News

Read the latest updates from Bernhard.

Bernhard Announces CEO Succession Plan with Rob Guthrie Succeeding Ed Tinsley

________________

Bernhard, one of the largest privately-owned infrastructure firms in America with over 100 years of experience in energy and infrastructure projects, today announced its CEO succession plan. Ed Tinsley, the current CEO, will move into a new role within Bernhard on June 11th, 2024, and will be succeeded by Rob Guthrie, who currently serves as Chief Development Officer.

Ed Tinsley has led Bernhard as CEO since 2018, successfully guiding the company through significant growth and establishing Bernhard as the leading Energy-as-a-Service provider in the United States within core markets such as healthcare and higher education. Beginning June 11th, 2024, Tinsley will assume his new role within Bernhard’s Development Division, where he will focus on mentoring and developing employees and working closer with clients to develop innovative energy solutions for their unique needs.

“I’m looking forward to re-focusing my time on mentorship and sharing the knowledge I’ve gained over the years with our employees,” Tinsley said. “I am beyond excited to get back to my roots and take on a new set of challenges.”

During Tinsley’s 5-year tenure as CEO, Bernhard achieved several key objectives, including creating safe workspaces, becoming the leading Energy-as-a-Service provider in the United States, offsetting its carbon footprint, ensuring fair compensation for employees, fostering diverse and inclusive work environments, uniting Bernhard’s culture, and perfecting an innovative design-build process, and increasing earnings by 310% (a 25% annual growth rate).

Rob Guthrie, currently serving as Bernhard’s Chief Development Officer, brings more than 20 years of industry experience and has played a vital role in Bernhard’s business development efforts. As Chief Development Officer, Guthrie has been a key leader in steering Bernhard towards its long-term vision. With a focus on operational savings and Energy-as-a-Service projects, Guthrie is well-positioned to lead the company into the next chapter of its storied history.

“I am honored to be named the next CEO of Bernhard, and I want to thank my mentor, Ed Tinsley, as well as the Bernhard Board of Directors and our shareholder DIF Capital Partners for placing their faith in me,” Guthrie said. “I have big shoes to fill, but I am excited for the challenge and can’t wait to get started.”

Bernhard’s succession plan aligns with its commitment to innovation and sustainability. The company has a long history of evolving to set the pace in the ever-changing energy services industry. Bernhard, with more than 2,200 employees across more than 20 office locations, has financed over $1.3 billion in Energy-as-a-Service partnerships across various states, solidifying its position as a leader in the energy transition.

“First, I appreciate the hard work and support of every Bernhard employee over the past five years,” Tinsley said.  “The Bernhard team persisted and found a way to overcome each and every challenge we faced. Second, there is no doubt in my mind Rob Guthrie has the vision Bernhard needs to align our business strategy with our corporate strategy.  Rob has been an instrumental leader in helping us achieve our goals and in moving our long-term vision forward. With Rob’s vision, strategy, and guidance, Bernhard can forge a new path and usher in a new era of Energy-as-a-Service solutions.”

Bernhard’s MEPF and Structural Design Services Take Center Stage at UCA’s Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts

________________

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) recently unveiled its architectural gem, the Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts. The center offers a seamless integration of state-of-the-art facilities for visual arts, music, and theater under one roof. Bernhard teams provided MEPF and structural design consulting, which played a pivotal role in bringing this innovative project to fruition.

A Hub for Creativity

The Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts stands tall as UCA’s new epicenter for visual arts, housing 2D and 3D studios, student work areas, workshops, instructional spaces, and faculty offices. As the primary home for UCA’s Music Department, it boasts a 450-seat concert hall, rehearsal and ensemble spaces, practice rooms, and teaching studios. The inclusion of a versatile 175-seat black box theater adds a dynamic dimension, enhancing theatrical performance opportunities for students and engaging the campus and community alike.

Strategic MEPF and Structural Planning

Bernhard’s involvement began with strategic pre-design meetings, where teams collaborated with UCA’s facility leadership to strategize how to manage the new building’s innovative requirements. The design process involved intricate work, such as the development of a Glu-Lam “honeycomb” structure and custom concealed metal connections inside the Concert Hall to protect acoustic integrity.

A highlight of Bernhard’s design is the utilization of a 300-ton water-cooled mag-bearing chiller, efficiently serving both the performing arts building and the adjacent 3D arts building. The forward-thinking design includes taps for future connection to the campus district loop, highlighting Bernhard’s commitment to long-term sustainability.

Precision in Sound and Lighting

Collaborating closely with structural teams, acousticians, and architects, Bernhard addressed critical aspects of sound mitigation. The detailed planning ensured that sound levels in instrument practice rooms and the recital hall were maintained at less than an NC of 15. This was achieved by Bernhard engineers through a multi-layered approach, including internally lined ducts, duct silencers, and lagging before and after VAV boxes.

The Concert Hall’s air distribution system is a testament to Bernhard’s commitment to innovation. A self-balancing design, devoid of downstream balancing dampers, ensures optimal noise levels. Air velocity is maintained at less than 400 feet per minute, minimizing unwanted disturbances during performances.

Bringing in theater and A/V consultants enabled Bernhard to design and specify lighting for the concert hall stage that meets the specific needs of musicians. The emphasis was on achieving proper lighting levels and angles, ensuring that the focus remains on the performers while creating a visually stunning experience.

Illuminating Artistry

Bernhard’s electrical team extended its expertise to the art studios and gallery, designing lighting solutions similar to art gallery standards. The use of aimable light fixtures with adjustable apertures and high-end +97 Color Rendering Index (CRI) LED’s ensures that works of art maintain their original color integrity when displayed in professional settings—a remarkable feat given the typical building lighting standards.

Bernhard’s comprehensive MEPF and structural design services have played a pivotal role in transforming UCA’s Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts into a beacon of creativity and innovation. The meticulous attention to detail, commitment to sustainability, and collaboration with various stakeholders have collectively elevated this project into a showcase of excellence in architectural engineering. The Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts not only unites the arts but also stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and excellence in engineering.

Bernhard Duo Honored in BCxA 20 Under 40 Program

________________

In a testament to the commitment and expertise of its workforce, Bernhard is proud to announce that Preston Caple, Commissioning Agent, and Alex Schimmer, Commissioning Technician, have been named to the Building Commissioning Association’s (BCxA) annual 20 Under 40 Program. This program identifies and applauds 20 professionals under the age of 40 from across the United States who have demonstrated excellence in the field of building commissioning.

The BCxA 20 Under 40 list is a celebration of young professionals who not only adhere to best practices but also exhibit leadership qualities, innovation, and a dedicated pursuit of making commissioning business as usual. All nominees for this accolade were put forward by colleagues and rigorously evaluated by the BCxA Awards Committee.

“We are immensely proud to have two of our talented professionals named to the BCxA 20 Under 40 Program,” says Tim Staley, President of IS Delivery at Bernhard. “Preston and Alex exemplify the high standards we uphold at Bernhard, and their inclusion in this esteemed list is a reflection of their dedication to excellence in the field of building commissioning.”

The BCxA 20 Under 40 Program highlights the importance of fostering young talent in the building commissioning profession and recognizes the significant contributions of individuals who are shaping the future of the industry. Bernhard is honored to have its employees not only meet but exceed the rigorous criteria set by the BCxA, reinforcing the company’s commitment to excellence and innovation.

“As the industry continues to evolve, our young professionals stand as shining examples of the next generation of leaders in building commissioning, and their achievements underscore Bernhard’s position as a leader in the field,” said Staley. “Preston and Alex have not only showcased exceptional hands-on commissioning skills but have also been advocates for the industry’s best practices. Their commitment to understanding and implementing commissioning protocols, along with their adept use of associated tools, technologies, and communication strategies, sets them apart as leaders in their field.”

Bernhard’s Commitment to ESG Celebrated with 2023 P3 Awards Nomination

________________

Bernhard announced today that its Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts have garnered a nomination as a finalist for ESG of the Year at the 2023 P3 Awards. The recognition spotlights the company’s commitment to ESG and its mission to advocate for the betterment of humanity and the environment, strengthen local communities, and amplify all voices and perspectives to create a culture of belonging and inclusion.

Founded in 2018, the annual P3 Awards recognize projects, companies, and individuals worldwide that “push the envelope and deliver innovative solutions to difficult problems.” Winners will be announced at the P3 Awards ceremony held at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on Thursday, October 26, 2023.

