Annual Meeting (Sep 20-22)

This three-day event brings together 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.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • David Hutchens, President and Chief Executive Officer, UNS Energy Corp.

    • Program Location
    • JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa
    • 3800 West Starr Pass Blvd
      Tucson, AZ 85745
    • Who Should Attend
      • Energy industry executives
      • WEI Board of Directors
      • Executive Planning Committees
      • Service company providers
      • Senior management professionals

      The Annual Meeting is open only to WEI member companies and special invited guests. If you are not a member of WEI, please contact Kevin Sullivan about membership options at

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $999 USD

    Registration prices increase $100 after August 31, 2017. Registration includes meeting materials, 1 reception, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 breaks, all presentations and panel discussions, one dinner and admission to the Service Company reception and dinner event. Guest passes are available for $299 and allow a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event.

  • 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.
  • For more information contact Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs at (503) 688-2795.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

7:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Optional Golf Networking at Starr Pass Golf Club

8:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Optional Desert Museum Networking Tour

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Women in Leadership

Current Women in Leadership Participants Only

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

WEI Board Executive Committee Meeting

Open only to committee members.

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Check In + Nametag Pickup

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

WEI Board of Directors Meeting

Open only to board members.

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Welcome Reception

Sponsored by SAP.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Board of Directors Dinner - Offsite

Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell.

Invitation only. Open to board members and invited guests.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration + Materials Pickup

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Breakfast + Opening Remarks
Speaker(s): David Hutchens, President and Chief Executive Officer, UNS Energy Corp.

Sponsored by Hubbell Gas Connectors & Accessories.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

The Great Rewrite
Speaker(s): Leonard Brody, Chairman Creative Labs, Business Technology Visionary, & Author, Creative Labs

We are living in a unique moment in history, when revolutionary change is occurring at a frenzied pace. Whereas the Industrial Revolution took over a century to cement, widespread change now happens in decades, or even in just years. While change used to happen from the top down, through governments and management, change now happens from the ground up, with savvy entrepreneurs dictating everything from new technology, to currency, to banking practices, to “the internet of things”. This massive scale of disruption has understandably left organizations on shaky footing, struggling to engage consumers and employees alike and stay relevant. Those that learn to adapt to this rapid pace of change, that allow themselves to be “rewritten” for the modern day, will survive and prosper. Leonard Brody explains the answer to this widespread uncertainty, and how to harness it in your company.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Networking Break

10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Are You Ready for the Transformation?
Moderator(s): Dennis Vermillion, President, Avista Utilities and Senior Vice President, Avista Corp.
Panelist(s): Jonathan White, Managing Director, Energy and Natural Resources, Strategy, KPMG LLP, Greg Peterson, Jason Glickman, Partner, Bain & Company, Inc., Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner, DBL Partners, Stephen Callahan, Vice President | Energy, Environment & Utilities, Global Strategy, IBM Americas

This panel will provide insights and perspective to help your company lead through the critical transformations at hand. You no longer have the luxury of years to make critical strategic changes to your business plan. Tomorrow is today! As you face an extremely complex landscape of market forces, you need to continually evaluate the latest developments and predictions for mergers and acquisitions, regulatory changes, and technological advances that will shape how we serve our customers and succeed as a thriving business enterprise.

11:45 AM - 1:30 PM

Lunch + The Economic and Political Realities Facing the President and Congress
Speaker(s): Austan Goolsbee, Chairman, President's Council of Economic Advisers (2010-2011) and Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Lunch sponsored by Henkels & McCoy. 

With jobs, taxes, deficits and spending dominating the headlines, it is clear that political and economic issues are now more intertwined than at any time in recent history. A renowned economist who has extensive experience working in and around politics—most notably as Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers,  Austan Goolsbee understands both the economic and political realities that face both the President and Congress.  An analyst for ABC News and sought-after by the media for his views on the politics of economics and his clear style, Goolsbee thoughtfully examines the industries, groups, countries and geographies that will be doing better or worse in 2017 and beyond—and what this means for future elections and policy outcomes for the President, the Senate and the House. Taxes, trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico, regulatory, financial and energy policies are all at stake and Goolsbee shows just what this means for America and Canada. 

1:30 PM - 1:45 PM


Sponsored by Asplundh.

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

The Power of Big Data and Analytics
Moderator(s): Henry Bailey, Global VP, Utility Industry Business Unit, SAP
Panelist(s): Todd Inlander, Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Southern California Edison, Kip Morison, Chief Information Officer, BC Hydro, Gary Hayes, CIO & VP of IT, CenterPoint Energy, Caroline Winn, Chief Operating Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

As utilities move beyond traditional service models of safely and efficiently delivering electric, gas and water, they will need to leverage big data and advanced analytics to offer new services and products. New technologies offer opportunities to achieve these goals, but dealing with privacy and security, hiring the right people, organizing the analytics, ensuring regulatory considerations, applying proper budgets and allocating resources need to be better understood to be successful. This panel will explore big wins in data analytics that have helped companies gain insights to enhance operational excellence and predict what customers want before they even know it.

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Concurrent Meetings

Invitation only

Facilitated Roundtable for Presidents and CEOs of Utilities both Electric and Gas
Customer Connections Board Committee
Corporate Services Board Committee
Electric Operations Board Committee
Gas Operations Board Committee

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Platinum/Gold + Service Company Committee Meeting

Open only to committee members.

5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Service Company Reception and Dinner

Join us for a wonderful evening sponsored by WEI service companies.

Friday, September 22, 2017

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Breakfast and 2018 Western Energy Institute Theme
Speaker(s): Ronald Nichols, President, Southern California Edison

Breakfast sponsored by Asplundh

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Networking Break

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Drones "Flying Into the Future"
Speaker(s): Brandon Lance, Skyline District Manager, Intermountain Gas Company, Joe Maloney, Program Manager, Work Smart, BC Hydro, Julie Ellington Watson, Product Line Manager, Itron, Inc., Michele Miranda, Manager Federal Government Affairs, Portland General Electric, Deborah DePetris, Energy Services Manager, Clark Public Utilities, Kane Claunch, Construction Manager-Distribution Operations, NorthWestern Energy

On August 29, 2016 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enacted the first operational rules for routine non-hobbyist use of drones. These new regulations now allow anyone who passes the remote pilot certificate exam to legally fly drones for commercial purposes. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a recent statement regarding promising drone technology, “Eventually, our goal is to have a fleet of Aquilas (drone prototype) flying together at 60,000 feet, communicating with each other with lasers and staying aloft for months at a time – something that’s never been done.” Utilities are starting to embrace this type of technology that benefits all types of customers: internal, shareholders, and third party. This presentation highlights current utility drone programs that will help shape the future of this emerging technology, while exploring utilities’ ability and desire to embrace new technology.

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

The Honeymoon is Over: How to Save the Relationship with Your Customers
Speaker(s): James Baldwin, Enterprise Risk Analyst, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Neal Pobran, Senior Manager, Community and Aboriginal Relations, FortisBC, Cindy Bostock, Supervisor - Customer Credit Services, Dominion Energy Questar Corporation, Deborah Rever, Manager: General Accounting, A/R, & Unclaimed Property, Salt River Project, Brandon Atkins, Scheduling Manager, Henkels & McCoy, Inc., Ozan Ferrin, Automation Engineering Supervisor, Tacoma Power

The honeymoon is over!  For too long utilities have taken their historic monopolistic relationship with customers for granted.  Now they are paying for it through an increasingly dynamic and, one might say “hostile”, regulatory environment.  Regulations are a product of our customers.  Our customer base is a cross-section of society and they are the ones who comprise our regulatory bodies.  Utilities can no longer afford to stay idle and passively adapt to mandated policies.  We must learn how to anticipate future customer demands, proactively identify and implement innovation, and actively influence future regulatory outcomes. 

To achieve these objectives, and continue to play a relevant role in the future energy industry, it will be essential for utilities to understand and value the mindset of their customer.  The customer is the driving force of new regulations.  Dramatic changes will need to be implemented, reaching far and wide into all aspects of the utility’s organization.  The mindset of every employee at the utility will need to be transformed.  The new core foundation of the future successful utility needs to incorporate revolutionizing company values and goals, communicating transparently and effectively, understanding and appreciating each customer, and embracing and adapting to innovation.

Utilities must face the reality that the historic customer monopoly is over.  Prompt and strategic changes are required to keep the honeymoon alive.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

How does Betty Compete in a World of Veronicas?
Speaker(s): Eric Hackett, Engineering Leader - Station Engineering & Design, Idaho Power Company, Jim Musser, Manager, Internal Audit & ethics, Puget Sound Energy, Vanessa Kisicki, Manager, Policy, Procedures, Standards, Salt River Project, Darlene Sakahara, Manager, Support Resources, Seattle City Light, Michael Rojo, Supervisor, Environmental Services, NV Energy, Michael Heath, Manager, Contract Construction, ATCO Gas

Utilities have a lot to offer potential job seekers and can provide a promising career path for employees but why is it so difficult to recruit and retain top talent in the industry? This presentation will explore the latest strategies that utilities are using to attract high quality candidates and retain top performers as well as identify techniques and tactics exploited by other industries that may be applicable within the utility sector.

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

Machine Learning: The Nexus of the 4th Industrial Revolution
Speaker(s): Teresa D'Alessio, Sr. Manager, ITS Program Management, Snohomish County PUD, Jay Jewess, Director, Business Continuity & Emergency Management, Portland General Electric, Carol Mak, Commercial & Industrial Services Manager, Southern California Gas Company, Mike Mant, Sr. Plant Manager, Generation, BC Hydro, Jonathan Dusenberry, Substation Department Manager, Burns & McDonnell, Justin Merkel, Manager, Transmission Engineering, NorthWestern Energy

Exploring the present and future applications of machine learning technology within the energy industry. We'll discuss the benefits and applications of predictive analytics and touch upon emerging digital workforce and robotic process automation trends. 

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM


11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Are you Ready to Compete?
Speaker(s): Eugene Ayuyao, Senior Manager of Market Segment & Locational Resource Contracts, Southern California Edison, Shanna Brownstein, Manager, Government & Community Affairs, NW Natural, Kirsty Gerig, Engineering Manager, ENMAX Corporation, Jose Padilla, Distribution Integrity Management Program Manager, Southern California Gas Company, Michael Champ, Manager, Enterprise Performance, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Diane Perry, IT Senior Manager Applications and Operations Management, Snohomish County PUD

The traditional utility has experienced a slow evolution for more than a century.  However, new technologies, customer needs and expectations, and changing government policies are forcing a more rapid evolution of utility business models.  The monopoly that once defined a utility will no longer  protect energy companies.  Competition is entering many parts of our business and introducing new market segments.   Energy companies need to consider how competition will influence strategies in Energy Procurement, Generation, Storage, Transmission, Distribution and Customer Programs/Offerings.  We will discuss the need for a fresh approach to address competition which will certainly play a big role in determining the future of the energy industry.

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Get the Luddite Out: A Guide to Smart Modernization
Speaker(s): Jason Weber, Manager, Telecom, Puget Sound Energy, Tyrell Hillebrand, Senior Systems Engineer - Civil, Central Lincoln PUD, Brian Cunnington, Manager, Industrial Services, Cascade Natural Gas Corp., Caroline Vachon, Plant Manager, Redhawk Power Plant, Arizona Public Service Company, John Pacheco, Senior Counsel, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Every utility is facing new and potentially disruptive challenges, including changing customer expectations and new technology.  In order to adapt to this changing landscape, while maintaining profits for shareholders, utilities must face these challenges through innovation and modernization.  However, in light of regulatory restrictions and business models that were not designed for rapid change, utilities need to be smart about where and how they focus their efforts.  Although these efforts will ultimately be guided by the unique needs of each utility, basic guiding principles should form the foundation of each utility’s innovation and modernization strategy.  This panel will present a set of guidelines, using real world examples of success, that can be used to develop a strategy that meets the unique needs of your organization.

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM


Sponsored by EnergySavvy

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Bridging the Gap - Creating Advocates
Speaker(s): Craig Brown, Principal Consultant/Rate and Regulatory Team Lead, Black & Veatch, Christian Henderson, Planning Team Lead, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Inna Johansen, Sr. Manager Gas Supply and Financial Planning, ENSTAR Natural Gas Company, Marciano Navar, Electric Services Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Glenn Madden, Supply Chain Manager, Avista Utilities, Colin Norman, C&EM Manager, Portfolio Projects, FortisBC

What if your customers advocated to your regulators for increased utility investment? In many jurisdictions there is a disconnect between the utility, customers, and the regulators in terms of what’s required for the utility to continue to offer safe and reliable service. This presentation will showcase how to build consensus, trust, and transparency with consumer advocates and other stakeholders on proposed utility investments and how to appropriately bring these investments forward to regulators to ensure a fair and educated assessment.

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Energy Storage: Solutions to Meet the Critical Need for Energy Balance
Speaker(s): Greg Barry, Rate Analyst, TransCanada GTN & North Baja Systems, VaLiesha Brown, Administrative Services Advisor, Seattle City Light, Kevin Noble, Manager, Engineering Distribution Planning, FortisAlberta, Brian Dungey, Manager, Gas Stewardship Program, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Jana Jusupovic, Supervisory Electrical Engineer, Bonneville Power Administration, Geoff Bradmon, Manager, Engineering Project Management Group, TEP

Energy storage is an exciting and emerging market within the energy industry.  The number of utility scale battery storage projects is increasing, more information about the drivers and need for energy storage is becoming available, and technology is rapidly advancing.  Battery storage facilities exist throughout the world, but there are many unanswered questions. This presentation will provide information regarding the current state of energy storage and the potential costs, risks and opportunities associated with battery storage. This presentation will also identify potential drawbacks that utilities may want to consider while navigating the uncertain battery storage market.
Where public policy mandates a 100-year old regulated energy market and 7.5 Billion energy-seeking people in the world combine it’s sure to be a good time – or maybe it’ll just be a mirage?    

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM


2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Innovation Warriors
Speaker(s): Austin Summers, Supervisor, Regulatory Affairs, Dominion Energy, Clark Bryner, T&D Supervisor, Asset Management, TEP, Melissa Lyons, Environmental Commodities Originator/Trader, Chelan County PUD, Nicole Strauser, Director of Legal and Regulatory, New Mexico Gas Company, Scott Merrifield, Program Manager, Community Renewables, ATCO Electric, Mehul Patel, Manager, Day Ahead Operations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Your company doesn’t have to hold casting calls for the next great innovator; they are likely already in training for competition as we speak. Some companies, like a Silicon Valley startup or non-regulated company, may appear to have a competitive advantage when it comes to innovation, but that’s not always the case. So what are you doing today to prepare for the competition?  How are you going to tackle the obstacles? Perhaps even more importantly how are we as leaders providing an environment that fosters customer-centric innovation? Small changes or concepts can make a big difference, but without a culture that embraces change there may not be enough momentum and support to foster innovative growth.

