Bernie Kennedy has asked that I pass along some great news to you before we issue the formal release. At his request, the Board appointed a special committee last summer to recommend a successor as Chairman when he steps down at the end of this year. We are pleased to report that the committee recommended and the Board unanimously elected Wes von Schack, Chairman and CEO of Energy East and chairman of our A&F committee. He will take office January 1, 2007. As you might already know, Wes became Chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee in 2003, and Bernie and I have been working together with him a great deal these past few years, so the transition should be a seamless one.
As everyone knows, Bernie is one of the founders of AEGIS and its predecessor company and has been a director since the beginning and Chairman since July 31, 1993. As he said when requesting the Board create the special committee, “we just survived two years of record hurricanes, Sarbox, Enron, etc. and we’ve emerged a stronger company than ever before. It’s time to pass the baton.”
All of us at AEGIS are extremely grateful to Bernie for his leadership and guidance throughout the years. His efforts with the Board to ensure a smooth transition with such a highly qualified successor as Wes is just another example.