EVANSVILLE, IN–(Marketwired – May 15, 2015) – Stemming from the upcoming retirement of a tenured executive vice president, Vectren Corporation (NYSE: VVC) Chairman, President and CEO Carl Chapman announced organizational changes today that demonstrate the company’s focus on improving the customer experience for its gas and electric customers, including ensuring continued strong public safety practices and regulatory compliance across its utility operations. Approved by the company’s Board of Directors today, these changes will be effective June 1, 2015, and align with the company’s ongoing succession planning strategy.
Jerome (Jerry) Benkert, Vectren’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer, will retire June 1. He had announced his intentions to step down last spring at which time the chief financial officer role transferred to Susan Hardwick. Benkert was Vectren’s first chief financial officer and has spent nearly 30 years with Vectren or predecessor companies. As the chief administrative officer he retained oversight of the company’s human resources, performance management and strategic sourcing, information technology and customer service departments. Those departments will now transition to other colleagues as noted below.
“Jerry has been an instrumental member of Vectren’s executive staff for nearly three decades, and his profound leadership and utility expertise have been critical to Vectren’s success,” said Chapman. “We wish him nothing but the best in his well-deserved retirement and very much appreciate his service to our company and our community.”
The customer-centric organizational changes include promotions of key individuals and added responsibilities in addition to a change of reporting structure for some key departments to enhance operational performance and internal communication.
“Customers expect their utility to provide safe, reliable energy and equally expect quality customer care,” said Chapman. “These organizational changes will ensure we’re not only meeting those needs today but are anticipating what tomorrow’s customer will expect as new technology transforms the way we interact with and/or deliver energy to our customers, and new regulations continue to drive higher-quality, more secure operations and utility infrastructure. We know the energy business will evolve dramatically over the next decade, and this team will ensure we’re keeping pace with that change.”
An overview of these changes is as follows:
- Dan Bugher, Vectren’s vice president of performance management and strategic sourcing, will move to vice president, customer experience in a newly created position where he will oversee the utility’s customer service team and the revenue management, billing, meter reading, and margin analysis departments. Bugher will report to Rick Schach, senior vice president of utility operations and president of Vectren Utility Holdings, Inc.
- Jim Francis, director of gas engineering, will be promoted to vice president of safety and system integrity, also a new position created to oversee the company’s continued focus on public safety. Francis will manage employee and contractor safety for utility operations as well as oversee all compliance-related departments for gas and electric operations. Francis will report to Schach.
- The current director of performance management, Karen Hamilton, will be promoted to succeed Bugher in the vice presidential role over performance management and strategic sourcing. Hamilton will report to Hardwick.
- The vice president of corporate communications, Chase Kelley, will become the vice president of marketing and communications where she will retain oversight of the corporate communications team and add the energy efficiency, residential and commercial sales, and the customer planning and sales business units. Kelley will remain a direct report to Schach.
- Doug Petitt, vice president of information technology and customer service and the utility’s chief information officer, becomes the chief information officer for the corporation overseeing technology and cybersecurity needs for the utility and supporting nonutility technology needs. Petitt will report to Chapman in this expanded role.
- The human resources department, which continues to report to Ellis Redd, vice president of human sources, will move into Schach’s organization.
- Robbie Sears, vice president of customer energy solutions, will assume new responsibilities related to long-term planning for the company’s utilities, which includes exploring new technologies and behind-the-meter developments in the utility space and opportunities for short and long-term utility earnings growth opportunities. Sears will retain the compressed natural gas, emerging technologies, industrial sales and economic development, and market research departments. Sears will remain a direct report to Schach.
About Vectren Vectren Corporation (NYSE: VVC) is an energy holding company headquartered in Evansville, Ind. Vectren’s energy delivery subsidiaries provide gas and/or electricity to more than 1 million customers in adjoining service territories that cover nearly two-thirds of Indiana and west central Ohio. Vectren’s nonutility subsidiaries and affiliates currently offer energy-related products and services to customers throughout the U.S. These include infrastructure services and energy services. To learn more about Vectren, visit www.vectren.com.