PUC Announces Appointments to Consumer Advisory Council
Published on 6/15/2023
The Council Advises PUC Commissioners on Matters Related to the Protection of Consumer Interests Under PUC Jurisdiction
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today announced a series of appointments to its Consumer Advisory Council (CAC), which provides input to the PUC on issues important to utility customers. Today’s appointees will serve on the CAC through June 30, 2025.
The Commission appointed one new CAC “at-large” member:
- Theresa D. Mingarell, of Camp Hill, Cumberland County, has a history of involvement with consumer issues, including her 10 years as a policy analyst in the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services before her retirement in December 2022. Prior to joining the PUC, Mingarell worked as a human services program specialist and income maintenance caseworker with Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare.
The following appointments from state executive offices and legislators were ratified by the PUC:
- Sonny Popowsky, of Philadelphia, is the former Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate (serving from 1990 to 2012) and is regarded nationally as an expert on state and national consumer and utility issues. Popowsky currently serves as Chair of the City of Philadelphia Water, Sewer and Stormwater Rate Board, as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy of the University of Pennsylvania. Popowsky was appointed by Gov. Josh Shapiro on June 2, 2023, after previously been appointed to the CAC beginning in 2017 by Gov. Tom Wolf.
- Justyn Patton, of Donegal, Westmoreland County, is a behavioral health technician supervisor at Dreamlife Recovery LLC in Donegal. In addition to his duties at Dreamlife Recovery, Patton conducts outreach work in the community to assist individuals with substance use disorders. A veteran of the United States Navy, Patton has been appointed by Sen. Patrick Stefano (R-32nd District), the Majority Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.
Additionally, the PUC reappointed the following “at-large” CAC members:
- Mary Bach, of Murrysville, Westmoreland County, is a long-time independent consumer advocate. A former high school teacher, Bach is volunteer chair of AARP’s Pennsylvania Consumer Issues Task Force and has long been a strong voice for consumers across Pennsylvania.
- Carl W. Bailey, of Philadelphia, has more than 35 years of experience working with community development and small business growth. He currently serves on Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Advisory Committee and has also been a strong leadership voice for AARP programs in Pennsylvania.
- Lenora M. Best, of Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County, has an extensive background in consumer protection policy. A retired manager with the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services, Best previously served on the PA Relay Service Advisory Board and brings decades of experience working with utility and consumer organizations.
- Timothy B. Hennessey, of North Coventry Township, Chester County, is a partner in H&H Marketing Group LLC, a business development firm. Previously, he worked for the Pennsylvania Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and served as a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board. A graduate of the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, Hennessey currently chairs the CAC.
- Ray Landis, of Harrisburg, is a former Advocacy Manager for AARP Pennsylvania. Landis retired from AARP in 2019 after working for the organization since 1996. Prior to his work at AARP, Landis served on the Congressional staff of U.S. Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania. A native of York, he is currently a columnist for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, writing about issues impacting consumers, particularly older Pennsylvanians.
- Elizabeth “Liz” R. Marx, of Harrisburg, is Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP) – which provides information, assistance and advice about residential utility and energy matters affecting low-income consumers. Prior to joining PULP, Marx worked as a staff attorney at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. A graduate of Temple University and the Widener School of Law, Marx currently chairs Pennsylvania’s LIHEAP Advisory Committee and serves on a statewide Weatherization Assistance Program Policy Advisory Committee.
- Eileen Mazza, of Eighty Four, Washington County, is a retiree from Columbia Gas of Ohio, where she was a plant supervisor in charge of the fleet and warehouse and eventually rose to Director of General Services for their Northern Ohio Region. With 20 years of experience in the gas distribution industry, Mazza has been a member of AARP’s Consumer Issues Task Force since 2007 and has given presentations to various groups on issues such as “Frauds and Scams” and “It's Your Money.”
- Chad Quinn, of Pittsburgh, is Chief Executive Officer of Pittsburgh-based Dollar Energy Fund, which works to improve the quality of life for households experiencing hardships by providing utility assistance and other services that lead to self-sufficiency.
- Sylvia P. Simms, of Philadelphia, is an advocate for high-quality education – especially in low-income neighborhoods. Simms is the founder of PARENT POWER, a training program to get families more involved in their children’s education and has been involved with community improvement efforts for more than a decade. She also works as a housing support coach for SELF Inc. – a human services agency providing emergency and support services to Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities.
The Consumer Advisory Council advises the PUC Commissioners on matters related to the protection of consumer interests under the jurisdiction of the PUC. Council meetings are held bimonthly and are open to the public. Members serve without compensation.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. “Like” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Facebook for easy access to information on utility issues.
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Docket No.: M-2023-3041159
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