With a combined experience of 250+ years, EEI’s leadership team brings solid experience and a firm commitment to our clients.
Michael T. Watanabe, P.E.
President & CEO (Board Director)
Mr. Michael Watanabe is the co-founder of Energy Experts International with 41 years of experience in the energy business. He has 25 years of gas and electric utility management and technical expertise with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and a diverse background that includes assignments in Engineering, Operations, Marketing and Research & Development. In addition to his experience in the regulated utility sector, he has worked with PG&E affiliates, serving in an advisory capacity to provide technical input and general market feasibility for projects in Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia and Japan. In his most recent appointment at PG&E, Mr. Watanabe served as Director of Technology Development and successfully expanded the scope of international technology exchanges with European and Asian utility companies.
Mr. Watanabe is a graduate of the University of Texas and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California. He earned his MBA in Management from the University of San Francisco and attended the Engineering Executive Program at Stanford University.
Donald R. Murray
Executive Vice President & COO (Board Director)
Mr. Donald Murray is the Executive Vice President & COO as well as a Board Director with 45 years of experience in the energy industry. He has 29 years of management experience with Pacific Gas & Electric Company and a diverse background in the gas and electric utility industry. He worked as an electrical engineer early in his career and progressed to positions with increasing responsibility. In his most recent assignment, Mr. Murray was appointed as the Director of Capital Investment for the San Francisco Division. During his career, he amassed extensive experience in managing high profile assignments. One of the more difficult assignments he tackled was the planning, design and completion of a $50 million gas pipeline replacement and electric underground project in San Francisco. As a result of Mr. Murray’s outstanding work management as the Division Gas & Electric Operation’s manager, his Division received the Chairman’s Award, the company’s highest accolade, in 1995.
Mr. Murray earned his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and earned his certification in Executive Management from the Haas School of Business.
Howard G. Murphy, Jr., P.E.
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Chief Regional Operations Officer
Mr. Howard Murphy, Jr. is the Senior Vice President & General Manager, and serves as the Chief Regional Operations Officer for the firm. Operating from the company’s Washington DC Office, Mr. Murphy oversees both the Eastern and Midwest Region Operations. He has 36 years of experience in the energy industry, principally in the natural gas segment while employed with the Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation. Mr. Murphy has extensive experience in gas pipeline operations and construction, natural gas processing and power generation. He also served as the Manager of Market Development where his key responsibilities included the comparative due-diligence reviews of multi-million dollar pipeline projects and development of major gas pipeline transmission and distribution systems. He has held key executive management positions with Colombia Gas Transmission and Progress Energy Corporations. In addition to his extensive corporate experience, Mr. Murphy has worked in the private consulting industry spearheading several major initiatives, such as the commercial development, engineering, and Certification of the Eastern North Carolina Natural Gas transmission and distribution project.
Mr. Murphy is a licensed Professional Engineer with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University and is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University Executive Management Program.
Robert C. Becken, III, P.E.
Vice President, Gas Engineering
As the Vice President of Gas Engineering, Mr. Robert Becken is the company’s lead technical representative and expert for gas engineering and technical support. He has 50 years of experience in the natural gas industry and served in various managerial and technical positions with increasing responsibilities. Mr. Becken has extensive knowledge and expertise in all facets of gas design engineering, maintenance and construction issues. His technical expertise includes the design of pipelines, control systems, regulation, compressor stations, as well as natural gas fueling stations. His most recent assignment at PG&E was to serve as the Company’s Chief Technical consultant for the California Gas Transmission Unit. Mr. Becken is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California, both as a Mechanical and as a Control System Engineer. He serves on various ASME and AGA gas piping technical committees.
Mr. Becken graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in both Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering.
Willard S. Carey
Vice President & General Manager, Technical Services & Eastern Region
Mr. Willard Carey is the Vice President & General Manager of Technical Services and the Eastern Region. Mr. Carey provides leadership and expertise in the areas of regulatory affairs and compliance in support of technical issues. He is primarily responsible for the company’s east coast operations. A 52 year veteran of the Natural Gas Industry, Mr. Carey was employed with the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) in New Jersey and held positions with increasing responsibilities, retiring as Regulatory Leader – Federal. He has extensive experience in transmission and distribution design, operation, maintenance and regulatory compliance with applicable state/federal codes and standards. Mr. Carey served on external boards and agencies, including chairing several AGA and state committees. He has testified before the House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Energy and Power representing all of the AGA member companies.
Mr. Carey earned his BS in Industrial Distribution from Clarkson University and attended Rutgers University’s Advanced Management Program.
Svetlana (Lana) Arrabit Carlson, P.E.
Vice President & General Manager, Operations, Western Region
Ms. Lana Carlson is the Vice President of Operations, and oversees the client relations and business strategy for the Western Region . Ms. Carlson has over 20 years of experience in the energy sector, of which 14 years were spent with PG&E, primarily in gas engineering and construction management, while taking on positions with increasing responsibilities. She has held positions as the Director of Construction Support and as the Director of Customer Connections with PG&E. In addition, she has worked as a consultant in the private sector, as well as with municipalities on energy issues.
Ms. Carlson is a graduate of the California Polytechnic State University, with a BS degree in Civil Engineering. She is also a licensed professional civil engineer in the state of California and is a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental) Accredited Professional.
Steven W. Gauthier, P.E.
Vice President & General Manager, Midwest Region
Mr. Steve Gauthier is the Vice President & General Manager of the Midwest Region. He oversees the business interests in the Midwest, which encompasses clients in the southeastern and southwestern states. Mr. Gauthier has served the Natural Gas Industry for over 29 years. He has held key positions in several organizations, serving as the Vice President of Operations at the Gas Technology Institute, Principle Technology Manager at the Gas Research Institute, and in his most recent capacity serving as a Business Development Manager at Dexter Magnetic Technologies. He has extensive experience in marketing and business development, as well as a solid foundation in engineering and technical services.
Mr. Gauthier is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Illinois and a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He earned his MBA from the University of Illinois.
Cliff I. Simon
Vice President, Europe Operations
Mr. Cliff Simon represents Energy Experts International’s business and strategic interests in Europe. He manages the Company’s business operations from the Company’s European Office located in Brussels, Belgium.
Mr. Simon is a veteran in the energy business with over 28 years of international experience. His career as managing director of a natural gas pipe manufacturing plant in Mexico since the early 1980’s gave him a unique perspective on Mexico’s natural gas industry. Mexico’s dynamic privatization process included worldwide players in gas distribution, bringing Mr. Simon in contact with diverse distribution technologies, regulations and corporate cultures. Mr. Simon expanded his international expertise working in Italy from 2000 to 2003 where he developed technical and commercial relationships with European gas consortiums. With the launch of the Brussels office in 2007, Mr. Simon has become a specialist on EU energy policy and he coordinates the Company’s projects in Europe and the Middle East.
Mr. Simon earned a BA in Economics and Management from Beloit College, Wisconsin.