Date ArticleType
4/2/2020 Press Release

Vernon J. Peterson of WEC Energy Group is Appointed Chair of the 2020 MEA Board of Directors

MEA Energy Association (MEA) announced today the appointment of Vernon J. Peterson as chair and welcomes the full slate of officers and directors for the 2020 MEA Board of Directors.

Patrick Van Beek, president of MEA, said, “MEA has served the energy industry for 115 years. As partners, we help utilities focus on safely delivering natural gas and electricity. Recently, we passed the gavel of board leadership from Joe Bentley of Indianapolis Power & Light to Vernon J. Peterson of WEC Energy Group. In these unprecedented times, I look forward to working with Vern and the entire board as we work together to continue delivering safe and reliable energy.”

As Vice President of Wisconsin Field Operations Peterson has responsibility for delivering safe and reliable electric and natural gas. In addition to the core electric and gas operations, field operations includes forestry and locating, joint construction, major projects, contractor-vendor relationship management and resource planning. Peterson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.

“Our industry, world, and everyday lives are changing. I am honored to be assuming the chair role and helping lead MEA over this next year,” said Peterson. “We understand that many of our member companies are facing significant challenges as they rapidly adjust to this ever-changing national emergency. As an industry we practice regularly for crisis response and together we will work through this to maintain operational capabilities while keeping our employees and customers safe.”

The slate of board members elected in 2020 follows:

Chair, Vernon J. Peterson, vice president, Wisconsin field operations of WEC Energy Group (Wis.)
1st Vice Chair, John C. Webster, director natural gas division of Hutchinson Utilities Commission (Minn.)
2nd Vice Chair, Eric M. Kozak, vice president, gas operations of Ameren Illinois Company (Ill.)
Treasurer, Steven T. Karolweski, vice president of operations of Groebner (Minn.)
Secretary, Patrick D. Van Beek, president of MEA Energy Association (Minn.)
Past Chair, Barry J. Bentley, senior vice president, customer operations of Indianapolis Power & Light (Ind.)
Executive Committee Delegate, Kevin P. Joyce, director of gas programs of Xcel Energy (Minn.)
Executive Committee Delegate, James J. Lorenz, assistant vice president, electric operations of Madison Gas and Electric (Wis.)

List of Directors:
Wes Ashton, vice president of operations of Black Hills Energy (Ark.)
Mike Beatty, vice president operations gas of Liberty Utilities (Mo.)
Tamara A. Bewley, natural gas market manager of Border States Electric Supply (Mich.)
James M. Conway, vice president customer field operations of ComEd, an Exelon Company (Ill.)
Randy Donaldson, manager technical training of Spire, Inc. (Ala.)
Lori Flores Rolfson, vice president operations of WEC Energy Group - Peoples Gas (Ill.)
James Francis, vice president, safety and system integrity of CenterPoint Energy (Texas)
John Guy, vice president, electric delivery of MidAmerican Energy (Iowa)
Dean Headlee, manager pipeline safety & compliance of CenterPoint Energy (Minn.)
Mark C. Johnson, director SEMI gas operations of DTE Energy (Mich.)
Chris Jones, associate general manager electric supply & delivery of City Utilities of Springfield (Mo.)
Kevin P. Joyce, director of gas programs of Xcel Energy (Minn.)
Jamie Kiely, vice president generation of Evergy (Kan.)
Scott Kranstuber, vice president of sales and marketing of SENSIT Technologies (Ind.)
James J. Lorenz, assistant vice president, electric operations of Madison Gas and Electric (Wis.)
Anthony R. McCain, vice president resource management of Nicor Gas - Southern Company Gas (Ill.)
James J. Miller, director business development of 3Phaseline Construction (Ill.)
Keith E. Moyle, chief operating officer of Upper Peninsula Power Company (Mich.)
Keith E. Napier, director of gas operations of Duke Energy (N.C.)
Mike Nelson, president of Nelson Technologies, Inc. (Minn.)
Chris Shellberg, executive director HVD and forestry management of Consumers Energy (Mich.)
Bobbi L. Schroeppel, vice president, customer care, communications and HR of NorthWestern Energy (S.D.)
Mark Van Dyne, vice president environmental services of Burns & McDonnell (Mo.)
Dave Walter, vice president, power delivery of NiSource, Inc. (Ind.)

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MEA serves the people that deliver electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses. We were founded as a trade association over 110 years ago by distribution utilities whose vision was to improve safety and efficiency. Today, we fulfill the same purpose through education, leadership development, and industry connections. Energy delivery companies, contractors, and suppliers around the country benefit from our 55 summits, roundtables, and webinars, 400+ online technical courses, safety assessments, evaluator training, operator qualification compliance tools, and leadership courses for field personnel.