President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Klefeker has been the President and CEO of Primary Energy since November 2015. His prior work experience of 20 years includes executive management responsibilities with Southwest Generation, Inc., Black Hills Corporation and Indeck Capital, Inc.
Mr. Klefeker began his career with Northern Indiana Public Service Company with responsibilities in the electric & gas utilities and corporate finance areas of the company.
His education background includes a B.S. degree from Purdue University and a M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Bashara is the Chief Financial Officer of Primary Energy. In this position, he is responsible for financial reporting and managerial accounting, tax matters, treasury management, information technology and other administrative matters. Mr. Bashara previously served as the Company’s Corporate Controller. He has been with the Company since its IPO in 2005 directing all accounting, external/internal financial reporting, tax functions, treasury management and other management matters. He has Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Major in Accounting from Youngstown State University. He has a background with over 20 years in the accounting industry with substantial experience in public company reporting from a Fortune 500 environment.
Director of Finance
Ms. Vertenten is the Director of Finance and has been involved with the business since 2004 in various financial roles. This included a key role in the initial public offering of Primary Energy as well as analysis for acquisitions, development projects and financings. She is responsible for the administration of all of Primary Energy's credit facilities as well as financial analysis on all new and existing projects. She has been integral in all financings completed in the last 14 years including the company's current credit facility. Ms. Vertenten has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Indiana University (Magna Cum Laude).
Director of Business & Administration
Ms. Bradley-Bey (Wanda) has been with Primary Energy since 2014 as Director of Business and Administration. With over 20 years in the industry, her primarily duties currently include providing accurate delivery of financial and budget information, maintaining the procurement and contract process, managing the accounts payable process, overseeing the inventory process and controls, and managing all administrative and human resources matters at the plant.
Before joining the company, Wanda was employed at SunCoke Energy for over 15 years in various positions to include accounting, finance, procurement, power sales, business development and marketing.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy with a minor in Finance from Delta State University and a M.B.A. with a concentration in Marketing from Keller Graduate School of Management. Wanda is also a veteran of the United States Army.
Director of Environmental, Health and Safety
Mr. Ford is the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety. He ensures organizational compliance is met with local, state and federal environmental, health and safety regulations. He is responsible for the overall creation and development, and maintenance of an effective Environmental Health and Safety program for the organization and its projects.
Before joining Primary Energy in 2014, Luke held positions of increasing responsibility at NRG, Edison Mission Energy and Midwest Generation in various EH&S roles at both the corporate office and generating stations including Powerton, Crawford and Fisk.
After earning a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois, Luke began his career in consulting specializing in air quality issues.
Director of Special Projects
Mr. Strom has 25+ years in senior management positions of increasing responsibility in multi-site energy environments. He is primarily responsible for project development and project management at the Primary Energy operating facilities. He has many significant accomplishments in strategic planning, project management, safety and environmental compliance, labor relations, plant performance, benchmarking, financial and budget development and P&L management. He has had successful experiences as General Manager/Plant Manager at four different power generating facilities at MidAmerican Energy, Midwest Generation and Primary Energy. Dave also facilitated the seamless transition from construction to commercial operation of three new wind projects within a sixteen-month period during his tenure with Edison Mission. Mr. Strom has a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana.
Vice President of Operations – Primary Energy
GM of North Lake, Ironside and Harbor Coal – East Chicago, IN
Mr. Hermanson is General Manager of our North Lake, East Chicago, Ironside and Harbor Coal (operating facilities). Mr. Hermanson started his career in electric utilities with San Diego Gas & Electric in the 1980’s and has been in the independent energy sector since 1990 in positions of increasing responsibility as the parent company grew from 200 MW to 2,000 MW through various acquisitions. He has served on the governing boards for California Cogeneration Council, Western Turbine Users, Inc. and the Salvation Army Food Bank of Oak Terrace, IL. He was named Volunteer of the Year by both the Metropolitan Water District and the Oxnard, CA Chamber of Commerce for his efforts in water conservation. Mr. Hermanson has a BS from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is a registered Professional Engineer in California.
Operations and Maintenance Manager Northlake and Ironside – East Chicago, IN
Mr. Nichols is the Operations and Maintenance Manager for Primary Energy’s Northlake and Ironside Facilities. Mr. Nichols joined Primary Energy in 2017 and has been instrumental in improving maintenance practices with a specific impact on equipment reliability. He has improved the plant-wide preventative maintenance program in addition to establishing strong communications with the ArcelorMittal operating team. Prior to joining Primary Energy, Joe held a Regional Sales Manager position with Power Plant Services. Joe was responsible for overhaul, field service and reverse engineering projects in 7 Midwestern states. Mr. Nichols’s experience includes operations and maintenance for gas turbines, steam turbines, rotating machinery, boilers, cooling towers, reverse osmosis systems, demineralizers, and high voltage equipment.
