Sep

27-29

Annual Meeting – Virtual (Sep 27-29)

This virtual event brings the West’s 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. This meeting coincides with the semi-annual WEI Board Meeting and the Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders team presentations.

Register Now

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Caroline Winn, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

    • Program Location
    • Virtual Event
    • No travel required. All agenda times are in Pacific time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided to the attendee before the program.
    • Who Should Attend
      • Energy industry executives
      • WEI Board of Directors
      • Executive Planning Committees
      • Service company providers
      • Senior management professionals
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $199 USD

    Some companies have purchased a Company Access Pass to enable employees to register for the Annual Meeting at no additional charge. If you have questions or want to see if you have access to register at no cost, contact Anna Sanger Reed.

    Registration includes full access to the virtual conference and digital materials through the app. Registration is only open to WEI members, so let us know if you are not yet a member and would like to join.

    Current participants in the Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders and Women in Leadership + Development programs can attend the 2021 Annual Meeting at no charge. The ticket option will be available for participants to select when they register.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • To best serve WEI members and program participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, WEI will be waiving its standard cancellation policy for this virtual program. Registrants can receive a full refund should they need to cancel their registration up to the day before the program begins.
  • 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 Anna Sanger Reed, Executive Director of Programs at (503) 688-2795.

Agenda

All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Monday, September 27, 2021

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check

The room will open early with optional time for participants to get familiar with the virtual platform, test their audio, or ask questions about the agenda before we begin.

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Orientation + Welcome
Speaker(s): Caroline Winn, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Economic and Financial Outlook for the US and Canada
Facilitator(s): Caroline Winn, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Speaker(s): Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

Nobody could have imagined the extreme events that would shape the current and future financial and economic situations for Canada and the United States. As we look ahead to the future, what new opportunities and risks can we anticipate?

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Break

Sponsored by Black & Veatch

10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Panel: Industry Perspectives on Economic and Financial Strategies
Moderator(s): Dondi Schneider, Managing Director, North America Utility Sector Lead, Accenture Inc
Panelist(s): Bruce Folkmann, President & CFO, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Melanie Bayley, President, ATCO Electric, John Hairston, Administrator and CEO, Bonneville Power Administration, Donald Raikes, President - Gas Distribution, Dominion Energy

Given the economic landscape, what strategies will be most effective in driving innovation and providing safe, reliable, sustainable, and affordable service for customers? Join us for a dynamic discussion between utility leaders to explore how gas and electric companies are leveraging financial opportunities through strategies like new rate designs and investments toward a climate-resilient energy system.

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

Break

Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Sailing the Cyber Sea: The New Realities of 21st Century Cybersecurity
Facilitator(s): Eric DeBonis, Senior Vice President, Operations, Southwest Gas Corporation
Speaker(s): Admiral James Stavridis, Vice Chairman, Global Affairs, the Carlyle Group; NATO’s 16th Supreme Allied Commander Europe; 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University; Chief International Analyst for NBC News, US Navy (Ret.)

Emerging security concerns will be addressed in the future with a combination of cyber capabilities, unmanned vehicles and drones, and special operations forces. In particular, the reach and function of cyber tools will change how we view the world and keep ourselves safe in it. Admiral James Stavridis lays out the future of 21st century security tools that are very nontraditional in their reach and application. He describes for audiences how the world of international defense is fundamentally changing before our eyes, and how that will impact business, personal life and the global marketplace.

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Break

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Panel: Leadership Challenges and Opportunities in ESG
Moderator(s): Angela Gildea, National Sector Lead – Energy, Natural Resources & Chemicals, KPMG LLP
Panelist(s): Jawaad Malik, Vice President, Strategy, Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer, Southern California Gas Company, Susan Gray, President & CEO, UNS Energy Corp., Jason Glickman, EVP, Engineering, Planning, and Strategy, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Mike Marsh, President and Chief Executive Officer, SaskPower

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are driving business decisions in the energy industry now more than ever. As customer, employee, investor and regulator expectations continue to evolve, what kinds of actions and roadmaps will be most impactful? This discussion will explore ways that companies have found success in planning and implementing business strategies aligned with these goals.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcome to Day 2 and Theme Presentation
Speaker(s): Aidan McSheffrey, Chief Financial Executive & Associate General Manager, Salt River Project

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Creating a Winning Hybrid Working Environment
Speaker(s): Summer Loving, Sr. Manager, Product Development, Itron, Inc., Kevin Mann, Manager Customer Service & Business Integration, Hydro One Inc., Allison Bahen, Principal Manager, Capital Governance and Strategic Projects, Southern California Edison, Jason Stuart, Meter Reading Supervisor, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Carolyn Arens, Commercial Services Rep III, Williams Northwest Pipeline, Jason McClafferty, Manager, Gas Operations, NorthWestern Energy

This topic will explore how performance management practices have been drastically revised for leaders as a consequence of the evolving work environment. Specifically, we will target the following components under performance management: training & development, team collaboration, individual productivity, and measuring performance. Traditionally, utilities are accustomed to their employees being either fully stationed in a corporate office or located in a field setting. However, that assumption for work positioning can no longer be made. Employees, Supervisors, Managers and Utilities must now mobilize, embrace, and adapt to this transformative change to be successful in the workplace of the future. Challenges, risks, opportunities, best practices, and innovative ideas will be shared and investigated to broaden awareness. But more importantly, they will be examined to demonstrate how to create a winning hybrid working environment. 

