April 24, 2008

Joan Freilich ’78

Acquiring different experiences is the best way to understand a company, says Joan Freilich ’78, who also holds a BA, an MA and a PhD degree in French from Columbia.


During her nine years as Con Edison’s CFO, Joan Freilich ’78 functioned as both strategist and planner, understanding the financial implications of new regulations and developing the company’s response. Citing a recent energy bill as an example, she explains, “Some provisions involve tax-related issues; others involve contracts to purchase power. My focus is making sure we have adequate analysis to make good decisions concerning financial policy.”

Freilich, who became vice chairman this September, joined Con Edison 27 years ago after a tip from a classmate led to a position in the customer service area. Since then, she has held positions in many areas, including accounting where her first task was to update Con Edison’s accounting procedures. “Acquiring different experiences is the best way to understand a company,” says Freilich, who also holds a BA, an MA and a PhD degree in French from Columbia.

After spending so much time looking forward, Freilich takes a moment to look back and reflect on her tenure. Pointing to the recent past, a time during which she shepherded the firm through electric industry restructuring, she says, “I feel the most satisfaction at having been a part of moving the company successfully through this demanding period.”

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