Sep

16-19

Annual Meeting (Sep 16-19)

This event brings the natural gas and electric utility executive community together to encourage discussion and foster new opportunities. Learn from subject matter experts regarding imminent opportunities and the challenges pressing utilities to adapt and flex in uncharted territories for best-in-class utility management. Topics covered in recent years include customer relations, global economic insights, new business models for utilities in a carbon constrained world, opportunities and challenges of big data, energy supply and demand forecasting, and visions for the utility of the future.

Register Now

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Roger Dall'Antonia, President and CEO, FortisBC

    • Program Location
    • JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
    • 39 Smithe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 0R3
    • Who Should Attend
      • Energy industry executives
      • WEI Board of Directors
      • Executive Planning Committees
      • Service company providers
      • Senior management professionals
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $1,099 USD

    Registration prices increases $150 after August 28, 2023. Registration includes a welcome reception on Sunday evening, all presentations, panel discussions, meals on Monday and Tuesday, and digital program materials via the event app. Guest tickets are available for $150 and allow for 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 meals and receptions. Please note that registration fees are subject to 5% Canadian Goods and Service Tax (GST).

    Current participants in the Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders and Women in Leadership + Development programs can attend the 2023 Annual Meeting at no charge. The ticket option will be available for participants to select when they register.

    Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders Program Alumni are invited to attend a portion of the 2023 Annual Meeting. Registration is $699 through August 28, 2023, after which the prices will increase by $150. Registration includes Monday evening’s Service Company event, all sessions and meals on Tuesday, and digital program materials via the event app. Please note that registration fees are subject to 5% Canadian Goods and Service Tax (GST).

  • 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. Recording is not permitted for any portion of the event.
  • For more information contact Amy Nye, Director of Programs at (971) 303-2119.

Agenda

Sunday, September 17, 2023

7:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Optional Networking Opportunities

Please see the Networking tab for more information.

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Women in Leadership

Open to current WEI Women in Leadership mentors and mentees only.

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

WEI Executive Committee Meeting

Open to current WEI Executive Committee members only.

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Registration Open

The registration desk will open early for attendees to pick up their name badge.

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

WEI Board of Directors Meeting

Open to current WEI Board Members only.

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Welcome Reception

All attendees welcome. Sponsored by KPMG.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Board of Directors Dinner

By invitation only. Open to WEI Board Members and invited guests. Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell.

Monday, September 18, 2023

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Registration Open

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Networking Breakfast

Sponsored by Black & Veatch.

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcome + Opening Remarks
Speaker(s): Roger Dall'Antonia, President and CEO, FortisBC

The WEI 2023 Board Chair will welcome everyone to Vancouver, British Columbia.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership
Speaker(s): Alison Levine, Mountain Climber, Explorer, Leadership Consultant, and Author of On the Edge, Keynote Speaker

Imagine yourself on the highest mountain in the world. You have to deal with the physiological effects of extreme altitude–along with bone-chilling temperatures, battering winds, and a climbing team that's counting on all of its members to make smart decisions. There's simply no room for poor judgment — one mistake or misstep can result in an "unrecoverable error." In any situation where lives on are the line or the stakes are exceptionally high–there's no better training ground for leaders than settings where people are pushed beyond their perceived limits. Drawing on her experience as team captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition, Alison Levine makes a compelling case that the leadership principles that apply in the world of extreme adventure also apply to today's rigorously competitive business environments.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Networking Break

Sponsored by MasTec West.

10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

AI-Powered Energy Revolution
Facilitator(s): Dan Fisher, Partner ENRC Tech Leader, KPMG LLP
Panelist(s): Dharmesh Ghandi, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, BC Hydro, Durga Kota, Chief Technology Officer, Fujitsu North America, Inc., Rebekah Eggers, Global Director, Client Engagement and Innovation, Energy & Resources, IBM Technology, IBM Americas

In today's rapidly evolving energy landscape, innovation is key as WEI members lead the way towards a clean energy future for all. Join our panel of experts as we explore the intersection of artificial intelligence, privacy, cybersecurity, and innovation.

11:45 AM - 1:30 PM

Networking Lunch + The Global Economy
Speaker(s): Linda Nazareth, Future of Work Expert, Economist, and Author, Keynote Speaker

Europe, the U.S., oil prices, interest rates, population change, currency markets, the markets and more – what is the big picture and how do you make the right decisions to stay ahead of the curve? How does North America fit into the mix – and how do you plan for your own industry and investments? In this presentation Linda Nazareth looks at the economic outlook, the opportunities in the face of challenges, and the way that the larger picture will affect your own business interests. 

Lunch sponsored by Technosylva.

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Networking Break

Sponsored by MasTec West.

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Sustainability + ESG: Empowering a Resilient Future
Facilitator(s): Paul Sakrzewski, CEO, Copperleaf Technologies Inc.
Panelist(s): Dale Friesen, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Chief Government Affairs Officer, ATCO, Jeff Hanman, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs, Teck Resources Limited, Diana Stephenson, Senior Vice-President, Customer and Corporate Affairs, BC Hydro, Joe Mazza, Vice President, Energy Supply & Resource Development, FortisBC

Sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) considerations have become imperative for organizations across all industries. Join us for a dynamic panel to explore how sustainability practices are driving positive change, both within the energy industry and beyond.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Break

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Concurrent Committee Meetings

By invitation only. Open to WEI Board Committee Members. The WEI Service Company Committee will also meet during this time.

