CPS Energy Senior Leadership

 

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Rudy D. Garza: President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

 

Rudy D. Garza is the President & Chief Executive Officer for CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally-owned electric and natural gas utility.  Rudy has more than 25 years as a leader in the electric and natural gas utility industry and has served in both the public and private sectors over the course of his career. He is the first Hispanic leader to hold the position.

Rudy joined CPS Energy in 2012 and previously served as Chief Customer & Stakeholder Engagement Officer and as Senior Vice President of Distribution Service & Operations where he oversaw the maintenance and construction activity of the electric distribution system. He  has also served the company in the role of Vice President of External Relations.

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

He continues to serve his community through multiple board positions and serves his UT Austin alma mater as an advisory board member for the School of Electrical Engineering.

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Vivian Bouet: Chief Information Officer (CIO)

 

Vivian Bouet is responsible for overseeing the technology roadmap, enterprise architecture, business solutions development, digital experience, and innovation functions at CPS Energy – as well as providing leadership in corporate strategic planning.

Prior to joining CPS Energy, Bouet served in executive leadership and management positions as well as worked as a senior principal consultant. Her two most recent leadership positions were with Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., a Fortune 19 company and Anthem Health Insurance Inc., a Fortune 29 company.

Vivian holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of New York, Albany with graduate studies in Software Engineering at DePaul University.

Follow Vivian on LinkedIn.

 

Benjamin L. (Benny) Ethridge, Jr., P.E.: EVP Energy Supply

 

Benny Ethridge is Executive Vice President of Energy Supply for CPS Energy.  He leads generation operations, fuel procurement and energy trading for our combined 7,400 MW fleet of fossil-fueled generation, contract renewable generation and ownership interest in the South Texas Project nuclear plant.   

Building on our Flexible Path strategy, he partners with stakeholders to optimize plant performance and effectively integrate renewable generation in support of our transition towards carbon neutrality.  

Benny joined CPS Energy in 2015 with over 30 years of diverse, energy industry experience.   He began his career as a construction engineer with Houston Lighting & Power Company.  Following industry deregulation, he served in a variety of commercial and operational leadership roles with Reliant Energy, Topaz Power Group & NRG Energy.

He is a member of the STP Nuclear Operating Company Owner’s Committee.

Benny 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.

 

Kathy Garcia: Vice President of Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy

 

Kathy has been with CPS Energy for over 20 years and is responsible for leading the utility’s policy development and advocacy efforts at the federal, state and local levels. This includes working with the utility’s city owner and other regulators, recommending legislative and regulatory strategies, and coordinating these activities with other local, public and private sector entities.  She also oversees the utility’s energy market policy team responsible for the utility’s engagement at ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and the Climate Strategy and Sustainability team, responsible for aligning the utility’s climate and sustainability goals with the City of San Antonio’s Climate Action & Adaptation Plan.

Kathy holds leadership positions on a variety of industry related boards and is an Advisory Council Member for the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Engagement.  She is a recipient of the Texas Public Power Association’s Industry Achievement Award for her significant individual contributions to the electric utility industry and to public power. 

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

 

DeAnna Hardwick: Executive Vice President of Customer Strategy

 

DeAnna Hardwick leads the Customer Strategy teams comprising of Community Engagement & Corporate Responsibility; Customer Experience Operations, including Customer Service, Metering Operations, and Customer Revenue; Customer Value Optimization consisting of Customer Design & Delivery, Executive Account Management, and Managed Accounts; Enterprise Customer Experience; and Products & Services.

Prior to her current role, she served as Vice President of Customer Success. Under her leadership, Customer Success developed innovative approaches to serving customers impacted by the pandemic, including our Customer Outreach Resource Effort (CORE) team.

DeAnna started her career at CPS Energy in 2015 when she was hired to be a call center leader. Since then, she has risen through the ranks of CPS Energy as a leader with great compassion for our customers.

Prior to joining CPS Energy, DeAnna spent 15 years working at various Fortune 100 companies, where she was charged with delivering easy and exceptional customer experiences.  

DeAnna holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

Follow DeAnna on Twitter and LinkedIn

 

Cory Kuchinsky, CPA: Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & Treasurer

 

Cory Kuchinsky oversees Accounting & Financial Reporting, Corporate Financial Planning, Cost Management, as well as Treasury, Strategic Pricing & Cost Recovery, Enterprise Risk Management and Financial Information Systems Management.

