Keynote Speakers


DebMerril_Headshot Deborah Merril

President and co-Chief Executive Officer, Just Energy Group Inc.

With more than 18 years of experience in the retail energy industry, Deborah Merril was appointed President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Just Energy Group Inc. in April, 2014. Prior to becoming co-CEO, she led the organization’s commercial business as President of Hudson Energy Services. With the acquisition of Hudson in 2010, Deb led the integration to optimize the value of Hudson’s advanced online pricing and contracting technology with Just Energy’s core sales competencies. As a result, the Hudson business doubled in size within 2 years of acquisition. Deb further extended Just Energy’s commercial footprint with the expansion of Hudson Energy Services into the UK commercial market in 2012, followed by entry into the residential market in 2013 with Green Star Energy. Under her guidance, the UK business has developed, through strong and rapid growth, to become one of the company’s largest markets for new customer additions.

In 2002, Deb co-founded Just Energy LP, a Houston-based retail energy start-up. Sensing the opportunities presented by a newly deregulated energy market in Texas, Deb partnered with four former industry colleagues to launch the venture with a blueprint designed for longevity and growth. In 2007, the profitable Texas business was sold to Energy Savings Group, which, in 2009, re-branded under Just Energy Group Inc. – a turn of events that brought Deb full circle with the regional start-up she had co-launched only seven years earlier.

During her years at Enron (1994-2002), Deb gained exposure to every key aspect of the industry with her experience in gas scheduling, physical and financial risk management, trading, and commodity structuring portfolios. While at Enron, Deb added to her formal education by earning her Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Texas A&M University. She gained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics at The College of Wooster in Ohio.

Today, as co-CEO, of a leading competitive energy retailer, Deb is committed to achieving Just Energy’s vision of becoming a world class retailer of energy solutions; leading with value and innovation to empower customers with better tools that put them in the driver’s seat of their energy management.


James Lewis Headshot (1)James W. Lewis

President and co-Chief Executive Officer, Just Energy Group Inc.

James (“Jay”) Lewis was appointed President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Just Energy Group Inc., in April 2014. With over 17 years of retail energy experience, Jay leads the operations of one of North America’s leading energy retailers – a public company with annual revenue in excess of $3 billion, and serving two million customers in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

Before being appointed as co-CEO, Jay served as Chief Operating Officer for the company, rounding out his exposure to all areas of the business with this accountability for corporate-wide Strategic Planning, Policy and Program Development. Prior to his role as COO, he led Just Energy’s Eastern U.S. residential and small business division with responsibility for all aspects of that business including Customer Service, Operations and Sales. Jay also served as Senior VP for all of Just Energy’s North American Operations.

In 2002, Jay co-founded Just Energy LP, a Houston-based retail energy start-up which grew within five years to a $34 Million business. Jay chose to focus on the deregulated energy sector, seizing the opportunity to make an impact in an industry going through dynamic change. Much of his experience was gained while working previously at Enron, where, as one of the organization’s youngest VPs, he led Structuring and Trading portfolios. The unanticipated collapse of the company confirmed for Jay the importance of planning for the unexpected. He took lessons in resilience and flexibility and successfully applied them to his own venture in entrepreneurship. In 2007, Just Energy LP was sold to then Energy Savings Group, which later rebranded to current day Just Energy Group Inc.. His appointment to President and Co-CEO in 2014 brings him full circle with the start-up he co-launched 12 years earlier.

Jay attended the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey where he earned both a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in Engineering. He went on to pursue a Master’s of Business Administration degree from New York University.





Chris York

President and CEO, Baylor Scott and White, Waxahachie

Chris York grew up in the small Ohio farm town of Goshen. After graduating from Goshen High School, Chris was blessed with an athletic scholarship to play outside linebacker for East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. Upon completing his Business Management undergraduate degree in 1992, he began working for the local healthcare system, Mountain States Health Alliance. During the first 15 years of his career Chris was bi-vocational, serving at the hospital during the day and as a youth minister in the evenings and weekends. While at Mountain States, Chris earned his Master of Business Administration – with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration – also from East Tennessee State University.

In 1996, Chris began a six year stint with VHA Performance Consulting. During this time, he traveled around the country working with healthcare systems from Maine, to Miami, to Seattle, and all points in between. He returned to Mountain States Health Alliance for several years until 2007 when Chris and his family found their calling…Texas! That year Chris joined Baylor Health Care System, now known as BaylorScott& White Health. He has served Baylor as Vice President of Surgical Services on the Dallas Campus, Chief Operating Officer of the Grapevine Campus and now has settled in to serve Ellis and surrounding counties as President of BaylorScott & White Medical Center – Waxahachie.

Chris is active in our community serving on several boards and charitable organizations. Chris has been blissfully married to Dr. Jackie York for 24 years. The two have a fifteen year old son, Jack, who is a sophomore at Waxahachie High School.

Important Dates & Information
Graduation Application Deadline
March 24 for Associates (Spring)
May 20 for Certificates (August)
Commencement Ceremonies
Associates Degree:
May 13 at Corsicana
May 14 at Ellis County
Certificate of Completion:
August 12 at Corsicana
Diploma Pickup
Diploma Mail-out Begins
2 -3 weeks after graduation