Business Acumen for Certified Leaders (Jun 11-12)

General Details

  • Program Location
  • Western Energy Institute Facilities
  • 1001 SW 5th Ave, Suite 325
    Portland, Oregon 97204
  • Who Should Attend
  • Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders alumni, facilitators, mentors, and executive mentors.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $349 USD

    Registration includes all materials and meals associated with the program. Guest tickets are available for $100 and allow for a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

  • 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 Eric Christenson, Senior Program Manager at (971) 303-2118.


Monday, June 11, 2018

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Welcome to Portland + Principles of Leadership

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Introduction Updates + Current Issues Roundtable

Attendees will introduce themselves and give an update on their company and responsibilities. Each person should then share a recent success or challenge that they have seen in their area over the last year.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

WEI Hosted Networking Dinner - Picnic House

The Picnic House, opened in 2012 by Portland restaurateurs Aaron and Jessica Grimmer across the street from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, has become one of the staples of downtown Portland’s flourishing culinary scene, welcoming guests to enjoy its seasonal, picnic-inspired New American cuisine, historic space, and heartfelt hospitality.

Picnic House PDX
723 SW Salmon St.
Portland, OR 97205

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Opening Session

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Emerging Natural Gas Industry Trends
Speaker(s): Jon Huddleston, Vice President, Engineering & Utility Operations, NW Natural

Hear about some of the key challenges and opportunities on the gas side of the energy industry while learning how NW Natural plans to address these challenges.

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Leadership Exercise

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Emerging Electric Industry Trends
Speaker(s): Dan Bedbury, Director, Energy Resources, Clark Public Utilities

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Session TBD - Academic Studies on Leadership

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Emerging Customer Trends
Speaker(s): Deborah Affonsa, Vice President, Customer Service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

A look at the changing customer expectations and the opportunities and challenges that it creates.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Strategy Session

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM

Wrap Up and Close

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Networking Event

Hotel + Travel

  • Hotel Monaco
  • 506 S.W. Washington Street
  • Portland, Oregon 97204
  • Phone: 800-711-2971

  • Click here to make your reservation now.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at 1-800-711-2971 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $219 USD/night. Reservations should be made under the “WEI – Business Acumen for Certified Leaders- June 2018” or “J2W” room block. This rate is guaranteed until May 14, 2018 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Jon Huddleston

NW Natural

Vice President, Engineering & Utility Operations
Learn More

Jon Huddleston currently oversees all aspects of engineering design, planning, regulatory compliance, compliance inspection services, customer field services, emergency response activities, as well as construction, operations and maintenance of the NW Natural pipeline system. He currently represents NW Natural on several national and regional industry trade and research associations.

Over the past 29+ years, Jon has held a wide range of positions with NW Natural that include leadership roles in operations, gas storage,gas control, engineering, technical training, business systems support, business analytics, technology implementation and regulatory compliance oversight. He has been directly involved with union labor negotiations, federal and state regulatory policy and business process re-design.

Jon has volunteered in the community for many years as a youth soccer, baseball, softball and basketball coach. Jon has served on several non-profit boards over the years. He currently serves on the board of Friends of the Children and the Oregon State University Leadership Academy.

Jon is married and has three adult children. He has a BS in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University.

Deborah Affonsa

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Vice President, Customer Service
Learn More

Deborah T. Affonsa is vice president, Customer Service for Pacific Gas and Electric Company. She is responsible for the company’s contact center operations, local customer service offices, business customer account management and demand side management sales, relations with third party energy service providers, customer education for PG&E’s most impactful work and initiatives, and escalated customer relations, and for the Customer Care organization.

Her previous role at Pacific Gas and Electric Company was Vice President, Corporate Strategy, reporting to the president. In this role, Affonsa was responsible for driving development and implementation of a detailed, integrated, cross-functional 5 year forward -looking plan for achieving and maintaining the company’s vision of becoming the leading utility in the United States. She also identified emerging trends in the utility industry, recognizing interdependencies, potential synergies and conflicts to assist senior management in prioritizing and making decisions. She also managed the company’s benchmarking and continuous improvement efforts.

Prior to joining Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Affonsa held the position of Senior Director, Corporate Strategy and Development, for its holding company, PG&E Corporation. There she was responsible for evaluating potential new business opportunities, managing the corporate-wide strategic planning process and leading teams in the evaluation and development of Utility strategies around key issues (Smart Grid, PV, etc.).

Affonsa has additional experience in the utility industry, serving as Vice President, Sales and Marketing, for Community Energy, Inc., a privately held, start-up, wind energy company. In that role, she established the strategic sales plan, including revenue, earnings and market share goals both regionally and nationally, as well as developing the internal processes and procedures for running a start-up. Affonsa was also Vice President, Sales and Marketing, for Marlin Leasing Corporation, where she developed strategic sales initiatives and oversaw the realignment and restructuring of the National Account’s sales team.

Prior to that, Affonsa was Chief Operating Officer and Director, New Business Development, for Marketing Crossroads, Inc.; Director, Strategic Planning, for Exelon Corporation; and Vice President and Director, Sales, for Exelon Energy.

Affonsa holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Villanova University and a Masters in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She also successfully participated in the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 2000.

Daniel Bedbury

Clark Public Utilities

Director, Energy Resources
Learn More

Since 2015, Dan Bedbury has served as the Director of Energy Resources for Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver, Washington, overseeing wholesale power supply, gas plant operations, energy trading and hedging, as well as energy services for residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Clark Public Utilities serves approximately 470,000 residents of Clark County in an area spanning 650 square miles and provides water service to about 35,000. The utility’s long term power supply includes ownership of a 240 MW gas plant, a 62 MW wind farm PPA, a small share in the Packwood Hydro facility and a shaped monthly block of energy from BPA. Also secured is a 2 percent just-in-time share of BPA energy and storage indexed to an as-available mix of hydro, nuclear and wind.

Dan’s first 30 year career was with The Eugene Water and Electric Board in Oregon where his responsibilities included supervision of energy trading and scheduling, hedging, resource optimization, contract negotiation, and client services. In between EWEB and Clark Public Utilities, Dan worked with Lewis County PUD as they transitioned from a lifetime as a Full Requirements customer of BPA to a new BPA Slice/Block customer, as well as a new Resource Management Agreement with TEA.

Clark Public Utilities takes good care of employees and, in turn, employees are invested and committed to taking care of utility customers. This unwavering focus on customer satisfaction has earned Clark Public Utilities the highest customer satisfaction in its category of midsize utilities in the West by J.D. Power for ten years in a row. As a public utility, there is also an ongoing focus on the community and Dan and his team help to produce and participate in annual utility events including the Race for Warmth, the Home and Garden Idea Fair and year-round tree planting/stream restoration efforts. Individual employee goals focus on customer service, cost control, reliability, community involvement and professional development to provide a healthy environment for employee engagement, satisfaction and retention.

Dan received both his undergraduate degree in Marketing as well as his MBA from the Charles H. Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon.