The founder of Citizens Energy Corporation, Joseph P. Kennedy II has served as Chairman and President of the company since 1998 following 12 years of service representing the 8th Congressional District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kennedy founded the non-profit company in 1979 to provide low-cost heating oil to the poor and elderly. Under his leadership, Citizens grew to encompass seven separate companies, including the largest energy conservation firm in the U.S. During his tenure, Citizens became one of the nation's first energy firms to move large volumes of natural gas to over 30 states. As a precursor to market changes under electricity deregulation in the late 1990s, Citizens was a pioneer in moving and marketing electrical power over the grid. More recently, Citizens has expanded its oil heat program to serve customers in 23 states and the District of Columbia, launched innovative health care initiatives to make prescription drugs and medical care more affordable, and pursued renewable energy projects involving wind and solar generation. In addition, Kennedy started a pioneering company that develops high-voltage transmission lines and uses revenues from the ventures to provide renewable energy systems to the poor. Each commercial venture is aimed at generating revenues that in turn would be used to assist the poor and those in need in the United States and abroad.
During his 12 years on Capitol Hill, Kennedy devised creative and innovative approaches to addressing social needs, particularly in the ways that the private sector, rather than government agencies, could help communities achieve economic growth and prosperity. Kennedy's many initiatives included legislation that:
Throughout his career in Congress, Kennedy served on the House Banking Committee, where he played an active role in the federal savings and loan bailout, credit reporting reform, Glass-Steagall overhaul, and financial modernization. Kennedy also served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, passing legislation to strengthen the veterans health care system, investigate the causes of Persian Gulf Syndrome, and provide medical treatment for veterans of the first Persian Gulf War. In addition to his role as Chairman and President of Citizens Energy, Kennedy advises and serves on the boards of several companies in the energy, telecommunications, and health care industries. The son of the late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy, Joe Kennedy is married to Beth Kelly Kennedy and is the father of twin sons. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Peter F. Smith joined Citizens Energy in November 2000 as Chief Operating Officer, and was named Chief Executive Officer in December 2014. In this role he reports directly to the Chairman and President and is responsible for all aspects of Citizens' business and charitable activities. Most recently, he worked on establishing and expanding Citizens' strategic relationship with CITGO Petroleum Inc. to provide free heating oil to hundreds of thousands of low-income families, residents of homeless shelters, and Native American tribal members across 23 states. Additionally, he has led Citizens' efforts to expand its portfolio of renewable energy projects, particularly solar and wind, and develop high-voltage electricity transmission lines in Southern California to unlock vast renewable energy sources.
Prior to joining Citizens Energy, he was a Manager at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), an international strategy and general management consulting firm focused on helping leading corporations create and sustain competitive advantage. He also spent five years on active duty with the United States Coast Guard, serving as a deck watch officer aboard the 270' cutter Escanaba in Boston and Commanding Officer of the 110' cutter Tybee in San Diego. Smith holds a B.S. in economics from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife are the parents of four children.
Ernie Panos joined Citizens Energy in 2010 as the Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for the corporate finance, administration and investment management for the corporation, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Mr. Panos has over 20 years of experience in financial services.
Prior to joining Citizens Energy, Mr. Panos was a Managing Director at several financial services firms, including Hercules Technology Growth Capital, HighPoint Capital Management and NewStar Financial, focused on providing debt solutions to growing companies and private equity groups in the lower middle market. Mr. Panos’ responsibilities included transaction origination, due diligence, and the negotiation and structuring of financing agreements. Previously, Mr. Panos spent four years with Bariston Partners, a private equity firm in Boston, where he founded and led the firm’s healthcare services group and worked on a number of management-led buyouts in the healthcare, media and communications, and business service industries. Prior to Bariston, Mr. Panos worked at Wachovia Securities, A.G. Edwards & Sons, J.P. Morgan Securities and Salomon Brothers in capital markets and M&A capacities, completing transactions that totaled approximately $7.0 billion.
Mr. Panos earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS in finance, investments and economics from Babson College. He and his wife Marie are the parents of two daughters.
Kristina Perez joined Citizens Energy in 2008 as Manager of the Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program and became Director of Charitable Programs in 2011. She manages all of Citizens Energy’s charitable initiatives, including the distribution of heating oil to low-income homeowners and renters in 25 states, members of over 60 Native American tribes, residents of tenant-owned cooperatives in New York City, and 250 homeless shelters. She also manages the company’s natural gas assistance program and the Solar Homes initiative that uses revenues from Citizens Energy’s transmission investment in California to erect solar arrays atop the homes of low-income families in the Imperial Valley of California.
Prior to joining Citizens Energy, Perez worked for 11 years in other Massachusetts non-profits, including the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps and WGBH. She received her B.S. in communications from Boston University, holds a certificate from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute, and is a member of Brookline's Community Emergency Response Team. Perez is a certified Jiu-Jitsu instructor and lives in Brighton with her husband.
Brian Morrissey is Managing Director of Citizens Solar, a division of Citizens Energy Corporation. He founded Citizens’ solar business in 2010 and is responsible for all solar-related activities, including project origination, development, construction management, financing, and asset management. Citizens Energy is a national developer and owner / operator of distributed generation and small utility-scale solar projects. Citizens Solar finances all of its projects with typical project finance structures and provides all sponsor equity for each portfolio.
Prior to joining Citizens Energy, Mr. Morrissey was on the Global Power team at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a leading energy consulting and research firm to international energy companies, governments, financial institutions, and technology providers. Prior to his work at CERA, Mr. Morrissey worked in GE Energy's central marketing and strategy group, and was an officer in the U.S. Army.
Mr. Morrissey received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Morrissey is a combat veteran and a registered Project Management Professional.
Brian Wright O’Connor joined Citizens Energy in 1999 and serves as Vice President for Public Affairs, overseeing all aspects of the company’s communications, marketing, public outreach and government affairs efforts. He has directed numerous national media campaigns for Citizens Energy’s heating assistance and health care programs while working with federal, state, local and international government officials on the company’s wide array of business and charitable ventures.
O’Connor is a veteran communications and policy operative who has worked as a strategist in numerous national, state, and local political campaigns. Prior to joining Citizens Energy, he served as Communications Director in the Congressional office of U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II while also serving as the chief policy adviser on issues related to Ireland, Haiti, and Armenia. Before working on Capitol Hill, O’Connor was a news editor, columnist and reporter, publishing articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines across the country. He is a graduate of Harvard College and attended the Universite de Grenoble in France. The father of two, O’Connor and his wife Elizabeth live in Dedham, Mass.
The former Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Dr. Evelyn Murphy is President of The WAGE Project, Inc., a national organization to end wage discrimination against working women, and Resident Scholar in the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. In October 2005, she authored a book on women’s wages entitled Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It, published by Simon & Schuster. Dr. Murphy is a corporate director of SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company and serves as a founding director of The Commonwealth Institute, a trustee of Regis College, Honorary Chair of the Lost Coin Women’s Fund, Inc., a director of The Polaris Project, and a visitor of Boston University’s School of Public Health. Dr. Murphy was the founding President of the Healthcare and Policy Institute, a non-profit charitable affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts dedicated to expanding health care for underserved women, families of color, children, and seniors. From 1993 to 1996, she served as Executive Vice President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, directing corporate relations with state government, Congress, and the media.
When elected in 1986, Dr. Murphy was the first woman in the state's 220-year history to hold constitutional office. Prior to her election, she served in the Governor's Cabinet as Secretary of Environmental Affairs, responsible for all environmental policies and line management of 5,000 public employees. She later served as Secretary of Economic Affairs, directing 3,000 employees and initiating innovative programs in corporate child care and development of the biotechnology, marine sciences, polymers, photovoltaic and microelectronic industries. Murphy holds a B.A. from Duke University in mathematics, an M.A. from Columbia University in economics, and a Ph.D. from Duke University in economics.
Partner Patrick T. Jones has been a trial lawyer for 35 years and works on substantial personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Prior to opening the law firm of Jones Kelleher, Mr. Jones was a founding partner of Cooley Manion Jones, where he managed the contingent fee practice for over 25 years. Throughout his career, he has tried medical malpractice, product liability, civil rights, construction site, eminent domain and general liability tort cases. His practice has also included real estate, securities, probate, insurance and commercial litigation.
Mr. Jones is currently licensed to practice law in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Since 1983, Patrick has maintained an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell National Law Directory, the highest rating available for legal ability and ethical standards. Since 2004, Boston Magazine surveys of 35,000 Massachusetts Bar Members have rated Patrick as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Massachusetts. Since 2011, Patrick has been rated as one of the Top 10 Super Lawyers in Massachusetts.
Patrick spends a portion of his professional life serving on the boards of non-profit corporations both inside and outside of Massachusetts. He served on the Board of Regents at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio from 1995-2001, and he currently serves on the school's Board of Visitors. He served on the Board of Directors at Catholic Memorial School of West Roxbury, Massachusetts from 1997-2005, was Chairman of the school's Board of Directors from 1998-2000 and Vice-Chairman from 2001-2004. He served on the Board of Trustees of St. Sebastian's School, Needham, Massachusetts, from 2003-2012. He has served on the Board of Directors at Citizens Energy Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts since 2000. He attended Boston College Law School, graduating cum laude in 1978. At Boston College he was a member and Editor of its Law Review. Mr. Jones lives in Boston and Brewster, Massachusetts with his wife Nell.
Randy Greene is the President and Founder of RBM Systems, Inc. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company designs and implements sales process and merchandising strategies for financial institutions. RBM Technologies, an off-shoot of the firm, has been created to provide a sophisticated process management tool to help companies streamline the ongoing merchandising process, implement better market segmentation, and increase store sales success. Its web application, RBM FrontLine™, has been customized and scaled for retail banks, wireless retailers and apparel retailers in thousands of retail locations and serves as a one-stop system for all in-store marketing and merchandising materials.