Read the latest updates from Bernhard.

Jennifer Black Promoted to Director of Business Development

Bernhard is excited to announce that Jennifer Black has been promoted to director of business development for the mechanical division. Positioned in Bernhard’s Dallas office, Black will execute strategies to advance the company’s growth, expanding our footprint in and beyond our current markets.

Over the past three years as a regional sales manager, Black cultivated expertise in leveraging innovative growth tactics by expanding the mechanical division’s service sales staff within the Florida, Carolinas and Tennessee markets.

In her new position, Black will utilize her skills to identify and implement growth opportunities and propel business development in Bernhard’s strategic market. Her focus will be on Bernhard’s mechanical division, which includes strategic support for its construction and service groups.

“Jennifer is an impactful leader and mentor to our staff and an indispensable solution provider for our customers,” said Michael Cooper, executive vice president at Bernhard. “Her ability to seek out innovative business solutions while keeping our clients top-of-mind fits well with our mission to provide Energy-as-a-Service. As we venture deeper into our Texas market, I know she will continue to provide exceptional support.”

Black is an active member of CREW Orlando and received the 2018 CREW Orlando President’s Award for her continued support of the organization. She is involved with several community organizations including serving on the board of directors for the Greater Orlando Chapter of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), where she formerly served as chapter president, and on the leadership team for the U.S. Green Building Council’s central Florida chapter (USGBC Central Florida). Black is also a member of the Florida Healthcare Engineering Association (FHEA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Black received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. She is OSHA 30 certified and is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design + Construction.

Altazan Promoted to Regional Director of Service Operations

Bernhard is proud to announce that Lorie Altazan has been promoted to regional director of service operations. Based out of the company’s Baton Rouge office, Altazan’s skill and expertise in the industry will be used to support Bernhard’s regional operations.

In his former role of business unit manager, Altazan utilized his proficiency in unit supervision and direction to generate a record amount of success for the firm’s Baton Rouge office, which reported 200% market growth in the last three years.

“Over the past three years, Lorie has proven to be an invaluable member of our company,” said Michael Cooper, executive vice president at Bernhard. “His strategic leadership and direction have helped us achieve substantial growth throughout his tenure at Bernhard, and we are thrilled to have his support across the region.”

As regional director of service operations, Altazan will continue to be responsible for the leadership and coordination of various service processes within the Baton Rouge market, as well as oversee regional operations in the Texas market including Dallas, Houston and Midland.

Bernhard, Midland Health Execute 15-Year Energy Asset Concession Arrangement

Bernhard and Midland Health announced today a 15-year energy asset concession arrangement which will address significant capital renewal, deferred maintenance, and energy optimization priorities at Midland Health’s main and west campuses. The transaction, which marks the continuation of a 10+-year old working relationship between Bernhard and Midland Health, will deliver substantial upfront cash and year-over-year cost savings to the health system.

“We are thrilled to continue building our partnership with Midland Health,” said Bernhard’s Vice President of Business Development Rob Guthrie. “Bernhard’s Energy-as-a-Service program will create notable cost savings for the hospital system, enabling Midland to continue to enhance its patient care and better serve the community.”

The improvements to Midland Health facilities will generate a minimum of $664,000 in annual utility cost savings guaranteed by Bernhard. Once the improvements have been made, the health care facility will join an A-rated peer group comprised of Ochsner Health, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, East Alabama Medical Center and several other southeastern health systems that have each executed recent agreements with Bernhard.

“Bernhard has long been a trusted partner to Midland Health,” said Midland Health Senior Vice President COO/CFO Stephen Bowerman. “Advancing our partnership through an Energy Asset Concession Arrangement just made sense.  This transaction aligned with Bernhard’s expertise will provide significant improvements to our utility plant, provide long term energy efficiency and position the hospital to continue to provide high quality care to Midland and our surrounding community for years to come.”

Bernhard’s innovative energy asset concession program transfers the risk of energy asset renewal to Bernhard over the full 15-year term, eliminating over $3 million from Midland Health’s future budgets. At the conclusion of the agreement, the energy assets are to be handed back to Midland Health in good working order and at no cost to Midland Health. The agreement represents another milestone in Bernhard’s extensive history in Texas, following more than 100 energy optimization projects across the state with nearly 40 healthcare entities.

To learn more about the project, click here.

Bernhard, East Alabama Medical Center Enter Into Partnership

Bernhard and East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) have announced a 30-year energy asset concession agreement involving the right to use, maintain and renew EAMC’s energy infrastructure over a 30-year term. The project also provides for upfront energy optimization improvements, substantial projected annual energy savings, and a significant upfront cash payment to EAMC.

