WASHINGTON, DC — WIRES, a non-profit industry group that promotes investment in the North American transmission system to benefit electricity customers, communities, and the nation’s economy; begins 2019 with a new President and new members of the Board. Brian Gemmell, National Grid,will serve as WIRES President and Michael Madeiros, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, is President-Elect. Other WIRES Officers include: Vice President, Tom Hestermann, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation; Treasurer, Brian Drumm, American Transmission Co.; and Secretary, David Bonenberger, PPL Utilities.

WIRES President Brian Gemmell, is Vice President of Transmission Asset Management & Planning at National Grid. He is optimistic that 2019 can be a year of opportunity for WIRES. “There is a real consensus in this country about the importance of infrastructure investment, and the electric grid is an essential component of that. We are confident that policymakers will agree with what WIRES members have consistently stated for years, namely, that significant upgrades to our transmission grid are necessary to underpin the wellbeing of the US economy by maintaining reliability and resiliency.”

As a Vice President in a company that delivers electricity to millions of consumers in multiple states, WIRES Secretary, David Bonenberger, understands the benefits of taking swift action to the nation’s transmission systems. “The choice is clear. We as a country can either invest in transmission upgrades now, or face steeper costs in the future.”

WIRES Vice President Tom Hestermann recognizes that the lifestyles of American consumers heavily rely on a reliable transmission grid. “Our world is filled with electronics that we’ve come to rely on. Ensuring that the power is there when people need it hinges on a well-maintained transmission grid.”

WIRES Treasurer Brian Drumm sees the need for upgrades to the transmission system as an opportunity. “Investing in our energy grid improves our national security. It also provides us with a chance to build smarter energy infrastructure to prepare for a future where renewable energy makes up a significant portion of our energy mix.”

While policymakers may be at odds on some issues, there is a bipartisan focus in Washington, DC on infrastructure investment and improvement. With new leadership and commitment in 2019, WIRES wants to ensure that electric transmission system are a part of the national conversation about infrastructure because it is critical to the U.S. economy now and in the future. WIRES Board of Directors members already serving in 2019 include: Greg Lemler, Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Priti Patel, Great River Energy/CapX2020; and Donna Fulton, Eversource Energy. Newly elected Directors are Nina Plaushin, ITC Holdings; Dan Rogier, American Electric Power.