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Service Company Soiree

Join us for a fun filled evening sponsored by WEI’s Service Company Membership. For years, it has been a tradition for our service company members to host an event to celebrate the end of WEI’s fiscal year and a way to thank all the energy company members for their partnerships and sharing throughout the year. This reception style occasion is designed to promote interaction, networking, and reconnection with colleagues and members. There will be heavy hors d'oeuvres, drinks, a photo booth and live music – all in a casual environment with options to sit or stand. Open to all attendees so come join the fun!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

7:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Registration Open

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Networking Breakfast + 2024 Western Energy Institute Theme
Speaker(s): Gillian Wright, SVP & Chief Customer Officer, Southern California Gas Company

Breakfast sponsored by Wood.

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Networking Break

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Gaming the System: Engaging Customers through Intrinsic Motivation 
Speaker(s): Jon Dies, Manager, Pipeline Integrity Projects, ATCO Natural Gas, Josh Ruddick, Engineering Supervisor, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Megan Poshka, Customer Service Operations Manager, Idaho Power Company, Travis Britanik, Director, Enterprise Strategy, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Cassie Houser, Operations Superintendent, Snohomish County PUD, Lauren Briggs, Director, Resource Procurement and Planning, Tucson Electric Power

How can utilities entice customers to reshape their energy usage? Gamify it! Interactive load management is important for easing the energy transition. Learn how to increase customer participation and engagement by building in game elements to your utility’s customer-facing solutions.

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Empowering Energy Utility Evolution: Leveraging OKRs for Upskilling Excellence
Speaker(s): Jacquie Bezuidenhout, Senior Manager, Engineering and Project Management, EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc., Pat Everitt, Manager, Benefits, Compensation and Analytics, Avista Corp., Rose Santos, Director, Northern Natural Gas Generation, SaskPower, Armando Torrez, Emergency Management Planning and Regulatory Manager, Southern California Gas Company, Jenn Watkins, Materials Manager, Central Lincoln PUD

The energy utility industry is rapidly evolving. Upskilling employees has become a critical strategy for energy utility companies to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. In a presentation focused on upskilling employees utilizing an Objective and Key Results (OKR) framework, we will highlight several key points. We’ll discuss why upskilling is important and how frameworks can be used to drive change. We’ll also explore what skills we heard are important to support the energy transition and present an example OKR that addresses building the skills required to ensure success as employees take on new roles and accountabilities.

We hope this presentation provides an opportunity to see potential OKRs in action, focusing on the skills executives, peers and colleagues highlighted as paramount in the utility workforce. Overall, this presentation will be timely and informative, providing valuable insights for companies looking to stay ahead in this quickly changing sector.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Networking Break

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

A Winning Playbook for Decarbonization Leaders
Speaker(s): Travis Allen, Strategic Account Manager, Altec, Inc., Frank Sanderson, Northern Division Director, Arizona Public Service Company, Kyna Alders, Slice Product Manager, Bonneville Power Administration, Bonneville Power Administration, Hamid Shaker, Manager, Advanced Analytics, ENMAX Corporation, Jaime Ulestad, Senior Manager, Business Systems, NW Natural, Jillian Rich, Manager, Enterprise Strategy, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Decarbonization is an energy transition unlike anything the utility industry has seen before. You have seen the statistics. It is a game changer in scope, scale and pace.  Our presentation posits that, at its heart, a change of this magnitude requires a new style of leadership. Through our dynamic presentation, you will learn an easy-to-remember playbook you can deploy to help your organization win in the decarbonization game. We will also review real-life success stories that illustrate these strategies and tactics.  Whether you are years into the decarbonization challenge or just getting started, come learn tools for being the leader your team needs you to be. you to be.

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

Change is Constant: Lessons for Organizational Change Management Maturity
Speaker(s): Alex Banicki, Manager, Maintenance, Monitoring & Diagnostics Engineering, Portland General Electric, Ronni Deol, Environmental Program Manager, FortisBC, Jeff Feinberg, Senior Manager, Energy Services and Customer Innovations, Snohomish County PUD, Nermina Rucic-O'Neill, Power Engineering Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Annemarie Steinhoff, Director T&D Engineering, Arizona Public Service Company, Steve Wall, Gas Supply & Transportation Specialist, Dominion Energy

The pandemic showed our industry that driving quick and effective change is possible. Whether leading organizational change management with remote/hybrid work environments or adapting programs to meet goals, utilities moved at record pace to ensure the pandemic did not limit our ability to serve customers. With the pandemic behind us, let’s assess our change management maturity levels and determine if we can apply any lessons learned over the last few years to improve our ability to manage the transformation that utilities are experiencing. Change is constant; are we ready? 