“We are eager to work with EAMC’s two hospitals to serve the east Alabama area,” said Bernhard’s Vice President of Business Development Rob Guthrie. “Our partnership will empower EAMC to focus its energy and resources on its core mission of providing high-quality, compassionate health care. We are proud to offer our expertise to deliver and sustain a win-win outcome for the next 30 years.”

The upfront improvements to infrastructure will address a backlog of deferred maintenance at EAMC, including upgrades to chilled water, tower water, heating water, and steam systems, as well as air handling units, building controls and electrical infrastructure. Bernhard will also install a heat pump chiller heater, optimize procedure rooms, install LED lighting and facilitate retro-commissioning of the building’s automation system. These upgrades will create efficiencies and improvements in the facility’s operation and also result in energy savings.

“We are excited to partner with Bernhard on this long-term project and appreciate their critical role in helping EAMC allocate scarce capital resources for the things we need most to take the best possible care of patients,” said Sam Price, EAMC’s Chief Financial Officer.

The transaction with EAMC marks a continuation of Bernhard’s work in Alabama, which includes decades of completed projects for clients such as The University of Alabama, Auburn University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Providence Hospital, St. Vincent’s Health System and more.

About EAMC

East Alabama Medical Center is a 340-bed regional referral hospital located in Opelika that serves a nine-county area.  The EAMC organization includes EAMC-Lanier hospital in Valley; between the two hospitals and their collective service lines, there are about 3,500 employees in the organization.  EAMC is the second largest employer in the region, trailing only Auburn University. Among the services that EAMC provides are open-heart surgery and cancer treatment, both of which are highly acclaimed specialties at EAMC. The hospital also operates multiple physician practices and the Auburn University Medical Clinic.  EAMC is in the process of building a Freestanding Emergency Department and Ambulatory Surgery Center in neighboring Auburn. EAMC-Lanier has a nursing home, acute rehab unit, and offers occupational medicine.  For more information, visit


Lew Derbes Joins Bernhard as Chief Financial Officer

Bernhard is excited to announce that Lewis (Lew) Derbes has joined the company as Bernhard’s new Chief Financial Officer. A CPA with more than 20 years of experience in finance and accounting, Lew is a proven executive with expertise in financial management and administration.

Lew joins the Bernhard team after six years in the role of CFO at HRI Properties, a New Orleans-based real estate development firm with a portfolio of 25 mixed-use, and retail properties across 12 cities. During this time, he helped to expand the firm’s portfolio to eight new cities while improving internal controls and leading implementation of a new enterprise resource management software. Prior to this role, Lew served as CFO and Treasurer of Stewart Enterprises, the second largest publicly traded death care company in the United States, until its acquisition in late 2013. Lew’s experience in project financing and structuring will be valuable in shaping the development and financing of Bernhard’s Energy-as-a-Service projects.

Lew holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame and is a dedicated alumnus. He is an active member of the New Orleans community, holding leadership positions for multiple not-for-profit and social organizations. Lew is also a member of the New Orleans Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Lew will be based in Bernhard’s headquarters in Metairie, Louisiana.

Bernhard and ProStar Announce National Agreement with HealthTrust

NEW ORLEANS, LA. (Feb. 18, 2020) – Bernhard and ProStar Energy Solutions (ProStar) announced today an agreement with HealthTrust to offer Energy-as-a-Service solutions to member hospitals and health systems nationwide. The agreement offers HealthTrust members a comprehensive choice of services including engineering design, construction, operations & maintenance and financing that are designed to reduce energy consumption.

“The Bernhard ProStar team has an innovative and valuable service offering that aligns perfectly with HealthTrust’s mission of improving operational excellence through total spend efficiency,” said Ed Jones, HealthTrust President and CEO. “We are excited to welcome them and look forward to the benefits that their Energy-as-a-Service solutions will bring to our membership.”

Bernhard currently works with nearly 1,400 hospitals nationwide, with healthcare facilities making up more than half of its Energy-as-a-Service operations. This agreement marks a decisive expansion in this space. Already, the firm calculates savings of $50 million in operating expenses every year for the healthcare facilities it serves.

“I am certain this first-of-a-kind agreement will prove beneficial to countless healthcare providers and the communities they serve,” said Bernhard CEO Ed Tinsley. “The unique capabilities of the Bernhard ProStar team are proven to reduce operating costs, enhance resiliency and reliability, transfer risk, and improve the bottom line.”

