DAVID HUTCHENS NAMED SUCCESSOR EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2021
#StJohns, Newfoundland, Canada – September 23, 2020 – Doug Haughey, Chair of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Fortis Inc. (“Fortis” or the “Corporation”) (TSX/NYSE: FTS) today announced the retirement of Barry Perry, President and CEO, from Fortis and the Board, effective December 31, 2020.
David Hutchens, currently Chief Operating Officer of Fortis and CEO of UNS Energy, will succeed Perry and join the Board, effective January 1, 2021. Perry made a personal decision to retire after a nearly 35-year career, over 20 of which were with Fortis. He has led the Corporation since 2015. Prior to his current position, he served as President from June 30, 2014 to December 31, 2014 and as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Fortis for 10 years. The Board’s long-term CEO succession plan positioned the Corporation well for this transition and following a comprehensive process the Board confirmed Hutchens as Perry’s successor.
“I’m humbled to have spent the past two decades of my career with Fortis. It’s been an incredible journey to lead the company during a time of such transformational growth. Thank you to our employees, both past and present, for contributing to the success of Fortis,” said Barry Perry. “Fortis has become a North American utility leader focused on a cleaner energy future. I have absolute confidence that David and the team will continue to serve our customers well, advance our strategy and grow Fortis for years to come.”
In expressing his support for Hutchens, Perry said: “David has decades of utility experience, including as CEO of our subsidiary UNS Energy in Arizona. He has a deep understanding of our business, strategy and culture, is forward-focused, an innovative thinker and most importantly, shares the values of Fortis.”
Hutchens was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Fortis in January 2020 while concurrently serving as the CEO of UNS Energy. In this position, Hutchens was integral in the development of the Corporation’s strategic business plan and led initiatives on safety and operational excellence. In his prior role, he served as Executive Vice President, Western Utility Operations with Fortis beginning in January 2018. In this role, Hutchens maintained his responsibility as President and CEO of UNS Energy and provided oversight of the operations of FortisBC and FortisAlberta.
“I would like to sincerely thank Barry Perry for his outstanding leadership and immense contributions over the past 20 years,” said Doug Haughey. “Barry led the Corporation’s acquisition of our largest business, ITC Holdings, the listing of Fortis on the New York Stock Exchange and, following our strategic expansion into the United States, he successfully pivoted the Corporation toward organic growth. Total shareholder return during Barry’s leadership of Fortis was 105%, or – 2 – approximately 12% per year. Furthermore, Barry advanced many priorities at the Corporation, including safety, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, investor relations and cybersecurity.”
“We are pleased to announce David Hutchens as the next President and CEO of Fortis,” said Haughey. “David has been a key leader in the Fortis organization and offers a unique combination of operational and regulatory expertise in both the electric and gas sectors. David is the right choice to advance the Corporation’s growth strategy and support a cleaner energy future.”
Hutchens has been with UNS Energy for 25 years, advancing through various management positions, overseeing wholesale energy trading and marketing, and energy efficiency and resource planning. He assumed the position of President and CEO, UNS Energy in May 2014. He earned a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona and is a former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. David is a member of the Edison Electric Institute’s Board of Directors, the Western Energy Institute Board of Directors and numerous other charity and civic organizations.
“I’m excited about leading Fortis into a new chapter of growth driven by our transition to a cleaner energy future,” said David Hutchens. “Our continued focus on energy delivery, our effective business model supporting our growth strategy, proven dividend track record and outlook, and our strong ESG profile make Fortis a premium North American utility. With my colleagues, I look forward to leading this incredible company, inspiring excellence in customer service and strengthening our partnerships with community and industry.”
“Fortis will remain a Canadian-headquartered company and our success in this evolving industry will continue to be built on our strong foundation of safety, culture, responsibility, and commitment to our customers, employees and communities,” said Hutchens.
“I’d like to thank Barry for his tremendous contributions to Fortis,” said Hutchens. “His insights, passion and leadership are widely recognized in our industry and have been greatly appreciated by those of us fortunate enough to work closely with him.”
Issued by FortisTCI, Press Release
Update:Thousands feared dead in North Africa
#Africa, September 19, 2023 – Over 15,000 people are reported dead or missing and the count is expected to rise following two natural disasters in Northern Africa early September. Libya and Morocco are the affected countries.
More than 3,900 people have been confirmed dead and thousands more are missing in Eastern Libya, after the country was hit by a severe Storm (Daniel) on September 10th. Libya was inundated with floodwater and the situation was exacerbated by the collapse of several dams. Photos of the devastation showed collapsed highrises and smaller villages completely covered.
“Entire villages have been overwhelmed by the floods and the death toll continues to rise. Many families have lost all their belongings, and search and rescue workers are looking for people missing. Tens of thousands of people are displaced with no prospect of going back home,” the Norwegian Refugee Council explained.
Thousands have been swept away in the floods and officials say many are feared dead. Around 9,000 people are unaccounted for according to the UN. It’s the worst flooding incident in Africa in over a century.
Simultaneously, Morocco is dealing with aftershocks from the September 08th earthquake that took over 2800 lives; more than 25 have been felt so far. The 6.8 magnitude quake hit the mountain regions at around 70 km from the country’s fourth largest city, Marrakesh, around 10 p.m. The location of mountainous villages made rescue efforts difficult for volunteers.
Buildings suffered severe damage following the quake and residents are reported to be sleeping on the streets. UN representatives are calling for donations of blood to help victims.
Photos and videos of the aftermath show entire buildings reduced to rubble while others have been cleaved open.
The UN and other rescue groups are on the ground currently and are requesting donations to help the two countries which are separated by Algeria.
Update on Gabon Military Coup
#Africa, September 19, 2023 – Gabon has become the most recent African country to fall victim to a military coup, following a swift takeover on Wednesday August 30th.
The coup came after elections on August 26th where Ali Bongo, incumbent president was declared winner, to cries of fraud from the opposition.
Gabon, a West African country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, has only been independent since 1960 and the Bongo family has occupied the presidential palace for the majority of that time.
Between Ali’s father Omar Bongo, who became President in 1967 and remained so for 42 years, and Ali’s subsequent victory in 2009, the family has controlled the oil-rich African nation for over five decades.
Following the coup, Bongo has been placed under house arrest, and Brice Nguem, a senior Military leader installed as the new president of the country.
The United Nations has condemned the coup but acknowledged that there were doubts about the legality of Bongo’s election win. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, reportedly noted the announcement of the win with “deep concern” ‘given reports of serious irregularities at the polls.’
Press conferences have already been held and international media are reporting that Nguem has promised that the military role is only temporary until fresh and fair elections can be held.
No date has been given for those elections and the new leader is rumored to have been a close friend and possible relative of the Bongo family.
Albert Ondo Ossa, the opposition candidate, told Al Jazeera he thought the coup was a ploy to keep power in the family.
“Basically, I think the Bongo family got rid of one of its members who was weighing on the family, and they wanted Bongo power to continue… It was a palace revolution, not a coup d’etat. This is a family affair, where one brother replaces another,” he is quoted as saying.
It follows a coup in Niger in July 2023, which at the time of the coup in Gabon, had still not been resolved. The African nations of Mali (2020) Guinea, Chad and Sudan (2021) and Burkina Faso (2022), have all experienced military coups in quick succession.
Two More 9/11 Victims Identified as the United States marks a solemn occasion
#USA, September 11, 2023 – Two more victims of the 9/11 attacks have been identified, the first in two years. Each year, on the eleventh day of September, we are reminded that nearly 3,000 people were killed on during a four-part attack carried out by Al-Qaeda against the Unites States and 22 years later more than 40 percent of victims
On September 8th, Eric Adams, New York Mayor and Dr. Jason Graham, Chief Medical Examiner released a joint statement via the official New York City website announcing that a man and woman were the latest to be identified.
“The man and woman, whose names are being withheld at the request of their families, are the 1,648th and 1,649th persons to be identified by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) using advanced DNA testing of remains recovered from the attack that took the lives of 2,753 people.” The statement indicated.
The terrorist attack involved the hijacking of four commercial aircraft which were then purposely crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and another into the Pentagon, the final missed its target, likely the White House or Capitol Hill.
The U.S. is still working to identify over a thousand unnamed victims from the attack. Of those that are identified, over 100 are said to be from the Caribbean.
According to records collated by News Americas Now and the Jamaica Gleaner, the Caribbean diaspora death toll includes but is not limited to: 47 people from the Dominican Republic; 22 Puerto Ricans; 21 Guyanese citizens; 19 Jamaicans; 14 Trinidadians; 7 Haitians; 3 Antiguans; 3 Barbadians; 3 Bermudans; 2 Dominicans; 2 Saint Lucians, 1 Islander from the British Virgin Islands; 1 Grenadian; and 1 Vincentian.
The attack sparked widespread anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. and an Iraqi invasion by the U.S. and its allies.
As for those recently identified, the names are being withheld at the request of their families and officials have said they were identified using advanced DNA technology.
Today, U.S. officials commemorated the 22nd anniversary of the attack from all around the country Monday. President Joe Biden joined in on that service in Anchorage, Alaska; as Vice President Kamala Harris was part of the ceremony in New York and first lady Jill Biden is laying a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon. Second gentleman Doug Emhoff is also expected at a wreath-laying ceremony in Shanksville at the Flight 93 National Memorial.
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