Commissioners

Edward S. Finley, Jr. - Chairman

Chairman Finley was born in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Between 1974 and 2007 he practiced law in Raleigh, North Carolina, with the firm of Joyner & Howison from 1974 to 1980 and the firm of Hunton & Williams from 1980 to 2007, after a merger of the two firms. His primary area of practice was public utility regulation.

Governor Easley appointed Finley to the Commission on January 23, 2007, to fill a term that expired on June 30, 2011. Governor Perdue reappointed Finley to the Commission effective July 1, 2011, for a term that expires on June 30, 2019.

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Governor Easley appointed Finley as Chairman of the Commission on April 10, 2007, to fill a Chair term that expired on June 30, 2009. Governor Perdue reappointed Finley as Chairman effective July 1, 2009, for a Chair term that expired on June 30, 2013. Governor McCrory reappointed Finley as Chairman effective July 1, 2013, for a chair term that expires on June 30, 2017.

Chairman Finley is active in community and civic affairs. He and his wife, Ginger, have two sons.

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ToNola D. Brown-Bland

Commissioner Brown-Bland was appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission by Governor Beverly Eaves Perdue in 2009. She is the Co-Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Washington Action Committee, a member of both NARUC’s Critical Infrastructure Committee and Gas Committee. In addition, she also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute and the Advisory Council for the Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University. She is a Past President of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law.

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Brown-Bland began her professional career as federal Law Clerk to the Honorable Alexander B. Denson, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and thereafter entered private practice in Greensboro, N.C. After several years engaging in general civil practice, she became in-house attorney for AT&T Corp. (subsequently Lucent Technologies), where she was promoted to Senior Attorney and primarily supported the company's federal contracting and related commercial technology licensing and business lines in Greensboro.

She joined the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State in 2001, serving as Director of the Business License Information Office and of the Charitable Solicitations Licensing Section. Brown-Bland’s experience in utility regulation began in 2002, when she accepted a position with the North Carolina Utilities Commission as an attorney in the Administrative Division. From 2005 until her appointment to the Commission, she served as Associate General Counsel with the City of Greensboro.

Commissioner Brown-Bland has a history of community and civic service, having served on several boards including the Greensboro Bar Association, the Alamance County Historical Museum, and Western Piedmont Residential Services, a non-profit organization that provided residential service to autistic adults. She also presently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of her church. She and her husband, André, reside in her native Alamance County.

Jerry C. Dockham

Commissioner Dockham is a lifelong resident of Denton, North Carolina. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Wake Forest University. Between 1972 to 2010, he was the proprietor of Nationwide Insurance Company in Denton, NC.

Commissioner Dockham was first appointed to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1990, where he has served twenty-three years. He most recently served as Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Public Utilities. He has also served as Chairman of the Committee on Insurance, as Vice-Chairman Committee on Banking, and as a member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Commerce & Job Development, and Education. In the past, Commissioner Dockham has served on both the Ethics and Rules Committees, and the N.C. Electrical De-regulation Study Commission. While serving in the General Assembly, he was consistently ranked in the top 10% (out of 120 members) by N.C.F.R.E.E., and was named the 1998 Legislator of the Year by the N.C. Society of Anesthesiologists. Dockham also received the 1999 Emergency Medicine Advocate of the Year Award by the N.C. College of Emergency Physicians.

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Commissioner Dockham is a Fellow of the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership, a Trustee at Davidson County Community College, from 1987 to present and a member of NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures).

Commissioner Dockham is active in many community and civic affairs. He is a member of the Thomasville Chamber of Commerce and for the past 35 years a member of the Denton Lions Club.

He and his wife Louise have two sons, Andy and Matthew and daughter-in-law, Kelly. Commissioner Dockham is a member of Central United Methodist Church.

Governor Pat McCrory appointed Commissioner Dockham to the N.C. Utilities Commission effective July 1, 2013 for a term to expire June 30, 2019.

James G. Patterson

Governor Pat McCrory appointed Commissioner Patterson to the North Carolina Utilities Commission for a term beginning July 1, 2013, and expiring June 30, 2019. Patterson’s business career spans over thirty years of experience consulting with major corporate clients. He is the founder of Patterson Partners, Inc., a public relations and marketing firm. His experience includes a broad category of public relations counsel, marketing support, fundraising, and crisis management. He has also served in senior-level posts in higher education.

Commissioner Patterson has served on college and corporate boards. He also served as Chairman of the Small Business and Agricultural Council of The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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Before founding Patterson Partners, he served as President of B&C Associates in High Point, NC; Vice President for Advancement at Voorhees College in Denmark, SC; Vice President for Planning and Development at Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC and Director of Public Relations at the Robert R. Moton Institute in New York City, NY.

