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Site Selector Magazine announced for the fifth consecutive year that Alliant Energy has earned their Top Utility in Economic Development honor. The annual list recognizes the company for its contributions to local community development and job creation.

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At WEC Energy Group's annual meeting of stockholders, Gale Klappa, Executive Chairman, and Scott Lauber, President and CEO, highlighted another strong year on virtually every meaningful measure, from employee safety and customer satisfaction to growth in earnings per share. They also emphasized that the company remains committed to a mission that matters — strengthening the fabric of communities across the Midwest, leading by example and delivering affordable, reliable and clean energy to millions of customers.

Company highlights

  • Reduced carbon emissions from electric generation by nearly 50 percent below 2005 levels.
  • Developed the largest five-year capital plan in company history — including nearly 3,300 megawatts of new renewable capacity to serve We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service customers.
  • Led a pilot program — the first of its kind in the world — to test hydrogen as a fuel source for power generation, in partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute.
  • Continued to strengthen the diversity of company leadership, ending 2022 with the most diverse senior leadership team in company history.
  • Spent $299 million with certified minority-, women-, veteran- and service-disabled-owned businesses.
  • Returned $918 million to WEC Energy Group stockholders through dividends.
  • Increased the dividend level in January 2023 by 7.2 percent to an annual rate of $3.12 per share. This marks the 20th consecutive year of higher dividends


Gov. Tony Evers has announced his appointment of Summer Strand to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC). The appointment fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Ellen Nowak, which was effective March 1. This appointment was effective March 2, 2023, for a six-year term expiring in 2029.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Summer on the State Building Commission for the past several years and I am confident that she will be an asset to the PSC and to the people of Wisconsin in this new role,” said Gov. Evers. “Having worked in several roles within state government and with trade and industry professionals alike, Summer will bring a depth of experience, dedication to service, and collaborative skills necessary to be successful at the PSC. I have no doubt she’ll serve the people of Wisconsin well as we continue building our workforce, economy, and state infrastructure for the 21st century.”

Strand has a long history of public service. Strand currently serves on the State of Wisconsin Building Commission (SBC), having been appointed by Gov. Evers in 2019 to serve as the sole citizen member of the commission.


Xcel Energy's Wisconsin and Michigan’s new President, Karl Hoesly, recently announced the promotion of Mara Ascheman as Regional Vice President of Rates and Regulatory Affairs and Tyrel Zich as Regional Vice President of Regulatory Policy. Both will report directly to President Hoesly.

Ms. Ascheman is currently a principal regulatory attorney with more than 12 years’ experience representing Xcel Energy before the Wisconsin and Minnesota state regulatory commissions in a wide variety of electric and natural gas proceedings. In her new role she will direct the development of regulatory rate case filings and Public Service Commission permitting and oversee the revenue requirements for the Wisconsin and Michigan Company.

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American Transmission Company has promoted four executives who reflect the company’s commitment to the strategic vision of providing safe, reliable transmission service in an increasingly complex electric grid. Jared Winters has been named Vice President, construction and asset maintenance. Debbie Masbruch has been named Vice President, Project Controls, Supply Chain and Analytics. Sarah Justus has been named Director, Major Project Development. Michelle Stokes has been named Director, Field Services.

Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Mike Rowe said, “Promoting these individuals sets ATC up for success as we meet the business challenges of the evolving energy landscape and our strategic priorities.”


Alliant Energy Corporation has announced the appointment of Lisa M. Barton to the newly created role of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective February 27, 2023. In this role, Ms. Barton will work closely with John O. Larsen, Alliant Energy’s Chair and Chief Executive Officer, to execute the company’s investment growth plan and continue advancing Alliant Energy’s work to enable a clean energy future for the customers and communities Alliant Energy serves. She will oversee the company’s two public utility subsidiaries, Interstate Power and Light and Wisconsin Power and Light, as well as Alliant Energy’s customer experience, sustainability and regulatory strategies.

Ms. Barton most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utility companies in the United States. She was responsible for all of AEP’s regulated operations across eleven states and for the health and safety of 16,700 employees. Ms. Barton is known as a passionate advocate for a responsible clean energy transition. She is credited with guiding AEP’s expansion into regulated renewables and shaping the company’s grid reliability and resiliency initiatives.

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Mark Stoering, President, Xcel Energy-Wisconsin and Michigan, is retiring at the end of the year after more than 33 years of service to the company. He played key roles in laying the foundation for the company’s clean energy strategy, including leading the development of community solar in Wisconsin and the first company-owned wind farms.

 “Mark has had a tremendous impact on our company and, more importantly, the hundreds of communities we serve in Wisconsin and Michigan,” said Bob Frenzel, Chairman, President and CEO of Xcel Energy, Inc. “He has always been a great innovator and leader and has built a strong team that will carry on his legacy.”

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Xcel Energy is pleased to announce that Karl Hoesly will succeed Mark Stoering as the next President for Xcel Energy-Wisconsin and Michigan beginning December 1, 2022.

