Our Team

Our Team

Edward M. Stern, President and CEO

Ed Stern is President and CEO of PowerBridge, the leading developer of non-utility, privately financed, electric transmission systems in the U.S.  PowerBridge has developed, financed, constructed – and now operates – more than 1300 MWs of transmission capacity, with a total investment in excess of $1.5 billion. PowerBridge also completed the development and construction of a natural gas line and is currently developing several billion dollars of new electric transmission facilities.

Ed has more than 30 years of experience leading the successful development, financing, construction, operation and ownership of major energy and infrastructure projects.  Under Ed’s guidance, PowerBridge developed, financed and built the Neptune Regional Transmission System, completed in 2007, and the Hudson Transmission Project, completed in 2013.

Both Neptune and Hudson are 660 MW HVDC underwater and underground electric transmission systems, managed by PowerBridge, that interconnect the PJM market in New Jersey with power grids in New York. Neptune extends 65 miles (51 underwater) between Sayreville, New Jersey and Long Island, while Hudson runs from Ridgefield, NJ for approximately eight miles into Manhattan’s West Side, including four miles underneath the Hudson River. Both projects were completed on budget and ahead of schedule.

From 1991 through 2004, Ed was employed by Enel North America, Inc. — the North American subsidiary of the Italian electric utility Enel SpA — and its predecessor, CHI Energy, Inc., an energy company specializing in renewable energy technologies including hydroelectric and wind.  While at Enel North America, Inc. and CHI Energy, Inc., Ed served as General Counsel and, commencing in 1999, as President, Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to joining CHI, Ed was a vice president with BayBanks, Inc., a Boston-based $10 billion financial services organization, where for six years he specialized in energy project finance, real estate restructurings and asset management.

Ed has served on numerous public and private boards, most recently on the boards of CAN Capital, Inc., a small business specialty finance company; Deepwater Wind Holdings, LLC, America’s leading developer of offshore wind projects; FMC GlobalSat Holdings, Inc., a global provider of satellite and wireless communications systems; and, he serves on the advisory board of Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC, a private equity firm specializing in energy and infrastructure investments.

Ed received B.A., J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Boston University.  He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and the Federal Energy Bar.

Jeffrey T. Wood, Senior Vice President

Jeff Wood is primarily responsible for leading the financing effort for PowerBridge projects such as Hudson Transmission.  Jeff is a former managing director at the investment bank Société Générale, where he was responsible for serving as financial advisor and for arranging $600 million in non-recourse project financing for the Neptune transmission project, a 660-MW, 51-mile undersea transmission cable completed in June of 2007.

Jeff has over 20 years of experience in project finance with involvement in raising more than $7 billion in debt and equity.  Most recently, he was a Senior Vice President with Noble Environmental Power of Essex, Connecticut, where he was responsible for raising more than $700 million of non-recourse debt and $200 million of tax equity for a portfolio totaling 330 MW of wind power in New York State.  His finance experience also includes positions with J.P. Morgan Chase and Wachovia Securities, where he has been active in the financing of major energy projects both in the U.S. and internationally.

Jeff graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude; he also holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Ernest B. Griggs, Senior Vice President and Project Manager

Ernie Griggs serves as Project Manager for both Neptune Regional Transmission System and the Hudson Transmission Project. His responsibilities include oversight for compliance with all North American Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) requirements for planning and operating a transmission facility in the North American bulk power system. A member of the PowerBridge team since 2005, Ernie was responsible for construction and commissioning of Neptune and subsequently managed the design, construction and commissioning of the Hudson project. He is also a key contributor to other PowerBridge projects in various stages of development.

Ernie has over 35 years of large scale project management, HVDC, and electric power industry experience in bulk power generation, transmission and operations, primarily in the northeastern United States. While at New England Power Co., his responsibilities included project management of Phase I and II of the 2,250 MW HVDC Interconnection between New England and Hydro-Quebec, oversight of a 1,200 MW hydroelectric system, and project management of the Bear Swamp hydroelectric pumped storage project. He was also Director of Operations for New England Power during its transition to PG&E’s National Energy Group with operational responsibilities across the New England asset portfolio. Later in his career he served as a business development manager for PB Power, a consulting firm that is part of the Parsons Brinckerhoff companies.

