As Ohio’s Consumers’ Counsel, Janine L. Migden-Ostrander oversees the state agency that represents the interests of Ohio’s 4.5 million residential households in matters concerning their investor-owned electric, natural gas, telephone and water companies.
Ms. Migden-Ostrander was sworn into office on April 5, 2004, by the Ohio attorney general. Prior to her appointment by the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel’s Governing Board, Ms. Migden- Ostrander was a partner in the law firm of Hahn Loeser & Parks and served as co-chair of the firm’s Utility and Regulatory Practice Group.
In her role as Consumers’ Counsel, Ms. Migden-Ostrander has championed a variety of energy and telecommunications policies including integrated portfolio management, alternative sources of energy, energy efficiency programs and innovative rate designs in the energy industry as well as the delivery of broadband services and other technologies to rural and urban customers. Ms. Migden- Ostrander also has made it an agency priority to find solutions for the increasing number of customers who struggle to keep pace with rising utility prices. She is intent on addressing ways to improve traditional avenues of advocacy and outreach and education programming, as well as raising the standards for advocacy to increase the effectiveness of the Consumers’ Counsel in regulatory proceedings.
With more than 25 years of experience, Ms. Migden-Ostrander is well-known within the utility and environmental industries as a strong consumer advocate. She began her career in public utilities at the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, where she served as an administrative assistant before earning a law degree from Capital University. She then was promoted to assistant consumers’ counsel for the agency and litigated a variety of cases that involved state-regulated electric, natural gas, telephone and water utilities.
Ms. Migden-Ostrander’s previous experience also includes serving as senior director of government affairs for Enron Corp. and as special prosecutor for Montgomery County. She has been involved in proceedings before numerous state utility commissions, and has monitored activities and worked on policy issues involving state and federal energy and telecommunications matters. In addition, she has worked on legislation in numerous states involving a variety of issues including natural gas and electric competition.
Ms. Migden-Ostrander is a past board member of Green Energy Ohio, Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, the Ohio Environmental Council and the National Low Income Energy Consortium. She currently serves on the National Coal Council, a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, as well as the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates and on the Board of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. She earned a bachelor of arts from the State University of New York, and earned a Certificat de la Langue et Civilisation Francaise from the Universite de la Sorbonne in Paris, France.
As Deputy Consumers’ Counsel, Bruce J. Weston oversees the Legal Department and contributes to the formulation of policy for the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) and its Governing Board. In addition, he fulfills Janine Migden- Ostrander’s role as Consumers’ Counsel in her absence.
The Legal Department works with the agency’s staff to represent the interests of residential consumers in complex utility proceedings before the courts and regulatory commissions at both the state and federal levels. Mr. Weston manages a staff of attorneys that has extensive experience in negotiation and litigation of utility proceedings. His responsibilities also include overseeing legal work involving the preparation of proposed changes to state laws and administrative rules and review of legislation to assist residential consumers.
Mr. Weston brings more than 25 years of experience in public utilities law to the OCC. He is committed to protecting the interests of Ohio’s 4.5 million residential utility households. His priorities for the OCC include advocating for reasonable rates, competitive choices, new technologies, and maintaining good service quality for residential utility consumers throughout Ohio.
Prior to joining the OCC in October 2004, Mr. Weston was in the private practice of law. He served as legal counsel for clients in cases involving utility rates, service quality, industry restructuring and competition.
Mr. Weston began his career at the OCC in 1978 as a law clerk. After earning his Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1980, he began a 12-year tenure as counsel for the agency.
Aster Rutibabaliara Adams joined the OCC in November 2005 as the Director of Analytical Services. He is responsible for overseeing the review of the accounting, economic and financial analysis associated with utility rate filings and other regulatory proceedings and providing advice and recommendations concerning technical and policy issues related to utility regulation. Prior to joining the OCC, Dr. Adams was chief of the Economic Analysis Division/Competitive Markets and Policy Division of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. Prior to moving to the United States in 1990 from Rwanda, he was an assistant professor at the National University of Rwanda where he taught econometrics, macroeconomics, microeconomics, statistics, monetary theory and industrial organization theory. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a licentiate degree in economics from the National University of Rwanda and a master’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University. He completed a doctorate program in economics from Vanderbilt University in September 2008.
Beth Gianforcaro re-joined the OCC as the Director of Communications in October 2007. She held a similar communications position at the OCC from 1986-1992. She manages a staff of communications experts in the planning and implementation of public and media relations activities, outreach and education efforts, the development of printed materials and the OCC website. Ms. Gianforcaro has more than two decades of experience managing award-winning communications programs for several State of Ohio government agencies including the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission and the Office of the State Treasurer. She is active in professional communications organizations including the Central Ohio chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators and serves on the board of directors for the Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English-journalism and speech communications from Miami University, Oxford, and is completing a master’s of science degree in journalism from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
Oyango A. Snell joined the OCC as Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs in November 2008. He serves as the relationship manager and legislative policy advocate between state and federal government and the OCC. Prior to joining the OCC, Mr. Snell was in private law practice. He served as legislative counsel for clients representing the insurance and construction industries. He also represented small businesses and individuals in civil litigation and transactional matters. Mr. Snell began his career in state government in 1998 as a legislative intern for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Central State University, a master’s degree in business administration from Franklin University, and a law degree from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law.
Charles Repuzynsky joined the OCC as Director of Operations in July 2005. He oversees the Operations Department, which encompasses the Administration and Consumer Services Divisions. His areas of responsibilities include finance, budgeting, strategic planning, human resources, information technology and the Consumer Services Division. Prior to joining the OCC, Mr. Repuzynsky served as the chief financial officer for the Ohio Historical Society, a non-profit quasi-government organization. He is also a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, the American Payroll Association, the Association of Government Accountants and the Society for Human Resource Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in accounting from The Ohio State University.
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