MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – The Santee Cooper Board of Directors today approved the hiring of Jimmy Staton, a utility executive with extensive experience in electric and natural gas operations in the Midwestern United States. He starts March 1.

The Board also approved naming Deputy CEO Charlie Duckworth as Acting President and CEO beginning Jan. 10, 2022 through Feb. 28, 2022 and extending his current contract as Deputy CEO through July 9, 2022. Current President and CEO Mark Bonsall will retire on Jan. 9, 2022 and remain available on a consulting basis through the initial transition, until early April.

Staton is currently president and CEO of Southern Star Corp., a leading transporter of natural gas in the Midwest. He also served as executive vice president for NiSource, one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States with approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across seven states; as senior vice president for Dominion Resources Inc., and as president of asset operations for Consolidated Natural Gas (CNG) Corp. prior to its acquisition in 2000 by Dominion Resources.

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Among his career accomplishments to date, Staton:

• Led each of NiSource’s 3 business units – a gas distribution network serving 2.7 million customers in 6 states; a combination electric and gas utility serving over 850,000 customers in Indiana; and an interstate pipeline and storage company delivering natural gas to Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets, including building a gathering and processing business with over $1 billion in assets. NiSource Inc. operates the Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands.

• Led Dominion’s Electric Distribution operations, serving 2.2 million customers in Virginia and North Carolina, after its acquisition of CNG. Over time, his responsibilities grew to include Dominion’s electric transmission system and gas distribution business (serving 2 million customers in the Midwest).

“In addition to his deep experience in all aspects of electric utility operations, Jimmy brings specific successes in areas that are key for Santee Cooper, including rebuilding trust with our key stakeholders and continuing to keep operating costs down,” said Peter McCoy, Santee Cooper Chairman of the Board. “He was recruited to NiSource and successfully helped that entity improve its relationships with customers, regulators and Wall Street, and he helped Dominion drive down costs in its distribution business.”

“As a long-time customer, I’m excited to be joining the great team of people at Santee Cooper,” said Staton, who has owned a home in North Myrtle Beach for about 15 years. “I look forward to working with our customers and state leaders to ensure safe, reliable and responsive energy service for South Carolina going forward.”

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