News

Read the latest updates from Bernhard.

Bernhard Eclipses $135,000 towards Lymphoma and Leukemia Research with 6th Annual Light The Night Golf Tournament

Donations Fund Lifesaving Research by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

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Bernhard’s 6th annual Light The Night golf tournament was held on Monday, Oct. 25 and all funds raised at the event were donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. During the tenure of the tournament, Bernhard has raised more than $135,000 for cancer research.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the largest nonprofit dedicated to blood cancer research in the United States and is the largest funder of cutting-edge research to advance cures. They have invested nearly $1.3 billion in research, leading the nation in advancing breakthroughs in immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine.

“We all want to see an end to cancer,” said Ralph Stingo, business unit manager at Bernhard’s Raleigh, N.C. office. “Light The Night is our largest community experience where we partner with companies to bring light to the darkness of cancer and raise funds for our mission.”

Light The Night is a series of fundraising campaigns across the United States funding of research for blood cancer cures. Bernhard continues to support Light The Night by hosting its annual golf tournament and accepting monetary donations to support patients, survivors and their families. This year’s tournament was held at Hasentree Country Club in North Carolina, where over $29,000 was raised.

“Bernhard believes in nurturing strong community contributions and serving surrounding communities as if they are one of our most cherished customers – because they are,” said Alyssa Jaksich, vice president of environmental, social and governance at Bernhard.

Stingo has been a part of the Executive Committee for the North Carolina Lymphoma and Leukemia Society for five years, and leads a team with fellow Bernhard team members each year to manage the logistics of the golf tournament.

“Our mission begins and ends with the ever-powerful word: cure,” said Stingo. “We are focused on curing blood cancers through our three pillars of research, patient access and advocacy.”

Melissa Samuel Named to Ragan’s 2021 Top Women in Wellness & HR

Louisiana local recognized for expertise in strategic human resource management

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Ragan Communications announced that Melissa Samuel, chief legal officer at Bernhard, has been named to its 2021 Ragan’s Top Women in Wellness and Human Resources list. Leading the HR team at the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) company in the United States, Samuel has been recognized for her expertise in strategic human resource management.

Ragan’s Top Women in Wellness and HR are defined as those leading the charge when it comes to employee health (financial, mental, physical and social), performance management, diversity and inclusion, organizational development, talent recruitment and retention, compensation and benefits, human resources information systems, training and development, coaching and corporate leadership.

“Melissa’s expertise has been indispensable as we continue to innovate our services and experience growth,” said Jim Sabin, COO of Bernhard. “She has been a vital piece in our recruitment and retention of the best talent in the industry. We are proud she has received such prestigious recognition for her commitment to creating a better workplace and doing what she champions in all aspects of her life: investing in people.”

Samuel works to build bridges between internal communications, external communications and marketing, legal, HR and the executive leadership team at Bernhard. With Samuel’s counsel, Bernhard has seen a 75% reduction in annual spend on professional placement firms and a more than 40% reduction in its use of third-party labor. Samuel effectively improved the company’s bottom line by avoiding placement fees and vendor markup, while investing in individuals at all levels and rewarding longevity.

“As the largest privately-owned EaaS company in the country, we believe maintaining a strategic human resource department is imperative to fueling our growth,” said Samuel. “I’m thrilled to be named to Ragan’s 2021 Top Women in Wellness & HR as we continue to look for new opportunities to grow and sustain our company’s talent while also evolving our company culture to better serve our clients.”

With more than 25 years of legal experience and more than 13 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry, Samuel is focused on strong partnerships with operations to find optimal and sustained solutions. Prior to joining Bernhard, Samuel served as senior vice president for H&E Equipment Services overseeing HR, legal and safety, and as vice president and associate general counsel for The Shaw Group, Inc.

New Hires Announced in Bernhard Development Division

Industry professionals bring experience in specialized finance market

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Bernhard announced today multiple hires in its development division. The hires include Daniel Allen, named senior vice president of capital markets, and David Krauss and Frank Ferramosca, CPA, as vice presidents of business development.

