Operational Leadership

Wednesday, April 19

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Top Talent – The Quest for Emerging and New Leaders
Speaker: Zakiya Oliver, Principal Field Leader – Electric Distribution, Consumers Energy
Attracting Experienced Leaders: Utilities face a growing challenge to attract and develop enough new leaders to meet the needs for the future. Consumers Energy will share their new Field Leadership Development Program aimed to attract experienced leaders from other industries to similar roles in the natural gas world. Consumers used a similar approach in the past to bring on engineering talent and was highly successful.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Workforce Development: Hire to Retire
Speakers: Greg Cocard, Senior Manager, Electric Training Delivery, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Rick Johnson, Manager, Electric Technical Training, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Accelerating Employee Development with a Structured Approach to Training – Spectra Energy is building and implementing an accelerated training program to support its massive investments in new assets and technology and to replace the outflow of retiring field employees. Spectra will share how they expect to speed time to competency resulting in increased ROI for the business.

Apprentice Lineman Program Trains to Competency and Delivers Positive ROI – Five years ago Pacific Gas and Electric developed a unique, and hugely successful, Apprentice Lineman program to provide employees with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to perform hazardous powerline construction work in a safe and reliable manner. PG&E will share the journey of this comprehensive seven-step five-year apprentice program including some key outcomes.

Thursday, April 20

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
ICS in the Utility World – Planning, Process, Training
Speakers: Todd Felix, Emergency Management/Business Continuity, NW Natural
Erin Swearingen, Senior Program Manager, Avista Corp.
Martin Zain, Director, Training Execution, NiSource
Assessing and Enhancing Your Company’s Emergency Management Program – NW Natural will discuss their process for assessing and maturing its Emergency Management program. Topics will include: Developing a roadmap for your program, utilization of the Incident Command System, emergency planning, training and exercising, and a look at Command in the field vs. in the EOC. Todd will also highlight some of the additional preparedness efforts NW Natural has initiated.

Avista will share their lessons learned on how to develop and implement the ICS methodology into your emergency response plans. Learn the benefits of using ICS in response to incidents and get ideas on how to sustain the program.

NiSource will discuss their new Emergency Response Training Program and provide an overview their new Emergency Response Safety Town. Topics will include: Developing the training program, utilization of the Safety Town, incident command and integration with internal support teams and local emergency responders.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Avoiding the “Check-box Syndrome” – The Connection Between Employee Engagement, Trust, and Emotional Intelligence
Speaker: Jason Gardner, Administrator, Organizational Development, Southwest Gas Corporation
Aaron Durivage, Superintendent of Operations – Winnemucca District and District Manager Developmental Program, Southwest Gas Corporation
Are you living life inside the check-box? Are you simply going through the motions in order to accomplish/complete certain tasks? Have you experienced any backfire with this type of culture? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

This unique session will provide the tools, techniques, and whys we must think outside the “check-box” and understand the connections between company culture, emotions, employee engagement and trust. In simple terms, this session will provide some things leaders can do in order to have a positive impact on engagement. Of course, no earth shattering revelation, just some good reminders of what we should be doing in the first place.