Anne Shen Smith
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Anne Shen Smith is chairman and chief executive officer of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy California regulated utility. SoCalGas is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, delivering outstanding service to over 20 million consumers in more than 500 communities through a dedicated team of over 8000 employees.
Previously, Smith served as the chief operating officer, senior vice president of customer services and vice president of environment and safety for SoCalGas. She started her career with SoCalGas in 1977 and held leadership positions in marketing, public affairs, strategic planning, regulatory affairs, and operations.
Smith served in various appointed positions, including the Public Advisory Committee of the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission, Los Angeles City Environmental Affairs Commission, and the Federal Advisory Committee on Personal Vehicles and Greenhouse Gas Reduction. She is a former board member of the Coalition for Clean Air, and currently serves on the board of directors for the American Gas Association, California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Advancing Justice LA (AAJLA), and the Southern California Leadership Council. She also serves as an advisor to the Hank Lacayo Institute for Workforce and Community, the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Smith is a member of The Trusteeship, an affiliate of the International Women’s Forum, and the Committee of 100, a national organization devoted to promoting U.S.-China relations.
Smith immigrated to the United States from Taiwan in 1964. She received her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Michigan and has a master’s degree in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dennis Arriola is president and chief operating officer for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
Previously a long-time veteran for the Sempra family of companies, Arriola left Sempra in 2008 to work for Silicon Valley-based SunPower Corporation, a solar panel manufacturer, as its executive vice president and chief financial officer.
From 1994 to 2008, Arriola held a variety of increasingly responsible leadership positions within the Sempra family of companies.
From 2006 to 2008, he was senior vice president and chief financial officer of both SDG&E and SoCalGas. Previously, Arriola also served as vice president of communications and investor relations for Sempra Energy and regional vice president and general manager of Sempra’s South American operations. He first joined the company in 1994 as treasurer for Pacific Enterprises/SoCalGas.
Arriola serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Western Energy Institute, the California Business Roundtable and the Latino Donor Collaborative.
Arriola has a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University.Chief Officers Menu
J. Chris Baker is chief information officer and senior vice president of support services for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
In his current position, Baker oversees information technology, supply management, diverse business enterprises, environmental services, safety and emergency services, fleet services, real estate, land management and facilities. He is also responsible for the design and implementation of new systems and procedures to improve the operating efficiency and customer experience at the utility through the operational excellence and smart metering programs.
Baker served as Sempra Energy's director of software development from 1997 to 2000, and as Information Management and Security Administration Manager from 1995 to 1997.
Prior to joining Sempra Energy in 1995, Baker was a senior systems consultant with Logicon 4GT, where he worked with defense finance and accounting services. He also worked on analysis for several government entities, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Finance and Management and the U.S. Postal Service's National Air and Surface System.
Previously, Baker held several positions in the banking industry, including serving as section manager of information management and executive information services at HomeFed Bank, a position he held from 1990 to 1993. Prior to 1990, he was employed with Home Savings of America, holding several different positions in their information technology division.
Baker serves as a board member on CommNexus. He is a cum laude graduate of California Polytechnic University at Pomona, where he earned bachelor's degrees in biology and business administration/computer information systems.Chief Officers Menu
Robert M. Schlax is vice president, treasurer, controller and chief financial officer of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
Schlax joined the company in 2005 as vice president and controller. In October 2008, he was appointed chief financial officer in addition to his current role. In this expanded position, Schlax oversees all of the financial planning and budgeting, energy risk management, financial reporting, debt management and affiliate compliance.
Preceding his current role, Schlax served as chief financial officer, treasurer and vice president of finance at Mercury Air Group, Inc.. from 2002 to 2005. From 1977 to 2001, he held various management positions within the accounting and finance departments at Unocal Corporation.
Schlax holds a bachelor's degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in business administration from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. He is a member of the board of directors of the Alzheimer's Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter and is also a member of the Orange County Chapter of Financial Executives International.Chief Officers Menu
Senior Vice Presidents
J. Bret Lane is senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
Previously, Lane was vice president of field services from 2009 to 2012 and prior to that, vice president of gas transmission and distribution from 2007 to 2009. He served as vice president of environmental, safety and facilities and was chief environmental officer from 2005 to 2007. From 2002 to 2004, he was vice president of labor relations and was responsible for all collective bargaining with the unions at SoCalGas.
