Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders: Challenge (Jun 25-28)

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, 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

  • Program Location
  • 7120 Wyoming Blvd NE
    Albuquerque NM 87109
  • Who Should Attend
  • Participants are nominated by WEI members and selected through a formal application review process. Applicants make a commitment to attend and actively participate at each session, and should plan time for additional work between sessions. It is expected that students commit to completing “homework” assignments during evenings and off-hours with additional assignments required outside of the normal work day. Each group is assigned one executive and one alumni mentor who will support the group’s development throughout the program and guide them to a successful final project.

  • Upcoming Dates + Locations
  • Session 3: June 26-28, New Mexico Gas company, Albuquerque, NM
    Session 4: August 8-10, ENMAX, Calgary, AB
    Session 5: September 20-22, Annual Meeting, Tucson, AZ

  • 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 Beverly Woolf, Program Manager at (503) 688-2790.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Optional no-host evening event arranged by New Mexico Gas

Sandia Peak Tram/ Dinner at Sandiago’s Grill at the Tram. Bus departs the hotel at 4:00 pm for 30 Tramway Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87122.

Monday, June 26, 2017

8:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Bus departs hotel

Those not taking the bus in the morning should make their own way to 7120 Wyoming Blvd NE, Albuquerque by 12:30 pm.

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Optional Capstone Group Work at New Mexico Gas

Space is available for those groups wishing to work on their Capstone projects.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Lunch available at New Mexico Gas

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Registration and Announcements
Speaker(s): Leanne Dawkins, Manager, Customer Relations & Intake, ENMAX Corporation

Leanne Dawkins and Beverly Woolf

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speak Like a Pro
Speaker(s): Joan Tremblay, MNLP, CHt, Tremblay & McLoughlin

In business, knowledge and presentation go hand-in-hand. How you deliver your content and how you interact with your audience determines your impact as much if not more than what you deliver. Tremblay & McLoughlin’s Speak Like a Pro training seminar reduces public speaking nervousness and increases your confidence and control of your subject matter. This highly effective presentation skills program combines the verbal and nonverbal aspects of delivery that increases your presentation’s impact, and provides best practices for content development.

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Bus returns to the hotel

Dinner is on your own.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

6:30 AM - 7:30 AM

Breakfast at the hotel

Breakfast is included with rooms and is available from 6:30 am.

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Bus from hotel to New Mexico Gas

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcome and a Few Things to Consider
Speaker(s): Tommy Sanders, Vice President, Customer and Support Services, New Mexico Gas Company

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Energizing Your Appeal to Multi-Generational Customers, Part I
Speaker(s): Karen Salazar, Human Resources Generalist, New Mexico Gas Company

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Energizing Your Appeal to Multi-Generational Customers, Part II
Speaker(s): Karen Salazar, Human Resources Generalist, New Mexico Gas Company

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

Communication – Tell It Like It Is
Speaker(s): Tim Korte, Manager of Communications, New Mexico Gas Company

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Customer Service Where it Counts
Speaker(s): Mike Montoya, Operations Manager, New Mexico Gas Company

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM


2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Safety, Leadership and Apple Pie
Speaker(s): Ed Kacer, Vice President, Operations & Engineering, New Mexico Gas Company

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Bus transportation to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
2401 12th St NW, Albuquerque

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Presentation by the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM

NM Tribes and NM Gas Company
Speaker(s): Ted Garcia, Director, Native American Government Relations, New Mexico Gas Company

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Reception with New Mexico Gas Executives

6:45 PM - 7:15 PM

Bus returns to hotel

Dinner on your own

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

6:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast at the hotel

Breakfast is included with rooms and is available from 6:30 am.

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Bus from hotel to New Mexico Gas Technical Training Center

The Gas Service Center, 4625 Edith Blvd NE, Albuquerque 87107, will be the location for the remainder of the session.

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Tour of New Mexico Gas Technical Training Center
Speaker(s): Chris Monette, Supervisor Technical Training, New Mexico Gas Company

 – Tech Training/ Leak Town Overview – Explosion Chamber & Appliance lab – Controlled Fire Welding Demo – Blowing line/ Fire Fighting – Leak Town/ Training Facility Tour

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM


1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Homework discussion

Leanne Dawkins

3:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Session 3 Adjourns and bus departs for the airport

Please note that there will not be a bus returning to the hotel.  There will be one bus going to the airport at this time.  Everyone staying later should arrange their own transportation from this location.

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Optional Capstone Group Time

Space is available at the Gas Service Center for those groups wishing to work on their Capstone projects after the program ends.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (888) 271-6016 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $129/night. This rate is guaranteed until May 28, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Joan Tremblay

Tremblay & McLoughlin


Leanne Dawkins

ENMAX Corporation

Manager, Customer Relations & Intake
Learn More

Leanne works as the Manager, Customer Relations & Intake for ENMAX Power Corporation. Leanne directs the priorities and activities of a team of customer relations, customer communications and technical specialists to oversee the electric system customer intake and support functions and customer relationship management.

Leanne has notable experience in several areas, including community relations, government relations, crisis communications and other stakeholder relationships, since joining the electric industry at the Power Pool of Alberta in 2001. She earned her degree in Management from the University of Lethbridge.

Tommy Sanders

New Mexico Gas Company

Vice President, Customer and Support Services

Karen Salazar

New Mexico Gas Company

Human Resources Generalist

Tim Korte

New Mexico Gas Company

Manager of Communications

Mike Montoya

New Mexico Gas Company

Operations Manager

Ed Kacer

New Mexico Gas Company

Vice President, Operations & Engineering

Ted Garcia

New Mexico Gas Company

Director, Native American Government Relations

Chris Monette

New Mexico Gas Company

Supervisor Technical Training