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Strategies for Successful Change Leadership
Speaker(s): Justin Brock, Customer Service & Key Accounts Manager, Northern Wasco County PUD, Andrea Kuehnel, Engineer Manager Resource Center Operations, NW Natural, Andrea Martinez, Manager, Pipeline Safety Management Systems, New Mexico Gas Company, Kurtis Martin-Sturmey, Manager, Infrastructure Advisory, METSCO Energy Solutions Inc., David O'Claire, Manager, Substation Project Engineering, Bonneville Power Administration, Petra Wallace, Electric Risk and Compliance Manager, Roseville Electric

While most utilities have built their success on decades of careful planning and consistent operations, the increasing pace of regulatory, market and technological changes demand that utilities keep up. Through this capstone, we will attempt to answer questions like:
• How do we inspire our existing workforce to be more innovative and creative to meet these challenges?
• How do we maintain our compliance and safety focus while becoming more nimble and accepting change?
• As an organization, how do you balance affordability and reliability with being innovative and green?

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM

Break

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Fostering Innovation through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Psychological Safety
Speaker(s): Zeecha Van Hoose, Sr Key Accounts and Industrial Programs, Clark Public Utilities, Shanna Dee, Operations & Engineering Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Sunshine R Schmidt, Federal Preservation Officer/Supervisory Archaeologist, Bonneville Power Administration, Twila Hofer, Reliability & Compliance Supervisor, Tacoma Power, Chad Wilding, Supervisor, Pipeline Safety Management Systems, Dominion Energy

Utilities pivot like a Boeing 747. As the workplace quickly evolves due to the recent pandemic, social injustice, and environmental issues, we must respond and evolve quickly. Now, more than ever, we have a chance to re-think how to foster innovation. This can be accomplished, in part, by emphasizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and psychological safety. We will explore the following:
• Identifying and addressing DE&I obstacles for accelerating the pace of innovation
• How to maximize innovation through diversity. Best practices for building a diverse and inclusive culture of innovation
• How to educate and support staff at all levels by encouraging an innovative and psychologically safe workplace.

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

What if utilities stopped disconnecting customers for non-payment?
Speaker(s): Tamara Bradley, AMI Program Manager, Avista Utilities, Alice Fung, Electrical Services Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Derek Hermann, Sr. Manager Customer Services, Snohomish County PUD, Elizabeth Lawrence, Supervisor, State Regulatory Affairs, Arizona Public Service Company, J Kyle Olson, Manager, Power Generation Engineering, El Paso Electric Company, Jennifer Voelker, Product Management Specialist, Itron, Inc.

Customer behaviors and utility processes experienced a transformative evolution throughout the course of the pandemic and it is unlikely the utility landscape will ever look the same again. One emergent customer experience is in the field of credit, collections, and aging debt. We believe that utilities should better understand customer priorities and capabilities to be successful moving forward. Our goal is to challenge the paradigm which relies on disconnections for non-payment as the primary means of managing aged debt by exploring ways to motivate positive customer behaviors. In challenging this paradigm, we strive to explore how utilities can remove barriers to payments, improve partnerships between governmental and private community agencies regarding assistance programs, and seek innovative ways to communicate effectively with our customers struggling with aging debt.

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Break

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Building Trust: Customer Engagement in Today’s World
Speaker(s): Timothy Foley, Manager, Information Technology Enterprise Data, Puget Sound Energy, Deanna Orpen, Customer Relations Manager, SaskPower, Manuel Avendaño, Sr Manager - Transmission Evaluations & Support, Southern California Edison, Christine Giannini, Principal Resource Optimizer – Power, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Travis Squires, Manager, Data Science, METSCO Energy Solutions Inc., Erika Larsen, Manager, Product and Program Implementation, Arizona Public Service Company

In today’s connected world, where the voice of the customer is embedded in everything and becoming a trusted partner is critical, utilities’ actions and their impacts to society are in the spotlight.  Electric and gas companies exist to serve everyone, and with increasing diversity and choices, the relational role of utility to customer is ever growing. Traditionally, electric and gas companies focused on customer satisfaction related to reliability. We now understand that satisfaction does not equate to trust, and customers care about more than the products and services we provide. What strategies should utilities employ to build trust through proactive engagement and effective response timing? This session will explore what our customers, employees, and other stakeholders are saying about their utilities, and what their expectations are related to communication, transparency, and authenticity.

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Building an Energy Company on Mars
Speaker(s): Andrew Braeger, Data Services Manager, Tacoma Power, John Cassano, Senior Manager, Transmission Program Management, EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc., Brad Hennessey, Vice President of Distribution Services, POWER Engineers, Inc., Rebecca Naslund, Senior Engineer, Montana-Dakota Utilities, Lily Otieno PMP, Director, Supply Chain, Southern California Gas Company, Elysia Treanor, Environmental Policy Manager, Portland General Electric

Many technology companies are seeking to disrupt the traditional utility business model. Gartner Research labels these as the "Digital Dragons." Imagine building an energy company on Mars. How can the traditional utility company compete against the Digital Dragons in this new market, leveraging current strengths and leaving behind what hasn't worked well? The utility-of-the-future discussion often falls short of Mars. It usually views tomorrow’s utility as a modified version of today’s business. As one industry expert explains “This is both fascinating and limiting: fascinating for what it says about our general discomfort with uncertainty; limiting in that if we can only see a future that is a straight line from today, we are denied the chance to explore an extraordinary range of possibilities.” This presentation will inspire creative solutions that will help close the gap between the utility-of-the-future and aspirational targets. How can we engage a more innovative mindset, how can we build trust, and how can we add value to our business today and into the future?