Ernie chairs the HVDC Interconnector Owner’s Group and serves on PJM’s Transmission Owners Agreement Administrative Committee.

Ernie graduated from Vermont Technical College with a degree in Electromechanical Engineering and from Lesley University with a degree in Management.

Thomas G. Beaumonte, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Tom Beaumonte has more than 20 years experience as a senior financial executive in planning, operations, strategic planning, budgeting, cost reduction and financial reporting for both domestic and international companies. Prior to joining PowerBridge at its inception, Tom served as Vice President, Comptroller and Treasurer of Enel North America, Inc. and its predecessor company, CHI Energy, Inc.

Previously, Tom served as Director of UBS Warburg, Inc. of New York, Treasurer and Assistant Controller of Republic New York Securities Corporation of New York, Vice President of Lehman Brothers Holdings of New York, and Supervisory Senior at Ernst & Young of New York.

Tom is a graduate of Lehigh University (B.S.), a Certified Public Accountant and is licensed by the National Association of Securities Dealers (Series 7).

James P. Nash, Vice President, Engineering

Jim Nash joined PowerBridge as Vice President of Engineering in 2007, after providing engineering consulting services for the Neptune Project.  Jim has over 25 years experience in the fields of electric power engineering and project development for various generation, transmission, and distribution projects.

Jim’s professional career includes multiple assignments while with the New England Electric System (NEES, now National Grid US) including its Global Transmission group.  He was Project Director for the Cross Sound Cable Project, later purchased and developed by TransEnergie US, which Mr. Nash joined in 1998.  He was NEES Project Manager for the first 26-mile Nantucket Submarine Cable Project and Project Engineer for the 800-ampere Lisbon Ground Electrode serving the New England – Hydro Quebec HVDC Intertie.

With EBASCO (now Washington Group) from 1987 to 1993, Jim’s substation projects included the NYPA Westchester to Long Island Y-49, 345 kV Submarine Cable and the 345 kV cable interconnection for Consolidated Edison’s Goethals Substation to the Linden Cogeneration Facility in New Jersey.

Jim received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University in 1982, is a Registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a Senior Member of the IEEE Power Engineering Society.

Charles J. Micciche, Vice President, Construction

Charlie Micciche has nearly 30 years experience in managing the operation, maintenance and construction of power generation and transmission facilities, and was involved in the development of the Neptune project from its earliest stage. Prior to Neptune, his previous projects involved the construction of a 500 MW combined cycled gas fired plant in Westbrook, Maine followed by a similar facility in Johnston, Rhode Island. As project manager for both projects, he had overall responsibility for achieving safety, productivity, quality, schedule and financial goals.

Charlie previously served as Manager of Construction for Public Service Electric and Gas in New Jersey. In this capacity he managed a $1.5 billion, five-year repowering program. He also was a plant manager and served in a variety of department head roles involving maintenance, controls and operations at conventional and nuclear facilities.

Charlie graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Engineering and has attended the Rutgers Senior Management Program and the Texas A&M Construction Executive Program.

J. Christopher Hocker, Vice President, Planning

Chris Hocker joined PowerBridge as Vice President of Planning after 20 years of experience in the electric power industry that encompasses project planning, licensing and permitting, government and community relations, business development, and corporate communications. He was responsible for permit compliance during Neptune construction and has led the successful permitting effort for the Hudson Transmission Project.  Between 1990 and 2004, he was employed by Enel North America, Inc., and its predecessor company, CHI Energy, Inc. With CHI, he initially focused on licensing, planning, and government and community relations for a proposed 1500-MW power project, responsible for preparing a successful siting application for the project generating facility as well as a separate siting application for a related 345-kV transmission line.

He later served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, for CHI and Enel North America, part of the senior management team responsible for corporate development. He served on the board of directors of the National Hydropower Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association of utility and independent hydropower owners, for nine years, including one year as president of the association in 2000-2001.

Previously, Chris was a communications consultant for companies involved in the engineering, energy, and environmental fields and a Contributing Editor of Independent Energy magazine for several years, writing numerous articles on various business aspects of the independent power industry. He holds a BA degree from Stanford University.

