BRYN MAWR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) announced today that its natural gas division president, Joseph Gregorini, will retire effective September 1, 2020. The company also announced that, after a national search, Michael Huwar will succeed Gregorini as president of Peoples. Huwar most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland, both subsidiaries of NiSource, Inc.
“Joe has distinguished himself as a successful utility executive through his long and highly effective career at Peoples,” said Essential Chairman and CEO, Christopher Franklin. “We are all thankful for his leadership and service to the company for more than 30 years. I am particularly grateful for his leadership through the closing of our transaction and over the past several months as our utilities have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish Joe and his family all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
Huwar will join Peoples after a more than 34-year career with Columbia, serving in numerous director and vice president roles throughout the organization’s operating companies before moving to his position as president and COO of Columbia’s Pennsylvania and Maryland operations in 2017.
“We are excited to have someone with Mike’s breadth and depth of experience lead our Peoples natural gas division,” said Franklin. “He is a proven operational leader, with additional experience in business development, products and services, employee and pipeline safety and customer relations. I look forward to working with Mike as he leads our natural gas business and upholds our strong commitment to employees, customers and shareholders.”
In his most recent roles at Columbia, Huwar was responsible for overseeing the operations, maintenance, and construction for both states as well as designing and executing legislative, regulatory, commercial and external strategies. He led over 800 company employees, managed approximately 1,500 contractor based construction employees and was accountable for the safe, reliable, and efficient delivery of natural gas customer service to nearly 470,000 customers across the Pennsylvania and Maryland service territories.
Huwar will report to Rick Fox, Essential’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“Mike’s background and experience in the natural gas space make him the ideal fit for this role and I’m very happy to have him on board,” said Fox. “I also want to thank Joe for his longtime leadership and contributions at Peoples. I wish him a very happy and healthy retirement,” Fox added.
Huwar earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Energy Association of Pennsylvania, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
Huwar resides in Franklin Park, Pa. with his family.
Essential is one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. Essential is committed to excellence in proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship. The company recognizes the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and is proud to deliver safe, reliable services that contribute to the quality of life in the communities it serves. For more information, visit http://www.essential.co.
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