FirstEnergy names Chack and Benz to senior vice president positions

AKRON, Ohio, May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) today announced that its Board of Directors has named Dennis M. Chack to senior vice president, Marketing and Branding, and Gary D. Benz to senior vice president, Strategy. The promotions will be effective June 1, 2015.

Chack, currently president, Ohio Operations, will have overall responsibility for corporate branding and marketing of services and energy efficiency programs and will report to FirstEnergy President and Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Jones. He will also oversee the newly created FirstEnergy Products group, which will develop new value-added products and services that benefit customers. Reporting to Chack will be Gretchan Sekulich, vice president, Communications and Marketing, whose new responsibilities include creating a corporate marketing strategy and communications programs to promote FirstEnergy’s brand and new products and services. In addition, she will continue to oversee corporate communications. John Dargie, vice president, Energy Efficiency, will also report to Chack. 

Currently vice president, Supply Chain, Benz will report to executive vice president, Markets and Chief Legal Officer Leila Vespoli. He will lead the ongoing refinement of FirstEnergy’s corporate strategy and long-term business forecast, monitor strategy implementation and oversee development of new business opportunities. Dave Pinter, executive director, Business Development, and Nick Fernandez, director, Business Planning and Performance, will report to Benz.

“Dennis and Gary are experienced leaders with proven track records of building strong stakeholder relationships. Their wealth of experience in the utility industry has provided them with unique insights into the products and services most desired by customers and a solid vision of the future direction of our industry,” said Mr. Jones. “I am confident that their leadership of FirstEnergy’s strategy and marketing efforts will help us achieve our goal of providing safe, reliable service while growing our business and enhancing value for customers and shareholders.” 

Chack began his career in the Transmission Engineering department of Ohio Edison in 1969. He held a number of management positions in marketing and sales with the company before being promoted to vice president of FirstEnergy Solutions, the company’s competitive subsidiary, in 1999. Chack was named regional president of the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company in 2001, and president of Ohio Operations in 2011. 

A native of Akron, Chack earned a degree in sales and marketing from The University of Akron. He is currently a member of the Cleveland Clinic Board of Trustees, the Cleveland Clinic Health Network, chairman of the Board of Marymount Hospital, chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland, member of the Akron General Health System Board of Directors, and board member for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 

Benz joined the company in 1989 as an attorney. He was promoted to senior counsel in 1997 and associate general counsel in 2000. Benz was named director of Business Development in 2009 and to executive director in 2011. He was promoted to vice president of Supply Chain in 2012.

Benz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and received a law degree from the University of Toledo. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the Community Health Center Foundation. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the Bowling Green State UniversityCollege of Business Administration and also is president of the Board of Directors of Friends of The Summit, a nonprofit organization that supports public radio stations 91.3 in Akron and 90.7 in Youngstown.

Photos of Chack and Benz are available on Flickr.

FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.