Women in Energy Symposium (Nov 06-08)

Women are traditionally underrepresented in the energy industry, with an extreme disparity continuing into both leadership and trade positions. This program addresses some of the evolving opportunities and challenges that women face working in the energy industry and advocates for workplace inclusion and teamwork across gender, racial, and generational demographics. Open to both women and men, WEI members will join together for leadership training, education, networking and mentorship. With a growing emphasis on cross-functional teams and diverse skill sets, this program will support utility directives to build a cohesive workforce.

Register Now

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Stephanie Smith, FortisBC

    • Program Location
    • The Wigwam
    • 300 Wigwam Blvd.
      Litchfield Park, AZ 85340
    • Who Should Attend
    • Women and men in all facets of the utility are encouraged to join us for this dynamic conversation. If you have an interest in this capacity for yourself or your employees, we invite you to join us.

      • Women – Gain knowledge and perspective on how to develop and get ahead in a traditionally male dominated industry.
      • Men – Gain understanding of the issues women face in the industry to improve team development and synergy.
      • Executives – Learn where utilities are seeing successes in attracting and retaining their female workforce, while effectively leveraging the benefits of greater organizational diversity.
  • Registration Options
  • Conference Registration: $599 USD
    Women in Leadership Participant: $449 USD
    Western Regional Mutual Assistance Agreement Conference Participant: $499 USD
    Human Resources Conference Participant: $499 USD

    Registration prices increase $100 after October 14, 2019. Registration includes comprehensive conference materials, all sessions, and all food events. Guest tickets are available for $150 and allow a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

    The Women in Leadership participant ticket is available to enrollees of the 2019 Women in Leadership – Mentoring + Development programs. This $150 discount on the normal attendee rate is applied at registration. Includes comprehensive conference materials, all sessions, and all food events.

    The Western Regional Mutual Assistance Agreement participant ticket is available to enrollees of the November 2019 WRMAA conference. This $100 discount on the normal attendee rate is applied at registration. Includes comprehensive conference materials, all sessions, and all food events.

    The Human Resources participant ticket is available to enrollees of the November 2019 Human Resources conference. This $100 discount on the normal attendee rate is applied at registration. Includes comprehensive conference materials, all sessions, and all food events.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.
  • For more information contact Kris Taylor, Program Manager at (971) 255-4969.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

7:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Arizona Public Service Co. Palo Verde Nuclear Plant Industry Tour

$70 USD
Participants will receive an orientation to the plant at the Energy Education Center and then will take a bus tour of the plant site. We return to the education center for any follow-up questions and a hosted lunch. Refund Policy: No refunds after October 14, 2019. Registration closes Friday, October 4, 2019.

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Top Golf

Join us for an unforgettable experience hitting micro-chipped golf balls that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield. Avoid the heat and relax in a private climate-controlled venue. Anyone can play Topgolf, from aspiring golf pros to those who have never walked 18 holes. It’s competitive. It’s fun. And it’s entertaining!
Cancellation policy is 30 days out with no refunds after October 4, 2019.
Breakfast provided by our Sponsors (DUSA, Michels Corporation, and SENSIT Technologies).

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM


5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Welcome Reception

Sponsored by Sensit.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast and Registration

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Welcome & Conference Overview
Speaker(s): Stephanie Smith, Compliance Manager, FortisBC

Our chair, Stephanie Smith, FortisBC, will welcome attendees and share important announcements.

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Speaker(s): Tracy Robinson, Executive Vice President & President, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines, TC Energy

Tracy Robinson shares insights gained through her leadership experiences in the energy and rail industries.

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM


9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Encouraging and Celebrating Women in Trades and Crafts Panel
Facilitator(s): Katie Sheckells, Supervisory Public Utilities Specialist, Bonneville Power Administration
Panelist(s): Krisanthe Vlachos, Founder, LINEMEN+US, Kelly Kupcak, Executive Director, Oregon Tradeswomen, Susan Blaser, Lineman Program Coordinator, Metropolitan Community College, Amalie Michaux, Manager, Talent Acquisition, FortisBC

The panel will discuss the history and evolution women in the crafts and trades, the challenges that still exist, what are effective strategies for recruitment, and how can you be an advocate.

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

The Business Case for Diversity
Speaker(s): Heather Rosentrater, Senior Vice President, Energy Delivery, Avista Utilities

Heather Rosentrater, Senior Vice President for Energy Delivery at Avista Corp., will talk to us about what is and isn’t working when it comes to hiring women in leadership roles, how to overcome and eliminate gender obstacles in the workplace, and how corporations create cultures in which women can reach leadership roles, as well as her personal experiences as a woman in corporate leadership.

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Networking Lunch

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Power-to-Gas: Decarbonizing the Future
Speaker(s): Janet Green, Senior Manager, Renewable Energy Projects, FortisBC

As energy providers, utilities are uniquely positioned to provide large scale emission reductions and sustainability solutions that align with customer values and government targets. Power-to-gas offers the opportunity to leverage the existing gas infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions of end users, while providing long term storage and load balancing to the electrical system. This presentation will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities of this decarbonization strategy.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Negotiations: Embrace your Value!
Speaker(s): Marian LaLonde, Attorney - Partner, Quarles & Brady LLP

Let's face it…life is all about negotiation and the truth is, the playing field is not level. Gender stereotypes play a role, but women are often our own worst enemy. We approach negotiations differently, we think differently and we are programmed to behave and communicate differently. These differences affect our ability to communicate our value, embrace our power and advocate for ourselves. Studies have also shown that women simply don't ask. This presentation will challenge the way you think about negotiations and reprogram your way of thinking so you can confidently jump into the game.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Power Tables
Facilitator(s): Leah Loebach, Engineering Department Manager, Burns & McDonnell

This year's conference will feature power tables. Find the topic that interests you most. The format is informal and conversational with a facilitator at each table to lead the discussion.