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Networking Break

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Utility Knowledge Network
Speaker(s): Tara McGowan, Manager, Colorado Springs Utilities, Jacob Darrington, Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Intermountain Gas Company, Jay Bick, Advanced Clean Technology Engineering Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Nanette Salamon, Manager, Supply Planning, SaskPower

The utility industry is experiencing significant staffing challenges and a growing knowledge deficiency.  To address these issues, we are proposing a simple web-based platform where utility employees can engage with one another in a non-solicitation and confidential manner to share information, discuss problems, and propose solutions.  The platform could also be used by participants to post work requests for external Subject Matter Experts to address specific problems or provide cross training.

This platform would enable utilities to:

  • Share the shrinking base of experienced technical employees
  • Leverage the small but growing base of employees with experience specific to the energy transition
  • Support the training and development of employees 
  • Engage employees that may otherwise seek external opportunities or retirement 
  • Reduce or eliminate redundant work across utilities 

The goal of this platform is to help utilities better accomplish the work of today and to improve their ability to thrive in the future energy landscape.

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Hydrogen: Hope or Hype?
Speaker(s): Emil Abdelshehid, Assistant Director of Power New Business and Electrification, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Amy Bryant, Manager, Communications & Marketing Operations, Salt River Project, Mark Campbell, Manager, Project Engineering, ENMAX Corporation, Chris Forbeck, Director, Compensation and Benefits, NorthWestern Energy, Aaron Orlowski, Communications specialist, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Amanda Stiff, Technical Services Manager, Williams Northwest Pipeline

The most abundant element in the universe – hydrogen – is taking the spotlight as a key tool for decarbonizing society while maintaining reliability. Governments are investing billions of dollars in subsidizing hydrogen production, while gas and electric utilities are exploring using hydrogen in different ways to help decarbonize their systems. But the challenge lies in the details and many questions remain about the feasibility of using hydrogen in place of natural gas, or as a method of storing and converting renewable electricity. What hurdles will slow or even derail hydrogen adoption? And can utilities overcome them?

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by CGI.

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Utilities United for Energy Affordability
Speaker(s): Matthew Barnes, Area Manager, BC Hydro, Alberto Bueno, Substation Engineer, El Paso Electric Company, Brandy Powers, Director Brand, Advertising & Customer Comm, NorthWestern Energy, Jennifer Womack, Manager Cyber Defense Center, Puget Sound Energy, Nadia Aftab, Facilities Integrity Program Manager, Southern California Gas Company, Nathan Manning, Engineering Manager, Tacoma Power

With aging infrastructure, rapidly changing technology and ever increasing demands on our customer’s pocketbooks, utilities have to find a way to reliably meet future clean energy demands while keeping costs affordable. In this presentation, we will discuss the reasons behind the affordability crisis, showcase some of the programs offered by the utilities and explore opportunities to protect vulnerable customers together.

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Physical Security: Checking Your Blind Spots for Emerging Threats
Speaker(s): Aaron Anderson, Network & Communication Infrastructure Manager, City of Tacoma, Alex Baird, Fuels & Purchase Power Manager, Colorado Springs Utilities, Ryan Morgan, Manager Operations Support, Southwest Gas Corporation, Marissa O'Connor, Sr. Attorney, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Harjinder Sokhal, Director, Operations, ATCO Electric, Sonya Wald, Manager, Customer Systems, MDU Utilities Group

Physical security incidents are on the rise–and arguably underreported and under-prepared for. According to WECC’s 2023 State of the Interconnection, deliberate attacks to bulk power system facilities increased by 83% in 2022. Ensuring the physical security of our assets is essential to delivering reliable, affordable energy to our customers and serves as the first line of defense in mitigating the risk of debilitating cyber-attacks. As utilities, are we as prepared as we can be? We will explore our changing landscape, emerging risks, best practices, opportunities to collaborate, and special considerations for our colleagues across North America.  

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Networking Break

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Unlocking the Potential of the Energy as a Service Business Model
Speaker(s): Xin Shane, Manager Organized Market Settlement, Avista Corp., Tasha Christensen, Senior Engineer, Dominion Energy, Brian Williams, Electric Services Manager Power System Safety & Training, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Vinh Nguyen, Manager, Capital Portfolio Delivery, Portland General Electric, Jennifer Rooke, Manager, Power Contracts, SaskPower, Sam Chesnut, Operations Supervisor, Williams Northwest Pipeline

What do you get when you mix advancing technologies, changing regulations, and evolving customer expectations? The end of Blockbuster Video. This is where the energy industry is heading if we don’t change our business model to stay relevant. As distributed energy resources, renewable technologies, smart devices, and other energy management systems become more widely available, the door is opening for new companies to venture into the energy space, offering up creative services and solutions. Are these new options going to reduce the customers’ dependency on utilities? If so, what can the utility do about it?  Join us as we explore the Energy-as-a-Service business model, and how utilities can use it to stay competitive.

