OUR TEAM

EDWARD M. STERN

President & 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 has also completed the development and construction of a natural gas line and is currently developing several billion dollars of new electric transmission facilities.

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 has 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, New Jersey for approximately seven 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 (recently acquired by Orsted), FMC GlobalStat Holdings, Inc., a global provider of satellite and wireless communications systems; and 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 joined the PowerBridge team in 2011 and 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 undersea transmission cable completed in June of 2007.

Jeff Wood, Senior Vice President, joined the PowerBridge team in 2011 and 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 undersea transmission cable completed in June of 2007.

Jeff has over 30 years of experience in project finance with involvement in raising more than $7 billion in debt and equity. Before joining PowerBridge, 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 was involved in the financing of major energy projects both in the U.S. and internationally.

Jeff graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He also holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

ERNEST B. GRIGGS

Senior Vice President & Project Manager

Ernie Griggs serves as Senior Vice President and 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.

 

Ernie Griggs serves as Senior Vice President and 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. 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. 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

CFO & Treasurer

Tom Beaumonte, CFO & Treasurer, 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.

Tom Beaumonte, CFO & Treasurer, has more than 25 years of 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).

Christopher Benson

Director of Operations

Chris Benson joined the PowerBridge team in 2013. As Director of Operations he is responsible for daily 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 Benson joined the PowerBridge team in 2013. As Director of Operations, he is responsible for daily 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 an MBA from Quinnipiac University, a master’s degree in Project Management from Pennsylvania State University, a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from Excelsior College, and a Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Architecture from Pennsylvania State University.

KATHY NEARY

Vice President, Accounting & Administration

Kathy Neary joined the PowerBridge team upon its founding in 2005 and helped create all of the company's accounting and risk management functions. Kathy has more than 20 years of accounting and financial management experience and is primarily responsible for administrative, insurance, accounting, cash management and certain other financial matters for PowerBridge and its affiliated entities and projects. 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 Neary joined the PowerBridge team upon its founding in 2005 and helped create all of the company's accounting and risk management functions. Kathy has more than 20 years of accounting and financial management experience and is primarily responsible for administrative, insurance, accounting, cash management and certain other financial matters for PowerBridge and its affiliated entities and projects.

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 of Science and MBA degrees from Fairfield University.

J. Christopher Hocker

Vice President, Planning

Chris Hocker joined PowerBridge as Vice President of Planning in 2004 after 20 years of experience in the electric power industry that encompassed 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.

Chris Hocker joined PowerBridge as Vice President of Planning in 2004 after 20 years of experience in the electric power industry that encompassed 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, Vice President Operations, is primarily responsible for operations and maintenance (“O&M”) and NERC 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.

Jim Sullivan, Vice President Operations, is primarily responsible for operations and maintenance (“O&M”) and NERC 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 he 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. Prior to joining PowerBridge, Jim 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.

John Ostrowski

Vice President, Construction

John Ostrowski joined PowerBridge with 35 years of experience in the engineering and installation of electric power systems. He began his career as an electrical engineer for the Long Island Lighting Co. and its successor, KeySpan Energy, where he advanced to Area Supervisor and Supervising Service Operator for the installation, operation, restoration, and improvements of distribution and bulk transmission systems. He then joined Pirelli/Prysmian Cables, where he was responsible for directing the installation of numerous land-based and submarine cable projects. These included the Neptune and Hudson transmission projects, both high voltage submarine cable installations linking New Jersey and New York, which were developed by affiliates of PowerBridge.

John Ostrowski, Vice President,Construction, joined PowerBridge with 35 years of experience in the engineering and installation of electric power systems. He began his career as an electrical engineer for the Long Island Lighting Co. and its successor, KeySpan Energy, where he advanced to Area Supervisor and Supervising Service Operator for the installation, operation, restoration, and improvements of distribution and bulk transmission systems. He then joined Pirelli/Prysmian Cables, where he was responsible for directing the installation of numerous land-based and submarine cable projects. These included the Neptune and Hudson transmission projects, both high voltage submarine cable installations linking New Jersey and New York, which were developed by affiliates of PowerBridge.

John later formed Power Installation & Design Group, and in association with Railroad Construction Company, Inc. was responsible for directing multi-million dollar transmission and substation projects, such as replacement and upgrading of a transmission line for Tampa Electric Co., and a $100 million project involving the demolition of obsolete substation facilities and construction of a new substation and associated utilities and structures.

John holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University and an MBA in Management from Wagner College.

Susan Brown

Project Coordinator

Susan Brown, Project Coordinator, has both development and operations responsibilities, including environmental and regulatory compliance. She 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 2011 after four years in the Fairfield, Connecticut public schools as an IT specialist. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University.

 

Liesl Cugno

Office Manager and Executive Assistant

Liesl Cugno joined PowerBridge in 2021 as Office Manager and Executive Assistant. Liesl has broad experience supporting all levels of executive management as well as general office management. She most recently worked for seven years as an Executive Assistant at Aberdeen Standard Investments, and its predecessor companies Aberdeen Asset Management and FLAG Capital Management. Earlier in her career, she held positions supporting senior management at Trident Capital and IMS Health. Liesl holds an A.S. Degree in Office Administration from Sacred Heart University.