Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement (WRMAA) Annual Meeting (Oct 28-30)

Twelve years ago, the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement was signed as an effort for gas and electric utilities throughout Western North America to support one another in the event of an emergency affecting generation, transmission, distribution and/or services. Parties involved in the WRMAA convene each year to share best practices, discuss key emergency response issues, review the agreement itself and name the annual custodian. If your employer is a party to the WRMAA, take advantage of this opportunity to develop relationships and network with others involved in emergency response. Many participants also attend Emergency Response + Assistance Practices each spring.

Register Now

General Details

Program Chair
Ann Steeves, Operations Manager, Business Continuity Emergency Management, PGE

Program Location
Courtyard by Marriott – Portland City Center
550 SW Oak Street
Portland, OR 97204

Who Should Attend

  • Operations managers
  • Emergency management coordinators
  • Disaster recovery planners
  • Directors of business continuity planning
  • Emergency preparedness supervisors
  • Managers of emergency services
  • Emergency planning and response specialists
  • Safety specialists
  • Parties to the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement

Registration Options
Member: $599
Regular: $1098

Prices increase $100 after September 21. Guest passes with a registration are available for $100. Registration fee includes comprehensive meeting materials, meals, and two networking receptions. Guest pass includes networking receptions.

For more information contact Kevin Sullivan at 971.255.4973.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Welcome Reception

Thursday, October 29, 2015

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Registration and Breakfast

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Welcome and Introductions
Ann Steeves, Portland General Electric

8:15 AM – 8:30 AM
Opening Remarks
Devon Streit, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Security and Restoration, U.S. Department of Energy

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Cybersecurity Briefing – The Threats, The Future, GridEx III and More
Pete O’Dell, Co-Founder & VP of Business Development, Swan Island Networks

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
NRE / WRMAG Regional / NMART Resource Management
Facilitators: WRMAG Executive Committee

  • Activation / Notification / Operating Procedures
  • Requesting / Receiving

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cascadia Rising 2016 Exercise
Facilitators: WRMAG Executive Committee
A look at the 2016 exercise taking place June 7-10 and how the WRMAG can contribute.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
Gas Education Presentation
Speakers: Barron Kelly, Questar
Darlene Cox, ATCO Gas
A look at the gas side of the utility business and some of the unique challenges faced.

1:45 PM – 2:00 PM

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Gas Mutual Assistance / Approach to Resource Typing
Speakers: Barron Kelly, Questar
Darlene Cox, ATCO Gas
A continuation of the education presentation focused on awareness and mutual assistance with our gas partners.

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
National Weather Service Update on El Nino, Drought, Fire, and the Upcoming Season
Andy Bryant, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM
Closing Remarks
Devon Streit, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Security and Restoration, U.S. Department of Energy

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Reception at Hotel

Friday, October 30, 2015

7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast at Hotel

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Annual Meeting of the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement (WRMAA Agreement)
Review, activations, Attachment Bs, custodian.

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
WRMAG Election for Secretary
Announcement of Leadership Team for 2016

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Attendees will have the chance to bring up topics and items to be addressed by their peers.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Planning Session for Spring 2016

12:00 PM
Meeting Adjourns

Hotel + Travel

Courtyard by Marriott – Portland City Center
550 SW Oak Street
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503.505.5000

Reservation Instructions
Please contact the hotel directly at 1.800.606.3717. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $189 single/double plus state and local taxes. This rate is guaranteed to October 15, 2015 or until the WEI room block is full.

Among the most unique downtown hotels in Portland, Oregon, the Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center offers boutique charm & contemporary style. This downtown Portland, Oregon hotel reflects the distinct beauty of our urban home. We are proud to offer premium accommodations and services, as well as our newly renovated event space: Urban550. Centrally located, we offer an ideal location for both business travelers and leisure guests. Near the Pearl District, Pioneer Square and the Willamette riverfront, we are in the perfect place to see the most popular attractions. Happy to be a pet friendly hotel, we are also close to parks and outdoor areas. Enjoy our on-site fitness and business centers, or eat a delicious meal at our sophisticated restaurant, The Original. Whatever brings you to Portland, we look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful city!

