Member Categories: Our Principals


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.