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Viral Edutainment: Striking Balance Between Customer Engagement and Education
Speaker(s): Jason Cameron, Manager, Operational Training Center, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Stephanie Kreshel, Manager Infrastructure Program Management, Puget Sound Energy, Darrell Lambert, Field Safety Manager, Seattle City Light, Ashley Llacuna, Grid Control Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Maren Martin, Supervisor Construction, ATCO, Katherine Schultz, Assistant Controller, Tucson Electric Power

Together we will explore an innovative customer engagement strategy, aimed at enhancing brand recognition and trust. We will explore the utilization of short-form videos and the importance of maintaining a consistent social media presence. Through edutainment, finding the delicate balance between entertainment and education, uncover how to deliver messages that are not only factually accurate but also compelling, shareable, and easily accessible to a broader audience. Join us as we inspire you with the knowledge and innovative approach to engage and educate your customers in the digital age. Don't let anyone else shape your narrative – take the lead in fostering an informed and entertained customer base.

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Networking Break

3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

Applications of AI in the Utility Industry
Speaker(s): Jayne Blinzer, Senior Engineer, New Business and Operations Support, Apex Utilities Inc., Chris David, Department Manager, Sr Project Engineer, POWER Engineers, Inc., Michael McKerrow, Director, Procurement & Supply Chain Management, FortisAlberta Inc., Kelli Scott, Government Affairs Program Manager, Chelan County PUD, Cody Taylor, Principal Manager, Southern California Edison

Artificial intelligence (AI) adoption continues to rise across all industries, including the energy sector. From meeting day-to-day demands to supporting long-term goals, utilities are applying AI-powered solutions to a host of challenges. Today we will review several ready-to-implement AI technologies that are helping utilities improve reliability, increase efficiency, save money, and boost customer engagement. We will discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages, and what utilities should keep in mind as they establish their own AI guiding principles and consider stepping into the AI revolution.

3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

Workforce of the Future
Speaker(s): David Kavanagh, Senior Manager - Operations, EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc., Dorothy Sidhu, Manager People Development, FortisBC, Kristin Watt, Manager, Air Quality Services, Salt River Project, Delcina Lal, Key Customer Manager, Seattle City Light, Breanna Medina, Senior Manager, Transmission Wildfire, Southern California Edison, Adam Shochat, Manager/Engineering, Southwest Gas Corporation

Utilities across North America are struggling to attract talent and this challenge will only continue to compound over the next decade. Aging demographics, rapidly changing skill requirements, and a declining front line workforce with greater employment choices creates less interest in careers within the utility space. For survival of our industry we must future proof our workforce.
 
Specifically, we seek to develop and identify strategies to attract a diverse workforce into the utilities industries. Our group is going to show you how you can reach untapped labor streams, remove barriers to utility employment, and create greater diversity. As an industry, we can leverage these strategies to broaden the depth and breadth of our candidate pools, as we build our workforce of the future.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Break

5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Reception, Dinner + Graduation Ceremony for Business Acumen

Sponsored by Guidehouse.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel at (604) 683-7277 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with “WEI” to receive a special rate of $319 CAD/night. This rate is guaranteed until August 28, 2023 or until the WEI room block is full.

  • Additional Accommodations
  • Due to high-demand WEI has secured an additional hotel option for this event. Please see below for an additional hotel near the venue.

    Holiday Inn & Suites Vancouver Downtown (0.8 miles from venue)
    1110 Howe Street
    Vancouver, BC V6Z 1R2

    Reservation Instructions
    Make your reservations online. A special rate of $289 CAD per night has been secured through August 31, 2023.

     

Networking

Saturday, September 16, 2023

2:15 PM – 5:30 PM
Gastown Walking Food Tour (Saturday)
Cost: $120 USD + 5% GST
Capacity: 19

Explore Vancouver’s Oldest Neighborhood. Rich in history, high in energy, and home to an impressive culinary scene, where foodies unite on the streets of Gastown Our Legendary Gastown Food tour takes you through the cobbled stone streets of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. Enjoy local craft beer, Japanese Karage chicken, freshly made Sicilian Tortellini with local wine, vegan sweet & chili cauliflower, traditional Canadian poutine, organic soft ice cream, decadent waffles and award-winning cheesecake. On this 2.5-hour walking food tour, you will be led by our talented and amazing, storytelling tour guides who will share fascinating and funny little-known stories about Vancouver and its “Wild West” history that dates back 150 years. This is a tour you don’t want to miss! Pre-registration is required. Please note that registration fees are subject to 5% Canadian Goods and Service Tax (GST).

Sunday, September 17, 2023

10:45 AM – 2:00 PM
Gastown Walking Food Tour (Sunday)
Cost: $120 USD + 5% GST
Capacity: 19

Explore Vancouver’s Oldest Neighborhood. Rich in history, high in energy, and home to an impressive culinary scene, where foodies unite on the streets of Gastown Our Legendary Gastown Food tour takes you through the cobbled stone streets of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. Enjoy local craft beer, Japanese Karage chicken, freshly made Sicilian Tortellini with local wine, vegan sweet & chili cauliflower, traditional Canadian poutine, organic soft ice cream, decadent waffles and award-winning cheesecake. On this 2.5-hour walking food tour, you will be led by our talented and amazing, storytelling tour guides who will share fascinating and funny little-known stories about Vancouver and its “Wild West” history that dates back 150 years. This is a tour you don’t want to miss! Pre-registration is required. Please note that registration fees are subject to 5% Canadian Goods and Service Tax (GST).