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

Break

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

ESG – How Far, How Fast?
Speaker(s): Christopher Bozzini, Sr. Manager, Environmental Services, Portland General Electric, Jennifer Cannon, Manager Customer Construction, Arizona Public Service Company, Garrett Bishop, Senior Manager, Power Production Engineering & Construction, Idaho Power Company, Kristi Sterling, Senior Manager, ITS Application Management, Snohomish County PUD, Kaz Berjian P. Eng., Manager, Asset Management, ATCO Natural Gas

With the growing awareness and impact of ESG, it’s something that is on every organization’s mind these days. Organizations that chose to not actively manage ESG do so at their peril.
This presentation will dive into the topic of ESG, providing a brief overview, and then working through some of the questions that all organizations are grappling with, such as:
•    Who cares about ESG? (Financial community? Regulators? Customers? Public? Employees?) 
•    How are we measured with respect to ESG performance? (Formal ESG scores vs. Perception)  
•    What are the implications of ESG on a business? (Investor appeal, employee attraction/retention, customer satisfaction)
•    What should your organization be doing to incorporate ESG into business decisions? (board makeup, infrastructure siting, supply chain, hiring practices, etc.)
Regardless of where you operate, or how far and how fast you want to set your ESG targets, the discussion on the questions above is intended to make you re-think ESG, by including viewpoints from across the spectrum.

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

The Affordability and Equity Considerations of a Carbon Free Future
Speaker(s): Roque Bamba, Director Project Delivery, Puget Sound Energy, Crystal Chambers, Senior Manager of Emergency Management, Southern California Edison, Lindsay Walker Hobson, Director of Corporate Resources and Communications, ENSTAR Natural Gas Company, Shafin Remtulla, Controller, Competitive Energy, ENMAX Corporation, Dustin Yost, Manager – Product Marketing, Altec, Inc.

The energy landscape in the United States and Canada is rapidly changing as utilities, community members, politicians, and industry evaluate the need for a more sustainable energy portfolio. With this push towards more sustainable energy sources and lower carbon emissions, it is critical to evaluate how to approach a new energy future in an equitable way. This presentation will highlight three key areas in the push to lower carbon energy sources:
1. Who are we leaving behind? Access to such things as rebate programs or other resources has historically often benefited middle class and above consumers more than lower-income customers. Similarly lower-income customers often live in places most environmentally impacted by pollution or industry. As industry and government stakeholders evaluate the path forward, it will be critical to consider equitable access to the benefits and programs promoting cleaner energy.
2. What are the Opportunities? There are many different pathways and opportunities to move towards a lower carbon future. These vary based on region and energy sources, and vary based on costs. Looking at the opportunities in this space and how those might be shared across the many different stakeholders will be vital for developing a path forward.
3. What is our End Game? Redefining victory and finding the right energy portfolio for vastly different regions and climates will be critical in moving our communities to an equitable and environmentally conscious energy future.

1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Break

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

21st Century Talent Development: Leveraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Speaker(s): Jenny Compton, Customer Service Manager, Avista Utilities, Scott Williams, Manager Asset Management, FortisAlberta Inc., Sean Ihorn, Director - Tax, El Paso Electric Company, Jennifer McRae, Manager, Project Management - Internal Portfolio and Major Projects, ENMAX Corporation, Eivind Perander, Principal Electrical Power Systems Engineer, Seattle City Light, Cody Quezada, Field Operations Manager, Southern California Gas Company

What good is promoting diversity if everyone thinks the same way? True innovation and growth will result from implementing widespread diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. How can organizations foster and develop a diverse and inclusive workplace that is aligned with the organization’s mission, values, and goals, but push the boundaries to think beyond traditional methods, utilize emerging technologies and social platforms to access a more diverse recruiting base and implement innovative succession planning practices?   

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

A Business Case for Psychological Safety in the Energy Industry
Speaker(s): Michael Ballard, Manager, Accounting Assistant Controller, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sarah Creighton, Enterprise Risk Program Manager, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Brandon Hawkins, Environmental Director, Wilson Construction Company, Amanda Mattern, Regional Manager, ATCO Electric, Alyssa Wahlin, Engineer II, Dominion Energy, Jeanine Weinglass, Information Technology Manager, Arizona Public Service Company

How can companies in the energy industry create a safe environment for employees to fail safely and speak up? How can organizations encourage out of the box thinking and collaboration? As companies navigate through the ever-changing energy landscape, it is paramount that organizations focus on employee recruitment and retention, collaboration, high-performing cultures, and employee wellbeing. Ensuring psychological safety is embedded in your organization is essential to achieving these lofty goals. Our team will walk you through a business case for incorporating psychological safety into your business, including an actionable definition, benefits, benchmarking, and case studies.

