Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders: Opportunity (Aug 08-10)

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 Chair(s)
  • Pam Giles, Dominion Energy Utah

    • Program Location
    • ATCO Gas
    • 10035 105th St NW
      Edmonton, AB T5J 1C8
    • 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 4: August 8-10, ATCO Gas, Edmonton, 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 Anna Sanger Reed, Executive Director of Programs at (503) 688-2795.


Monday, August 7, 2017

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Group work space available at Edmonton Plaza Hotel

5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Informal networking time in Edmonton.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Group work space available at ATCO

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Lunch on your own

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Arrive and check in at ATCO

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Welcome to Session Four Announcements

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Team Roadrunner Presentation

Silos to Synergy: Pivoting for Success

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

Team Oasis Presentation

Energy Storage

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Team Saguaro Presentation

The Modernization of the Utility, Risk vs Reward

3:45 PM - 4:30 PM

Team Scorpions Presentation

The Digital Workforce: Mastering the 4th Industrial Revolution

4:30 PM - 4:45 PM


4:45 PM - 5:30 PM

Team Haboob Presentation

The Honeymoon is over: Get in the minds of your customer and regulator to stay in the game

5:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Adjourn for the day. Dinner on your own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast at ATCO

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcome to ATCO + Leadership Perspective
Speaker(s): Dean Reeve, SVP and General Manager, Gas Distribution, ATCO Gas

With nearly 30 years of industry experience, many of those in executive roles, Dean will share his own leadership journey as well as insights into attributes that make an effective leader. Dean will touch on ATCO’s six leadership competencies and how the organization fosters leadership development at ATCO.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Strategic Planning Overview and Corporate Strategy
Speaker(s): Chad Gareau, VP Corporate Development, Electricity Generation, ATCO Electric

A discussion of Strategic Plans: what are they, how are they created and why they are critical for optimizing resource deployment and navigating disruptions in the market place.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Contact Center Case Study
Speaker(s): Chris Zenner, Director of Contact Center Operations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Mentor Panel: Leading Diverse Personalities and Work Styles
Moderator(s): Elaine Vesco, Assistant Controller, NorthWestern Energy
Panelist(s): Chris Zenner, Director of Contact Center Operations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, David White, Director, Business Development, TransCanada GTN & North Baja Systems, Janet Green, Manager, Gas System Assets, FortisBC, Bill Messner, Director, Safety & Health, Portland General Electric, Patrick Winkel, Safety and Health Compliance Manager, Consumers Energy, Jamie Chesler, Sr. Manager, Business to Business Marketing Strategy, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Leaders need to work through difficult situations to drive a positive impact and keep a team productive. A panel of all mentors will discuss how to work through conflict and drive productive results.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Lunch catered at ATCO

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Career Development Strategy Panel
Moderator(s): Greg Caldwell, Senior Manager, Research and Innovation, ATCO Gas
Panelist(s): Graeme Feltham, VP Engineering and Construction, Gas Transmission, ATCO Gas, Melanie Bayley, Chief Regulatory Officer, ATCO Gas
Speaker(s): Barry Goy, SVP Strategic Initiatives, Electricity Transmission & Distribution, ATCO Electric

Greg will help guide a discussion with ATCO executives to gain insight on where their careers have taken them within the company. Panelists will share their perspectives on what makes a strong leader industry-wide. This informal session will provide an opportunity for students to engage the panel in open discussion.

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM


2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Team Activities + Roundtable Discussions

The group will beak in to four tables for peer to peer roundtable discussions: Customer, Finance, Operations, and Engineering.  Students should bring issues/best practices/questions to address with their fellow students in these areas.  The point is to get feedback and perspective on how other companies approach your issue so you can have more tools to be successful.  Students who do not fit in to these four specific areas will join a table that closely relates to a group that they work with or support at their company or an area that they want to know more about.

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Break to return to hotel

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Reception with ATCO Executives

Edmonton Plaza Hotel 10155 105th Street Edmonton, AB TFJ 1E2

Thursday, August 10, 2017

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast at ATCO

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Effective Leadership during Organizational Change
Speaker(s): Paul Goguen, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Electricity Transmission & Distribution, ATCO Electric

Paul will discuss how effective leaders successfully navigate change as it relates to strategic, organizational or cultural issues that can significantly affect an organization. Paul will draw on his significant experience leading different aspects of ATCO’s electricity business.

