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

James Barnhart

Bonneville Power Administration

Civil Engineer, Structural & Civil Design

James Barnhart

Bonneville Power Administration

Civil Engineer

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.

Mark Gabert

Avista Utilities

Wood Pole Management Program Manager

Ben Hendry

Idaho Power Company

Sr. Engineer T&D Engineering and Construction

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

Daniel O’Shea

Iris Automation

Director, Global Sales & Customer Success

Gerald Presley

Oregon State University


Jesse Saunders

FRP Transmission Innovations

Director of Operations

Douglas Thomas

Cowlitz County PUD

Manager of Transmission & Distribution

Jebediah Wolfe

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Senior Engineer