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EXECUTIVES NAMED: Renewable Energy Guru Hofmeister in New Consumers Post

Linda Sims Becomes Communications Chief at Saginaw Valley State University

May 31, 2015       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Brandon Hofmeister
Linda Sims

One of the state's key developers of renewable energy policy, Brandon Hofmeister, has been named executive director of policy, research and public affairs for Consumers Energy, a newly created position.

The announcement was made by David Mengebier, senior vice president, governmental and public affairs and chief compliance officer for Michigan's largest energy provider.

"With his experience in helping shape sound Michigan energy policies, deep knowledge of the utility industry, and firsthand awareness of the state's political and regional landscapes, Brandon is an excellent candidate for this new role," said Mengebier.

Hofmeister joined Consumers Energy in 2013, responsible for energy policy analysis and strategy, and sustainability. His new responsibilities also add oversight for public affairs strategy, including strengthening ties with the many Michigan communities served by Consumers Energy.

Hofmeister succeeds Linda Sims, the former executive director for public affairs, who retires after a 30-year career with the company and will now lead communications, marketing and external affairs for Saginaw Valley State University.

A Frankenmuth, Michigan native, Hofmeister previously served as energy policy and law professor at both the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

Previously, he served as special counsel for energy and climate policy to Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan. In that role, he served as a member of the Governor's nine-person executive team. His key duties were implementing state energy and climate policy reforms, leading the Governor's clean energy economic development efforts, and coordinating with Congress and the Obama administration on energy and climate policies, including implementation of the Recovery Act provisions related to energy.

Prof. Hofmeister was a member of the team that designed and implemented Governor Granholm's Advanced Battery and Vehicle Electrification economic diversification strategy.

He was a key negotiator and drafter of Michigan's comprehensive 2008 energy regulatory legislative reform package, which resulted in a renewable portfolio standard, an energy efficiency resource standard, and a net metering program.

He drove implementation of other clean energy policies during the Granholm administration, such as an enhanced energy efficient building code, reform of the utility rate-making process to encourage energy efficiency investments, and creation of an innovative energy efficiency financing program.

In 2009, Prof. Hofmeister took a four-month leave of absence to accept a Chevening Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh's Business School, studying finance and investment in a low-carbon economy with a group of high-level policymakers from around the world. He was one of two Americans to be awarded this fellowship.

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Prof. Hofmeister served as a law clerk for Judge John Corbett O'Meara in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

Sims is to begin her duties at SVSU on June 1. Her title will be senior executive assistant to the president/executive director for communications and external affairs.

Her arrival is part of an administrative restructuring. Carlos Ramet, who had been serving the university in a similar capacity, has been appointed associate dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences.

Sims is a graduate of Michigan State University. She serves on the boards of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce, the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and chairs the 2015 campaign of the Saginaw County United Way.

Sims previously served on SVSU's Board of Control, including a term as chairwoman. She currently serves on the SVSU Foundation's Board of Directors.

Sims and her husband, Larry, endowed the Sims Public Speaking Contest, which annually provides students with an opportunity to compete for scholarships.Sims previously served on SVSU's Board of Control, including a term as chairwoman. She currently serves on the SVSU Foundation's Board of Directors. In addition, she and her husband, Larry, endowed the Sims Public Speaking Contest, which annually provides students with an opportunity to compete for scholarships. In 2012, Consumers Energy presented her with the Ethics in Action Award for ethical leadership. And, in 1998, she received a Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Mitten Bay.

A founding member of the White Pine chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Sims is a past president of the chapter, and received its Outstanding Practitioner Award.


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