Mark Williamson is partner/Chairman of PRW Communications (PRW), a public relations firm based in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. PRW specializes in strategic communications, media relations, government affairs and creative services.
Williamson’s areas of expertise include all aspects of utility matters with special emphasis on infrastructure planning, permitting and construction. His unique skills and talents include assembling and directing teams that can repeat the process of getting projects done – on time and on budget – two key components utility CEOs and executives strive for when tackling large projects. Williamson has developed a strategic communications technique patterned on “election campaigning” – polling, message development and communication – tools that he employs, and has for years, to get utility projects approved, sited, built and on-line. He is a hands-on utility executive that gets the job done from day one.
Williamson has been associated with American Transmission Company (ATC) since its inception in 2001. He initially served on ATC’s board of directors representing Madison Gas & Electric Company. Prior to his work at ATC, Mark served as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer with MG&E. While at MG&E, he was central to the negotiations that led to the formation of ATC, as well as Wisconsin’s adoption of a utility infrastructure rebuilding period.
In June 2002, Williamson joined ATC as vice president of Major Projects. He oversaw external relations and the public participation process that included local relations, environmental, real estate and state regulatory functions. For ATC, he managed major transmission infrastructure projects including the 220-mile 345 kV Arrowhead-Weston transmission line and the 100-mile 345 kV improvements in central Wisconsin. Today he continues managing projects in Dane County, Wisconsin as a special consultant to ATC.
Williamson is a veteran utility executive. In his 16 years at MG&E, his responsibilities included general management of environmental and safety, power supply and transmission, operations and engineering, electric system planning, and gas rates and procurement. He has also been active in legislative initiatives affecting the utility industry. He was instrumental in negotiations leading to legislation that permitted guaranteed rate of return long-term leases for power plant construction, aiding construction of new coal fired power plants in Wisconsin, as well as legislation easing right-of-way acquisition for transmission projects.
Earlier in his career, Williamson was a trial attorney for the Madison-based law firm of Geisler & Kay, SC, which primarily focused on litigation relating to power plant and paper machine construction projects, product liability cases and general corporate legal support for electrical and mechanical contractors. Williamson earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976, and later received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1979.
Mark and his wife Lynn reside in Madison and have three grown children: Hayley, Frank and Roxanne.