Following New Jersey Resources’ previously announced succession plan, the board formally appointed Steve Westhoven as president and chief executive officer of NJR and its principal subsidiaries, including New Jersey Natural Gas, effective Oct, 1. Laurence M. Downes will retire as CEO on Sept. 30 and will continue to serve as chairman of the board until the company’s Annual Shareowners Meeting in January 2020.
“I appreciate the confidence the board has placed in me as the next president and CEO of New Jersey Resources,” said Steve Westhoven, president and chief operating officer at New Jersey Resources. “Larry Downes has set a high bar building a strong organization and culture. I appreciate all that he has done for me personally, and all that he has done for our company over the past three decades. On behalf of our employees, I wish Larry all the best.”
The New Jersey Resources board of directors also elected James DeGraffenreidt to serve on the board at its September meeting.
“James is a welcome addition to our board of directors. His deep industry expertise will be invaluable to us as we continue executing our strategy to deliver long-term value to our shareholders and customers,” said Donald L. Correll, lead director of the New Jersey Resources board of directors.
DeGraffenreidt is the former chairman and CEO of Washington Gas Light Holdings, Inc. and Washington Gas Light Company, a natural gas utility serving customers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. He began his career as an attorney working on energy regulatory issues at the state and federal level. He joined Washington Gas in 1986 holding roles of increasing responsibility, including serving as president and COO for four years before his 11-year tenure as CEO.
A native of Brooklyn, DeGraffenreidt received his doctor of jurisprudence and master of business administration degrees from Columbia University and his bachelor’s degree from Yale College. He currently serves on the board of directors of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and Harbor Bankshares Corporation, and he previously served on the board of directors of Vectren Corporation.
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