Senior Leadership

 

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Paula Gold-Williams

 
CEO and President Paula Gold-Williams

President & Chief Executive Officer

Paula Gold-Williams was named President & Chief Executive Officer in July 2016 after serving nine months in an interim role. Since 2008, she has served CPS Energy as Group Executive Vice President - Financial & Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & Treasurer for the nation's largest gas and electric municipal utility. She also has served in other capacities such as chief administrative officer and controller.

Gold-Williams joined CPS Energy in 2004 after holding various positions in several San Antonio businesses, including regional controller for Time-Warner Cable and vice president of finance for Luby's, Inc. Gold-Williams is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.

She earned an Associate of Fine Arts degree from San Antonio College, a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting from St. Mary’s University, and a Master of Business Administration, in Finance & Accounting from Regis University.

Learn more and keep up with Paula's current events at our CEO Corner.

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Generation & Strategy with Energy Delivery Services

Dr. Cris Eugster

 
COO Cris Eugster

Chief Operating Officer

Cris Eugster is responsible for overall operations and strategy for CPS Energy including over 7500MW of generation capacity, 12,600 miles of electrical distribution, 1,500 miles of electrical transmission, and 5,300 miles of gas distribution system. He is also responsible for corporate strategy including the integration of new technologies and the development of new products and services for our customers.

Eugster was formerly a Partner with McKinsey and Company. He has a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University, and a Master of Science and Doctorate from MIT – all in Electrical Engineering.

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Paul S. Barham

 
SVP Paul Barham

Senior Vice President of Delivery Engineering, Integrated Planning, Substation & Transmission

Paul Barham is responsible for the safe, reliable and economical delivery of electrical power to our customers. He oversees the management and operation of the utility’s distribution and transmission infrastructure.

Barham has been with CPS Energy for more than 28 years. He has served in a variety of positions at our utility, including leadership positions in Power Generation, Generation Planning and Energy Market Operations.

Barham has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

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Benjamin L. Ethridge, Jr.

 
SVP Benjamin L Ethridge

Senior Vice President of Power Generation

Benjamin Ethridge is responsible for the safe, environmentally responsible operation of CPS Energy’s fleet of fossil-fueled power plants which includes 24 generators with combined generating capacity of more than 5,500 megawatts.

Ethridge joined CPS Energy in 2015. He has more than 30 years of diverse, energy industry experience ranging from the Western, Southeast/Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions in the U.S. He has held various roles in companies like NRG Energy, Topaz Power Management, Reliant Energy/RRI Energy, and Houston Lighting and Power.

Ethridge holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Houston Baptist University. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

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Don Stanton

 
Senior Dir., Don Stanton

Senior Director of Gas Delivery

Don Stanton oversees Gas Delivery strategy at CPS Energy. He is responsible for designing, constructing and operating natural gas operations.

Stanton is an active member of the Texas Gas Association Board of Directors and the American Public Gas Association Board of Directors. 

Stanton holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from Texas State University.

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Rudy Garza

 
SVP Rudy Garza

Senior Vice President of Distribution Services & Operations  
Rudy Garza is responsible for CPS Energy’s maintenance and construction activity as well as the Energy Management Center which operates our distribution system on a daily basis.

Before arriving at CPS Energy in 2012, Garza served as Assistant City Manager and as Intergovernmental Relations Director in Corpus Christi. He also worked for TXU Corporation in Dallas for 13 years.

Garza has a Master of Business Administration from University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas.

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Frank Almaraz

 
SVP Frank Almaraz

Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations

Frank Almaraz is accountable for the overall growth and operations of the energy trading and gas distribution lines of business. Previously, he has held the positions of Interim Group Executive Vice President, Treasurer & Shared Services Lead and Vice President of Energy Supply and Market Operations.

He has led the execution of several key initiatives including the acquisition of an 800MW natural gas combined cycle power plant, negotiation of a complex 25-year 400MW solar PPA and an agreement to deploy advanced metering infrastructure to the CPS Energy gas and electric systems. Frank is also on the Boards of Directors of the American Gas Association, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the DoSeum, San Antonio’s Museum for Kids.

