Board of Directors (Jan 25-26)

This one and a half day event provides a full-day educational session, a business meeting and the opportunity to network with the West’s natural gas and electric utility executive community. The agenda is developed by the WEI President and Board Chair to deliver provocative discussions and identifies strategic drivers that influence energy utilities in Western North America and is driven by the yearly theme. Each year the Board of Directors convene twice, once in January/February, and the second coincides with the WEI Annual Meeting to evaluate WEI as a whole. At this meeting, the Board of Directors convene a business session to evaluate WEI’s accomplishments and determine the direction of the association.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Dave Hutchens, President & CEO, UNS Energy Corp.

    • Program Location
    • Paradise Point
    • 1404 Vacation RoadSan Diego, California 92109
    • Who Should Attend
      • WEI Board of Directors members
      • Select invitees
  • General Cancellation Policy
  • There is no charge for Board Members to attend this meeting. 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, January 25, 2017

10:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Optional Networking – Golf at Riverwalk Golf Club

Includes transportation to and from the course, green fee, cart fee, range balls, GPS. Contact WEI about club rental at an additional $55 per set. This fee can not be refunded after January 4th, 2017.

4:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Executive Committee - Business Session

Committee members only

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Welcome Reception + Dinner

Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell

Thursday, January 26, 2017

7:30 AM - 7:30 AM

Buffet Breakfast

8:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Customer Innovations: Staying Ahead of the Curve to Anticipate Customer Needs
Moderator(s): Hugo van Nispen, Principal, Exponent
Panelist(s): Chris Oberle, Senior Vice President, Cogent Energy Reports, Caroline Winn, Chief Operating Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Alex Laskey, President and Co-Founder, Oracle | Opower, Jamie Hall, Manager, Advanced Vehicle and Infrastructure Policy, General Motors

How do you anticipate a customer’s needs if they don’t yet know what’s possible? This session will explore ways utilities are working to lead in a rapidly changing market. We begin with an interactive presentation to explore results from the latest research on utility products and customer needs. Next, panelists will engage in a comprehensive discussion around innovation strategy, understanding the customer’s needs, and defining your own company’s capability to respond using examples from inside and outside the energy industry.

9:45 AM - 9:45 AM


10:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Emergency Management: Serving Your Customers in Times of Crisis
Moderator(s): Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President, Operations, Puget Sound Energy
Panelist(s): Melanie Bayley, Chief Regulatory Officer, ATCO Gas, Barry Anderson, VP of Electric Distribution, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

How you respond in times of emergency can have a tremendous impact on how your customers view your company. Identify best practices and lessons learned from leaders who have recently navigated a major emergency with an emphasis on customer experience and recovery. This panel discussion will also include strategies to ensure the entire company and community are prepared for low probability but high impact disaster that threatens safety or has the potential to cause significant service outage.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 12:30 PM

Energy Storage: Grid Level vs. Customer Level
Moderator(s): Larry Dickerman, Senior Principal Consultant, Landis+Gyr
Panelist(s): Tom Carlson, Director, Executive Projects and Support, Bright Canyon Energy, Mark Irwin, Contract Origination Energy Procurement & Management, Southern California Edison, Josh Gerber, Manager, Advanced Technology Integration, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Energy storage is a hot topic as utilities look to transform the way they provide service to customers. This panel will address the merits of grid level vs. customer level storage options with tangible examples from utilities already doing this now. Hear about the benefits of each option regarding regulatory, reliability, coordination and connectivity.

2:00 PM - 2:00 PM


2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Smart Cities: Infrastructure Transformation for Our Customers
Moderator(s): Scott Morris, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Avista Corp.
Panelist(s): Heather Rosentrater, Vice President, Energy Delivery, Avista Utilities, Richard Riazzi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Duquesne Light, Russell Vanos, VP, Sales and Marketing, Global Services and Smart Cities, Itron, Inc.

As smart cities move from concept to reality, utilities need to be proactive to ensure they are involved. See how the Internet of Things is influencing city design and development, and hear an update on what’s being done to develop smart cities throughout North America. The panel will discuss how utilities can successfully position themselves for future opportunities in the design.

4:15 PM - 4:15 PM

Board of Directors - Business Session

Board members only

6:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Board Reception + Dinner

Sponsored by Henkels & McCoy, Inc.

Hotel + Travel

  • Paradise Point
  • 1404 Vacation Road
  • San Diego, California 92109
  • Phone: (800) 344-2626
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 344-2626 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $219/night. This rate is guaranteed until December 23, 2016 or until the WEI room block is full.

Event Sponsors

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Welcome Reception + Dinner sponsored by:
Burns + McDonnell-01

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Board Reception + Dinner sponsored by:

Henkels + McCoy-01

Platinum Sponsors

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors!
Accenture-01Aclara-01-01Booz-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01EY-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01KS Energy Services-01Landis+Gyr-01Mosaic-01-01NPL-01Par Electric-01Picarro-01Potelco-01PWC-01Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01Siemens-01TDW-03-01Tendril-01

Meet The Speakers

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.

Alex Laskey

Oracle | Opower

President and Co-Founder

Chris Oberle

Cogent Energy Reports

Senior Vice President

Hugo van Nispen


Learn More

Mr. van Nispen is a global business executive and experienced CEO. His expertise, combined with the ability to identify and develop strong global teams is evidenced by an enviable scorecard of growing profitable businesses, managing complex project assignments and driving performance improvements through successful reengineering and merger execution.

An energetic and optimistic business leader, Mr. van Nispen has successfully integrated multiple complex merged entities by focusing on things that matter: managing top talent and building high performing teams. With a personal passion for foreign language and an ability to internalize cultural nuance, he has been extremely effective at developing and managing businesses spread across the globe.

