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Senior Leadership Team

JEA’s Senior Leadership Team is committed to energizing our community through high-value energy and water solutions. To accomplish this the entire company is focused on three things: developing an unbeatable team, delivering business excellence and earning our customers’ loyalty. With this focus we try every day to energize our community through high-value energy and water solutions while upholding the values of safety, service, growth, accountability and integrity.

Paul McElroy, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Paul McElroy, JEA Managing Director & CEO Mr. McElroy is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of JEA - Jacksonville, Florida’s municipally owned electric, water and wastewater utility. The JEA Board of Directors named Paul the company’s seventh Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2012. From January 1, 2006 to October 1, 2012, he served as JEA’s Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, he served as JEA’s Vice President, Financial Services.

Mr. McElroy currently serves on the boards of the University of North Florida, The Energy Authority, Inc. (“TEA”), Florida Reliability Coordinating Council, Northeast Florida Safety Council, Inc., Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies. Mr. McElroy is a member of the American Public Power Association Board’s Executive Committee and serves as Treasurer, as well as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee and Chair of the Retirement Committee.  He is also a member of the Large Public Power Council CEO Roundtable.

Mr. McElroy holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana and a certificate from the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and pursued graduate level studies at the University of Bridgeport and the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

Before joining JEA, Mr. McElroy served as a Vice President and General Manager for Bombardier Capital Corporation in Jacksonville, Florida and Colchester, Vermont. Prior to that, he served in a variety of management positions with Pitney Bowes Credit Corporation, including Controller, Director – Marketing and Vice President, Internal Finance Division in Norwalk, Connecticut. 

Jody Brooks, Chief Legal Officer

Jody Brooks Jody Brooks joined JEA as Chief Legal Officer via an agreement with the City of Jacksonville Office of General Counsel in August 2016. Ms. Brooks had been rendering legal support and guidance to JEA while providing legal services to many other City departments. As the newly appointed JEA Chief Legal Officer, Ms. Brooks is fully dedicated to serving as the chief legal advisor to JEA and the JEA Board of Directors.

Ms. Brooks joined the Office of General Counsel in April 2013 and was subsequently promoted in 2015 to Chief, Government Operations Department. Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, she held in house counsel positions with both The St. Joe Company and Allen Land Group handling real estate transactions, land use development and environmental matters. Earlier in her career, she worked as an associate at Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A., where she represented property owners and government entities in federal, state and local government environmental, land use, zoning and condemnation matters.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the Jacksonville University Davis College of Business and her Juris Doctor degree with honors and a Certificate in Environmental and Land Use Law from the University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law.

Mike Brost, Vice President/General Manager Electric Systems

Mike Brost Mike Brost is responsible for planning, constructing and maintaining JEA’s electric system - generation plants and the transmission, substations and distribution systems. The role includes lead responsibility for producing and delivering electricity to more than 400,000 electric customers in a safe, reliable and cost-competitive manner, and in full compliance with regulatory objectives.

Mike joined JEA in 1983 as an electrical engineer in System Operations. In 1993, he was appointed Division Chief of Distribution Engineering and was soon promoted to Vice President of the Distribution Group. He is a founding member of JEA’s Corporate Strategy Team and has held vice president positions in the areas of Organizational Development and Organizational Services. He also served as the President and CEO at Colectric Partners in 2007 and 2008. Mike is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Florida. He has an M.S. degree in Engineering and an MBA. He also serves on several local nonprofit Boards.

Paul Cosgrave, Chief Information Officer

Paul Cosgrave Paul Cosgrave brings to JEA 40 years of line management and IT consulting/systems integration experience. He retired in 2010 from the City of New York (NYC) as Commissioner for the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for NYC. At that time he became a Senior Fellow at the Center for Digital Government and resumed operating his own consulting firm, Strategies4Success. His areas of research and expertise are IT Strategic Planning, IT Portfolio Management, IT Governance and IT Consolidation/Cost Reduction at all levels of Government. Throughout his career in both the public and private sectors, Paul has devoted his efforts to using the power of technology to make people and the organizations they serve more effective.

