Dave Cerotzke was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Hearthstone Utilities Inc. in August 2017. Mr. Cerotzke has vast experience in the natural gas business and in acquisition strategy and strategic corporate turnarounds. He is a founder of Luvian Partner, Inc. and formerly served as Chief Operating Officer and Board member of Mountaineer Gas Company. From 2004 through 2007, he served as President and CEO of Energy West, Inc., and was a member of the Board of Directors until 2008. Prior to joining Energy West, Mr. Cerotzke completed a 30 year career at Nicor Inc., where he held a number of executive responsibilities, including vice president of engineering, vice president of operations, vice president of marketing, and treasurer. Mr. Cerotzke holds a degree in engineering from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
George Behrens was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Hearthstone Utilities Inc. in August 2017. Mr. Behrens is a senior financial executive with extensive leadership experience in regulated utilities, non-regulated energy companies, and in mergers and acquisitions. He is a founder of Luvian Partners, Inc. and formerly served as the Chief Financial Officer and Board member of Mountaineer Gas Company. From 1991 until 2006, Mr. Behrens was a senior officer at Nicor Inc., holding a number of executive positions including vice president of finance, treasurer, and controller. Earlier in his career he held officer and other positions at GATX, Esmark, and Ernst & Young. Mr. Behrens earned a degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.B.A. in finance from DePaul University.
Kevin Degenstein was appointed Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer in August 2014. Mr. Degenstein has served in the natural gas utility industry in executive management, operations, engineering and regulatory capacities for more than 30 years. Most recently, he was president and chief operating officer of Hearthstone Utilities from June 2008 until November 2013, when he departed the Company. He joined Hearthstone Utilities in 2006 as senior vice president of operations. Previously, Mr. Degenstein was with EN Engineering, an engineering consulting firm, as vice president of distribution from 2002 until 2003 and vice president of technology from 2004 until 2006. He began his natural gas utility career in 1982 with Nicor Gas where he held various increasingly challenging operations roles, including chief engineer. Mr. Degenstein is a Registered Professional Engineer.
Hearthstone Utilities Inc., a holding company, distributes and sells natural gas to end-use residential, commercial and industrial customers. It distributes approximately 26 billion cubic feet of natural gas to approximately 70,900 customers through regulated utilities operating in Montana, Ohio, Maine and North Carolina. The Company’s other operations include natural gas production and natural gas marketing. The Company's Montana public utility was originally incorporated in 1909.
Hearthstone Utilities' strategy for growth is to expand throughput, particularly in the Maine and North Carolina markets, while looking for acquisitions that are either adjacent to its existing utilities or in under saturated markets.