Michael J. Townsend Elected Chairman of New York
Power Authority: NYPA Trustees also Elect Jonathan F.
Foster as Vice Chairman
Photos & Captions
February 25, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHITE PLAINS—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
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
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
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.
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