Board of Directors (Jan 26-27)

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.

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General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President, Operations, Puget Sound Energy

    • Program Location
    • L'Auberge Del Mar
    • 1540 Camino Del Mar
      Del Mar, CA 92014
    • Who Should Attend
      • WEI Board of Directors members
      • Select invitees
  • Registration Options
  • This meeting is invitation only. Current WEI Board of Directors are welcome to attend free of charge along with a personal guest, (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry).

    Attendee (Special Invite): $599 USD
    This registration is for attendees who are not currently serving on the board but have been invited to attend. This ticket includes all meal events, education sessions, and meeting materials. Does not include the two Business Sessions. Tickets for guests of special invite attendees are available for $150 and allow a non-board member attendee’s personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event including meal events.

  • 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, Executive Director of Programs at (503) 688-2795.


Sunday, January 26, 2020

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Executive Committee Business Session

Committee members only

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Welcome Reception + Dinner

Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell

Monday, January 27, 2020

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Networking Breakfast

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Welcome Announcements + Leadership Perspectives Panel
Moderator(s): Regina Mayor, Global and U.S. Sector Leader for Energy and Natural Resources, KPMG LLP
Panelist(s): Nicole Kivisto, President & CEO, MDU Utilities Group, Debra Smith, CEO, Seattle City Light, Roger Dall'Antonia, President and CEO, FortisBC

Hear a dynamic discussion around industry issues from utility Presidents and CEOs that will stimulate conversation throughout the rest of the day. Topics include evolving utility business models, customer expectations, regulatory changes, climate change, cybersecurity and other physical threats.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Networking Break

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Agile or Irrelevant: Redefining Resilience
Speaker(s): Regina Mayor, Global and U.S. Sector Leader for Energy and Natural Resources, KPMG LLP

KPMG will share findings from their 2019 Global CEO Outlook survey and facilitate an interactive discussion with the audience. Leverage the knowledge in the room as we dive deeper in to some of the most pertinent issues that have impacted WEI members throughout the year.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Networking Lunch

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

The Future of Natural Gas in California
Moderator(s): Amber Mahone, Partner, E3
Panelist(s): Sharon Tomkins, Vice President, Strategy and Engagement, and Chief Environmental Officer, Southern California Gas Company, Reiko A Kerr, Senior Assistant General Manager - Power System Engineering, Planning, and Technical Services, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Eric DeBonis, Senior Vice President, Operations, Southwest Gas Corporation

Electrification and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions continues to be a very hot topic in California and beyond. Hear key findings from a new report on Natural Gas Distribution in California’s Low-Carbon Future and the implications for natural gas and electric companies, and their customers.

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Networking Break

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Hydrogen: New Opportunities + Challenges
Moderator(s): Mike Rutkowski, SVP, Research & Technology Development, Gas Technology Institute
Panelist(s): Gregory Caldwell, Director, Energy Systems Innovation, ATCO Natural Gas, Yuri Freedman, Senior Director of Business Development, Southern California Gas Company

Natural gas and electric companies continue to seek new ways to leverage existing infrastructure and renewable energy sources while providing the cleanest, most reliable energy to their customers. This session will explore new developments in how companies are using hydrogen to achieve these goals.

4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Board of Directors Business Session

Board members only

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Networking Reception + Dinner

Sponsored by Henkels & McCoy

Hotel + Travel

  • L'Auberge Del Mar
  • 1540 Camino Del Mar
  • Del Mar, California 92014
  • Phone: 800-245-9757

  • Click here to make your reservation now.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (844) 875-5256 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) to receive a special rate of $269 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until January 13, 2020 or until the WEI room block is full.

    As of January 3, 2020, the discounted room block may be full however we encourage you to consider the following nearby options:
    Hilton San Diego/ Del Mar, 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA (1.6 mi away)
    Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Del Mar/Solana Beach, 717 South Highway 101, Solana Beach, California (1.6 mi away)


Platinum Sponsors
Booz-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01 HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01Landis+Gyr-01   Potelco-01Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01Siemens-01

Gold Sponsors
ActiveTelesource-01Acros-01Asplundh-01 Barnard-01Black + Veatch-01Esource-01Energy Care-01HGCA-01IBM-01 Nexant-01PrintSEL-01-01     snelson_300dpiTDW-03-01The HDD Company-01vertexone logo w-tagline NEWWilson Construction-01

Session Sponsors

Burns + McDonnell-01

Meet The Speakers

Regina Mayor


Global and U.S. Sector Leader for Energy and Natural Resources

Amber Mahone



Nicole Kivisto

MDU Utilities Group

President & CEO

Debra Smith

Seattle City Light


Roger Dall’Antonia


President and CEO

Mike Rutkowski

Gas Technology Institute

SVP, Research & Technology Development

Sharon Tomkins

Southern California Gas Company

Vice President, Strategy and Engagement, and Chief Environmental Officer
Learn More

Sharon Tomkins is vice president of strategy and engagement for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy regulated California utility. She is responsible for developing and delivering the information, that meets customers’ energy needs and supports state environmental and social policy objectives.
Tomkins leads the company’s energy policy and strategy, which includes issues management for balanced energy, energy choice, affordability and reliability.
Tomkins joined SoCalGas in 2010 as regulatory assistant general counsel. Prior to this, she was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where she was a founding member of the firm’s Energy, Natural Resources & Environmental Practice and represented clients in a variety of litigation, regulatory and appellate proceedings. Tomkins’ energy focus began during her representation of various clients, including Sempra, during the California energy crisis. She also developed and taught the law school class, Energy Law, Policy & Climate Change, at UCLA law school. After graduating from law school, Tomkins clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, for the Honorable Danny J. Boggs.
Tomkins is chair of the board of directors of the California Minority Counsel Program. She also serves on the board of directors of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Constitutional Rights Foundation, as well as the advisory board of the U.C. Davis Energy Efficiency Institute. She is a member of the University of California, Irvine Chief Executive Roundtable.

Tomkins graduated Order of the Coif from the USC Gould School of Law and received her undergraduate degree in English, with High Distinction, from Pennsylvania State University.

Reiko A Kerr

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Senior Assistant General Manager - Power System Engineering, Planning, and Technical Services

Gregory Caldwell

ATCO Natural Gas

Director, Energy Systems Innovation

Yuri Freedman

Southern California Gas Company

Senior Director of Business Development

Eric DeBonis

Southwest Gas Corporation

Senior Vice President, Operations