Elects New Members to Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2019 — WIRES, the international trade association that promotes investment in all aspects of the high voltage grid, announced today its newly elected 2020 leadership team, with Tom Hestermann, Manager, Transmission Policy Regulations at Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, elected as the new WIRES President.

The complete slate of WIRES officers for the 2020 term includes:

  • President: Tom Hestermann, Manager, Transmission Policy Regulations, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation
  • President Elect: Brian Drumm, Manager, Federal Regulatory Relations & Policy and Associate General Counsel, American Transmission Co.
  • Vice President: David Weaver, Vice President, Exelon Utilities Transmission
  • Strategy Treasurer: Kelly Pearce, Managing Director, Transmission Asset Strategy & Policy, American Electric Power
  • Secretary: Dan Prowse, Transmission Access Officer, Hydro Connections Department, Manitoba Hydro

Elected to the WIRES Board of Directors for two-year terms are: David Bonenberger, Vice President, Transmission and Substations, PPL Utilities; and Brian Gemmell, Vice President, Transmission Asset Management & Planning and Capital Delivery Electric, FERC, National Grid. Brian is the current 2019 President of WIRES, and David has been elected to serve a second term on the board. Other members of the WIRES Board of Directors include:

  • Priti Patel, Vice President & Chief Transmission Officer at Great River Energy
  • Dan Rogier, Vice President, Transmission Asset Strategy and Policy at American Electric Power
  • Nina Plaushin, Vice President at ITC Holdings

Donna Fulton, Director of Federal Regulatory Policy, Eversource Energy, will retire from the board at the end of the 2019 term.

“The year ahead promises to be a pivotal one,” said Larry Gasteiger, Executive Director of WIRES. “The new energy economy is evolving at a rapid pace, driving the pressing need for new investments in transmission. At the same time, the challenges to getting needed transmission built are ever increasing. WIRES, under the capable leadership of Tom and his strong slate of officers, will continue to work closely with government, industry and stakeholders to advance a more resilient, robust and secure electric transmission grid.”

“As transportation and heating move toward an electrified future and states continue to pursue aggressive renewable portfolio standards, the critical importance of a robust and resilient grid multiplies,” said Tom Hestermann, President of WIRES, and Manager, Transmission Policy Regulations at Sunflower Electric Power Corporation “WIRES will redouble our efforts to educate and advocate for advancements in North America’s transmission infrastructure.”

Leadership on public policy for transmission planning and investment is needed at this critical juncture. A recent report from The Brattle Group projects that $30-to-$90 billion of investments in the electric transmission grid will be required by 2030, and significantly more by 2050, in order to meet the demands of the evolving electrified economy. The report, titled The Coming Electrification of the North American Economy: Why We Need A Robust Transmission Grid, found that electrification of the transportation, heating, and data application sectors will exponentially increase electricity needs, and drive demand for low-carbon and renewable energy resources. A substantially more robust transmission infrastructure will be necessary to support this fundamentally different energy economy.