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 – while upholding the values of safety, service, growth, accountability and integrity.

Paul McElroy, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Paul McElroy Paul 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 McElroy 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.

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. He 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.         

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. He also pursued graduate level studies at the University of Bridgeport and the University of New Haven in Connecticut. 

Before joining JEA, 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 in Norwalk, Connecticut, including Controller, Director – Marketing and Vice President, Internal Finance Division. 

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.

 

Brost 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. A licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Florida, Brost holds an M.S. degree in Engineering and an MBA. He also serves on several local nonprofit boards.

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.  

Roche joined JEA in 1983 as a co-op student and has 25 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, and in the Water/Wastewater Systems Vice President/General Manager role effective December 2012. 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.

Roche holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Florida, an MBA and a Master’s Degree of Accountancy from the University of North Florida. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Florida, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He currently serves on the board of VyStar Credit Union.

Melissa Dykes, Chief Financial Officer

Melissa DykesMelissa Dykes has served as Chief Financial Officer since March 2013. She provides leadership to ensure the long-term financial health of JEA, resulting in access to capital at a lower cost for JEA’s customers. She is responsible for all aspects of JEA’s finances, including treasury, financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, and budgeting, as well as corporate strategy, supply chain management and shared services. Dykes also has lead responsibility for ensuring compliance with all reporting, regulatory and tax requirements for JEA. She currently serves on the Finance and Audit Committee of TEA.   

Prior to joining JEA, Dykes was CFO at a portfolio company of a large energy private equity firm and a principal in a renewable energy development company, where she was responsible for origination, commercial structuring, development and capital raising for renewable energy projects. She also was Vice President of Investment Banking at JPMorgan, where she was responsible for providing capital solutions for clients, including more than $26 billion in financing for many municipal electric and water systems across the country, risk management product delivery, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining JPMorgan, Dykes worked for The World Bank Group, where she researched and published on private participation in infrastructure industries in developing countries. Dykes is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a Certificate in Advanced Management from Dartmouth College. 

Ted Hobson, Chief Compliance Officer

Ted Hobson As Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, Ted 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 included fuel procurement, and as Director of JEA’s System Operations and Control Center (SOCC) he was responsible for electric systems operations and maintenance including transmission, substation and distribution. Hobson has served as a Director of The Energy Authority board, where he is currently an alternate director; and as chair/member of the Settlement and Operating Committee.

A JEA employee since 1973, Hobson has served as JEA’s representative to the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC) for more than 20 years, and is currently JEA’s alternate board member. He has also served on various NERC committees, and is a member and past Chair of the NERC Compliance and Certification Committee. Hobson holds a BSEE degree from the University of Florida, and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida.

Angelia Hiers, Chief Human Resources Officer

Angelia HiersAngelia 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, Hiers has leveraged her collaborative, energetic and creative style to build successful human resource strategies and business solutions. 

Prior to joining JEA, Hiers was the Vice President, Human Resources for Baker Distributing Company, a subsidiary of the publicly traded 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, she held leadership positions in operations and human resources for Barnett Bank. 

Hiers holds a Bachelor of Arts - Organizational Management from Edward Waters College and an MBA from Jacksonville University. 

Paul Cosgrave, Chief Information Officer

Paul Cosgrave Paul Cosgrave brings to JEA 40-plus 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 New York City. 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. 

Previously, Cosgrave served as the CIO at the Internal Revenue Service 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 completed a two-year term as President. 

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 select group of 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.       

Michael R. (Mike) Hightower, Chief Public Affairs Officer

Mike HightowerMike Hightower joined JEA in 2015, bringing more than 35 years of governmental and legislative relations experience to the organization. He previously served 16 years on JEA’s Board of Directors, including two, two-year terms as 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, and 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:  the Florida Governor’s Mansion Foundation and the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists.  In addition, Mike is Vice Chair of Florida House, Florida’s Embassy in Washington DC and Five Star Veterans Center.  He also serves as an active Board Member of the following:  OneJax, Florida Ounce of Prevention, and Florida College System Foundation.

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

Throughout the state, he is well-known for his political leadership, having served as chair or finance chair for more than 580 successful local, state, and/or federal candidates since 1972.  He has assisted in raising more than $136.3 million for charitable, candidate and political party campaigns since 1981.

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.  Mike is a third term 2003, 2005, 2007 University of Florida Graduate School Adjunct Instructor, “Principals of Lobbying”

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. Brooks had been rendering legal support and guidance to JEA while providing legal services to many other city departments. In her role as JEA Chief Legal Officer, she is fully dedicated to serving as the Chief Legal Advisor to JEA and the JEA Board of Directors.

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’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law.

Kerri Stewart, Chief Customer Officer

Kerri Stewart Kerri Stewart joined JEA as Chief Customer Officer in 2017, bringing more than 14 years of experience to the organization.  Previously, Stewart served as Chief of Staff for Jacksonville, Florida Mayor Lenny Curry, providing policy and public affairs guidance to the mayor. 

Prior to returning to the City of Jacksonville, Stewart was a Partner and Senior Vice President at Infinity Global Solutions. Drawing on her extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, she focused on assisting clients in the areas of government privatization, public infrastructure development, general management consulting and government relations. She also served as interim president of Visit Jacksonville, Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) and Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville as part of her management consulting practice.

Prior to joining IGS, Stewart served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jacksonville/Duval County, Florida under Mayor John Peyton and Mayor Alvin Brown. In this role, she oversaw day-to-day government operations for the city, including directing a nearly 5,000-member workforce and managing the $1 billion municipal budget and $164 million annual capital improvement plan. During her first tenure with the City of Jacksonville, Stewart led several successful privatization studies and implementations, and she has shared her experiences in this area at a variety of conferences and other professional venues.

During her years of public service, Stewart also served as director of the city’s Housing and Neighborhoods Department, created the Office of Operational Efficiency (now known as the Inspector General’s Office), and served as a policy advisor to Mayor Peyton.

Prior to joining the City of Jacksonville, Stewart worked as a Program Manager for Alltel Information Systems in Leeds, UK and Jacksonville, Florida. She is a graduate of the University of North Florida’s Coggin School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, double-majoring in Marketing and Management.

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