Program Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01  Honeywell-01KPMG-01

Rokstad-01-01SAP-01_

Gold Sponsors
ActiveTelesource-01Acros-01 Barnard-01
HDR-01     TDW-03-01Wilson Construction-01

Conference Services + Session Sponsors

Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01KPMG-01

Meet The Speakers

Alison Levine

Keynote Speaker

Mountain Climber, Explorer, Leadership Consultant, and Author of On the Edge
Learn More

Alison Levine has made a career out of breaking boundaries and inspiring others to achieve more than they ever thought possible. A history-making polar explorer and mountaineer, she served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles—a feat known as the Adventure Grand Slam— which only twenty people in the world have achieved. In January 2008, she made history as the first American to complete a 600-mile traverse across west Antarctica to the South Pole following the route of legendary explorer Reinhold Messner. Levine completed this arduous journey on skis while hauling 150 pounds of her gear and supplies in a sled harnessed to her waist. She made history again in 2016 when she completed two first ascents: Hall Peak in Antarctica and Khang Karpo in Nepal. Her success in extreme environments is noteworthy given she has had three heart surgeries and suffers from Raynaud’s disease, which causes the arteries that feed her fingers and toes to collapse in cold weather—leaving her at extreme risk for frostbite.

In addition to climbing mountains, Levine has also spent time climbing the corporate ladder. She has worked for several Fortune 500 companies in both sales and marketing roles and spent three years at Goldman Sachs. She left Wall Street in 2003 to serve as Deputy Finance Director for Arnold Schwarzenegger in his successful bid to become governor of California.

When not challenging herself in the outdoors, Levine focuses on training others to become strong leaders. She spent four years as an adjunct professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point in the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership. In 2013 she transitioned from training cadets to working with corporate leaders and currently serves on the board and faculty of the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point—one of the nation’s premiere executive leader development programs. She was a contributing author to the book Leadership in Dangerous Situations: A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services and First Responders (Naval Institute Press). She also served as a board member and Senior Fellow at the Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics at Duke University.

Levine is the founder of the Climb High Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of jobless women in western Uganda by training them to be trekking guides and porters in their local mountains, thus allowing them to earn a sustainable living wage through climbing-related tourism. Prior to her work in Uganda, women’s only avenue to earn money in this area of the country was through prostitution. Her efforts enabled the very first group of local women to climb Uganda’s highest peak—Mt Stanley. Her work to change the lives of women in Africa is the subject of the PBS documentary Living Courageously.

Levine’s newest role is that of executive producer of the upcoming documentary film The Glass Ceiling (www.theglassceilingmovie.com), which chronicles the life of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa (1961-1993), the first female Sherpa to summit Mt. Everest.

Levine was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018. She holds a BA from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Duke University, where she currently serves on the Board of Visitors. She is the recipient of the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor which recognizes individuals whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation are cause for celebration. The Medal has been officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of our nation’s most prestigious awards and is annually memorialized in the Congressional Record.

A sought-after consultant and keynote speaker on the subject of leadership development, Levine has addressed audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies to professional sports teams to the prestigious World Economic Forum at Davos. She is the author of the New York Times best-seller On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and other Extreme Environments. Having spent prolonged periods of time in some of the world’s most dangerous and inhospitable places, she tackles the topics of creating cohesive teams, taking responsible risks, and developing no-nonsense leaders that can succeed in times of uncertainty.

Roger Dall’Antonia

FortisBC

President and CEO

Gillian Wright

Southern California Gas Company

SVP & Chief Customer Officer

Linda Nazareth

Keynote Speaker

Future of Work Expert, Economist, and Author
Learn More

Linda Nazareth is an economist, a futurist and a respected authority on the future of work.

As a newspaper columnist and an author, she knows how to frame things in ways that both educate and entertain, and as the Senior Fellow for Economics and Population Change think-tank at the Macdonald Laurier Institute, she knows what she is talking about.

In 2023 she released her new book ” Working it Out: How to Be Ready for the Redefined Future of Work”

She is also the host of Work and the Future, a new podcast that explores trends around the labour force and the workplace.

Linda’s career has taken some non-traditional turns for someone in her field. Her first jobs was as a government economist where she specialized in labour market planning, which was followed by a stint at a major financial institution where she spent years as a Senior Economist. Wanting to change things up while she could, she lobbied to have a job created for her on Business News Network BNN, and during her time at BNN, Linda started writing books and giving keynote presentations, and eventually left daily broadcasting to give those passions her full-time attention.

