Chris Laird Named VP of Electric Operations, Guy Packard Retiring

Guy Packard, Chris Laird headshot
Guy Packard, Chris Laird // Courtesy of CMS Energy

CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary Consumers Energy, both based in Jackson, announced that Guy Packard, vice president of electric operations, will retire after 37 years with the company and Chris Laird will assume his role.

“Chris Laird’s strong commitment to the company’s safety and reliability goals will continue to benefit our customers and communities,” says LeeRoy Wells Jr., senior vice president of operations. “Guy Packard has served this company well and was a great champion to our safety and reliability values. I look forward to working with Chris as we continue to improve our electric system for customers in a safe and affordable manner.”

Laird will be responsible for overseeing the construction, operation, and maintenance of the company’s electric system that provides safe, reliable energy service to 1.8 million customers.

The company also created a new executive position, vice president of renewables development and enterprise project management and named David N. Hicks to that role, effective Sept. 21.

Laird previously served as the executive director of electric operations and low voltage distribution. He joined the company in 2000 and held increasingly responsible roles within the company’s electric operations, customer operations, and scheduling and dispatch departments. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ferris State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Grand Valley State University.

Hicks comes to Consumers Energy from Indeck Energy Services Inc. where he was vice president of business development since 2014. He has more than 25 years in the energy field in positions such as business development and renewable energy procurement and energy storage project development at Florida Power & Light, NV Energy and Diamond Generating Corporation.

He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Hawaii and a master’s in economics from the University of California – Santa Barbara.

“David’s wealth of experience in the renewable energy industry, with over 11,000 megawatts of clean energy projects developed, will be a great addition to our team,” says Tonya Berry, senior vice president of transformation and engineering. “The company’s Clean Energy Plan is our long-term strategic blueprint, and we are excited for the build out of over 8,000 megawatts of solar and 550 megawatts of battery storage to our generating portfolio by 2040.”