Lane also was director of human resources, director of labor relations and manager of environmental services and held leadership positions in field operations and staff functions for SoCalGas after joining the company in 1982 in the Transmission and Storage Operations division.
Lane holds a bachelors of science degree in petroleum engineering from Oklahoma State University.Senior VPs Menu
Erbin B. Keith is senior vice president of general counsel for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
Previously, Keith held positions as senior vice president of external affairs of SoCalGas and was head of regulatory affairs and chief compliance officer of Sempra Energy. Prior to that, he was president of Sempra Energy Solutions, a Sempra Energy business unit offering retail gas and electricity, risk management and outsourcing services to commercial and industrial businesses.
Before joining Sempra in 1998, Keith was a senior vice president and general counsel for the Way Companies. Prior to that, he served as an attorney in private practice in Texas. Beyond his legal and regulatory experience in the energy, engineering and construction industries, Keith worked as a consulting engineer.
Keith is a licensed professional engineer and a member of the Texas and California state bars. Keith was selected as "Energy Professional of the Year" in 2001 by the Association of Energy Engineers and was appointed to the Department of Energy's first Federal Energy Management Advisory Committee.
Keith holds a law degree from South Texas College of Law and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas.Senior VPs Menu
Patrick Lee is senior vice president of customer service, innovation, business strategy and chief environmental compliance officer at Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
Lee is responsible for all customer services and programs, as well as strategic planning and development of new businesses and technologies at SoCalGas. In addition, he oversees environmental services and policies, supply management, and advanced meter implementation.
Prior to joining SoCalGas in August 2012, Lee served as vice president of Sunrise Powerlink for San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). Lee had overall responsibility of the project including public affairs, environmental, land services, engineering, procurement and construction of the largest capital infrastructure project in SDG&E’s history. The $1.9 billion, 500-kilovolt transmission line was completed successfully in June 2012.
Prior to his role on Sunrise Powerlink in April 2009, Lee was vice president of energy supply for Sempra Generation, which is now part of Sempra US Gas & Power. Lee was responsible for natural gas procurement, energy sales from a fleet of combined cycle and renewable power plants, and daily trading and long term hedging of power plant output. Prior to that, he held several director positions at SDG&E. His past responsibilities included: construction, maintenance and operations of transmission, substation and distribution systems in the San Diego region; skills and compliance training; business processes support; and performance management.
Before joining SDG&E in 1991, Lee worked for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the City of Roseville, California. His utility experience includes electric system planning, engineering standards, transmission and substation construction and maintenance, electric reliability, system automation, smart grid, engineering data integration, business process re-engineering and renewable energy development.
Lee serves on the board of the California State Parks Foundation. Lee has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from California State University, Sacramento. He is currently serving the California Council for Science and Technology as a council member and a registered professional electrical engineer in California.
Lee Schavrien is senior vice president of finance, regulatory and legislative affairs for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
In his position, Schavrien is responsible for all regulatory matters before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as well as the financial affairs of the utility. In addition, Schavrien has responsibility for all state legislative matters impacting SoCalGas.
Since 1979, Schavrien has been involved in all regulatory matters for San Diego Gas & Electric and since 1996 for SoCalGas, as well as the merger of Enova and Pacific Enterprises that formed Sempra Energy. Schavrien was the co-author of the groundbreaking new way for California regulators to establish utility rates, a methodology known as Performance Based Ratemaking.
He is a past board member of the San Diego Arthritis Foundation, The California Interscholastic Federation – San Diego Section and the Poway Wrestling Foundation. Schavrien holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from National University.Senior VPs Menu
Amy Chiu is vice president of information technology for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
In her current position, Chiu is responsible for information technologies, vision and operational oversight including computing infrastructure, client services, applications, information security and information management for both utilities and the Sempra Energy Corporate Center.
Previously, Chiu was vice president of risk analysis and management for Sempra Energy and prior to that was vice president of audit services, where she was responsible for Sempra Energy's internal audit function. Before that, she held positions of increasing responsibility including director of business planning in the Mergers and Acquisitions group, manager of executive projects and manager of economic analysis.
Prior to joining Sempra Energy, Chiu held senior-level financial and actuarial analyst positions for Intelsat and Watson Wyatt Worldwide.
Chiu has a master’s degree in business administration from American University in Washington D.C., a doctorate in mathematics from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Mills College in Oakland, California.VPs Menu
Jimmie I. Cho is vice president of field services for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Sempra Energy's California regulated utilities. Cho oversees all aspects of gas field operations, including field customer service, distribution, transmission and gas control.