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM

Break

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Moneyball for Utilities
Speaker(s): David Gutschmidt, Director, North West Region, Cascade Natural Gas Corp., Ryan McNeil, Sr. Manager, Regulatory & Business Planning, EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc., Jason Hills, Manager of Substation Engineering and Electrification, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Laura Olson, Manager, Power Supply & Trading, Salt River Project, Amber Blixt, Utility Government Relations Administrator, Roseville Electric, Charles L Woodard, Sr. Project Manager / Estimator Major Projects, Wilson Construction Company

An evaluation of why the inherent knowledge and wisdom that utilities currently rely on to make key decisions is no longer as effective as it once was due to the rapid transformation of the utility industry. We'll dive into why data-driven decision-making will be more relevant to the utility, as well as the customer of the future, how new metrics can be established and used for more agile prioritization of efforts and resource investment. We will also explore the importance of revising and evolving metrics over time to ensure they align with strategic goals.

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Resilience while Navigating the Clean Energy Future
Speaker(s): Sandra Ball, Manager, Business Customer Service, Seattle City Light, Lindsay Barretto, Senior Manager, 500kV and Joint Projects, Idaho Power Company, Shawn Huravitch, Manager Operations – Butte Division, NorthWestern Energy, Bill McClellan, Manager, Air Quality Services, Salt River Project, Andrew O'Flaherty, Sr. Account Executive, Mosaic, Michelle Sim, Director of Sustainability, Southern California Gas Company

The world is transitioning to a low carbon economy, the demand for reliable and clean energy production and delivery becomes an imperative for utility companies. Resiliency is a critical aspect of future resource and infrastructure planning with increased frequency and magnitude of disruptions and unplanned events. This session will touch on key risk elements related to both the energy transition and threats to utility infrastructure and explore how the energy transition might actually be viewed as an opportunity.
 
Resilience [ri-zil-yuhns], noun: the ability to prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Executive Committee Business Session

Open only to executive committee members.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Board of Directors Business Session

Open only to board members.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Graduation Ceremony for Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders

WEI board members, executive sponsors, and supervisors are encouraged to attend. Open to all attendees.

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Women in Leadership: Mentoring + Development

Open only to current Women in Leadership program participants.

Program Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Black + Veatch-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01 HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01KPMG-01 Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01

Gold Sponsors
ActiveTelesource-01Acros-01 Barnard-01HGCA-01
    TDW-03-01vertexone logo w-tagline NEWWilson Construction-01

Silver Sponsors

Session Sponsors
Black + Veatch-01

Meet The Speakers

Dr. Sherry Cooper

Dominion Lending Centres

Chief Economist
Learn More

Dr. Cooper is Chief Economist of Dominion Lending Centres. Canada’s leading mortgage and leasing company with more than 2,600 members offering free expert advice across Canada. In this role, Sherry helps Canadians understand the issues surrounding their most important financial decision – buying a home.

Named “the megawatt celebrity economist” by Canada’s national newspaper –and repeatedly cited as one of the most influential women in Canada, Sherry served as Chief Economist and Executive Vice-President of BMO Financial Group where she was responsible for global economic and financial forecasting as well as country-risk and industry-risk analysis. She joined BMO Financial Group in 1994 when it acquired Burns Fry, where she had been Chief Economist, Co-Head of Fixed Income and the first female director of a Bay Street investment firm.

Well-known as a media commentator, Sherry’s third book – The New Retirement: How It Will Change Our Future – was a block-buster best-seller.

Dr. Cooper has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. She began her career at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. where she worked very closely with then-Chairman, Paul Volcker and subsequently joined the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) as Director of Financial Economics.

Caroline Winn

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Chief Executive Officer

Melanie Bayley

ATCO Electric

President

Bruce Folkmann

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

President & CFO
Learn More

Bruce Folkmann is president and chief financial officer for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities.
Folkmann became president and chief financial officer in August of 2020. Previously, he served as senior vice president, controller and chief financial officer of SDG&E. His responsibilities included accounting, financial planning and treasury, regulatory accounts and business innovation, energy supply and asset management functions.
Since joining Sempra Energy in 2005, Folkmann has held positions of increasing responsibility, primarily in the accounting and finance organizations with the Sempra Energy family of companies. He joined SDG&E in 2015.
Folkmann graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston Honors College, receiving degrees in accounting and finance. He is a certified public accountant.
Folkmann serves on the board of directors of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation. The Foundation preserves and protects for educational and recreational purposes the natural environment of the 7,200-acre park in partnership with the City of San Diego.

John Hairston

Bonneville Power Administration

Administrator and CEO
Learn More

John Hairston was named administrator and CEO in January 2021. In this role, he is responsible for managing the nonprofit federal agency that markets carbon-free power from Columbia River hydroelectric dams and the region’s one nuclear plant. BPA also operates most of the high-voltage power grid across the Pacific Northwest, distributing renewable energy to the region and beyond.
Hairston, who joined BPA in 1991, served as acting administrator since September 2020. Previously, he served as chief operating officer since October 2019, where he oversaw Power Services; Transmission Services; Environment, Fish and Wildlife; Customer Support Services; and the Business Transformation Office.
Hairston also served as BPA’s chief administrative officer, beginning in June 2015. In this role he provided policy and strategic guidance concerning BPA’s internal operations and oversaw Safety; Human Capital Management; Security and Continuity of Operations; Supply Chain; Workplace Services and Information Technology.
In 2006, Hairston was named BPA’s chief compliance officer, leading the development and implementation of the Agency Compliance and Governance Organization, providing overall coordination and management of systems and processes established to assure agency compliance with regulatory rules and standards.
Hairston began his career at BPA as an economist in the Rates Forecasting and Rate Design organizations and then performed various positions in Energy Efficiency, including the program manager for Peak Load Management. In 2002, Hairston was assigned to implement and manage the BPA Power Services product, Slice. The Slice product accounts for a sizeable portion of BPA’s annual sales with a portfolio of its largest public customers.
Hairston holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Southern University, a master’s degree in Urban Studies from Portland State University and a Juris Doctorate from the Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. He also holds the certification of Compliance and Ethics Professional from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

Susan Gray

UNS Energy Corp.