“The varied and unmatched industry knowledge of each of these hires will enable us to be more strategic in our business endeavors and continue elevating our client support,” said Rob Guthrie, executive vice president of Bernhard’s development division.

Allen is responsible for supporting the development team in the structuring and funding of long-term partnerships ranging from 15 to 50 years. He utilizes his industry knowledge to lead financing activities in support of Bernhard’s rapidly-growing energy infrastructure program. Allen has 15 years of industry experience with Raymond James Public Finance and Structured Finance groups. Throughout his career, he served issuers across the United States in industries including healthcare, higher education and utilities. Allen holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from the University of Memphis.

Ferramosca and Krauss both joined Bernhard in September and will jointly oversee the structuring of Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) projects. Both have a decade of experience in the financial industry and join the Bernhard team after previously working in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Healthcare Investment Banking Group. Their successful execution of a few dozen structured finance infrastructure projects as well as M&A strategic transactions made both Ferramosca and Krauss valued additions to the Bernhard team. Krauss received his Bachelor of Science in Human & Organizational Development with a minor in Financial Economics & Corporate Strategy from Vanderbilt University and lives in New York. Ferramosca is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from the University of Maryland and lives in Tampa, FL.

DIF Capital Partners Invests in Sustainability and Energy Solutions with Acquisition of Bernhard, LLC

DIF Capital Partners (“DIF”), a leading global independent infrastructure investment fund manager, through its fund DIF Infrastructure VI, today announced an agreement to acquire Bernhard, LLC (“Bernhard”) the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service (“EaaS”) solutions company in the United States, from an affiliate of Bernhard Capital Partners.

Bernhard has provided solutions to its customers’ energy and infrastructure needs for more than 100 years and shifted its focus in 2014 to becoming a leading Energy-as-a-Service provider. As part of this business model, Bernhard enters into long-term turnkey EaaS concession contracts to upgrade, retrofit and service large existing building energy facilities in order to achieve substantial energy savings. Clients are currently predominantly higher education and healthcare institutions. To date, Bernhard has closed 15 EaaS transactions, including the largest EaaS concession in U.S. history. Senior management will retain a meaningful ownership position and continue its groundbreaking work leading Bernhard.

“Bernhard delivers distributed energy through its unique EaaS model which provides clients access to fully integrated and efficient energy solutions, thereby significantly reducing the carbon footprint of their buildings and utility systems. Bernhard’s approach fits perfectly with DIF’s Public-Private Partnership expertise and ambition to invest in clean energy infrastructure solutions around the globe.” said Gijs Voskuyl, Partner and Head of Investments for DIF Infrastructure VI. “We are excited to partner with Bernhard’s outstanding management team and support the company in their rapid growth at the forefront of the energy transition.”

“As Bernhard continues pushing to new heights in the EaaS market, we are excited to join forces with DIF Capital Partners given its extensive experience with Public-Private Partnerships, district energy, Energy-as-a-Service projects, and a shared commitment to efficiency, ESG and sustainability” said Ed Tinsley, Bernhard CEO. “The support and strategic counsel from DIF will help to guide Bernhard through the next chapter of our story.”

With DIF’s acquisition of Bernhard, the company will continue the acceleration of its market leading core EaaS business to healthcare and higher education facilities while expanding those services to other markets and geographies.

“The future of Bernhard has never been brighter,” said Tinsley. “Our track record proves we have the expertise and capabilities to push the industry to places it has never been before. With this announcement, we are truly at the forefront of a new era for energy solutions that will shape the world for generations to come.”

Bernhard Crews Provide 24/7 Disaster Response Across South Louisiana as Hurricane Ida Devastates Facility Operations

As Hurricane Ida entered the Gulf of Mexico days before the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, prognosticators warned residents the storm could quickly ramp up to a Category 5 with devastating results for South Louisiana.

“This is one of the strongest storms to make landfall in modern times,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in the hours before Hurricane Ida descended on the region.

Roads began to fill with cars evacuating to neighboring states for shelter. Bernhard service vehicles were some of the few driving into expected disaster zones as crews were on emergency response standby.