Previously, he served as the CIO at the IRS during a major turnaround period (1998-2001), and before that he spent 25 years in private industry having worked as CEO for the Claremont Technology Group, a company he took public in 1996 and as a Managing Partner at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) where he worked for 19 years. He has served as Executive Board member for the Information Technology Association of America (now TechAmerica) and has served on the Board of Directors for three separate public IT services companies (Cognizant, Claremont Technology, and Technology Solutions). He has served on four not-for-profit Boards of Directors, including the Rensselaer Alumni Association where he recently completed his two-year term as President. 

Commissioner Cosgrave earned a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He has been recognized by RPI with the Distinguished Albert Fox Demers Medal, the second highest recognition given to an Alumnus, and by his Fraternity, Sigma Chi, as a Significant Sig, an honor bestowed on a few alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers. He has also been recognized by Computerworld, Information Week and Government Technology for his innovative leadership and accomplishments in the IT Industry. 

He is a native New Yorker, and is the father of three grown children. He resides with his wife, Charlene, and two dogs in Ponte Vedra Beach. His interests outside of work include golf and travel.

Melissa Dykes, Chief Financial Officer

Melissa Dykes Ms. Dykes has served as Chief Financial Officer since March 2013. She provides leadership to ensure the financial health of JEA, resulting in access to capital at low cost for JEA’s customers. She is responsible for all aspects of JEA’s finances, including treasury, financial reporting, budgeting, supply chain management and shared services. She has lead responsibility for ensuring compliance with all reporting, regulatory and tax requirements for JEA.

Ms. Dykes currently serves on the Finance and Audit Committee of TEA. Prior to joining JEA as Treasurer in 2012, Ms. Dykes was CFO at a portfolio company of a large energy private equity firm and a principal in a renewable energy development company. She also was Vice President of Investment Banking at JP Morgan. During her career, she has been responsible for over $26 billion in new debt issuance, including financings for many municipal electric and water systems across the country. Ms. Dykes is a graduate of the University of Florida.

Angelia Hiers, Chief Human Resources Officer

Angelia Hiers Angelia Hiers is a career human resource professional, with industry knowledge and experience at a strategic and tactical level, in all aspects of human resources and organizational development. During her career, she has been responsible for employee and labor relations, compensation, benefits, recruiting, training and development, safety and wellness, diversity and inclusion. Throughout her career, Angelia has leveraged her collaborative, energetic and creative style to build successful human resource strategies and business solutions. 

Prior to joining JEA, Angelia was the Vice President, Human Resources for Baker Distributing Company a subsidiary of the publicly traded company, Watsco, Inc. She also served as Human Resources Director for CSX Technology and Senior Vice President/Managing Director, Right Management Consultants in Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to joining Right Management Consultants, Angelia held leadership positions in operations and human resources for Barnett Bank.

Angelia is a graduate of Edward Waters College with a Bachelor of Arts - Organizational Management and Jacksonville University with a Master of Business Administration.

Mike Hightower, Chief Public Affairs Officer

Mike HightowerMike joined JEA in 2015. Mike brings over 35 years of Governmental & Legislative Relations experience to JEA. Mike also served 16 years on JEA’s Board of Directors and served 2 two years terms as JEA Chair.

Mr. Hightower joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida in 1981 as the Director of Governmental and Legislative Relations. In 1985, he was named the Vice President of Governmental and Legislative Relations. Mike worked closely with key political leaders in the federal, state and local government, after three decades of a successful career at Florida Blue, he retired in late 2014, he then joined the Holland and Knight International Law firm as a Senior Policy Advisor prior to joining the JEA Senior Leadership Team.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, he has dedicated his time, talents and leadership to numerous boards and commissions over the last 35 years. Presently Mike chairs the following:  Florida Governor’s Mansion Foundation, JaxBiz and Florida College System Foundation. In addition, Mike is the Senior Vice President, Special Projects- Florida House, Florida’s Embassy in Washington DC, and Vice President, Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. He also serves as an active Board Member of the following: OneJax, Florida Ounce of Prevention, and Five Star Veterans Center

Previous to joining JEA, Mike has chaired the following Civic and Trade Associations: United States Naval Academy, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Florida House, Florida’s Embassy in Washington DC, Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Insurance Council, Florida News Service, Jacksonville Library Foundation, Jacksonville Political Leadership Institute, Duval County Republican Party and the Cecil Field Base Closure Commission.