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Silos to Synergy: Pivoting for Success
Speaker(s): Katie Nannini, Community Relations Manager, NV Energy, Cindy Zhang, Senior Manager, Integrated Projects, ENMAX Corporation, Alexis Alexander, Manager Spokane River Plant Operations, Avista Corp., Craig Sisco, Director/System Integrity/Engineering Staff, Southwest Gas Corporation, Simon Zewdu, Power Engineering Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, George Vaughn, Manager, Customer Value & Performance, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Silos are an age-old issue, common throughout several industries, including utilities. While optimal for efficiencies and “getting the work done”, silos can create an environment that stifles collaboration, halts productivity, destroys employee engagement, increases labor and technology costs, duplicates efforts, and can ultimately lead to hazardous working conditions, not to mention frustrated customers. Utilizing more efficient communication strategies and breaking down traditional silos will allow utilities to adjust to the rapidly changing industry and improve production, stifle competition, heighten employee engagement, and most importantly make the company a safer place to work. Drawing on concepts such as balancing communication and “big picture thinking” from modern day technology companies, this presentation will present tools and techniques for utilities to become more flexible and adjust to customer needs as more options for service become available.

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM


3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

Business Acumen Wrap Up (Students and Mentors Only)

An intensive training for high potential managers and supervisors through exposure to broad perspectives of the utility business, its interrelationships and successful leadership strategies. This program is designed by a utility-driven Curriculum Development Team, and directed by facilitators, and executive and alumni mentors. Program sessions are hosted by member utilities and topics are presented by executives, subject matter experts and formal instructors. The first four sessions focus on leadership development, industry perspectives, customer connections, communications and strategic planning. The program includes a capstone project which is delivered to industry leaders at the WEI Annual Meeting. Participants build a broad peer network that continues well into their future careers.

5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Reception, Dinner and Graduation Ceremony for Business Acumen

Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell. 

Open to all attendees.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (877) 622-3140 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $159/night. This rate is guaranteed until August 31, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.

    If you are not able to secure lodging at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, please contact WEI to inquire about overflow room blocks at nearby hotels.

  • Additional Hotel Options
  • The JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa is full. Please contact one of the following hotels for lodging.

    Wyndham Golf Suites
    3645 W Starr Pass Blvd
    Tucson, Arizona 85745
    2.3 miles to JW Marriott Starr Pass
    $159 USD/night

    Make your reservations online or by calling 866.729.7182.

    Aloft Tucson University
    1900 E Speedway Blvd
    Tucson, AZ 85719
    8.1 miles to JW Marriott Starr Pass
    $159 USD/night

    Make your reservations online or by calling 866.716.8143.

    Arizona Inn
    2200 East Elm Street
    Tucson, Arizona 85719
    8.8 miles to JW Marriott Starr Pass
    $149 USD/night

    Call 800.933.1093 to make your reservation now.


All networking events take place on Wednesday, September 20, 2017.


Golf Networking at Starr Pass Golf Club
7:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Registration: $140.00 USD per person

Enjoy a beautiful morning of golf at Starr Pass Golf Club conveniently located right at the resort. A true desert course, natural elements are used as hazards while showcasing majestic vistas of the Catalina Mountains. Legends such as Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Payne Stewart and Nancy Lopez have carved their way through this historic golf course. Registration fee includes green and cart fees, range balls, and a light breakfast. TaylorMade club rentals are available for $69.00 plus tax per set.

Registration fee is not refundable after August 18th. Cancellation Policy: No refunds after August 18. Substitutions are welcomed.


Program Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Aclara-01-01Booz-01Bridge-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01KS Energy Services-01Landis+Gyr-01Mosaic-01-01NPL-01Picarro-01Potelco-01PWC-01Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01Siemens-01TDW-03-01Tendril-01

Gold Sponsors:
ABDD-01ActiveTelesource-01AmecFoster-01Acros-01Asplundh-01 Barnard-01Black + Veatch-01Esource-01Energy Care-01EnergyOttawa-01HDR-01HGCA-01IBM-01Intel-01Intren-01Leidos-01Mears-01Michels-01Milwaukee-01Nexant-01PrintRicoh-01SEL-01-01snelson_300dpiThe HDD Company-01Towers Watson-01Trimble-01Underground Construction-01vertexone logo w-tagline NEWVertical Bridge-01Wilson Construction-01


Session Sponsors:

Meet The Speakers

Leonard Brody

Creative Labs

Chairman Creative Labs, Business Technology Visionary, & Author
Learn More

Leonard Brody has been called “a controversial leader of the new world order” by BC Business magazine. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist, bestselling author, and a two-time Emmy nominated media visionary who is consistently ranked as the #1 speaker on conference programs. In his compelling, customized talks–for clients ranging from the United Nations to Visa and Pepsi–Leonard addresses the rapid pace of change, innovation, and disruption facing us all, and what to do about it.

Leonard has helped in raising millions of dollars for start-up companies; been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history; and has been involved in the building, financing, and/or sale of five companies to date. He is currently the President of the Innovation and Digital Group for the Anschutz Company, one of the largest live sport and entertainment businesses on the planet, which owns assets such as the O2 Arena in London and the Staples Center in LA; sports teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Los Angeles Kings; and is one of the premier concert promotion businesses in the world, seating hundreds of millions of people a year.

Leonard also acts as principal in several venture capital funds throughout the world; is behind the financing and creation of 20-30 companies a year; and is one of the proud owners of Coventry City Football Club in England. If that wasn’t enough, Leonard was asked to run for Mayor of Vancouver in their last election.

A highly sought-after speaker, Leonard has lectured at institutions such as Stanford, the G8 and the United Nations. His insight has been requested by companies such as The Financial Times, Warner Music, Dell, Visa and Pepsi, as well as, the governments of countries such as India, Israel, Ireland, Russia and South Africa. His work has been featured in such publications as Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC and The New York Times.

Leonard is co-author of the bestselling books, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java and Everything I Needed to Know About Business…I Learned from a Canadian. Currently, he is authoring a new book in partnership with Forbes magazine, entitled, The Great Re:Write. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Program at the Harvard Business School.

Jason Furman

United States of America

Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers (2013-2017)
Learn More

Jason Furman was confirmed by the Senate on August 1, 2013, as the 28th chairman of the Council of Economic
Advisers. In this role, he served as President Obama’s chief economist and a member of the Cabinet. Furman served the President since the beginning of the Administration, previously holding the position of principal deputy director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the President. Immediately prior to the Administration, Furman was economic policy director for the President’s campaign in 2008 and a member of the presidential transition team. He held a variety of posts in public policy and research before his work with President Obama. In public policy, Furman worked at both the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council during the Clinton Administration and also at the World Bank. In research, he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and also served in visiting positions at various universities, including New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Furman has conducted research in a wide range of areas, such as fiscal policy, tax policy, health economics, Social Security, and domestic and international macroeconomics.
In addition to numerous articles in scholarly journals and periodicals, Furman is the editor of two books on economic policy. Since leaving the Obama Administration, Furman has joined the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) as a Senior Fellow. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics from Harvard University.

