Duke Energy Florida state President Catherine Stempien is stepping down to take the CEO reins at AVANGRID Networks.
Duke Energy announced her successor, promoting Melissa Seixas from her current role as vice president, government and community relations for the Florida utility business. She starts her new role on Feb. 16.
Stempien is returning to her native state of Connecticut. She will succeed the retiring Tony Marone as CEO of the AVANGRID subsidiary which serves 3.3 million customers in multiple northeastern U.S. states.
“We appreciate all of Tony’s contributions to the AVANGRID family of companies over the last 33 years and wish him and his family all the best in the future,” said Dennis V. Arriola, CEO of AVANGRID. “Catherine is a leader focused on delivering great outcomes for customers, employees, communities, and shareholders and we’re excited about the new ideas she will bring to AVANGRID. “Her experience and leadership will help guide our Networks organization as we build the grid of the future and achieve our goal of becoming the leading sustainable energy company in the United States.”
Seixas will now lead Duke Energy Florida’s work with customers, employees, policymakers and others to advance the clean energy vision for the state, expand electrification efforts, and focus on strategic philanthropic initiatives and community relations. She will have responsibility for managing state and local regulatory and government relations across the Sunshine State.
“Melissa’s many years of experience with the company have prepared her well for this important role,” said Doug Esamann, executive vice president energy solutions, president Midwest and Florida Regions and natural gas business unit. “She is well-known throughout our Florida communities and will build on the great progress the team has already accomplished. She will continue to advocate for policies and practices that meet the energy needs of our customers to ensure we deliver the safe and reliable service they expect and deserve.”
In her role as vice president government and community relations, Seixas directed Duke Energy Florida’s efforts to strengthen relationships with local municipal, community and civic organizations, as well as business leaders throughout the company’s 35-county service area. Her team worked closely with leaders to help communities achieve their energy, growth and sustainability goals.
In 1986, Seixas joined Florida Power (which later became Progress Energy and then Duke Energy) in distribution engineering. Over her 34-year career with the company, she has served in numerous roles with increasing leadership responsibilities.