Southern Company Gas has named Bryan Batson executive vice president of external affairs and chief external and public affairs officer, following eight years of service as president of its subsidiaries Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas. Pedro Cherry, currently executive vice president of customer service and operations at Southern Company Gas’ sister company Georgia Power, will succeed Mr. Batson as president and CEO of Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas. Both changes will be effective Aug. 1.
In his new role, Mr. Batson will oversee external affairs, corporate communications, marketing, customer service, community relations, economic development and environmental affairs at Southern Company Gas. Additionally, he will serve as president of the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation, which donates millions of dollars in grants annually to nonprofits focused on the environment, economic development, energy assistance, the arts and education. He will also continue to serve on the Southern Company Gas Management Council.
“Bryan’s leadership has seen our company through years of growth and change, and as our industry evolves, his trusted counsel will continue to ensure we can rise to whatever challenges the future may bring,” said Kim Greene, Southern Company Gas chairman, president and chief executive officer. “His deep roots in the energy industry will prove invaluable as we seek to further engage with our customers and communities.”
Mr. Batson has more than 36 years of experience with Southern Company Gas and has held several leadership positions in commercial operations, regulatory affairs, external affairs, engineering and field operations. Under Mr. Batson’s leadership, both Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas helped herald in unprecedented periods of development in their service territories, successfully growing their infrastructure to accommodate rising demand, enhancing customer service offerings and increasing access to clean fuel for the transportation industry, said officials.
A leader engaged in communities across Georgia, Mr. Batson will continue to serve on the boards of directors for Central Atlanta Progress, the Georgia Nature Conservancy, the Regional Business Coalition of Metropolitan Atlanta, the Council for Quality Growth and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as chairman of the Georgia Chamber Energy and Natural Resources Policy Committee, is a member of the Technical College System of Georgia board of trustees and sits on the Atlanta Committee for Progress Community and Governmental Affairs Advisory Council. A registered professional engineer and a graduate of Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Georgia, Mr. Batson earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Clemson University and a master’s degree in technology management from Mercer University.
Mr. Cherry, in his new role, will oversee all aspects of the company’s southern operations, bringing clean, safe, reliable and affordable gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in Georgia and Tennessee. In addition, he will join the Southern Company Gas Management Council and the board of directors for the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation.
“I am pleased to welcome Pedro into the fold,” said Ms. Greene. “Our customers’ demands continue to grow and evolve, and his diverse set of experiences will be invaluable as we seek to enhance our customer service offerings, drive innovation and maintain safety across our Southern territories.”
Mr. Cherry joined Southern Company in 1997 after working as an engineer and business analyst for Carolina Power and Light Corporation, and he has held roles of increasing responsibility in finance, community and economic development, sales, customer service, operations and external affairs. In his most recent role, Mr. Cherry led more than 5,000 employees in Georgia Power’s Customer Service and Operations organization, directing customer service, power delivery, sales and marketing, corporate services and regional external affairs for the company’s 2.6 million customers.
Mr. Cherry, a CFA Charterholder, is a member of the CFA Institute, 100 Black Men of Atlanta and Auburn’s Alumni Engineering Council, and he serves on the boards of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Leadership Atlanta, Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Tourism Foundation. Additionally, he sits on the Clark Atlanta University board of trustees, the advisory board of the North Georgia Division of Synovus and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce board of governors.
Mr. Cherry is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Georgia and the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s in business administration, focused on finance and operations management, from Auburn University.