Henry Bailey


Global VP, Utility Industry Business Unit

Dennis Vermillion

Avista Corp.

President, Avista Utilities and Senior Vice President
Learn More

Mr. Vermillion has been president of Avista since January 2018 and CEO since October 1, 2019. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president of Avista and president of Avista Utilities from 2009 to 2018. He also serves as chairman of the board for Avista subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company. Mr. Vermillion joined Avista in 1985 and has held various staff and management positions. His experience covers a broad range of activities, including leadership, energy trading and marketing, risk management, scheduling, resource operations, power/transmission contracting, resource planning and coordination, regulatory issues and production cost modeling. Mr. Vermillion has served as Vice President of Energy Resources for Avista Utilities and prior to that, as President and COO for Avista Energy from February 2001 until its sale in June 2007. He currently serves as a board member for the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Avista Foundation. Mr. Vermillion formerly served on the Boards of Western Energy Institute (WEI) and Spokane County United Way and is a past chairman of the Spokane County campaign. He is a graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.

Jonathan White


Managing Director, Energy and Natural Resources, Strategy

Joseph Scalise

Bain & Company, Inc.

Learn More

Joseph Scalise is a partner in the San Francisco office of Bain & Company, Inc. He joined the firm in 1997 and has worked across Bain’s North America offices in Boston, New York and Dallas as well as internationally in Bain’s Johannesburg office and with teams in Europe and Asia.

Joseph is Head of the North American Utilities Practice and has led assignments across a wide range of issues in the sector across strategy, operations and organization:

– Strategy and M&A: Industry structure and future state scenario planning
– Business Transformation: Integration across strategy, operations and change management
– Continuous Improvement: Productivity and cost in core front line and back-office functions
– Markets and Commodities: Growth and profitability for energy and commodity trading groups

Joe holds an MBA from Wharton and BA in Economics from Lehigh University. Prior to Bain he worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington DC where he specialized in regulated industry economics. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons.

Nancy Pfund

DBL Partners

Managing Partner

Todd Inlander

Southern California Edison

Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Learn More

Todd Inlander is senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) for Southern California Edison (SCE), responsible for managing the company’s information technology infrastructure and applications.
He is responsible for a diverse portfolio of technology assets, including the company’s expansive fiber network, support for its SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Systems, as well as the cybersecurity organization. Inlander is keenly focused on operational excellence, as he seeks to streamline the IT organization and leverage strategic partners to deliver cost-effective technology solutions.
Inlander and his team are focused on delivering a broad array of capabilities, from upgrading and enhancing grid technologies, delivering mobile solutions, enhancing the customer experience through an improved digital experience and increasing the company’s cybersecurity defenses.
Prior to joining SCE, Inlander was vice president and CIO for Edison Mission Group (EMG), at the time a subsidiary of Edison International. In this role, he had responsibility for managing and improving technology capabilities to support the trading, generation and enterprise business requirements.
Before joining EMG in 2008, Inlander served as CIO of the homebuilding subsidiary of Lennar Homes, responsible for delivering technology solutions to support the needs of homebuilding and land operations. He was also senior vice president and CIO for Fleetwood Enterprises, where he drove enterprise resource planning and customer- relationship management initiatives to standardize common applications.
Inlander began his career as an aerospace engineer working for the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
He earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Rutgers
University College of Engineering.

Kip Morison

BC Hydro

Chief Information Officer

Gary Hayes

CenterPoint Energy

CIO & VP of IT

Caroline Winn

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Chief Operating Officer
Learn More

Caroline Winn is chief operating officer for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities. Sempra Energy is a San Diego-based Fortune 500 energy services holding company whose subsidiaries provide electricity, natural gas and value-added products and services.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides service to 3.6 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 873,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.
Winn became chief operating officer of SDG&E in January 2017. Previously, Winn served as chief energy delivery officer, overseeing all energy delivery activities for SDG&E, including electric distribution operations and gas services, customer services, and external and state legislative affairs.
Prior to that, Winn was vice president of customer services and chief customer privacy officer overseeing all customer-related activities for SDG&E, including call centers, smart pricing program, energy efficiency, demand response and customer assistance programs, customer privacy, revenue cycle activities, electric rates and analysis, field services, corporate brand, marketing and customer communications.
Since joining the company in 1986 as an associate engineer, Winn has held a number of leadership positions with SDG&E and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas). Previously, she was director of supply chain management for both SDG&E and SoCalGas following her role as director of transmission and distribution asset management responsible for distribution planning, electric reliability, compliance management and information technology management.
Winn has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California State University Sacramento and is a registered professional engineer in the state of California.
Winn serves on the Management Council and board of directors of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Winn also serves on the board of directors of the Western Energy Institute and the board of advisors for the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center.

Bandon Lance

Intermountain Gas Company

Skyline District Manager

Joe Maloney

BC Hydro

Program Manager, Work Smart

Julie Ellington Watson

Itron, Inc.

Product Line Manager
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Julie is a Marketing Product Line Manager for Itron where she has gained 18 years experience in the gas industry. Based in Owenton, Kentucky, her current responsibilities include; new product launch, product training, developing sales and marketing strategies and creating and maintaining technical documentation. Julie spent 11 years in manufacturing serving as Manufacturing Engineer Manager, Production Manager, Lean Manufacturing Coordinator, and Lead Manufacturing Engineer.

Julie received her Bachelor of Science – Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Degree from Ohio University in 1999, where she was honored with the Robe Leadership Award. Other certifications include: Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Manager, ISO auditor and Appalachian Gas Measurement Short Course completion. She serves on the committee for Appalachian Gas.

Michele Miranda

Portland General Electric

Manager Federal Government Affairs
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Michele has served as PGE’s Manager of PGE Federal Government Affairs since September 2015. She is based out of the Portland, Oregon headquarters and represents PGE on its full range of federal issues before Congress and at federal agencies. She also helps manage the PGE Employees’ Federal Political Action Committee. PGE is an investor-owned utility engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

Prior to joining PGE, Michele spent 9 years serving in the US Senate as Senator Wyden’s Senior Policy Advisor for Natural Resources, as a Senior Counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as a Senior Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee. She led efforts to pass over 15 pieces of federal legislation. Michele previously practiced law in Washington, DC and served in the Peace Corps in Honduras and the Northwest Service Academy, a Portland, Oregon-based Americorps program.

Michele is a graduate of NYU School of Law and the University of Oregon Honors College.

Deborah DePetris

Clark Public Utilities

Energy Services Manager
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Born and raised in and around Portland, Oregon. I currently work in Vancouver, WA at Clark Public Utilities (CPU), located right across the border (Columbia River) from Oregon. I started my career in telecommunications and worked in Customer Accounts, Program Management and Management. For 4 years I worked at PacifiCorp where I got my feet wet in the utility industry. Nine ½ years ago I started at CPU as a Key Accounts Manager and I became a manager with direct reports 3 ½ years ago. I currently manage 7 direct reports who work with key accounts, implement energy efficiency projects, deliver customer service and provide energy efficiency program assistance. I am very detailed-oriented and driven by results. I live with my husband and 2 kids in West Linn, Oregon. I enjoy my job and this ever-changing industry where I get to learn something new every day.

