New York Power Authority Elect Jonathan F. Foster as Vice Chairman
New York Power Authority (February 25, 2009)
Michael J. Townsend, who has served as acting chairman of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) since last August, was elected chairman of the New York State-owned public power utility on Tuesday.
The election of Townsend, a Western New Yorker, occurred at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the NYPA Trustees, who also elected Jonathan F. Foster, another board member, as the Power Authority’s vice chairman.
“I’m honored by the confidence my fellow trustees have shown in my leadership in electing me Power Authority chairman,” said Townsend, a resident of Fairport, in Monroe County. “This is a crucial time for New York State’s electric power system, with Governor Paterson setting ambitious goals for improved energy efficiency and additional amounts of clean, renewable energy. The Power Authority will play a key role, and I’m looking forward to working closely with my fellow trustees, NYPA President Richard Kessel and the Authority’s senior management in carrying out the Governor’s vision on energy, the economy and the environment.”
“In the four months that I’ve been at the New York Power Authority, I’ve had an opportunity to appreciate the breadth of knowledge, experience and good judgment that Mike Townsend brings to the role of NYPA chairman,” said Kessel, who serves as the Authority’s chief executive officer. “New York State is facing major challenges on a number of fronts, not the least the efforts led by Governor Paterson to rebuild the economy. I’m excited that the Power Authority is going to continue to benefit from Mike’s oversight as we redouble our efforts for investing in job-intensive clean energy technologies and in keeping and creating jobs through our lower-cost power allocations. That’s in addition to supporting the reliability of the state’s electric power system and other improvements. ”
The Power Authority chairman presides at all meetings of the Trustees and on behalf of the seven-member board oversees the Authority’s chief executive officer in the management of the not-for-profit public benefit corporation.
An attorney with the firm of Harris Beach LLP in Pittsford, Townsend has served as a NYPA trustee since February 2004.
He was named NYPA acting chairman last summer following the resignation of Frank S. McCullough Jr. He had previously served as the Authority’s vice chairman. His term as an Authority trustee extends to May 2011.
Townsend is a graduate of the University of Maine and the Western New England School of Law.
Jonathan F. Foster, a New York City resident, became a NYPA trustee in September 2008 after being nominated by Governor Paterson and confirmed by the New York State Senate to a five-year term, to May 2013.
Last year, he started a private equity firm, Current Capital, after serving as managing director at Wachovia Securities. Overall, he has some 20 years of experience as an investment banker and private equity investor at various financial firms.
Foster holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Emory University and a Master of Science in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics.
The New York Power Authority provides up to one-quarter of New York State’s electricity from its 18 generating facilities and purchases of economical power from other suppliers. Its two hydroelectric projects on the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers provide some of the lowest-cost electricity in the country, supporting key manufacturing industries in Western and Northern New York
NYPA plans to invest $1.3 billion over the next several years in support of the Governor’s goal for New York State to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy by 2015.
■ NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.