Jon Dies

ATCO Natural Gas

Manager, Pipeline Integrity Projects

Josh Ruddick

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Engineering Supervisor

Megan Poshka

Idaho Power Company

Customer Service Operations Manager

Travis Britanik

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Director, Enterprise Strategy

Cassie Houser

Snohomish County PUD

Operations Superintendent

Lauren Briggs

Tucson Electric Power

Director, Resource Procurement and Planning
Learn More

Lauren Briggs has been an employee with Tucson Electric Power Co (TEP) for eighteen years and recently accepted the position of Director, Resource Procurement and Planning. In her previous role as Manager of the Balancing Authority Function in System Control & Reliability, she had responsibility for development of approaches to system operations with Balancing Authority (BA)/Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) Operators and coordinating with TEP Wholesale Power Marketing on EIM strategies to ensure reliable and efficient BA/EIM operations. Prior to BA Manager, she was a Reliability Specialist in System Control and a Distribution Engineer in Distribution Planning & Engineering. She received a bachelor’s degree in both Electrical Engineering and English from Bucknell University, her Professional Engineering license in Arizona, and NERC Reliability Coordinator certification. She enjoys video games, podcasts, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and pack of small dogs.

Jayne Blinzer

Apex Utilities Inc.

Senior Engineer, New Business and Operations Support

Chris David

POWER Engineers, Inc.

Department Manager, Sr Project Engineer

Michael McKerrow

FortisAlberta Inc.

Director, Procurement & Supply Chain Management
Learn More

In 2021, Michael commenced his tenure at FortisAlberta as the Manager of Procurement and Contracts. His dedication and expertise led to a promotion in October 2022, elevating him to the position of Director of Procurement & Supply Chain Management. Concurrently, he leads the Fortis Supply Chain Group, overseeing a working group across the eleven Fortis Inc group of companies.

Prior to joining FortisAlberta, he cultivated a 20-year international career in procurement and supply chain management within a prominent oil & gas enterprise, spanning North America, Africa, and Eurasia. His educational journey includes a BSc Hons in Quantity Surveying and professional procurement chartership in the UK, complemented by an MBA from Arizona State University in 2012.

Beyond his professional pursuits, he is a proud father of three young children, and together with his wife, joyfully establishing a life in Alberta, Canada.

Kelli Scott

Chelan County PUD

Government Affairs Program Manager

Cody Taylor

Southern California Edison

Principal Manager
Learn More

Cody Taylor leads regulatory policy for several customer programs at Southern California Edison, in areas such as distributed generation and demand response. He has been a leader at SCE since 2018. Prior to that, he spent nine years at the U.S. Department of Energy, where he led teams in several different offices, primarily focused on building technologies and energy policy. Before DOE he worked in energy engineering and energy consulting. His career is focused on using technology, policy, and business to address climate change. https://www.linkedin.com/in/codytaylor

Jacquie Bezuidenhout

EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc.

Senior Manager, Engineering and Project Management

Pat Everitt

Avista Corp.

Manager, Benefits, Compensation and Analytics

Rose Santos

SaskPower

Director, Northern Natural Gas Generation
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Rosanah (Rose) Santos has over 20 years of experience in multiple industries, with the majority being various facets of the electrical utility sector. She has been with SaskPower since 2015 and recently accepted the position of Director, Northern Natural Gas Generation. Previous to this she held roles with SaskPower as Manager of the Distribution Portfolio Delivery Office and Distribution Engineering Manager.

Rose believes in giving back to her profession. This is demonstrated through her participation in SaskPower’s Mentorship program, Mentoring Circles, and Women’s Resource Group. She been a part of the CEATI Women in Power Mentorship Program since 2018 and is currently on their Steering Committee. She recently was on the Program Development Team for the Western Energy Institute’s Women in Energy Symposium. Joining PMI in 2006, Ms. Santos has previously served as a board member for the PMI-North Saskatchewan Chapter. She also has an active interest in developing young professionals through coaching and mentoring for positive impact.

Armando Torrez

Southern California Gas Company

Emergency Management Planning and Regulatory Manager
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I started with SoCalGas in Q1 2000 as a part-time meter reader while attending college to get my undergraduate degree. Due to some encouragement by my supervisor, I applied for a full-time position in our Gas Distribution department and was hired in Q3 2002. I held various represented roles within the Distribution organization until I applied for and was offered a position on the Management side in Q3 2009. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to fill the roles of Field Operations Supervisor, Area Resource Scheduling Advisor, Technical Services Supervisor, various Project Manager roles, Emergency Management Planning & Regulatory Manager, and my current role as Regulatory Strategy and Policy Manager for Angeles Link, which is the project led by SoCalGas to develop what would be the nation’s largest clean hydrogen energy infrastructure system to deliver clean, reliable energy to the Los Angeles region.
My wife and I have a 15 year old daughter who is currently in her Sophomore year of high school and I am currently working on my MBA with a focus on Organizational Leadership.

Jennifer Watkins

Central Lincoln PUD

Materials Manager

Travis Allen

Altec, Inc.

Strategic Account Manager

Franklin Sanderson

Arizona Public Service Company

Northern Division Director

Kyna Alders

Bonneville Power Administration

Slice Product Manager, Bonneville Power Administration
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I have been employed at Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) since 2005. BPA is a public wholesale electric utility serving over 140 utilities and direct service power customers and over 300 transmission customers. In my current role, I oversee implementation of BPA’s largest and most complex power products. I have also held numerous other roles across the business at BPA and at the Congressional Research Service.

