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Avangrid’s Brian Harrell and Steven Hersem Receive Patriot Award for Supporting National Guard and Reserve Team Members

Avangrid’s Brian Harrell and Steven Hersem Receive Patriot Award for Supporting National Guard and Reserve Team Members

Honor presented by Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

ORANGE, Conn. — August 18, 2023 — Two team members of Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and a member of the Iberdrola Group, have received the prestigious Patriot Award from the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) department. Avangrid’s Vice President and Chief Security Officer and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Brian Harrell and Corporate Security’s Director of Threat Management and Intelligence Steven Hersem were presented with the award for going above and beyond to support uniformed team members who serve as a part of the National Guard and Reserve. 

“We are very proud to have many veterans and active Guard and Reserve members working at Avangrid,” said Pedro Azagra, Avangrid CEO. “They bring a unique skillset and expertise to our workforce, such as tenacity and a focus on teamwork. It is crucial that we support their career development and enrichment. Brian and Steven are shining examples of this commitment and I am very proud to see them honored for their efforts.” 

Brigadier General Gerald Lukowski, Retired Connecticut Army National Guard Chief of Staff and ESGR Connecticut State Committee Chair, recently presented Harrell and Hersem with their Patriot Awards at Avangrid corporate headquarters in Orange, Connecticut. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made by supervisors to support uniformed team members beyond what is required by the law through a wide range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed. This is the first time that an Avangrid employee has received a Patriot Award, which are given out annually.

Harrell and Hersem were nominated by Kevin Connolly, active member of U.S. Navy Reserves and Lead Analyst for NERC Compliance at Avangrid. Connolly credits the two for their servant leadership, commitment to fostering the development of others and understanding that people are an organization’s most valuable asset. In addition to these characteristics, Harrell is an active member in Avangrid’s Employee Resource Group AVAN-Veterans which promotes career development and enrichment for Avangrid employees who have served.

“Brian and Steven have truly impacted my current and future career with their unwavering support, encouragement and room for growth,” said Connolly. “I will never be able to repay them for their time and effort they’ve spent with me. Nominating them for this award is the closest that I could come to doing so, and I am very happy to see them being recognized. I’d also like to thank Avangrid for having military-friendly policies and for their commitment to a diverse and inclusive culture.”

ESGR is the lead U.S. Defense Department program promoting cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. Established in 1972, ESGR operates within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

About Avangrid

About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $44 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs approximately 8,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2024, Avangrid ranked first among utilities and 12 overall. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2024 for the sixth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit


About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.

With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

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