JEA hires chief external affairs officer to round out leadership team

Laura Schepis has been hired as JEA's new chief external affairs officer. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – JEA has hired a chief external affairs officer to round out the city-owned utility’s senior leadership team.

Laura Schepis brings more than 15 years of government affairs and communications experience to the role after working in Washington D.C., Virginia and Tennessee. Most recently, she served as senior director of national security policy for Edison Electric Institute.

Schepis joins Chief Operating Officer Raynetta Curry Marshall, Chief Financial Officer Ted Phillips, Chief Administrative Officer Jody Brooks, Chief Human Resources Officer David Emanuel, Chief Customer Officer Sheila Pressley and Chief Strategy Officer Laura Dutton. All seven will report to JEA Managing Director and CEO Jay Stowe, who took over for interim CEO Paul McElroy.

“Since joining JEA, I’ve worked to develop an unbeatable leadership team that delivers business excellence,” Stowe said. “With Laura now completing the team, JEA is led by a solid group of executives who have legacy and institutional knowledge of our operations and are ready to lead JEA into the future. This is an exciting time for JEA and for me.”

In her role, Schepis will oversee JEA’s government affairs, media relations, communications, environmental operations and compliance monitoring departments. The University of Georgia graduate, who also holds a law degree from her alma mater, will be paid $283,254.

Stowe was brought in to shake things up in the wake of a scandal involving an attempt by JEA’s previous leadership to put the city-owned utility up for a potential sale.

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Originally hailing from DeKalb, Illinois, Gabe comes to News4JAX by way of WNDU-TV in South Bend, Indiana.