Executive Leadership at Hearthstone
Chief Executive Officer
In those roles, he was the face and voice of the hardworking employees who dedicated each day to helping the families and businesses they serve. He successfully helped grow both companies in terms of employment, customer base and in total investor value. He has positioned both Peoples and Duquesne Light as the true community partners and champions they are today. They both continue to invest and partner with many organizations that drive economic development and improve the quality of life in the regions they serve.
O’Brien earned his college degrees from Robert Morris University. O’Brien is active in civic organizations, including serving as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater. He also serves on many boards, some which include Matthews International, Watt Fuel Cell Company, Dollar Energy, Co-chair of Pittsburgh Works Together and African American Chamber.
Chief Operating Officer
Jonell is a native of southern West Virginia and graduated from Oak Hill High School in Fayette County. She attended West Virginia University and graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering where she immediately started her career in the Oil and Gas field as a design engineer for Dominion Energy. Over the next 22 years, she held a variety of roles in engineering and operations for Dominion and served the last three years as the Director of Operations for Dominion Energy WV, now Hope Gas.
Outside of Hope, her world revolves around raising three boys: AJ, Ben, and Bowen. They reside on Turtle Ridge Farm in Doddridge County, WV, where she raises alpacas, chickens, and Anatolian Shepherds. Her love of the outdoors helps her strive to continue to grow and enhance the operations at Hope Utilities.
Chief Administrative Officer
Ruth has over 30 years’ experience in Information Technology with more than 25 years’ experience in the utility industry. Prior to joining Hope in 2023, Ruth led Information Technology and major conversions for electric, gas and water utilities. Ruth also managed Customer Service, Billing, Credit and Collection, Construction, Corporate Services, Human Resources and Legal. Ruth has led IT through back-to-back acquisitions and multiple system conversions and implementations. Ruth and her team look forward to another major conversion coming up in 2023, with more acquisitions and conversions forthcoming.
Ruth received Pittsburgh’s 2023 CIO Lifetime Achievement Award, Pittsburgh’s 2012 Enterprise Sector CIO of the Year Award and is the 2015 recipient of Pittsburgh’s Business Women’s First Award. She is an active member of the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, is on the Pittsburgh Technology Council and is Vice Chair on Leadership Pittsburgh’s Board.
Chief Financial Officer
While at JEA she led operational improvements that resulted in best-in-class reliability and safety performance. As CFO, she provided leadership to ensure the financial health of JEA, resulting in access to capital at low cost on behalf of JEA’s customers. Her efforts as CFO helped JEA deliver more than $1 billion dollars in cost savings to the community.
Prior to joining JEA, Ms. Dykes was CFO at a portfolio company of a large energy private equity firm and a principal in a renewable energy development company, where she was responsible for origination, commercial structuring, development and capital raising for renewable energy projects. She also was Vice President of Investment Banking at JPMorgan, where she was responsible for providing capital solutions for clients, including more than $26 billion in financings for many municipal electric and water systems across the country, risk management product delivery, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining JPMorgan, Ms. Dykes worked for The World Bank Group, where she researched and published on private participation in infrastructure industries in developing countries.
Ms. Dykes serves or has served on a number of Boards, including the United Way of Northeast Florida, the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies, and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Florida and holds a certificate in Advanced Management from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Jo Carol Farmer
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations
Jo Carol graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and began her professional employment with the Department of Defense. She joined Consolidated Natural Gas Transmission Corporation (now Eastern Gas Transmission and Storage) in the Computer Services group before moving to their Rate and Regulatory group. When her son was born, Jo Carol exited the workforce and took on the role of stay-at-home mom for several years. She returned to rate regulation work as a Regulatory Analyst in the Regulatory and Pricing group at Hope Gas, Inc., dba Dominion Energy West Virginia, and was appointed as Director of that group in January 2020.
Jo Carol is a 2019 graduate of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, a 2015 graduate of the Developing Dominion Leaders Program, and a 2014 graduate of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership West Virginia program.
A West Virginia native, Jo Carol resides in Bridgeport with her husband and their beagle.
Senior Vice President of Gas Supply and Development
Prior to joining Hope Utilities, Jeff has more than 30 years of combined work experience with the Peoples Natural Gas and Equitable where his most recent role was VP of Business Development at Peoples Natural Gas Company. In that role he was responsible for implementing corporate market strategy to help drive revenue growth. He developed the Peoples Expansion Program, which focused on offering service to more than 300,000 customers and worked with commercial customers to install on-site generation to more cost-effectively and reliably meet their electric needs. Jeff also led the Peoples Joint Development Program with WATT Fuel Cells creating efficient, environmentally responsible power systems for residential homes. Jeff led efforts on Carbon Offsets, Renewable Natural Gas and Hydrogen initiatives at Peoples as well. Prior to that he was VP of Commercial Operations, and previously worked at EQT Midstream and Equitable Gas.
Jeff is a native of Pennsylvania and lives in the Pittsburgh area. Jeff is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering. He is a member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Renewable Natural Gas Coalition and American Gas Association.
Jeff has volunteered his time to Miracle League Baseball, an organized baseball league for special needs children and adults, as a coach. Jeff is also a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XXXIV.
Lynne is a Virginia native now living in Florida. She and her husband Bryan enjoy travelling and spending time with their two boys. Lynne is an avid soccer player and is passionate about animal rescue, often fostering dogs and cats for local rescue organizations.
Vice President of Human Resources
Prior to joining Hearthstone, Mike was the Senior Vice President (SVP) for Carriage Services, a Houston based funeral and services provider and prior to Carriage, he was the SVP for Veolia North America, a water, waste and energy management solutions firm.
Mike is a Wisconsin native and was transferred to the Houston area in 2014 where he currently lives. He and his wife Brenda enjoy spending time with their two children, William (13) and Samuel (12), at swim meets and soccer games. He also enjoys golfing and volunteering at his church and local food bank.
Daniel Webb, CPA
Vice President of Finance and Controller
Dan currently lives in the Chicagoland area with his wife and family. Dan and his wife enjoy exploring the outdoors together and supporting their son and daughter in their musical and academic pursuits.