Among the accomplishments Commissioner Patterson is most proud of is leading his company’s effort to pass a $3.1 billion bond referendum for higher education facilities in North Carolina. The bond was and still is the largest ever passed in the United States for higher education. He also served as a Distinguished Executive Lecturer – Gardner Webb University Broyhill School of Management and Visiting Lecturer – North Carolina A & T State University.

He received his B.S. Degree from California Miramar University and his M.B.A. from Bernelli University, Trentino, Italy.

Lyons Gray

Commissioner Lyons Gray was appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission by Governor Pat McCrory for a term that commenced on January 26, 2016 and expires on June 30, 2021.

Lyons Gray, a businessman from Winston-Salem, was sworn in as Secretary of Revenue on January 5, 2013 by Governor Pat McCrory. Prior to this appointment, he spent a year as the Senior Advisor to the President of the University of North Carolina system, which comprises 17 campuses across North Carolina.

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From 2005-2009, Gray served as the Chief Financial Officer of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Nominated by President George W. Bush, and confirmed unanimously by the US Senate, he served as the principal agency representative to Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and to the various states. His experience in Washington gave him an insider's look at the way in which Washington works (or doesn't work). Prior to his service in the Bush administration, he served as the President and CEO of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership. He initiated a number of projects that have revitalized the downtown core.

From 1989 to 2002, Gray served six consecutive terms in the NC General Assembly, serving as Chairman of the House Finance Committee from 1995 to 1999. He was also Vice Chairman of the House Ethics Committee. Gray was President and Owner of Salem Systems, Inc. and Triangle Campers, Inc. both of Winston-Salem, and served as Vice President of Intercontinental Consultants Corporation. Gray spent approximately 12 years working in Sales and Marketing for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

He currently serves on the board of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, Inc., has previously served on the boards of UNC-Chapel Hill's General Alumni Association, Salem Academy and College, the UNC School of the Arts Foundation, and the Piedmont Triad Partnership. Gray has also served on the boards of visitors of the Winston-Salem State University Foundation and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University. Gray has held leadership roles in multiple civic and philanthropic organizations, including AIDS Care Service of Winston-Salem, the North Carolina Nature Conservancy, Leadership Winston-Salem, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army Boys Club.

He and his wife, Connie, live in Winston-Salem.

Daniel G. Clodfelter

Commissioner Clodfelter was appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission by Governor Roy Cooper for a term that commenced on July 1, 2017 and ends on June 30, 2023.

A native of Thomasville, NC, Clodfelter earned bachelor's degrees from Davidson College and Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and a law degree from Yale Law School. He served as law clerk for Judge James B. McMillan, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina from 1977-78.

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Before joining the Commission, Clodfelter was in private practice with the law firm of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP in its Charlotte office, where he was a member of its Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights practice group. Prior to joining Parker Poe in 2014, he had been in private practice for many years with Moore & Van Allen, PLLC.

In 1987, Clodfelter was elected to the Charlotte City Council where he served three terms ending in 1993. In 1998, he was elected to the North Carolina Senate where he served until 2014, representing a portion of Mecklenburg County. During his service in the North Carolina Senate, he held numerous positions, including co-chair of the Committee on Finance, chairman of the Judiciary One Committee, chairman of the Environmental Review Commission, co-chairman of the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Committee, and co-chairman of the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee.

In April 2014, the Charlotte City Council appointed Clodfelter to serve as Mayor of Charlotte to complete the unexpired term of a former mayor. He served in that position until December 2015. Clodfelter has also been active over the years as an officer and board member of numerous local and statewide community and civic organizations. He has served as a Trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation since 1982.

Clodfelter and his wife Elizabeth currently reside in Charlotte. They have two adult children.

Charlotte A. Mitchell

Commissioner Charlotte Mitchell was appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission by Governor Roy Cooper for a term that commenced on July 1, 2017 and ends on June 30, 2023. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Mitchell moved to North Carolina to study at UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar. She earned a BA in Anthropology and Romance Languages at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she also lettered in Women’s Soccer. She earned a Juris Doctor from UNC-Chapel Hill, serving as Publication Editor for the North Carolina Law Review, as well as a Master of Environmental Economics and Policy from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

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Prior to joining the Commission, Mitchell engaged in the private practice of law, focusing on energy, environmental and land use regulatory matters. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and she is a former member of both the NC Mining and Energy Commission and NC Sedimentation and Control Commission. She active in civic and community affairs, having recently served on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Center of Wake County and as a Wake County Guardian ad Litem. She resides in Raleigh, North Carolina

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