Seasoned energy executive ready to lead OPG
Growing up in Norwood, Ont., a community of 1,200 people east of Peterborough, OPG’s new President and CEO learned quickly the values of hard work, teamwork and community.
For Ken Hartwick and his five siblings, it was their parents’ dairy and beef farms that served as the classroom for these important life lessons.
“I learned how to work really hard, which is a good trait to have,” says Hartwick. “I loved growing up on a farm but I wanted to challenge myself in other ways.”
With the lessons from the farm and an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Trent University, Hartwick charted a 34-year career in the finance and energy sectors that saw him serve as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Hydro One and Wellspring Financial, and as CEO of Just Energy Group.
In 2016, the Chartered Professional Accountant joined OPG, serving as CFO and Senior Vice-President of Finance. Under his leadership, OPG launched Canada’s first utility green bond and expanded to the U.S. with the acquisition of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy.
Today, Hartwick takes the reins as President and CEO of OPG from Jeff Lyash, who left the company on March 31 to take on another role in the U.S. Leading the company is a daunting task, he says, but it’s a task made easier by the solid work of his predecessor and OPG’s management team.
Hartwick’s main priority will be to keep the company’s momentum going. This includes a clear focus on the Darlington Refurbishment project, broadening the Renewable Generation business, improving the company’s operational, financial and safety performance, and growing the company. All of this will be done with a continued push toward building a diverse and inclusive workplace.
The incoming President and CEO says he will rely heavily on the company’s leadership team and OPG’s more than 9,300 employees to get the job done. “I don’t subscribe to the superstar theory. We have a great team and a great group of employees,” says Hartwick, who aims to be an accessible and open leader.
Outside of OPG, Hartwick has been married for 32 years to wife Linda and has three adult children. Together, they spend time taking family trips, and he’s an avid golfer in the summer.
This spring, the new CEO will be meeting with employees and touring OPG’s generating stations across the province, many of which are located in small communities similar to the one Hartwick grew up in.
“It definitely gives you a greater appreciation of the communities and towns in which we operate,” he says.