Mr. Nichols has more than 25 years of experience in power generation maintenance and operations, including completion of multiple gas and steam turbine major overhauls. Joe started his career in operations with ComEd at the Dresden Nuclear Facility. During his career he has managed a 200 MW cogeneration facility in a petrochemical plant dispatching daily and hourly capacity into the PJM market.
His educational background includes a degree in finance from Lewis University.
GM of Cokenergy – East Chicago, IN
Mr. Acheson is the General Manager of Primary Energy’s Cokenergy Facility. Mr. Acheson joined Primary Energy in 2016 as Cokenergy’s Operations and Maintenance Manager and has been instrumental in maintaining high equipment reliability as well as implementation of an improved plant-wide preventative maintenance program. Prior to joining Primary Energy, Seth held a Superintendent position with Hayes Mechanical. As the Hayes Superintendent, Mr. Acheson supervised a range of local building trades including Boilermakers, Pipefitters, Millwrights, Laborers and Operating Engineering at a number of Steel Mills and Power Generating facilities across the Chicagoland area. Mr. Acheson’s experience includes construction and maintenance for rotating machinery, boilers, cooling towers, vessels, and piping.
Mr. Acheson has more than 15 years of experience in industrial maintenance, including completion of multiple steam turbine outages. Mr. Acheson studied Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University but also has completed the UBC Millwright 4-year Apprenticeship Program with an AAS degree from IVY Tech. He has 8 years of Millwright Journeyman experience.
GM of Portside – Portage, IN
Mr. Satek joined Primary Energy in 2012 filling the role of General Manager of the 63 MW Portside Energy facility located in Portage, Indiana. His overall expertise in power plant operations contributed Portside Energy providing the host steel mill facility with over 5 years of 100% thermal reliability to mill production lines. Throughout Bill’s career he has managed a wide variety combined heat and power facility applications with specific expertise in natural gas fired combustion turbine cogeneration facilities and reciprocating engine cogeneration applications.
He also worked for Caterpillar Power Systems as Power Systems Product Support Manager providing product support for all Caterpillar power generation systems deployed across the Chicagoland and northwest Indiana regions. In addition to power generation, Bill worked at northern Illinois natural gas public utility, NICOR Gas, as Western Region Natural Gas Storage & Pipeline Manager, managing the Nicor Gas 75 BCF gas compression storage reservoir and northwest Illinois natural gas pipeline distribution system.
Bill began his career working as a Locomotive Engine and Power Unit Test Cell Technician for Electro-Motive Division General Motors. His educational background includes graduation from Greer Technical Institute and Moraine Valley Community College.
Operations and Maintenance Manager Cokenergy – East Chicago, IN
Mr. Wranosky is the Operations and Maintenance Manager for Primary Energy’s Cokenergy Facility. Mr. Wranosky joined Primary Energy in 2009 and has been instrumental in improving plant wide reliability and maintenance along with being influential in maintaining a high reliability with Operations. Prior to joining Primary Energy, Bob held various managerial positions in Biomass power generation throughout New England and Quebec.
Mr. Wranosky has more than 32 years of experience in the power generation operations and maintenance, including turbine overhauls, cooling towers, controls and instrumentation, rotating machinery, boiler efficiency and boiler retubing.
After earning a B.S. Degree in Marine Engineering from Maine Maritime Academy, Bob started out his career in Merchant Marine as an Engineer transporting wheat and grain around the world.
Human Resources Manager
Ms. Wennerberg (Karen) was promoted to the Company’s Human Resource Manager in 2012 and has been involved with the business in various administrative roles since 2007. With over 14 years in the industry, her primary duties currently include HR Generalist oversight which encompasses payroll, employee benefits administration, talent management and employee engagement. Her HR focus evolves around creating a culture of inclusion which values integrity, honesty and respect within the workplace that extends to our customers and the communities in which we serve.
Before joining the company, Karen was employed at Fortune 500 companies such as Unilever and RR Donnelley in various administrative positions within Research & Development and Sales & Marketing functions.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication with a minor in Psychology from North Central College in Naperville Il. Ms. Wennerberg is a certified member of SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) since 2016.