Operations Conference PDT

Program Development Teams (PDTs) are a diverse mix of energy industry professionals responsible for the content creation of programs. Role may involve subject matter expert recruitment, participating in planning meetings and receiving invaluable networking opportunities throughout the entire process.

For more information on this Program Development Team contact Eric Christenson at christenson@westernenergy.org or at 971-303-2118

Committee Members

Eric Christenson

Western Energy Institute

Senior Program Manager
WEI Liaison

Lance Elroy

Intermountain Gas Company

Director, Operations Services

Ryan Germaine


Vice President, District Operations
Vice Chair

Matthew Helmers

Southwest Gas Corporation

Manager, Operations Planning & Analysis
Past Chair
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Matthew Helmers has been an employee with Southwest Gas Corporation for 11 years. He has an engineering background and worked in the Northern Nevada Division on distribution design, transmission design, and code compliance before relocating to Las Vegas. His current position as Manager of Operations Planning & Analysis has him involved with the operations aspect for all five divisions at Southwest Gas. He analyzes budgets and operating plans along with collects performance metrics related to safety, service, and reliability. He is also currently the Vice Chair for the American Gas Association’s Best Practices group and second Vice Chair for the Western Energy Institute’s Gas Operations group. He completed his undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering and obtained is Masters of Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. He has a wife of seven years and a one year old son.

Jorg Stangl

BC Hydro

Director, Distribution Engineering & Standards

Leanne Swanson

Southern California Edison

Principal Manager, Distribution Engineering
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Leanne Swanson is the Principal Manager of Distribution Engineering in the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) organization at Southern California Edison (SCE). In that role she is responsible for providing strategic direction and managing the teams responsible for the planning of the electric distribution and substation infrastructure throughout the SCE system, including the interconnection of distributed resources.

Previously, Leanne managed the Saddleback District, responsible for electrical and civil design, construction, maintenance and inspection of the overhead and underground electric distribution system in South Orange County. She began her career at SCE in 2000 and has held a variety of engineering, supervisory, and management positions in the Transmission and Distribution Organization.

Leanne earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona in 2000, and obtained her Professional Engineering license in 2005. In addition, she graduated from the Western Energy Institute (WEI) Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders program in 2007.

Leanne leads the Women in Engineering Steering team at SCE and is the liaison to the Edison International Women in Engineering Program at Cal Poly Pomona.

Outside of work, Leanne keeps busy with her two children Zoey and Rehn. The family is active in the community including Rehn’s elementary school, where her husband Dan Palmquist is the Foundation President and Leanne is the PTA president. Leanne and Zoey are also members of the Newport Chapter of the National Charity League, where they spend time volunteering with those in need and raising funds for local philanthropies. The family enjoys spending weekends travelling, camping, boating, and skiing.