Kane Claunch

NorthWestern Energy

Construction Manager-Distribution Operations

James Baldwin

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Enterprise Risk Analyst
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James Baldwin has 5 years of experience in the utility industry. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Willamette University in 2012. He began his career at Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) in vegetation management as a Utility Forester. In March 2017, James was selected to be an Enterprise Risk Analyst. His previous experiences working with a wide array of departments at Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) enables him to effectively work interdepartmentally to analyze and assess risk and recommend various risk mitigation techniques.

Along with his risk management work, James is EWEB’s primary claims adjuster. His function in this role is to address the risk associated with liability and recovery claims. He does this by recovering the costs EWEB incurs from a responsible party and by thoroughly investigating all liability claims to ensure EWEB only pays for damages or costs they are legally liable for.

Neal Pobran


Senior Manager, Community and Aboriginal Relations
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Neal Pobran is a community and communications professional more than 15 years of experience. Neal started his career in print journalism, including starting his own lifestyle magazine. After that, he took a position in the Government of Saskatchewan’s Executive Council, working closely with Premier Wall and his Cabinet. Currently, Neal is the Senior Manager of Community and Indigenous Relations at FortisBC, managing the working relationships between the utility, First Nations and Municipalities. Prior to moving to Community Relations, Neal managed Corporate Communications at FortisBC where he oversaw strategic communications and media relations.

Cindy Bostock

Dominion Energy Questar Corporation

Supervisor - Customer Credit Services
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My career with Dominion Energy (formerly Questar Gas) began just over 35 years ago. I have worked in many aspects of the Customer Relations area of the company and have been managing the Credit & Collections department for the past four years. Working with attorneys, collection agencies, and customers, we work to minimize loss to keep our net write-off as low as possible to help keep rates as low as possible for all of our customers.

Deborah Rever

Salt River Project

Manager: General Accounting, A/R, & Unclaimed Property
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Deborah has 25 years of Accounting and Finance experience in areas including: leadership, strategic planning, workforce development, financial statement preparation and reporting, budgeting, recruitment, compensation, and benefits. The last 15 years have been spent in the electric utility industry, predominantly in the Financial Accounting and Power Generation areas.

Deborah was the SAP Finance Lead during the recent ERP implementation and was responsible for the successful deployment of the Finance (FI) Module. She was tasked with ensuring the project remained within schedule and cost budget, as well as creating and presenting numerous training sessions for employees and management. Deborah continues to be her company’s subject matter expert on the SAP FI Module.

Deborah is an exceptional mentoring leader who is able to guide, instruct, empower, and instill accountability and transparency throughout departmental functions. She possess outstanding communication, customer service, team building, and leadership skills. Deborah holds a BS in Accounting, an MS in Accounting, and a CPA license.

Brandon Atkins

Henkels & McCoy, Inc.

Scheduling Manager

Ozan Ferrin

Tacoma Power

Automation Engineering Supervisor
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Ozan has attained a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Since he graduated in 2006, he has focused his career development in leading the field of Industrial Automation and Controls Engineering. He started his career automating wood handling and paper mill facilities. Since 2009, he has been applying his experience to engineer hydro plants and fish facilities for Tacoma Power, a part of Tacoma Public Utilities. He is currently managing a team of engineers and engineering technicians for the maintenance, modernization and automation of new and existing hydro plants and fish facilities within the “Tacoma Power – Generation” group.

Eric Hackett

Idaho Power Company

Engineering Leader - Station Engineering & Design
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Eric is a Professional Engineer and Project Management Professional who has been working in the utility industry since 2005. He is currently the Senior Manager of Transmission and Distribution Engineering and Construction Projects at Idaho Power Company. He grew up in Boise, graduating in 2003 from Boise State University (Go Big Blue!) with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering and earned his Masters in Business Administration in 2010 from the same university. Outside of work Eric loves being outside mountain biking, rafting, skiing, fishing, or just generally enjoying nature and sunny skies. He lives in a small suburb of Boise (Eagle, ID) with his wife, daughter, and two sons.

Jim Musser

Puget Sound Energy

Manager, Internal Audit & ethics

Vanessa Kisicki

Salt River Project

Manager, Policy, Procedures, Standards
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Vanessa Kisicki is the Director of Telecommunication Systems at Salt River Project (SRP), overseeing the SRP’s mission-critical telecommunication assets, networks, and services. As part of SRP’s Grid Modernization organization, her team plays a key role in shaping SRP’s grid modernization strategy and enabling new technologies. Prior to joining Telecom Systems, Vanessa led several other teams at SRP within the Grid Modernization Services, Power Delivery, and Information Technology organizations. Before coming to SRP, Vanessa was a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers focused on improving client operations through the implementation of technology solutions.

Darlene Sakahara

Seattle City Light

Manager, Support Resources

Michael Rojo

NV Energy

Supervisor, Environmental Services
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Mike Rojo serves as an Environmental Supervisor for NV Energy. His two primary functions are to (1) ensure compliance with environmental regulations and requirements at 2 of their generating facilities and (2) to help manage environmental investigation, characterization and remediation actions at a recently retired coal fired power plant.

Michael Heath


Manager, Contract Construction
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Graduated in 2007 from the University of New Brunswick with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. Since moving to Alberta to join ATCO in 2008, he has held various design, program/project management and leadership roles within the Engineering and Construction teams. Currently, he leads the In-House Construction teams in Edmonton and Calgary.

Teresa D’Alessio

Snohomish County PUD

Sr. Manager, ITS Program Management
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As the Senior Manager of the ITS Program Management Office at Snohomish County PUD, I am responsible for larger ITS projects at the District, the ITS budget, ITS procurement and ITS contracting. I currently manage a staff consisting of Project Managers, Test Managers, a Release Manager, ITS Budget Lead, Contracts Analysts and an Assistant. Together with our business partners and other ITS staff we identify, plan, and execute IT related projects. Project budgets, varying by year in size, complexity, and quantity. I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, but have lived in the greater Seattle area for the last 22 years. I have a degree in Computer Science and have worked in Information Technology in various roles in different industries including Insurance, Retail, Finance, Publishing, and of course Utilities. I have been with Snohomish County PUD since 2005.

Jay Jewess

Portland General Electric

Director, Business Continuity & Emergency Management
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Jay is the Manager of Business Continuity & Emergency Management overseeing business continuity and incident management functions while working to build resiliency at Portland General Electric (PGE) in Portland, Oregon. He joined PGE in July 2015. Prior to his current role, he was a FEMA Region IX Incident Management Assist Team Lead responsible for responding to disasters in California, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands. He served 27 years in the United States Coast Guard as an engineer, aviator and in incident management. He serves in the community as an American Red Cross Board Member and makes his home in Oregon City, Oregon with his wife Luci.

Carol Mak

Southern California Gas Company

Commercial & Industrial Services Manager
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Carol Mak is currently the Regulatory Manager of Gas Storage Risk Management at SoCalGas, responsible for overseeing a variety of regulatory proceedings, developing strategy and advising in business policy for SoCalGas’ natural gas storage facilities in response to new or emerging regulation, legislation, and public policy.

Prior to this, Carol has held various roles with increasing responsibilities in SoCalGas’ Customer Solutions organization, which most recently included leading the Commercial and Industrial Services team to provide all encompassing, single point customer service and energy solutions for refinery, government, higher education, manufacturing, and commercial accounts. She has had experience developing and building teams from the ground up as well managing and restructuring existing organizations to address changing business environments. Her past responsibilities also included market development/outreach and growth strategy, managing the implementation of gas curtailment events and incident response, advising in tariff, rules, federal contracts, gas market, contract compliance, nonresidential and energy markets, energy efficiency, power generation, cogeneration, emissions testing and environmental compliance.

