Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders: Opportunity (Aug 09-11)

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
  • NW Natural
  • 250 SW Taylor Street, Portland, Oregon 97204
  • 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.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to contractual obligations and the critical role of group compositions for the success of the program, cancellations received after January 15, 2022, will not be eligible for a refund, and the organization will be responsible for the full 2022 registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the program are always welcome prior to the first day of fundamentals training, which is February 7, 2022.
  • 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. Recording is not permitted for any portion of the event.
  • For more information contact Christopher Lee, Senior Program Manager at (971) 303-2111.


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

8:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Optional Capstone Work Time

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM

Check-in + Welcome

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Capstone Dress Rehearsal

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Capstone Dress Rehearsal

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

Capstone Dress Rehearsal

1:15 PM - 1:30 PM


1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Capstone Dress Rehearsal

2:15 PM - 2:45 PM


2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

Capstone Dress Rehearsal

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM


3:45 PM - 4:30 PM

Capstone Dress Rehearsal

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Welcome to NW Natural
Speaker(s): David Anderson, President & CEO, NW Natural

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM


9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Capstone Collaboration

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Executive Speaker
Speaker(s): Frank Burkhartsmeyer, CFO, NW Natural

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Capstone Work Time

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Homework Discussion + Industry Roundtable

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM


2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Alumni Panel + Capstone Preparation Discussion

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM


3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Strategic Leadership + NW Utility Landscape Panel
Moderator(s): Jana Elliott, Chief of Staff, Seattle City Light
Panelist(s): Mary Moerlins, Director of Environmental Policy & Corporate Responsibility, NW Natural, Nels Johnson, State Government Affairs Manager, NW Natural, Sunny Radcliffe, Director, Government Affairs and Environmental Policy, Portland General Electric, Kristen Sheeran, Director of Sustainability and Resource Planning, Portland General Electric

5:00 PM - 6:45 PM

Executive Networking Reception

Thursday, August 11, 2022

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Business Development Speaker
Speaker(s): Anna Chittum, Business Development Director, NW Natural

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:15 AM - 9:30 AM


9:30 AM - 11:15 AM

Shark Tank Intro + Work Time

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Shark Tank Presentations

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM


12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Shark Tank Winner

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Professional Road Map + Next Steps

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Debrief + Close

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Optional Capstone Work Time

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (503) 226-1611 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with “WEI BAEL Session 4” to receive a special rate of $165 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until July 25, 2022 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

David Anderson

NW Natural

President & CEO

Frank Burkhartsmeyer

NW Natural


Mary Moerlins

NW Natural

Director of Environmental Policy & Corporate Responsibility
Learn More

Mary is the Director of Environmental Policy & Corporate Responsibility at NW Natural where she works to continue raising the bar for sustainable and responsible, programs, operations and community support from championing Renewable natural gas to Operational Sustainability. Prior to joining NW Natural Mary worked in environmental nonprofits in Atlanta, GA focused on greenspace conservation, sustainability and environmental education.

Nels Johnson

NW Natural

State Government Affairs Manager

Anna Chittum

NW Natural

Business Development Director

Sunny Radcliffe

Portland General Electric

Director, Government Affairs and Environmental Policy

Kristen Sheeran

Portland General Electric

Director of Sustainability and Resource Planning

Jana Elliott

Seattle City Light

Chief of Staff