Hoesly has worked for Xcel Energy for 15 years and currently serves as the Regional Vice President for Rates and Regulatory Affairs, a position he has held since 2018. In this role, he provides overall direction and leadership of Xcel Energy’s regulatory affairs function in Wisconsin and Michigan. He is also part of the senior management team that develops the company’s strategy and policies in the regulatory, legislative and customer service areas. Hoesly was previously Manager of Regulatory Affairs. 

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Ave Bie elected to WEC Energy Group board of directors

Ave M. Bie, a business law, utilities and energy attorney, has been appointed to the board of directors of WEC Energy Group Her appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2023.

"We're delighted that Ave has agreed to join the WEC Energy Group board," said Gale Klappa, Executive Chairman. "Her extensive public and private experience in the utility sector will add another layer of depth to an engaged and effective board of directors."

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Xcel Energy Elects New Board Member


  Xcel Energy has announced that has been elected to the company’s Board of Directors effective immediately. Burkhart is an accomplished executive with decades of experience in human resources compensation, culture, and diversity, equity and inclusion. She currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Comerica Incorporated, a major financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. She is responsible for leading the bank’s people strategy and organization for the $94 billion company. Prior to her current role, Burkhart served as Senior Vice president and Director of Compensation. She joined Comerica in 1997.

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American Transmission Company Appoints New Board Member and Treasurer

American Transmission Company has announced that Scott J. Lauber, President and Chief Executive Officer of WEC Energy Group, has joined ATC’s Board of Directors, replacing J. Kevin Fletcher who retired from WEC Energy Group on June 1, 2022. Eric Lundberg, ATC’s Vice President of Finance, was named the company’s Treasurer, a title previously held by Mike Hofbauer, ATC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Lauber was named President and CEO of WEC Energy Group and appointed to the company’s Board of Directors in February 2022. He became President — We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Michigan Gas Utilities and Minnesota Energy Resources in January 2022, and President, Upper Michigan Energy Resources in February 2022. In the president roles, Lauber is responsible for business operations for WEC Energy Group’s utilities in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. Lauber joined Wisconsin Energy Corporation in 1990 and has held positions of increasing responsibility, including financial manager, distribution operations, and manager, corporate accounting and budgeting.

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Xcel VP for Regulatory Affairs Named for Texas-New Mexico Service Area

Brooke Trammell, who has served as regional vice president for Rates and Regulatory Affairs for Xcel Energy’s Colorado jurisdiction since 2018, has accepted the position of Regional Vice President for Regulatory and Pricing for the Texas and New Mexico system, succeeding Bill Grant who is retiring June 1. Trammell has been with Xcel Energy for almost a decade, starting in Amarillo as a regulatory case specialist in September 2012 before taking the role of rate case manager in 2014.

She left regulatory in 2016 when she was named director for Customer and Community Relations in Texas and New Mexico.


PEOPLE | May 2022

American Transmission Co. has named Greg Levesque Vice President of External Affairs and Communications.

In this newly created position, Levesque will oversee policy, government affairs, real estate, environmental, customer relations, interconnection services, local relations and corporate communications.

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Mayuri Farlinger has been named vice president of customer and community engagement effective January 1, 2022. Farlinger’s promotion was announced by Terry Kouba, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company and Senior Vice President of Operations. With this announcement, over one third of Alliant Energy’s senior executive officers are now female. 

“Mayuri’s proven and ongoing leadership and initiative at Alliant Energy energizes others and delivers positive results,” according to Kouba. “Her passion for providing innovative solutions is critical to delivering on our purpose to serve customers and build stronger communities.” 

In this role, Farlinger is responsible for growing Alliant Energy’s customer base in Iowa by leading the company’s economic development, community engagement and account management areas. She will direct and provide leadership for regulatory activities and initiatives supporting all electric and natural gas customers in Iowa. Farlinger also is responsible for directing and implementing the day-to-day delivery of gas and electric service, power plant operations in Eastern Iowa, as well as working with the company’s Safety Blue Hat program across the state.


Xcel Energy has named Bob Frenzel President and CEO of the company. Ben Fowke, the current Chairman will remain at Xcel Energy as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. Tim O’Connor was also named Executive Vice-President and Chief Operations Officer.

“I am humbled and honored today to take over as CEO of Xcel Energy. It’s been a privilege to work alongside Ben for the last five years. I am grateful for his leadership, vision and careful stewardship of this great company. This is an exciting time to be in the energy industry, and I look forward to leading us into the future with a focus on our strategic priorities, including being an agile and innovative company and our commitment to elevating the customer experience,” according to Frenzel.

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WILLIAM (BILL) FINKE received his Civil Engineering degree from the Univ. of Cincinnati in 1960 followed by his M.B.A. from Xavier University. After graduation, Bill served the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a First Lieutenant, Platoon Leader, and Supply Officer. After his military service, Bill returned to Marquette University Law School where he received his J.D.
For the next 45 years, Bill worked for the Wisconsin Energy Corporation (now WEC Energy Group, Inc.) where he retired as the Senior Corporate Counsel. Bill’s love of trains is evidenced in his early surveying and drafting work as an engineering co-op student during his undergrad years to his pro bono work in retirement for the East Troy Railroad Museum, Inc. d/b/a East Troy Electric Railroad. Bill is active in many community organizations, including the American Legion and Veterans.