Previously, Cho served as vice president of human resources, diversity and inclusion for SoCalGas. He was also director of customer communications, research and web strategy, director of safety and emergency services, director of customer service field operations, and held positions of increasing responsibility in environmental engineering, corporate affairs, gas operations and customer services.
Cho also held positions with Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, a member agency of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, as director of resource conservation and public outreach, and Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts in various environmental engineering roles.
Cho holds a bachelor's degree in geology from Brown University and a master's degree in civil engineering from Stanford University. He serves on the board of directors of TreePeople.VPs Menu
Jan Van Lierop is vice president of gas acquisition for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
Mitch Mitchell is vice president of state government affairs for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Sempra Energy's California regulated utilities.
Based in Sacramento, Mitchell is responsible for state governmental affairs for both California utilities. Prior to his current position, Mitchell was regional vice president of external affairs, responsible for public affairs and external affairs activities for SoCalGas.
Prior to joining SoCalGas in 2005, Mitchell served as vice president of public policy and communications at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce where he worked with the Chamber's members and diverse volunteer base to develop a public policy agenda that is favorable to the business climate and standard of living in San Diego. He was also in charge of representing the Chamber and its members' public policy positions to local, state and federal officials.
Previously, Mitchell was director of governmental relations for American Medical Response, the nation's largest ambulance transportation firm. From 1996 to 1997, he served as assistant director of governmental relations for the San Diego Mayor's Office under Mayor Susan Golding, overseeing the city's legislative priorities and advising the mayor on policy issues.
Prior to working at the mayor's office, Mitchell was the director of governmental relations for the San Diego City Fire Fighters Local 145 IAFF, one of the city's largest labor unions.
Mitchell is an active member of the community. He has served for several years on the board of directors for the San Diego Food Bank and the Children's Museum, and he was previously on the boards of the San Diego Opera and Burn Institute. Mitchell is also a governor's appointee to the Little Hoover Commission. Mitchell earned his bachelor's degree in political science from University of Redlands.VPs Menu
Richard M. Morrow is vice president of engineering and operations support for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
Morrow is responsible for gas engineering, gas storage and pipeline capacity product management, field operations policies and staff support. Morrow served as vice president of customer service where he was responsible for customer service, account management and customer contact centers for SoCalGas. Morrow began his career with SoCalGas in 1974 as an engineer and has held various positions in engineering, gas supply, transmission and storage, distribution and customer operations and marketing.
Morrow is the past chair of CALSTART. He is on the executive board of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and a member of the board of directors of the Orange County Business Council.
Morrow holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from California State Polytechnic University and a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at Davis. He is a registered petroleum engineer.VPs Menu
Michael M. Schneider is vice president of customer operations for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego & Electric Company (SDG&E). In his current position, Schneider is responsible for managing Customer Operations, which includes the Billing Collections, Customer Contact Center and Meter Reading Organization and Remittance Processing and Credit.
Over the last 18 years, Schneider has held various positions within SoCalGas and SDG&E in finance, customer services, and regulatory affairs. Schneider was most recently the treasurer of both SoCalGas and SDG&E, responsible for treasury activity, financial and economic analysis included in regulatory filings, risk management and strategic planning. Schneider regularly testifies before the California Public Utilities Commission on a variety of financing, ratemaking, economic and energy policy matters.
Prior to his employment with SoCalGas and SDG&E, Schneider was employed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as an energy economist in the office of electric power regulation.
Schneider holds a master's degree in business administration from George Mason University with an emphasis in finance and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Arizona. Schneider is a member of the Director's Circle for the Lamden School of Accountancy at San Diego State University.VPs Menu
Rodger R. Schwecke is Vice President of Customer Solutions for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
As Vice President of Customer Solutions, Schwecke oversees major customer-related activities for SoCalGas, including account executives, customer communications and eservices. Schwecke is also responsible for customer programs promoting energy efficiency, sustainability, low-income assistance and the development of new emerging technologies, including clean transportation, distributed energy, in-home services and biofuels.
From 2010 through 2012, Schwecke was Director of Storage, managing underground storage field operations that supports the daily and seasonal operational flexibility for the gas transmission and distribution system for SoCalGas. Prior to this position, Schwecke was Director of Energy Markets and Capacity Products from 2007 to 2010. In this role he led the development, marketing, and capacity planning for products and services using existing pipeline and storage assets, developing regulatory cases involving those assets, and exploring expansion of the assets.