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Shark Tank Exercise

Students will work in a small group to form a new company and 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

Lunch catered at ATCO

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Debrief and Closing Announcements

1:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Group Work Space Available at ATCO

Hotel + Travel

  • Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel
  • 10155 105th Street
  • Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1E2
  • Phone: 780-423-4811

  • Click here to make your reservation now.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 663-1144 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Instituteand use the discount code ‘WEI – BAEL Session 4’ to receive a special rate of $124 CAD/night. This rate is guaranteed until July 24, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Pam Giles

Dominion Energy

Operations Center Manager
Learn More

Pam has worked in the natural gas business for over 31 years. Her experience includes various roles in customer relations, business IT, and management. She was recently promoted to Operations Center Manager for Questar Gas Company based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Pam enjoys running, yoga, skiing, water sports, and spending time with family. She was born in Sandy, Utah and has lived within a 10-mile radius ever since. Pam and her husband have three children, and three furry babies.

Dean Reeve


SVP and General Manager, Gas Distribution

Chad Gareau

ATCO Electric

VP Corporate Development, Electricity Generation

Graeme Feltham


VP Engineering and Construction, Gas Transmission

Melanie Bayley


Chief Regulatory Officer
Learn More

Melanie Bayley is the Senior Vice President and General Manager, Electricity at ATCO. After obtaining her degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta, she began her career in a small structural monitoring company in Calgary. She moved to ATCO in 2000 as a system planning engineer in its gas transmission division, and has held progressively more responsible management and executive roles in ATCO’s utility companies in areas of engineering and regulatory. Prior to her appointment to her current role, Melanie was the Chief Regulatory Officer with accountability and oversight of all regulatory affairs of ATCO’s natural gas and electricity utility companies.

In her current role, Melanie has accountability and oversight of ATCO’s electricity transmission and distribution business in Alberta. She has served on several boards and industry committees, including the WEI Board of Directors, the Drake Landing Solar Company Board of Directors, and both the Corporate Affairs and Innovation & New Markets committees of the Canadian Gas Association. Throughout her career Melanie has gained extensive experience leading people, developing strategy, managing regulatory proceedings and testifying in front of administrative tribunals in areas of regulatory policy, engineering and operations. Melanie lives with her husband and two children in Sherwood Park, just outside of Edmonton, Alberta.

Barry Goy

ATCO Electric

SVP Strategic Initiatives, Electricity Transmission & Distribution

Paul Goguen

ATCO Electric

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Electricity Transmission & Distribution

David White

TransCanada GTN & North Baja Systems

Director, Business Development

Chris Zenner

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Director of Contact Center Operations

Jamie Chesler

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Sr. Manager, Business to Business Marketing Strategy

Janet Green


Manager, Gas System Assets

Bill Messner

Portland General Electric

Director, Safety & Health

Elaine Vesco

NorthWestern Energy

Assistant Controller

Patrick Winkel

Consumers Energy

Safety and Health Compliance Manager

Greg Caldwell


Senior Manager, Research and Innovation
Learn More

Greg was educated as an Engineer at the University of Alberta, specializing in Petroleum Engineering.
Greg’s professional experience consists of Engineering, Accounting, and Regulatory work in the Utility and Oil Field Industries.

His recent focus (since 2012) has been in the areas of Business Technology, Utility Regulation, and Innovation. Greg has extensive professional experience
dealing in Regulatory and financial matters, which when combined with his technical background provides a unique skillset to help understand and analyze problems holistically from an engineering, financial, and regulatory perspective. He currently participates on national committees with the Canadian Gas Association in partnership with multiple levels of government with goal of funding and testing of emerging technologies to combat climate change, promoting energy security, and alternative ways for Canadians to provide for their energy needs. Greg also participates as the Canadian representative for the International Gas Union Innovation committee.
Greg is married and has two children aged three and six. When not spending time with his family he enjoys playing hockey, travelling, and learning about new technologies and strategies to solve the challenges facing industry and society.