CEO and President
Connolly oversees the strategic direction of Aclara, a 900 employee company in St. Louis, Cleveland and Boston. He joined the company as the president and CEO in May 2014 when Sun Capital purchased Aclara from ESCO Technologies. He was instrumental in establishing Aclara as a stand-alone, privately-held company with strong financials and executing a strategic plan positioning Aclara for growth.
Before joining Aclara, Connolly served as chief operating officer of Culligan International, a world leader in the water treatment industry, where he was responsible for day-to-day operations of the $500 million business, as well as the fast-growing Industrial Water Treatment business. As the COO, he oversaw Culligan’s engineering, research and development, manufacturing, quality and supply chain functions. Earlier, he gained broad global leadership experience with GE and BHP Billiton.
Connolly earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Wollongong, in Australia, and holds a doctorate in control systems engineering from the Australian National University.
Senior Vice President, Global Sales
Bodenhamer leads all Aclara sales teams and provides strategic management for both sales and company initiatives. He leads efforts to establish outstanding client relationships and is responsible for all aspects of domestic and international sales for all of Aclara’s products, services and solutions. Additionally, Bodenhamer provides key inputs into market strategy and product-line management programs.
Before joining Aclara, Bodenhamer worked for Eaton Corporation as the sales vice president for U.S industrial & global strategic accounts, and prior to that he worked with Schneider Electric USA Inc. as the vice president for the industry end-user business. He has more than 27 years of success leading sales and marketing teams.
Bodenhamer has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Control Systems from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President of Finance, Information Technology and Legal
Bruenning leads the finance, information technology and legal functions of Aclara. He has an extensive leadership background in water and energy, with more than 18 years of experience in corporate finance, accounting, capital markets, treasury, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, public reporting, financial planning and analysis, operations finance and private equity transactions.
Before joining Aclara, Bruenning was vice president of finance and treasury at Foresight Energy LP, a leading coal producer with $1 billion in annual revenue, where he was responsible for all aspects of corporate finance. He also led a $350 million initial public offering including selecting and negotiating with underwriting banks, overseeing the review process with the SEC and developing company messaging.
Bruenning holds a Master of Business Administration degree from St. Louis University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Missouri St. Louis.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness
Garcia leads all Human Resources, Facilities, Environmental Health and Safety, and Administration functions for Aclara.
Before joining Aclara, Garcia was Vice President, Human Resources for SSM Health Care, where he led the human resources and clinical education team for four hospitals, the Physician’s Organization and Behavioral Health. Prior to SSM, Garcia was the Senior Vice President – Chief Human Resources Officer for RehabCare, a publicly traded company. Prior to this role, Michael held the position of Chief People & Learning Officer for Nexstar Financial Corporation, a KKR funded hi-tech start-up. Michael has also held senior HR roles at Ernst & Young and Boeing.
Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, and Customer Service and Support
Hakala oversees all manufacturing, product and technology development, product assurance, quality and customer support for Aclara’s endpoint communications modules and data concentrator equipment. He has more than 35 years of experience in diverse electronics industries in manufacturing operations, quality, product and process development materials, process development and R&D. Hakala is experienced in use of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma approaches for operational excellence, and the successful operation of international multi-plant organizations.
Before joining Aclara he was director of operations for ITW Rippey, supplying critical cleaning materials to the semiconductor wafer fabrication and hard disk drive media industries.
Hakala holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.
VP North America Meters
Lafond manages Aclara’s electric metering business for North America with responsibility for delivering smart metering solutions for electric utilities modernizing their grid infrastructure. He joined Aclara as part of the company’s acquisition of GE Meters in December 2015.
Prior to his work with Aclara, Lafond worked with GE Energy for 25 years with roles in sales, marketing and product management. He joined the GE’s Meter business in 2003 as the IUSA-GE JV business leader and held various product management roles across the IEC and ANSI metering product portfolio. Prior to joining the Meter business, Lafond held various management roles within GE Energy’s medium voltage switchgear, power transformer and power capacitor businesses.
Guy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from McGill University.
Chief Technology Officer
Merkin directs software development and implementation across Aclara’s organization, in both the U.S. and internationally. Merkin oversees Aclara’s Strategic Software Platform initiative and Utility Technology Roadmap, with a focus on environmental mitigation and end-user support. Merkin has more than 19 years of experience managing strategic software and software architecture initiatives.
Before joining Aclara, Merkin worked with ABB as the chief technology officer for the company’s Enterprise Software group, and as a chief software architect for ABB’s Grid Automation business. Prior to that time, he worked with Dell as a chief software architect in the Enterprise Solutions Group.
Merkin holds a Master of Science degree in computer science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in mathematics from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
Senior Vice President, Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Premathilake is responsible for driving growth in smart infrastructure solutions and advancing marketing capabilities across Aclara. She leads the product management, marketing communications and proposal functions.
Premathilake has more than 15 years of multi-industry experience that spans product management, marketing and engineering. Prior to joining Aclara, she worked at Johnson Controls where she was responsible for the Power Solutions product portfolio, a $7 billion business. She started her career at Culligan International’s commercial and industrial division, which serves the water treatment needs of the energy and power, oil and gas and food and beverage industries.
Premathilake holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical Engineering from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University, Chicago.
Senior Vice President, Major Projects
Riccardi is a senior executive in the AMI industry with more than 15 years’ experience managing the development, sales and marketing of advanced metering systems. He was president of Hexagram, one of the early leaders in fixed network AMI systems and now part of the Aclara portfolio. Riccardi has held several other executive positions with Aclara, including strategic account management, marketing and technology.
Riccardi holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Business degree from Cleveland State University.
Subirana directs Aclara’s international business with responsibility for managing the company’s international product management teams. Subirana’s previous position with Aclara was as vice president, product management for the company’s poly phase ANSI meters group, formally GE Meters.
He was also a product line leader for ANSI commercial and industrial meters with GE meters before it was acquired by Aclara in 2015. Prior to his time with GE Meters, Subirana worked with Cooper Power Systems (Now Eaton Corp.) and GE Healthcare in engineering project, and product management positions.
Subirana earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Marquette University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Florida International University.
VP, Major Projects Executive and PMO
Tamm is responsible for the execution and oversight of all major customer projects and the management of the Project Management Office overseeing and driving efficiency within Aclara’s product development initiatives. Prior to this position, Tamm was VP of Integration and responsible for the company-wide integration of newly acquired utility hardware, software, services and sensor technology companies joining Aclara as part of the company’s overall smart infrastructure solutions (SIS) initiative. In this role, Tamm led the integration of HR, IT, manufacturing, engineering, financial, marketing, facilities and product management functions within the Aclara organization. Also at Aclara, Tamm was a senior director for Aclara’s Professional Services group, leading the customer facing implementations of Aclara products.
Tamm has over 15 years of experience in the Utility industry. Before joining Aclara, Tamm worked for multiple consulting firms, focusing on the Utility industry, including MSS Technologies, Wipro Technologies and American Management Systems.
Tamm earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Richmond
Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology and Professional Services
Wilson is Aclara’s senior technology executive and industry strategist. He is responsible for aligning engineering development with industry best practices, emerging technologies and consumer trends to generate long- and short-term plans for Aclara. He has an extensive background in product development and technology with a track record of success in creating efficiencies, optimizing profitability and producing quality consumer and technology products.
Most recently, Wilson was vice president of engineering and advanced development at Harris Corporation, where he worked to ally product strategy with overarching business objectives. He was also a director of product development at Sony Ericsson and senior director for software and systems at Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
Wilson holds a Master of Business Administration from Dominican University in River Forest, Ill., and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University, Milwaukee.