President & CEO
Learn More

Susan Gray is President and Chief Executive Officer of Tucson Electric Power, UniSource Energy Services and their parent company, UNS Energy Corporation, based in Tucson, Arizona.
Susan is focused on promoting innovation and operational excellence during a time of dynamic change for UNS and the energy industry.
Susan came to TEP as an engineering student in 1994 and advanced through several management positions in Transmission and Distribution Operations. She established herself as a collaborative, inclusive leader who inspires a culture of safety, recognition and transparency.
She was named Vice President of Energy Delivery in 2015 and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2019. She was named President in January 2020 and became CEO in January 2021.
Through her work engaging employees in refreshing the company’s vision and values, Susan has shaped a culture of continuous learning through a values-driven approach that’s focused not just on what the company achieves, but how those achievements are accomplished.
A strong believer that diverse perspectives lead to better solutions, Susan supports STEM education and programs that introduce girls to career opportunities in the craft trades. She is a founding member of Women in Energy, a company group that seeks to develop, mentor and inspire women in the energy industry.
Susan leads the company’s efforts to advance economic development in the communities we serve. She serves on the boards of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Sun Corridor and the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and College of Engineering. She also serves on advisory boards for the Edison Electric Institute and Western Energy Institute, two electric industry trade organizations. She also brings her industry experience and leadership acumen to the boards for Central Hudson Gas & Electric and Caribbean Utilities Company, two other utilities in the Fortis family.
Committed to community, Susan is a longtime member of the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson, a charity that is close to her heart for its work to help break the cycle of poverty by providing children with a safe, nurturing and learning environment.
Susan earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from the University of Arizona. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and competing in triathlons.

Jawaad Malik

Southern California Gas Company

Vice President, Strategy, Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer

Admiral James Stavridis

US Navy (Ret.)

Vice Chairman, Global Affairs, the Carlyle Group; NATO’s 16th Supreme Allied Commander Europe; 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University; Chief International Analyst for NBC News

Aidan McSheffrey

Salt River Project

Chief Financial Executive & Associate General Manager

Justin Brock

Northern Wasco County PUD

Customer Service & Key Accounts Manager

Andrea Kuehnel

NW Natural

Engineer Manager Resource Center Operations
Learn More

Andrea Kuehnel manages engineering staff that support the NW Natural Resource Center operations and capital project construction. Ms. Kuehnel has held various positions including Transmission Engineer, Pipeline Integrity Engineer and Field Resource Engineer, including supervisory responsibilities for the past ten years. Previously, Ms. Kuehnel practiced for 13 years as a Geotechnical Engineer consultant in Portland, OR and Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Kuehnel holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Ohio State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Oregon and Washington.

Andrea Martinez

New Mexico Gas Company

Manager, Pipeline Safety Management Systems

Kurtis Martin-Sturmey

METSCO Energy Solutions Inc.

Manager, Infrastructure Advisory

David O’Claire

Bonneville Power Administration

Manager, Substation Project Engineering
Learn More

Dave O’Claire has been in the energy and telecom infrastructure industries his entire 24-year career, the last 19 at BPA. For the last two years he has managed BPA’s substation project engineering group and for the prior 10 years, he managed the structural engineering group. For the early part of his career, Dave served as a civil-structural engineer both at BPA and in the communication structures industry. In his free time, Dave loves spending quality outdoor time with his wife and three kids, working on his two project cars, coaching swimming and serving as an adult volunteer in Scouts BSA.

Petra Wallace

Roseville Electric

Electric Risk and Compliance Manager

Andrew Braeger

Tacoma Power

Data Services Manager

John Cassano

EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc.

Senior Manager, Transmission Program Management

Brad Hennessey

POWER Engineers, Inc.

Vice President of Distribution Services

Rebecca Naslund

Montana-Dakota Utilities

Senior Engineer

Lily Otieno PMP

Southern California Gas Company

Director, Supply Chain

Elysia Treanor

Portland General Electric

Environmental Policy Manager

Michael Ballard

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Manager, Accounting Assistant Controller

Sarah Creighton

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Enterprise Risk Program Manager

Brandon Hawkins

Wilson Construction Company

Environmental Director

Amanda Mattern

ATCO Electric

Regional Manager

Alyssa Wahlin

Dominion Energy

Engineer II
Learn More

Alyssa started working for Dominion Energy in 2014. During that time she has been working as a Research & Development Engineer. In this role she manages various projects internally and through national research consortiums that are all focused on creating a safer and more efficient working environment for Operations and Engineering in the company. Many project lately have also focused on renewable energy sources. Alyssa earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University, her MBA from the University of Phoenix, and recently obtained her professional engineering license (PE). When not at work, Alyssa enjoys hiking in the mountains and spending time with her family, especially her 3 year-old nephew.

