Richard J. Mark
Chairman/President, Ameren Illinois Company
Richard J. Mark is chairman and president of Ameren Illinois Company. He is responsible for electric and natural gas distribution to more than 1.2 million electric and 806,000 natural gas customers across three-quarters of the state of Illinois. Ameren Illinois’ complex delivery system includes approximately 4,500 miles of electric transmission lines, 45,700 miles of distribution lines, 18,000 miles of natural gas transmission and distribution mains and 12 underground natural gas storage fields. Ameren Illinois is a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation which is ranked 373rd of the Fortune 500 companies. Before his appointment as president, Mark was senior vice president of Ameren Missouri Customer Operations and was responsible for electric and gas distribution to more than 1.2 million customers across central and eastern Missouri including the greater St. Louis area. Mark also oversaw Customer Services Operations, Community Relations, Communications, Customer Satisfaction and Corporate Giving for Missouri’s largest utility. Mark joined Ameren in 2002 as vice president of Customer Service. In 2003, he became vice president of Governmental Policy and Consumer Affairs. In just two short years, he rose to the position of senior vice president of Ameren Missouri Energy Delivery – becoming the first African American to hold this position. In 2009, Mark was promoted to senior vice president of Customer Operations – a position that encompasses Ameren Missouri’s Energy Delivery but was expanded to meet customers’ energy needs of the future.To ensure a secure energy future for Ameren customers, Mark is leading a Strategic Customer Initiative focused on promoting energy efficiency, smart grid technologies and customer-based energy generation, or distributed generation. His team’s goals are to deploy advanced technologies, tools and services to enable customers to manage their energy usage and costs while enhancing the electric grid. Prior to joining Ameren, Mark spent six years as president and chief executive officer of St. Mary’s Hospital in East St. Louis and five years as chief operating officer. Mark also served 10 years as chairman of the East St. Louis District 189 Financial Oversight Panel. Mark serves on a variety of boards and organizations including Enterprise Bank and Trust, Madison Mutual Insurance, Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis, and the St. Louis Police Foundation. He has received three honorary doctorate degrees for his civic and community work, as well as numerous awards and honors; most recently Mark was recognized by Savoy magazine in its 2014 spring issue as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. In 2012, Black Enterprise magazine named him one of the 100 Most Powerful Executives in America. His other honors include the NAACP’s Inspiring St. Louisan Award of 2011, St. Louis Business Journal’s Ten Years of Influence of 2010, St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Energy Executive of 2010 and many more.
President, Aqua America Illinois
David Carter is the president of Aqua Illinois, which provides water and wastewater services to approximately 273,000 people in 70 communities across 13 counties. Aqua Illinois is a subsidiary of Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG), one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater, and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5 million people in 10 states.
As president, Carter is responsible for overseeing statewide operations and customer growth strategies. Additionally, he ensures high-quality, reliable water and wastewater services, nurtures regulatory and legislative relationships and expands access to essential services across Illinois.
David Carter possesses over 15 years of water and wastewater industry experience, and over 15 years of experience in engineering, consulting and development. Having served in executive-level roles at Suez Environment, Veolia Water North America and Utilities, Inc., Carter brings a wealth of knowledge in strategic planning, multi-location plant operations, safety and compliance. A champion for growth, innovation and team strengthening, he has led initiatives related to water and wastewater, biosolids processing, waste to energy conversion and organic waste processing.
Prior to joining Aqua, Carter managed residential improvement projects for his own construction management business, David Carter Group.
Carter holds a Master of Science in engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University.
CEO, Commonwealth Edison
Gil Quiniones leads ComEd, an Exelon company, which powers the lives of more than 4 million residential and business customers, or 70 percent of Illinois’ population. He is responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to customers and for empowering them to manage their energy use. He oversees the management of the electric grid for Chicago and most of northern Illinois and ComEd’s partnerships with the diverse communities it serves.
Before joining ComEd, Quiniones served more than a decade as president and CEO of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility. Under his leadership, NYPA played a key role in the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative to use market forces and new technology to empower customers and encourage the growth of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Before joining NYPA in 2007, Quiniones held several positions in the administration of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, including more than four years as senior vice president of energy and telecommunications. He started his career at Consolidated Edison (Con Edison), one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies and an electric and gas utility serving parts of southeastern New York and northern New Jersey, including New York City. He worked for 16 years at Con Edison, where he cofounded Con Edison Solutions, the utility’s unregulated energy services company.
