Chief Information Officer – Virtual (Sep 16)

CIOs navigate everyday challenges related to grid modernization, cybersecurity and data integrity. In addition to the natural leadership pressures of any executive position, CIOs also lead the charge for building visionary plans to embrace emerging technology, oversee policy development and direct the implementation of systems and processes for the control and exchange of information. As such, CIOs increasingly seek novel approaches to enhance efficiency, responsiveness, innovation and adaptability. This forum provides a unique opportunity for utility CIOs to come together in an exclusive peer environment to address these challenges.

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General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Margaret Hopkins, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Puget Sound Energy

    • Program Location
    • Virtual Event
    • No travel required. All agenda times are in Pacific time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided before the program.
    • Who Should Attend
    • Participation in the Chief Information Officer executive forum is restricted to senior leaders responsible for management of their utility's technology and information systems. In most instances, the appropriate attendee serves as the Chief Information Officer or holds an equal position within their utility. The small size of this program provides a unique environment for collaborative thinking, open discourse and building long-term relationships.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $199 USD

    Registration includes digital access to all agenda items and program materials.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • To best serve WEI members and program participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, WEI will be waiving its standard cancellation policy for this program and all virtual programs through July 2020. Registrants can now receive a full refund should they need to cancel their registration up to the day before the program begins. This applies to both new and existing registrations for virtual programs.
  • 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 Amy Nye, Program Manager at (503) 688-2794.


All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Virtual Registration + Help Desk

The meeting room will open early for participants to log in and get familiar with the various features of the virtual platform. The welcome will start promptly at 8:00 AM.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcome + Introductions
Facilitator(s): Margaret Hopkins, Senior VP Shared Services and Chief Information Officer, Puget Sound Energy

Get to know your peers through our roundtable introductions. Come prepared to share a top-of-mind item that you and your team are facing right now.

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Data Enablement
Speaker(s): Timothy Foley, Manager, Information Technology Enterprise Data, Puget Sound Energy, Claire Locke, Manager, Customer Insights, Puget Sound Energy

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

How to Find Techquilibrium When Addressing Utility Trends
Speaker(s): Zarko Sumic, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner

The pandemic has defined much of 2020, but the global utility sector continues to face a variety of other challenges. The clash of two opposing forces – increased global demand for energy and water and consequent environmental implications – are creating global disruption across every industry and in particular, utilities. The pressure to maintain physical integrity and modernize aging infrastructure under changing climate conditions and consumption/production patterns persists, while technology driven disruption at the grid edge continues to challenge existing business models. Gartner will explore forces behind the energy transition and offer utility leaders an overview of global business and technology trends to help benchmark and align your organization’s future focus.

11:30 AM - 11:45 AM


11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

Open Roundtable Discussion
Facilitator(s): Brian Fellon, Director, IT Application Services, Puget Sound Energy

This time is designated for open roundtable discussion. Topics will be guided based on pre-polling and refined by the current issues shared during introductions.

12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Wrap Up + Future Planning

Share your thoughts on the forum and help to generate topics for future agendas.

Meet The Speakers

Margaret Hopkins

Puget Sound Energy

Senior VP Shared Services and Chief Information Officer

Brian Fellon

Puget Sound Energy

Director, IT Application Services

Zarko Sumic


Vice President and Distinguished Analyst
Learn More

Zarko Sumic, Ph.D., is a Vice President and Distinguished Analyst in Gartner, where he provides innovative strategic and operational advice to Gartner utility clients using his extensive IT leadership and business experience. With more than 40 years of IT experience in academia, the energy utility industry and technology providers, Dr. Sumic is an established leader in applying IT and OT in the utility sector. His coverage areas include new energy provisioning business models and digital transformation of the utility sector, the impact of IoT on technology convergence in the utility sector, and consequent implications on utility IT organizations and application portfolios. Dr. Sumic leads Gartner Smart Grid research, covering technologies and business processes with implications on utility infrastructure modernization, customer engagements and back-end processes, such as meter-to-cash.

Timothy Foley

Puget Sound Energy

Manager, Information Technology Enterprise Data
Learn More

Tim Foley has been at Puget Sound Energy since 2014. He joined PSE after a long career as a systems integrator for a large consulting firm. In his first role at PSE Tim was an Information Technology Manager responsible for the Enterprise SAP systems. In early 2019, Tim transitioned to the responsibility of Enterprise Data responsible for data analytics, data governance, data bases, and other systems supporting IT functions.
Tim has a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University and is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Washington. He is married and a proud father of two boys.

Claire Locke

Puget Sound Energy

Manager, Customer Insights