Contact RERC Council Members
The council consists of up to 20 members representing people across the Tennessee Valley who are interested in TVA’s management of the region’s energy resources.
The council’s purpose is to gather advice from all sectors so that TVA can respond in a responsible way to the needs of people across the region. The council invites public input into its deliberations. In fact, the main reason the body exists is to increase public participation in the decision-making process.
TVA appoints a designated federal officer to facilitate the planning of the council’s meetings and reporting of its activities to the public. That office is currently held by Melanie Farrell, Vice President of External Strategy & Regulatory Oversight.
6th Term Council Members
Benshoff is the Global Director of EV Policy for Ford Motor Company, where he helps lead Ford’s overall strategy and engagement on a full suite of policy issues in the electric transportation and clean energy space. Specifically, he is focused on policies to enable and advance vehicle to grid integration, promote electric charging infrastructure, and unlock the full value of electrifying the transportation sector. He works closely with policymakers around the globe, as well as electric companies, to ensure that the Ford family of customers has access to the programs and technology that will deliver an industry-leading experience. Prior to joining Ford, he was the Vice President, Regulatory Affairs for the Edison Electric Institute, where he led EEI’s economic regulatory issues at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, state public utility commissions, as well as at state and federal legislatures.
He holds dual Bachelor’s Degrees in English and Speech Communications from The Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctor Degree from the Boston University School of Law. He currently resides outside of Washington D.C. in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife Andreana, daughter Michela, and dog Bruin.
Bradshaw is a native South Memphian - raised in a pollution-impacted community including a National Priority List Superfund site: the Memphis Defense Depot. She obtained her B.LS. in Communication from the University of Memphis. She is the founder and Executive Director of Sowing Justice, a non-partisan, environmental justice civic engagement organization. Her work at Sowing Justice empowers pollution-impacted communities across Tennessee and Arkansas to work toward a just transition away from environmental degradation, energy-related pollution, aging infrastructure, and a green economy.
She serves as the Sierra Club’s TN Executive Committee Environmental Justice Chair. She has served on behalf of the Memphis Chapter Coalition of Black Trade Unionist Community Action and Response Against Toxics (CBTU-CARAT) Team, as Community Communications Liaison to the Memphis Community Advisory Board of the Southern Gateway Environmental Health Disparities Research Center of Excellence.
She received the Dick Mochow Environmental Justice Award from the Sierra Club, the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s Human Rights Award, Silent No Longer TN’s Change Maker Award, and the Harriet Tubman Living Legends Award. She made Tennessee history as the first African American woman to win a major political party nomination in a statewide election for her 2020 U.S. Senate bid.
Berry is a volunteer leader in roles related to our changing climate. Citizens’ Climate is a non-partisan, non-profit that focuses on building community and the will to transition to a clean energy future. As a Tennessee State Coordinator, she works with national and regional offices as well as statewide volunteers who encourage members of Congress to implement Federal policy solutions to climate change such as permitting reform, electrification, healthy forests, and carbon pricing with cash-back to Americans.
She volunteers on the Board of Directors for WATeR, the Tellico Watershed Protection Association, on the Policy Committee of the American Nuclear Society, and on the Board of Director for Foothills Point Owners’ Association. She is coordinating implementation of energy efficiency projects as the lead of the Creation Care Ministry of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. As a Rotary District 6780 Assistant Governor Elect, she will have responsibility for Rotary Clubs in Maryville, Lenoir City, Loudon, and Tellico Village, Tennessee.
During her professional, 35-year career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she managed engineering projects including technology development, process demonstrations, equipment design and construction. After managing programs to clean up cold war waste throughout the U.S., she managed innovative energy projects such combined heating and power systems, and the primary 1-GW cooling water system for ITER, the world’s largest fusion experiment being built in collaboration with thirty-five (35) nations in the south of France.
She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering and qualified as a Certified Energy Manager with the Association of Energy Engineers. She has authored hundreds of papers, won numerous awards, and frequently gives presentations on solutions to climate change.
Bunch, CEcD is the President and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, a Five-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce, which has been invited to apply for Chamber of the Year in the US by American Chamber of Commerce Executives for eight of the last nine years, making it to the finalist stage five of those years. Since he joined the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, our community has announced over $6.5+ Billion in capital investment and more than 12,050+ new jobs. Bowling Green has been ranked in the top six nationally by Site Selection Magazine for the “Top 10 Metros for New/Expanded Facilities” for populations under 200,000 for ten consecutive years including #1 overall in 2018 and won two consecutive Mac Conway Awards from Site Selection Magazine which recognized the team as a Top 20 Economic Development Organization in the Country for their performance in 2020,2021 and 2022. In 2022 the community announced the second largest project in the history of Kentucky at $2B and 2,000 jobs.
