Essential Utilities Appoints Analytical, Business-Minded Individual to Vice President of Financial Planning

Jim Barbato
Image via Essential Utilities.
Jim Barbato.

Essential Utilities has appointed Jim Barbato to the new role of vice president of financial planning and analysis from his previous role as vice president of corporate engineering.

In his new position, Barbato will report to the CFO and assume responsibility for all financial planning and analysis functions, including overall management and execution of the budgeting and multi-year financial planning process, forecasting, and data-driven decision making to help the company achieve its strategic objectives. He will retain his responsibility for overall capital budgeting for the corporation.  

Essential Chief Financial Officer Dan Schuller said, “Investment in infrastructure is key to our ability to achieve our mission at Essential. Having an analytical, business-minded engineering professional with extensive experience capital planning is a real asset for this position and makes Jim perfectly suited for this role at Essential.” 

Barbato joined the company in 2007 and has held several engineering roles in Aqua’s New Jersey, Virginia, and North Carolina subsidiaries during the earlier years of his career. Barbato managed many engineering activities across the Aqua subsidiaries and has delivered major capital projects to meet the company’s infrastructure requirements. 

He later held the positions of Director, Corporate Engineering, and VP Corporate Engineering before being named Chief Engineering Officer for Essential’s water and gas segments. For these roles, Barbato managed the shared services across the Aqua footprint, including our database of record, GIS, the hydraulic modeling and water quality group, energy management, and automation standards. He has extensive experience with developing capital budgets, implementing capital plans, and providing expert testimony for rate cases.  

Prior to joining Aqua, Barbato was a Project Manager for Valero Refining Company, completing a broad range of water, wastewater and petrochemical projects ranging from $5 million to $400 million in capital expenditures. 

Barbato earned his B.S. in 1999 at Drexel University and an M.B.A. in 2002 from the University of Delaware and remains active in the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and the American Gas Association (AGA).

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