Read the latest updates from Bernhard.

Mark Francis Named to Annual AMP Fifty Over 50 List


Mark Francis, executive vice president for Bernhard’s Engineering Division, was recently named to Arkansas Money and Politics’ annual Fifty Over 50 list. The members of the Fifty Over 50 list were nominated by readers and represent a broad spectrum of Arkansas business, industry and politics.

As executive vice president, Francis oversees the day-to-day operation and management of Bernhard’s engineering, commissioning, and energy-as-a-service teams. He has been a dedicated Bernhard teammate for 17 years and is experienced in electrical engineering, project management and business development. Francis is a registered professional engineer with more than 25 years of industry experience.

Francis graduated in 1994 from Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England, earning a bachelor of engineering with honors, specializing in electrical and electronics engineering. He joined Bernhard in 2006 as an electrical engineer and director of building design at the company’s Fayetteville office. Francis was promoted to vice president in 2018 and oversaw the Fayetteville location’s move to a new office space before being promoted to his current position in Little Rock in 2022.

UALR Unveils Bernhard Student Club HQ in Ribbon Cutting Ceremony


The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) recently opened the newly remodeled Bernhard Student Club HQ located in the Engineering, Technology and Applied Science (ETAS) building. The facility helps spotlight student organizations for Engineering Information Technology (EIT) and Engineering, Technology and Applied Science and creates a comfortable space for student members to meet, socialize and network.

The previous CNMG Student Organization Headquarters was drastically expanded to provide more adequate space for student organizations, and fully furnished with modernized office furniture, energy-efficient lighting, and outfitted with iPads mounted on each table to provide easy accessibility to local internships and career opportunities.

“We have had the privilege of working with UALR for decades,” said Tim Staley, president of Bernhard’s Engineering Division. “Bernhard has diligently worked to support both the academic and operational functions on campus through various programs and projects.”

UALR partnered with Bernhard, the leading Energy-as-a-Service provider in the United States, in 2013 on an energy conservation project to reduce annual energy costs across the entire campus. Since the project’s completion in 2015, UALR has seen a 42% reduction in energy consumption and a 51% reduction in utility costs. Bernhard continues to provide daily measurement and verification to UALR in support of decreasing their carbon footprint and reaching their ultimate goal of becoming the most energy-efficient university in the United States.

Currently, UA Little Rock has realized a 42% reduction in energy consumption, which translates to a utility cost savings of $3.1 million per year (51% reduction in utility costs). The University has significantly decreased its carbon footprint and has a goal of becoming the most energy-efficient university in the United States. Since the project’s completion in 2015, the savings have exceeded the original target of $2.6 million per year to achieve an annual savings of $3.1 million. Bernhard continues to provide daily measurement and verification to aid UA Little Rock in sustaining and growing project savings.

“Bernhard’s reputation of providing unrivaled energy solutions is wholly dependent on highly-skilled STEM students and graduates,” said Staley. “We are proud to continue supporting UALR’s core mission of providing excellence in higher education in Central Arkansas.”

Bernhard Announces 25-year Energy Partnership with the University of New Orleans to Improve Campus Infrastructure


Louisiana Energy Partners (LAEP), a partnership between Bernhard LLC and Johnson Controls Inc., and the University of New Orleans (UNO) announced today a 25-year Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) partnership to renew UNO’s campus energy infrastructure, reduce campus Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, and provide additional capital to advance UNO’s core academic and research mission. Within UNO’s existing operating budget, the University will generate $2.1 million of annual utility cost savings while addressing nearly $9 million of deferred maintenance during the lifetime of the partnership.

“We are thrilled to partner with LAEP to bolster our energy infrastructure and provide the most sustainable campus for future generations of Privateers,” said UNO President John Nicklow “The upgrades our campus will receive are near-term solutions that embrace our goals of being more sustainable and proactive in combating climate change and simultaneously create a more comfortable and reliable environment for students and employees. A more sustainable campus and the infrastructure upgrades will also boost capabilities and add breadth to our nationally-recognized education and research programs. Students and faculty researchers will have the opportunity to learn and improve understanding of sustainable energy practices through this partnership.”

UNO’s 200-acre lakefront campus in New Orleans will see $27 million of upfront energy infrastructure and building improvements deployed within the first 24 months of the partnership. These improvements include a 1.8 MWdc solar array, renewal of the campus chilled water systems, upgrading building assets including air handling systems, efficiency improvements to lighting and building water systems, and retro-commissioning of building automation systems. In addition, UNO will transfer operations and maintenance (O&M) risk of their campus energy infrastructure to Bernhard’s team of experts.

