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.
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.
Session 2: April 15-17, San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego, CA
Session 3: June 24-26, Tacoma Public Utilities, Tacoma, WA
Session 4: August 7-9, Hydro One, Toronto, ON
Session 5: September 15-17, Annual Meeting, Carlsbad, CA
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Optional Capstone Group Work Time
Lunch is on your own and there is a café available on site.
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Registration and Check-In
San Diego Gas & Electric Headquarters
Bldg. 6 Seminar Rooms
8326 Century Park Court
San Diego, Ca 92123
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Welcome to Session Two
Speaker(s): Anna Scarlett, Director, Shared Services, Avista Utilities
1:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Welcome to San Diego Gas & Electric
Speaker(s): Randy Clark, Erika Schimmel-Guiles, 3P Implementation Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
1:45 PM - 2:15 PM
Emerging Issues and Priorities for SDG&E
Speaker(s): Caroline Winn, Scott Crider, Vice President, Customer Services, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
2:15 PM - 2:30 PM
2:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Emerging Issues in the Electric Industry at SDG&E
Speaker(s): Dave Geier, Senior Vice President of Electric Operations, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, John Jenkins, Vice President, Electric Engineering & Construction, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Will Speer, VP, Electric Engineering & Construction, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
3:15 PM - 4:30 pm
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) World Class Fire Prevention
Facilitator(s): Brian D’Agostino, Director, Fire Science and Climate Adaption, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Zoraya Griffin, Emergency Operations Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Speaker(s): Katie Speirs
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Gas and Electric 101 Discussion
Facilitator(s): Anna Scarlett, Director, Shared Services, Avista Utilities, Anna Scarlett, Director, Shared Services, Avista Utilities
5:15 PM - 5:30 PM
Return to hotel
6:00 AM - 7:30 AM
Breakfast available at the hotel
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Travel by bus to SDG&E Northeast Operating Center
SDG&E Northeast Operating Center
571 Enterprise Street
Escondido, CA 92029
Safety Clothing requirements
• Long pants
• Closed toe shoes (no high heels, comfortable for walking)
• SDG&E will provide hard hats and safety glasses as required
8:30 AM - 9:15 AM
Growth and Technology
Speaker(s): Michael Schneider, Vice President, Clean Transportation and Asset Management, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Tour of the Escondido Battery Energy Storage Facility
Facilitator(s): Dan Baerman, Director Electric Generation, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Laurence Abcede, Distributed Energy Resources Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
10:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Overview of Energy Supply and Markets
Speaker(s): Kendall Helm, VP – Energy Supply, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Business Acumen Homework Discussion and working lunch
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Capstone Project Update
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Travel to Palomar Energy Center
Palomar Energy Center
2305 Harveson Place
Escondido, CA 92029
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Tour of Palomar Energy Center
Facilitator(s): Dan Baerman, Director Electric Generation, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Return to hotel
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Executive Reception for Students, Hosts and Special Guests
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Central
8651 Spectrum Center Blvd
San Diego, California 92123
6:00 AM - 7:45 AM
Breakfast available at the hotel
7:45 AM - 8:05 AM
Travel to Energy Innovation Center
Energy Innovation Center (EIC)
Cabrillo Room “A”
4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117
8:05 AM - 8:10 AM
8:10 AM - 9:00 AM
Emerging Legislative Issues
Speaker(s): Mitch Mitchell, Vice President, External and State Legislative Affairs, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Warren Ruis, Director of Regional Public Affairs, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Chris Summers, Regulatory Business Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Emerging Trends in the Gas Industry
Speaker(s): Gina Orozco, Vice President – Gas Distribution, Southern California Gas Company
10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Key Regulatory Issues and How California Utilities Make Money
Speaker(s): Chuck Manzuk, Director GRC & Revenue Requirements, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Wrap Up and Elevator Speeches
Facilitator(s): Anna Scarlett, Director, Shared Services, Avista Utilities
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Optional Capstone Group Work Time or self-guided tour of the EIC
Please contact the hotel directly at (888) 236-2427 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with WEI – Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders to receive a special rate of $150 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until April 1, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full.
David L. Geier is senior vice president of electric operations for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities.
As senior vice president of electric operations, Geier is responsible for all aspects of electric transmission and substation operations, enterprise engineering and major capital projects.
Geier holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and power engineering curriculum from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer engineering curriculum from San Diego State University. He is also a registered professional engineer in California.
Geier currently serves on the board and is chairman of the American Red Cross of San Diego/ Imperial Counties. He is on the Dean’s advisory board at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego, UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering Corporate Affiliates Program Executive Board and is a member of Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and a past chairman of the IEEE power engineering society of San Diego.
John Jenkins is vice president of electric engineering and construction for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities.
As vice president of electric engineering and construction, Jenkins is responsible for all engineering functions, management of major projects, construction services, distribution project management, vegetation management and the construction and maintenance of transmission and substation infrastructure.
Jenkins has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo). Jenkins is currently serving on the board of directors for Access Youth Academy.
Michael M. Schneider is vice president of clean transportation and asset management at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).
