July 2022, Vol. 249, No. 7


People in the News July 2022


Pipeline technology specialist STATS Group is beefing up its Middle East operations with two engineering appointments and the relocation of one of its most experienced pipeline intervention experts to the region. Dale Millward has been appointed vice president Technical Assurance in Doha in response to the increased demand as Qatar expands liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure. STATS has also appointed two business development engineers, with Abdullah Al Riyami joining in Oman and Mohammed Alfaqih in Saudi Arabia. Millward has more than 25 years of experience in the pipeline and subsea intervention industry. Since joining STATS in 2005, he has played a leading role in the design, development and delivery of engineered pipeline isolation, repair and recovery solutions on numerous major projects.  

McElroy, the designer and manufacturer of thermoplastic fusion equipment, announced that Chris Zenthoefer has joined the company as director of Digital Strategy. In his new role, Zenthoefer will assist in crafting McElroy’s technological approach to its equipment while working alongside other members of its leadership team to remain at the forefront of fusion technology. Zenthoefer holds a degree in business administration with a marketing focus from the University of Tulsa. He has served as an entrepreneur and executive in website development, digitization and product design and marketing. Among his start-ups, ICEdot, technological products for outdoor enthusiasts, was acquired by Specialized Bicycles, where Zenthoefer served as director of Specialized Digital until joining McElroy. 

Jim Schuchart has been named president and CEO of Technical Toolboxes, the Houston-based developer of Pipeline Toolbox and other software for the energy industry. Before joining the company, he held senior roles in management, sales, customer success and business development for several software platforms. Schuchart holds a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Northwestern University and is an adjunct faculty member at MIT Sloan School of Management. 

NiSource announced a reconfiguration of leadership responsibilities at the Indiana utility along with executive appointments. The company named Melody Birmingham as executive vice president and chief innovation officer, responsible for the company’s transformation office, information technology, communications, customer, aviation, real estate, corporate security and supply chain management. She most recently was senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Duke Energy and previously served as state president of its Indiana operations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and management from Purdue University and an MBA from Strayer University. Also at NiSource, William Jefferson was named executive vice president, Operations, and chief safety officer. He previously was site vice president at STP Nuclear Operating Company and was vice president, Transmission Maintenance and Construction, at Duke Energy, vice president of the Harris Nuclear Plant for Progress Energy, and vice president of the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants for Florida Power and Light. He has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from Purdue University. NiSource also said that Melanie Berman, its senior vice president and chief human resources officer, has been elevated to the executive leadership team. Berman joined NiSource from The Michaels Companies, where she served as executive vice president and chief human resources officer. She previously served as vice president of human resources at Anthem. Berman holds a psychology degree from the State University of New York at Albany and a Master of Science degree in industrial organizational psychology from Baruch College. 

Avangrid subsidiaries New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) have appointed Patricia Nilsen as president and CEO. Nilsen, who has been with the companies since 1992, is the first woman in the companies’ nearly 175-year histories to serve in this leadership position. She succeeds Carl Taylor who retired. Nilsen holds a master’s degree in English from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in adult education from Elmira College and a bachelor’s degree in English and Fine Arts from Alfred University.  

Also at Avangrid, Kimberly Harriman has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president of State Government Affairs and Corporate Communications. Before joining the company in 2021, Harriman worked for New York Power Authority, the New York State Department of Public Service, the New York State Office of the Governor, and the Moreland Commission – Utility Storm Preparation and Response. Harriman graduated from Albany Law School of Union. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in economics from Siena College. 

Germany’s HIMA Group named Peter Sieber as vice president of Strategic Marketing, a new group created through the combination of its Marketing Communication, Product Management, Consulting, Training and Norms and Standards departments. In his new role, Sieber will focus on the digitalization of functional safety and expansion of HIMA’s solution portfolio to include digitalized customer processes and their global establishment. He joined HIMA in 2013 as a sales manager and was named vice president of Norms and Standards and vice president for the China region in 2016. 

EnerMech promoted Kenny Anderson to the newly created role of strategy director, based at the company’s headquarters in Aberdeen. Anderson started his career in corporate finance with Simmons & Company International. After joining EnerMech in 2014, he spent three years in contractual and commercial roles before moving into a corporate role as part of the transaction team involved in securing investment from its parent company, Carlyle Group. Anderson then progressed to a strategic development managerial role with oversight of group-level reporting and business analytics. 

Tree Energy Solutions named Marco Alverà as group CEO of the hydrogen company. A 20-year veteran of the energy industry, Alverà began his career at Goldman Sachs before starting and selling a telecom company. After joining Enel, he spent more than 10 years in senior positions at Eni and most recently served as CEO of Snam. He has been a non-executive director of S&P Global since 2017 and chairs its finance committee. Alverà, who also co-founded new-energy company Zhero, is the author of “The Hydrogen Revolution,” which was selected as one of the Financial Times’s books of the year in 2021. 

Ulteig appointed Susan Aspelund as chief financial officer after serving as interim CFO of the Fargo, N.D.-based engineering and design firm since September 2021. Prior to joining Ulteig, Aspelund served in a similar capacity for multiple organizations, most recently for the third-party healthcare administrator HealthEZ, as well as the Midwest-based national law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

Valor promoted Cathy Ramirez to director of Oil and Gas Accounting from her previous role as controller. Before joining Valor, Ramirez held comptroller positions for several oil and gas operators, including Acacia Exploration, HighMark Energy Operating, Longview Energy and Pacesetter Energy. Prior to her time in oil and gas, Ramirez spent more than a decade in public accounting. 

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