Board of Directors
Heidi L. Boyd
Senior Managing Director at Blackstone
Director of FirstEnergy since 2024
Business Experience: Senior managing director at Blackstone, a global investment firm. Ms. Boyd has been a private equity investor in infrastructure businesses for nearly 15 years. Before joining Blackstone, she was at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, where she was involved with numerous transactions in the utility, energy, waste and transportation sectors. Currently, she serves as Board member and Audit Committee Chair at Carrix Inc., a private global ports operator (since 2021). She also served as director at NIPSCO in 2024, a regulated utility subsidiary of NiSource, Inc., and as director at Atlantic Power Transmission (2022-2023), a Blackstone Infrastructure Partners company focused on offshore wind power transmission.
Other Attributes, Experience and Skills: Boyd received her Bachelor of Arts in Science, Technology and Society from Stanford University, where she co-founded the Stanford Women in Business. She also received her Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. At Blackstone, she oversees significant portfolio company investments which are asset- and people-intensive, which a strong focus on safety programs and oversight. Her extensive board-level experience at various regulated utilities coupled with her finance acumen provides valuable service to the FirstEnergy Board.
Jana T. Croom
Chief financial officer of Kimball Electronics
Director of FirstEnergy since 2022.
Committees: Audit; Corporate Governance, Corporate Responsibility and Political Oversight
Business Experience: Chief financial officer for Kimball Electronics, Inc., a global electronics manufacturing company, since July 2021, after serving as vice president, finance (from January 2021 to July 2021). She previously served as vice president, financial planning and analysis (from August 2019 to January 2021), director of operations planning (from March 2017 to August 2019), and also held a number of roles of increasing responsibility including regulatory, operations and finance at NiSource Inc., a regulated public utility.
Other Attributes, Experience and Skills: Croom received her Bachelor of Arts degree from The College of Wooster and a Master of Business Administration from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. She is a tenured utility industry finance executive having worked in both the electric and natural gas business. She has acquired extensive and wide-ranging leadership, accounting, audit, financial planning and analysis, investor relations, tax, treasury and governance oversight skills through her former roles. Prior to her roles at Kimball Electronics and NiSource, she also was employed by American Electric Power Co Inc., an investor-owned electric utility, focusing on investor relations, corporate finance and treasury. Croom’s extensive and wide-ranging leadership, accounting, audit, governance oversight and related skills will make her a valuable member of the FirstEnergy Board.
Steven J. Demetriou
Executive chair of the board at Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
Director of FirstEnergy since 2017.
Committees: Finance (Chair); Compensation
Business Experience: Chair and director of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., a provider of technical professional services, including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector, since August 2015. He previously served as chairman and chief executive officer (from 2004 to 2015) of Aleris Corporation, a manufacturer of aluminum rolled products. Demetriou served as a director (from 2008 to 2014) and non-executive chairman (from 2011 to 2014) of Foster-Wheeler AG; director of the OM Group (from 2005 to 2015); and director of Kraton Corporation (from 2009 to 2017). Director of FirstEnergy since 2017.
Other Attributes, Experience and Skills: Demetriou received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Tufts University. He has extensive experience in leadership and senior management roles, including the role of chief executive officer. In addition, he brings experience in a variety of industries, including engineering, construction and oil and gas. His extensive executive and board experience has equipped him with leadership skills and the knowledge of board processes and functions. This experience qualifies him to serve as a member of the FirstEnergy Board.
Lisa Winston Hicks
Former chair of the board for MV Transportation, Inc.
Lead Independent Director of FirstEnergy
Director of FirstEnergy since 2021
Committees: Compensation; Operations and Safety Oversight
Business Experience: Chair of the board for MV Transportation, Inc., the largest privately owned passenger transportation contracting firm and provider of paratransit services in the United States, since October 2014. She served as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for MV Transportation from 2012 until 2018. From 2004 until 2012 she was senior vice president, associate general counsel and corporate secretary for Energy Future Holdings.