I have BA in Economics and Environmental Studies from Scripps College an MS in Resource Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from Portland State University. I am married with two wonderful daughters and enjoy spending what free time I have making pottery, hiking and undertaking home/yard renovation projects.

Hamid Shaker

ENMAX Corporation

Manager, Advanced Analytics

Jaime Ulestad

NW Natural

Senior Manager, Business Systems

Jillian Rich

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Manager, Enterprise Strategy

Alex Banicki

Portland General Electric

Manager, Maintenance, Monitoring & Diagnostics Engineering

Ronni Deol

FortisBC

Environmental Program Manager

Jeff Feinberg

Snohomish County PUD

Senior Manager, Energy Services and Customer Innovations

Nermina Rucic-O’Neill

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Power Engineering Manager

Annemarie Steinhoff

Arizona Public Service Company

Director T&D Engineering

Steve Wall

Dominion Energy

Gas Supply & Transportation Specialist

David Kavanagh

EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc.

Senior Manager - Operations

Tara McGowan

Colorado Springs Utilities

Manager

Jacob Darrington

Intermountain Gas Company

Manager, Regulatory Affairs
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I have worked in the Regulatory Affairs department of Intermountain Gas Company since 2015. In 2019, I was promoted to manager and then in 2021 our department merged with our sister utility Cascade Natural Gas. My main responsibilities include Purchased Gas Adjustment filings, the revenue requirement portion of general rate case filings, and debt filings in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. I graduated from Boise State University with a degree in Accounting-Finance and I am a Certified Public Accountant.

Jay Bick

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Advanced Clean Technology Engineering Manager

Nanette Salamon

SaskPower

Manager, Supply Planning

Emil Abdelshehid

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Assistant Director of Power New Business and Electrification

Amy Bryant

Salt River Project

Manager, Communications & Marketing Operations
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I didn’t follow the typical path to employment in the power utility industry. Formally trained in Visual Communications with an emphasis in Graphic Design I spent much of my career in various industries but always within in-house marketing and communication departments. Early in my career I moved from content creation to enabling and supporting the strategic efforts that drove content creation. This path led me to Salt River Project in early 2019 focusing on operational efficiency of the Community, Communications & Marketing (CCM) department.

In my current role as Manager of CCM Business Operations I lead a team responsible for Project Management, Budget Analysis, Digital Asset Management, Quality Assurance, Technology Enablement, and Print & Mail Services. All these functions having a core responsibility to support the successful executions of brand and communication strategies.

Mark Campbell

ENMAX Corporation

Manager, Project Engineering

Christopher Forbeck

NorthWestern Energy

Director, Compensation and Benefits

Aaron Orlowski

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Communications specialist

Amanda Stiff

Williams Northwest Pipeline

Technical Services Manager

Matthew Barnes

BC Hydro

Area Manager
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A graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology Matt joined BC Hydro 19 years ago. He began his management career in Kamloops, British Columbia managing transmission overhead line crews responsible for maintenance, construction and emergency repairs for the region’s 69 to 500kV circuits. In 2013, he accepted the position of Cable Manager and moved to Victoria, B.C. where he was responsible for managing crews who maintain both transmission and distribution underground and submarine cable systems for Vancouver Island. In 2017, Matt made the move to distribution overhead when he accepted the Senior Manager’s position for Distribution Line – South Vancouver Island. In 2021, Matt returned to BC Hydro’s Transmission and Cable Departments as Area Manager. He has served as the Chair of BC Hydro’s Cable Technical Working Group, a member of the Powerline Technician Training Advisory Council and most recently has joined BC Hydro’s Apprentice and Trades Training Committee. Outside of work Matt enjoys playing golf, squash and travelling.

Alberto Bueno

El Paso Electric Company

Substation Engineer

Brandy Powers

NorthWestern Energy

Director Brand, Advertising & Customer Comm

Jennifer Womack

Puget Sound Energy

Manager Cyber Defense Center

Nadia Aftab

Southern California Gas Company

Facilities Integrity Program Manager

Nathan Manning

Tacoma Power

Engineering Manager

Aaron Anderson

City of Tacoma

Network & Communication Infrastructure Manager

Steven Baird

Colorado Springs Utilities

Fuels & Purchase Power Manager

Ryan Morgan

Southwest Gas Corporation

Manager Operations Support

Marissa O’Connor

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Sr. Attorney

Harjinder Sokhal

ATCO Electric

Director, Operations

Sonya Wald

MDU Utilities Group

Manager, Customer Systems

Xin Shane

Avista Corp.

Manager Organized Market Settlement

Tatevik Christensen

Dominion Energy

Senior Engineer
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Tasha Christensen is a seasoned professional in the engineering and construction industry, currently leading development, execution, and management of natural gas infrastructure projects for a large portion of Dominion Energy Western Distribution’s customer base. She possesses an extensive background in the field, joining Dominion Energy in 2016, following a successful tenure as a Project Manager at Williams Companies, where she played a key role in the development, execution and implementation of pipeline construction standards.
In addition to her technical expertise, Tasha also prioritizes creating an inclusive and supportive work environment for her colleagues. As the Chair of Dominion Energy’s Women’s Resource Group, she is dedicated to promoting professional development and educational opportunities for employees, and acts as a mentor to new engineers, helping the company attract and retain top talent. Tasha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Engineering with a minor in Petroleum Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University. She is also a proud mother of two young daughters.

