BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Larry Altenbaumer, Chair
Elected July 2005
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
Member, Corporate Governance Committee
Larry Altenbaumer retired in 2004 as president of Illinois Power, a regulated electric and natural gas delivery company with approximately 650,000 customers, and executive vice president of Regulated Energy Delivery for Dynegy. Subsequent to his retirement, Altenbaumer has provided business advisory and consulting services to several organizations both in and outside the energy industry. Altenbaumer also is a director of MYR Group, Inc., a leading specialty contractor serving the electrical infrastructure market in the United States and serves as board chairman for Decatur Memorial Health Systems. Altenbaumer also provides consulting support for ArcLight Capital Partners, a leading energy investment firm with nearly $7 billion of actively managed investments. Other current clients include the University of Illinois; previous clients include the former Magnum Coal Company and Potomac Edison Company. Altenbaumer also served as a judge for the Platts Global Energy Awards in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Altenbaumer received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering/computer science from the University of Illinois in 1970. He joined Illinois Power upon graduation, and in his nearly 34-year career there, he held various officer-level positions including treasurer, controller and chief financial officer; senior vice president and chief financial officer; and president. He was a 2003 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Association of the University of Illinois.
T. Graham Edwards, Vice Chair
Elected January 2016
Member, Oversight Committee
T. Graham Edwards retired on Nov. 1, 2015, as the chief executive officer of ElectriCities of North Carolina, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. Edwards joined ElectriCities as CEO in 2009 and was responsible for executive leadership of ElectriCities, North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1 and North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency. During his tenure, NCEMPA successfully negotiated a sale to Duke Energy of its nuclear and coal-fired assets, which resulted in a wholesale rate reduction to its members of approximately 20 percent or approximately $1.1 billion savings over the first 10 years.
Prior to joining ElectriCities, from 2006-2009, Edwards served as CEO of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and served on the board from 2001-2009. Prior to becoming CEO, Edwards served as the board chairman in 2005.
Edwards also served as CEO and chairman of the board of Santee Cooper in South Carolina, the nation’s fourth-largest public power utility in terms of kilowatt hours sold. Santee Cooper provides power, directly or indirectly, to approximately two million customers. During his 25 years at Santee Cooper, Edwards helped position the company for competition in a deregulated environment and was one of three CEO’s that started The Energy Authority, a wholesale energy and marketing company.
In 2011, Edwards was elected to serve on the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) board of directors, and served on the board until the company was bifurcated in 2014. He has also served on the Peak Reliability board of directors. Peak Reliability is responsible for reliability coordination for the Western Interconnection.
During Edwards' career in public power, he served on the American Public Power Association’s board of directors and as chairman of the Large Public Power Council.
Edwards earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina., and a Master’s of Business Administration from The Citadel.
Edwards is a native of Cheraw, S.C. He has been married for 42 years and has one daughter.
Barbara Sugg, President and CEO
Elected January 2020
Chair, Corporate Governance Committee
Member, Strategic Planning Committee
Barbara Sugg was elected president and CEO of Southwest Power Pool, Inc. in January 2020. In her current position, she is responsible for ensuring SPP achieves its mission and goals and serves on the board of directors. Prior to this position, Sugg served SPP members as senior vice president of IT and chief security officer.
Sugg has over 30 years of IT experience in the electric utility industry. She started her career at SPP as a software developer and worked her way up to the executive level throughout her career at SPP. She’s a proud Ragin’ Cajun, as she earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1986. She completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2013.
Sugg participates in several industry organizations as well as community and philanthropic boards. In 2018, she became a certified executive coach and together with other successful business leaders in the community founded the Leadership Foundation for Women, a nonprofit focused on equipping women for success, based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Elected January 2020
Chair, Human Resources Committee
Bronwen Bastone has nearly 20 years of human resources and human capital strategy experience, spending over half of that time in financial services. She began her career on the business side, first with Merrill Lynch and then with Robertson Stephens. From 2002-2013, Bastone was senior managing director and chief human resources officer for Knight Capital Group reporting to the Global CEO and served as secretary to the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors. From 2014-mid 2017, Bastone held roles at Cushman & Wakefield and Brookfield Property Group, respectively. In 2017, Bastone became a Partner at Exos Financial. Exos has built a next-gen platform for B2B institutional finance, a platform designed to deliver all the services of a traditional investment bank, reimagined and tailored to a modern digital world, all integrated into a powerful, modern technology platform driven by data and data science.