Other Attributes, Skills and Experience: Winston Hicks received a BA in Political Science from Stanford University and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. As executive vice president and general counsel of MV Transportation, Hicks directed all company legal affairs including its acquisition of businesses, defense and resolution of litigation, as well as corporate compliance and governance. From 2004 until 2008 she was senior vice president and associate general counsel and corporate secretary for for TXU Corp., a Dallas based energy holding company. Earlier in her career she worked as a litigator in private law practice and served in various roles at the U.S. Department of Justice and in the White House where she was Associate Counsel to the President. Ms. Hicks’ legal, regulatory, compliance and energy-sector experience qualifies her to serve as a member of your Board.
Retired executive vice president and general counsel at First Solar Inc.
Director of FirstEnergy since 2021
Committees: Corporate Governance, Corporate Responsibility and Political Oversight (Chair); Compensation, Operations and Safety Oversight
Business Experience: Retired executive vice president, general counsel, federal affairs, chief compliance officer, and corporate secretary of First Solar, Inc., a global solar company, from 2014 to 2020. Managing director of SERC Consulting LLC, an energy policy and strategy firm, since 2020. Previously, he served as executive vice president, general counsel, shared services, secretary, and chief compliance officer for NV Energy, Inc., an electric and gas utility from 2006 to 2013.
Other Attributes, Skills and Experience: Kaleta received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and his undergraduate graduated degree from Hamilton College. He has more than 30 years of leadership and business experience as a senior executive and general counsel for companies across the energy industry, including both regulated utility and clean energy technology companies. He also has served on energy advisory and industry boards, was a partner in a Washington, D.C. law firm, and was an adjunct professor teaching energy law and business ethics. Kaleta’s varied and comprehensive utility, regulatory, energy transition, clean energy, energy sustainability and resiliency, governmental affairs, legal, and corporate governance and compliance experience qualifies him to serve as a member of the FirstEnergy Board.
James F. O’Neil III
Principal owner of Forefront Solutions, LLC.
Director of FirstEnergy since 2017.
Committees: Compensation (Chair); Audit, Operations and Safety Oversight
Business Experience: Chief executive officer and vice chairman of Orbital Energy Group (formerly known as CUI Global Inc.,.), a company focused on acquisition and development of innovative companies to create a diversified energy services platform since 2019. Principal owner of Forefront Solutions, LLC, which provides consulting services primarily to the energy infrastructure industry, since October 2017. Former president, chief executive officer and director of Quanta Services, Inc., a provider of specialty contracting services to the electric power and oil and gas industries (from 2011 to 2016). Director of FirstEnergy since 2017.
Other Attributes, Experience and Skills: O’Neil received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Tulane University. His has extensive leadership and senior management experience, including the role of chief executive officer, chief operating officer and senior vice president of operations integration and audit. His extensive executive and board experience has equipped him with leadership skills and the knowledge of board processes and functions. Additionally, O’Neil’s audit, general corporate decision-making and engineering experience makes him a valuable member to the FirstEnergy Board.
John W. Somerhalder II
Non-Executive Board Chair
Director of FirstEnergy since 2021.
Committees: Finance; Operations and Safety Oversight
Business Experience: Somerhalder served as interim president and chief executive officer of the company (from October 2022 to June 2023) and vice chair and executive director of the company (from March 2021 to May 2022). Previously, he served as interim president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy, Inc., an electric and natural gas utility serving several U.S. markets (from February 2020 to July 2020), and served as a member of the CenterPoint Energy’s board of directors (from 2016 through July 2020). Somerhalder served as a director of Gulfport Energy Corp (from July 2020 to May 2021), as a director and board chairman of Enable Midstream Partners, LP (from February 2020 to July 2020), served as a Director of SunCoke Energy Partners GP LLC (from August 2017 to July 2019) and served as director at Crestwood Equity GP LLC, the general partner of Crestwood Equity Partners LP (from October 2013 to February 2020).