Carol has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

Mike Mant

BC Hydro

Sr. Plant Manager, Generation
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I started with BC Hydro in 2008, I was the GMS Electrical Operations Manager from Dec 2011 to 2014, had become the Peace Canyon Generation Station Plant Manager from March 2014 though 2016 and my current role is the GMS Sr. Plant Manager with BC Hydro.I have been involved in several different roles and groups within BC Hydro, the GMS Emergency Team, the Managers safety council for the Peace, the Coaching and Mentoring Pilot project and the Hazards and Barriers council to name a few. After I acquired my Red Seal, I then went on to get my Masters Certificate and gained experience in managing projects for 8 years prior to coming to BC Hydro. Having grown up on a farm in the small town of Coombs B.C. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in a neighbor oriented community and I feel I have benefited by learning the value of a helping hand, commitment and punctuality. I stay active in the community thru the volunteer fire dept, and enjoy boating, scuba diving, hunting and fishing (although I am not a great fisherman and worse hunter). I have a small hobby farm with cows and horses that allows me to take advantage of the outdoors, and I always enjoy spending time with my family.

Jonathan Dusenberry

Burns & McDonnell

Substation Department Manager
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Mr. Dusenberry is the Department Manager and Regional T&D Lead for Burns & McDonnell’s Phoenix office. He is responsible for the managerial direction and leadership of the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) Global Practice in the Phoenix office. He is also tasked with the responsibility of building a team and growing a department in a dynamic and profitable manner based upon Burns & McDonnell’s core values of client satisfaction, commitment, dedication, integrity, safety and overall outstanding service. Jonathan has a decade of experience executing or managing engineering only and EPC substation, transmission or distribution projects across the country. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Arizona and Texas.

Justin Merkel

NorthWestern Energy

Manager, Transmission Engineering

Eugene Ayuyao

Southern California Edison

Senior Manager of Market Segment & Locational Resource Contracts

Shanna Brownstein

NW Natural

Manager, Government & Community Affairs

Kirsty Gerig

ENMAX Corporation

Engineering Manager
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Kirsty is a civil engineer with 17 years in the electrical industry. During the past 12 years with ENMAX, she has developed technical, business and leadership abilities that provide the platform for her position as Engineering Manager.

Kirsty provides direction and mentorship to a multi-disciplined team of engineers, designers and drafters. Her team is responsible for the design, procurement, and project management for electrical projects, traction power system maintenance, and asset management recommendations.

In addition to managing the engineering team, she works closely with customers to ensure their needs are understood and commitments are met. Kirsty also champions a cooperative relationship between field and office staff, resulting in integrated project plans, superior designs in terms of constructability and maintainability, minimizing operational impacts to customer systems.

Jose Padilla

Southern California Gas Company

Distribution Integrity Management Program Manager
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I have been with the Southern California Gas Company for 25 years. I began my career as a Construction Technician with cross training in Customer Service as a Field Technician. After 10 years, I transitioned into management as a Field Operations Supervisor managing gas construction crews. Five years later, I transferred to Dispatch as a Dispatch Supervisor. After three years, I went into Technical Services as a Technical Supervisor. Then, I was asked join Operational Excellence to work on the Scheduling and Dispatch project to transition from paper based orders to electronic orders. After the project was deployed, I joined the newly created Gas Operations Staff department as a Technical Advisor to support field employees with the newly deployed technology. Then I was asked to be the Area Resource Manager for the Northwest Region. I managed two Dispatch Offices which cover west Los Angeles county to the north consisting of the San Joaquin Valley. I am now the Distribution Integrity Management Program Manager. My department utilizes the Distribution Risk Evaluation and Monitoring System (DREAMS) to prioritize the planning and construction of our vintage medium pressure main and service pipeline replacements company wide. I have 5 management direct reports and 70 indirect reports.

Michael Champ

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Manager, Enterprise Performance

Diane Perry

Snohomish County PUD

IT Senior Manager Applications and Operations Management
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Diane Perry is Senior Manager of Applications Management within Information Technology Services at Snohomish County PUD in Everett, Washington. Diane has 20 plus years’ experience leading teams in the successful deployment and support of innovative technology and solutions that drive business outcomes. She joined Snohomish County PUD in 2008, and her scope of responsibility encompasses the utility’s enterprise and mission critical application portfolio investments. Diane is proud of her team’s accomplishments towards enabling the utility’s business goals. She also enjoys working in an industry that is part of the community and where there is the opportunity to participate in her organization’s public mission of delivering power and water to our customers in a safe, sustainable and reliable manner and striving to improve every day.

Jason Weber

Puget Sound Energy

Manager, Telecom
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I am a manager within Puget Sound Energy who runs the Telecom Department. I am responsible for 53 Telecom team members which are a mix of management, engineers, and union technicians. I have been in the telecommunications industry for almost 23 years but have only been with Puget Sound Energy for the last 3 years. I have been in management for the last 17 years. In management I have been a supervisor, an area manager, a regional manager, and now I am a 3rd level manager. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Lastly, I served in the Air Force National guard for 6 years as an aircraft electrician.

Tyrell Hillebrand

Central Lincoln PUD

Senior Systems Engineer - Civil
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I am a licensed professional engineer in both Oregon and Washington State. I received a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon Institute of Technology in 2005. After university I worked for the Washington State Department of Transportation for 10 years in various different engineering and supervisory positions delivering highway related projects. In April of 2015 I accepted a position with Central Lincoln PUD in Newport Oregon. Since that time I have picked up a couple more responsibilities. I currently serve as the Director or Engineering and Operations.

I love working in the utility sector. The work is challenging and rewarding and we have a great team here at Central Lincoln. While I enjoy my career as an engineer, my real passion is my family and the outdoors. I have been married to my wife Sarah since 2004 and we have one daughter Brynn who is currently 11 years old. I coach youth sports in our local community and on the weekends you can find us outside camping, hiking, rafting, fishing, scuba diving, and just enjoying the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors.

Brian Cunnington

Cascade Natural Gas Corp.

Manager, Industrial Services
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Brian Cunnington is currently the Manager of Industrial Service for Cascade Natural Gas. He is serving a hybrid role that encompasses key accounts and gas supply with business development. Brian was brought into Cascade in the fall of 2013 as Supervisor of Gas Control to build a new control room. This included hiring and training a high-performing team to follow regulatory requirements and company policies. Before he was hired at Cascade, Brian was working for Iberdrola Renewables, within their National Control Center in Portland, Oregon. His focus was on the day to day operations of Iberdrola’s North America wind farms and solar plants. Prior to Brian’s experience in renewable energy, he was with Northwest Natural Gas for 10 years in their Gas Control Department. Brian’s education consists of a Bachelor’s of Science in Geography from Oregon State University. Brian enjoying golf, snowboarding, and fishing.

Caroline Vachon

Arizona Public Service Company

Plant Manager, Redhawk Power Plant
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B.S. Mechanical Engineering
APS since 2008
Mechanical Engineer – held roles as Plant Engineer, Operations Technical Advisor, Fossil Duty Officer, and Maintenance Manager. Currently Plant Manager at Redhawk Power Plant in Arlington, AZ.

John Pacheco

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Senior Counsel

Craig Brown

Black & Veatch

Principal Consultant/Rate and Regulatory Team Lead

Christian Henderson

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Planning Team Lead
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Christian Henderson is the Manager in the Electric Distribution Engineering department. He has worked for the company for seven years as an engineer in the Grid Operations department as well as the Substation Maintenance and Operations department. He is license in the state of California as a Professional Engineer and has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineer from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University

Inna Johansen

ENSTAR Natural Gas Company

Sr. Manager Gas Supply and Financial Planning
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Inna Johansen is Senior Manager of Gas Supply and financial Planning. She joined ENSTAR over 10 years ago as a regulatory analyst and has held positions of increasing responsibility in various areas, including operations, business development, budgeting, and gas supply departments. In 2012, Inna joined Southern Power Company (SPC), a subsidiary of Southern Company, as an asset manager. While at SPC, she managed the physical, financial, contractual, and operational activities associated with power purchase agreements across multiple states. Inna rejoined ENSTAR in 2014.
Inna holds a BA in Finance from Kazakh State Academy of Business and an MBA from Jennings A. Jones College of Business of Middle Tennessee State University.

Glenn Madden

Avista Utilities

Supply Chain Manager

Marciano Navar

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Electric Services Manager

Colin Norman


C&EM Manager, Portfolio Projects
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Colin is Manager of Portfolio & Marketing Strategy in the Conservation & Energy Management (C&EM) group at FortisBC. Within this role he is responsible for FortisBC’s energy efficiency enabling activities, education and outreach, and regulatory filings.

Colin is an experienced marketer and project lead with close to 20 years of professional experience including over 10 years in the utility industry. Over his career he has held roles in research, brand management, program management and portfolio management.

Colin holds a Bachelor Degree in Commerce from the University of British Columbia and has been a member of the Toastmasters program for over 10 years.

Greg Barry

TransCanada GTN & North Baja Systems

Rate Analyst
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-Senior Rate Analyst specializing in interstate natural gas pipeline cost of service and rate design
-M.A. Economics – Public Utility Regulation Focus – New Mexico State University
-B.B.A. Economics – New Mexico State University

VaLiesha Brown

Seattle City Light

Administrative Services Advisor

Kevin Noble


Manager, Engineering Distribution Planning
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Kevin Noble is an electric distribution engineering professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. In his current role as Manager, Engineering Distribution Planning he is responsible for planning the distribution system to ensure capacity and reliability standards are met, including matters related to required transmission system additions.
Mr. Noble holds a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) from McMaster University. Upon graduation, he joined an engineering consulting firm where he gained experience in electric utility and telecommunication design and project management, before joining FortisAlberta in 2012. Prior to moving to Distribution Planning, Kevin managed Operational Engineering Services consisting of Engineering Standards, SCADA, Protection & Control, and Power Quality teams.

Brian Dungey

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Manager, Gas Stewardship Program

Jana Jusupovic

Bonneville Power Administration

Supervisory Electrical Engineer

Geoff Bradmon


Manager, Engineering Project Management Group
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Graduate from the University of Arizona, Registered Engineer within the state of Arizona. Manages, coordinates and provides leadership to Engineering Transmission and Delivery PMO for capital improvement projects within Tucson Electric Power and Unisource Energy Services territory.

Projects include System Reinforcement, Transmission Line, Communications, Metering upgrades and infrastructure, new substation engineering, procurement and construction, Renewables, and Battery Storage to better serve a growing customer base.

Austin Summers

Dominion Energy

Supervisor, Regulatory Affairs
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Mr. Summers has been the Supervisor of Regulatory Affairs at Questar Gas since 2012 and has worked in regulation since 2009. In his current role, he is responsible for cost allocation, rate design, gas cost adjustments, and forecasting. He has been a witness for the Company in several general rate cases and gas cost adjustment filings. Austin began his career with Questar in 1999 delivering the mail. He has since worked in Customer Service, Operations, Emergency Dispatch, Plant Accounting, and Planning/Budget.

He has a B.S. Degree in Accounting and an M.B.A. Degree from Westminster College. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Utah and belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Clark Bryner


T&D Supervisor, Asset Management
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I was born and raised in Logan, Utah. I attended Utah State University where I received both an academic and athletic scholarship to compete on the track and cross country teams. Go Aggies! While at Utah State, I earned a B.A. in Geography and a M.S. in Bioregional Planning.

I began my professional career as an Environmental Planner for Transcon Environmental in Phoenix, Arizona. I worked at Transcon for 4 years and moved up from Planner, to Supervisor, to Project Manager. My work at Transcon exposed me to the electric utility industry.

In 2010, I accepted a position with Tucson Electric Power as an Environmental and Land Use Planner. In 2012, I accepted the position of Transmission Maintenance Planner, still with TEP, but in T&D Operations which was a completely new career path for me. In 2014, I was offered the opportunity to move into a leadership role to be the acting T&D Supervisor overseeing Single-phase Metering. Most currently, I am the T&D Supervisor overseeing Asset Management. A position that I have held since 2015 when the department was formed.

Melissa Lyons

Chelan County PUD

Environmental Commodities Originator/Trader
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A finance/energy professional with experience in dynamic trading environments and over ten years of experience in the utility industry. In her current role, she focuses on developing and managing Chelan PUD’s environmental portfolio to optimize the value of Chelan’s hydro resources. She works on all aspects of the portfolio from analysis to transaction execution. Prior to joining Chelan PUD, she worked at Washington Mutual and Microsoft in their treasury departments. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Washington.

Nicole Strauser

New Mexico Gas Company

Director of Legal and Regulatory
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Nicole Strauser
Director of Legal & Regulatory, Sr. Counsel
Nicole has been with New Mexico Gas Company since 2010. She is responsible for and oversees all legal matters, including compliance and ethics, contracting, human resources, risk management, customer service, and operations; she also oversees all regulatory aspects of the company.

Nicole has a B.S. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in Business Management and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining NMGC, she practiced law in bankruptcy, commercial law and energy industry matters and served as General Counsel of an insurance and financial services agency and Chief Compliance Officer of its affiliated broker dealer.

Scott Merrifield

ATCO Electric

Program Manager, Community Renewables
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After spending nearly 10 years practicing forestry in Alberta, Canada as a registered professional forester, Scott transitioned into the energy industry with ATCO Electric planning numerous transmission facilities. Serving as the Project Manager for a new 500 km (310 mi) 500 kV AC transmission line, he oversees the route development, consultation, land acquisition and permitting components of the project. Most recently, Scott has taken on an additional role as the Program Manager for Community Renewables as ATCO continues to grow its business providing municipal customers with alternative energy solutions as Alberta transitions away from a reliance on coal fired electricity.

Mehul Patel

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Manager, Day Ahead Operations
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Experienced professional in the Energy Procurement field with a focus on Day Ahead & Real Time Energy Trading/Procurement. Deep understanding of bidding & scheduling of generating resources (Solar, Wind, Natural Gas, Hydro Electric, Nuclear) into CAISO markets.

Started my career (2002-2010) at the Moss Landing Power Plant in the Operations Department focusing on Day to Day Operations, Outage Management/Planning, Training Coordinator Duties, Shift Supervisor Responsibilities.

Joined Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in 2010 first as Real Time Asset Manager performing the responsibilities of the PG&E 24/7 Merchant Trading Desk. In 2012, moved over to the Day Ahead Scheduling Desk primarily focused on bidding & scheduling of PG&E’s supply assets and demand into the CAISO Markets.

Katie Nannini

NV Energy

Community Relations Manager
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Katie Nannini joined NV Energy in early 2015 as senior media relations representative. In April 2016, she moved into her current role as community relations manager where she oversees the company’s northern Nevada’s charitable Foundation, corporate sponsorships and donations, community volunteering opportunities, and community programs and initiatives.

In 2016 NV Energy donated more than $5.4 million to fund hundreds of nonprofit organizations statewide which supports public education, protection of the environment, youth development, arts and multicultural outreach, and health and human services.

With nearly 17 years in public relations and marketing, Katie’s experience combines both private business and non-profit organizations. Prior to NV Energy she served as the assistant director at the nonprofit, Immunize Nevada and public relations manager for The Glenn Group advertising agency, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center all located in northern Nevada.
Her expertise includes leading community relations programs, public relations, media relations, social media and marketing initiatives, multi-media awareness campaigns, and strategizing and implementing community outreach programs and partnerships.

Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Cindy Zhang

ENMAX Corporation

Senior Manager, Integrated Projects
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Cindy Zhang is the senior manager of integrated projects team within ENMAX Power Corporation. She is leading a team that is responsible for executing all capital projects that are initiated and justified by our asset management group related to aging infrastructure. The projects are ranging from Transmission line/Underground cable replacement, substation infrastructure replacement, distribution and downtown underground network infrastructure replacement. Her team is also responsible for supporting the Asset team to justify the prudence of capital expenditures for rate applications.
Cindy moved to Canada in 1998 after graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Power Engineering degree from China. She has then pursued master degree of Electrical Engineering at University of Alberta, Canada in 2000. Cindy is a registered Professional Engineer in Alberta and has been in Utility industry for more than 20 years. She has gained tremendous experiences related to Substation Asset Management, Substation Design, and Project Management on both Transmission, Substation, and Distribution projects.

Alexis Alexander

Avista Corp.

Manager Spokane River Plant Operations
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I have been employed at Avista Utilities since 2008. I started as an Electrical Engineer with the substation design group. After just six months I moved to the generation production team working as a controls and automation design engineer, which I did for nearly eight years. This consisted primarily of automation design in hydroelectric dams, including generators and plant auxiliary systems. In July of 2016, I was given the opportunity to manage the operation of Avista’s hydroelectric dams on the Spokane River, which is my current role.

I received my BS in Electrical Engineering in 2008, MBA in 2014, and professional engineering license (PE) in 2016. I am a proud father of a nearly 1 year old boy and happily married to my high school sweetheart.

Craig Sisco

Southwest Gas Corporation

Director/System Integrity/Engineering Staff
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Craig is the Director of Systems Integrity/Engineering Staff of Southwest Gas. He directs and coordinates support to five operating divisions.
Craig is responsible for research; Transmission and Distribution Integrity Management (TRIMP & DIMP); Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Data Integration, Gas Planning and Pipeline Safety Planning for major initiatives.
In 1999, Craig began his career at Southwest Gas as an Engineer. Throughout his 18 years with Southwest Gas, he has held positions of increased responsibility to include Engineering Supervisor of Southern Nevada Division overseeing the design of transmission and distribution facilities for new business, franchise and system reinforcements; PVC and high-pressure steel pipeline replacements; large meter design; pipeline safety code compliance; MAOP studies and requalification programs and preparation of short and long-term capital budgets.
Craig was subsequently promoted to Engineering Manager and assigned to Carson City and Paiute Pipeline Company (a subsidiary of Southwest Gas). In this role, he oversaw operations of the transmission pipeline system, including design, engineering, mapping, technical services, construction and code compliance activities for Paiute’s pipelines, large meters, city gates, compressor stations and supply point functions. Regulatory requirements for Paiute include FERC, PHMSA, and the public utility commissions of Nevada and California.
Craig accepted the position as Manager of Engineering Staff and relocated to Las Vegas in 2009 where he was responsible for Transmission Integrity Management Program and its implementation at the company. This included auditing of the programs d by PHMSA as well as the public utilities commissions of Nevada, Arizona and California. Craig was promoted to Director in Engineering Staff in June 2013, where he oversaw TRIMP, DIMP, Systems Planning, Data Integration Group, GIS Support, Pipeline Safety, and Laboratory Services. With a reorganization of Engineering Staff in early 2016, he was then assigned to Director of Systems Integrity in February 2016.

Craig received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from University Nevada Las Vegas in 1999 . He also received a Professional Engineer license in Nevada in 2008.

Craig is also extensively involved in the leadership of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Nevada State Chapter, and with several activities for the National level of that professional organization.

Simon Zewdu

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Power Engineering Manager
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I am a Power Engineering Manager responsible for the management of Power System’s Strategic Initiatives –including the development and implementation of a strategic plan, relicensing of a pumped-storage hydro plant with FERC, leading special projects that require cross-functional engagement with key staff across the Power System and external stakeholders, and monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating system-wide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). I have been with LADWP for about 15 years with duties spanning from substation design to project management and contracts. I hold an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Administration with emphasis in finance. I am also a registered Electrical Engineer in the State of CA.

George Vaughn

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Manager, Customer Value & Performance

Brandon Lance

Intermountain Gas Company

Skyline District Manager

Ronald Nichols

Southern California Edison

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Ronald O. (R.O.) Nichols is president of Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for external affairs, compliance, power production and procurement, and other operations. He is a member of SCE’s board of directors.

Nichols has more than 35 years of experience in the electric and water utility industry. He has been a strategic and operational advisor to utilities, state and local government, power suppliers and the financial community on complex energy and utility matters throughout the United States, particularly in the West.

Previously, Nichols was senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs and Nuclear for SCE, overseeing regulatory policy and affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs.

Prior to joining SCE in 2014, Nichols served for three years as General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), where he provided leadership for the utility in supplying reliable and competitively priced water and electricity while continuing to maintain and implement environmentally conscious policies and priorities.

Previously, Nichols was a managing director at the energy practice of Navigant Consulting, an international consulting organization with over 2,000 employees. From 1980 to 1997, before his position at Navigant, he was a co-founder and Senior Vice President of the energy and water utility consulting firm, Resource Management International, which was headquartered in Sacramento with offices throughout North America and in Europe and Asia. Prior to starting his energy and water utility consulting career in 1980, he held positions with the California Department of Water Resources and the California Energy Commission.

Nichols is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a degree in agricultural economics and business management.

David Hutchens

UNS Energy Corp.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Jason Glickman

Bain & Company, Inc.


Austan Goolsbee

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Chairman, President's Council of Economic Advisers (2010-2011) and Professor of Economics
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Austan Goolsbee is the Robert P. Gwinn professor of Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and one of the world’s leading experts on business, government and the economy. Goolsbee also serves as a strategic partner at 32 Advisors, a global consulting and advisory firm.
Goolsbee previously served as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and a member of the cabinet as well as the chief economist for the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (chaired by Paul Volcker).
Goolsbee is a former Fulbright Scholar and Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and he currently serves as a member of the Economic Advisory Panel to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and on the board of the Lumina Foundation. In 2009, he was voted “D.C.’s Funniest Celebrity”.
Goolsbee earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics from Yale University and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Stephen Callahan

IBM Americas

Vice President | Energy, Environment & Utilities, Global Strategy