Leadership

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Larry Altenbaumer, Chair

Elected July 2005; term ends December 2023

Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
Vice Chair, 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 and has served on the boards of several community service organizations.

Altenbaumer is also the chair of Decatur Memorial Hospital and board member of Memorial Health System. Altenbaumer also serves as a director of BWC Terminals, a Houston-based portfolio company of the J. P. Morgan Institutional Infrastructure Fund. Altenbaumer is a past director of the MYR Group, Inc. and has provided consulting and advisory support for ArcLight Capital Partners, a leading energy infrastructure investment firm; Summit Utilities, a natural gas transmission and distribution company; and the University of Illinois. 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 was a 2003 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Association of the University of Illinois.

Susan Certoma, Vice Chair

Elected January 2019; term ends December 2024

Chair, Finance Committee
Member, Strategic Planning Committee

Susan Certoma is an executive leading next-generation businesses and developing innovative technology solutions for Financial Services and other industries for over 30 years. In her leadership roles, Certoma has been responsible for managing businesses and global technology organizations.

Certoma serves on the board of Union Savings Bank and is a member of the Risk, Loan and Governance committees. In addition, she serves on strategic advisory boards for multiple start-ups.

Previously, Certoma was president of Enterprise Engineering, Inc. (EEI) with responsibility for the strategic consulting and software businesses. Prior to this role, she was president of the Wealth & Markets Division at Broadridge. Certoma also served as the global CIO for the Corporate & Investment Bank at Wachovia Bank before her position at Broadridge. Prior to this, Certoma held senior leadership positions at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.

In prior years, Certoma served on the board of Direct Edge Stock Exchange, the board of the Connecticut Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the board of the Enterprise Data Management Council.

Certoma was recognized by Forbes as one of the top 25 Women in Technology. She was also a Gold Book Honoree by Wall Street & Technology, one of the Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal and selected for Women in STEaM, Inviting Arkansas.

Certoma is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of St. John’s University with a bachelor's in management/economics and an MBA in finance. She has also completed special study programs at Dartmouth College, Yale University, UNC Chapel Hill and Wharton.

Barbara Sugg, President and CEO

Elected January 2020

Chair, Corporate Governance Committee
Member, Strategic Planning Committee

Barbara Sugg became president and CEO of Southwest Power Pool, Inc. in April 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.

Bronwen Bastone

Elected January 2020; term ends December 2022

Member, 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.

John Cupparo

Elected January 2022

Until late 2019, John A. Cupparo was a senior executive at Berkshire Hathaway Energy focused on customer-first priorities and remaining competitive in an evolving energy industry. Previously, Mr. Cupparo was President & CEO of BHE U.S. Transmission, pursuing competitive transmission solutions, representing Berkshire Hathaway Energy on two joint venture boards and establishing development ventures with major western entities.

In other roles at Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Mr. Cupparo led a $6 billion transmission investment program in the western United States. He was an active board member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council focusing on regional planning, finance and the reliability coordination task force. Mr. Cupparo also was co-chair of the Northern Tier Transmission Group, a regional planning entity covering a multi-state western footprint. Prior to his transmission responsibilities, Mr. Cupparo served as the Chief Information Officer at PacifiCorp until 2006. In this role, Mr. Cupparo led a service-oriented technology organization of 500+ employees supporting the entire breadth of the vertical integrated utility including customer service, outage management, generation, commercial & trading, infrastructure and cyber security.

Mr. Cupparo began his career at Texaco and later worked for Koch Industries supporting the natural gas, power and pipeline businesses. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Colorado State University. Mr. Cupparo served on the Junior Achievement board for Oregon and SW Washington focusing on economic empowerment through education for young people. He was a member of the board task force responsible for structuring and delivering the Finance Park initiative.

Joshua W. Martin, III

Elected October 2003; term ends December 2023

Chair, Oversight Committee
Ex Officio Member, Corporate Governance 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.

Elizabeth Moore

Elected October 2020; term ends December 2023

Member, Human Resources Committee
Member, Oversight Committee

Elizabeth Moore has more than 30 years of experience in the regulatory and energy industry. She recently served as senior vice president and general counsel for Consolidated Edison, Inc. (Con Ed), one of the largest investor-owned utilities in the nation. Prior to her role at Con Ed, she was an attorney at American Express, a partner at Nixon Peabody LLP and she served as counsel to New York Governor Mario Cuomo. Moore received a law degree from St. John’s University and earned an undergraduate degree in labor relations from Cornell University.

