Operations Business Strategies – Electric (Oct 12-13)

Designed for electric utility executives, participants engage in best practice roundtables to address electric distribution system and substation reliability and safety. Members share challenges and successes in areas such as safety, workforce management, infrastructure improvements and overall performance excellence. Presentations often highlight unique circumstances and current innovations. The small group format allows for confidentiality on sensitive issues, such as serious incident investigations and technological developments among executive level peers.

General Details

Program Location
Portland, OR

Who Should Attend
Restricted to WEI energy companies only, this strategic forum is designed for senior electric utility executives including vice presidents, directors of electric operations and general managers responsible for maintaining system reliability.

Registration Options
Member: $699

Prices increase $100 after September 16. Registration fee includes Registration fee includes comprehensive meeting materials and all food events. Guest passes are available for $125 and include the Wednesday evening welcome reception and dinner and the Thursday evening reception.

For more information contact Beverly Jones Woolf at 503.688.2790.


Wednesday, October 12

12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Welcome and Introductions
Speaker: Wayne Wisdom, Salt River Project

1:15 PM – 2:45 PM
Current Challenges and Opportunities Roundtable
Speaker: Wayne Wisdom, Salt River Project
What challenges and successes are at the forefront of Operations for your company?

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Safety Presentations
Report on WEI’s Safety Summit
Speaker: Nancy Blevins, Salt River Project
East Pine Station Accident
Speaker: Bernie Ziemianek, Seattle City Light
Network Electrical Accident at Bell Tower
Speaker: Lee Simpkins, Seattle City Light

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Safety Roundtable
Speaker: Bryan Cox, Avista

5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Welcome Reception and Dinner
Portland City Grill
30th Floor
111 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204

Thursday, October 13

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Safe Work Planning App Presentation and Demonstration
Speaker: Mansur Bitar, EPCOR

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Workforce Roundtable

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Legalized Marijuana and Company Impacts
Speaker: Dave Lamb, Portland General Electric
Bill Tierney, Portland General Electric

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Drone Applications for the Utility Industry
Speaker: Chris McMurtry, Aerial Inspection Resources

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Contractor Safety Management
Speakers: Ed Antillon, Southern California Edison
Dan Koch, Puget Sound Energy

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Infrastructure Roundtable
Speaker: Ben Hendry, Idaho Power

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Brainstorm Topics for Spring Meeting

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Networking Reception
(Dinner on your own.)

6:00 PM
Optional tour of WEI offices

Hotel + Travel

The Westin Portland
750 Southwest Alder Street
Portland, OR, 97205

Reserve your room online or contact the hotel directly at 503.402.8785 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with WEI Fall Operations Business Strategies Electric to receive a special rate of $245/night. This rate is guaranteed until September 20, 2016 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Wayne Wisdom

Salt River Project

Nancy Blevins

Salt River Project

Bryan Cox


Mansur Bitar


Dave Lamb

Portland General Electric

Chris McMurtry

Aerial Inspection Resources

Ed Antillon

Southern California Edison

Dan Koch

Puget Sound Energy

Bill Tierney

Portland General Electric

Ben Hendry

Idaho Power

Chris McMurtry

Sharper Shape Inc.

Solutions Architect
Learn More

In his role as the Solutions Architect for Sharper Shape, Inc., Chris McMurtry is focused on designing unmanned aerial solutions based around the company’s class leading “full-stack” hardware and software tools. Chris first became involved with drone technology for film and television production work, but he soon became convinced that unmanned aerial technology could do far more than just produce compelling entertainment content. This led to the creation of one of the first UAS services companies that specialized in using drone technology for utility inspections. Since 2013 Chris has been focused on finding the fit for UAS applications in the energy sector, with the goal of helping utilities transform their inspection and maintenance programs.

Bill Tierney

Portland General Electric


Doug Schmaderer

Pasadena Water & Power

Power Deliver Supervisor