Cooper President and CEO of Jackson Energy Authority, was appointed by the Board of Directors in February 2023. He has spent his entire career at Jackson Energy Authority, except for a one-year stint as a Level I Project Engineer in 1997 with Memphis Light, Gas & Water. He returned "home" to Jackson Utility Division in 1998 when he was hired as an Electric Project Engineer. Since then, he has held numerous leadership positions as Electric System Engineer, Manager of Operations, Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Distribution, Senior Vice President of JEA's Electric Division, and was most recently JEA’s Chief Operating Officer prior to becoming President and CEO.
He was born and raised in Jackson, TN and is a 1991 graduate of South Side High School. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in electrical engineering and has been a licensed professional engineer in the state of Tennessee for over 22 years. He received a master’s in business administration from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
He currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the WTIA Executive Committee, is on the TVA Regional Grid Transformation (RGT) Steering Team, the TVPPA Rates & Pricing Committee, TVA’s Utility of the Future Committee, the Board of Directors for the Carl Perkins Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, Trinity Christian Academy’s Board of Directors, and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Tennergy Corporation, an energy acquisition corporation that secures gas supply for utilities. He is also a member of the Jackson Rotary Club along with numerous industry affiliations including the Tennessee Gas Association, Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, American Public Power Association, Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association, and Western District Managers Association.
With Jackson Energy Authority being one of very few public utilities in the nation to offer all major utility services from one company, he considers it an honor and privilege to lead and work in the public utility sector where the local community and ratepayers are the highest priority in every aspect of our business.
He and his wife, Shea have been married for thirty years and have three children, Cassidy (22), Trey (20), and Will (10). He enjoys hiking, camping, coaching youth sports, and serving at Fellowship Bible Church.
Gill is the Vice President of Sustainability and Government Relations at Knoxville Utilities Board, where she is responsible the utility’s sustainability & environmental initiatives, as well as relationships with governmental and other regional partners. Her professional experience focuses on improving the efficiency and resilience of urban systems and includes over a decade of leadership at the City of Knoxville, where she served as Director of Sustainability and more recently as Chief Policy Officer and Deputy to Mayor Indya Kincannon.
She has participated in numerous TVA stakeholder groups, including the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan Working Group, the Solar Stakeholder Advisory Group and the Energy Efficiency-Information Exchange. She has also served as a member of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Policy Committee and is a former board member of the Knoxville Chamber.
She holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a B.A. in History from the University of Notre Dame.
Goodman, Kentucky Cabinet Secretary of Energy and Environment, was appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear as the state’s top environmental officer in December 2019. She has served the Commonwealth for more than four decades. She most recently advocated on behalf of Kentucky utility ratepayers as executive director of the Attorney General’s Office of Rate Intervention. Through her work on state and federal cases, She regularly dealt with social and environmental justice issues, which frequently concerned low income, disadvantaged and residential customer needs.
She formerly served as general counsel for the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission, and the Kentucky Electric Generation and Transmission Siting Board. She has formerly served as the executive director of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Legal Services after beginning her career as a staff attorney for the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
She earned a Juris Doctor from Salmon P. Chase College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kentucky State University with a B.S. in Business Administration.
Goodman is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He is responsible for promoting the affiliate’s overall vision and direction, ensuring its ability to increasingly serve families in need of simple, decent, affordable housing. In 2022 the affiliate constructed their 100th home. Building homes that are affordable to own and energy efficient to make them affordable to live in is a top priority.
Prior to this role, he worked as the supportive housing manager for LifeSkills Inc. of Bowling Green, Kentucky. In this capacity, he and his staff were responsible for providing supportive services and housing solutions to persons experiencing homelessness and mental illness. The goal of these efforts was to assist individuals in finding decent, safe and affordable housing to aid them on their road to recovery
Mary “Chrissy” Heard
Heard is a businesswoman and documentary film maker. Currently, she is President of HEARTS After School Tutoring Center, which provides free service for at-risk students K-5 in Columbus, Mississippi. An avid equestrian, Chrissy owned and operated Oatland Stables in Maryland, which was dedicated to training, lessons and boarding up to 55 horses, and worked as head wrangler at Town Creek Farm in West Point, Mississippi. Additionally, she was head coach for a large Special Olympic Equestrian team in Maryland.