From 2007, Schwecke served in increasingly responsible management positions in business development, operations, marketing, engineering and project management for SoCalGas and Sempra Energy affiliates.
He serves on the Discovery Science Center Board and UCLA Extension Certificate Advisory Board. Schwecke graduated in 1983 from California State University, Long Beach, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.VPs Menu
Cheryl Shepherd is the vice president of accounting and finance, and assistant treasurer for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
In this role, she oversees accounting operations, financial planning and budgeting, performance management and reporting, financial systems and controls, and financial and regulatory analysis.
Previously, Shepherd was director of finance and director of customer operations for SoCalGas. Prior to that Shepherd was director of real estate and land services, and director of accounting operations and assistant controller for both SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).
Shepherd began her professional career with SoCalGas in 1981 and during her thirty-one years with the Company has held numerous management positions of increasing responsibility in accounting and finance, marketing, human resources, real estate and land services, and customer operations.
Shepherd holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).VPs Menu
Dan Skopec is vice president of regulatory and legislative affairs for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
Based in San Francisco, Skopec is the utility's primary representative before the California Public Utilities Commission. He also manages the utility's Sacramento office.
Prior to joining the utility in January 2008, Skopec served as Undersecretary for the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2006 to 2007.
Skopec has extensive experience dealing with environment and energy policy issues. As a former deputy cabinet secretary for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Skopec served as a liaison between the Governor's office and the California Environmental Protection Agency, Resources Agency, Department of Food and Agriculture, California Public Utilities Commission and the Governor's Washington D.C. office.
In 2001, Skopec directed the subcommittee on energy policy, natural resources and regulatory affairs in Washington D.C. As the lead consultant on energy issues, he held numerous energy-related hearings involving the California electricity crisis, natural gas, Federal Energy Regulation Commission and gasoline markets.
Prior to 2001, Skopec served as the legislative director for U.S. Rep. Doug Ose, for whom he oversaw legislative strategy and was responsible for pursuing the congressman's legislative goals. Skopec also worked as a legislative assistant for Congressman Jack Quinn, whom he advised on how to vote on various issues including foreign affairs and agriculture.
Skopec holds a master's degree in international economics from George Washington University, Washington D.C. and a bachelor's degree in political science and European history from the University of California, San Diego.VPs Menu
Hal D. Snyder is vice president of human resources, diversity and inclusion for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
In this role, Snyder is responsible for human resources, labor relations, diversity, organizational effectiveness and employee health and safety at SoCalGas. Previously, Snyder was vice president of customer solutions, responsible for customer programs promoting energy efficiency, sustainability, low-income assistance and the development of new emerging technologies, including clean transportation, distributed energy, in-home services and biofuels. Snyder also managed major customer-related activities for SoCalGas, including account executives and customer communications.
From 2004 through 2007, Snyder was vice president of gas storage, transmission and distribution, managing operations serving more than 6.2 million SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric customers.
From 1998 to 2004, Snyder served in increasingly responsible management positions for Sempra Pipelines & Storage, which develops and operates North American natural gas pipeline and storage facilities. Snyder also led Sempra Pipelines & Storage's development efforts in Canada.
Prior to 1998, Snyder held a variety of management positions in business development, operations, marketing, engineering and project management for SoCalGas.
Snyder serves as a board member of the California Science Center and the Coalition for Clean Air. He also is actively involved in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Snyder holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from California State University, Long Beach, and a master's degree in business administration from Pepperdine University, Los Angeles.VPs Menu
Denita Willoughby is regional vice president of external affairs at Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas).
Willoughby leads the company’s community relations, public affairs and media and employee communications efforts.
Previously, Willoughby was the chief executive officer of The Willoughby Group, a management consulting firm she founded that specializes in executive services, business development and government relations.
Before starting her own firm, Willoughby was with AT&T for more than 15 years. From 2006 to 2011, she served as vice president of external affairs and led the company’s local government and community affairs activities in the Greater Los Angeles area. At AT&T, Willoughby also served as vice president of TV Programming for the company’s U-Verse television venture and as regional sales vice president for SBC Communications.
Willoughby has a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
She serves on the boards of Green Dot Public Schools, Vision to Learn, UNITE LA and California Institute of the Arts.VPs Menu