Mr. Maxwell serves as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, and was appointed to this position in connection with the IPO. Mr. Maxwell also serves as Chief Executive Officer of NuDevco Partners, LLC and National Gas & Electric, LLC, each of which is affiliated with us. Prior to founding the predecessor of Spark Energy in 1999, Mr. Maxwell was a founding partner in Wickford Energy, an oil and natural gas services company, in 1994. Wickford Energy was sold to Black Hills Utilities in 1997. Prior to Wickford Energy, Mr. Maxwell was a partner in Polaris Pipeline, a natural gas producer services and midstream company sold to TECO Pipeline in 1994. In 2010, Mr. Maxwell was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Energy, Chemicals and Mining category. A native of Houston, Texas, Mr. Maxwell earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987. Mr. Maxwell has several philanthropic interests, including the Special Olympics, Child Advocates, Salvation Army, Star of Hope and Helping a Hero. We believe that Mr. Maxwell’s extensive energy industry background, leadership experience developed while serving in several executive positions and strategic planning and oversight brings important experience and skill to our board of directors.
Nathan Kroeker, appointed President of Spark Energy in April 2012, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and help shape the overall strategy of the company. Nathan is a 15-year industry veteran with diverse experience in public accounting, M&A, and both retail and wholesale energy.
Nathan first joined the company in July 2010 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Spark Energy Ventures. Prior to Spark, Nathan held senior finance and leadership roles with Macquarie and Direct Energy. He began his career in public accounting, including both audit and M&A advisory functions.
Nathan holds a Bachelor of Commerce (honors) degree from the University of Manitoba, and has both a CPA (Texas) as well as a CA(Canada). He is a board member for Young Life, a non-denominational community youth outreach program, and was formerly a board member for the Texas Diversity Council, where he received the Diversity First Award.
Mr. Jones has served on Spark Energy’s Board of Directors since our initial public offering in July 2014. Mr. Jones is a partner at Padgett Stratemann & Co, a regional CPA with over 230 professionals. Mr. Jones is the leader of the Houston office which opened in May 2014. Prior to Padgett Stratemann & Co, Mr. Jones worked at Ernst & Young LLP from 1998 to March 2014, where he was a tax partner. Mr. Jones holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Mr. Jones was selected as a director because of his extensive tax and financial background as well as his management expertise.
Mr. Hartwick has served on Spark Energy’s Board of Directors since our initial public offering in July 2014. Mr. Hartwick served in various roles for Just Energy Group Inc., a retail natural gas and electricity provider, most recently serving as President and Chief Executive Officer from 2004 through 2014. Mr. Hartwick also served for Just Energy Group Inc. as President from 2006 to 2008, as Chief Financial Officer from 2004 to 2006 and as a director from 2008 to 2014. Mr. Hartwick also served as the Chief Financial Officer of Hydro One, Inc., an energy distribution company, from 2001 to 2004. Mr. Hartwick currently serves as a director of Atlantic Power Corporation, a power generation plant operator, a position he has held since 2004. Mr. Hartwick also serves as a director of MYR Group Inc., an electrical contractor specializing in transmission, distribution, and substation projects, a position he has held since 2015. Mr. Hartwick holds an Honours of Business Administration degree from Trent University. Mr. Hartwick was selected as a director because of his extensive knowledge of the retail natural gas and electricity business and his leadership and management expertise.