The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission consists of five commissioners appointed by the governor to six-year, staggered terms. By law, no more than three commissioners can be of the same political party and at least one commissioner must reside at the time of appointment outside the seven-county metropolitan area. The governor designates one of the commissioners to serve as chair. The commissioners and staff work full time at the Commission's office in Saint Paul, except when attending hearings in other parts of the state.
Beverly Jones Heydinger was appointed Chair of the Public Utilities Commission by Governor Mark Dayton, effective July 2, 2012.Commissioner Heydinger was an Administrative Law Judge, serving from 1999 until she was named to the Commission. As an ALJ, she conducted mediations, rulemaking and contested cases for state and local agencies. Among these were public utilities proceedings concerning certificates of need, routing, rates and telecommunications.
Prior to her appointment as an ALJ, Commissioner Heydinger served in the Minnesota Attorney General's Office from 1978 to 1999, under Attorneys General Warren Spannaus and Hubert H. Humphrey, III.From 1991 through 1999, she was Deputy Attorney General of the Public and Human Resources Section, supervising several divisions, overseeing state and federal court litigation, and serving on the Executive Committee.
Chair Heydinger is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and its Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment. She is an Adjunct Professor at William Mitchell College of Law, a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Women Lawyers, and Board of Directors of the YWCA of St. Paul.
Commissioner Heydinger is the recipient of two awards from the Public Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association:the Public Attorney Award of Excellence in 1996 and the Pro Bono Attorney Award of Excellence in 2011.
Commissioner Heydinger is married to Rick Heydinger, lives in St. Paul, and has two adult children, John and Erin. She has a B.A. from Carleton College and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Her term will expire on January 2, 2017.
David C. Boyd
David Boyd holds a B.A. degree with majors in biology and chemistry from St. Olaf College, and a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Boyd is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Terry Barnich Award for his contributions in building international regulatory relationships across the world.
Dr. Boyd is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Board of Directors and Chair of the NARUC Committee on Electricity. He is also a member of the NARUC Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Sequestration, Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal and is a member and Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Education and Research. He is Vice Chair and member of the NRRI Board of Directors, and serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition.
Dr. Boyd serves as Vice Chair of the International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER). He currently serves as President of the Eastern Interconnection States' Planning Council (EISPC), the Subcommittee Steering Committee (SSC) of the Eastern Interconnect Planning Collaborative (EIPC). He is a member of the Organization of Midwest ISO States (OMS) Board of Directors and serves as Treasurer. Additionally, he is a member of the OMS Executive Committee. He is a member of the Mid America Regulatory Conference (MARC) and serves as their Executive Committee. He also serves as a member of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He previously co-chaired the Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative (UMTDI).
Dr. Boyd was appointed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by Governor Tim Pawlenty on July 10, 2007 and was reappointed on December 18, 2008. His term as Commissioner has included three years served as Chairman. Dr. Boyd's current term expires January 5, 2015.
Dr. Boyd's current term expires January 5, 2015.
Nancy Lange was appointed to the Public Utilities Commission by Governor Mark Dayton, effective March 4, 2013. Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Lange served as Manager of Policy and Engagement at the Center for Energy and Environment. From 1992 through 2012, Ms. Lange held positions in Energy Program at the Izaak Walton League of America’s Midwest Office, most recently as Director. In these positions, Ms. Lange worked to advance cost effective, clean energy outcomes through reform of state and regional policy, regulatory actions, and education. Ms. Lange has authored numerous publications and reports including Season’s End and Beyond Season’s End: A Path Forward for Fish and Wildlife in an Era of Climate Change, with the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Commissioner Lange is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and its Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment.
Ms. Lange holds a B.S. from Iowa State University and M.A. in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. She is married to Robert Gordon, lives in Minnetonka, and has two daughters.
Her term will expire on January 7, 2019
J. Dennis O'Brien
University of Minnesota School of Law, J.D.; University of Minnesota., B.A. J. Dennis O'Brien joined the Pawlenty administration in January 2007 as Executive Director of the Governor's Health Cabinet.He also served as Director of Strategic Planning.Prior to his appointment, Dennis was a partner in the Littler Mendelson Law Firm, a national law firm with over 600 lawyers.He advised and represented employers in a broad range of employment law matters.He successfully tried State and Federal court employment matters and negotiated private and public sector collective bargaining agreements. Mr. O'Brien provided traditional labor relations service in the private sector.He has tried grievances and unfair labor practice cases, and has argued those cases in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Minnesota Supreme Court, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.He also has extensive experience in employment litigation including Title VII and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
Prior to joining Littler & Mendelson in 2005, Mr. O'Brien practiced education law in the Twin Cities area for over 35 years.He began his career as a Special Assistant District Attorney General representing the State Department of Education and other State Education agencies.He was a partner in the firm of LeFevere, Lefler, Kennedy, O'Brien and Drawz from 1969-1989 and was a partner at the Rider, Bennett Firm from 1989-2004. He has extensive knowledge, experience and expertise in all aspects of education law, including labor relations and collective bargaining, employment matters, employee discipline and discharge, school funding and finance, administration procedures, and State and Federal court litigation.Mr. O'Brien was a registered lobbyist from 1969 through 1983 sessions of the Minnesota Legislature, principally working in the areas of school finance.
Mr. O'Brien has written publications such as "Project Agreements, A Modern Dilemma," Business Lawyer (1981). He is an adjunct member of the University of Minnesota College of Education and has also been a frequent lecturer at CLE seminars on labor relations matters, discrimination, and school law. In 1994 and again in 1997, Mr. O'Brien was the only education lawyer in Minnesota selected as an "Outstanding Lawyer" by the American Research A Corporations, a distinction received by fewer than five percent of Minnesota lawyers. He is active in the Minnesota State Bar; Wisconsin State Bar; American Bar Association's Administrative Law Section for Labor & Employment Law; Minnesota State Bar Association's Labor Committee; Wisconsin State Bar Association's Labor Law Section; Member of the Hennepin County Bar Association.
Appointed Commissioner February 7, 2008, term expires January 6, 2014.
Commissioner Wergin completed courses in Business, Art and Psychology at St. Cloud State College, Northwestern College and Minnesota Technical Schools. She also completed the Rapport Leadership International Training.
Betsy and her husband Richard live in rural Princeton and have two adult children.At the age of 20, Betsy purchased her first business.After selling the business, she worked as a Cost Accountant for a manufacturing company and then as a benefits and payroll manager.She also worked as an assistant to the Chief Financial Officer for a group of nursing homes.She opened, owned and operated a second retail business whichsteered her into speaking and teaching at seminars on a national level. She managed this business for over 20 years. Betsy was a foster parent to teenagers for 17 years.
Commissioner Wergin is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Board of Directors.She currently serves as Chair of the NARUC Committee on Consumer Affairs and is an active member of the NARUC Committee on Telecommunications, the Washington Action Committee and is on the Executive Committee for the Critical Consumer Issues Forum.Her past experience also includes membership on the NARUC Committee on Critical Infrastructure and the Committee on International Relations.
Betsy currently serves on the Board of Directors for Northland Regional Hospital, Fairview Hospitals Inc., and Elim Care Inc.She served as a Minnesota State Senator from 2003 to 2008, was a Sherburne County Commissioner from 1995 to 2002 and served as Township Officer from 1987 to 1994.Betsy was appointed Commissioner August 1, 2008 and was reappointed December 16, 2009.
Her term expires January 4, 2016.