Jacob J. Worenklein has devoted his career as a power executive, banker and lawyer to the solution of major problems in the energy and infrastructure sectors. He is CEO of US Grid Company, an electric power company focused on creating a more efficient and resilient electric power system in the US. He is also Chairman of Ravenswood Power Holdings, which owns and operates the largest power plant in New York City, a gas-fired power plant with over 2,000 MWs of capacity and near-term plans to increase capacity to over 2,300 MWs of capacity with the addition of battery storage. His responsibilities at Ravenswood include the management of governmental, political, regulatory and community relationships in New York State and New York City and the leadership of major initiatives relating to the conversion of transportation in New York to electric mobility from internal combustion engines.
As CEO of US Grid Company, Jay played a key role in 2016 in saving the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in New York State from shutdown, resulting in a major long-term reduction in carbon emissions. He did so by working with the New York Governor’s Office, Entergy and Exelon, negotiating for USGRDCO to buy the nuclear plant from Entergy and to lease it to Exelon as operator and, ultimately, facilitating the sale of the plant by Entergy directly to Exelon, acting as advisor to the companies.
Jay previously founded and served from 2003 to 2008 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of US Power Generating Company, which owned and operated 5,200 MWs of generating capacity in New York City and Boston, representing approximately 20% of the generating capacity of New York City and 50% of the generating capacity of Boston.
Jay started his career as a lawyer at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, where he represented all of the electric utility companies of New York State and practiced law for 20 years, formed and headed its global power and project finance practices, which grew into the world’s largest project development and finance law practice under Jay’s leadership, playing a major role as counsel to many of the nation’s utility companies and other developers and financiers of most of the large power project transactions in the United States and many of the largest power project transactions in the world. Jay served on Milbank’s three-person executive committee, which managed the firm. Jay also served as chairman of the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee. Jay left Milbank to head the global project finance and independent power business of Lehman Brothers, where he helped open the global capital markets to the financing of energy and infrastructure project bonds. At Lehman, Jay’s group played a leading role in M&A transactions in the independent power sector and the creation of joint ventures among leading companies in this sector.
He then served as global head of the energy, power and infrastructure groups at Societe Generale, which under his leadership was named by Euromoney in 2001 as the World’s Best Project Finance Bank. During his years at Societe Generale, the groups he headed played a lead role in the financing of energy and infrastructure projects in approximately forty countries.
In 2002 he received the first Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Infrastructure Journal in London for his contributions to the development and financing of energy, natural resources, water, transportation and other infrastructure in the United States and throughout the world. Jay has taught classes on ethics and business at Princeton and Yale and served as Adjunct Professor of Finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Jay is chairman of the Interfaith Alliance, a national organization dedicated to safeguarding the nation’s constitutional protections. He has served as a trustee and member of the executive committee of the Committee for Economic Development, a national business organization of senior executives of major US companies, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served on the boards of various public and private companies (and in numerous cases as chair of the audit committee or compensation committee of these boards), including Actis, a major private equity investor in Africa, South Asia and Latin America and formerly part of the UK Commonwealth Development Corporation, as well as Ormat Technologies, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company that is one of the world’s largest independent geothermal power company. Jay has also served on the Board of Trustees of United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc., where he was chairman of its Lawyers Division.
He has a BA degree from Columbia College and JD and MBA degrees from NYU Law School and the NYU Stern School of Business.
David Sheffey is General Counsel of US Grid Company LLC focusing on strategy and legal matters. David’s career has provided him a wealth of experience within the energy field, restructuring, and the corporate lifecycle.
Serving as in-house counsel at US Power Generating Company and previously at Global Crossing, David has developed an in-depth understanding of the energy industry and regulated industries in general with extensive operational and compliance exposure. His sensitivity to the needs and challenges corporations face allows him to provide strategic “real-world” leadership and guidance in a variety of situations, making David’s experience a most valuable asset.
David’s understanding of the business side of electrical generation is enhanced by practical knowledge that has resulted from serving an insider role within the power industry. His years as Assistant and Acting General Counsel as well as Corporate Secretary at USPowergen provided him the thorough knowledge of the energy sector which, coupled with his understanding of board mechanics, corporate needs, and restructuring, has resulted in a truly global perspective with a unique vantage point.
Drawing upon his skills honed in Global Crossing, David directed USPowergen leadership through the legal components of its Chapter 11 restructuring. Within two years, the sale of the Boston Generation assets to Constellation Energy was completed through a Section 363 sale process (addressing approximately $2 billion of debt, three tranches including 1st, 2nd, and mezzanine) with the plan of liquidation being deemed effective in September 2011.
David has a undergraduate degree from Yeshiva College and is a graduate of Benjamin Cardozo Law School.
Vishal Sharma has over 14 years of investment banking, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory, and investment fund management experience. As a Partner with Kaminski Global Advisers, Vishal was focused on providing global financial advisory services to the energy, technology, healthcare, and financial services sectors. While at Lehman Brothers, he worked with the Global Power Group providing investment banking and M&A services to US and European utilities. He also worked with their Debt Capital Markets group in the UK helping raise over $40 billion in sovereign / corporate debt securities across US, Europe and Asia.
In the last decade, Vishal was involved in the formation and build out of Saffron Capital Fund, a US–India cross-border fund (cumulative AUM $500 million+), focused on the SME sector – aimed to foster economic growth and develop the private equity sector in the global emerging markets. With his network of relationships, he helped to raise and deploy ~ $200 million for the fund, with success.
Morielle I. Lotan is the Director of Innovation at US Grid Company LLC focusing on identifying and managing innovative approaches to challenges faced by the major cities in which USGRDCO operates relating to the power sector and carbon reduction. She is responsible for introducing innovative thinking and nurturing new ideas from concept through pilot and implementation. As director of innovation, Morielle focuses on sourcing companies that demonstrate their ability to provide de-carbonatization solutions and could be significant partners in helping USGRDCO realize its carbon reduction goals, creating profitable partnership opportunities. She plays a critical role in outlining the vision and road map for the ways in which collaboration between utilities, communities and private/public sector come together to implement technological, advances that will help realize the drastic changes needed to achieve a net zero carbon goal.
Some areas of focus are electric vehicle charging, energy storage, data management, and renewable and other zero carbon power producing facilities. As part of the USGRDCO commitment to play a significant role in the transformation of the transportation fleet in its major cities, Morielle will be participating in the 2019 Smart Urban Mobility & Transportation NYC delegation to Norway.
Prior to joining USGRDCO Morielle held significant roles in global issues of nuclear security as a nuclear strategy researcher and published writer. Serving as the executive director of the honors program in Strategy and Decision making at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) a leading academic institution in Israel, Morielle formulated and managed projects for the Strategic Planning Department of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Cyber Bureau, and in the public policy departments of McKinsey & Co., and Deloitte.
Morielle has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Psychology Cum Laude from Hunter College and a master’s degree from the IDC Magna Cum Laude. Her research can be found in Comparative Strategy. She has presented her work at international conferences and at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DITRA) in Washington D.C.