Essential Utilities appoints analytical, business-minded individual as vice president of financial planning

Image via Essential Utilities.

Jim Barbato.

Essential Utilities has appointed Jim Barbato to the new position of vice president of financial planning and analysis following his previous role as vice president of corporate engineering.

In his new role, Barbato will report to the Chief Financial Officer and assume responsibility for all financial planning and analysis functions, including overall management and execution of the budgeting and multi-year financial planning process, forecasting and data-driven decision-making for help the company achieve its strategic objectives. He will retain responsibility for the company’s overall capital budgeting.

Essential’s Chief Financial Officer, Dan Schuller, said, “Investing in infrastructure is key to our ability to achieve our mission at Essential. Having an analytical and business-minded engineering professional with extensive experience in capital planning is a real asset to this position and makes Jim a perfect fit for this role at Essential.

Barbato joined the company in 2007 and held several engineering positions at Aqua’s New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina subsidiaries during the early years of his career. Barbato managed numerous engineering activities in Aqua’s subsidiaries and carried out major capital projects to meet the company’s infrastructure needs.

He then served as director of corporate engineering and vice president of corporate engineering before being named director of engineering for Essential’s water and gas segments. For these roles, Barbato managed shared services across the Aqua footprint, including our registration database, GIS, hydraulic and water quality modeling group, energy management and automation standards. He has extensive experience in developing capital budgets, implementing capital plans and providing expert testimony in rate cases.

Prior to joining Aqua, Barbato was a project manager for Valero Refining Company, completing a wide range of water, wastewater and petrochemical projects ranging from $5 million to $400 million in capital expenditures.

Barbato earned his BS in 1999 from Drexel University and an MBA in 2002 from the University of Delaware and remains active with the American Water Works Association (AWWA), National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and of the American Gas Association (AGA).