Energizing Your Future

What's Current | ATC - Part 4

Inaugural Spikes for STEM season is a hit for education

ATC is honored to complete the first season of our Spikes for STEM partnership with the University of Wisconsin Badgers, Panthers and Phoenix volleyball. Congratulations to the teams on a great season! We could not be prouder of these amazing female student athletes! We look forward to growing our partnership with these excellent programs in the coming seasons. 

ATC makes significant contributions to several STEM programs throughout Wisconsin to support K-12 education, scholarships and internships. We also hire many STEM graduates for full-time careers at ATC. If you’re interested in a challenging and exciting career in a STEM related field, check out all that ATC has to offer on our careers page. 

ATC, Milwaukee Bucks ready for seventh season of Trees for Threes

American Transmission Co., with the Milwaukee Bucks, have announced our seventh consecutive season of partnership for the Trees for Threes program, which is deeply rooted in care for the environment and cause for the community.

Here’s how it works: for every 3-point shot that the Bucks score at home during the 2022-2023 season, an eligible Wisconsin school can earn a tree. With nine of 42 home games under their belt this season, the Bucks have already made 113 3-pointers toward the total.

“Our partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Trees for Threes program is a win for local schools and the environment,” said Gregory Levesque, ATC’s director of corporate communications, policy and strategy. “Trees for Threes is all about connecting students with educational opportunities that help improve the environment. We’re proud to continue our relationship with the Bucks for the seventh consecutive season to plant more trees at Wisconsin schools.”

Last year, ATC donated a record 579 trees to 180 schools across Wisconsin thanks to the Bucks setting a new franchise record for three-pointers made in a season at home. The 579 threes made at Fiserv Forum during the 2021-2022 season were also the most by any team in the Eastern Conference and were the fifth-most by any team in the NBA during the 2021-22 season.

The 579 trees were donated to 180 schools in 42 counties across Wisconsin. All 180 schools received a video message from Bango, the Bucks’ mascot, and an infographic and activity sheets to share with their students. In six seasons of the Trees for Three initiative, the Bucks and ATC have teamed up to donate more than 2,900 trees to help make Wisconsin greener.

School administrators can register for the Trees for Threes program on our website until April 10, 2023.

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.

ATC announces promotions to support evolving grid needs

PEWAUKEE, Wis. — American Transmission Co. announces the promotion of four executives that reflect the company’s commitment to the strategic vision of providing safe, reliable transmission service in an increasingly complex electric grid. Jared Winters has been named vice president, construction and asset maintenance. Debbie Masbruch has been named vice president, project controls, supply chain and analytics. Sarah Justus has been named director, major project development. Michelle Stokes has been named director, field services.

Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Mike Rowe said, “Promoting these individuals sets ATC up for success as we meet the business challenges of the evolving energy landscape and our strategic priorities.”

Jared Winters, vice president, construction and asset maintenance

Jared Winters, vice president, construction and asset maintenance

As vice president, construction and asset maintenance, Winters will have accountability of all ATC construction and maintenance activities. Winters has over 20 years of experience at ATC, across several groups including asset maintenance, commissioning, construction and engineering. His breadth of experience, expertise and strategic leadership position him well for this expanded role.

Debbie Masbruch, vice president, project controls, supply chain and analytics

Debbie Masbruch, vice president, project controls, supply chain and analytics

In her over 20 years of experience with ATC, Masbruch has continually demonstrated strategic foresight and the ability to navigate the increased uncertainty and volatility of material sourcing. As vice president, project controls, supply chain and analytics, Masbruch will continue to grow these departments to meet the needs of a complex future.

With prior roles across construction, local relations, real estate and external affairs, Justus is well positioned for her new role as director, major project development. In this newly created position, Justus will provide the strategic direction and coordination of company activities between project initiation and construction.

Stokes joins the executive leadership team after 18 years with ATC in roles of increasing responsibility across environmental, vegetation management and transmission-line maintenance.  Stokes will be leading a new function that aligns departments responsible for construction management, vegetation management, commissioning and maintenance.

Additionally, Scott Herbst’s role as vice president, enterprise technology, information and security has been redefined to include oversight of technology and cybersecurity strategy. He will continue to lead with a renewed focus on aligned technology prioritization to address the convergence of operational and informational technology.

Sarah Justus, director, major project development

Michelle Stokes, director, field services

Michelle Stokes, director, field services

Scott Herbst, vice president, enterprise technology, information and security

Scott Herbst, vice president, enterprise technology, information and security

American Transmission Co. publishes annual 10-Year Transmission System Assessment

Evolving energy landscape driving the need for renewable interconnections, asset maintenance upgrades

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has published its new 10-year assessment, identifying electric grid improvements for the upcoming decade throughout the company’s service area. Specifically, the plan calls for expenditures of $2.8 billion in asset maintenance, $1.1 billion in regional Multi-Benefits Projects (including the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s recently approved Long-Range Transmission Planning projects), $0.5 billion in network projects and between $0.7 billion and $1.9 billion in other capital expenditures.

The evolving energy landscape and renewable generation coming online are driving the majority of projects identified within this assessment.

“We continue to work with MISO on the significant uptick in the generation-to-transmission requests now in the queue,” said Tom Dagenais, director, system planning. “Presently, there are 109 proposed projects in the generation queue within our service area, totaling over 14.1 gigawatts. The massive influx of these proposed connections to our system requires in-depth analysis by our planners to ensure we have adequate projects and time to interconnect these renewable generation resources. MISO’s Long-Range Transmission Planning will be key to how we plan for and integrate the proposed projects in the queue.”

ATC also manages the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system by maintaining existing assets and aging infrastructure throughout the service area.

“Evaluating renewal projects is an ongoing and methodical process,” said Jim Vespalec, director of asset planning and engineering. “Over time, exposure to weather and avian species can adversely impact and deteriorate wooden poles. We also review and test substation equipment at regular intervals, assessing the scope and timing of the maintenance. In addition, new fiber optic wire upgrades and installations help our operators more reliably monitor the status of our grid and make it more secure.”

The full plan is available for viewing at ATC10YearPlan.