“At Bernhard, we are in the business of serving others,” said Alyssa Jaksich, Chief of Staff and Head of ESG at Bernhard. “With dedicated commitment, we have made significant strides towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, furthering our internal diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and promoting a healthier and more inclusive work environment for our employees.”

Throughout 2022, Bernhard made remarkable progress in incorporating ESG initiatives within its daily operations and workplace culture. Within the last year, the company has:

“I am infinitely proud of the work we accomplished during 2022 in advancing our ESG initiatives forward and achieving notable progress along our journey to become a leader in the energy transition,” said Jaksich. “While celebrating our achievements, we recognize that our ESG journey is ongoing. As we embrace the challenges ahead, we are eager to maintain transparency and drive continuous improvements, ensuring our dedication to a better Bernhard and a more sustainable future remains unwavering.”

Bernhard is now a four-time finalist at the P3 Awards. In 2021, an EaaS partnership between Bernhard and East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala., was a finalist for the P3 Awards’ Best Social Infrastructure Project of the Year, and in 2022, a 30-year Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) partnership with Tulane University was named a finalist in both the “Best Education and Higher Education Project” and “Best Energy Project” categories.

For more information about the P3 Awards, visit p3awards.com

Bernhard Leads Infrastructure Design for New Arkansas Cancer Center

________________

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) recently celebrated the completion of a new Radiation Oncology Center at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Bernhard designed the facilities’ system infrastructure and all clinical portions of this groundbreaking project.

The UAMS Radiation Center features new treatment technology, including the first Philips Spectral Computed Tomography (CT) scanner in the United States and the Proton Center of Arkansas, a collaboration between UAMS, Baptist Health, Arkansas Children’s and Proton International that will begin treating patients in the fall.

“This is the most sophisticated, cutting-edge radiation delivery technology available in the United States,” said Fen Xia, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UAMS Radiation Oncology Center. “Each machine is specialized and designed to treat specific types of cancer in the body.”

The new Radiation Oncology Center includes 58,000 square feet of treatment space built to accommodate three new linear accelerators that customize radiation delivery based on the type and stage of a patient’s cancer.

Bernhard teams began work on this project in the spring of 2020 along with six other consultants and six medical equipment vendors. Due to the highly sophisticated nature of the project, the teams required a heightened level of coordination and detail.

The $65-million facility features the following treatment rooms, which make it a premier cancer treatment facility for Arkansas:

  • One Proton Therapy Treatment Room
  • Four Linear Accelerator (LINAC) Rooms
  • One High Dose Radiography (HDR) Room
  • Two Computerized Tomography (CT) Rooms

“The opening of this facility marks an unprecedented commitment to the future of cancer treatment in Arkansas and the region,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “The innovative therapies and advanced technology available here place UAMS among the top centers worldwide at the forefront of cancer treatment.”

The Radiation Oncology Center is also the only cancer center in Arkansas to offer Ethos Adaptive Therapy, a unique form of X-Ray radiation that adapts to daily changes in a tumor’s shape and position over the course of treatment.

UAMS has been a client of Bernhard for 20 years, and the completion of the Radiation Oncology Center marks another significant accomplishment in the long-standing partnership.

“Success is not just about the result, it’s about the journey we take as a team,” said Alex Halloran, Director of Engineering Design at Bernhard. “The success of this project lies in the collective dedication, ingenuity, and perseverance of every team member. The Bernhard team did a fantastic job of delivering an incredible outcome for a valued client.”

Aric Reed Named to Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 2023 40 Under 40 List

________________

Aric Reed, senior project executive at Bernhard’s Fayetteville office, was recently named to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2023 40 Under 40 List.

The Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40 List is published annually and is made up of the top 40 industry professionals ages 40 and younger around the United States who stand out through a mixture of personal and professional aspects of their lives.

“I am honored and humbled to be named to Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 under 40 list,” said Reed. “To be recognized at a national level is not possible without the incredible support and inclusion of so many Bernhard teammates and mentors that have laid such ambitious paths to attempt to follow.”

Reed has worked at Bernhard since 2012 and is a licensed PE in seven states. He has led designs of more than a dozen different HVAC system types. His HVAC systems were designed across a variety of projects including sports arenas, performing arts centers, dormitories/sorority houses, hospitals, utility tunnels, kitchens, army bases, pharmacies, commercial office spaces, and national airports. In 2018, Aric was elected as the first President of the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of ASHRAE because of his leadership qualities and overall impact on the previous Section’s success.

Aric is a strong advocate for a truly healthy work-life balance. Mental health and a reduction in anxiety have become a priority for him during the last two years. He encourages his team members to spend time with their families, schedule breaks away from their desks during the day, and coordinate personal appointments with him to mitigate the stress of work and deadlines. He also implemented monthly out-of-office get-togethers with his team during office hours, so he can build relationships with team members outside of the office.

Reed received a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from Kansas State University and is currently enrolled in the Master of Science for Engineering Management program at the University of Arkansas.

Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health in AEC

________________

“It’s my problem, and I shouldn’t let it impact my job.”

“I don’t want my coworkers to believe they can’t count on me.”

“I can’t let the team down.”

Sound familiar? Workers who compartmentalize and leave “personal stuff” behind when they clock in every morning are as common in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry as tool belts and hard hats. It’s easy to see why that culture developed. Pushing through physical discomfort, bad weather, late nights, and seemingly impossible schedules is oftentimes what it takes to get the job done. Why not emotional pain as well?

In AEC, those who can thrive under pressure and tight deadlines are highly prized. But when it comes to mental health, eventually something’s got to give. When workers take the stoic, project-first mentality that rules many job sites as an excuse to bottle up their emotions, neglect their own mental health, or discourage others from being honest and open about their personal challenges and struggles, it can come at a serious cost. Not just to projects, but to lives as well.

The truth is, AEC has a mental health problem, and staying silent about it is hurting our industry and the people who make it great. At Bernhard, we believe it’s long past time to tear down the stigma around talking about mental health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, male workers in construction-related trades have the highest annual rate of suicide of any profession in the United States, with 49.4 suicides per 100,000 workers per year. That’s double the national average for all working men. Architecture and Engineering professions rank fifth, with 32.2 suicides per 100,000 workers per year.

Why is AEC so susceptible? Stress on the job, scheduling pressures, relationship issues due to time away from home, the toll some AEC careers can take on the body, and the AEC industry’s long-standing culture of suppressing emotions and devaluing mental health likely have a lot to do with it. Researchers are making strides to understand the true causes why.

One study of construction workers published in 2020 found that 83 percent reported experiencing what would be considered a moderate to severe mental health issue at some point in their lives. The same study found that up to 90 percent of those surveyed reported some form of early childhood trauma, while over 70 percent showed signs of undiagnosed PTSD.

Another recent study by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers found stress in the engineering field at what the organization called “crisis levels.” More than 67 percent said they had gone to work while feeling emotionally or mentally unwell, while 77.8 percent said their job is “often stressful.” More than half said their work has a negative effect on their mental health or sense of wellbeing.

The jury’s still out as to why AEC careers can take such a toll on the mental health of some workers. But at Bernhard, we’re not waiting around for definitive answers when the cost of waiting could be so great. From the boardroom to boots on the ground, Bernhard knows that devoting the time and resources it takes to care for workers’ mental health is absolutely part of getting the job done. We value teamwork and supporting each other’s mental health is just one aspect of being a team.

As an industry, we have to do more to find solutions to issues like depression, burnout, and suicide. That starts with breaking the taboo around talking about those topics, while encouraging those who are struggling to seek help. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Center for Workplace Mental Health, the number one reason those in the construction industry who need help do not seek it is because of shame and stigma (78%) and fear of judgment by peers (77%). That’s why Bernhard is committed to offering some of the best mental-health support programs in our industry as part of a broader effort to strengthen workplace well-being through initiatives largely inspired by the Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being.

The first pillar of the Framework, Protection from Harm, centers around fostering both physical and psychological safety, which rests on two human needs: safety and security. Safety relates to protection from physical and non-physical harm, including injury, illness, discrimination, bullying, and harassment. Security ensures all workers feel secure financially and in their job future. Key components of Bernhard’s strategy to address Protection from Harm include the following:

  • Prioritize workplace physical and psychological safety. Safety is a core value at Bernhard, with safety being incentivized, celebrated, and engrained into all work environments. We have an industry-leading safety training program geared to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, safeguard all persons who enter, work, or live near our job sites, and meet or exceed regulatory standards.

Studies show that employees struggling with mental health issues are twice as likely to be distracted on the job. Depression and anxiety paired with long workdays can contribute to a lack of sleep. This dangerous combination of exhaustion and mental absenteeism can lead to more mistakes, which increases the likelihood of accidents and injuries. In acknowledgement of this, Bernhard recognizes that no safety program is complete without elements that support employee’s mental health.

  • Normalize and support mental health. Bernhard’s EmployeeConnect is a completely free, totally confidential service for Bernhard employees and their families. Whether employees are dealing with depression, substance abuse, money troubles, job-related stress, or even thoughts of suicide, EmployeeConnect can help. By providing free counseling, 24/7 support, online resources, and even access to specialists like lawyers and financial counselors who can help make sense of legal or financial issues, EmployeeConnect can be a lifeline in a sea of troubles.
  • Operationalize DE&I norms, policies, and programs. In inclusive workplace cultures, all employees welcome and value each other’s unique perspectives. When diversity is celebrated as a source of strength, workers experience less stress and anxiety as bias and prejudice are not tolerated. Inclusive leadership is vital for fostering DE&I among teams and is required to support a work environment where all team members feel valued and represented, an outcome Bernhard is fully committed to and actively working towards achieving.

Nearly everybody in AEC has had to set aside their emotions or personal struggles from time to time to deliver for the customer. But when you try to keep a tight lid on something that’s been bothering you for days, weeks, or months, it’s eventually going to boil over and impact other areas of your life, despite your best efforts. Emotional turmoil like financial worry, anxiety, grief, or family problems can affect your sleep, your relationships at home, your friendships, and your ability to focus on safety for yourself and your team.

Seeking help for those challenges doesn’t mean you’re weak. It just means you understand that keeping yourself healthy and strong is part of making sure you’re ready to deliver for your team when the going gets tough – and that has to include taking care of your mental health as well.

In High Demand: Bernhard Revolutionizing Energy Management

________________

Leighton Wolffe is a technology trailblazer. He helped create many of the ideas that define demand management and has been a thought leader in the energy industry for more than 30 years, serving as a consultant to Harvard University, Marriott Corporation, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Constellation Energy and others. After decades helping develop and deploy software applications and innovative energy technologies, Wolffe recently made the decision to depart from Northbridge Energy Partners, LLC, a consulting firm he co-founded, and join Bernhard as Vice President of Demand Management.

Through Bernhard’s work in building controls, integrating remote operations centers and forming decades-long Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) agreements with large-campus hospitals and universities, Wolffe has found the perfect partner. Wolffe marries his deep industry experience and energy market knowledge with Bernhard’s rich engineering and facilities management legacy to elevate customer buildings with distributed energy systems and the technologies necessary to interoperate with energy markets

A visionary leader in demand response

Wolffe parlayed his ability to understand energy use on large campuses into high-profile jobs, as Energy consultant at Harvard Medical School, and as Project Manager for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, with more than 3 million square feet of healthcare space. Eventually, Wolffe made his way to Marriott Corporation, where he consulted and then joined as Director of Engineering & Facilities.

It was during his time at Marriott that he became interested in the emerging field of automated building control systems. “I was fascinated with the technology,” Wolffe said. “But why it was so expensive, why it didn’t consistently work, and how could it be better used to meet the challenges we faced managing our operations in the context of energy and environmental conditions?”

By the early 2000s, Wolffe was pushing the envelope of smart buildings, including utilizing next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence, predictive automation and neural networks to control buildings.

“This was the same technology used by stock market traders for micro trading and for weather forecasting,” he said. “We were using neural networks to predict conditions based on vast amounts of historical data sets. I consulted for companies like that, and then because energy was such a large part of my focus, I wanted to deliver the solutions that I knew worked.”

After forming a systems integration company and directly implementing these systems in commercial and mission critical buildings, Wolffe came to what he called the most interesting part of his career, working with Constellation and Peter Kelly-Detwiler, who would later go on to cofound Northbridge Energy Partners with him. Constellation, which provided energy for two-thirds of the corporations in the Fortune 100, wanted to be able to create call options for the buildings they served and integrate supply contracts with demand management services.

During his tenure with Constellation, Wolffe helped co-develop and patent Virtuwatt, a portfolio energy management platform that connected customer buildings with energy markets. Virtuwatt enabled them to unlock the true promise of demand response by shaping, shifting and shedding load based on market conditions, pricing signals and demand response events.

At Constellation, Wolffe and his team set up the NewEnergy Alliance that introduced the building automation industry to the emerging demand response programs being formed in each energy market. Since these building systems were already resident in many commercial and industrial facilities, it made sense to leverage them wherever possible. In order to bring the concept full circle, buildings needed to be connected to so they could respond to signals from the grid.

“The Virtuwatt platform did that,” he said. “It provided all the elements necessary to enable customer participation in the North American deregulated energy markets. We took it further for our customers who we were serving with electricity. The goal was to create capabilities in each site that could dynamically shape demand through advanced control strategies to align buildings with market conditions – and simultaneously provide options for positive cash flow by nominating unused load back into the grid – creating virtual power plants. In addition to large campuses, since many of our customers were national accounts with large portfolios, we had to develop the platform to operate at the enterprise level across every market.”

Wolffe’s extensive background will empower Bernhard to manage energy use and improve supply contracts for new and existing clients, leverage and aggregate DER resources, and negotiate better supply contracts on behalf of clients. Wolffe’s knowledge of building technologies and competitive energy markets make him a valuable addition to Bernhard’s executive leadership.

The future of demand response and energy markets

Regulatory, legislative and energy policy activities in the United States are in constant movement and evolving at state, Federal and regional levels. These changes impact the suppliers and the consumers and drive investment in renewable energy technologies. In order for consumers to successfully plan and implement long-term energy strategies, they need to know about these changes and plan for the inflection point when rulings take place. Moreover, customers need to work with partners and vendors who know how to deliver products & services that keep customers ahead of the energy curve in current and future state markets.

Announced in September 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 2222 requires independent system operators (ISO) and regional transmission organizations (RTO) in the U.S. to develop plans that give Distributed Energy Resources (DER’s) access to wholesale energy markets. This reimagining of the U.S. electricity grid is predicted to flood markets with firm and intermittent energy resources, impacting how power supply contracts are negotiated and how customers pay for energy.

The order promotes competition in electric markets and levels the playing field for organized capacity, energy and ancillary services. In addition, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will provide incentives and tax credits for many of the DER’s offered by Bernhard. By ushering in micro-grids that exist behind the meter, customers are primed to place their facilities on the cutting-edge of a futuristic electric grid. Wolffe and Bernhard will take the company’s expertise in engineering and building systems and capitalize on FERC Order 2222 for new and existing clients.

Bernhard provides flexible Energy-as-a-Service agreements to customers, some ranging from 10 to 20 and even 30 year intervals. These agreements place teams on the ground in for facilities to preserve the trust and investment placed in Bernhard by upgrading existing systems with new equipment and energy management systems.

For the markets that Bernhard serves, chiefly healthcare and higher education, it’s not common for facility operations to understand the complexities and intricacies of energy markets, and develop the capabilities to participate effectively. As a result, many institutions have been unable to leverage themselves to the benchmark of energy markets and justify the capital expense to upgrade their systems. Bernhard teams are prepared to do the heavy lifting for the customer and bring their facilities up to speed. Now, with a clear focus on energy markets, Bernhard is sitting in a prime position to further reduce energy usage, costs and constraints on facilities, by assisting them in interoperating with the energy markets through distributed energy resources and improved operating systems.

As a consultant, Wolffe was often frustrated when market opportunities weren’t acted upon. “I’m a doer.” He said. “My focus is creating successful outcomes.” His new position at Bernhard allows him to be a facilitator for the customer at a larger scale than ever before. By enabling customers to take advantage of Distributed Energy Resources, Bernhard is creating pricing stability in regulated and deregulated markets, allowing the customer to mitigate risk, avoid volatile pricing and work toward decarbonization and a more sustainable future.

Prepare your business for the energy grid of tomorrow and join us in our mission for sustainability. In turn, you’ll reduce energy use, cost, risk and retain focus on your mission. There’s never been a better time to get started and with demand response. Contact the experts at Bernhard today.

