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FirstEnergy CEO to join University of Akron board

By Carol Biliczky
Beacon Journal staff writer

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The University of Akron announced Wednesday that Tony Alexander, president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy Corp., is expected to be named its second advisory trustee.

Alexander would join Sandra Pianalto, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland, who was added as a nonvoting member in December.

Alexander’s appointment is contingent upon approval of trustees at their next meeting, which is Wednesday.

The new advisory trustee brings “a portfolio of experiences in guiding and growing a complex organization through challenging regulatory, environmental and economic issues,” UA board chair Dick Pogue said in a media release.

UA trustees established three advisory trustee positions last year as a way to bring new and different types of talent to the board.

Pianalto has been unable to attend trustee meetings so far because of her crowded schedule, but she has been to some committee meetings and will attend more frequently starting this fall, UA said. Alexander is expected to attend the board meeting Wednesday.

Both Pianalto and Alexander are UA graduates, although that is not a prerequisite to being an advisory trustee.

Alexander received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UA in 1972 and a law degree in 1975. He received an honorary doctorate from UA in 2009.

He has spent his career with FirstEnergy and its predecessor, Ohio Edison. He was elected president in 2000, president and chief operating officer in 2001 and president and CEO in 2004.

Unlike regular trustees, advisory members do not vote or head committees but can take part in all other board activities. Neither regular nor advisory trustees are paid but can be compensated for expenses.

Regular trustees and two nonvoting trustees are appointed by the governor.

Carol Biliczky can be reached at cbilcizky@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3729.


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