“In Louisiana, storms are a way of life and we make sure storm response is integrated into our services so we can immediately address any concerns,” said Phil Garcia Jr., Bernhard executive vice president.”  “We are here to fully integrate and become part of facility operations, whether it is a storm, finding more efficient energy solutions or from a facility management standpoint.”

Hurricane Ida delivered on forecasters’ early projections and ravaged the region with maximum winds of 150 miles per hour, just shy of the 157 M.P.H. threshold to become a Category 5. Facilities and residents felt the impact as Ida menaced the area and left nearly one million people without power across Louisiana. Bernhard crews quickly went into action as power failed around the region, and managed to keep their customers running throughout the Category 4 storm with around-the-clock support.

“I am overwhelmed with pride in the Bernhard team,” said Michael Cooper, Bernhard executive vice president. “They have shown perseverance, ingenuity, technical aptitude, and in many instances bravery to act to avoid catastrophic failure in the highest pressure scenario possible.”

Bernhard partners include a majority of healthcare facilities across the region, which increased the importance of keeping facility operations going not only through the storm, but in the aftermath. With lives potentially at stake, crews used their versatility and technical excellence to address a wide variety of challenges.

“At Bernhard, we are there when facility operations need us the most,” said David Bell, electrical division president. “We allow them to focus on their mission-critical operations without the added stress of worrying about their energy operations during a disaster scenario.”

Utilities Restored

Many catastrophic failures were avoided thanks to Bernhard technicians and operators who embedded at customer facilities ahead of the storm. This enabled team members to react quickly and appropriately as Ida made landfall.

A primary concern following the hurricane was restoring power and air-cooling capacity to mission-critical facilities. Bernhard delivered dozens of backup generators while on-site crews kept generators running and repaired previously installed units if problems arose.

“There is no easy template to follow during disaster relief,” said Cooper. “Everything happens at a rapid pace and crews have to be incredibly flexible and quick with decision making.”

Crews were tested early in healthcare centers as an influx of displaced patients from neighboring facilities had to be rerouted to new rooms. Bernhard teams prepared 15 existing patient rooms in real-time by replacing, testing and repairing all outlets and light fixtures as needed and relocating multiple headwall rough-ins and outlets.

Bernhard’s electrical division is still providing 24/7 standby maintenance at four separate hospitals in the region and continue to observe generator function, check fuel levels, and assist in maintenance repairs needed while on site.

In one instance, teams delivered and installed two 500-ton air cooled chillers that enabled for full cooling of a hospital. In another, a generator caught fire forcing Bernhard teams to quickly bring redundant generators online.

Another challenge faced was when a campus lost access to domestic water and Bernhard teams had to either shift to river water or well water with filtration as a backup. This included providing piping connections from potable water tanks back to campus.

Wind Repair

Hurricane Ida’s cataclysmic wind speeds saw extreme roof damage throughout the region and even caused a roof to rip off at a Bernhard-serviced site. The team immediately re-piped the roof draining and plumbing system for the temporary roof to quell the risk of further damage. Afterwards, two tractor trailers of plywood and a trailer of drywall were delivered by Bernhard to utilize in the build back.

Everything in Between

Even though Bernhard is known primarily for their unparalleled energy services, the team also flexed their logistical capabilities by delivering more than 200,000 gallons of diesel to customers within the first five days of the storm’s landfall as it became apparent their normal suppliers would not be able to traverse the damaged roadways.

“The partnership between Bernhard and our customers has been excellent,” Cooper said. “It takes a true team to pull this together across so many facilities in a ravaged region.”

Cooper said the team will assess the challenges and successes from Hurricane Ida and use this as a learning experience to even better prepare for the next disaster. In South Louisiana, it’s not a matter of if another storm will hit, it’s a matter of when.

“We’ll have a lessons learned session immediately after the recovery to see where we can extend our disaster response and make these situations easier for everyone,” he said. “At Bernhard, we believe there’s always room to improve and always more we can provide to our communities and customers.”

