Board of Directors – Virtual (Jan 25-26)

This event provides two half-days of educational sessions, 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 convenes twice, once in January, and the second coincides with the WEI Annual Meeting to evaluate WEI as a whole. At this meeting, the Board of Directors convenes a business session to evaluate WEI’s accomplishments and determine the direction of the association.

Register Now

General Details

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

    • Program Location
    • Virtual Event
    • No travel required. All agenda times are in Pacific time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided to the attendee before the program.
    • Who Should Attend
      • WEI Board of Directors members
      • Select invitees
  • Registration Options
  • This meeting is by invitation only. Current WEI Board of Directors members are welcome to attend free of charge.

    Attendee (Special Invite): $299 USD
    This registration is for attendees who are not currently serving on the board but have been invited to attend. This ticket includes access to all virtual education sessions and digital materials. Does not include the two Business Sessions.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • To best serve WEI members and program participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, WEI will be waiving its standard cancellation policy for this program and all virtual programs through July 2021. Registrants can now receive a full refund should they need to cancel their registration up to the day before the program begins. This applies to both new and existing registrations for virtual programs.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public. Recording is not permitted for any portion of the event.
  • For more information contact Anna Sanger Reed, Executive Director of Programs at (503) 688-2795.


All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Monday, January 25, 2021

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check

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

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Opening Announcements
Speaker(s): Caroline Winn, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM

Resource Adequacy + the Future of Energy
Moderator(s): Elliot Mainzer, President and Chief Executive Officer, California ISO
Panelist(s): Daniel Froetscher, President and Chief Operating Officer, Arizona Public Service Company, Emeka Anyanwu, Energy Innovation & Resources Officer, Seattle City Light, Larry Bekkedahl, Vice President, Grid Architecture, Integration & System Operations, Portland General Electric, Carla Peterman, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison

Energy leaders are tasked with navigating increasingly complex resource adequacy challenges as we move towards a lower carbon future. This session will provide a review of the events in 2020 that are informing and shaping resource adequacy strategy in California and beyond. This session will also feature a rich discussion highlighting energy leader perspectives on the future of the energy system.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Top Technology Trends + Decarbonization
Moderator(s): Mike Rutkowski, SVP, Research & Technology Development, Gas Technology Institute
Panelist(s): Neva Espinoza, Vice President of Energy Supply and Low-Carbon Resources, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Kimberly Heiting, Sr. VP Operations & CMO, NW Natural

This session will explore the exciting landscape of rapidly developing technologies aimed at empowering gas and electric companies to meet even the most aggressive decarbonization goals. Hear cutting edge updates from the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, a partnership between the Electric Power Research Institute and the Gas Technology Institute. From hydrogen and renewable gases to bold new methane reduction achievements, this conversation is sure to reveal new insights relevant to every sector of the energy industry.

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Executive Committee Business Session

Committee members only

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Login Time + Virtual Help Desk

WEI will provide attendees with a link to access the virtual platform in advance. Use this time to test your webcam and microphone before we get started.

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Driving Innovation
Moderator(s): Aaron Saint, Managing Director, Accenture Inc
Panelist(s): Ben Gordon, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer, Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric, Brad Bowness, SVP Technology and Chief Information Officer, Hydro One Inc., Heather Rosentrater, Senior Vice President, Energy Delivery and Shared Services, Avista Utilities

The pandemic has shined new light on our industry’s capacity for navigating change and disruption. How can we leverage that potential as we continue to meet the evolving expectations of customers, shareholders, policy makers, and communities? This discussion will illustrate and examine how companies are breaking new ground and driving innovation with speed and agility that would have been unimaginable in previous years.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Diversity, Equity + Inclusion
Moderator(s): Gary King, Chief Workforce Officer, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Panelist(s): Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, Vice President, External and State Legislative Affairs, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Roger Dall'Antonia, President and CEO, FortisBC, Sharon Braddy-McKoy, Vice President, Human Resources, Southwest Gas Corporation, Frank Lawson, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Eugene Water & Electric Board

Diversity, equity and inclusion continues to be a critical issue for us to address in our industry and individual companies. What are thought leaders and companies doing to achieve the most progress towards meaningful change?

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Board of Directors Business Session

Board Members Only

Program Sponsors

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

Meeting Sponsors

Meet The Speakers

Caroline Winn

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Chief Executive Officer

Elliot Mainzer

California ISO

President and Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Froetscher

Arizona Public Service Company

President and Chief Operating Officer

Debra Smith

Seattle City Light


Mike Rutkowski

Gas Technology Institute

SVP, Research & Technology Development

Kimberly Heiting

NW Natural

Sr. VP Operations & CMO

Aaron Saint

Accenture Inc

Managing Director

Ben Gordon

Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric

Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer

Brad Bowness

Hydro One Inc.

SVP Technology and Chief Information Officer
Learn More

Brad Bowness was promoted to Senior Vice President, Technology and Chief Information Officer in January, 2019, with oversight of Cyber and Physical Security Operations and all aspects of Information and Operating Technology.

With more than 20 years of experience in the electricity sector, Mr. Bowness is a proven results oriented executive adept at driving strategic change to optimize business operations. He has served in several executive positions at Hydro One including Vice President, Construction Services; Vice President, Transmission & Stations; and Vice President, Distribution where he had organizational accountability for over 3000 employees and over $1 Billion of annual work program. He has been a transformational leader who has had a significant impact on the journey towards operational excellence.

Prior to joining Hydro One, Mr. Bowness spent 6 years in the management consulting and systems integration industry. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team and a direct report to the CEO, Mr. Bowness brings his expertise in both Information Technology and Utility Operations to provide strategic leadership for the organization.

Brad holds an Honors Business Administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He has served as a board member for the Ontario Energy Network and is currently a board member for the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange.

Gary King

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Chief Workforce Officer

Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Vice President, External and State Legislative Affairs

Roger Dall’Antonia


President and CEO

Sharon Braddy-McKoy

Southwest Gas Corporation

Vice President, Human Resources

Neva Espinoza

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Vice President of Energy Supply and Low-Carbon Resources

Frank Lawson

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Chief Executive Officer and General Manager

Larry Bekkedahl

Portland General Electric

Vice President, Grid Architecture, Integration & System Operations

Heather Rosentrater

Avista Utilities

Senior Vice President, Energy Delivery and Shared Services

Carla Peterman

Southern California Edison

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Emeka Anyanwu

Seattle City Light

Energy Innovation & Resources Officer