Jim Judge, a native of Dorchester and the son of a Boston Police officer and a school librarian, has been named the new president and CEO of Eversource Energy, the utility company that serves 3.6 million customers throughout New England. He will succeed Tom May, the company’s longtime chief who is stepping down from the job next month.
The 60-year-old Judge is now the executive vice president and chief financial officer for Eversource, which has a market value of over $18 billion, according to the company. He is expected to be elected as chairman of the company’s board at an annual meeting next year.
Born in St. Peter’s parish, Judge and his wife Mary (Cahill), who was also born and raised in Dorchester, lived on Ashmont Street after their marriage. He began his career in the finance office of Boston Edison after graduating from Catholic Memorial and Babson College, where he also secured a master’s degree in business.
In an interview with the Reporter, Judge credited the Sisters of Charity at St Peter’s Grammar School with giving him “a tremendous educational foundation that got me started. I remember most of my classmates coming out of eighth grade and getting scholarships to CM or BC High.”
St. Peter’s “was just a great community to grow up in. I was always in Ronan Park and played Boston Park League baseball into my twenties. My best friends to this day are still the crowd from Ronan Park,” said Judge, a father of four and grandfather of five grandchildren who now lives on the South Shore.
His elevation to the top of one of the nation’s most important utility companies has been widely applauded following the announcement.
“I’ve known and worked with Jim for 38 years and he has been pivotal to the company’s success as CFO over the last 20 years,” said May in a statement issued by the company last week. “I have every confidence in his ability to successfully lead Eversource into the future. His extensive experience in our industry, passion for our customers, leadership skills, and focus on results make him the ideal person to lead the company going forward.”
In that same statement, Judge said he was “honored to assume leadership. I look forward to working with state leaders in addressing the energy challenges facing New England, furthering our charitable commitment to the communities we serve, and bringing positive results to shareholders.”
Dorchester’s Jim Hunt, III, who serves as vice-president of regulatory affairs for Eversource, said that Judge has maintained close ties to his native neighborhood throughout his career.
“Still to this day, Jim is as comfortable on Ashmont Street as he is on Wall Street,” Hunt said. “He’s never forgotten his Dorchester roots as evidenced by his support for local organizations.”
Judge was honored by College Bound Dorchester at its annual gala in 2014. He has served on the board of the organization for the last decade, according to College Bound’s president Mark Culliton.
“Jim is a quiet and humble champion for Dorchester who put our youth and their future first in all that he did,” said Culliton. “He is a Dorchester kid who did well and understands it’s his responsibility to give back. In his years of service he has been responsible for bringing more than half a million in funding to the students of College Bound. Jim and his wife Mary never forgot where they are from and the debt they owe their community. They quietly give and give to create a better future for the next generation of Dorchester kids.”
Judge told the Reporter that he admires the mission of College Bound Dorchester: “Even though people say St. Peter’s has changed so much, I see great similarities between the Dorchester neighborhood of my youth and today: These are first and second-generation immigrant parents trying to do the best for their families. The objectives are the same. College Bound and Mark Culliton and the staff have a passion to shift the paradigm and interrupt a cycle of dysfunction and try to transform the community. They are engaging some of the most disconnected youth and leading them into college and a bright future.”
Judge is engaged in many other civic endeavors in his personal life, serving on the board of the United Way of Massachusetts and participating on Eversource’s many corporate outreach efforts. The company leads an annual walk for Children’s Hospital and donates thousands of volunteer hours annually, he said.
His spirit for quietly giving back has roots in the three-decker on Stonehurst Street where he and his sister lived with his mom and dad on one floor— with many cousins in the other two decks.
“I’m so fortunate that my parents are still alive,” he said. “My dad was a Boston cop who retired at 65 after 30 years of nights in Roxbury. My mom was a volunteer librarian at St. Peter’s and a daily presence there. At my core, I’m just a guy from St. Peter’s and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”