To learn more about Bernhard’s disaster response services including their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://bernhard.com/disaster-response/

Bernhard Nominated for Project of the Year at Global P3 Awards 2021

Alabama project honored in Project of the Year – Social Infrastructure category

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Bernhard, the largest privately-owned integrated solutions and energy services provider in the United States, has been honored as a finalist for Project of the Year in P3 Bulletin’s P3 Awards 2021. Finalists from across the world have been selected for their excellence in the area of Public Private Partnerships (P3).

“It is an honor to be recognized globally for our work in the P3 arena,” said Rob Guthrie, executive vice president of the development division at Bernhard. “Each of these projects offer unique benefits for the public sector, and we are proud to be among the leaders of this movement in the United States.”

The P3 Awards 2021 spotlights multiple categories celebrating the exemplary organizations, projects and individuals that have strengthened the development and implementation of P3s around the world.

Bernhard’s work with East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) was selected as one of 10 finalists in the Project of the Year – Social Infrastructure category. The nominees include projects located in the United States and Canada.

“Bernhard has been an invaluable partner during COVID-19,” said Greg Nichols, executive vice president and administrator at EAMC. “Our work together turned a catastrophe into a catalyst for positive, long-lasting change for our organization, and the health of our community.”

Bernhard and EAMC entered an energy asset concession agreement giving Bernhard the right to use, maintain and renew EAMC’s energy infrastructure over a 30-year term. The project provided for crucial upfront energy optimization improvements, substantial projected annual energy savings, and a significant upfront cash payment to EAMC. The transaction is set to provide $826,000 in annual estimated energy savings and $30 million in improvements to the facility. The partnership not only provided EAMC exactly what it needed to meet patient and employee comfort needs, but also enabled an immediate allocation of crucial resources for fighting COVID-19 and saving lives.

The judging panel for the P3 Awards 2021 comprised a broad spectrum of more than 80 industry professionals representing both the public and private sector. The judges were selected based on their expertise, experience and integrity in the P3 market.

“Being shortlisted as one of the 10 best P3 projects in the world really speaks to the incredibly talented team we have at Bernhard and their willingness to innovate and push the industry forward,” Guthrie said.

Winners will be announced November 4, 2021, in New York City. To learn more about these awards and the other finalists, visit P3Awards.partnershipsevents.com. To learn more about Bernhard’s work with EAMC, visit Bernhard.com.

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Scott Waguespack Named Senior Vice President of Corporate Administration

Bernhard recently announced that Scott Waguespack has been hired as the company’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Administration. Waguespack is responsible for the management of all human resources, marketing and communications functions within the company, as well as facilities and key administrative functions.

Waguespack brings with him decades of experience in the HR and administrative realm. He will leverage his expertise in organizational development, employee engagement and performance management, and complex problem-solving to oversee and advance key initiatives and position Bernhard for continued growth.

“Scott’s expertise and relationship-focused mindset make him a valuable addition to the Bernhard team,” said Melissa Samuel, chief legal officer at Bernhard. “We know his leadership will help us grow in a sustainable, strategic manner to continue to deliver optimal solutions for our clients.”

With more than 25 years in this field, Waguespack is well-versed in assessing risk, developing strategies and implementing positive changes to achieve sustainability and growth in challenging market conditions.

“I look forward to building relationships with employees and clients alike at Bernhard,” said Waguespack. “I know I am joining a powerhouse team and together we can create opportunities for growth and the enhancement of our key values and goals.”

Waguespack has served companies in the oil and gas, technology, construction and fabrication, and engineering industries. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in general studies from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Bernhard Prioritizes Sustainability with Creation of Vice President of ESG Position

Bernhard is continuing their focus towards a better future with the announcement of Alyssa Jaksich as their first Vice President of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). The new position demonstrates the company’s commitment to deliver innovative engineering, construction, and energy solutions that work to promote sustainability across the industry.

“Not only are customers becoming more critical of their own ESG performance, they are also turning that lens on us,” said Ed Tinsley, chief executive officer at Bernhard. “With eight of the top 10 business risks identified by the World Economic Form being ESG related, it is becoming increasingly clear that a heightened awareness of ESG factors is critical to sustaining success.”

