Our People

Utilities face core challenges to recruit, retain, develop, and train their workforce. This track will bring together employee development and training experts, HR leaders, change management specialists, and other professionals to share case studies on current issues and preparing the utility workforce for future challenges.

Meet the Our People Program Development Team.

March 10, 2020

10:15 AM – 11:45 AM
Diversity, Equity + Inclusion: Creating an Environment Where Everyone Can Thrive
Moderator: Frankie McDermott, Chief Energy Delivery Officer, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Panelists: Darcy Noxon, Senior Manager, Customer Contact Center, NW Natural
Elisabeth Cooke, Chief Diversity and Strategy Officer, Dignii
Melinda Rogers, Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer, NW Natural
Ross Gould, Director of Power Generation, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Join us for a panel discussion in which industry leaders will be discussing ideas for how organizations can move beyond cultivating diverse workforces to actually building inclusive cultures. Discover how to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into your company’s culture, values and strategies. The panelists will be examining the topic from a variety of perspectives. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the panel throughout the session by utilizing a confidential polling tool. Please bring your cell phones and download the Mentimeter app.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
How Enterprise Change Management Impacts Our People
Speakers: Daniel Watt, Senior Manager, Enterprise Change Management, BC Hydro
Peggy Blowers, Manager, Organizational Change Management, Avista Utilities
The impact and effect of rampant organizational change within our evolving enterprises are undeniable. Utility leaders will share their experience of how subtle and not so subtle changes impact our workforce at an enterprise, group, and most importantly, an individual level. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore together, through a collaborative group Q&A discussion, how the sum of organizational changes result in varying degrees of ‘change fatigue’ throughout our companies. Let’s pool together the brainpower in the room to consider techniques or ways to mitigate the various impacts that change has on an individual; ultimately protecting Our People in our ever-changing work environment.

3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Workforce Shaping: Responding to Intelligent Automation’s Impact
Speaker: Laurie Rodriguez, Director, Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
With artificial intelligence and other digital technologies reshaping what work looks like, a new approach to workforce planning and development is needed. Learn about Workforce Shaping, an innovative approach to continually preparing your organization for the work of the future.

March 11, 2020

9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
Why Being an Employer of Choice Matters
Speaker: Bobbi Schroeppel, VP, Customer Care, Communication, Human Resources, NorthWestern Energy
David Daer, Manager, Strategic Sourcing, Salt River Project
Attracting and retaining the best talent is a product of your brand, and your brand is a product of your employees. You want employees to be company ambassadors. Glean from partners the approaches they have taken to achieve a dynamic workforce with success in recruitment and retention.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Establishing a Culture of Innovation in an Increasingly Complex Environment
Panelists: Greg Smith, Agile Coach and Practitioner, Self Employed
Travis Metcalfe, Strategy, Innovation and Engagement Manager, Tacoma Power
Mark Warren, Director, Business Innovation & Measurement, FortisBC
The times they are a-changing. It’s no longer enough to deliver energy reliably and safely; the modern utility must innovate in order to survive. But how do you ensure innovation is more than just a fad and something employees instinctively do when they’re at work? And what can we learn from organizations where this is already the case? Find out in this interactive and engaging panel discussion.