Brian Williams

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Electric Services Manager Power System Safety & Training

Vinh Nguyen

Portland General Electric

Manager, Capital Portfolio Delivery
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I am a passionate Project Portfolio Manager with over 15 years of technical and business experience in the energy industry. I am obsessed with linking execution to strategy, and I believe that every project should have a clear and measurable impact on the organization’s goals.

In my current role at Portland General Electric, I lead the Capital Portfolio Delivery team, which is responsible for evaluating and authorizing all capital projects. I work closely with stakeholders across the organization to ensure that our projects are aligned with our strategic objectives and deliver maximum value.

I’ve been privileged to be a part of many different teams in my career. I started in project management for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and worked on modernizing facilities with new efficiency equipment and communication systems. Then I transitioned to technical marketing engineer for Mentor Graphics where I worked directly with customers and application development teams to improve the customer experience. Next, I moved to consulting engineering where I worked on energy efficient building designs and wind farm development.

I am excited about the future of the electric industry, and I am committed to making a difference. I believe that transportation electrification and distributed energy resources are the keys to a more sustainable future, and I am eager to help my organization lead the way.

Jennifer Rooke

SaskPower

Manager, Power Contracts
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Jennifer has dedicated 18 years to SaskPower, spending more than a decade focused on providing financial expertise for capital and supply decisions. In 2018, she assumed the role of Manager of Power Contracts, leading a team of account managers responsible for administering Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and cultivating relationships with Independent Power Producers (IPPs). Her team oversees the entire lifecycle of PPAs, managing contract execution, IPP and interconnection project development, commissioning, operations and decommissioning. Jennifer actively participates in negotiations for new projects, collaborating with legal teams to draft tailored PPAs and other project specific contracts. Jennifer is a CFA charterholder, holds a degree in Finance from the University of Saskatchewan, and recently completed WEI’s BAEL program. She is a proud mother of a 14-year-old girl and finds joy in exploring new destinations whenever possible.

Sam Chesnut

Williams Northwest Pipeline

Operations Supervisor

Jason Cameron

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Manager, Operational Training Center

Stephanie Kreshel

Puget Sound Energy

Manager Infrastructure Program Management

Darrell Lambert

Seattle City Light

Field Safety Manager
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I am the field safety manager at Seattle City Light. I have an extensive career in safety starting in Washington DC at the Pentagon working on the renovation project. I have been a safety manager/superintendent for a number of projects including Yankee Stadium demolition, Madison Square Garden, Deutche Bank, Bayway Refinery CO boiler replacement, and Surmont 2 SAGD site for Conoco Phillips. I have a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management and a second bachelor’s degree in Economics.

Ashley Llacuna

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Grid Control Manager
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Ashley began her career with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in 2015 as an Associate Engineer where she held various positions of increasing responsibility in Grid Operations, Substation Construction and Operations (C&O), and Distribution Planning. In 2017, she joined Electric Regional Operations (ERO) as a District Engineer and in 2020, she was promoted to Operations & Engineering Manager to oversee reliability targets, optimize the distribution system and support wildfire prevention efforts. Ashley transitioned to the Wildfire Mitigation Strategy Manager where she led efforts for wildfire risk modeling and deployment of long-term mitigations. In 2023 Ashley began in her current role as the Transmission Grid Control Manager. Ashley received her Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with a certificate in Power Systems. She holds a professional engineering license (PE) in the state of California.

Maren Martin

ATCO

Supervisor Construction

Katherine Schultz

Tucson Electric Power

Assistant Controller

Dorothy Sidhu

FortisBC

Manager People Development

Kristin Watt

Salt River Project

Manager, Air Quality Services

Delcina Lal

Seattle City Light

Key Customer Manager

Breanna Medina

Southern California Edison

Senior Manager, Transmission Wildfire
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Breanna has been with Southern California Edison since 2018 and has held many operational roles, most recently serving as the Senior Manager, Wildfire where she oversees the Transmission Wildfire Inspection Program.

Adam Shochat

Southwest Gas Corporation

Manager/Engineering

Paul Sakrzewski

Copperleaf Technologies Inc.

CEO

Dale Friesen

ATCO

Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Chief Government Affairs Officer

Jeff Hanman

Teck Resources Limited

Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs

Diana Stephenson

BC Hydro

Senior Vice-President, Customer and Corporate Affairs

Joe Mazza

FortisBC

Vice President, Energy Supply & Resource Development

Dharmesh Gandhi

BC Hydro

Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Rebekah Eggers

IBM Americas

Global Director, Client Engagement and Innovation, Energy & Resources, IBM Technology

Dan Fisher

KPMG LLP

Partner ENRC Tech Leader

Durga Kota

Fujitsu North America, Inc.

Chief Technology Officer