In 2006, Florida’s Leadership leaders appointed Mike to the Florida Energy Commission. The nine-member panel was charged with making recommendations to the Florida Legislature on ways to secure Florida’s energy future. 

In 2010, Florida’s legislative leadership appointed Mike to the Public Service Commission Nominating Council, charged with interviewing and recommending qualified candidates for gubernatorial appointment to Florida Public Service Commission.

Mike, a 1972 graduate of Jacksonville University, resides in Jacksonville with his wife Sue, an Elementary Special Education Instructor. The couple has one son, Parker, daughter-in-law Maggie and a new granddaughter, Gracie.  Mike is a third term 2003, 2005, 2007 University of Florida Graduate School Adjunct Instructor, “Principals of Lobbying”.

Ted Hobson, Chief Compliance Officer

Ted Hobson Ted Hobson, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, joined JEA in 1973. Mr. Hobson has responsibility for JEA Compliance programs including FERC/NERC operational and planning and critical infrastructure protection (CIP). He is also responsible for audit services, physical security, and risk management services including enterprise risk management. Previous responsibilities include fuel procurement and electric systems operations and maintenance including transmission, substation and distribution. Mr. Hobson has served as a Director of The Energy Authority board and as chair of the Settlement and Operating Committee. Mr. Hobson has served as JEA’s representative to the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC) for over 15 years, and is the current chair of the operating committee and JEA’s alternate board member. Mr. Hobson has also served on various NERC committees and is a member and past Chair of the NERC Compliance and Certification Committee. Mr. Hobson holds a BSEE degree from the University of Florida, and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida.

Brian Roche, Vice President/General Manager Water/Wastewater Systems

Brian Roche Brian Roche is responsible for the planning, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of JEA’s Water, Wastewater Reclaim and District Energy systems in a safe, reliable and cost-competitive manner, and in full compliance with regulatory objectives.

Brian joined JEA in 1983 as a co-op student and has over 20 years’ experience at JEA in roles across the organization including serving as a project engineer for electric generating stations, an Account Executive for industrial customers, a wastewater planner, the Director of Meter, Billing and Collections, and as the Director of Financial Planning, Budgets and Rates. In addition, he has experience in the private sector, including roles as a project engineer for Amoco Oil Company and with a global environmental engineering consultant firm. Brian presently serves on the Board of Directors of Vystar Credit Union. Brian holds a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, a bachelor of science degree in Accounting from the University of Florida, a MBA and a masters degree of Accountancy from the University of North Florida. Brian is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Florida, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Richard Vento, Interim Chief Customer Officer

Richard Vento is responsible for delivering value to JEA customers through superb customer service and solutions, customer education, community partnerships, and employee volunteerism. He oversees nearly $2 billion in annual billing and metering services, payment services and value-based utility services including customer and utility based demand-side management. Mr. Vento and his team of more than 400 are committed to earning customer loyalty by ensuring JEA customers have a positive experience through each of the millions of interactions that occur annually. Most recently, residential and commercial customers affirmed their increasing satisfaction with JEA's customer-centric focus through J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction studies, all while JEA maintained cost-effective operations.

Richard’s 34 year career with JEA includes leadership roles in power generation, water/wastewater, technology, utility analytics, smart grid and customer solutions. Richard’s collaboration with United Way of Northeast Florida, North East Florida Community Action Agency (NFCAA) and the Jesse Ball DuPont Trust has resulted in customer education and conservation programs that are focused on Jacksonville’s low income communities. Richard has also served as Chair of the Large Public Power Council's Energy Efficiency Working Group.

Richard holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida.