James Barbato

Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, Essential Utilities

James Barbato

Jim Barbato was named vice president of financial planning and analysis in August 2022. In this role, Barbato reports to the CFO and has responsibility for all financial planning and analysis functions, including overall management and execution of the budgeting and multi-year financial planning process, forecasting, and data-driven decision making to help the company achieve its strategic objectives. He will retain his responsibility for overall capital budgeting for the corporation.

Barbato joined the company in 2007 and has held several engineering roles in Aqua’s New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina subsidiaries during the earlier years of his career. Barbato managed many engineering activities across the Aqua subsidiaries and has delivered major capital projects to meet the company’s infrastructure requirements.

Barbato later held various positions including director, corporate engineering; vice president corporate engineering; chief engineering officer for Essential’s water and gas segments before being appointed vice president of corporate engineering—the position he held before being named vice president of financial planning and analysis. In those roles, Barbato managed the shared services across the Aqua footprint, including the company’s database of record, GIS, the hydraulic modeling and water quality group, energy management and automation standards. He has extensive experience with developing capital budgets, implementing capital plans and providing expert testimony for rate cases.

Prior to joining Aqua, Barbato was a Project Manager for Valero Refining Company, completing a broad range of water, wastewater and petrochemical projects ranging from $5 million to $400 million in capital expenditures.

Barbato earned his B.S. in 1999 at Drexel University and an M.B.A. in 2002 from the University of Delaware and remains active in the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and the American Gas Association (AGA).