Joined the company in 1996. Johnson earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota Duluth. She held various positions in Human Resources, including manager and director, before being promoted to Vice President - Human Resources in 2016. Promoted to Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer in 2019, where she had oversight of Human Resources, Cyber Technology Services, Environmental and Land Management. Johnson continues to serve as a Vice President of ALLETE, and was promoted President of ALLETE Clean Energy in 2022. During her more than 25 years with the company, she has developed strong human resources and merger and acquisition experience.
Chief Financial and Strategy Officer
Jeff Scissons is the Chief Financial and Strategy Officer for ALLETE Clean Energy. He previously was the Assistant Treasurer for ALLETE, where he was responsible for financial planning and analysis along with treasury functions. He works extensively with the ALLETE Clean Energy team on strategy development and execution. He has worked at ALLETE since 2013 in Finance and Business Development. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance.
General Counsel and Secretary
Jim Klempir is the General Counsel and Secretary for ALLETE Clean Energy. He is responsible for supporting all of the legal needs of the ALLETE Clean Energy business as well as its corporate governance. Before joining ALLETE, Jim spent several years supporting all aspects of the development, acquisition, sale, construction, financing and operation of renewable projects, as well as managing a team of attorneys and paralegals, at a U.S. subsidiary of a large European energy company. Prior to that, he worked as an in-house attorney for the U.S. subsidiary of a German wind turbine manufacturer.
Jim began his legal practice at an international law firm headquartered in Chicago, where he focused primarily on finance and project finance in the renewable energy sector. Prior to attending law school, Jim was a submarine officer in the United States Navy. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics, a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering and a Juris Doctor (magna cum laude), all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a member of the state bar of Illinois (Minnesota bar admission pending), the Illinois State Bar Association and IEEE.
Internal Legal Counsel
Laurie Thomas is internal legal counsel for ALLETE Clean Energy. She is responsible for broadly supporting the legal needs of ALLETE Clean Energy with a focus on its projects under construction and its operating projects. Before joining ALLETE, Laurie managed the implementation of smart grid projects and provided legal support for transmission and energy trading projects for a major energy technology firm headquartered in Minnesota. Prior to attending law school, Laurie was a reinsurance broker for property and casualty lines of business. She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Psychology from St. Olaf College and a Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law. She is a member of the state bar of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Bar Association.
General Manager of Operations
William Sawyer is the General Manager of Operations at ALLETE Clean Energy. He has leadership responsibilities for operation and safety of the company’s wind sites across the country as well as for the operations and maintenance support team in Duluth. Prior to this role, he was the Manager for Clean Energy Solutions at ALLETE Clean Energy and was responsible for the development of strategy, technology, and business initiatives to further the advancement and implementation of carbon solutions for the energy industry.
Before moving to ALLETE Clean Energy, William worked for Minnesota Power in a variety of positions, including as Manager - Renewable Business Operations, Manager - Project Development and Reporting, and as a Project Development Leader. William has also worked at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Economic and Technology Development offices and for the City of Duluth. He holds an Industrial Engineering degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Minnesota.
Human Resources Manager
Kathryn Koch is the Manager of Human Resources at ALLETE Clean Energy, where she collaborates with the leadership team to develop, manage, and ensure all aspects of Human Resources align with and contribute to ALLETE Clean Energy’s strategic business goals. In her role, she is responsible for all aspects of employee relations, performance management, culture development, recruiting, HR administration, benefits, and employee retention. Kathryn joined ALLETE in 1997 and has worked in all areas of Human Resources.
Kathryn was named a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (through SHRM), Certified Compensation Professional, and a Certified Benefits Professional (through World at Work). She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Customer Solutions and Asset Optimization Director
Kris Spenningsby is the Customer Solutions and Asset Optimization Director at ALLETE Clean Energy, where he is responsible for managing customer relationships and contracts for current and future customers. He is responsible for developing and negotiating contracts, developing and implementing new value-added products, and collecting and evaluating market trends. He also leads the long-range planning efforts of the company’s existing fleet of assets.
Prior to joining ALLETE Clean Energy, Kris worked in various roles at Minnesota Power in Marketing, Project Development, Generation Operations, and Engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University, a Master of Gas Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Master of Business Administration from the College of St. Scholastica. Kris is a licensed Professional Engineer in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.