Jeanine Weinglass

Arizona Public Service Company

Information Technology Manager

Sandra Ball

Seattle City Light

Manager, Business Customer Service

Lindsay Barretto

Idaho Power Company

Senior Manager, 500kV and Joint Projects
Learn More

I graduated from Purdue University with bachelor and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering and was recruited by ExxonMobil Development Company to join their Offshore Installation team. That opportunity allowed me to travel the world and experience offshore construction vessels which gave me the unique perspective that I have today. Because of my desire to return to the Rocky Mountain West, I left ExxonMobil to join Idaho Power Company’s Power Production Engineering and Construction team in 2010. As a Project Engineer, I worked on hydroelectric projects and regulatory compliance. I transitioned to Transmission and Distribution Engineering and Construction as a project manager leading lines and substation projects before becoming the Stations Engineering and Design Leader. In October 2020, I was promoted to my current role as Senior Manager of 500kV and Joint Projects. I am a licensed professional engineer in the state of Idaho and outside of work I enjoy mountain biking and traveling.

Shawn Huravitch

NorthWestern Energy

Manager Operations – Butte Division

Bill McClellan

Salt River Project

Manager, Air Quality Services

Andrew O’Flaherty

Mosaic

Sr. Account Executive

Michelle Sim

Southern California Gas Company

Director of Sustainability

Tamara Bradley

Avista Utilities

AMI Program Manager

Alice Fung

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Electrical Services Manager

Derek Hermann

Snohomish County PUD

Sr. Manager Customer Services

Elizabeth Lawrence

Arizona Public Service Company

Supervisor, State Regulatory Affairs

Jennifer Voelker

Itron, Inc.

Product Management Specialist

Roque Bamba

Puget Sound Energy

Director Project Delivery

Crystal Chambers

Southern California Edison

Senior Manager of Emergency Management

Lindsay Walker Hobson

ENSTAR Natural Gas Company

Director of Corporate Resources and Communications

Shafin Remtulla

ENMAX Corporation

Controller, Competitive Energy

Dustin Yost

Altec, Inc.

Manager – Product Marketing

J Kyle Olson

El Paso Electric Company

Manager, Power Generation Engineering

Lindsay Walker Hobson

ENSTAR Natural Gas Company

Director of Corporate Resources and Communications

Jenny Compton

Avista Utilities

Customer Service Manager

Scott Williams

FortisAlberta Inc.

Manager Asset Management

Sean Ihorn

El Paso Electric Company

Director - Tax

Jennifer McRae

ENMAX Corporation

Manager, Project Management - Internal Portfolio and Major Projects
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Jennifer has held the role of Manager, Transmission System Development and Asset Management since December 2018. Prior to this role, during a time of transformation at ENMAX, Jennifer also managed Distribution System Development as well as Customer Intake. Jennifer is currently responsible for leading the team through the ideation and development of ENMAX’s transmission capital projects as well, is responsible for the transmission capital budget and ensuring project execution is aligned to our approved capital plan and budget. Her team is also responsible to provide regulatory defense of ENMAX’s Cost of Service Applications and Transmission Facility Applications.

Prior to joining ENMAX in May of 2018, Jennifer held various technical and leadership roles over 14 years at the Alberta Electric System Operator, including System Planning, Project Management and Program Management. Jennifer graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2001 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Since joining ENMAX, Jennifer has enjoyed many leadership opportunities and working and collaborating with a fantastic team and others across the organization. Married for 14 years with two wonderful children to keep me busy! Jennifer is also an avid runner and tried to prioritize a run a day.

Eivind Perander

Seattle City Light

Principal Electrical Power Systems Engineer

Cody Quezada

Southern California Gas Company

Field Operations Manager

Timothy Foley

Puget Sound Energy

Manager, Information Technology Enterprise Data

Deanna Orpen

SaskPower

Customer Relations Manager
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I have been with SaskPower for 12 years in a variety of different roles within the company, starting in the Customer Service division responding to customer related inquiries. Shortly into my career, I joined Business Support Services, supporting Distribution Operations. In 2012, SaskPower implemented a new technology solution and launched a provincial dispatch center to schedule and dispatch field resources. I managed this new department, and was accountable for development of business processes and performance metrics related to workforce management. My 6 years in this role provided me a broad perspective of operations, asset management and the electrical industry as a whole. From there I became Manager of Distribution Operations and Maintenance for the South East part of Saskatchewan with a service area of 62,500 KM² overseeing a team of 35 Power Line Technicians. Key areas of accountability include ensuring the safe and efficient operation and maintenance of the distribution system, managing customer related escalations and administration of the operational budget. This led me to my current Customer Relations Manager role, leading a team of 8 specialists responsible to manage contracts and financial aspects of new customer connections to the Distribution grid.

Manuel Avendaño

Southern California Edison

Sr Manager - Transmission Evaluations & Support

Christine Giannini

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Principal Resource Optimizer – Power

Travis Squires

METSCO Energy Solutions Inc.

