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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.


Xcel Energy has elected Charles Pardee to its board of directors. Pardeee, who goes by “Chip,” brings over thirty eight years of experience in the energy industry, having held leadership roles in both nuclear and non-nuclear operations. He currently serves as President of Terrestrial Energy, USA in Connecticut. He is also the Chair and Director of the Committee on Nuclear Power for the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation in the United Arab Emirates. He also sits on the nuclear safety advisory board for the Tokyo Electric Power company.
Previously, Pardee was Chief Operating Officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority, overseeing operations, financial management, strategic planning and regulatory management, among other responsibilities. 
He spent 12 years with Exelon Corporation where he held leadership roles as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nuclear Officer, among others. He has worked with several other energy companies, including Florida Power Corporation, Carolina Power and Light, as well as the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. 
Pardee is an expert in risk management, plant operations, financial stewardship, environmental governance and board oversight. He graduated from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management program and holds a B.S. in Marine Engineering Systems from the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for nine years.
“We are delighted to welcome Chip to our Board of Directors and look forward to the vast experience and knowledge he will bring to our organization,” according to Ben Fowke, Chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy. “He is an exceptional leader and will be a true asset to our board.”
Patricia Sampson has announced her retirement from the Board of Directors after thirty-five years. She is the CEO and President of The Sampson Group, Inc., a management development and strategic planning consulting business. She previously served as CEO of the Greater Minneapolis Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.


Gov. Tony Evers has appointed Tyler Huebner to the Public Service Commission filling a vacancy created by the resignation of Mike Huebsch effective February 3, 2020. This appointment was effective March 17, and Huebner will serve out the rest of Huebsch’s term that expires March 1, 2021.

“Tyler has spent his entire academic and professional career focused on energy and efficiency,” said Gov. Evers. “He is a passionate leader, whose experience will serve the Commission and the people of Wisconsin well. I look forward to seeing his good work to ensure safe, reliable, and affordable utility services for folks across our state.”

“I believe my leadership approach and firsthand experience will greatly benefit the Commission because I understand the importance of balancing the needs of utilities and customers, while accelerating Wisconsin’s transition into the 21st century,” said Huebner. “It is an honor to be appointed to the Commission and to continue my career of public service in this new role.”

Huebner has served as the Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin since 2013 promoting the use and improving accessibility of renewable energy in Wisconsin. Prior to his time with RENEW, Huebner worked as an advanced program and policy analyst for the Wisconsin Division of Energy Services at the Wisconsin Department of Administration and as an energy technology program specialist at the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Renewable Energy Division. He earned a Master’s degree in Atmosphere and Energy from the Stanford University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2007 and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Iowa. Huebner lives in Madison with his wife, Heather Driscoll, and their two children.

PEOPLE: February 2020

Tom Lane, Vice Chairman of Energy Capital Partners, has been elected to the board of directors of WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC), effective January 1. The addition of Lane reflects the board’s commitment to succession planning as several directors approach retirement age.

Lane was a partner at Energy Capital Partners from its inception in 2005 through the end of 2016. Prior to joining the private equity firm, Lane, 62, worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs. As a managing director, he provided senior-level coverage for electric and gas utilities, independent power producers and midstream energy companies throughout the country. Lane is a graduate of Wheaton College. He received an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.

The Alliant Energy Board of Directors has appointed Michael D. Garcia as a new director effective January 1, 2020. Mr. Garcia, 55, is President of Domtar Corporation’s (NYSE: UFS; TSX: UFS) Pulp and Paper division, responsible for the strategy and oversight of its pulp, paper and biomaterials businesses. Domtar is North America’s largest producer of uncoated free sheet (white papers) and one of the largest softwood market pulp producers in the world.
“We’re pleased to welcome Michael to our board of directors,” said John O. Larsen, Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO. “As a military veteran with diverse global executive management experience, he will bring fresh insights and a unique perspective that will help us continue to power what’s next for our customers, communities and shareowners.”
Mr. Garcia joined Domtar in 2014 after spending more than four years with Evraz PLC. He was Chief Executive Officer for Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium from 2011 to 2014 and Senior Vice President, Manufacturing & Supply Chain, from 2010 to 2011.
Mr. Garcia is a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Charlotte Branch, and an at-large board member of the United Service Organization (USO) of North Carolina. He is a graduate of The U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds an MBA from Harvard University.


Maria C. Green has joined the board of directors of WEC Energy Group following her election in July.
“We’re delighted that Maria has agreed to serve as a director,” said Gale Klappa, executive chairman. “Her remarkable background in corporate and civic leadership is a perfect fit for an already strong and engaged board of directors.”
Green, 65, retired in June as senior vice president and general counsel for Ingersoll Rand after a 35-year career in law and business. She was responsible for management and oversight of the company’s legal group and a trusted legal and strategic adviser to the company’s chairman and CEO. Prior to joining Ingersoll Rand in 2015, Green served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for Illinois Tool Works in Glenview, Illinois.
Green has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Boston University. A member of the Chicago Urban League executive committee, Green served as chairman from 2015 to 2017