Jaksich will develop, consolidate, operationalize, and publicize Bernhard’s ESG strategies and initiatives through coordination with multiple internal teams and business stakeholders, furthering Bernhard’s ongoing mission of promoting sustainability.

“Ethics, safety, teamwork, and innovation are the very foundation and fabric of our work,” said Melissa Samuel, chief legal officer at Bernhard. “As a result of Alyssa’s diverse experience, she has come to embody these values while gaining an intimate awareness of both internal and external needs for ESG.”

Under Jaksich’s leadership, Bernhard will establish clearly defined goals to enhance its commitment to reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, improving its internal diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and creating momentum behind its charitable giving and community engagement efforts. The company’s ESG framework will focus on transparency, stakeholder engagement and performance tracking to measure results.

“Establishing an ESG program cannot be a paper or marketing exercise – there must be real commitment behind our policies and initiatives paired with quantitative and transparent reporting mechanisms,” said Jaksich, “I am extremely excited for the opportunity to work alongside our executive team to further embed ESG initiatives into Bernhard’s culture, business plan and strategy.”

Jaksich previously served as Bernhard’s Vice President of EaaS implementation where she led a team focused on increasing efficiencies within the solutions division at Bernhard, particularly related to Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) projects. She was a key driver in the development of Bernhard’s industry leading measurement and verification services, and was heavily involved in the development of numerous EaaS projects. Jaksich earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., double majoring in chemical physics and economics.

Bernhard Promotes Lyndsey Mitchell to Vice President of Human Resources

Bernhard announced the promotion of Lyndsey Mitchell as the company’s vice president of human resources. Mitchell previously served as Bernhard’s director of human resource integration systems (HRIS), where she led the company’s implementation of a new HCM system.

In this role, Mitchell will leverage her expertise in human resources management to provide strategic leadership to the company’s HR functions, including talent acquisition, talent development, benefits and compensation, and employee relations.

“Lyndsey is an invaluable asset to our company and our employees,” said Melissa Samuel, chief legal officer at Bernhard. “We are confident that her professional expertise and knowledge of the company will enable her to drive our efforts to acquire and develop talent, as well as implement key HR strategies for the future of Bernhard.”

Mitchell has more than 15 years of experience in human resources and recruitment as an HR manager, HRIS analyst and recruitment manager. Prior to joining Bernhard, she served as the HR manager for the Water Institute of the Gulf where she was responsible for all aspects of HR for the Institute.

“I have loved working with the Bernhard team over the last year,” said Mitchell. “I am ready to continue supporting the company’s mission, vision and values by serving in an executive-level role with this incredible team.”

Active in the professional community, Mitchell is currently a member of the Society for Human Resource Management where she is registered as a certified professional. She holds a certificate as a Professional in Human Resources. She earned a Bachelor of General Studies in social sciences from Louisiana State University.

Melissa Samuel Named Chief Legal Officer

Bernhard is pleased to announce that Melissa Samuel has been named the company’s Chief Legal Officer (CLO). Since joining Bernhard in 2018, Samuel has worked with the Executive Leadership Team on a myriad of legal and operational matters designed to advance key initiatives and position Bernhard for continued growth.

“Melissa has proven to be an incredible asset for our company and our culture,” said Chief Executive Officer Ed Tinsley. “She has demonstrated the kind of solutions-oriented mindset that is at the heart of our core values and makes her ideally suited for this role.”

In her expanded role as CLO, Samuel will oversee all aspects of the legal department, including transactions, compliance, corporate governance, major claims, labor relations, employment law, and corporate risk management.

Samuel has more than 25 years of legal experience, with more than 13 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry. Throughout her career, she has focused on strategic legal partnerships with operations to find optimal and sustained solutions. Prior to joining Bernhard, Samuel served as senior vice president for H&E Equipment Services overseeing HR, legal and safety, and as vice president and associate general counsel for The Shaw Group, Inc.