He joined CPS Energy in 2011 as Senior Director of Energy Strategy and Planning after serving in various executive roles at Energy Future Holdings in Dallas.

Almaraz has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. 

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John Bonnin

 
VP John Bonnin

Vice President of Energy Supply and Market Operations

John Bonnin oversees the utility's wholesale power portfolio management, including Day Ahead and Real Time operations, bilateral power trading, fuels management, and associated analytics.

Bonnin has 23 years of industry experience, including 14 years at CPS Energy. He has directed the Day Ahead and Real Time activities of Energy Supply and Market Operations since 2012, with a focus on managing market risks to native load customers and optimal dispatch of our power generation fleet.

Bonnin has a Master of Science in Management/Computer Resource Management from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Louisiana State University.

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Customer Success

Felecia Etheridge

 
CCEO Felecia Etheridge

Chief Customer Engagement Officer 

Felecia Etheridge oversees customer experience and engagement initiatives at CPS Energy. She is also responsible for ensuring consistent and exceptional customer experiences across major customer channels and touchpoints.

Prior to joining CPS Energy in August 2016, Etheridge led her own consulting company. She has also worked at Pacific Gas & Electric Company, TXU, Assurance Energy and Global Customer Solutions.

She has extensive experience in customer service, smart meter implementation, customer operations, energy delivery, regulatory relations, federal affairs, and human resources.

Felecia is a graduate of Harvard’s Advanced Management Program, and has a BBA in International Marketing from Texas A&M University.   

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Martha Mitchell

 
VP Martha Mitchell

Vice President of Customer Success

Martha Mitchell guides daily operations of CPS Energy’s Customer Success team, which includes customer service and metering services. She leads and mentors a strong team of more than 350 employees to ensure customers receive intentional, consistent, and exceptional service.

Previously, Mitchell led the Grid Optimization (GO) project as Senior Director of Product and Portfolio Development. The project is bringing a major upgrade to our electrical grid, allowing us to keep pace with today’s technology demands of our community.

She joined CPS Energy in 2004 and served in various leadership roles with our EIT team. Prior to CPS Energy, Martha worked for other leading customer-centric organizations in the country, including USAA.

Mitchell has a Master of Arts in History from the University of Texas at San Antonio and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from Marshall University.

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Maria Garcia

 
VP Maria Garcia

Vice President of Community & Key Accounts Engagement

Maria Garcia oversees CPS Energy's community programs, which includes the Customer Response Unit (CRU), Community Outreach and the Casa Verde weatherization program.

Garcia has been with CPS Energy since 1999, serving in a variety of positions specific to contract services and procurement. In 2009, she led the utility's creation of Casa Verde SA, which provides weatherization services to low-income families.

Garcia has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word.

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Jonathan R. Tijerina

 
Senior Director

Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Marketing & Smart City Outreach

Jonathan R. Tijerina is responsible for internal & external communications, marketing and the development of our smart city outreach efforts. 

Previously, Tijerina served as Chief of Staff for the President  & CEO. Tijerina has held positions with increased responsibility in Governmental Relations & Public Policy, Corporate Communications, and two stints in the Office of the President.

Tijerina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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General Counsel & External Relations

Carolyn Shellman

 
Chief Legal & Administrative Officer, Carolyn Shellman

Chief Legal & Administrative Officer

Carolyn Shellman oversees CPS Energy's Legal, Audit, Compliance & Ethics, Governmental Affairs, People & Culture and Facilities functions.

Before joining CPS Energy in 2006, Shellman served as Vice President & General Counsel for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Prior to that position, she was a partner at the law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP and a partner at Bickerstaff Heath & Smiley LLP. She also has served as the Director of Hearings as well as the Secretary of the Commission at the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Shellman is a graduate of Vassar College and has a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.  She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the State Bar of Oklahoma.