ProStar has more than 30 years of experience and has completed over 10,000 projects focused on energy optimization and sustainability, through lighting and solar solutions. ProStar is currently one of three LED vendors to provide lighting audit and design services, lighting product procurement, labor and installation services, and energy rebate administration to the members of HealthTrust. ProStar and Bernhard are currently delivering an Energy-as-a-Service project for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“We have a long history with Bernhard and are excited about this new opportunity to share our turnkey solutions in the healthcare sector with HealthTrust’s diverse membership,” said Jerry Jones Jr, ProStar Chairman.

To learn more, visit and

Celebrating Bernhard’s Nashville Office

On October 10, Bernhard employees and clients gathered to celebrate the opening of the company’s first integrated office located in Nashville, Tennessee. The new office houses staff from each division — development, engineering, construction, and energy solutions.

“The decision to open an integrated office in Nashville is a key step in our business growth strategy,” says Ed Tinsley, Chief Executive Officer of Bernhard. “We’ve had the privilege of serving the Nashville market for 10 years. Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in America, and this office solidifies our strong foundation as we continue supporting this great community and grow our presence in Tennessee.”

The reception was held at City Winery and included live music, food, drinks, and fellowship. The event was sponsored by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Ashley Davidson, Director of Investment Engagement, welcomed Bernhard and its Energy-as-a-Service offerings to the city. Rusty Mullen, CEO of Bernhard TME and Bernhard Energy, and Philip Catanzaro, President of Bernhard MCC, also shared their gratitude and excitement with the crowd.

Bernhard’s companies have a long history and strong foundation of clients in the Nashville area. The new, integrated Bernhard office brings together our staff to ensure streamline communication and encourage innovation and collaboration across business units.

Jim Sabin Promoted to Chief Operating Officer

We are pleased to announce that Jim Sabin is Bernhard’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). Since joining the firm in January, Jim has worked with Bernhard’s Executive Leadership Team to develop a strategic plan to advance internal systems and processes in support of our continued growth.

“Jim has proven to be an invaluable asset for our company,” says Chief Executive Officer Ed Tinsley, “he has demonstrated the kind of innovative and strategic problem-solving that is at the core of Bernhard’s culture.”

In his expanded role as COO, Jim will oversee the day-to-day operations of Bernhard, including the program management of Energy-as-a-Service projects, implementation of strategic initiatives, and continued advancement of internal processes.

Jim has over 35 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry, specializing in organizational leadership and effectiveness. Throughout his career, Jim has focused on innovation, continuous improvement, and enhanced operational execution. Prior to joining Bernhard, Jim served as an executive at Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation and The Shaw Group, Inc. Most recently, Jim served as Executive Vice President for Global Operations services at Chicago Bridge & Iron where he was a key member of the Executive Leadership team. He has also served a Board Director for NET Power, LLC.

Announcing Our New Orleans Headquarters

Today, we’re announcing our plan to combine Bernhard’s local New Orleans offices and establish our national corporate headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bernhard has called Louisiana home for more than 100 years. We have experienced tremendous growth during this time, expanding from a local plumbing contractor into a national, engineering, contracting, and energy solutions firm. As our firm continues to grow, Bernhard’s leadership sought a new headquarters location that would provide increased access and convenience for our team.

“This is an exciting growth period for Bernhard,” says Chief Executive Officer, Ed Tinsley. “This move will help us continue building the next 100 years of Bernhard in Louisiana as we advance our historical lines of business and simultaneously invest in the future of energy technology, efficiency and related services.”

Bernhard will be based in The Galleria building in Metairie, a suburb in the New Orleans metropolitan area. The new office will employ approximately 250 local team members with expectations for continued growth in the coming years.

“New Orleans meets the criteria we sought for our new headquarters,” says Bernhard MCC’s President Philip Catanzaro. “This move will consolidate our growing New Orleans area workforce in one location to allow for greater collaboration and innovation and serve as an essential asset for our continued recruiting efforts.”

The move will take place in late 2019, with Bernhard’s new office expected to open in Metarie beginning in early 2020.

Bernhard Celebrates 100 Year Legacy

In 1919, William Bernhard founded Bernhard Plumbing and Sheet Metal Works in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, starting a legacy that would prosper into a new century.  What began as a small, family-owned plumbing contractor in South Louisiana is now one of the country’s largest engineering and contracting firms, delivering innovative and energy-saving services for clients across the nation.

This year we celebrate our 100 year history in the A/E/C industry. Our firm kicked off the centennial celebration with a festive gala at the L’Auberge Casino Hotel. Employees, clients, and friends gathered to commemorate four generations of notable achievements. The event included live music, dancing, toasts, and remarks from Chief Executive Officer Ed Tinsley.