Bernhard Announces Promotion of Jenny Ruggiero to Executive Vice President of Finance

________________

Bernhard announced this week the promotion of Jenny Ruggiero to Executive Vice President of Finance overseeing all of Bernhard’s accounting and treasury functions. Based in Baton Rouge, her primary responsibilities include internal and external financial reporting, budgeting and planning, cash management and treasury activities as well as developing and maintaining a system of internal controls.

“Jenny has shown tremendous financial leadership,” said Lew Derbes, Chief Financial and Strategic Officer. “Her strong experience and willingness to take on any challenge will help drive key financial initiatives and strengthen the platform to support Bernhard’s continuing growth as the premier energy as a service provider.”

Ruggiero has more than 13 years of experience in the corporate finance sector and first arrived at Bernhard in 2018 where she held the position of vice president and corporate controller. Prior to joining Bernhard, she was an assistant controller at Investar Bank, a senior financial analyst at Amedisys Home Health & Hospice, and assurance services staff at Ernst & Young.

Ruggiero earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Louisiana State University in 2008, and her master’s degree in accounting from Louisiana State University in 2009.

Bernhard Becomes a Certified Carbon Neutral Company on Strategic Path to Net Zero

________________

Click to view.

Bernhard has announced the company is now carbon neutral through the deployment of compensation measures offsetting 2022 Scope 1, Scope 2, and select Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“We began our journey by identifying and quantifying our emissions and chose to invest in the broader environmental agenda through responsible carbon offset purchases as we continue to research and develop Bernhard’s own climate action plan,” said Alyssa Jaksich, Vice President of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) at Bernhard.

Tracking Bernhard’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) has been imperative to the processes needed to understand how to achieve carbon neutrality and ultimately, net zero status. The GHG Protocol is a global program that provides standards, guidance, tools and training for business and government to measure and manage climate-warming emissions. They define three scopes of emissions that correlate to who owns those emissions and the level of control an entity has to changing those emission levels.

“We selected 2021 as our base year and included all utility consumption associated with owned and leased offices, warehouses, and fabrication shops,” said Jaksich. “We also included any emissions from our owned and leased fleet gasoline consumption, jet fuel consumed by leased aircraft, and propane and diesel used to power equipment at our fabrication shops within our GHG inventory.”

Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions are a mandatory part of reporting for many organizations across the world and relate to systems that are within reasonable control of an entity, such as onsite and purchased energy of owned assets.

Scope 3 emissions are centered on sources of emissions that are more external to a specific organization, such as those across the supply chain. Reporting of Scope 3 emissions remains mostly voluntary, however, reduction of Scope 3 has the potential to have the largest impact.

Becoming a carbon neutral company has long been a goal of Bernhard’s ESG efforts, but the ultimate goal still lies ahead – net zero.

“As we strive towards our long-term goal of becoming net zero by 2050 or sooner, we plan to utilize a combination of reduction efforts and compensation measures,” Jaksich said. “While we work to develop Bernhard’s climate action plan in support of closing the emissions gap, this approach allows us to also work towards closing the climate finance gap. By investing in credible carbon offset projects throughout our journey, we are not only moving towards an approach that does no harm, but one that actively does good.”

Bernhard’s path to net zero will follow an “avoid, reduce and compensate” hierarchy:

  • Avoid: Show preference for business decisions and actions that lead to avoided greenhouse gas emissions, thus minimizing the need for offsets.
  • Reduce: Where emissions cannot be avoided, seek to reduce emissions through energy efficiency and optimization of business practices and policies.
  • Compensate: Where emissions cannot be reduced or avoided, utilize offsets to neutralize remaining emissions. High-quality carbon credits will be prioritized via Bernhard’s Carbon Offset Policy.

Throughout this process, Bernhard is committed to purchasing offsets annually in accordance with our Carbon Offset Policy, while continuously evaluating and implementing strategies to ultimately exhaust our reduction efforts.

“While we made great strides in 2022 by gaining a baseline understanding of our emission-generating activities and uncovering areas where we could become more sustainable within our day-to-day operations, there is still so much work to be done,” Jaksich said. “Our path to net zero is just beginning, but we are fully committed to the journey.”