Quiniones was named as the 2017 Smart Electric Power Alliance Power Player of the Year, an award that recognizes leaders in the front lines of energy transformation in the United States. He also received the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award from the American Public Power Association.
Quiniones served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance to Save Energy. He served on the Boards of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Large Public Power Council. From April 2015 to April 2016, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the electric power industry’s international research and development organization. He currently serves as Chair of the GridWise Alliance, which focuses on accelerating innovation that delivers a more secure, reliable, resilient, and affordable grid to support decarbonization of the US economy.
Quinones attended De La Salle University in the Philippines where he received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering.
President, Illinois American Water
Justin Ladner is president of Illinois American Water, the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. In this role, Ladner reinforces and strengthens customer, regulatory and local government relationships, drives operational and financial results and is the principal external contact for American Water in Illinois.
Prior to his current role, Ladner joined American Water in November. 2018 as director of National Regulatory Affairs. In this national role for American Water, Ladnerwas responsible for developing and implementing strategies, practices, and processes related to National Regulatory Affairs. He also served as the primary liaison between our business units and our state Regulatory Affairs teams, providing leadership and strategy to identify, develop, and implement best practices to ensure functional excellence. He has also worked closely to enhance our presence as an industry leader at National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) events.
Before joining American Water, Ladner served as the governmental affairs and policy manager for Southern Power. In that role, he created and led the government affairs team with a focus on federal, regional, and state legislative and regulatory affairs. He also held several other positions at Southern Co., including project manager for the Integration Management Office, assistant to the executive vice president of Nuclear Development, and attorney for Southern Nuclear.
Prior to joining Southern Co., Ladner was an associate attorney for Huie, Fernambucq& Stewart in Birmingham, Ala. He also worked for U.S. Steel as a metallurgical engineer. Ladner received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law, as well as a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering with honors from the University of Alabama.
President/CEO, Nicor Gas
Wendell Dallas serves as president and CEO of Nicor Gas, one of America’s leading natural gas distributors and the largest distribution company of Southern Company Gas with 2.2 million customers in over 650 Illinois communities. Prior to leading Nicor Gas, Wendell served as vice president of sales and marketing for Georgia Power Company where he was responsible for their topline revenue growth strategy, new product development, product distribution, e-commerce, electric transportation, sales management and energy efficiency.
Wendell brings with him deep institutional knowledge gained from more than 30 years of leadership, operations and engineering experience in the natural gas industry. Prior to joining Georgia Power, he served as vice president of operations for two Southern Company Gas subsidiaries, Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas. In these multistate leadership roles, he was responsible for ensuring the company’s operational excellence in delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas to more than 700,000 customers in five Georgia and Tennessee regions. He also served as the vice president of economic and community development for the Southern Company Gas multistate footprint.
A native of Opelika, Alabama, Dallas holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and is a graduate of Leadership Georgia, Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Savannah. He and his wife have three grown children.
President, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas
Torrence Hinton was named president — Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas in June 2022. In this role, he manages the daily operations, strategy and administrative activities of the two Illinois utilities, which together provide safe, reliable natural gas service to nearly 1 million customers in the city of Chicago and 54 communities in its northern suburbs.
Hinton formerly was vice president — operations at Peoples Gas. His responsibilities included ensuring public and employee safety, regulatory compliance, operational excellence, financial performance and top-tier customer service.
Prior to that, Hinton was director — gas storage, overseeing natural gas storage assets for WEC Energy Group. His responsibilities included the development and implementation of consistent and sustainable operational strategies and business plans related to the natural gas storage assets across all of WEC Energy Group’s natural gas utilities.
Hinton also served as director — operations and maintenance at Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, with overall responsibility for the development and implementation of operational strategies and business plans related to the operation, maintenance and inspection of natural gas facilities for both companies.
Hinton joined Peoples Gas in 1999. Before being named to the company’s top leadership, he served in a number of roles with increasing responsibility, including manager — centralized planning group, director — fleet services, operations manager — North Shore Gas, operations manager — Peoples Gas, and general manager — North District at Peoples Gas.
Hinton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he received the Clinton E. Stryker Distinguished Service Award for his leadership and contributions in the area of campus life. He also holds a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in strategy and leadership from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Hinton is active in numerous community, educational and industry organizations, serving on the boards of Chicago Commons, Communities In Schools of Chicago, Youth Guidance and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. He is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, class of 2013; a 2014 recipient of the Chicago Defender’s Men of Excellence award; and a 2021 participant of McKinsey Academy’s Black Executive Leadership Program.