Black Enterprise named Moore one of the “Most Powerful Women in Corporate America” in 2019, and in 2015, she was named to the Savoy list of Top Black Lawyers and to the Lawyers of Color Fourth Annual Power List. In 2013, she received the 11th Annual Ida B. Wells-Barnett Justice Award from the New York County Lawyers’ Association and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. The Network Journal honored her as one of the “25 Influential Black Women in Business,” and the Association of Black Women Attorneys recognized her as a “Leader for a New Century.” Moore currently serves as Director Emeritus on Cornell University’s Board of Trustees.

Ben Trowbridge

Elected January 2022

Ben Trowbridge is an Award-Winning CEO & Board Member in Cybersecurity and Managed Services who has led five organizations from inception to $50M to $300M in revenue, and three successful exit events.

Ben currently serves on the board of directors of Arctic Security, a Cybersecurity - attack surface management company, the board of advisors for Abacode Inc., an innovative Cybersecurity Compliance services company, the board of directors for Working Solutions, a leading work from- home contact center BPO firm, and as a board member with Beyond Capital Fund - a leading Social Impact Investment Fund. He previously served as Chairman of Alsbridge India and ProBenchmark PLC.

He founded EY's Global Cybersecurity as a Service practice, where he approached, recruited, and hired a leadership team and developed the strategy that moved it from concept to becoming the highest growth managed services business unit. EY moved from "un-ranked" to the top quadrant for managed services by IDC, HFS, and Gartner. Managed Services included Managed Identity Access Management, Managed Detection and Response, TEM, and Data Protection as a Service. While at EY, he was named to the Outsourcing Leadership Hall of Fame and the 2019 "Innovator of the Year" by D CEO magazine.

Previous to his time at Ernst & Young, Mr. Trowbridge was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alsbridge, a third-party advisor for Outsourcing, Benchmarking, and Telecommunications transformation. Under his leadership, Alsbridge achieved a 38% CAGR to $50M and completed four successful acquisitions using cash flow and debt. Alsbridge managed over $155B of large-scale IT and BPO outsourcing contracts and was named to the Inc. 500. Mr. Trowbridge was named on two occasions as an EY Entrepreneur (EOY) of the year finalist, and Consulting Magazine named Alsbridge a Top 10 firm.

Before Alsbridge, Mr. Trowbridge was a direct admit partner to Ernst & Young, where he led the creation of the Global Operate Company, which was a new business that provided complex IT and BPO managed services in the US, Asia, and Europe, which was ultimately sold to Cap Gemini as a part of a €10B sale of EY consulting.

Mr. Trowbridge was educated at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts. He is a former United States Marine Corps Infantry Officer, is married, and has two children.

Steve Wright

Elected January 2023

Steve Wright brings years of industry experience in the Western Interconnection to SPP’s board of directors. He served as general manager at Chelan Public Utility until his retirement in 2021.

“It’s exciting to join a dynamic organization that has a strong reputation for innovation and customer service,” Wright said. “SPP is at the center of our nation’s ambitious efforts to attain a reliable, affordable and clean electric power system. I look forward to continuing the SPP tradition of actively engaging members and stakeholders. I also hope to strengthen the bridge to potential SPP members in the west.”

Before his role at Chelan Public Utility District, Wright served as Bonneville Power Administration’s administrator and CEO.

Wright is currently co-chair of the American Public Power Association’s Climate Change Task Force. He previously served on the board of the American Public Power Association, the Alliance to Save Energy, the Large Public Power Council and is the past chair of the Public Generating Pool. Wright has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oregon.

Ray Hepper

Elected January 2023

Ray Hepper has extensive experience in the electric utility industry and served as vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for ISO New England until his retirement in 2018.

“I am honored to be elected by SPP’s members to serve on the board,” Hepper said. “I look forward to working with management and stakeholders as the organization takes advantage of the opportunities created by the continuing transition of the industry. The evolution to a larger footprint and closer integration with its neighbors will bring significant benefits to the region and give me the chance to work on very exciting issues.”