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM


5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Networking Reception and Dinner

Sponsored by Itron.

Friday, November 8, 2019

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM


8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Morning Announcements
Speaker(s): Stephanie Smith, Compliance Manager, FortisBC

8:15 AM - 9:15 AM

International Perspectives from Turkey
Speaker(s): Sedef Budak, Founder, Turkish Women in Renewable and Energy, Sedef Budak, Founder, Turkish Women in Renewable and Energy

9:15 AM - 9:45 AM


9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Taking Charge of Your Career
Speaker(s): Audrey Gallien, Senior Director, Learning & Advisory Services, Catalyst

This session focuses on the two career advancement strategies measured to have the strongest payoff for women professionals: building mutually-beneficial relationships with influential others and making achievements visible in ways that benefit the individual and organization. Engaging for both men and women, participants will walk away with fresh insights about how to accelerate their careers and gain the tools and plan to make it happen.

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Closing Comments

11:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Meeting Adjourns

11:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Wrap Up and Planning Meeting

Join the Program Development Team to share feedback from this conference and brainstorm ideas for next year’s symposium.

Hotel + Travel

  • The Wigwam
  • 300 Wigwam Blvd.
  • Litchfield Park, Arizona 85340
  • Phone: 800-327-0396
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 327-0396 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute with the Group block Code of “WEK05CI” to receive a special rate of $219 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until October 14, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full.

    The Wigwam is located in the Phoenix metro area, approximately 30 minutes by car from downtown Phoenix and the Sky Harbor International Airport.

Session Sponsors

Thank you to our session sponsors!


Meet The Speakers

Marian LaLonde

Quarles & Brady LLP

Attorney - Partner
Learn More

Marian C. LaLonde is the National Vice-Chair of Quarles & Brady’s Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Practice Group. She is also the National Vice-Chair of the Women’s Forum. Her primary practice areas include real estate, public and tribal lands, mining, solar, tax-exempt organizations, and equine law. Ms. LaLonde’s experience includes complex real estate and business transactions and financings related to the development of solar and mineral properties including title review, purchase and lease agreements, land use, right-of-ways, municipal and tribal negotiations and environmental permitting and compliance. She has also successfully litigated in the areas of mineral rights, water rights, title, general commercial real estate, construction and equine law. Ms. LaLonde serves as outside general counsel and ex-officio Trustee for the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and is President of the Southern Arizona Eventing Association. Ms. LaLonde received her J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, and her B.S. degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Arizona. Ms. LaLonde actively participates in homeless youth and child advocacy efforts and enjoys competing regionally and nationally with her horses.

Tracy Robinson

TC Energy

Executive Vice President & President, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines
Learn More

Verbal intro: Tracy Robinson is the Executive Vice-President and President, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines. She has overall accountability for the growth, operation and profitability of TC Energy’s federally and provincially regulated natural gas pipeline assets in Canada. Since joining TC Energy in 2014, Ms. Robinson has served as Vice-President, Transportation for the Liquid Pipelines business unit; Vice-President, Supply Chain; and Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines. Prior to joining TC Energy, Ms. Robinson spent 27 years at Canadian Pacific, including executive roles spanning Operations, Finance and Commercial.

Krisanthe Vlachos



Kelly Kupcak

Oregon Tradeswomen

Executive Director

Susan Blaser

Metropolitan Community College

Lineman Program Coordinator

Heather Rosentrater

Avista Utilities

Senior Vice President, Energy Delivery
Learn More

Heather Rosentrater is Senior Vice President of Energy Delivery at Avista, where she’s responsible for electric and natural gas engineering, operations, and shared services such as fleet, facilities and supply chain.

Rosentrater has led Avista’s Grid Innovation, Smart Grid and Smart City efforts. She also has broad experience on both the electric and natural gas side of Avista Utilities, having managed departments and projects in transmission, distribution, SCADA, as well as asset management.

Heather is a registered Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Gonzaga University.

Janet Green


Senior Manager, Renewable Energy Projects
Learn More

Janet Green is the Senior Manager, Renewable Energy Projects with FortisBC. She is a Professional Engineer and has worked in the energy industry for 15 years, 13 of those at FortisBC. In her current role, Janet is responsible for the feasibility, development, and execution of projects that add renewable energy content to FortisBC’s energy delivery system. Prior to her current role, Janet led the Asset Management group in FortisBC’s gas division. Janet is an avid skier and spends most weekends in the winter on the slopes with her husband and two kids chasing “freshies” at the mountains around Vancouver and throughout BC and Washington.

Leah Loebach

Burns & McDonnell

Engineering Department Manager

Audrey Gallien


Senior Director, Learning & Advisory Services
Learn More

Audrey Gallien is the Senior Director, Learning & Advisory Services at Catalyst. In her current role, Audrey leads Catalyst’s Western US, partnering with regionally headquartered Fortune 500 companies on their diversity and inclusion journeys. Audrey facilitates an average of 40 engagements annually, specializing in intersectional allyship, inclusive leadership, unconscious bias, LGBTQ+ inclusion, and career advancement.

Audrey has technical expertise in virtual learning platforms and is currently completing a data science course. Her most important “claim to fame” is running a Star Wars Book Club with over 100 participating members!

Amalie Michaux


Manager, Talent Acquisition

Sedef Budak

Turkish Women in Renewable and Energy


Sedef Budak

Turkish Women in Renewable and Energy


Stephanie Smith


Compliance Manager

Katie Sheckells

Bonneville Power Administration

Supervisory Public Utilities Specialist