NOVI — ITC Holdings Corp. has appointed former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts, Jr., former South Dakota Governor M. Michael Rounds and public utility executive Christopher H. Franklin to its board of directors as independent board members, effective August 17, 2011. These appointments expand ITC’s board of directors from seven to ten members.
J.C. Watts, Jr. is chairman of the J.C. Watts Companies, a Private Investment Firm, and Watts Partners, which provides consulting and advocacy services. Watts served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 through 2002 as a republican representing the 4th congressional district in central and southwest Oklahoma.
He was elected chairman of the Republican Conference in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998, served for eight years on the House Armed Services Committee, and he authored legislation to create the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, on which he later served. He also served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Banking Committee.
M. Michael Rounds is president and chief executive officer of Fischer, Rounds & Associates, an insurance and real estate business in South Dakota. As governor of South Dakota from 2003 to 2011, Rounds launched several initiatives designed to attract and expand businesses, create jobs and advance higher education in South Dakota.
While governor, he served as chairman of the Western Governors Association, chairman of the Midwest Governors Association, vice-chair of the National Governors Association Economic Development and Commerce Committee and member of the Executive Committee of the National Governors Association, and National President of the Council of State Governments.
Christopher H. Franklin is regional president, Southern & Midwestern States and senior vice president of corporate and public affairs, Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR), a water and wastewater utility holding company. Franklin has served in a variety of operations, customer service and public affairs positions since joining Aqua America in 1993.
Previously, he served as regional civic and economic development officer for Peco Energy (Exelon). He began his career as congressional aide to U.S. Congressman Richard Schulze. He later was appointed by the majority leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to serve as a director on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).
"We are pleased to have professionals of this caliber join the ITC board of directors," said Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC. "As ITC continues to expand and play a critical role in shaping the nation’s energy future, these gentlemen bring expertise and perspectives to the board that align with our long-term strategy and will provide valuable regulatory, policy and public affairs insights. I am excited to have the opportunity to complement and enhance our board of directors with talented individuals who can help us continue to chart the course for operational excellence, growth and sustainability."
The terms for these new directors will be in effect until the company’s 2012 shareholder meeting, when they will stand for re-election.