Project Development Director
John Hollingsworth is the Project Development Director at ALLETE Clean Energy. He is responsible for developing and directing the strategic planning of multiple new build construction projects, as well as overseeing the coordination of personnel and resources required for successful project completion. Prior to his current role, John worked as a Project Development Manager, Safety Specialist Senior, and Construction Manager at the company. He has been an integral part of the Project Management team for all six new build wind projects at ALLETE Clean Energy.
He previously worked at ALLETE/Minnesota Power as a Construction Inspector and also as a Safety Professional in Generation Operations. John was a key contributor to the Bison wind expansion project as a Site Construction Manager. John holds a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences degree from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master of Environmental Health and Safety degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Technical Development Director
Tim Sweeney is the Technical Development Director at ALLETE Clean Energy. His responsibilities include focusing on creating opportunities for various business aspects, including cost reduction and technological advancement. He provides technical direction for the development, design and integration of the company’s wind site projects.
Prior to joining ALLETE Clean Energy in 2013, Tim worked for Parker Hannifin’s Oildyne Division, Intermet’s Hibbing Foundry, and Potlatch Corporation. In his tenure with Parker, Tim worked in a variety of roles, including as a Manufacturing Engineer and an on-site Project Manager in Shanghai, China. He was involved in the development of a new catalog product, which successfully resulted in two patents granted. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Stout and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota with an emphasis in operations and finance.
Energy Markets & Regulatory Compliance Manager
Cindy Hammarlund is the Energy Markets & Regulatory Compliance Manager at ALLETE Clean Energy. Her responsibilities include managing ACE's NERC program as well as moving projects through the various generation interconnection processes across the nation. Cindy supports project acquisitions, including due diligence, contract negotiations and operations integration. She also handles RTO policy for ALLETE Clean Energy's nationwide generation portfolio from BPA, to WECC, SPP, MISO and PJM. Cindy currently serves as a director on the NAEMA Board.
Before joining ALLETE Clean Energy, Cindy worked in various roles at Minnesota Power, including as a Real Time Energy Trader and as a Transmission Marketing Manager, where she was responsible for handling overall MISO strategy and influencing interconnection policy. She also worked as a Transmission Project Development Manager, where she led contract negotiations between Minnesota Power and Manitoba Hydro for the 500kV Great Northern Transmission Line. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a Master of Arts in Management from the College of St. Scholastica.
Power Markets Senior
Randy Liljegren is the Power Markets Senior at ALLETE Clean Energy. He is responsible for developing and implementing strategies, policies and procedures, as well as managing short-term energy market activities and optimizing ALLETE Clean Energy resources. Before joining ALLETE Clean Energy in 2021, Randy’s 23-year career started at Minnesota Power in Human Resources. In 2005, he transitioned to the Energy Supply Asset Optimization area as a Commodity Scheduler, where he was responsible for assisting the Day-Ahead and Real-Time Traders with energy deals and transactions. He has held various roles of increasing responsibility, including Real-Time Trader and Senior Power Markets Analyst. Randy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information Technology in Management from Concordia St. Paul University.
Renewable Operations Manager
Chris Aepelbacher is the Renewable Operations Manager at ALLETE Clean Energy, where he is responsible for site operations strategy, performance and reliability, budget management, project planning and management, and site NERC compliance. Chris began his career at ALLETE Clean Energy in 2015 as Assistant Site Manager at the Thunder Spirit Wind Construction Project in Hettinger, North Dakota. He later returned to Duluth to support ALLETE Clean Energy’s existing wind operations as a performance engineer and later, Operations Excellence Manager. Prior to ACE, Chris served as Site Manager for PowerWorks LLC’s Sawtooth Wind Project in Idaho and as a project engineer in their development group. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Northern Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Supervisor of Accounting
Lucas Hanson is the Supervisor of Accounting for ALLETE Clean Energy. He has held positions in both accounting and finance, and has primarily been responsible for financial modeling and analysis for renewable energy projects. He works extensively with ALLETE Clean Energy’s tax equity partnerships and HLBV Accounting. He has worked at ALLETE Clean Energy since 2017 in finance and accounting. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor of Accounting degree. Lucas has been a Certified Public Accountant since 2015.
Laura Lawless is the Office Administrator at ALLETE Clean Energy. She is responsible for providing administrative support to the ACE Leadership Team and coordinating office activities and operations to ensure the office functions efficiently. Laura has worked in a variety of administrative and safety roles, and joined ALLETE Clean Energy in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and a Master of Industrial Safety degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth.