Archives: Awesome Team Member

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Brien Blakeney

Brien Blakeney founded B&B in 1983, at the age of twenty-one, after completing Electrical courses and working in the industry for a number of years—during which time he obtained his Master Electricians license. He began with residential electrical service and new electrical construction. Focus was placed on providing these services 24/7/365 and doing so with total commitment to the customer. B&B is a progressive company that has continually expanded its service offerings to customers while ensuring team members are highly trained and professional.

Over the years, a priority for best practices and staying on top of evolving materials and technology has always been an emphasis for Brien. Thus ensuring B&B Electrical and Utility Contractors provides the highest of expertise and professional care for our customers. Brien has surrounded himself with team members that have many years’ experience in the industry and that share a common goal—providing a safe working environment for our employees, and providing a quality and professional service to our customers.

He has served on many industry boards and committees throughout his career in the electrical contracting business. He still regularly attends seminars and classes, as well as safety and best practices training—which is so essential to our industry. He understands the challenges our employees encounter because of his previous field background and is able to keep our team members focused on our customer service philosophy that B&B was founded on in 1983.


Ali Azad

Ali Azad is an accomplished business executive who brings 36 years of energy, engineering, utility and technical services knowledge to his role. In addition to his CEO position, he serves as an operating partner for Bernhard Capital Partners, the parent company of United Utility Services and a private equity firm focused on energy services sector investments.

Azad’s experience spans the energy services spectrum. His previous roles include: president and CEO, Toshiba America Energy Systems; president, BHI Energy; SVP and chief development officer, Babcock & Wilcox; CEO and president, Generation mPower; president, Welding Services, Inc.; and chief development officer, Aquilex Corporation. He also held senior executive positions at American Electric Company, Washington Group International and First Solar. Azad began his career at Duke Energy, where he worked as a start-up and operations engineer for the company’s fleet of nuclear stations.

Azad earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.  He serves on the advisory board of Georgia Tech’s George F. Woodruff School of Mechanical and nuclear Engineering and on the supplier advisory board of the Nuclear Energy Institute.


Sheila Lacks

Sheila Lacks has a distinguished record of leading finance, accounting, information technology and procurement functions for regional and global energy, manufacturing, engineering and service firms. She has successfully advised businesses through development, mergers and acquisitions and restructuring activities.

As chief financial officer, she oversees all accounting and finance activities for United Utility Services’ portfolio companies. She assumed her leadership position in 2018.

Prior to joining United Utility Services, Lacks was vice president of finance for Lash Group. Her previous positions include senior vice president of finance and corporate services, Toshiba America Energy Systems Inc.; group controller, Precision Castparts Inc.; and controller, Nuclear Fuel Services subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox.

Lacks holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Lynchburg College, in Lynchburg, Va., and a master’s degree in business administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute’s Pamplin School of Business in Blacksburg, Va. She is a registered certified public accountant in Virginia.


Frank Musick

Frank Musick is president of W.A. Chester, the industry leader in the installation and maintenance of underground high voltage transmission cable and distribution infrastructure for electric utilities.

Musick has more than 30 years of experience in transmission and distribution operations, underground transmission design and construction, and project management. He began his career with Potomac Electric Power Company, where he held various underground and overhead engineering and project management positions. He joined W.A. Chester in 1996 as manager of operations.

Musick is a respected expert on underground transmission projects, and a contributing co-author to the Electric Power Research Institute’s authoritative reference guide on underground transmission systems.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Bluefield State College in Bluefield, W. Va., and master’s degree in engineering construction management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the IEEE Power Engineering Society and holds electrical contractor licenses in a number of jurisdictions.


Craig Adams

Craig Adams is the former president and chief executive officer of PECO, Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility. He also served as executive vice president of Exelon Corporation and was a member of the Exelon Executive Committee and the PECO board of directors.

Over the course of his 35-year career with Exelon and PECO, Adams has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in myriad aspects of energy generation and delivery – from nuclear emergency preparedness and outage management to transmission and distribution, supply chain oversight and strategy development.

He holds bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and economics from the University of the State of New York at Albany. Adams served in the U.S. Army and completed its Nuclear Power Program.

Adams serves as president of the board of directors of the Camphill Special School and chairs the board of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. He also served on the boards of WHYY Inc., MontcoWorks, the Energy Association of Pennsylvania, and the American Gas Association.


Jonathan de Lauréal

Jonathan de Lauréal is a principal at Bernhard Capital Partners (BCP), involved in all areas of the firm’s investment activities.

Prior to joining BCP, De Lauréal served as an associate at Lightyear Capital, where he was involved in all aspects of the investment process, including evaluation of new investment opportunities, deal structuring and execution and ongoing monitoring of existing portfolio companies. He previously served as a member of the financial institutions group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch,where he worked on mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and capital raises for clients in the asset management and insurance industries.

De Lauréal received his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.


Mark Spender

Mark Spender serves as managing director at Bernhard Capital Partners (BCP) Management and a member of BCP’s investment committee. He also serves on the board of directors of Charah Solutions, Inc. and ATC Group Services LLC.

Since joining BCP in 2015, Spender has led BCP’s investments in the environmental services and utility services industries. Prior to joining BCP, he was a managing director in the global industrials group in Credit Suisse’s investment banking department. Spender also held various leadership roles in UBS’ investment banking department. During his career, he hasalso focused on a variety of other industrial subsectors, including engineering and construction, building products and construction materials and industrial distribution.

Spender holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance with highest distinction from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.