Bernhard Announces Expanded Roles within Company Leadership


Bernhard is announcing promotions within the Executive Leadership Team to continue providing support for strategic alignment, culture and communication efforts, and further growth. Lew Derbes will assume the role of Chief Financial and Strategic Officer (CFSO) and Melissa Samuel will assume the role of Chief Administrative and Legal Officer (CALO).

As Chief Financial and Strategic Officer, Derbes will implement consistent policies and procedures across Bernhard’s organizational infrastructure to enable scale, while ensuring strategic initiatives remain focused and aligned with Bernhard’s mission to provide innovative, client-focused turnkey energy solutions for customers across the United States to become more energy efficient and resilient.

Derbes joined Bernhard in 2020 after working in public accounting and serving as the Chief Financial Officer of several public and private companies. A CPA with more than 20 years of experience in finance and accounting, Derbes has provided Bernhard with expertise in financial management and administration, which has shaped the development and financing structure of Bernhard’s Energy-as-a-Service projects.

“Bernhard is at an exciting time in its transformation and is well-positioned for robust growth,” said Derbes. “I am honored to be tasked with aligning the organization to execute on our strategic initiatives, pursuing innovative product solutions in the ever changing energy transition environment, and evaluating opportunities that further enable turnkey energy solutions for our customers.”

Samuel moved into her most recent role as Chief Legal Officer (CLO) in 2021 after joining Bernhard in 2018 to lead the Human Resources Department. As Chief Administrative and Legal Officer, Samuel’s primary mission will be to leverage the many leadership positions she has held for Bernhard to ensure that culture, compliance and communication are the company’s top priorities.

With more than 25 years of legal experience, including 15 years of experience in the energy, infrastructure, engineering and construction industry, she has focused on strategic partnerships with operations to find optimal and sustained solutions. As CLO, Samuel managed all aspects of the legal department, including transactions, compliance, corporate governance, major claims, labor relations, employment law, and corporate risk management.

“Throughout my career I have been fortunate to focus on the people side of the business, recognizing that the connection between what we do, who we are and how we support our employees and communities is what sets us apart.” said Samuel. “I am honored to lead Bernhard as we more clearly define and unite our vision of leading EaaS with our ultimate goal of building a more sustainable future for our team, customers, and planet.”