Utility Pole + Overhead Systems PDT

Program Development Teams (PDTs) are a diverse mix of energy industry professionals responsible for the content creation of programs. Role may involve subject matter expert recruitment, participating in planning meetings and receiving invaluable networking opportunities throughout the entire process. The PDT meets monthly by teleconference over the course of 8 months and once in person to identify critical industry issues, discuss challenges, and set the agenda for the next conference.

For more information on this Program Development Team contact Traci Pepper at pepper@westernenergy.org or at 503-688-2798

Committee Members

Paul Allen

Iris Automation

Director of Sales

Butch Bernhardt

Western Wood Preservers Institute

Sr. Program Manager
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Butch Bernhardt is the Program Manager for the Western Wood Preservers Institute. His responsibilities include product education, technical publications, standards, distance learning and digital design tools for preserved wood products.

Bernhardt has extensive experience in wood promotion, providing product support, user education and international market development for nearly three decades in positions with Western Wood Products Association, Softwood Export Council and Western Red Cedar Lumber Association.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and is the third generation in his family to work in the wood products industry.

Western Wood Preservers Institute, headquartered in Vancouver, Wash., represents preservative treated wood product producers, chemical manufacturers and others serving the industry throughout western North America. For more than 60 years, WWPI has provided regulatory and market outreach services aimed at sustaining a viable western North America preserved wood industry.

Elaine Dixon

Northwest Public Power Association

Director of Education & Workforce Development

Scott Mehlbrech

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Line Crew Leader II

Jeffrey Morrell

University of the Sunshine Coast

Director, National Centre for Timber Durability & Design Life
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Professor, Oregon State University

Robert Ochs

Bonneville Power Administration

Civil Engineer, Wood Lines Program Manager
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Rob Ochs has been with the Bonneville Power Administration since 2001. He started with BPA as a transmission line design engineer, primarily focusing on wood pole transmission lines. In 2009 he moved into a program management position where he currently resides as the wood lines sustain program manager. Prior to BPA, Rob worked for 14 years as a Civil Engineer with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, working on a variety of wildlife refuge and fish hatchery projects located across the western US. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Portland, and he is a registered professional engineer.

Jesse Saunders

FRP Transmission Innovations

Director of Operations

Kristen Taylor

Western Energy Institute

Senior Program + Service Company Manager

Douglas Thomas

Cowlitz County PUD

Senior Engineer

Jebediah Wolfe

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Senior Engineer