Other Attributes, Experience and Skills: Somerhalder holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. He served as interim president and chief executive officer of Colonial Pipeline Company, a U.S. refined products pipeline company (from February 2017 to October 2017). Prior to that, he was president and chief executive officer of AGL Resources Inc., a former publicly traded energy services holding company (from March 2006 to his retirement in December 2015), and chairman of AGL Resources board of directors (from November 2007 to December 2015). Prior to joining AGL Resources, Somerhalder served in a number of roles with El Paso Corporation, a publicly traded natural gas and related energy products provider, where he spent almost 30 years, starting his career as an engineer and progressing through leadership roles before being named president of El Paso Pipeline Group and executive vice president of El Paso Corporation. He has extensive leadership and senior management experience, including the roles of chief executive officer and board chairman, have equipped him with leadership skills, knowledge of the industry, and board processes and functions. Somerhalder’s extensive experience qualifies him to serve on your Board, lead efforts to rebuild trust with our external stakeholders, support our senior leadership team’s efforts to achieve its priorities and strengthen FirstEnergy’s governance and compliance functions.
Brian X. Tierney
President and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy Corp.
Director of FirstEnergy since 2023.
Business Experience: Previously served as the global head of Portfolio Operations and Asset Management for Blackstone Infrastructure Group. Earlier, he spent 23 years at Ohio-based American Electric Power Company, Inc., one of the United States' largest investor-owned utilities. At AEP he held numerous leadership positions, including executive vice president of Strategy and more than 11 years as chief financial officer.
Other Attributes, Experience and Skills: Tierney earned his bachelor's degree from Boston College and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He also served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of the Philippines. With a career spanning 28 years in the electric utility industry, Tierney has developed extensive leadership, operational and commercial experience. Moreover, his strong financial acumen – across capital allocation, accounting, investor relations, planning and strategy, and risk management – and demonstrated ability to advance business strategies and drive value creation make him a valuable member of the FirstEnergy Board.
Leslie M. Turner
Retired as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of The Hershey Company.
Director of FirstEnergy since 2018.
Committees: Audit (Chair); Finance
Business Experience: Retired in March 2018 as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary (positions held since 2012) of The Hershey Company, a global confectionery company. Director of FirstEnergy since 2018.
Other Attributes, Experience and Skills: Turner received her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center after graduating from the New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree. She also received a Master of Laws in Law and Government from the American University, Washington College of Law. Turner has extensive and wide-ranging leadership, legal, governance and corporate strategy skills through her former roles with The Hershey Company and The Coca-Cola Company. Turner served as senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of The Hershey Company from 2012 until her retirement in March 2018. In this role, Turner was the leader of Hershey’s legal, government relations, corporate secretary, and corporate security functions. She also advised Hershey on M&A opportunities and other stakeholder considerations facing publicly traded companies. Prior to joining Hershey, Turner’s career included progressively more responsible leadership roles at Coca-Cola North America, Akin Gump Hauer & Feld, LLP and the senior executive service level of the federal government. Turner’s legal experience and additional regulatory experience qualify her to serve as a member of FirstEnergy's Board.
Melvin D. Williams
Retired as president of Nicor Gas and senior vice president of Southern Company Gas.
Director of FirstEnergy since 2021.
Committees: Operations and Safety Oversight (Chair); Corporate Governance, Corporate Responsibility and Political Oversight
Business Experience: Retired in 2020 as president of Nicor Gas, a natural gas distribution company and subsidiary of the Southern Company, and senior vice president of Southern Company Gas (positions held since 2015). Director of FirstEnergy since May 2021.
Other Attributes, Experience and Skills: Williams received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the Savannah State University. Prior to his most recent positions, he held progressively more responsible leadership roles including senior vice president, planning and business services at Nicor Gas and vice president and general manager at Atlanta Gas Light Company and Florida City Gas Company. Over 32 years of utility experience that includes sales, marketing, regulatory and utility operations enables Williams to provide valuable insight and qualifies him to serve as a member of FirstEnergy’s Board.
The Board annually reviews the independence of each of its members to make the affirmative determination of independence that is called for by our Corporate Governance Policies and required by the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Click here to see our Corporate Governance Policies.