Business News

July 2017

Honeywell to acquire Nextnine

Honeywell has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Nextnine, a privately-held provider of security management solutions and technologies for industrial cybersecurity.

Nextnine’s flagship technology, ICS Shield, protects industrial sites from cybersecurity attacks and enables remote monitoring of assets. It is used at more than 6,200 sites globally across the oil and gas, utility, chemical, mining and manufacturing sectors. Previously, ICS Shield had to be deployed separately for each control system vendor, resulting in multiple and separate installations at a single customer site. With this acquisition, customers will be able to deploy and operate a single system, thereby simplifying and better securing their entire site with Honeywell’s ability to provide multi-vendor solutions.

NDT Global strengthens executive team

NDT Global announced two senior appointments – Aogan O’hAolain, chief financial officer, and Diarmuid Leahy, in the new role of chief people officer – to its global operation.

O’hAolain joins the company with over twenty years’ experience, leading finance teams in multiple geographic regions. Having worked in various senior management capacities across multinational corporations, he brings an in-depth knowledge of multinational financial operations. In his role as CFO with NDT Global, he takes on responsibility for the worldwide financial and risk management activities of the company.

Taking over the people operations organization at NDT Global, Leahy is an internationally experienced manager, having spent over 25 years working in broad-based senior management roles, across different industries and geographies, most recently with Marathon Oil in the U.S. Now based in NDT Global’s Dublin offices, he joins the organization with a wealth of knowledge in human resources and talent development.

Williams elects Bergstrom chairman of Board

The Williams Companies Inc. announced that Stephen W. Bergstrom has been elected chairman of the Board, effective immediately. Bergstrom will replace Dr. Kathleen B. Cooper who will become Chair of the Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee. Cooper has served on the Williams Board since 2006.

Bergstrom joined the Williams Board in August of 2016. He has strong operational skills and a strategic understanding of the energy industry. During his tenure as president and chief executive officer of American Midstream Partners, he led the company through a period of substantial growth while increasing its geographic and operational diversity and enhancing fee-based cash flow.

CMS Energy announces leadership changes


CMS Energy and Consumers Energy announced Brandon J. Hofmeister, vice president of Governmental & Public Affairs, will succeed David Mengebier as senior vice president of Governmental, Regulatory & Public Affairs, effective July 1, 2017. Mengebier will serve as senior vice president and senior policy adviser until his retirement on November 1, 2017.

Hofmeister joined Consumers Energy in 2013 and has held positions of increasing leadership responsibility in the areas of corporate strategy, sustainability, community engagement and governmental affairs. He was a key advocate for the company during the crafting of the 2016 Michigan energy law.

Prior to joining Consumers Energy, Hofmeister served as an energy law professor at The University of Michigan and Wayne State University. Before that, he served as deputy legal counsel and senior energy policy adviser to former Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, where he was active in the negotiations of the 2008 Michigan energy reform package. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, respectively.

The companies also announced Lauren Youngdahl Snyder has been named vice president of Customer Experience.

Snyder, a 12-year veteran of Consumers Energy, is currently executive director of Customer Experience and Marketing Strategy. She also has served in leadership positions in the regulatory affairs, brand equity, customer care, smart energy and digital customer experience departments. She holds an MBA, as well as a BBA in Marketing, from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Michigan State University’s James Madison Honors College.

INGAA president urges prompt confirmation of FERC nominees

Don Santa, president and chief executive officer of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, praised the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s decision to “report out” favorably the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to serve as members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, while urging the U.S. Senate to promptly confirm the nominations.

“We applaud the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for voting to report out favorably the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to serve as FERC commissioners,” Santa said. “We urge the full Senate to act expeditiously on these nominations to restore FERC’s quorum, lacking since early February.”

Santa added that billions of dollars are ready to be used on pipeline projects, once FERC has a quorum again.

Takeuchi names Kirby-Smith Machinery new dealer

Takeuchi-US has added Kirby-Smith Machinery Inc. to its dealer network, serving construction, paving, mining, pipeline, aggregate and industrial customers in Oklahoma and Texas.

Established over 30 years ago in Oklahoma City, OK, Kirby-Smith now has 10 locations in the U.S. with Takeuchi products available in six of the dealer’s stores. This includes Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK, in addition to Lubbock, Odessa, Amarillo, and Abilene, TX.

Kirby-Smith will carry the full lineup of Takeuchi products, including excavators, skid steers, track loaders and wheel loaders. The team at Kirby-Smith will provide professional sales, rental and aftermarket support for the Takeuchi products.

PG&E app earns 2017 IT Excellence Award

InformationWeek announced Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) as the winner of the 2017 IT Excellence Award in the Data and Analytics category. The annual award program recognizes leaders and companies that demonstrate outstanding innovation in information technology. PG&E was recognized for its Mobile Asset Inspection app that provides PG&E gas and electric power inspectors in the field with real-time information including maps, customer information, safety and access information.

The PG&E Mobile Asset Inspection app provides PG&E gas and electric power inspectors digital map and customer data, and the location of assets that may require repairs. It has also improved employee safety by allowing inspectors to view the safest way to access the asset and reduced driver time.

As an example of the app in action, when PG&E crews went out on storm patrol in January, they used the app to identify electric distribution poles in need of repair. Using the satellite map view, layered with PG&E asset information, they determined the safest, most efficient route to the affected sites. In addition to using the app on the ground, it helped inspectors patrolling by helicopter identify and locate poles that might need repair.

PG&E’s Digital Catalyst team built the app using a “design thinking” development concept working closely with electric and gas field workers and spending 400 hours on field research discovery, shadowing field workers to learn about their day-to-day work. Satellite maps were layered with the location of PG&E’s two million electric poles along with decades’ worth of data on each individual pole. The Minimum Viable Product was built in three months and was rolled out to a pilot group of field workers to get feedback and input.