Thirty Years of Smart Leadership
May 15, 2018
Chairman of our Board of Directors, George M. Smart, will retire May 15, at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders at the John S. Knight Center in Akron. In accordance with the company’s mandatory retirement age policy, George will retire at age 72 with 30 years of service. He was a member of the Ohio Edison Board of Directors from 1988 until 1997 and became a member of the FirstEnergy Board in 1997 after Ohio Edison merged with Centerior Energy to form the company. He was elected chairman in 2004. He retired as president of Sonoco-Phoenix, Inc., in 2004.
George helped guide our company through many key events, including the mergers and acquisitions that fueled significant growth. During the period George served as director, we grew from Ohio Edison with one million customers and $2.5 billion in annual revenues, to 10 electric distribution companies serving more than six million customers in six states with $14 billion in annual revenues.
In addition to serving our company, George has dedicated his time to organizations that contribute to the vitality of our region, including his alma mater, Defiance College, and the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges. George and his family established the George & Sandy Smart Foundation, a faith-based organization that helps families in need, locally and in Ecuador.
Succeeding George is Don Misheff, a member of our Board of Directors since 2012. He retired in 2011 as managing partner of the Northeast Ohio offices of Ernst & Young, where he advised some of the region’s largest companies on financial and corporate governance issues. He serves as director of TimkenSteel Corp., Trinseo S.A. and Aleris Corporation.
George said, “It has been an honor to serve FirstEnergy as chairman of the Board. The company’s management has done an outstanding job navigating in a very challenging environment, and I have great confidence in the team’s strategy as it positions the company for accelerated growth. In addition, I believe Don will provide strong, thoughtful leadership to the Board as the company operates as a fully regulated utility.”
Thank you for your dedicated and smart leadership, George!