Gas Utility Fundamentals + Insights PDT

The Gas Utility Fundamentals + Insights Program Development Teams is a diverse mix of energy industry executives who support curriculum development and directly teach the course to WEI Members. These industry leaders provide over 100 years of combined industry experience in nearly all facets of the gas business.

This group meets regularly to identify critical industry issues, discuss challenges and make updates and changes to the GUFI course.

For more information on this Program Development Team contact

Eric Christenson at or at 971-303-2118

Committee Members

Eric Christenson

Western Energy Institute

Director of Program Curriculum + Engagement
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In his role as Director of Curriculum Development, Eric leads the WEI Operations Conference and the Executive Planning Committee. He also leads the Electric and Gas Utility Fundamentals + Insights skills development programs, and is one of WEI’s instructors for the electric course. He also supports the organization and his teammates as the Director of Analytics.

He joined WEI after seven great years at Portland General Electric. At PGE he developed and managed the company’s Enterprise Risk Management program and worked in several other areas including operations benchmarking, regulatory affairs, fleet services, AMI, and finance.

Prior to joining PGE, Eric worked in internet marketing and as the Manager of Strategy and Analysis at a local finance company.

Eric earned his Bachelors in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Oregon. He volunteers his time on the Oregon Society of Association Management and as an Executive Committee Member of the Greater Portland Soccer District.

Karen Himes

Western Energy Institute

Program Manager + Member Engagement Specialist
WEI Liaison

Vaughn Shosted

Vaughn Shosted - Instructor

Instructor, Gas Utility Fundamentals + Insights
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Vaughn started his career as a utility worker in 1974, working in various positions including an equipment operator, welder, and region manager. He retired from Dominion Energy in 2018 as Vice President of Operations. He has two children and six grandchildren. He and his wife Nancy have been happily married for 44 years and live in West Jordan, Utah.

Joyce Wagenaar

Blue Chair Holdings

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Joyce is a communications and public affairs professional with 20 years of progressive experience in the natural resource and construction sectors and has a recognized track record in effectively managing the public perception of an organization’s corporate reputation through strategic advice, issues management, media relations and a proactive public awareness initiatives.

Joyce is a proven public spokesperson with local, national and international experience and is effective in translating the technical into engaging messages suitable for the target audience and medium. She enjoys and is adept at preparing communications for a multi-cultural context.

Through her most recent role at Forestry Innovation Investment, the Government of B.C.’s market development agency for forest products, Joyce led the annual Market Outreach Communications Strategy and related tactics designed to advance wood construction across B.C. and promote B.C. forests and forest products to targeted international markets.

Her experience also includes eight years as the Communications Director at FortisBC where she was the lead in developing and implementing customer and marketing communications plans as well as crisis communications plans in support of natural gas, propane, LNG, electric systems as well as hydro electric dams. She led the company’s Public Affairs emergency response team and was responsible for FortisBC’s public affairs preparedness in advance of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games.

Joyce has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Simon Fraser University located in British Columbia.

David Williams

David Williams - Instructor

Vice President Retired, NW Natural
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Dave Williams is currently retired from NW Natural after 38 years of service where he was Vice President of Utility Services. He was responsible for NW Natural’s customer acquisition, operations support services, employee relations and oversaw the departments that provide service to NW Natural’s 700,000 customers.

Mr. Williams joined NW Natural in 1978 in sales. He moved into operations in 1990 as a district manager responsible for construction and other field functions. He was then promoted to General Manager of Operations and District Operations. He became Vice President of Utility Operations in 2007. He also was co-chair for the company’s collaborative Labor Relations Team and continued as the Chief Negotiator and Labor Relations Executive.

Mr. Williams is an active participant in civic and community affairs. He is past chair of the Citizens Crime Commission in Portland Oregon and served on the College of Business Dean’s Circle of Excellence for Oregon State University and is a past chair of Portland’s Downtown Clean and Safe District, Portland Metro Salvation Army and the Oregon Workforce Investment Board. He also serves on Multnomah’s Homeless Youth Oversight Committee. He was a Past President of the Leadership Portland Alumni Association.

He is a proud graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in Business.