Elected April 2008
Member, Human Resources Committee
Julian Brix has a long history in the electric utility industry, including serving as president, CEO and COO of Georgia Transmission Corporation in Tucker, Georgia; general manager of Cooperative Power in Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and general manager of Central Electric Power Cooperative in Jefferson City, Missouri. A graduate of Northwestern University, Brix began his electrical engineering career at Line Material Industries as a test engineer in the design of utility switchgear. Most recently, Brix served as executive consultant for Brix International, an independent consulting company. In this role, he assisted clients in the development of merchant transmission projects and in the evaluation of transmission systems to accommodate generation acquisitions. Additionally, Brix served as board member and co-chairman for TRANSlink Management Development Corporation, a FERC-approved independent transmission company comprised of nine investor-owned, public power and cooperative utilities.
Elected January 2019
Chair, Finance Committee
After a successful 30-year career in finance, Susan Certoma is the president of Enterprise Engineering, a financial technology firm that provides software solutions and consulting to top-tier financial firms. Certoma is responsible for the company’s services and software businesses. Previously, she was president of wealth and markets solutions at Broadridge Financial, chief information officer (CIO) at Wachovia Bank’s corporate and investment bank, technology vice president at Goldman Sachs, technology director at Merrill Lynch and technology vice president at Lehman Brothers. Certoma received her Bachelor of Science in management and economics and her Master of Business Administration in finance from St. John’s University.
Elected January 2017
Member, Human Resources Committee
Mark Crisson has more than 40 years of experience in the electric utility industry, with 30 of those at the senior executive level. He served as president and CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA) in Washington, D.C., from 2007-2014. Prior to that assignment, he spent nearly 30 years with Tacoma Public Utilities, serving as its director and CEO from 1993-2007. At Tacoma, he led the electric utility through the western energy crisis in 2001. He also spearheaded Click! Network, the nation’s largest municipally owned telecommunications system.
While at Tacoma, Crisson served 10 years on the APPA board of directors and served as chairman of the board in 2003. He received the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award in 2005 for exceptional leadership in public power. Crisson also served on the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Electric Advisory Board; served as chairman of the Large Public Power Council; and earned numerous awards for his work in the Tacoma community, including Business Leader of the Year in 2002.
While at APPA, Crisson worked extensively with both elected and appointed federal officials and other industry stakeholders to promote the interests of public power and the broader electric utility industry. Priority activities included climate change legislation, federal environmental regulations, analysis of ISO/RTO wholesale power markets, grid reliability and cybersecurity. Upon his departure from APPA, the group recognized his achievements in 2015 by creating and presenting him its first annual Mark Crisson Leadership and Managerial Excellence Award.
Crisson's most recent endeavors include assisting Paducah Power System by serving as its interim general manager for five months in 2014-15 and working with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority as its deputy general manager of electrical and IT systems for six months in 2015-16.
Crisson served as a U.S. naval officer in the Pacific nuclear submarine fleet from 1970-1975. He then joined Tacoma Public Utilities as part of its power management group, where he rose to lead the power supply section in 1982. He left Tacoma in 1983 to serve as power manager for Martin Marietta Aluminum in Portland, Oregon. In 1985, he was appointed to lead Direct Service Industries, a trade association of aluminum industries that received power directly from the Bonneville Power Administration. He returned to Tacoma in 1987 to lead Tacoma Power as its light superintendent.
Crisson received a Bachelor of Science with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University.
