treasury function, and directs the financial planning, financial analysis, forecasting, and budgeting departments. She also leads the company's overall finance activities and financial strategy development. Ladner has played a key role in all regulatory and financial analysis over the past decade. She was essential in the development of two separate multi-year rate plans designed to mitigate customer impacts while maintaining the company's financial integrity.
Davis Gates, Mississippi Public Service Commission, Legal & Policy Advisor, engages with both utilities and consumers to constructively craft policies, rules, and the advancement of the state. He approaches tasks and projects with a proactive attitude, actualizing the vision of the agency while demonstrating competency in the sector. He also recently pioneered data requests from the state's utilities following the February 2021 catastrophic Winter Weather Event to assist the review of the reliability and resiliency of the state's infrastructure.
Edna Mariñelarena, Moody's Investors Service, Assistant Vice President — Analyst, is a lead analyst in Moody's Global Infrastructure Finance Group covering a portfolio of regulated electric, gas, and water utilities, natural gas pipelines, and power generating companies including waste-to-energy and nuclear. Mariñelarena has been with Moody's for eleven years, previously covering local government and municipally owned utilities as part of the Public Finance Group. She was instrumental in the rollout of the ESG Credit Impact Scores for regulated utilities over the last year and has spoken extensively on the impact of severe weather on the sector, including last year's winter storm in the Texas region and wildfires in the west.
April Contreras, New York Power Authority, Key Account Executive, helps New York State meet the nation's most ambitious clean-energy goals. She was promoted into this role in 2021 after serving as an Associate Project Engineer, handling implementation of energy efficiency projects. Contreras collaborates with customers to develop solutions that meet their energy goals and utilizes her project management and engineering experience to streamline processes. She also supports NYPA's Smart Street Lighting NY program, which has facilitated streetlighting upgrades in more than twenty-five western and central New York municipalities and managed the thirty-eight-million-dollar streetlighting purchase and conversion project in Syracuse.
Jungmin Hou, New York Power Authority, Senior Project Engineer — Waterway Infrastructure, leads major projects to reimagine the New York State Canal System, from concept design to pre-bid while staying on schedule and within budget. Two of these projects are the development of the Brockport Loop Pedestrian Bridge, the first large-scale infrastructure built under New York's Reimagine the Canals Initiative, and the redevelopment of the historic Guy Park Manor in Amsterdam. Hou also manages the New York State Canal Corporation's Code Compliance and Energy Efficiency Western project, focusing on lighting retrofits, improving HVAC systems, and upgrading the building to meet current code.
Carley Hume, New York Power Authority, Chief of Staff — Office of the CEO, directly supports the President and CEO in overseeing and leading NYPA. This includes identifying, developing, and implementing priority projects for the Authority. Hume serves as a bridge between NYPA and its external and sister agencies and leads the Authority's interactions with the New York State Executive Chamber. She also partners with NYPA's Corporate Communications team on the President and CEO's external engagements and activities. In this role, she looks at all opportunities through a strategic lens to ensure they are aligned with the Authority's overall mission and vision.
John Schuh, North Dakota Public Service Commission, General Counsel, combines his backgrounds in business, finance, and law, to translate complex regulatory concepts and challenges into common sense solutions to address core issues such as reliability, affordability, fairness, and environmental protection. He works to navigate and advance solutions while balancing competing interests and factors both within the Commission and externally with stakeholders and the public. His multifaceted background enables him to speak and write so that the public and legislators can better understand complex concepts.
Sarah Ross, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Commissioner Aide, assists Commissioners Beth Trombold and Lawrence Friedeman with cases and advising on policy issues, and organizing formal Commission meetings and stakeholder roundtable discussions, such as recent energy efficiency forums. She facilitates Commissioners' schedules and public appearances, while keeping a pulse on the agency, stakeholder, and policymaking discussions across the country. Ross is also incoming co-chair of the National Association of Regulatory Staff Committee on Electricity.
Rose Anderson, Oregon Public Utility Commission, Senior Economist, is the architect of the OPUC's engagement on some of the most technical and consequential planning issues it decides. She has led an initiative to independently model the lowest-cost ways for utilities to meet state mandates on greenhouse-gas reductions. She has also articulated why new analyses of market-price risk, coal-contract risks, emerging-technology opportunities and transmission costs are necessary for customer protection and led development of meaningful scenarios and modeling approaches to deliver answers. Anderson has recently begun leading a multistate negotiation on cost allocation and clean-energy implementation across PacifiCorp's six-state service territory.