Manager, Data Science

Erika Larsen

Arizona Public Service Company

Manager, Product and Program Implementation

Zeecha Van Hoose

Clark Public Utilities

Sr Key Accounts and Industrial Programs

Shanna Dee

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Operations & Engineering Manager

Sunshine R Schmidt

Bonneville Power Administration

Federal Preservation Officer/Supervisory Archaeologist

Twila Hofer

Tacoma Power

Reliability & Compliance Supervisor

Chad Wilding

Dominion Energy

Supervisor, Pipeline Safety Management Systems

Christopher Bozzini

Portland General Electric

Sr. Manager, Environmental Services

Jennifer Cannon

Arizona Public Service Company

Manager Customer Construction

Garrett Bishop

Idaho Power Company

Senior Manager, Power Production Engineering & Construction

Kristi Sterling

Snohomish County PUD

Senior Manager, ITS Application Management

Kaz Berjian P. Eng.

ATCO Natural Gas

Manager, Asset Management

Summer Loving

Itron, Inc.

Sr. Manager, Product Development
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I started working at Itron in May 2011 as an Applications Engineer focusing on the ZigBee (Home Area Network) functionality of our OpenWay meter product line. In April 2013, I transitioned from the Marketing department to Research and Development to a team known as the Meter Farm. At that time, I was both a tester of our new products (FW and HW) for the OpenWay product line through the Meter Farm test environments, and I was also managing the FW Customer Sustaining activities. In May 2015, I transitioned to managing both the Meter Farm and the FW Customer Sustaining work. Myself and my team focus on the Network solutions (OpenWay and GENX) of the Itron products. Prior to working at Itron, I worked at Raytheon for 2.5 years. I received both my BS (2006) and MS (2008) in Physics with a specialty in experimental optics from Texas A&M University.

Kevin Mann

Hydro One Inc.

Manager Customer Service & Business Integration

Allison Bahen

Southern California Edison

Principal Manager, Capital Governance and Strategic Projects

Jason Stuart

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Meter Reading Supervisor

Carolyn Arens

Williams Northwest Pipeline

Commercial Services Rep III

Jason McClafferty

NorthWestern Energy

Manager, Gas Operations

David Gutschmidt

Cascade Natural Gas Corp.

Director, North West Region

Ryan McNeil

EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc.

Sr. Manager, Regulatory & Business Planning
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Ryan McNeil became the Senior Manager, Regulatory and Business Planning for EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. (EDTI) in December 2017. He has held various leadership roles in the areas of regulatory, business planning and analytics since joining EPCOR in 2002 (Ryan completed an internship with EPCOR in 2001). Ryan is currently responsible for leading a variety of EDTI regulatory applications, managing regulatory compliance activities, and leading EDTI business planning activities. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta’s School of Business in 1999, and a MBA in Natural Resources and Energy from the University of Alberta in 2002. Ryan lives in Edmonton, Alberta with his wife Saskia and two children. When not working, Ryan enjoys spending time with family and friends, camping and traveling.

Jason Hills

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Manager of Substation Engineering and Electrification

Laura Olson

Salt River Project

Manager, Power Supply & Trading
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Laura Olson is currently the Manager of Strategic Planning at the Salt River Project (SRP). Her primary role is to lead her team in reporting on emerging trends and making recommendations on associated impacts to SRP and in assisting the GM Staff in formulating and integrating SRP’s corporate strategy. Since joining SRP in 2012, Laura’s other roles focused on future nuclear generation development, resource acquisition, and regulatory policy.

Prior to joining SRP, Laura worked with the Arizona Corporation Commission, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in Washington, DC, and as civil designer with Stanley Consultants in Phoenix. She also has experience working with the Modesto Irrigation District, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Laura has her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo and a Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School. She is a licensed professional engineer and a member of the State Bar of Arizona.

She lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband, Kris, their daughter Ashton and their desert tortoise, Houdini.

Amber Blixt

Roseville Electric

Utility Government Relations Administrator

Charles Woodard

Wilson Construction Company

Sr. Project Manager / Estimator Major Projects
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Chuck Woodard is an experienced and well-respected construction manager, project manager, estimator, and team leader for Wilson Construction. Mr. Woodard brings a personalized approach, innovation and focus on team chemistry to every project. His level of dedication to safety, quality and overall project health are a driving force behind the success of our customers’ projects. With over 15 years of transmission, distribution, and remote radio/cellular experience Mr. Woodard has worked from the Atlantic to the Pacific with significant experience in California, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii. Mr. Woodard holds dual degrees in Business and Economics and has received professional certificates in Project Management and Construction Management. He resides in Turner, OR with his wife, two boys, and bullmastiff. Mr. Woodard’s hobbies include fishing, hiking, and golf.

Donald Raikes

Dominion Energy

President - Gas Distribution
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Donald R. Raikes is president–Gas Distribution.
He is responsible for leading Dominion Energy’s gas distribution operations across the company’s footprint.
Since joining the company in 1985, he has held various positions in the interstate gas pipeline business segment. Raikes was part of the commercial team that implemented the wholesale restructuring and also led the commercial team that reactivated the Cove Point
LNG terminal. He was also responsible for the commercial transactions relating to the Cove Point Export project, as well as the ACP project. He
previously was vice president–Transmission Marketing & Business Development and was named vice president–Pipeline Customer Service & Business Development in November 2014. In August 2017, he was appointed senior vice president- Dominion Midstream Operations. In February 2019, he became senior vice president–Gas Transmission Operations and oversaw operations of the company’s portfolio of natural gas terminaling, processing, storage, transportation and related assets. He assumed his current position in October 2019. Raikes serves on the board of Homeward Virginia and serves as chair for Southern Gas Association (SGA).
He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fairmont State University.

