JEA CEO announces new leadership team

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The new managing director and CEO of the JEA on Wednesday announced a new organizational structure and who he has hired to fill most of the top jobs after a shakeup after last year’s failed attempt by the previous CEO to sell off the public-owned utility.

Jay Stowe, who was hired last November, said the new structure will reduce the number of direct reports to the CEO from 11 to seven. Those jobs will include a chief administrative officer, chief human resources officer, chief customer officer, chief strategy officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and a chief external affairs officer.

Stowe named Jody Brooks as the new chief administrative officer, who will have oversight of audit services, corporate records retention, critical infrastructure protection, and electric system compliance and ethics. Brooks will work with Jacksonville’s Office of General Counsel to oversee the legal activities of JEA. 

Brooks was selected to be the utility’s first chief legal officer in 2016 after supporting JEA’s efforts since 2013 as an attorney with the city’s Office of General Counsel. Stowe said Brooks brings a wealth of knowledge about JEA, federal, state and local utility regulation and Florida Sunshine and ethics laws.

David Emanuel was named chief human resources officer. He has served in this role as an interim since November. Emanuel is the founder and president of Develop Empowerment LLC, a firm that provides seasoned human resources professional consulting services to address employee life cycle events and helps companies create a productive culture that engages team members to grow and mitigate risk. Emanuel has been an HR executive for companies such as APR Energy, CIT, AEG, Bowne and Citigroup.

Sheila Pressley will lead JEA’s customer group as the chief customer officer, a role she has held since November where she oversees the end-to-end customer experience and internal and external communications. Pressley has been with JEA for 18 years in various roles within the customer group and is heavily engaged in community and civic endeavors. She serves as a Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce trustee and serves in leadership roles on several nonprofit agencies including Leadership Jacksonville, Northeast Florida Community Action Agency and the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition.

Brooks, Emanuel and Pressley will assume their new positions effective March 1.

Laura Dutton was named to the new role of chief strategy officer. In this role, Dutton will lead a team focused on corporate strategy and support, including analytics, continuous Improvement, board services, real estate, new solutions, market development and learning and development. Dutton has served the public power industry for more than 17 years with experience in strategy development, planning and analysis. She also served as senior advisor in external relations and resources and operations support organizations. Most recently, she was responsible for talent planning at Tennessee Valley Authority in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Dutton will start with JEA on March 8.

Each of the announced JEA leadership team members will earn a salary of $275,000.

The process of filling the other three roles on the leadership team is underway with a target completion date of July 31. Search firms will be hired to assist in filling the chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief external affairs officer roles.