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John Benedict

 
VP, John Benedict

Vice President of Real Estate & Master Planning

John Benedict is responsible for overseeing improvements and maintenance of operational and corporate employee facilities. This includes long-term plans to revitalize our service centers, assess our headquarters options, and complete other strategic real estate transactions/opportunities.

As Chief Administrative Officer, Benedict helped to establish a robust financial planning process, support information technology talent acquisition and infrastructure improvement initiatives, and enhance purchasing metric performance, relative to local and diverse vendors.

He has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of Miami.

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Matt Mills

 
VP, Matt Mills

Vice President of Audit Services

Matt Mills leads Audit Services, an independent and objective assurance and consulting activity that is guided by a philosophy of adding value to improve the operations of CPS Energy. Audit Services assists the organization in accomplishing its objectives by bringing a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the organization's governance, risk management and internal control processes. In addition, Audit Services supports the work of the external auditors and coordinates directly with the Board of Trustees Audit & Finance Committee.

Mills joined CPS Energy in 2016 and has more than 20 years of auditing and leadership experience. Most recently, he led internal audit efforts at Alamo Colleges. Additionally, he has held audit management roles at KCI, AT&T and Ernst & Young, LLP.

Mills earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an Accounting concentration from Trinity University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

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Abigail Ottmers

 
Deputy General Counsel, Abi Ottmers

Deputy General Counsel

Abigail Ottmers is the Deputy General Counsel at CPS Energy. Prior to joining CPS Energy in 2014, Ottmers practiced law at Haynes and Boone, LLP, and was the Briefing Attorney to the Honorable Ronald B. King, United States Bankruptcy Judge.

Ottmers is an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Federal Bar Association, and the State Bar of Texas. She is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Ottmers is licensed to practice in all Federal District courts in Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ottmers holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology (concentrating in Genetics) from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law.  

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Lisa Lewis

 
VP, Lisa Lewis

Vice President of People and Culture

Lisa Lewis oversees the daily operations of our human resources team. In this position, she is charged with developing a workforce and culture to adapt to a rapidly changing utility industry.

Previously, Lewis served as Vice President of Corporate Communications & Media Relations, where she was responsible for internal and external communications, corporate responsibility, branding and social media. She joined our marketing team in 2001 and has managed advertising, internal communications and public relations. Before joining CPS Energy, Lewis worked in the advertising industry with service-industry clients from healthcare to transit.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Texas State University.

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Kathy Garcia

 
VP, Kathy Garcia

Vice President of Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy

Kathy Garcia is responsible for Federal, State, and Local Relations at CPS Energy. She executes strategic government and regulatory relations, public policy and business development initiatives to protect and advance the interests of CPS Energy.

Garcia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government & Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the Executive Education, Accelerated Development Program at Rice University.

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Zandra Pulis

 
Deputy General Counsel, Zandra Pulis

Deputy General Counsel & Chief Records Management Officer

Zandra Pulis oversees CPS Energy’s Claims Department, manages personal injury and property damage litigation, and advises management on employment matters, commercial transactions, policy development, and open government issues.

Pulis joined CPS Energy in January 2000 from private practice in Corpus Christi, initially focusing on the deregulation of the electric markets in Texas and later shifting her focus to labor and employment matters.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center.

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Curt Brockmann

 
Deputy General Counsel, Curt Brockmann

Deputy General Counsel & Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer

Curt Brockmann is responsible for providing legal assistance to our service power generation, gas, ESMO, nuclear, EDS, and safety & security advisory oversight to proactively improve the quality of strategic development at CPS Energy.

Brockman has extensive experience working on environmental, construction and litigation issues as well as working with our compliance program.

Brockman holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

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Financial & Administrative Services

Gary Gold

 
VP, Gary Gold

Vice President of Accounting

Gary Gold oversees Accounting & Financial Reporting, Corporate Financial Planning, and Cost Management & Operational Excellence for CPS Energy.

Gold is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Financial Executives International.