Most recently, Mr. van Nispen was a Principal at Exponent. Prior to this role, he served as COO & EVP, Energy Advisory, DNV GL – Energy division of DNV GL Group, a $2.5 billion global business focusing on grid modernization, sustainability, conventional and renewable energy, maritime and off-shore oil & gas. In this role, he led 1300 professionals in delivering global consulting and advisory activities focused on renewable and conventional energy strategy, cyber-security and grid strengthening, energy sustainability and emerging energy technologies, including battery storage and microgrid generation.

Previously, Mr. van Nispen was President and CEO of KEMA, USA, prior to its acquisition by DNV GL. As CEO, he led KEMA USA through a 10 fold increase in revenues concurrently with building a premier regional energy consulting business and was responsible for the successful integration of the business into DNV GL. Mr. van Nispen has been published in numerous key trade publications, and was awarded Consulting Magazine’s “Top 25 Consultant” for the work he led introducing renewable energy and sustainability into KEMA’s business portfolio.

Mr. van Nispen earned his MBA, with Distinction, from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business and his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Melanie Bayley


Chief Regulatory Officer
Learn More

Melanie Bayley is the Senior Vice President and General Manager, Electricity at ATCO. After obtaining her degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta, she began her career in a small structural monitoring company in Calgary. She moved to ATCO in 2000 as a system planning engineer in its gas transmission division, and has held progressively more responsible management and executive roles in ATCO’s utility companies in areas of engineering and regulatory. Prior to her appointment to her current role, Melanie was the Chief Regulatory Officer with accountability and oversight of all regulatory affairs of ATCO’s natural gas and electricity utility companies.

In her current role, Melanie has accountability and oversight of ATCO’s electricity transmission and distribution business in Alberta. She has served on several boards and industry committees, including the WEI Board of Directors, the Drake Landing Solar Company Board of Directors, and both the Corporate Affairs and Innovation & New Markets committees of the Canadian Gas Association. Throughout her career Melanie has gained extensive experience leading people, developing strategy, managing regulatory proceedings and testifying in front of administrative tribunals in areas of regulatory policy, engineering and operations. Melanie lives with her husband and two children in Sherwood Park, just outside of Edmonton, Alberta.

Barry Anderson

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

VP of Electric Distribution
Learn More

Barry Anderson is vice president of Emergency Preparedness and Response at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). He is responsible for enterprise-wide emergency preparedness and response, including all hazard incidents and crisis management.

Anderson has more than 30 years of experience within the electric utility industry. Most recently, he was the senior director of Distribution System Operations at PG&E, where he was responsible for overseeing the organization’s efforts around system restoration, control center operations, power quality and business system applications.

Prior to joining PG&E, Anderson was senior director of Network Operations for Florida Power and Light (FPL), where he previously spent 27 years with increasing responsibilities including transmission and distribution operations, energy procurement and labor negotiations.

He received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and his MBA from Nova Southeastern University. Anderson holds a Professional Engineering license and is also certified as a NERC system operator.

Booga Gilbertson

Puget Sound Energy

Senior Vice President, Operations
Learn More

As the senior vice president of Operations for Puget Sound Energy, Booga Gilbertson is responsible for electric and gas operations, including emergency response, maintenance and construction, electric and gas system operations and dispatch, system planning, and engineering. She also leads project management and engineering across operations.

Since joining PSE in 1985, Gilbertson has held a broad range of engineering, operations and management positions in planning, asset management, gas and electric design engineering, performance measurement, budgeting, project management, construction and maintenance, 24-hour control center operations, labor relations, technology and emergency response management. She has been vice president of Operations since 2011.

In addition to her responsibilities at PSE, Gilbertson serves as chair-elect of the board of directors of the Western Energy Institute and chair of the EEI National Response Executive Committee. She also serves on the University of Washington Electrical Engineering Advisory Board as well as the Washington State University Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Executive Council.

Gilbertson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and a Master of Business Administration degree from City University.

She enjoys skiing, hiking, running, kayaking and gardening.

Tom Carlson

Bright Canyon Energy

Director, Executive Projects and Support

Mark Irwin

Southern California Edison

Contract Origination Energy Procurement & Management

Josh Gerber

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Manager, Advanced Technology Integration

Heather Rosentrater

Avista Utilities

Vice President, Energy Delivery
Learn More

Heather Rosentrater is Vice President of Energy Delivery at Avista, where she’s responsible for electric and natural gas engineering, operations, and shared services such as fleet, facilities and supply chain.

Rosentrater has led Avista’s Grid Innovation, Smart Grid and Smart City efforts. She also has broad experience on both the electric and natural gas side of Avista Utilities, having managed departments and projects in transmission, distribution, SCADA, as well as asset management.

Heather is a registered Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Gonzaga University.

Richard Riazzi

Duquesne Light

President and Chief Executive Officer

Russell Vanos

Itron, Inc.

VP, Sales and Marketing, Global Services and Smart Cities

Scott Morris

Avista Corp.

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Learn More

Scott Morris is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avista Corp. He was elected President in 2006 and named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2008. Morris is an experienced utility executive who has served in a variety of leadership positions since joining the company in 1981.

He began his career in the company’s utility marketing division and has served in leadership positions throughout the company, including customer service, construction and as general manager for Avista’s Oregon and California utility business.

Morris is a graduate of Gonzaga University and received his master’s degree from Gonzaga in organizational leadership. He also attended the Stanford Business School Financial Management Program and the Kidder Peabody School of Financial Management.

Jamie Hall

General Motors

Manager, Advanced Vehicle and Infrastructure Policy

Larry Dickerman


Senior Principal Consultant