Greg Abbott, David Essah and John Stevens are Deputy Directors for Public Utility Regulation at Virginia's State Corporation Commission.
PUF was delighted at the opportunity to travel to Richmond virtually to visit the home of the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The Commission is a unique regulatory body with authority over utilities, insurance, state-chartered financial institutions, securities, retail franchising, railroads, and well, a long laundry list. No wonder the Commission employs over six-hundred Staff.
PUF's Lori Burkhart: How did your backgrounds lead you all to the Commission?
Greg Abbott: I'm from Richmond and have both a bachelor's and a master's degree in economics from VCU. When I was working on my graduate degree, I took a job at a local consulting firm called Technical Associates.
The firm still comes in as expert witnesses before this Commission, so that's how I got introduced to utility regulation. Once I graduated, I took a job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I eventually came back to Richmond and had connections at Technical Associates.
One of them was a deputy director in our Division of Public Utility Communications, which has now been absorbed into our division. At the time there was a separate division and our Chief Hearing Examiner also worked at the same firm, so that's how I got back into this business. That was in 1998, and I have been with the Commission ever since.