Travel Information
Driving directions From Portland International Airport (12.5 miles):
Head southwest on NE Airport Way – go 2.4 mi Merge onto I-205 S via the ramp to Salem/Portland/I-84 – go 3.1 mi
Take exit 21B to merge onto I-84 W/US-30 W toward Portland – go 5.4 mi
Take the I-5 S exit on the left toward Beaverton/Salem – go 0.3 mi
Keep right at the fork to continue toward Morrison Bridge – go 0.2 mi
Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Morrison St/City Center and merge onto Morrison Bridge – go 0.4 mi
Continue on SW Washington St – go 0.2 mi
Turn right at SW 4th Ave – go 0.1 mi
Turn left at SW Oak St – go 150 yards Destination will be on the left

Meet The Speakers

Ann Steeves

Portland General Electric

Business Continuity Emergency Management Consultant
Learn More

Ann Steeves has held leadership positions in federal, state, local (city/county) and private arenas. Hired at PGE in April 2011, Ann is the Operations Manager for Business Continuity Emergency Management (BCEM) responsible for strategic and tactical planning, training and exercises on a companywide basis that involve any type of All Hazards emergency response.

Prior to that, Ann spent six years as a Regional Coordinator with the Hospital/Healthcare Preparedness Program brokering community relationships and conducting strategic and tactical planning across a six county, 12 hospital environment for any large scale medical surge emergency (hospital evacuation, critical supplies, logistics, communications, etc.).

Ann is a certified instructor in the Incident Command System (ICS), Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), Continuity of Operations (COOP), and is trained in Multi-Agency Coordination Group (MACG) and All Hazard Incident Management Teams. Ann is certified as a Master Continuity Practitioner (MCP) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); certified by the Disaster Recovery Institute International as a Master Business Continuity Professional (MBCP) and has authored or reviewed national level publications on Emergency Response and Mutual Assistance topics.

Ann works with Critical Infrastructure providers, all levels of Government and community based entities in this diverse collaborative and interdependent framework to improve and strengthen capacity and capabilities related to business continuity, information disaster recovery, and emergency mitigation, preparation, response and recovery.

Pete O’Dell

Swan Island Networks

Co-Founder & VP of Business Development

WRMAG Executive Committee

Barron Kelly

Questar Gas

Operations Project Manager
Learn More

Barron began his career in Operations working as a dispatcher in the Operation’s Dispatch Department. During that time he became involved with developing the first of a series of applications for managing field service work in a mobile workforce environment. After working in that area for 6 years, he spent 10 years as a business consultant supporting the telecommunications for QGC that included the QGC Call Center, Dispatch applications, Radios, and field service’s applications in the vehicle. Barron also spent 5 years in the IT Department as a network analyst where he implemented and supported WANs/LANs, Firewalls, Web filtering services, and implemented VPNs to support a mobile workforce.

After finishing his MBA, Barron took a position in QGC Operations managing the Dispatch and scheduling Operations for Dominion Energy West Gas Operations, formerly Questar Gas, and is currently managing and supporting that group and other assigned IT projects that involve Operations.

Darlene Cox


Senior Manager, UPR & Graphics
Learn More

Darlene Cox is the Senior Manager, Construction, Edmonton Operations with ATCO Gas Distribution. She worked with the company for just under 11 years as a draftsperson before she went back to school to obtain her engineering degree.

Darlene has been back with ATCO Gas since 2000 and has moved around the company in various capacities including Senior Manager, Construction, and previously Sr. Manager, Urban Pipeline Replacements and Graphics, Engineering Services and Automated Meter Reading Development, as well as various roles as a Manager, General Supervisor, Senior Engineer, and Engineering.

Her interests outside of work include spending time with her nephew who is 9 and participating in various sports.

Todd Felix

NW Natural

Emergency Manager
Learn More

Todd Felix is the Emergency Manager for NW Natural, overseeing the companies Emergency Management and Business Continuity programs. Todd manages NW Natural’s EOC, coordinates their Incident Command Team, oversees their emergency planning efforts, and provides training and exercising for company employees.

Todd has been at NW Natural for just over one year. Prior to his work with the utility, he served as the Emergency Manager for the City of Gresham for 8 years.

Andy Bryant

National Weather Service

Warning Coordination Meteorologist

Devon Streit

U.S. Department of Energy

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Security and Restoration

Pete O’Dell

Swan Island Networks

Co-Founder & VP of Business Development

Barron Kelly

Questar Gas

Operations Project Manager

Darlene Cox


Senior Manager, UPR & Graphics

Andy Bryant

National Weather Service

Warning Coordination Meteorologist

Devon Streit

US Department of Energy

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Security and Restoration