STEPHEN JAY (PRESIDENT) - TRANSPOWER

Steve currently holds the role of General Manager - Operations for Transpower. Stephen was appointed to this role in 2020, having previously held the role of General Manager Grid Development since 2014. He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and currently on the Board of the Electricity Engineers' Association. Stephen was previously General Manager with Mitton ElectroNet - an engineering consultancy business. He has had a long and varied career within the electricity industry, including time with C.E.G.B, National Power, Nuclear Electric, Midlands Electricity Plc, Parsons Brinckerhoff Power and Meridian Energy. For a short period in 2002 Stephen was an Energy System Coordinator at Transpower.

Responsibilities: System operations - real-time co-ordination of supply and demand for the New Zealand power system and other security-related functions.


GEOFF DOUCH (VICE PRESIDENT) - NETWORK WAITAKI

Geoff is the Chief Executive at Network Waitaki, the lines company supplying the North Otago region. Prior to joining Network Waitaki in early 2019, he held leadership roles at Counties Power and Wellington Electricity. Previous industry experience includes roles at Unison and Vector. He has a strong interest in improving public and worker safety through good asset management and operational practice through industry wide collaboration and standards and also the training and development of people to meet the future needs of the industry.

Geoff has been a member of the EEA Executive Committee since 2017 and has previously been a member of the EEA Asset Management Group.

He has a degree in Electrical Engineering, a Graduate Diploma in Business, has completed the Advanced Management Programme at the Melbourne Business School and is a Member of the IET.


JOHN BATCHELOR - DOWNER NZ POWER AND GAS

John is the General Manager of Downer New Zealand's Power & Gas division, which is part of the company's wider Utilities portfolio. John leads a talented team of more than 530 employees and is passionate about creating development and career pathways for people coming into the industry, through apprenticeships and graduate programmes. His top priority is the health and safety of those who work with and for Downer NZ, and through his strong focus on safety leadership, he empowers his operational teams to demonstrate best practice.

Downer Power & Gas is a major player in New Zealand's electricity industry, working alongside clients such as Powerco, Wellington Electricity, Aurora Energy, Genesis Energy, Transpower, Vestas and Chorus providing Asset Management, Project Management, Network Design & Build, Operations and Maintenance services.

With more than 30 years' experience in the electricity distribution and industrial sectors, John has a trade background progressing through supervisory, technical engineering, project management, operational and corporate management.

John has previously held senior management roles in New Zealand and the United Kingdom including Manager, UK Overhead Lines for Alstom, Group Manager NZ - Contracts for Energex. John holds NZCE Electrical and trade qualifications and is currently a member of the NZ institute of Directors.


JOSIE BOYD - NORTHPOWER

As Northpower's General Manager Network, Josie oversees the asset management, operations, service delivery, customer, commercial and regulatory aspects of Northpower's electricity network business. Josie is also a director of Northpower Fibre and has been a member of the EEA Executive Committee since 2018.

Josie joined Northpower in 2011, as General Counsel for a number of years and prior to that worked in New Zealand and the UK in a range of private practice and in-house legal roles in the utilities, construction and professional services industries. She brings a regulatory, governance and consumer lens to the Executive Committee and sees the EEA as having a vital technical and leadership role in supporting the changes in the way that electricity will be generated and distributed in the future.


CHRIS EWERS - MERIDIAN ENERGY

Chris has worked his entire career in the electricity supply industry and brings a well-rounded set of experience and knowledge. Chris holds the position of GM Wholesale at Meridian Energy, where he is responsible for leading Meridian's wholesale, planning and generation control functions.

He has spent 22 years working in a wide range of operational roles including generation control, trading, transmission connection and coordination, new windfarm connections, outage management, governance, policy, various industry working and advisory groups, and process safety.

Prior to this, Chris was part of the ECNZ graduate engineering programme, where he worked on thermal and hydro assets around the country.

While undertaking his BE (Hons) at the University of Canterbury, he work summers at the Tasman Electric Power Board in a wide range of roles including transformer refurbishment and network planning.

THAHIRAH JALAL - TRANSPOWER

Thahirah is currently the Analytics Practice Manager at Transpower. She in responsible for the development and delivery of the analytical management capabilities and practices in Transpower.

She was previously the Business Development Manager at ETEL Transformers, responsible of finding opportunities to expand ETEL's business through new technologies and markets. She was previously the Asset Intelligence Manager at Unison Networks, where she and her team developed and implemented novel data analytics solutions as part of Unison's Smart Grid and Digitalisation Initiatives.

Thahirah graduated with Honours in Engineering Science from Oxford University, United Kingdom. She then completed a PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Canterbury. In 2019, she completed her MBA from Imperial College, London. She has a vast experience in research and development through an early career in the academic world, followed by 9 years of pioneering work at Unison Networks. She is enthusiastic about working with progressive companies in Australasia on new technology trials and supporting their transition to a new energy future. She actively participates in CIGRE and IEC Young Professionals.

STEVE MACDONALD - ORION

Steve is the General Manager - Infrastructure at Orion NZ and manages the safe and reliable construction, operation and management of the Electricity network. He has a NZCE (Electrical) and has worked for Orion and its predecessors for 28 years in different trade, technical and management roles within the business, including its subsidiary company, Connetics.

Steve is passionate about the industry and believes that good governance supports good management.



MAT O'NEIL - WEL NETWORKS

Mat has over 25 years' experience in NZ electricity generation and distribution businesses and is currently General Manager Asset Management at WEL Networks. Mat comes from a trade background and is a registered electrician as well as holding a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Canterbury.

Mat has held senior leadership roles in asset management, engineering, network planning, network operations, works planning and delivery. With a strong analytical and practical engineering skill set, he is passionate about the safe integration of distributed energy resources, the advancement of distribution system operators and the application of big data in asset and network management.

MICHAEL WHALEY - POWERCO

Michael is the Chief Engineer within Powerco's electricity division, where he leads the formation of the electricity network policies and standards. Michael has been at Powerco for around 18 years in various engineering management roles and has 30 years' experience in the electricity industry.

Michael is passionate about being an engineer, specialising in the distribution sector where there seems to be no end of new situations and things to solve. He takes a special interest in training and development, and how infrastructure organisations organise themselves to fulfil their stated objectives.

He chairs the EEA's Professional Development Group, a committee that exists to provide leadership in technical capability development within the electricity supply industry.


PETER BERRY - EEA

Peter joined the industry in 1986 as the Executive Officer for the Electricity Supply Association of NZ and has been actively involved in the reform of the NZ electricity supply industry from its beginnings in 1987. In 1993, he was appointed Executive Director of the EEA and has refocused the organisation to meet the needs of its members in a changing environment.

Previously, Peter held positions within the University of Waikato, the NZ Army (Royal New Zealand Engineers), the Ministry of Civil Defence, and a leading NZ market research company. Educated at Waikato University and Victoria University, he has two Masters Degrees and a post-graduate diploma in business management. He is a Member of the Institute of Directors in NZ and has held a number of directorships. He is a founding member of the Electricity Supply Industry Training Organisation (ESITO) and the Electric Power Engineering Centre at the University of Canterbury.


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