Gold holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Cory Kuchinsky

 
Interim VP, Finance - Cory Kuchinsky

Interim Vice President of Finance

Cory Kuchinsky is currently serving as Interim Vice President of Finance at CPS Energy. He oversees Capital Markets & Cash Management, Strategic Pricing & Cost Recovery, and Enterprise Risk Management.

Kuchinsky joined CPS Energy in 2006 and has served in multiple leadership roles. Most recently, Cory served as the Senior Director of Grid Transformation Management and led the deployment of CPS Energy’s Advance Metering Infrastructure. Prior to joining CPS Energy, Kuchinsky worked for Ernst & Young. He has over eight years as an adjunct instructor teaching numerous university level accounting courses at several local institutions. 

Kuchinsky holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Accounting from Trinity University in San Antonio. 

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Security & Safety

Fred Bonewell

 
CSSO, Fred Bonewell

Chief Security & Safety Officer

Fred Bonewell oversees all of CPS Energy's Enterprise & Public Safety, Cyber & Physical Security, Fleet Operations, Business Continuity, and Labor Relations. As a result of a behavior-based safety program, the company continues to experience a reduction in employee accidents through the promotion of safety awareness. A similar approach is being implemented externally to encourage safety among contractors as well as customers.

Bonewell has more than 30 years of progressive leadership experience in employee health and safety, risk, workers’ compensation, and labor relations. In 2016, he was recognized by the National Safety Council for Distinguished Service to Safety. He has worked for Louisville Gas & Electric, Florida Power & Light, and others.

Bonewell is a graduate of Indiana State University.

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Shanna Ramirez

 
Interim Senior Director Integrated Security

Interim Senior Director Integrated Security

Shanna Ramirez oversees the Cyber & Physical Security departments at CPS Energy. Her responsibilites include loss prevention, and people and asset protection with a focus on integrating a behavioral-based approach that will better mitigate our overall security risks. Ramirez previously served as Director & Senior Counsel, supervising the Claims Department and providing legal advice on litigation, employment matters, customer privacy and intellectual property matters.

Ramirez joined CPS Energy in 2015 and has extensive experience providing business and legal advice. She practiced employment law at Haynes and Boone, LLP, and was Vice President & Depurty General Counsel for Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.

Ramirez earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Trinity University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. She is also a graduate of the Executive Education, Accelerated Development Program at Rice University.

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Enterprise Information Technology

Karen Kirwan

 
CIO, Karen Kirwan

Chief Information Officer

Karen Kirwan is responsible for the strategic direction and operations for Enterprise Information Technology. Karen is an experienced C-Suite executive with demonstrated experience in strategic development, business transformation, business analytics, digital presence, and achieving operational excellence. She specializes in aligning organizational strategy with operations and leading business transformations that drive profitability while enhancing the customer experience.

Prior to joining CPS Energy, Kirwan has served as a senior executive at Gartner, has held executive positions at brand name companies such as Pillsbury, LensCrafters, US Cellular, and Exelon. She is the founder of her own management consulting firm and held key executive positions in several industries focusing on digital business transformation.

Kirwan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems and Accounting from Central Michigan University, and is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

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Other Business Areas

David Jungman

 
Senior Dir., David Jungman

Senior Director of Business & Economic Development

David Jungman is responsible for the development and administration of CPS Energy’s new strategic initiative – The New Energy Economy.

Jungman is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Jungman holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University.

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Kathijo "KJ" Feder

 
Chief of Staff to CEO

Director, Board Relations & Chief of Staff to the President & CEO

KJ Feder is responsible for coordinating all internal activities for the President & CEO of CPS Energy, managing the internal and external alignment strategy of CPS Energy's Board of Trustees and spearheading various special projects.

Feder was previously the Board Relations Manager. Prior to joining CPS Energy in 2015, she was the Executive Director at March of Dimes San Antonio.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communications from Bellevue University. She is also a graduate of Leadership San Antonio, the Alexander Briseno Leadership Development Program and the Latin Leadership Institute.

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