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Ellen Nowak joins ATC as vice president, regulatory and government affairs

Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs Ellen Nowak

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – Ellen Nowak has joined ATC as vice president, regulatory and government affairs overseeing state and federal regulatory affairs.

Nowak brings more than 20 years of experience in energy and public policy. Prior to joining ATC, Nowak was most recently a commissioner at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

ATC names Teresa Mogensen as new CEO

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – The ATC board of directors have announced the selection of Teresa Mogensen as president and CEO effective Aug. 16, 2023. Current President, CEO and Chairman Mike Rowe has led ATC since 2015, and announced earlier this year his plans to retire. To ensure a smooth transition, Rowe will serve as executive chairman until his retirement in January 2024.

Mogensen has over 30 years of experience within the utility industry, most recently with Xcel Energy as senior vice president, energy supply. She also led Xcel Energy Transmission through a period of significant expansion, including the successful implementation of the CapX2020 utility transmission collaboration. Throughout her career, she has provided strategic leadership and technical expertise to teams across a wide variety of disciplines including electric system planning, construction and operations. This included seven years at ATC during the formation of the company as the first multistate transmission-only utility in the nation. Mogensen is well respected across the electric power industry and has served on various boards for industry and community organizations.

Mogensen earned both a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University. She is a registered professional engineer and was a certified North American Reliability Corporation system operator.

Stricker joins ATC as Vice President, Audit, Risk Management and Corporate Compliance

Vice President, Audit, Risk Management, and Corporate Compliance Jacob Stricker

Pewaukee, Wis. – Jacob Stricker has joined ATC as vice president, audit, risk management, and corporate compliance overseeing internal audit, corporate ethics, compliance, and risk management. Stricker is also responsible for supporting the board’s audit committee to oversee ATC’s financial reporting system in a process independent of management.

Stricker brings over 20 years of experience focused on compliance, internal audit, risk management and cybersecurity solutions. Prior to joining ATC, he was senior managing director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and brings experience serving over 25 energy, power and utility clients.

ATC joins nationwide effort to help monarch butterflies

Pewaukee, Wis. – ATC is joining a new nationwide effort to restore and increase the monarch butterfly population.

The monarch butterfly population has shrunk by 80% in the eastern United States since the 1990s due to the loss of habitat and food sources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the monarch butterfly as threatened or endangered by 2024.

One of Wisconsin’s first utilities to join the National Monarch Butterfly Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for Energy and Transportation Lands, ATC also was one of 45 energy companies and transportation companies who worked with the University of Illinois-Chicago and the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group to develop the voluntary conservation agreement.

Approved by the USFWS in April 2020, the CCAA is the largest agreement of its kind ever developed and represents an unprecedented cross-section collaboration between industries and the USFWS. Over the next two decades the agreement is expected to grow to include millions of acres of land managed nationally by energy companies and departments of transportation across the United States.

Enhancing grid reliability and pollinator habitat

The CCAA recognizes the important work that organizations like ATC are already doing for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, and it provides an incentive to institutionalize beneficial vegetation management practices.

“Much of the habitat conservation potential of the CCAA already exists in our vegetation management practices,” said Michelle Stokes, ATC’s director of field services. “These practices help ATC prevent tree and power line interactions, maintain compliance with regulations, and increase the reliability of the electric grid.”

ATC’s integrated vegetation management practices already help make its transmission lines rights-of-way suitable for pollinators. Roughly 40% of the over 10,000 miles of transmission line right-of-way ATC manages may currently serve as suitable pollinator habitat and our practices help make these areas suitable for pollinators who benefit from the contiguous flight path that the company’s rights-of-way provide. The company also developed a first-of-its-kind model to map and identify existing suitable pollinator habitat and gaps in pollinator pathways along its transmission lines.

ATC works to ensure that adequate clearances between transmission lines, trees and other vegetation are maintained at all times. To achieve safe clearances in the rights‑of‑way, incompatible vegetation is pruned or removed. Vegetation that is likely to re-sprout after cutting may be treated with herbicides to inhibit re-growth. Targeted herbicides use can help promote the growth of compatible vegetation that can thrive and support a suitable habitat for pollinators like the monarch butterfly and other wildlife.

Existing activities support butterfly habitat

Organizations enrolling in the CCAA also commit to implementing conservation measures that address the key threats under their control and to promote diverse breeding and foraging habitat for the monarch butterfly. These measures include activities ATC is already undertaking like seeding and planting with pollinator mixes, setting aside undisturbed areas for habitat, targeted herbicide application, and conservation mowing activities to minimize impacts to the monarch butterfly.

ATC has used pollinator-enhanced seed mix on over 800 acres of land as part of construction projects since it started tracking acres seeded since 2016. The company has also helped over 30 entities that allow public access to our rights-of-way develop roughly 275 acres of pollinator habitat through our Pollinator Habitat grant program since 2017.

For the past eight years, ATC has helped educate landowners about low-growing, pollinator-friendly perennials and grasses can grow and thrive within transmission line rights-of-way through its Grow Smart® program. The company’s four-acre native prairie surrounding its Pewaukee, Wis., headquarters has been certified as a native landscape by the Wildlife Habitat Council since 2018.

Anyone can grow food for monarch butterflies and caterpillars. Milkweed plants – like butterfly weed, common milkweed and swamp milkweed – are the only food source for monarch butterflies. However, adult monarch butterflies can get the nectar they need from many flowering plants. ATC’s Grow Smart Planting Guide provides recommendations on what to plant to support pollinators.

Henry Vilas Zoo and ATC partner to improve animal habitat

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – Animals at the Henry Vilas Zoo recently received a donation of roughly 10 logs and stumps for enrichment purposes, courtesy of American Transmission Co., Asplundh Tree Expert LLC, and some village of Oregon property owners.

“We are so grateful to ATC, and their contractor Asplundh, for bringing their specialized equipment and staff to the Zoo to place these huge logs and stumps in some of our animal exhibits,” said Beth Petersen, general curator of animals at the Henry Vilas Zoo. “As a free zoo, it is vital for us to have strong community partnerships like these that have an immediate benefit to animal welfare.”

The logs and tree stumps will allow seven animal species to engage in natural behaviors and encourage them to be more active. This type of enrichment helps to satisfy the animals’ physical and psychological needs.

  • Harmon the white rhinoceros loves logs! He will lift, push and play with two long tree trunks placed in his enclosure
  • Eddie the reticulated giraffe got a large stump to provide some variety in his habitat
  • Altain the Bactrian camel received a large stump to use as a scratching post
  • The Zoo’s herd of goats got a new large tree stump to climb on
  • Farah and Luana, critically endangered Somali wild asses, received two stumps to add some new features in their space
  • Flora, Fauna and Claude, the North American porcupines, will use the two large stumps to climb and rest on
  • Ash and Lexi, the grizzly bears, will get their three tree stumps in the spring after they wake up from torpor, which they may use to sharpen their claws or dig for insects

The maple, spruce and willow trees were removed from several properties in Oregon, Wis., and donated to the zoo with the property owners’ permission.

“Trees can compromise safety or cause interruptions in electric service if adequate clearances are not maintained,” said Michelle Stokes, director of field services at ATC. “By partnering with the Vilas Zoo, we are finding a use for the trees to enhance the animals’ quality of life, while also providing a better visitor experience.”

ATC’s vegetation management program helps maintain a safe and reliable electric grid for homes and businesses in Wisconsin. The trees were removed from the electric transmission right-of-way under the direction of ATC’s certified utility arborists. ATC’s easement rights generally give the public utility the right to remove vegetation in the transmission right-of-way.

Utilities that operate high-voltage transmission lines are required by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to establish and follow a vegetation management program that helps eliminate any safety and reliability issues of their high-voltage transmission lines.

Note to editors: Video footage of the tree delivery and placement into the animals’ habitats can be found on our YouTube page. If you are interested in photos or b-roll, please send a request to More information about ATC’s vegetation management practices can be found here.