Victoria Hampton, Pioneer Utility Resources, Associate Editor, blends writing feature and energy news stories with managing annual reports and editing and designing pages for the company's magazine members. An organized, efficient communicator, she connects with C-suite staff and field personnel to create engaging features. She is currently working to earn a Certified Cooperative Communicator certification.
Walt Farrell, Southern Company, Assistant to the Executive Vice President of External Affairs and Nuclear Development for Georgia Power, supports Management Council Member and EVP with the company's policies and activities in community and economic development, corporate communication, environmental affairs, governmental and regulatory affairs, region external affairs, land management, pricing and planning. and nuclear development. He also supports the company's charitable giving and social justice social initiatives. He recently managed Georgia Power's Statewide Economic Development Team, supporting the facilitation of site-selection, start-up, and expansions of businesses investing in Georgia.
Robin Lanier, Southern Company, Director — Renewable Gas, leads development, advancement, and execution of the company's renewable gas strategy. She leads a growing team responsible for renewable gas strategic investment, project development, and asset management efforts, as well as program design and implementation across multiple jurisdictions. Lanier is responsible for representing and advancing renewable gas and serves as a renewable gas expert witness in regulatory proceedings and external forums. She recently worked in Georgia Power's Environmental Affairs Organization as the Environmental Regulatory and Strategy Manager, developing Georgia Power's environmental compliance strategy and capital budgets for the company's electric generation fleet.
Sunish Mathew, Southern Company, Transmission and Markets Manager, works developing and executing strategies for securing and maintaining long-term deliverability from Southern Power's generations assets. He manages interconnection and delivery risks related to operating over 12 GW of gas, wind, solar, battery, and fuel cell generation in fourteen states and nine different energy markets. He has previously led Southern Power's Inclusion Action Team that developed and delivered Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion programs and currently serves on the Inclusion Advisory Council for Southern Company Operations.
JR Robinson, Southern Company, Manager of Governmental Affairs, handles an extensive portfolio of legislative issues on the federal level, as well as managing partnerships with entities outside the company and telecom issues. He recently advocated for a middle-mile program funded by the bipartisan infrastructure bill. He also advocates to Congress on issues such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, providing assistance to those served in Southern Company's territory and those served by utilities around the country.
Angela Amos, Uplight, Director of Market Development and Regulatory Innovation, helps lead and develop the regulatory and commercial strategy for Uplight's cutting-edge, consumer-focused technology. Her experience ranges from bidding and dispatching coal and gas plants early in her career to now fostering innovation in climate tech. Before joining Uplight, Amos served as policy advisor to FERC's late Chair, Kevin J. McIntyre. She also represented the Chair in meetings with stakeholders. As a subject-matter expert, she both directed and contributed to staff analyses related to precedent-setting Commission orders on interconnection, rate design, market structure, and integration of new technologies.
Dan Cross-Call, Uplight, Director of Market Development and Regulatory Innovation, leads regulatory and policy engagement to grow Uplight's clean energy solutions. He engages with external partners and policymakers to improve energy regulations in support of demand-side resources and to enable the integration of large-scale renewable energy. He also works across Uplight's product portfolio to improve business strategy and product fit for available markets. He is a leading developer and designer of performance-based regulation reforms to modernize utility ratemaking for alignment with new public policy goals.
Corey Capasso, Urbint, Founder and CEO, leads his company to work with more than thirty of the largest utility and infrastructure companies in North America to reduce risk in their operations and prevent safety and reliability incidents. Under Capasso's leadership, Urbint is reshaping how the industry thinks about and addresses operational risk, allowing utilities and other critical infrastructure companies to save time and money through operational efficiencies, while protecting critical infrastructure, workers, the community, and the environment.
Amanda Maxwell, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, Executive Director, began her career at the Commission working in safety, consumer protection, and communications. She also managed the Human Resources and Policy Divisions and kept them running smoothly despite critical vacancies and staggering workloads. Maxwell recently championed legislation to increase the UTC's regulatory fees to handle new legislatively mandated responsibilities addressing carbon emissions, protecting low-income utility customers, and implementing new regulatory processes. She has also worked to build equity, diversity, and inclusion into Commission training materials, hiring and promotion processes, and internal policies.