In this role, Schneider oversees clean transportation, asset management, growth and technology integration, strategic planning and business optimization.
Most recently, he was chief environmental officer and vice president of operations support for both SDG&E and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), Sempra Energy’s regulated utilities in California. His responsibilities included: facilities, fleet services, environmental services, real estate, and land services for both companies.
Previously, Schneider served as vice president of customer operations, where he oversaw billing, collections, customer contact center and meter reading organization, remittance processing and credit.
Schneider holds a master’s degree in business administration from George Mason University with an emphasis in finance and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Arizona.
He serves on the Advisory Board and Director’s Circle for the Lamden School of Accountancy at San Diego State University, the board of directors of the San Diego River Park Foundation, and the National Board of Advisors of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.
Gina Orozco is vice president, gas distribution for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities.
As vice president of gas distribution, Orozco is responsible for overseeing all aspects of gas distribution operations. In her previous role as director of labor relations, Orozco was responsible for working with the unions that represent approximately 5,000 SoCalGas employees.
Orozco has a master’s degree in business administration from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California State University, Los Angeles. She is also an alumna of the Southern California Leadership Network and Leadership California.
Chuck is a Director in Regulatory Affairs and runs the general rate cases and cost of capital proceedings for both SDG&E and SoCalGas. Chuck has been with the Sempra Utilities since 2004 and has worked in various areas of the company including Customer Programs, Operational Excellence, and Regulatory Affairs.
Kendall Helm is a PhD economist and has been with the Sempra Energy companies since 2012. Kendall joined Sempra as Manager of Corporate Economics, where she provided research on the company’s valuation, capital structure, and corporate strategy. In 2014, she became Sempra’s Director of Investor Relations. She joined SDG&E in 2016 as Director of Origination and Portfolio Design and oversaw the procurement of all long-term energy resources. In 2018, she was promoted to Vice President of Energy Supply at SDG&E. As Vice President of Energy Supply, she is responsible for all aspects of acquiring energy and capacity to the serve SDG&E customers, including electric generation and resource planning.
Prior to joining Sempra, Kendall was Senior Economist for International Affairs and Trade at the U.S. Government Accountability Office where she reported to Congress on topics relating to climate change, energy export promotion, and international competitiveness. Previously, she has consulted for clients including the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Georgetown University, and the World Bank.
Kendall received a bachelor’s degree in economics and international studies from the University of Denver and earned a doctorate degree in economics from American University.
Erika Schimmel-Guiles currently leads and directs the work of the organization responsible for the initiation, planning, design, and end-to-end management of all property-owner, developer, high-impact customer and municipality originated distribution projects. Erika has been with SDG&E for 12 years and has served in a variety of roles including Supply Management, Commercial & Industrial Customer Services, Major Projects, Transmission & Substation Operations Services and most recently she lead a large scale change management effort to drive standardization, prioritization and transparency across the Electric Engineering & Construction division for capital project execution. Erika holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of San Diego and a Master’s in Business Administration from San Diego State University. She is an avid philanthropist, is married and has two sons.
Warren Ruis is the director of Regional Public Affairs for SDG&E. He and his team represent the utility as educators and advocates before 27 cities, 2 counties and 21 federally recognized native American tribes in the service territory. Warren has worked in multiple roles at SDG&E and parent company, Sempra Energy for 13 years, with most of that time in an external affairs capacity. He holds a bachelor of business administration in management from the University of San Diego and master of business administration in finance from Pepperdine University.
Chris Summers is a Business Manager in the Regulatory Department at San Diego Gas & Electric Company. His team oversees the regulatory aspects for all procurement and planning proceedings involving SDG&E at the California Public Utility Commission, this includes energy storage, clean transportation, renewable portfolio standard and various resource planning proceedings. Chris started working in the energy industry as a Regulatory Case Manager at SDG&E where he was involved with procurement, energy storage and customer privacy issues. He left SDG&E to work at Shell Energy North America (US), L.P. where he was a commercial advisor negotiating retail and wholesale gas, power and environmental products contracts. He recently returned to SDG&E to take his current role. Prior to his time in the energy industry he was a practicing attorney at multiple law firms where he was involved with securities litigation, product liability matters and real estate litigation.
Will is currently responsible for SDG&E’s electric engineering, distribution design and construction management, substation and transmission construction and maintenance, and portfolio and project management. Through 20 years of utility experience across all aspects of electric operations from customer interactions to planning large transmission projects he proves the ability to see the big picture and think strategically across the entire organization. With a technically sound understanding of all aspects of electric utility operations and business strategy Will can translate highly technical issues for broader consumption for our customers.
His participation in dozens of industry conference events as a panelist make him a proficient public speaker. Will has developed strong relationships with CAISO, FERC, CPUC, CEC, independent generators and stakeholders to further SDG&E’s position in multiple forums
Prior to holding various positions within SDG&E including, Director – Electric Engineering, Director – Electric System Planning, Manager – Grid Control, Manager – Operations and Engineering, Will earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis in power, from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Will is a licensed Professional Electrical Engineer in the state of California.