James T. Sullivan, Vice President, Operations

Jim Sullivan is primarily responsible for operations and maintenance (“O&M”) and reliability compliance for Neptune Regional Transmission System and the Hudson Transmission Project.  Jim joined the PowerBridge team in 2011, bringing more than 30 years of experience in the engineering, operations, maintenance, and management of electric systems, primarily for High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems. For more than 20 years Jim has been responsible for development of operating procedures and for compliance with reliability requirements for HVDC systems. His previous work experience includes over 10 years as a supervisor for a 2000 MW HVDC converter terminal in New England; and seven years with National Grid as Supervisor and Director of HVDC Operations and Maintenance for the New England/Hydro Quebec HVDC Interconnection. Most recently he served as a consultant specializing in developing O&M and reliability compliance procedures for various major clients, including the Neptune Regional Transmission System.

Jim has extensive education and training in the fields of electrical and electronic design, including specialized training in HVDC controls and protection, as well as in business management.

Christopher Benson, Director of Operations

Christopher Benson joined the PowerBridge team in 2013.  As Director of Operations, he is responsible for oversight of the operation, maintenance, safety, inventory and environmental compliance for PowerBridge’s Hudson and Neptune HVDC transmission facilities.

Prior to joining PowerBridge, Chris was with Siemens Energy as part of the EPC team for Hudson’s back-to-back HVDC converter station in Ridgefield, New Jersey. He was responsible for developing the operations and maintenance program procedures, training, and document deliverables for commercial operation. Chris’ background in the field of HVDC energy also includes over three years as an Operator Technician and an Operations Engineer at Siemens first HVDC Plus converter station, Trans Bay Cable in Pittsburg, California.

A graduate of the U.S. Navy Naval Nuclear Power School and Nuclear and Field Mechanic “A” School, Chris served three years as an Engineering Laboratory Technician responsible for radiological system controls aboard a nuclear attack submarine. While serving in the Navy, Chris held U.S. Department of Defense Secret Security Clearance for handling highly classified materials.

Chris holds a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from Excelsior College, and a master’s degree in Project Management and a Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Architecture from Pennsylvania State University.

Kathy Neary, Accounting Manager

Kathy Neary joined the Neptune team in 2005 with more than 10 years of accounting and financial management experience.  After starting her career with Arthur Andersen, she joined CHI Energy, Inc. and its successor company, Enel North America, Inc. and held the position of Manager of Finance, responsible for corporate financial analysis as well as oversight of insurance matters for more than 80 energy facilities.  Kathy is a CPA and holds Bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Fairfield University.

Mary Ellen Waack, Accounting Manager

Mary Ellen Waack joined PowerBridge in 2011 as an Accounting Manager, bringing nearly 25 years of accounting and finance experience to the team.  Early in her career, Mary Ellen held positions at Rashba & Pokart and Price Waterhouse accounting firms.  She gained experience in the energy sector at CHI Energy, initially as Senior Accountant responsible for client audits and later as Special Projects Manager responsible for review and analysis of potential acquisition and merger candidates.   As an independent consultant, Mary Ellen provided a wide range of financial services to clients in various industries and most recently she managed all financial operations for Waack Golf, a family-owned retail business. A CPA, Mary Ellen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from The State University of NY at Binghamton.

Susan Brown, Project Coordinator

Susan Brown has more than 25 years of diverse experience that includes advertising, marketing, and public relations as well as education and information technology.  She joined PowerBridge in June 2011 after four years in the Fairfield, Connecticut public schools as an IT specialist.  Previous experience includes business development, administration, and market research with advertising and PR agencies as well as an independent consultant.  She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University.

Arline Clayburn, Office Manager

Arline Clayburn joined Neptune in 2005 as Office Manager and Executive Assistant. Previously she worked for CHI Energy, Inc. and its successor company, Enel North America, Inc., for 12 years as Office Manager and Administrative Assistant.  She previously had run her own administrative services business and had held various administrative positions in the personnel, legal, and accounting departments of Chase Bag, Lone Star Industries, United Parcel Service, and the tax accounting firm of Messina, Ceci, Archer & Company.