Before his role at ISO New England, Hepper was a partner in the firm of Pierce Atwood where he handled regulatory proceedings and complex power contracting issues. Hepper was general counsel at Central Maine Power Company, where he oversaw the sale of the Company’s generation assets and its merger. He started his career as a tax litigator at the United States Department of Justice, and served on the ERCOT board of directors. He has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in economics from Lehigh University.

Totally blind since birth, Hepper spends volunteer time supporting education, employment and career development for people who are blind and other marginalized groups. He serves on Penn Law School’s alumni advisory board for diversity, equity and inclusion. He is an active mentor in the American Foundation for the Blind's Blind Leadership Development Program and served on the board of Perkins School for the Blind for over ten years, including as vice chair of the board. In addition to bringing RTO and utility expertise to SPP’s board, Hepper’s background will be valuable with regard to SPP’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

MEMBERS COMMITTEE

ALTERNATIVE POWER/PUBLIC INTEREST

Steve Gaw
Advanced Power Alliance

COOPERATIVES

Joel Bladow
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.

Tom Christensen
Basin Electric Power Cooperative 

Stuart Lowry
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Zac Perkins
Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. 

Mike Wise
Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc. 

FEDERAL AGENCIES

Lloyd Linke
Western Area Power Administration

INDEPENDENT TRANSMISSION COMPANY

Brett Leopold
ITC Great Plains, LLC

INVESTOR-OWNED UTILITIES

Tim Wilson
Liberty Utilities/Empire District

David Hudson
SPS/XcelEnergy

Bleau LaFave
NorthWestern Energy 

Usha Turner
Oklahoma Gas & Electric

Kevin Noblet
Evergy Companies

Peggy Simmons
Public Service Company of Oklahoma

MUNICIPALS

Chris Jones
City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri

David Osburn
Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority

IPP/MARKETERS

Betsy Beck
Enel Green Power North America

Robert Janssen
Dogwood Energy, LLC

Kevin Smith
Tenaska Power Services Co.

LARGE RETAIL CUSTOMERS

Jeff Riles
Google Energy, LLC

STATE AGENCIES

Thomas J. (Tom) Kent
Nebraska Public Power District

Joe Lang
Omaha Public Power District

OFFICERS

Barbara Sugg

President and CEO

Barbara Sugg became president and CEO of Southwest Power Pool, Inc. in April 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.

Lanny Nickell

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.

Paul Suskie

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.

Bruce Rew

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.

Mike RossMike Ross

Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Stakeholder Relations

As senior vice president for external affairs and stakeholder relations, Mike Ross leads SPP’s government affairs at the federal level and the 17-state region it serves. Additionally, he has responsibility for external affairs, customer relations, stakeholder training, corporate communications, media relations and public relations.

Ross joined SPP in 2013, after serving six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District, where he was 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.  

Michael DesselleMichael Desselle

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.

Sam Ellis

Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Security Officer

As SPP’s vice president of IT and chief 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.

Antoine Lucas

Vice President, Markets

As Vice President of Markets, Lucas oversees development, design and provision of all SPP market-based services. He works with stakeholders to ensure continued provision of the efficient and reliable wholesale electricity markets currently administered under the SPP Open Access Transmission Tariff and to develop additional value-added services.

Lucas formerly was SPP’s Vice President of Engineering. 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.

David Kelley

Vice President, Engineering

As vice president of engineering, Kelley 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.

Kelley has more than 20 years of experience in the electric utility industry, having served the last 14 years in various engineering and markets leadership roles at SPP. Most recently, he was SPP’s Director, Seams and Tariff Services. David also serves on the board of directors of the Division of Science and Technology of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. He has a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University, an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Arkansas.

Kelly Carney 

Vice President, Human Capital and Chief People Officer

Carney partners with the SPP executive team and board of directors on human resource planning, allocation and organizational goal setting. She leads the human resources department, staff performance development and lead SPP’s diversity, equity and inclusion program.

Carney has more than 20 years of experience in human resources. She most recently served as vice president of human resources and chief administrative officer at Delta Dental of Arkansas, where she oversaw human resources, training, internal audit, quality assurance, facilities and maintenance teams. She’s a past president of the Central Arkansas Human Resources Association and a member of the Arkansas Compensation Association.

Before her work at Delta Dental of Arkansas, Carney worked in human resources at Transamerica, the Colorado Office of the State Auditor, Trinity Consultants and Olsten Kimberly Quality Care. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Administration from the University of Kansas and has a SPHR designation from the HR Certification Institute.