She is very active in county politics serving as Chairman of the Lowndes County Republican Party and was a delegate to the 2020 Republican Convention.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland.
Jenkins is the Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade. Prior to her current role, Chelsea was the VP of Government & Industry Relations for ROUSH CleanTech, the clean technology division of Roush Enterprises. She led strategic efforts including building partnerships with government and nongovernmental organizations, product development strategy and managing regulatory, legislative and public policy initiatives for advanced clean transportation programs. She joined Roush’s business development team in 2011, managing commercial, transit and school bus fleet accounts on the east coast. Prior, she served as the Virginia Clean Cities executive director and program coordinator. A recipient of the 2009 Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year award, she was inducted into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame in 2011. She helped establish Valley AIRNow, an air quality outreach program for two counties in Virginia and was instrumental in the development of a biodiesel production.
She holds a degree from James Madison University in Integrated Science and Technology with a triple concentration in energy, environment and transportation. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children in Virginia Beach during her free time.
Candy C. Johnson
Johnson has over a decade of experience as a leader in nonprofit, government, education and various civic roles. A native of Clarksville, Tennessee, she was the youngest member of the Clarksville City Council ever elected at the age of 25. Prior to taking the helm of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga as President and CEO in January 2021, She served as a senior advisor to Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, where she acted on the Mayor’s senior leadership team. There she oversaw community-focused initiatives to create sustainable partnerships and external investments to advance the administration’s economic, racial and social agendas. She also led the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Alliance in partnership with Bloomberg Associates, co-created the Styles L. Hutchins Black College Student Fellowship and led other public engagement efforts during her tenure with the Berke administration.
Prior to joining the City of Chattanooga in 2019, she worked as an independent consultant, providing strategic planning, diversity and inclusion initiatives, resource development and educational equity advocacy services to nonprofit organizations. She also served as the policy director for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce before relocating with her husband and two children to Chattanooga in July 2017. She spent seven years as executive director of a nonprofit organization, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation, prior to pursuing a career in policy.
She graduated from Austin Peay State University with a B.A. in public management and a Master’s of Public Administration from Murray State University. Additionally, she is a graduate of Leadership Clarksville, Leadership Middle Tennessee and the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute and is a current participant in the Harvard Young American Leaders Program. She has served as an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee System and presently serves on several local and state boards.
Senator Steve Livingston
Livingston has been a Jackson County businessman for more than 30 years and he has distinguished himself as a community servant. He is a long-time member of the Scottsboro Rotary Club and has served as President of the Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. He is a founding member of Leadership Jackson County and a Leadership Alabama Class 10 Class Member. He has also served on the Boards of the United Way, Boy Scouts of America, and on the Board of Directors of the FNB Bank of Scottsboro.
He was elected to the Alabama State Senate in November 2014, representing Senate District 8, and was re-elected in 2018 and 2022. District 8 includes DeKalb, Jackson, Eastern Madison, and parts of South Huntsville. GOPAC, a national organization focused on advancing conservative ideas and policy solutions, selected him for its 2019 Emerging Leaders Class. He is the current chairman of the Confirmations Committee and serves as a member of several other committees.
Additionally, he is Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Caucus. He serves on a number of interim committees dealing with a wide array of energy, water, state parks, and aerospace issues.
He is a member of First United Methodist Church and has served as chairman of the church’s Board of Trustees. He is a 1974 graduate of Scottsboro High School and a 1978 graduate of the University of Alabama where he earned a B.S. in History and Political Science.
Mattheisis the chairman of the Tennessee Valley Industrial Committee's Strategic Planning Committee. He is also a principal in the Washington, D.C. firm of Stone, Mattheis, Xenopoulos & Brew P.C., where he has over 30 years of experience serving as counsel to Nucor Steel, the nation’s largest steel producer. As Nucor counsel, he has been involved with various energy-related matters, including evaluating and negotiating energy supply agreements; state and federal energy-related legislation; and utility resource and fuel use decisions. He has provided regulatory assistance on the Federal Energy Regulatory Council and Nuclear Energy Regulatory Council with regulatory matters, as well as other customer-specific power supply matters.
Miller is the Director of Innovation Crossroads at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Innovation Crossroads is an entrepreneurial fellowship program that recruits energy and advanced manufacturing entrepreneurs to work collaboratively with ORNL while building their early-stage startups. He previously led multiple industrial engagement strategies for ORNL. He served as the initial director of both the Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium and the TennSMART Consortium.
Before joining ORNL, he managed intellectual property at Rice University and was a mechanical design engineer at Wright Industries in Nashville. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University. He received his MBA and MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee.