Cory joined CPS Energy in 2006 and has served in multiple leadership roles. Most recently, Cory served as Vice President of Strategic Pricing & Enterprise Risk Management & Solutions. Before taking that role, he was the Senior Director of Grid Transformation Management and led the deployment of CPS Energy’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

In 2013, Cory completed the North Chamber Leadership Lab and in 2012 Cory was named to the San Antonio Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in Energy” list. In 2011, he was a member of the San Antonio Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” list. He has over eight years as an adjunct instructor teaching numerous university level accounting courses at several local institutions.

Cory is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Prior to joining CPS Energy, he worked for the Ernst & Young LLC office. Kuchinsky holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master in Science in Accounting degrees from Trinity University.

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Lisa Lewis: Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

 

Lisa Lewis leads the Administrative Services team, including human resources, safety and occupational health, labor relations, supply chain and logistics, facilities management, real estate and corporate compliance.  She is focused on enabling our CPS Energy workforce to evolve with the fast-changing utility industry.

Lisa joined CPS Energy in 2000 and has worked in a variety of roles, last serving as Vice President of People & Culture from 2015 through 2020. She also served as Vice President of Corporate Communications & Corporate Responsibility from 2012 to 2015. She is an advocate for STEM education and workforce development and serves on the Board for San Antonio’s CAST public high schools. She also serves on the boards of RMEL, an electric industry organization focused on training and safety, as well as the Alamo Area Council of Governments. 

Before joining CPS Energy, Lisa worked in marketing, communications and advertising for various service industry clients ranging from healthcare to public transit. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Texas State University.

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Richard Lujan, P.E.: Interim Vice President, Gas Solutions

 

Richard Lujan is responsible for our Natural Gas delivery strategy.  He oversees the design, construction and operation of our natural gas distribution and transmission systems with a strong focus on public safety, customer service, reliability and resiliency.

Richard has been with CPS Energy for over 20 years and has served in a variety of positions in our energy delivery businesses including leadership roles in Distribution Engineering, Underground Construction, Overhead Services and Gas Solutions.

Richard has a Bachelor of Engineering Science from Trinity University and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

 

Richard Medina, P.E.: EVP Energy Delivery Services

 

Richard Medina is responsible for the safe, reliable and economical delivery of electrical power to our customers. He oversees the Engineering, Planning, and Field Operation functions for Transmission, Substation and Distribution, along with System Operations, Customer Reliability and asset management programs associated with electric delivery.

Richard has led many of our grid transformation strategies including our electrification roadmap, optimization of EV infrastructure, and fostering alliances with local and national research leaders.

He has been with CPS Energy for over 29 years and has served in a variety of leadership positions at our utility as well as serving on several external boards and committees such as EPRI, Texas A&M Smart Grid, Advanced Energy Economy and others.

Richard has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

 

 

Shanna Ramirez, J.D., CISM: Chief Legal & Ethics Officer (CLEO), General Counsel, & Board Secretary

 

Shanna Ramirez oversees CPS Energy's Legal, Audit, Compliance, Ethics and Integrated Security functions. She also provides leadership to Board Relations and serves as Secretary to the Board of Trustees.  Shanna is responsible for driving strategic initiatives to advance the interests of our customers and community, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

In her previous role, Shanna oversaw the cyber, physical and data security, incident response, and business continuity.

Shanna joined CPS Energy in 2015 as Director & Senior Counsel and has extensive experience providing business and legal advice. She practiced employment litigation at Haynes and Boone, LLP, and was Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., supervising Legal Services, Safety & Risk, Claims, and Licensing & Compliance.

Shanna 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.

Follow Shanna on Twitter and LinkedIn

 

Melissa Sorola: Vice President, Corporate Communications & Marketing

 

Melissa C. Sorola is responsible for leading the teams who strategically work on internal and external communications, marketing, executive brand and stakeholder engagement.

She led the team’s awareness efforts for our historic global Flex Power Bundle request for proposal for innovative renewable solutions in addition to leading collaborative initiatives to keep customers informed and engaged about the Company’s strategic plans while showcasing the commitment of our workforce, innovation, and community and stakeholder partnerships.

Melissa has been a member of the CPS Energy team for 3 years and has more than 20 years of experience in media relations, crisis communications, and strategic communications planning and execution. Prior to joining CPS Energy, Melissa worked for the former Time Warner Cable as Director of Communications for their Texas Region. She has previously served on the boards of the San Antonio chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Texas A&M University.