May 2020 Management Changes
On May 19, 2020, FirstEnergy announced key management changes that support the company’s succession planning process, broadens the experience of key executives, and further positions the company for long-term, customer-focused growth. The changes are effective May 24, 2020.
Photos for these executives can be downloaded from Flickr.
Charles E. Jones
Chief Executive Officer, FirstEnergy Corp.
Member, Board of Directors
Chuck Jones is chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of FirstEnergy. He previously served as president, chief executive officer and member of the board since 2015.
Jones began his career with Ohio Edison as a substation engineer in 1978. He held a variety of positions across the service territory, and in 1995 was named president of Ohio Edison’s Penn Power subsidiary. He returned to Akron in 1996 as division manager. Jones was named president of FirstEnergy’s Northern Region in 1997, vice president of Regional Operations in 2001, senior vice president of Energy Delivery and Customer Service in 2003, and president of FirstEnergy Solutions in 2007. He was named senior vice president of Energy Delivery and Customer Service in 2009, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities in 2010, and executive vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities in 2014. He was elected president and chief executive officer effective January 1, 2015.
Jones attended the United States Naval Academy for two years and received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from The University of Akron. He completed the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Public Utility Executive Program at the University of Michigan. He is a past member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Steven E. Strah
President, FirstEnergy Corp
Steve Strah has been named president, FirstEnergy Corp., with responsibility for FirstEnergy Utilities; Corporate Services and Information Technology; Finance; Product Development, Marketing and Branding; External Affairs; Rates and Regulatory Affairs; and Strategy. Prior to this promotion he was senior vice president and chief financial officer since 2018.
Strah began his career with The Illuminating Company in 1984. In 1995, he was named Operations Services staff support manager, and in 1996, he was a member of the transition team for the merger of Ohio Edison and Centerior Energy that created FirstEnergy. After the merger, Strah was named director of Business Services for FirstEnergy's Northern Region – Ohio, based in Cleveland. In 2000, he was named director of Operations Support Services for the company's Western Region – Ohio, based in Toledo. After the 2001 merger of FirstEnergy and GPU, Inc., Strah was named president of the Northern Region – New Jersey for Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L). In 2005, he was named regional president of Ohio Edison. He was promoted to vice president, Distribution Support in 2011. Strah was named senior vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities, in January 2015.
Strah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. In May 2017, he completed the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives, Nuclear Physics, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
K. Jon Taylor
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jon Taylor has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer for FirstEnergy, with responsibility for accounting, treasury and investor relations. Prior to his promotion he was vice president, Utility Operations.
Taylor joined FirstEnergy in 2009 as manager of Financial Reporting and Technical Research. He was promoted to assistant controller of FirstEnergy Utilities in 2010, and to assistant controller for FirstEnergy Solutions and FirstEnergy Generation in April 2012. In October 2012, Taylor was promoted to vice president and assistant controller for FirstEnergy Corp. He was named vice president, controller and chief accounting officer for FirstEnergy Corp. in 2013. In 2018 he was named president, Ohio Operations, which includes the company's Ohio Edison, Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison utilities. He was named to his current position in 2019.
From 1997 to 2009, Taylor worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. He graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and he earned a Master of Accounting degree from The University of Alabama in 1997.
Robert P. Reffner
Senior Vice President
and Chief Legal Officer
Bob Reffner has been named senior vice president and chief legal officer for FirstEnergy with responsibility for Legal, Corporate Secretary, Ethics, Risk and Internal Auditing, and the Innovation Center. He previously served as senior vice president and general counsel since 2018.
Reffner joined FirstEnergy as vice president, Legal, in 2007. Earlier in his career, he served as a partner at Brouse McDowell, a business law firm in northeastern Ohio.
Reffner was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1977 and is a member of the Ohio State and Akron Bar associations. He was listed in Best Lawyers in America for many years while in private practice, specializing in corporate law. In addition, he also has been recognized as one of northeast Ohio’s leading lawyers by Inside Business. was listed in Northern Ohio Live as one of the region’s top lawyers, and was named an Ohio Super Lawyer by Cincinnati Magazine.
Reffner graduated from The University of Akron in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and received his law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1977, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, an honorary scholastic society.
Vice President, General Counsel
and Chief Ethics Officer
Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah has been named vice president, general counsel and chief ethics officer. She previously served as vice president, deputy general counsel, corporate secretary and chief ethics officer since 2018.
Yeboah-Amankwah joined the company in 2005 as an attorney supporting the company’s Treasury Department. She was promoted several times in the Legal Department, developing expertise in the area of state regulatory affairs. She joined the External Affairs Department in 2011 as executive director of State Affairs supporting legislative and regulatory matters before returning to the Legal Department in 2012 as executive director, State and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Legal Affairs. Yeboah-Amankwah advanced to vice president, State and Federal Regulatory Legal Affairs in January 2017.
She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and philosophy from Washington & Jefferson College and a law degree from Washington and Lee University.
Mary M. Swann
Mary Swann has been elected Corporate Secretary for FirstEnergy. Swann joined FirstEnergy in 2018 as Senior Corporate Counsel II.
She began her career at Brouse McDowell, LPA in 2005 as an associate attorney focused on mergers and acquisitions. In 2012 she joined Diebold Incorporated (Diebold Nixdorf), where she rose to vice president, executive corporate counsel and assistant corporate secretary.
Swann earned Bachelor of Arts and law degrees from The University of Akron. She is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Akron Bar Association and Cleveland Bar Association, and is an Akron Bar Foundation Fellow.
John E. Skory
Vice President, Utility Operations
John Skory has been named vice president, Utility Operations for FirstEnergy Utilities. Previously, he was president, Ohio Operations.
Skory began his career with the Illuminating Company in 1977. In 2000, he was promoted to manager, Workforce Development, Regional Operations, where he was instrumental in helping establish the company’s award-winning Power Systems Institute training program. In 2002, he was promoted to director, Operations Support Services for Ohio Edison and was named director of Operations Support Services for The Illuminating Company in 2003. In 2010, Skory served on the FirstEnergy-Allegheny Energy merger team prior to being named president of Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec). He was named regional president of The Illuminating Company in September 2012 and assumed his current role in April 2019.
Skory earned an A.A. degree from Cuyahoga Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from David N. Myers College in Cleveland.
Gary W. Grant, Jr.
President, Ohio Operations
Gary Grant has been named president, Ohio Operations, for FirstEnergy Utilities. Previously he was vice president, Customer Service since 2015.
Grant joined the company in 2008 as director of Revenue Operations. In 2012, he became director of FirstEnergy Solutions Retail Operations, responsible for customer service for the former subsidiary’s 2 million generation customers. He was promoted to director of the FirstEnergy Customer Contact Centers in 2013, where he oversaw operations of the company’s call center facilities in Akron and Toledo, Ohio; Reading, Pennsylvania; and Fairmont, West Virginia.
Grant earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., and a Master of Science degree from State University of New York Institute of Technology in Utica, N.Y.
Michelle R. Henry
Vice President, Customer Service
Michelle Henry has been named vice president, Customer Service, for FirstEnergy Utilities. Henry was previously director, FERC and State Regulatory Compliance since 2018.
Henry began her career with the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company in 1988 as a Scholastics Awards Student engineer at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. She has served as the manager, Business Analytics; manager, Corporate Cash Management; and manager, Finance Strategy and Reporting. She became manager, FERC and Transmission Technical Support for FirstEnergy Utilities in 2011 and was promoted to director, Market Policy for FirstEnergy Service Company in 2014.
Henry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Ohio Northern University. She is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio.
James H. Myers, III
President, West Virginia Operations
Jim Myers has been named president for FirstEnergy Utilities’ West Virginia Operations. Previously he was director, Operations Services for the company’s Penelec utility.
Myers joined Allegheny Energy in 1985 as a student engineering assistant and rose through a progression of engineering roles before being promoted to director, Building Services in 2006. He was named director, Distribution Engineering and Planning in 2007; director, Asset Management in 2008; and director Operations Support for Allegheny Power in 2011. After FirstEnergy merged with Allegheny Energy in 2012, Myers was named director of Operations Support for Penelec. He was named to his current position in 2019.
Myers holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.