LINDA BLAIR:
 
LINDA BLAIR




 
 
 
 
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer, ITC Holdings Corp. in Novi. ITC invests in electricity transmission infrastructure improvements with the goal of improving electric reliability, reducing congestion, and lowering overall costs of delivered energy. Blair is responsible for managing each of ITCís regulated operating companies and business support functions, including regulatory strategy, federal and state legislative affairs, community government affairs, human resources, marketing and communications, and information technologies and facilities. She helped plan the companyís initial stock offering, which raised more than $400 million in 2005. ITC has grown from 38 employees in 2003 to 250 employees in 2007. Blair was formerly ITCís senior vice president of business strategy, responsible for the development and execution of all of ITCís short- and long-term strategic planning, including the newly created ITC Grid Development subsidiary. She was manager of transmission policy and business planning while ITC was a subsidiary of DTE Energy. Blair has also served as a supervisor of regulatory relations within Detroit Edisonís regulatory affairs organization where she oversaw the development and management of all regulatory relations and communications activities with the Michigan Public Service Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She earned her bachelorís and masterís degrees in public affairs management at Michigan State University and is a board member of The Heat and Warmth (THAW) Fund and the Novi Parks Foundation.


WHERE BORN: "Hamilton, Scotland."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "Certainly our president and CEO, Joseph Welch. Heís a real coach and mentor. Iíve worked with and for him since not long out of school. He has helped me see the bigger picture and play a part in this industry."

LAST BOOK READ: "Devil in the White City by Erik Larson."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Balanced and level-headed. l can be tenacious, dedicated, hard-working, friendly, approachable, and focused."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "We're in the high voltage electrical transmission business. The country is faced with an infrastructure that has seen little to no investment in the last 30 years. Our business is singularly focused on reinvestment and transmission of that grid to provide customers with high levels of reliability and access. The national policy move is to promote more energy to come from renewable sources. To facilitate wind (generation), you need a robust transmission grid. Our responsibility is to interconnect such renewables to get the power onto the grid and deliver it to customers. Itís going to take innovation and a mental shift -- this country is going to have to like transmission if theyíre going to love renewables. Our focus is to ensure we have the adequate infrastructure to make it a reality, because you cannot have one without the other."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "Probably my husbandís iPhone."

FAVORITE PLACE: "I had the opportunity to go to Tahiti and it truly is paradise."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "I play soccer and still love the game, the competitiveness of it and the exercise. I love to travel and spend time with my kids."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Pizza."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Since I was born in Scotland, I can turn on a thick Scottish accent and can talk out of both sides of my mouth, so to speak."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "More than anything, Iíd like to be remembered as a good mom, good wife and as somebody who is a visionary yet is balanced, fair, and reasonable."

At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.