Joshua W. Martin, III
Elected October 2003
Chair, Oversight Committee
Joshua Martin is currently a partner in the Potter Anderson & Corroon law firm. He joined the firm’s Business Practices Group, which focuses on telecommunications and public utility issues, in March 2005. Prior to joining Potter Anderson & Corroon, Joshua served as president of Verizon Delaware Inc. and oversaw all aspects of Verizon's telecommunications business within Delaware. He first joined Verizon as vice president, general counsel and secretary on Jan. 2, 1990. Previously, Martin was a Delaware Superior Court Judge for eight years. He served on the Delaware Public Service Commission from 1978 to 1982, including three years as chairman. After obtaining his law degree, Martin joined Hercules, Inc., where he was a patent attorney until 1982. He began his professional career as a physicist at DuPont Company in 1966. Joshua is a leader in education as well as professional and community organizations. He holds honorary degrees from Widener University and Goldey Beacom College. He was nominated as Delawarean of the Century, in business, by Wilmington News Journal in November 1999. He received the Arthur E. Armitage Sr., Distinguished Alumni Award from Rutgers School of Law in 1998 for service to the community and contributions to the legal profession. Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Martin holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Case Institute of Technology, is a graduate of the Rutgers University School of Law and completed the Wharton School Executive Development Program in 1996.
Elected January 2019
Member, Oversight Committee
Darcy Ortiz is a proven technology leader who has focused on strategy and operations throughout her career. As Intel Corporation’s vice president and general manager of corporate services, she is responsible for the company’s facilities worldwide, including construction, building services, environmental health and safety, security and real estate strategy. Before assuming her current role, she was information technology vice president and manufacturing IT general manager, where she led the global team responsible for IT operations and services for Intel’s factories worldwide. She previously served Intel as general manager of the CIO strategy office, chief of staff to the chief operating officer, IT director and IT infrastructure manager. Ortiz received her bachelor’s degree in business administration in management information systems from the University of New Mexico and her Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation
Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Western Area Power Administration
INDEPENDENT TRANSMISSION COMPANY
ITC Great Plains, LLC
Liberty Utilities/Empire District
Oklahoma Gas & Electric
Kansas City Power & Light Company
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri
Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority
Dogwood Energy, LLC
Tenaska Power Services Co.
NextEra Energy Resources
LARGE RETAIL CUSTOMERS
Google Energy, LLC
Thomas J. (Tom) Kent
Nebraska Public Power District
Omaha Public Power District
President and CEO
Chair, Corporate Governance Committee
Member, Strategic Planning Committee
Sugg was elected president and CEO of Southwest Power Pool, Inc. in January 2020. In her current position, she is responsible for ensuring SPP achieves its mission and goals and serves on the board of directors. Prior to this position, Sugg served SPP members as senior vice president of IT and chief security officer.
Sugg has over 30 years of IT experience in the electric utility industry. She started her career at SPP as a software developer and worked her way up to the executive level throughout her career at SPP. She’s a proud Ragin’ Cajun, as she earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1986 and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2013.
Sugg participates in several industry organizations as well as community and philanthropic boards. In 2018, Sugg became a certified executive coach and together with other successful business leaders in the community founded the Leadership Foundation for Women, a nonprofit focused on equipping women for success, based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
As executive vice president and chief operating officer, Lanny Nickell is responsible for SPP’s provision of engineering, operations, and information technology services to members and customers. These services include coordination of reliable power system operations, development, design and administration of energy markets, development of transmission expansion plans needed to facilitate delivery of reliable and affordable energy to consumers, and administration of resource adequacy policies.
Nickell began his career as a planning engineer for Public Service Company of Oklahoma. He joined SPP in 1997 as an operations engineer where he helped establish SPP’s reliability coordination and tariff administration functions. He was promoted to the management team in 1998, became vice president of operations in 2008, vice president of engineering in 2011 and senior vice president of engineering in 2019. Throughout his career, he has served on numerous industry committees developing national and regional electric reliability and energy market policies. Nickell currently serves as staff secretary for SPP’s Markets and Operations Policy Committee and participates in numerous community and philanthropic boards.
Nickell received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tulsa and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He is married and has four children.
Executive Vice President, Regulatory Policy and General Counsel
Paul Suskie serves SPP as executive vice president of regulatory policy and general counsel. He is responsible for managing the organization’s legal and regulatory policy groups and serves as corporate secretary.
Prior to joining SPP, Suskie was appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe as chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and a member of the Governor’s cabinet — positions in which he served from 2007-2010. At the time of his appointment to the Commission, he was in his third elected term as North Little Rock’s city attorney. Prior to joining the city attorney’s office, Suskie worked for former United States Sen. David Pryor and for Arkansas Attorney General Winston Bryant. Suskie is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army where he served in the JAG Corps. He has served as a military judge for the Arkansas Army National Guard and is a veteran of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Senior Vice President, Finance; Chief Financial Officer
Tom Dunn serves as chief financial officer and vice president of finance. He is responsible for the activities of accounting, settlements, credit, human resources, facilities and security.
Prior to joining SPP in 2001, Dunn served as vice president of commercial banking for U.S. Bank in Little Rock, where he managed a portfolio of large corporate commercial banking relationships. In total, Dunn has 14 years of experience in commercial and mortgage banking. He has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Bruce Rew serves as senior vice president of operations and is responsible for SPP’s real-time operations, operational planning and analysis support of all reliability coordination, market operations, tariff administration and scheduling functions. He has also served as vice president of engineering and in several management and engineering positions since joining SPP in 1990.
Rew's notable projects include assisting SPP’s Regional State Committee in developing a process for allocating transmission costs region-wide, developing tariff language allowing customers to fund transmission projects and implementing SPP’s first energy management and tariff billing system.
Prior to joining SPP, Rew served in the United States Air Force as a member of a nuclear missile launch crew. He is a registered professional engineer.
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Relations
As senior vice president for government affairs and public relations, Mike Ross leads SPP’s government affairs at the federal level and the 14-state region it serves and has responsibility for external affairs, media relations and corporate communications for the company.
Ross joined SPP in 2013, after serving six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District, including as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Energy Subcommittee. Ross was also a member of the House Financial Services Committee and was vice president of NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Before serving in the U.S. Congress, he spent 10 years in the Arkansas State Senate and was a small business owner. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Vice President, Chief Compliance and Administrative Officer
As vice president of process integrity and chief compliance and administrative officer, Michael Desselle is responsible for ensuring the organization’s adherence to a process driven environment, interregional initiatives and quality and process improvement efforts. Additionally, he is responsible for assisting with the creation, internal communication, execution and maintenance of corporate strategic initiatives and consequently oversees a broad spectrum of organizational, regional and national activities to ensure the consistency, internal coordination and communication with the corporate strategic plans.
Desselle has over 30 years of experience in the energy industry. He began his career as a planning analyst for Cajun Electric Power Cooperative. From 1985-1992, while at Price Waterhouse, Desselle managed and performed utility regulatory, financial and general consulting for clients in the gas, electric, water and wastewater industries. He joined Central and South West Services in 1992 and was responsible for supporting corporate initiatives, strategies and positions.
Desselle joined SPP in 2006. He serves as chairman and CEO of the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) and liaison for NAESB to the board of trustees of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in operations research from Louisiana State University.
Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Security Officer
As SPP’s vice president of IT and chief information security officer, Ellis oversees technology development and deployment, monitoring, support and cybersecurity for SPP and will be responsible for establishing IT strategy and policies.
Ellis served as SPP’s director of cybersecurity and controls since 2017, prior to which he served as director of systems operations, director of market administration and manager of market operations. Ellis joined SPP in 2003 and has 26 years of industry experience in transmission and generation operations and electricity and natural gas trading. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Missouri Southern State University.
Vice President, Engineering
As vice president of engineering, Lucas is responsible for the ongoing development of SPP’s transmission expansion plan, tracking expansion projects, administration of generator interconnection processes, performance of engineering studies and engineering support of SPP’s real-time operations functions.
Lucas formerly was SPP’s director of system planning. Prior to joining SPP, Lucas worked in real-time system operations for Entergy Services, Inc. in roles as an engineer and system operator. Lucas earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Louisiana Tech University.
Vice President, Corporate Services
As vice president of corporate services, See provides overall human resource strategic leadership to the organization. She is directly responsible for all aspects of human resources, payroll, facilitates and administrative services for Southwest Power Pool. She oversees the development and implementation of human resource policies, programs and services, including employee relations, employment practices, compensation and benefits, recruitment and orientation, training and development, retention, legal compliance and procedures, and employee communications. See also has oversight of the development and implementation of all aspects of facility management and administrative services, including meeting and event planning.
See has 30 years of experience in the electric utility industry. She joined SPP in 1985 as systems programmer and has served in a variety of roles within the organization. See holds a bachelor's degree from Hendrix College, an executive MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has a senior professional in human resources (SPHR) designation.