Peters is a 40 year electric utility veteran with experience in a wide variety of generation, transmission and distribution related positions. He began his tenure as President and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPPA) in August of 2017. TVPPA provides a variety of services designed to meet the needs and interests of 153 municipal and cooperative distribution utilities that buy power from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
He holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a masters degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee. He is a native of Rossville, GA and has three daughters, one stepson and daughter-in-law, and five grandsons.
Schmidt serves as the Director of Sustainability for the City of Chattanooga in the Department of City Planning, Office of Sustainability. In this role, he has helped lead the development of the City’s Climate Action Plan, Regional Resilience Report, and participation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings and Better Climate Challenges. He provides coordination with department administrators, operations staff and the Office of Mayor Tim Kelly to achieve the goals of his One Chattanooga and Climate Action plans. This includes leading internal implementation teams; capital improvement planning; supporting grant funding opportunities; and engagement with external stakeholders.
He has helped to help reduce the City’s power demand by 27% through a variety of large-scale projects that seek to provide operational value, resilience and service to Chattanooga residents. He is an active steering committee member for TVA’s Connected Communities program, is supporting the TVA Valley Pathways Study, and is an active member of the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN). Prior to working for the City, he served as a lead ecologist for the Chattanooga, Tennessee office of ARCADIS, U.S, Inc., following working in the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Office of Environmental Compliance in Atlanta, Georgia.
He earned his B.A. in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and got his introduction to the beautiful Tennessee Valley as a contract fisheries biologist for TVA, sealing his love and commitment of service to our region.
Dr. Patricia Sims
Sims is the President of Drake State Community and Technical College, an HBCU in Huntsville, AL. She leads Drake State with a spirit of excellence and brings to the institution an in-depth knowledge of higher education and administration and an unbridled enthusiasm for student success. With over 25 years of experience, she is committed to ensuring that students have both the access and training needed to transform their lives.
As President, she has developed partnerships with business and industry, created new opportunities and pathways for students, and worked to increase resources to support student achievement. Under her leadership, Drake State has seen a significant increase in state and federal funding, has increased enrollment, and expanded its program offerings. She has been recognized for her work locally and across the state. In 2021, she was recognized by Yellowhammer as a Woman of Impact in the state of Alabama and named by the Alabama Media Group as a member of the 2019 Class of Women Who Shape the State of Alabama. She is also a recipient of the 2019 Huntsville Progressive Alumni Chapter of Alabama Agriculture and Mechanical University’s Outstanding Alumni Award.
She holds an Ed. D. from Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education, an M.A. from Alabama A&M University, and a B.S. from the University of West Alabama.
Voytek is the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Office of Energy Programs’ (TDEC OEP) Deputy Director of Programs, Innovation and Transportation, and Communications. She serves as the Principal Investigator for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) State Energy Program, oversees OEP’s sustainable transportation and alternative fuels programming, and assists with the administration of a variety of funding sources, including the State of Tennessee’s initial allocation under the Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust, the State’s annual allocation under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Program, and the implementation of formula funding under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program. She also serves as the Coalition Director for U.S. DOE’s Clean Cities Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, through which she acts as a technical resource for fleets and individuals evaluating alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. She is Co-Chair of the National Association for State Energy Officials’ (NASEO) Transportation Committee. She has considerable expertise working in the electric vehicle sector. She is knowledgeable about battery storage, integrated resource planning, electric vehicle infrastructure planning, energy-efficient mobility systems, and resiliency planning and data analytics. Among other things, she represented the state as the Tennessee Delegate at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of the Parties in Madrid, Glasgow, and Sharm El-Sheikh (2019-2022), where she spoke on State-led efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the energy impacts of the transportation sector.
She holds a M.A. from Columbia University in Russian, East European, Balkan, and Eurasian Studies and a B.A. from Duke University with high honors in History & Russian Language.
Woosley is the Director of the State Energy Office. She has worked with the NC Department of Environmental Quality for more than 24 years in water quality, air quality, pollution prevention, water infrastructure, waste management, and energy. She has served in many roles at DEQ, including Deputy Director in the Division of Waste Management, interim Deputy Director of the Division of Water Infrastructure, Hazardous Waste Section Chief, Industrial Assistance Section Chief, and Chair of the DEQ Leadership Forum.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the College of Wooster and a master’s degree in management and community practice from UNC Chapel Hill. She is a graduate of the Leadership Triangle program (2005) and the Certified Public Managers Program (2011). She is also the Board Chair of NC GreenPower, where she has volunteered on the Board of Directors for over eighteen years.