James Whitley Announces Retirement

April 12, 2018

James Whitley, executive director, Corporate Security, will retire June 1, 2018, after 15 years with our company and more than 40 in the security industry.

“Through his leadership, our integrated, companywide security structure has evolved successfully as FirstEnergy and the risks to our industry have grown,” said Bennett Gaines, senior vice president, Corporate Services & CIO. “To keep our employees and our considerable assets and six-state service area secure is a mammoth undertaking and he accomplished this with a steady hand. He has a strategic and passionate attention to safety and security and it showed in everything he did. We appreciate his dedication and relentless focus.

“James and his team’s efforts affected every workgroup in our company in some way. I know I speak for so many when I thank him for his service to FirstEnergy, our industry and our country.”

James said, “I feel truly blessed to have worked with our company and employees through the years.”

Steady Command

James came to FirstEnergy with considerable experience, which included serving as a military policeman in the U.S. Air Force; as commander of the Cleveland Heights Police Department; and as chief of park police for Cleveland Metroparks. He joined our company in 2003 as manager, Corporate Security. James advanced to director, Corporate Security in 2007 and in 2009, to director, Corporate Security & Information Technology Compliance. He was named director, Corporate Security in 2011 and to executive director, Corporate Security in 2012.

He earned a master’s degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.

James has been featured in Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. Also, our company has been recognized for our security infrastructure under his leadership. For example, FirstEnergy was honored in Security magazine’s Security 500 list in November 2011 and in 2015. Also, in a 2013 peer review by the North American Transmission Forum of our system operations and governance in Akron and Fairmont, our cyber and physical security and other aspects were deemed some of the industry’s best.