THOMAS HANSON retired from Alliant Energy Corporation (AEC) as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2016 after a 36-year career with the company. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with degrees in Accounting and Transportation & Public Utilities, Hansen served AEC his entire career. Working his way up from Accounting to Accounting Supervisor, he worked on tax, treasury, internal audits, and financial planning areas.
He was responsible for strategic planning, investor relations, IT, and insurance and risk management. Hansen served as chair of the Executive Review and Risk Committee, Executive IT Steering Committee, and Investment Committee. Since retiring, Hansen has been volunteering on the boards of multiple non-profits, traveling with his wife, spending time with their 6 grandchildren, and restoring prairie flowers/grasses at their property in Richland County.


Tom Metcalfe, President of We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, will leave Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group at the end of the year, the utility has reported. Metcalfe has told the company that he and his family have made the difficult decision to relocate to Australia for personal reasons.

In a message to employees, WEC Energy Group Executive Chairman Gale Klappa and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Fletcher said Metcalfe “will remain fully engaged in carrying out his responsibilities through the end of this year, and he will continue to support the company until his retirement in July, 2022.” WEC has indicated a new president would be
named later this year.

2020 Annual Membership Meeting

Thank you to everyone who virtually attended this year’s WUI Annual Meeting of Members. Your board of directors appreciate you taking time to join us. The board is also grateful to all members who participated in the proxy vote by either mailing-in or submitting your votes on-line. The COVID -19 pandemic of 2020 has pushed us into our homes, and into a unknown and always learning virtual world. WUI is grateful for your support, voice, and participation.

Chairman of the Board, Roger Cole, led this year’s virtual Annual Business meeting. Roger announced the results from the proxy vote for the Annual Meeting: the acceptance of the 2019 Board minutes; Jeff West and Roger Cole were re-elected to the board of directors; and election of Connie Lawniczak and Greggory Bollom to the Board of Directors. Following Kenyon Kies’ treasurer’s report, Executive Director James Buchen presented the 2019- 2020 legislative update.

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Meet 2020 Board of Director Nominee: Connie Lawniczak

Connie Lawniczak began her career at Wisconsin Public Service in 1981 as a student employee in the Electric Distribution Department. Following her graduation from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, she joined the Environmental Services Department. Connie held positions of increasing responsibility in the environmental group until becoming the Assistant to the President in 2004. At the end of this developmental position, she attended the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School and then was promoted to Director - Environmental Services. As the leader of the department, she was responsible for a staff providing environmental services to the entire Integrys organization in multiple states for both the regulated and unregulated businesses. Much of the group’s work was focused on air and water permitting/compliance for both generation and distribution operations and improving environmental performance corporate-wide. Her group was also responsible for shoreline and forestry management, hydroelectric licensing and compliance, solid and hazardous waste management, emergency planning and spill response, project construction permitting/compliance, remediation of historic sites, natural resources management, laboratory services, and auditing. In her role, she was responsible for environmental strategic planning, development of Company positions on proposed legislation and rules, and participation in negotiations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Federal Regulatory Commission, and the Public Service Commission. She also facilitated the Environmental and Safety Committee of the Integrys Board of Directors. In 2014, Connie was promoted to Assistant Vice President - Environmental and Shared Services. In this role, she was responsible for assisting in the management of the corporate shared services organization and the transition services provided to the Upper Peninsula Power Company following Integrys’ sale of that utility.

Over the course of her 37 year career, Connie had many opportunities to work at the local, state, and national level on numerous environmental policies, programs, rulemakings, and legislation directly and as a member of committees at the Wisconsin Utility Association, Electric Power Research Institute, Edison Electric Institute, and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board and the Trees for Tomorrow Environmental Education Center. Following the acquisition of Integrys Energy by WEC Energy in 2015, Connie served as the Manager - Air Quality Services until her retirement in 2018.

Meet 2020 Board of Director Nominee: Gregory Bollom

Greg retired from Madison Gas and Electric Company in September 2020. At the time he retired, he was Assistant Vice President and Regulatory Consultant with responsibility for providing expert insight and research into regulatory and rate issues across the country. During his almost 38 years career at MGE his responsibilities included generation planning, transmission policy, electric and natural gas sales and revenue forecasting and electric and natural gas pricing. At the time he retired, Greg served as Co-Chair of the Edison Electric Institute Customer Solutions Executive Advisory Committee and as a member of its Electric Transportation Subcommittee. He also served on the Advisory Committee for the Critical Consumer Issues Forum, a collaboration of state utility commissioners, consumer advocates and electric utilities to address important consumer issues at the forefront of the energy policy debate, the Board of the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute, and the Advisory Council for the Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University.

Outside of work, Greg has been a longtime volunteer in the Destination Imagination (creative problem solving) program, a role he continues in his retirement.

Greg has a B.A. degree in economics from St. Norbert College and a M.S. degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin.