ALLETE Inc.’s board of directors has elected Charles Matthews, retired president and chief executive officer of People’s Gas and North Shore Gas, to serve on the board effective July 6, 2022.
During his 15-year career with WEC Energy Group Inc., the parent company of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, Matthews has held multiple leadership roles responsible for strategic planning, operations, finances, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, and general management.
From 2015 until his retirement on July 1, 2022, Matthews led WEC Energy Group’s Illinois operations as president and CEO of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, which employed a combined 2,000 people providing natural gas service to nearly 1 million customers in the city of Chicago and 54 northern suburbs. Under his leadership, the companies improved their financial performance and achieved high scores from residential and business customers for trustworthiness, reliability and communications. Prior to 2015, Matthews served as senior vice president of WE Energies, two Wisconsin utility subsidiaries of WEC Energy Group.
During his more than 40 years in the energy industry, Matthews also held leadership and other positions with Mirant Corp., Southern Company and Exxon. In addition, he has served on the board of directors for BMO Financial Corp. and BMO Harris Bank, N.A. since 2019.
“We are very pleased to welcome Charles to the board,” said ALLETE Chair, President and CEO Bethany Owen. “His extensive strategic leadership experience in the energy industry and his financial expertise will be valuable assets as ALLETE advances its sustainability in action strategy. As we lead the way to a sustainable clean-energy future, Charles understands the importance of serving our customers with excellence, supporting our communities to foster a more equitable society, providing opportunities for our employees and creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce, all while creating value for shareholders.”
Matthews holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Talladega College and a master’s in business administration in finance from Clark Atlanta University. He has served on the board of directors for the American Gas Association and various nonprofits, including World Business Chicago, the Chicago Urban League, the Illinois Utility Business Diversity Council and the United Way of Metro Chicago.
“Charles’ demonstrated success leading companies in highly-regulated energy industries will add an important perspective to the ALLETE board of directors,” said Susan Nestegard, lead director. “His strategic leadership style, financial acumen, and deep community engagement will bring key insights to ALLETE’s clean-energy transformation amid evolving customer needs.”
ALLETE, Inc. is an energy company headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth; BNI Energy in Bismarck, N.D.; and New Energy Equity, headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland; and has an 8% equity interest in the American Transmission Co. More information about ALLETE is available at www.allete.com.