HOUSTON – Two key manufacturing executives have taken leadership positions on Consumer Energy Alliance’s (CEA) board of directors, the organization’s president David Holt announced today.

Wayne Zemke

Wayne Zemke, a marketing executive with Caterpillar, Inc. and member of CEA’s Board of Directors since 2010, will serve as the new chair of its Board of Directors. Brett Vassey, president and CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) and a member of CEA’s board since 2013, was named vice chairperson. Zemke’s term follows two successful years for CEA under the leadership of Jennifer Diggins, director of public affairs for Nucor Corporation.

Zemke brings a wealth of marketing and communications expertise to CEA, as well as experience working within the manufacturing industry. For the past 20 years, he has worked for Caterpillar, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.

“CEA has long benefited from Wayne’s support and counsel,” said David Holt. “He understands how a balanced energy policy that includes all energy from wind and solar to oil, natural gas and coal, helps American consumers and generates numerous benefits for the economy. Wayne’s experience working with Caterpillar brings a critical perspective to the CEA board, and we look forward to utilizing his expertise to advance the interests of energy consumers.”

“Since the U.S. shale energy revolution, we’ve seen firsthand the critical relationship between energy and manufacturing and how both have helped to bolster America’s strong global economic position,” said Zemke. “I am pleased to lead this tremendous organization and look forward to helping CEA advance sound energy policies that will boost new investment and economic activity for all American consumers.”

Brett Vassey

CEA’s new vice chairperson, Brett Vassey, represents Virginia’s estimated 6,000 manufacturing facilities employing over 230,000 Virginians as the VMA’s president & CEO.

“It is an honor to help lead an organization that has long valued the contributions that domestic energy production has had for our nation’s consumers,” said Vassey. “Since sustainable economic growth in manufacturing is contingent upon reliable and affordable energy, I look forward to helping CEA to advocate for expanded access to responsible energy production – including areas off the coast of the Atlantic – as a means to grow our economy, lower energy prices and improve energy security and reliability.”

In addition to Zemke and Vassey, CEA also named Brain Welch, managing director at Wortham Insurance & Risk Management in Houston, as treasurer of CEA. CEA’s board members also include John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist for Airlines for America; Mark Pulliam, solution partner with Sabre Airline Solutions; John Eichberger, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS); and immediate past chair, Jennifer Diggins, Director of Public Affairs at Nucor.