Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders – Challenge (Aug 16-18)

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 and 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.

General Details

Course Facilitator
Jacquelyn Lewis, General Rate Case Manager, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Program Location
333 S State St
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

For more information contact Kevin Sullivan at 971.255.4973.

Session Four Theme
Strategic Planning

Session Objectives
• Learn how to champion your company’s strategic plan in your role
• Align employees to strategic and resource planning
• Track and measure execution


Monday, August 15

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Group Work Space Available at Questar

Tuesday, August 16

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Group Work Space Available at Questar

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Lunch Available at Questar

1:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Welcome to Session Four
Speaker: Jacquelyn Lewis, Pacific Gas & Electric

1:15 PM – 2:00 PM
Agility Ability – Is it in our DNA?
Speakers: Randy Grove, Central Lincoln PUD
Jonathon Young, ColumbiaGrid
Mandy Assi, FortisBC
Michael Marcus, Puget Sound Energy
Jana Elliott, Seattle City Light
Aaron Bell, Southern California Gas Company
In today’s fast paced, technology-driven, dynamic market place, expectations on utilities are at an all-time high. With a number of transformational forces at work, the utility industry is playing catch up to meet the demands of customers, employees, society and policy makers. Regardless of the different pressures, utilities will likely not look the same five to ten years from now. The snail’s pace at which traditional utilities execute cannot continue if they are to remain relevant to customers and key stakeholders. To thrive in this changing environment, utilities need to pay attention to the transformational forces and develop agility in its business and operating models.

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
It Takes Two to Tango: Lowering Operating Costs through Partnerships
Speakers: D. Jim Papadoulis, BC Hydro
Ryan Privratsky, Cascade Natural Gas Corp
Roland van Zanten, Henkels & McCoy, Inc.
Elaine A. Vesco, NorthWestern Energy
Debbie Vaske, Salt River Project
Juan Argueta, Southern California Edison
Many North American utilities are striving to improve efficiency with a particular focus on reducing operating costs. Utilities are facing increased cost pressures which challenge their ability to deliver safe, effective work programs and provide a reasonable return on investments for their shareholders. Historically, when a company faced cost pressures, staff is reduced, the scope of work was reduced or work is deferred. These reductions and deferrals increased the risk of system reliability and safety and pushed the challenge into future years.

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
Unleashing the Power of Customer Experience
Speakers: Kristie Cocco, Arizona Public Service
Matt Mullineaux, Avista
Steven G. Lins, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Matt Lovelady, Salt River Project
Sarah G. Peluso-Martinez, Southwest Gas Corporation
Joseph Wilson, Tacoma Power
Historically the utility business has been slow to embrace a customer service approach that centered around meeting the customer’s needs and desires. As the industry begins to recognize the need to change its business model and create more customer engagement, there are several technology solutions that are being considered. It is important to recognize technology is only part of the answer. What utilities need to do is develop a culture that focuses on customer experience. The team will describe what a positive customer experience looks like, why it’s good business and provide examples of tools to help create a quality customer experience.

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM
Are your utility customers singing “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
Speakers: Rosemarie Climaco-Bardelas, ENMAX Corporation
Shawn Kendall, Idaho Power Company
Jamie Chesler, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Bill Messner, Portland General Electric
Rhonda Forde, Questar Gas Company
As innovative technology, new regulatory policy and increased competition changes the existing utility landscape, is your utility prepared for the new reality? Every day, new market entrants like Google, Comcast and Solar City set their sights on our customers. In this presentation, we will examine the current drivers for change as it relates to customer loyalty and how utilities can turn near term challenges into long term opportunities.

4:30 PM – 4:45 PM

4:45 PM – 5:30 PM
Big Data: Is it TMI?
Speakers: Sarah Kist, Arizona Public Service
Dana T. Steph, P.E., Burns & McDonnell
Joelle Lamontagne, FortisAlberta
Sungly Chiu, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Antoine M Tilmon, NV Energy
Tobin Davilla, NW Natural
Utilities have been collecting data from traditional sources for decades, but technology advances are now expanding the amount and variety of available information by an exponential factor. Determining how utilities manage and utilize this data is key in ensuring they are prepared to meet the increasing expectations of the customer, while considering business needs and the workforce of the future.

6:30 PM
Group Dinner

Wednesday, August 17

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Welcome to Questar + Leadership
Speaker: Ron Jibson, Chairman, President and CEO, Questar

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Strategic Planning Overview + Corporate Strategy
Speaker: Colleen Larkin Bell, Vice President, General Counsel, Questar

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Strategic Planning Activity
Facilitator: Jeff Callor, Director of General Accounting, Questar

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Leadership + Strategy
Speaker: Cindy Crane, President and CEO, Rocky Mountain Power

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Team Activities + Discussions

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Reception with Questar Executive Leadership
Located at Grand America Hotel. Sponsored by:

Thursday, August 18

7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast at Questar

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Speaker: Vaughn Shosted, Vice President, Operations, Questar

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Shark Tank
Facilitator: Jacquelyn Lewis, Pacific Gas & Electric
Students will work in a small group to form a new product or service related to the energy industry. Groups will report their strategic plan and product overview to the alumni mentors who will decide which company gets funded to move forward.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM
Session Adjourn

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Group Work Space Available at Questar

Hotel + Travel

The Grand America Hotel
555 Main St
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Phone: 801.258.6000

Please call the hotel directly and mention you are with WEI for a special group rate of $275 plus state and local tax.