Chesapeake Utilities Corporation Welcomes John Lewnard as Vice President of Business Development
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) ("Chesapeake") announced today that John "Jack" Lewnard has joined the Company as Vice President of Business Development. In addition, David De Caro and Gregory Ballheim have both joined the Company as Strategic Development Directors.
As Vice President of Business Development, Dr. Lewnard will identify and develop new business growth opportunities throughout the Company. Prior to joining Chesapeake, Dr. Lewnard was Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), a leading organization serving the global natural gas industry and energy markets, where he led GTI's Office of Technology and Innovation and was responsible for the development and implementation of GTI's long-term technical strategy and business development initiatives.
As Strategic Development Directors, David De Caro and Gregory Ballheim will be responsible for project evaluation and management, participating in the development of strategic growth projects, and ensuring effective day-to-day project management.
"Chesapeake is increasing resources in our Strategic Development group to further augment our capacity to identify and develop new growth opportunities," said Michael P. McMasters, President and CEO of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. "The addition of Jack, Dave and Greg to our team greatly enhances our ability to evaluate and build these opportunities to further grow our business. This expansion of our team reflects our relentless commitment to take full advantage of existing and new growth opportunities in our natural gas and energy markets that will benefit our customers, communities and shareholders."
Dr. Lewnard has over 30 years of experience in diverse research & development, engineering and business development roles, including commercial development, process and project engineering, and intellectual property management. Prior to joining GTI, he served as Vice President, Process Development, at GreenFuel Technologies Corporation, a privately held company that produced biofuels using carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Prior to that, he was a Manager for Millipore Corporation, a leader in porous membrane filter technology and product development. He began his career at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and progressed to managerial roles in engineering, research, and business development, focusing on alternative fuels, advanced power generation processes, and gas separation systems for nitrogen and hydrogen.
Dr. Lewnard is the Chair of the International Gas Union's Committee for Research and Innovation. He also served as a Board Representative for Versa Power, Inc. and CrysaTech, Inc., the Illinois Institute of Technology Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research, and the Chicago Council on Science and Technology. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, and is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Dr. Lewnard earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He has eight U.S. patents, with related international filings, and has an extensive professional publication and speaking record.
Mr. De Caro brings more than 20 years of management and technical experience to Chesapeake. He comes to Chesapeake from Cardno ENTRIX, Inc. where he was a Senior Consultant and Project Manager. Mr. De Caro delivered strategic siting, licensing and due diligence for development, construction and operating projects, with the majority of his efforts devoted to marketing, business development and aligning client sectors and marketing plans with internal staff and outside partners. Prior to that, he was a Senior Permit Manager for Iberdrola Renewable, Inc., where he prepared due diligence studies for merger and acquisition projects in the U.S. and Canada and led all Eastern Region agency negotiations for Federal, State and Local siting permits and policies. In addition, he provided risk and impact assessments for the early pursuit of wind and solar projects. Prior to Iberdrola Renewable, Mr. De Caro held the positions of Senior Environmental Scientist and Project Manager for Entrix, Inc.; Project Scientist for CH2M Hill, Inc.; and Manager of Environmental Planning for Edwards & Kelcey, Inc.
Mr. De Caro is a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist and member of the National Association of Environmental Professionals. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University – Cook College in Natural Resources Conservation.
With more than 12 years of energy industry experience, Mr. Ballheim's primary focus has been on the natural gas market and related infrastructure. He comes to Chesapeake from Bradley Energy U.S.A., where he was a Senior Vice President and the strategy development advisor. In this role, he was responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities, presenting investment opportunities in the natural gas sector to potential investors, and developing acquisition strategies. Prior to that, Mr. Ballheim was with Pace Global Energy Services where he held the positions of Senior Consultant, Project Manager and Director in the Fuels Consulting Division, and Analyst, Senior Analyst and Energy Buyer in the Energy Management Services Division. He also worked as a Geo-Coding Analyst for the Descartes Systems Group.
Mr. Ballheim earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from George Mason University and graduated from the Executive Leadership and Executive Integral Leadership professional programs at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
"Jack, Dave and Greg bring us broad and deep experience and expertise in energy markets, business development and project direction, which will greatly expand our capacity to identify and develop existing and new growth opportunities to achieve the business goals in Chesapeake's Strategic Plan," said Elaine Bittner, Chesapeake's Senior Vice President, Strategic Development.
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a diversified utility company engaged in natural gas distribution, transmission and marketing; electric distribution; propane gas distribution and wholesale marketing; advanced information services and other related services. Information about Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and the Chesapeake family of businesses is available at http://www.chpk.com.
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