Edward Escudero is Independent Vice Chairman of the Board of the Company. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of High Desert Capital LLC, a finance company specializing in providing various types of capital alternatives to small-to-mid-size companies, a role he has held since 2008. Previously, Mr. Escudero was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of C&R Distributing, a major distributor of fuel and lubricants and the owner of various convenience stores in West Texas and Southern New Mexico. He also served as Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of Petro Stopping Centers, LP, where he held vital roles of managing various departments including accounting, legal, human resources, audit, financial planning and information systems. He serves on a number of community boards, including the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, El Paso Community Foundation Investment Committee, WestStar Bank, El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation, and Hospitals of Providence Governing Board. Formerly, Mr. Escudero served as Chairman of the El Paso Water Utility Public Service Board. In February 2015, Mr. Escudero was appointed Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Escudero has been a director of the Company since December 2012 and serves as Chairman of our Audit Committee. He also serves as a member of our Executive, Nominating and Corporate Governance, Public Policy and Corporate Reputation, and Security Committees.
El Paso Electric Company, a public utility company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in west Texas and southern New Mexico. It generates electricity through nuclear fuel, natural gas, and coal facilities, as well as solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. The company owns or has ownership interests in various electrical generating facilities with a net dependable generating capability of approximately 2,080 megawatts; four 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines in New Mexico and Arizona; and three 500 kV lines in Arizona. It distributes electricity to retail customers principally in El Paso, Texas; and Las Cruces, New Mexico. The company serves approximately 411,100 residential, commercial, industrial, public authority, and wholesale customers. El Paso Electric Company was founded in 1901 and is based in El Paso, Texas.