“This partnership is a great victory not only for UNO, but for the entire UL System,” said Dr. Jim Henderson, President and CEO of the University of Louisiana System. “We have been exploring our options to address deferred maintenance and offer the best facilities possible for our students, faculty, and staff. We view this as a key differentiator in the increasingly competitive landscape in higher education. UNO is the System’s initial partner and we look forward to exploring similar agreements with our other eight member institutions. I want to commend Dr. Nicklow and his staff for the work they have done to make this possible.”

The University of New Orleans has fully embraced evolving the University campus to better address changing trends in sustainability, climate change, and the physical characteristics of New Orleans and the surrounding area. The foundation of this EaaS partnership was built on dramatically enhancing the sustainability efforts of the University. Bernhard will utilize cutting-edge measurement and verification through the Bernhard Connect® platform for accurate monitoring of energy savings to ensure savings are sustained throughout the lifetime of the contract. Through the campus improvements to be completed early in the project, LAEP estimates a 27% reduction of electricity consumption, 18% less water consumption, and 19% less natural gas consumption.

Along with these infrastructure upgrades, UNO will receive upfront capital to support its core mission. As the only public, urban-serving research university in Louisiana, the campus is devoted to offering a variety of world-class, research-based programs, advancing shared knowledge and adding to the region’s industry, culture and economy.

“We are incredibly pleased at the partnership we were able to develop with UNO offering significant campus upgrades with additional capital for the University’s critical academic and research mission,” said David Amoss, Bernhard Development Vice President. “We fully expect these improvements to help UNO grow as a true champion of sustainability within higher education. Many people worked diligently on this partnership for the past 18 months, and this outcome was well worth the wait.”

LAEP was supported in the transaction by a group of advisors, including Fishman Haygood LLP, and Haynie and Associates. Other supporting advisors included Sisung Securities Corporation, M&E Consulting Inc., DeCuir Clark and Adams, LLP, Jones Walker LLP, and Baker Donelson.

Bernhard Promotes Lauren Skeen to Vice President of Marketing and Communications


Bernhard announced this week the promotion of Lauren Skeen to Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Skeen joined Bernhard in March 2019 and has served as the Director of Marketing for the Development Division where she led marketing strategy in support of the Company’s Energy-as-a-Service transformation.

In her new role, Skeen will lead the day-to-day operations and strategic direction of Bernhard’s Marketing and Communication department. She will position both internal and external communication efforts to grow Bernhard’s national brand, and work collaboratively with company leadership and business development teams to continue to grow Bernhard’s traditional energy services, as well as its turnkey integrated solutions. Skeen will oversee a diverse team, with members based in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Utah.

“Lauren has been an incredible asset and teammate during her tenure on the marketing and communications team,” said Melissa Samuel, Chief Administrative and Legal Officer. “We have full confidence she has the tools and industry experience to lead our marketing and communications team during this exciting time of explosive growth at Bernhard.”

Skeen has more than 13 years of marketing experience and 10 years of experience in the AEC industry. Prior to joining Bernhard, she served as the Director of Marketing at Entegrity.

“As an industry leader supporting North America’s energy switch, it’s imperative that Bernhard’s communications and marketing strategies evolve to meet this exciting and ever changing landscape,” said Skeen. “I am honored to lead such a talented team driving our strategy, growing our presence, and helping to provide solutions to reduce energy consumption and build resiliency in partnership with our clients across the United States.”

Skeen earned a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Arkansas State University in 2010, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in digital marketing from Wake Forest University.

Bernhard Announces Promotion of David Amoss to Vice President of Development


Bernhard announced this week the promotion of David Amoss, CFA to Vice President within the Development Division. Based in New Orleans, his primary role is building effective Energy-as-a-Service partnerships to serve customers’ technical and financial goals.

“David has made an immediate impact since joining Bernhard in developing and structuring our Energy-as-a-Service partnerships with Higher Education and Louisiana-based customers,” said Jeff Swann, Executive Vice President of Development. “His 20 years of experience, leadership, and willingness to innovate has allowed Bernhard to set the pace in providing our clients efficient and reliable energy.”

Bernhard’s Development Division combines financing, design, construction, and operations to deliver turnkey Energy-as-a-Service solutions to customers across the United States. By leveraging expertise across the entire company, teams of experts can address client needs at any and every stage of a project.

“I’ve been blessed to work with an incredibly talented team at Bernhard, and I’m amazed every day at the dedication and abilities of the team building our Energy-as-a-service partnerships,” said Amoss. “The growth, acceptance, and support of the Energy-as-a-Service structure has been tremendous within Higher Education. We have a unique market position with a core mission to not only structure these partnerships, but to positively support the regional institutions that improve the quality of life for all of us.”

Amoss holds a B.B.A. in international business from the University of Georgia as well as the Series 7, 63, 86 and 87 licenses, and previously served as President of The CFA Society of Louisiana. He teaches a regular course on Financial Statement Analysis at Loyola University in New Orleans. Before arriving at Bernhard, Amoss worked as an economist in AECOM’s Sydney and Chicago offices, and as an Equity Analyst for Howard Weil, Iberia Capital Partners, and Heikkinen Energy Advisors.

Bernhard Names Philip Catanzaro as Chief Operating Officer Following Jim Sabin’s Retirement


Bernhard announced today the promotion of Philip Catanzaro to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and the retirement of the Company’s former COO, Jim Sabin.

Catanzaro began his career at Bernhard in 1997, and quickly rose to increasing positions of leadership, through and including his most recent role serving as the Company’s President of Delivery. As COO, Catanzaro will oversee all 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. Throughout his tenure, Catanzaro has relentlessly focused on innovation, continuous improvement, and enhancing operational execution.

“Philip has dedicated his entire career to Bernhard, serving in several critical roles during our growth,” said Ed Tinsley, Bernhard CEO. “He brings strong leadership, a collaborative approach and operational expertise at a critical time as we continue our Energy-as-a-Service transformation.”

In his new role as COO, Catanzaro’s primary mission is to ensure operational readiness and organizational integration as Bernhard expands into new geographies, opens new service offerings and continues a commitment to being the leading Energy-as-a-Service provider in North America.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to help guide the company into its next chapter,” said Catanzaro. “Bernhard is made up of innovative and talented individuals who are truly masters in their field. I’m committed to empowering our teams to achieve even greater success, positioning the Company for continued growth, and providing ground-breaking solutions to reduce energy consumption and build infrastructure resiliency in partnership with our customers.”

Catanzaro’s promotion comes after the retirement of Sabin, who joined Bernhard in 2019, and led the Company through unprecedented growth in its Energy-as-a-Service offering. “For many years, Jim has selflessly and dynamically led Bernhard’s operations through a period of tremendous growth and transition,” said Tinsley. “He has been an invaluable asset, partner and friend.”

A steadfast leader, Sabin leaves Bernhard with nearly 40 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry. Prior to joining Bernhard, Sabin served as an executive at Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation, The Shaw Group, Inc., Chicago Bridge & Iron, and served as Board Director for NET Power, LLC.

“I’m proud of what we’ve built at Bernhard in becoming the only true turnkey Energy-as-a-Service provider in North America, partnering with our customers and communities to create a more sustainable future,” said Sabin. “I want to thank our customers, shareholders, and the Board of Directors for their unwavering support. I also want to give my utmost appreciation to our employees whose work and dedication have allowed us to achieve more than any of us could have ever imagined.”

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.”

Bernhard and Mercy Project Wins AEE Region IV Corporate Energy Management Project of the Year


Bernhard announced today that an Energy Stewardship Program created with St. Louis-based Mercy recently won the 2022 Association of Energy Engineers’ Region IV Corporate Energy Management Project of the Year.The award was presented during the AEE’s 45th annual World Energy Conference & Expo, held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The awards recognize organizations, individuals and projects making contributions to or doing important work in energy management, sustainability, energy efficiency and related fields.“Bernhard shares Mercy’s focus on stewardship and improving patient care through the upkeep of Mercy’s infrastructure and controls assets. The program’s turnkey, design-build-commission approach allows projects to follow expedited schedules and preserve team continuity from start to finish,” said Aric Reed, project manager at Bernhard. “Maintaining contact with each facility after completion of projects via monitoring-based commissioning and operator training ensures the implemented energy-saving measures remain in place.”

Launched in March 2020, Mercy’s energy stewardship program is focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing operational costs, making needed infrastructure upgrades and improving indoor environmental quality for patients and co-workers. The project is unique in size and scope, with Bernhard substantially optimizing the energy efficiency of systems serving more than 14 million square feet of medical office and clinical space. 23 projects have been completed, with another 29 in progress.

“Mercy has benefitted in many ways from the energy stewardship program,” said Tom Brinkmann, Mercy’s Director of Facilities Maintenance and Operations. “In addition to reducing operating costs, focusing on this critical aspect of our facility operation improves comfort, indoor air quality and maintenance resource utilization, energy stewardship also supports our overall sustainability initiative.”

Multiple systems were upgraded as part of the project, including direct digital control (DDC) building automation, HVAC upgrades and modernization, metering, fault detection, LED lighting upgrades, as well as ongoing measurement and verification, remote operator support, utility bill auditing and commodity management. The program has led to estimated energy savings of $1.7 million per year.

The AEE’s Region IV judging considered energy projects from 11 states in the central and southern U.S., including Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Founded in 1977, the Association of Energy Engineers currently represents more than 18,000 energy professionals in more than 100 countries.

For a full list of 2022 AEE Regional Award winners, click here.

Bernhard’s Chris Jackson Named to 2022 Environment+Energy Leader 50


Chris Jackson, vice president of business development, has been named to the 2022 Environment+Energy Leader 50 (E+E 50) list. The annual E+E 50 list recognizes the top 50 environment and energy professionals who are driving their companies – and the environment, sustainability, and energy management industries – forward.

“The honorees on our annual list show groundbreaking work and dedication to the field of sustainability and energy management,” says Sarah Roberts, Publisher of Environment+Energy Leader. “We’re thrilled to recognize this year’s honorees and congratulate all who made the list.”

Chris is a licensed professional engineer in four states (Utah, Arizona, California, and Washington), as well as a LEED accredited professional. He graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering and an MBA from the University of Utah while simultaneously performing as a scholarship member of the men’s basketball team.

He entered the engineering industry with ETC Group 15 years ago and relocated to Tempe in 2014 to establish their Arizona office. He grew the branch from 2 to 16 employees and nearly 50% of the company’s total project work. Chris was a principal engineer and shareholder of ETC Group, helping to guide the company to a successful acquisition earlier this year. Chris has been a vice president since 2019, retaining the title and successfully expanding his team through the merger.

“It’s an honor to be selected to the E+E 50 list, especially in a year with so much professional transition,” said Jackson. “Although this is an individual honor, I have to commend my team at Bernhard who are continually pushing the energy industry forward and innovating every day.”

Chris’ accomplishments establishing the Arizona branch and growing sales were instrumental to developing acquisition interest. Bernhard, headquartered in New Orleans, now comprised of 25 offices in 14 states, is one of the largest privately-owned infrastructure firms and the largest private energy-as-a-service company in the United States. Bernhard now has two offices in Arizona—Tempe and Tucson.

Now in its sixth year, the annual E+E 50 recognizes those environment and energy “doers” who break trail in creating new solutions, programs, platforms, best practices and products to help their companies achieve greater success in commercial and industrial environment and energy management. The E+E 50 doesn’t just celebrate the C-suite, but also those top managers and in-the-trenches team members who are working diligently behind the scenes and shaping the industry. Nominations are open to the public and the final honoree list is selected by Environment+Energy Leader. See this year’s honorees and past honorees here:

Nominations for the E+E 50 are made by Environment+Energy Leader readers and others that work in the industry, are vetted and then Environment+Energy Leader team and a select group of advisors from the industry make the final selections.

Bernhard Announces “360 Promise” with Tulane to Encourage Students to Enter Energy Industry


Bernhard announced this week a bold commitment to hire 360 Tulane University graduates over the next three decades. Dubbed the “360 Promise,” the program is a partnership between Bernhard and the Tulane Energy Institute (TEI), a world-renowned component of Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business in New Orleans. The commitment, although primarily focused on Tulane Energy Institute students and curriculum, also extends to other relevant departments across the university, including Tulane’s Law School and School of Science and Engineering.

“When we think globally about the opportunity that the Energy Transition presents, it’s clear to us that talent is a critical ingredient to success,” said Rob Guthrie, Bernhard’s Chief Development Officer. “That’s true of the energy industry in general, and it’s certainly true at Bernhard. By making the 360 Promise with Tulane, Bernhard is strengthening its role to shape and develop future industry leaders. It’s a bold and exciting step, made more significant by the strength of our partner—one of the nation’s leading universities.”

As a branch of the Freeman School of Business, the Tulane Energy Institute provides educational opportunities that improve understanding of the integration of energy markets, policies, technology and the environment, and fosters interest and expertise in the energy industry, propelling graduates into top positions in one of the world’s most dynamic fields. As part of the commitment, Bernhard experts will assist Tulane in developing course content and curricula relevant to burgeoning trends in the energy services industry.

“A unique feature of this promise is folding in Bernhard projects into our course content,” said Pierre Conner, Executive Director of Tulane Energy Institute. “Students get a chance to learn from real-time projects alongside experts from one of the most respected energy services companies in the world. That brings our curriculum to life and makes for a more engaging learning experience, which we take great pride in at Tulane.”

360 Promise comes on the heels of Project RISE, a 30-year Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) partnership, designed to help Tulane substantially reduce on-campus greenhouse gas emissions, with a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. Bernhard will complete a host of major energy infrastructure improvements at Tulane facilities including the construction of a 1-megawatt solar energy plant that will supply 10 percent of electrical demand at Tulane’s uptown campus.