Leadership

David Swain became President on February 1, 2017. Prior to this position, he was President of Liberty Utilities - New Hampshire where he led Energy North and Granite State Electric. He Previously served as President for Liberty Utilities operations in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. He began his career in Vandalia, Illinois working for United Cities Gas Company. In 1997, he became the Division Operations Manager for Atmos Energy Corporation, one of the largest natural gas utilities in the United States.

Mr. Swain, a native of southern Illinois, has been very involved in the communities he has lived througout his career. He has served in various capacities with Chambers of Commerce and Regional Economic Development Boards. He was recognized as Small Business Advocate of the Year while working with the Economic Development Board in Southern Illinois.

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Brent Baker was elected to his current position in 2015. He began his career at Empire District in 2002. Positions he has held include Structural Engineer, Senior Structural Engineer, Manager of Construction Design and Director of Customer Service.

Mr. Baker, a native of Republic, Missouri, earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. He is a registered professional engineer.

Mr. Baker serves on the board for Children’s Haven of SW MO. He is treasurer of Joplin Regional Partnership and member of the Republic, Missouri Business & Industrial Development Association. He is the past President and State Director for the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Southwest Chapter and past president of Downtown Joplin Alliance. Mr. Baker is co-chair of the Young Professionals Network of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Joplin Daybreak Rotary Club.

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Rob Sager was elected to his current position in July 2011. He joined the staff at Empire in 2006 as Director of Financial Services. Prior to employment with Empire, Mr. Sager held the position of Senior Manager—Auditing and Consulting with BKD LLP in Joplin.

A native of Hays, Kansas, Mr. Sager received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—Accounting from Pittsburg State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and serves on the Accounting Services Committee of the Edison Electric Institute.

Mr. Sager serves on the board of the Community Clinic of Joplin and as elder at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Mr. Sager has previously served as a board member of the United Way of Crawford County and the Pittsburg State University Accounting Advisory Council.

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Blake Mertens was elected to his current position in May 2015. He joined the Company in 2001 as Staff Engineer in Energy Supply. Positions he has held include Planning Engineer, Combustion Turbine Construction Project Manager, Manager of Strategic Projects and Associate Director of Strategic Projects. He was named Director of Strategic Projects, Safety, and Environmental Services in January of 2010 prior to accepting the position of General Manager – Energy Supply in November of 2010. In May 2011, he was elected Vice President – Energy Supply. Prior to his employment with Empire, Mr. Mertens was an Energy Consultant for Black & Veatch of Overland Park, Kansas.

A native of the Wichita, Kansas area, Mr. Mertens received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at Kansas State University and a Masters in Business Administration at Missouri State University. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Kansas.

Mr. Mertens serves on the board of the Joseph Newman Innovation Center. He has served on the board and as vice-chairman of the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center, and was vice-chairman/treasurer of the Carl Junction Youth Athletic Association board. He is a graduate of Leadership Missouri.

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Mike Beatty was elected to his current position in January 2017. Mr. Beatty joined Liberty Utilities in July 2012 as Director of Engineering and Compliance, and then was promoted to President Liberty Utilities Mid-States in October of 2015. Prior to joining Liberty Utilities, Mr. Beatty worked for Atmos Energy in the states of Colorado and Tennessee, and for South Carolina Electric %32 Gas in South Carolina. He has worked on Natural Gas systems across the US from the Atlantic Ocean to the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

A native of Thayer, Missouri, Mr. Beatty is a graduate from the Missouri University of Science %32 Technology, with a Mechanical Engineering degree and is a registered professional engineer in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Mr. Beatty is actively engaged in industry organizations such as the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Southern Gas Association (SGA). He has served on the AGA Distribution Infrastructure Government - Industy Team (DIGIT), which developed the Phase One document for Distribution Integrity Management. Beatty also chaired the SGA Distribution Integrity Management Framework Document, a joint effort between Southern Gas Association and the Northeast Gas Association.

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