Angie Gildea

KPMG LLP

National Sector Lead – Energy, Natural Resources & Chemicals
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Angie Gildea serves as the U.S. National Sector Lead for Energy which includes Oil and Gas, Chemicals, Power and Utilities, Mining, and Natural Resources. In this role, she is responsible for the creation of leading industry services, thought leadership and go-to-market strategies across KPMG’s audit, tax, and advisory functions. She also serves as a Global Lead Client Partner for a Fortune 20 client and is a member of KPMG’s Global Energy leadership team.

Angie has 20 years of diverse management consulting experience and specializes in transformation programs related to disruptive and emerging technologies facing multinational clients in the Energy sector. She has extensive experience working with field operations and petrotechnical functions, and has been a frequent guest speaker on the topics related to digital oilfield, corporate strategy, talent management, and emerging technologies. Ms. Gildea also has extensive experience working with global teams in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Alaska North Slope, US Gulf of Mexico, and both conventional and unconventional resource basins in the US.

Ms. Gildea is active in the local community. A recipient of Houston Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business 2020 award, she is successful both professionally as well as active in the community. Angie serves on the Board of Directors for Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) and in the Texas Executive Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. In addition, Ms. Gildea serves on the Board of Trustees for River Oaks Baptist School. She is also a former member of the Junior League of Houston and a previous Board member for Trees of Hope, and organization serving Houston’s largest homeless shelter.

Ms. Gildea holds a B.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University. She resides in Houston, TX with her family.

Jason Glickman

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

EVP, Engineering, Planning, and Strategy
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Jason Glickman is Executive Vice President of Engineering, Planning, and Strategy of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

Glickman started his role at PG&E in May 2021 and is responsible for PG&E’s near-term engineering priorities and long-term planning, including oversight of the utility’s gas system and electric infrastructure.

Glickman brings extensive strategic experience and deep industry expertise to PG&E, having most recently served as a Partner and the Global Head of Utilities and Renewables at Bain & Company. He became a Partner in 2014 and the Global Head of Utilities and Renewables in March 2020. At Bain, his clients included major investor-owned utilities and other industry leaders, with which he worked closely over sustained periods of time to deliver measurable results. His work focused on advising leading energy companies on strategy and sustainability, as well as affordability and digital transformation. Glickman has designed and implemented comprehensive long-term plans that encompass asset strategy, engineering and operations, and he has led several multi-year enterprise affordability programs to benefit customers.

Prior to becoming a Partner at Bain, Mr. Glickman served as a consultant there from 2007 to 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Glickman served as a Principal at EY – Parthenon (formerly The Parthenon Group) from 2002 to 2007.

He holds a BS and an MS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

Mike Marsh

SaskPower

President and Chief Executive Officer
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Mike Marsh became President and Chief Executive Officer in April 2015. He joined SaskPower in 1991, following 12 years in the construction industry in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

At SaskPower, Mr. Marsh has held several management positions in engineering, maintenance, business planning and corporate planning. He joined the SaskPower Executive table as Vice-President of Transmission and Distribution in 2007. In 2012, he became Vice-President of Operations and Chief Operations Officer, responsible for all operational areas including Power Production, Transmission Services and Distribution Services.
Mr. Marsh attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He later studied at Queen’s School of Business and obtained a Master of Business Administration. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan.

Mr. Marsh received the 2016 Electricity Industry Leader of the Year Award from Electricity Human Resources Canada. In January 2018, he was named the University of Saskatchewan College of Engineering’s 42nd C.J. Mackenzie Distinguished Lecturer and was an inductee to the Alumni Wall of Distinction, College of Engineering.

Dondi Schneider

Accenture Inc

Managing Director, North America Utility Sector Lead

Eric DeBonis

Southwest Gas Corporation

Senior Vice President, Operations
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Eric is Senior Vice President/Operations leading division operations and corporate engineering in providing safe, reliable, and affordable service to Southwest’s customers in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
Eric is responsible for developing and executing strategies to enhance safety, reliability and the customer experience; advance integrity management, public safety and technical training programs; increase operational efficiencies; and identify and construct capital investments with supportive cost recovery. He is focused on advancing the Company’s Pipeline Safety Management System (PSMS); delivering continuous and efficient operational improvements; and sponsoring efforts to modernize the legacy customer information system and integrated solutions.
Eric joined the Company in 1993 and has been named to various positions at Southwest Gas including Manager/Engineering in 1996, Director/Engineering Staff in 2002, Director/Operations in 2004, Vice President/Central Arizona Division in 2008, Vice President/Special Projects in 2010, Senior Vice President/Staff Operations and Technology in 2011, and Senior Vice President/Operations in 2012. Prior to Southwest, he worked at Public Service Company of New Mexico.
Eric received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. He completed the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in 2011 and is a registered Professional Engineer in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Eric currently serves on the Western Energy Institute Board of Directors, the American Gas Association Operations Section Managing Committee and Board Safety Committee, and the Board of Trustees of HELP of Southern Nevada.