UTD Announces Transition in Leadership and a New Utility Participant, Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Des Plaines, IL

The Utilization Technology Development, NFP (UTD) Board of Directors announced the election of Jeremy Otahal of GTI Energy as UTD President effective April 1, 2024. UTD, a not-for-profit organization established in 2004, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

“It’s been my privilege to serve as President and to collaborate with the Board of Directors and thought leaders that make up UTD and contribute to society by developing energy solutions that save people money and improve their quality of life,” said Ron Snedic, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, GTI Energy. “As UTD retains a critical role in contributing to the transition to resilient, low carbon and affordable energy systems, I am optimistic about the leadership and decades of experience that Jeremy brings to UTD to enable its continued success and market impact.”

For two decades, UTD has invested millions of dollars in research and development that led to new technology solutions and advanced technologies and products to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, enhance end-use resiliency, achieve superior environmental performance, integrate renewable energy, and increase customer choice.

“Ron’s long-term vision and guidance, and 20 years of dedicated leadership, was pivotal to creating an entity capable of delivering energy, economic, and environmental innovations to millions of people across North America,” said Jeremy Otahal, Vice President of People and Customer Engagement, GTI Energy. “I look forward to continuing this leadership alongside UTD’s energy experts as we focus on creative solutions that can help propel us toward economy-wide decarbonization.”

The UTD Board of Directors also announced that its Chair has transitioned from Joann Wehle, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications at TECO Peoples Gas, to Lori Blattner, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Intermountain Gas Company. Ms. Blattner was elected to serve a one-year term as Board Chair.

“We are grateful to Joann for bringing expert insights and a long legacy in energy systems technology as the UTD Board’s Chair,” said Snedic. “We are thrilled to welcome Lori to this leadership position which will surely drive success and meaningful impact."

“It was an honor to work alongside Ron Snedic as UTD Board Chair this year,” said Joann Wehle, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications, TECO Peoples Gas. “We wish him much success as he continues his legacy with other GTI Energy initiatives.”

With the recent addition of SEMCO Energy Gas Company to the collaborative, UTD consists of 20 utilities serving more than 33 million natural gas customers in North America.

"We are proud to join UTD as this decades-old collaboration supports SEMCO’s goals to drive innovative technologies that help our customers save energy and money," said Jennifer Dennis, Sr. Director, Rates & Regulatory Affairs, SEMCO Energy Gas Company.

UTD will continue to work closely leading researchers, governmental agencies, and others to take innovative and disruptive technologies and product prototypes in energy systems from the laboratory to the market, while prioritizing safety, reliability, and affordability for the people and communities it serves.

About Utilization Technology Development (UTD)
UTD is a not-for-profit, utility-controlled program with a mission to identify, select, fund, and oversee research projects resulting in innovative solutions that expand the use, cost effectiveness, and efficiency of gas utilization equipment. UTD helps utilities and their customers adopt new technologies that reduce costs, save energy, enable efficient fuel choices, further integrate natural gas with renewable energy resources, and achieve superior environmental performance. UTD is one of ten industry collaboratives led by GTI Energy.