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About Us

RTO Insider™ is your eyes and ears on the organized electric markets, putting you “inside the
room” at CAISO, ERCOT, ISO-NE, MISO, NYISO, PJM and SPP. We provide independent, objective coverage and analysis of the
wholesale electric industry’s markets and policymaking, saving you time and ensuring you don’t miss the issues most important
to your interests.

Features include:

  • Coverage of key RTO/ISO committee, subcommittee and task force meetings. We’ll be there when you can’t.
  • Coverage of news events impacting the industry throughout the 35 states managed by the RTOs/ISOs.
  • Coverage of state and federal regulatory (FERC, EPA) & legislative news affecting RTO/ISO stakeholders.
  • Issue Briefs: Concise summaries of major issues (e.g., Order 1000, EPA’s 111(d) rule).

RTO Insider Staff:

Rich Heidorn Jr.

Editor-in-Chief / Co-Publisher

Rich is a former reporter and editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he began covering the electric industry as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware introduced competition in the late 1990s. His coverage won the National Press Foundation’s 1998 award for energy reporting. He later headed a Houston-based startup that produced hourly power indexes and worked as an energy analyst for Bloomberg Government. In between, he worked for eight years in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Enforcement, where he became a whistleblower — proving he was not cut out for government work. He holds a journalism degree from Penn State University and an MBA from Temple University.

Merry Eisner

Chief Operating Officer / Co-Publisher

Merry is a former marketing consultant and technology professional who with RTO Insider, LLC has launched her third successful business. She holds a BA in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania. A native Philadelphian and avid sports fan, she doesn’t want to talk about the Phillies.

Robert Mullin

Deputy Editor/Senior Correspondent

Robert is a former editor with Argus Media, where he oversaw coverage of the U.S. electricity sector, compiled daily power price indexes, and followed developments in the West as a reporter. After a stint writing about California’s cap-and-trade system, he decided to return to the relative simplicity of covering organized energy markets. Robert holds an English degree from Tulane University and a master’s in economics from University College Dublin, where his coursework focused on European integration during the headier days of the project. He lives in Portland, Ore., with his wife, Christina, and son, Henry.

Michael Brooks

Associate Editor/D.C. Correspondent

Michael joined RTO Insider after stints with The Montgomery County Sentinel, USA TODAY and Patch. A graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Michael lives in Mount Rainier, Md. A former waiter, he asks you to tip your servers generously.

Mitchell Parizer

Art Director

Mitchell has been working as a professional graphic designer/art director since 2001. He started his career in Orlando, Fla. after graduating from the University of Central Florida and began working as an associate art director for what was the largest ad agency in Central Florida. After a couple of years, he and some friends decided to move to New York City where he served as an art director for several large ad agencies, working on campaigns for Rolex, Jose Cuervo, Almay, Con Edison, the Fire Department of N.Y. and large pharmaceutical companies. After an eight-year stint, he and his wife decided to move to the D.C. area, where he grew up, to be closer to family. Since the move he’s been working in the B2B news media industry, and joined RTO Insider in 2018. Mitchell lives happily in Rockville, MD with his wife, Jana, and three amazing children, Hana, Wyatt & Max.

Shawn McFarland

Associate Editor

Shawn is a product of the University of Pittsburgh and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He wrote for eight years at a daily newspaper in Lehighton, Pa. before moving to Maryland in 2013, where he worked for more than two years as managing editor at the Prince George’s Sentinel before joining RTO Insider. Sports and video games rule his world, along with his wife Erica, daughter Liliana and dog/son Guinness. He has another boy on the way, James, who is due in September.

Hudson Sangree

CAISO/West Correspondent

Hudson is a former reporter at The Sacramento Bee, where he covered real estate and other business topics, as well as courts, local government and breaking news. Previously he was a staff writer at the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals, the nation’s largest legal dailies, where he wrote about California’s energy crisis in the early 2000s. He holds a journalism degree from Stanford University and a J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. He has successfully avoided becoming an attorney for the last 20 years by working as a journalist. He lives in Sacramento with his wife and son.

Michael Kuser

ISO-NE/NYISO Correspondent

Michael started at newspapers in the U.S. before moving overseas in 1991. He worked as a correspondent for BusinessWeek in Istanbul until 2011, and contributed to the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, U.S. News & World Report, Dow Jones, BBC Radio and other major news organizations. He founded and edited a monthly magazine, Turkish Business World, from 1998 to 2006. Michael also was a reporter, editor and columnist for national English-language dailies in Turkey. His last paper, Today’s Zaman, was shut down by the Turkish government in July 2016. For the past six years, Michael has been learning about metrology and number behavior, knowledge that he hopes will help him give RTO Insider readers new insights into electric power pricing in New York and New England.

Amanda Durish Cook

MISO Correspondent

Amanda has worked in newspapers for over a decade, first contributing to community papers in Michigan before working as a reporter and editor for The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla. Amanda is an alumna of the University of Michigan and is back in the Midwest where she belongs. She resides in Indianapolis, Ind. with her husband Scott and dog Ichabod. You can find her camping, canoeing, skiing and making her way through the titles in Oprah’s Book Club.

Christen Smith

PJM Correspondent

Christen became RTO Insider’s PJM correspondent in 2019 after nearly a decade covering other tricky beats — from local tax disputes to state education funding to federal gun policy. She graduated from Penn State in 2011 and lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, two nearly-twin toddlers (born just 11 months apart) and two dogs. Please disregard barking and screaming on phone calls.

Tom Kleckner

ERCOT/SPP Correspondent
Tom has 24 years of experience in the electric industry. During his time with CSW before its merger with AEP, he earned his family of four free airfare to New York City by making bi-monthly round trips between Dallas and Columbus as a member of the merger management team. Tom also handled public relations during TXU’s contentious effort to build 11 coal plants in Texas — and lived to talk about it. After a short stint with ERCOT helping implement its nodal market, Tom spent four years at SPP, managing communications for the implementation of the RTO’s Integrated Marketplace. A former sportswriter, Tom holds a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He lives in North Little Rock, Ark.

Marge Gold

Account Executive

A native Washingtonian, Marge brings more than 30 years of sales experience to RTO Insider, most recently at IA Watch in the financial sector. Marge has a B.A. in business/management and accounting from the University of Maryland. An avid runner in the past, she is now an avid walker. Drop her on the beach and she’ll be happy. Nickname: Marge-in-charge.

Ted Caddell

In Memoriam 1960-2017

Contributing editor Ted Caddell, RTO Insider’s longest-serving staffer — and the voice of our daily emails and many of our social media postings — passed away in March 2017. See our tribute.

General correspondence can be sent to: RTO Insider LLC; 10837 Deborah Drive; Potomac, MD 20854-2716.