Claims + Damage Recovery (Apr 10-12)

This program focuses on sharing best practices and building relationships with other leaders in claims and collection management, and offers insights from guest speakers who have been expert witnesses in claims investigations. Discussions address a wide variety of issues around balancing the need to protect utility assets with the ever-increasing priorities of providing an excellent customer experience. Participants learn from industry professionals who provide services to our members, and discuss issues common to Western utilities such as fire and storm recoveries, inverse condemnation, settlement and negotiations, and proper record keeping.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Carl Villarreal, Claims Liability Management Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

    • Program Location
    • Sempra Energy
    • 488 8th Ave
      San Diego, CA 92101
    • Who Should Attend
      • Managers or supervisors responsible for claims and collections functions
      • Senior claims investigators and adjusters
      • Collections leadership
      • Legal counsel responsible for claims areas
      • Insurance specialists
      • Service companies supporting claims and collection areas*

      *Service company members are encouraged to attend, and are permitted one registration per company. Exceptions may apply; contact nye@westernenergy.org for more information.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $479 USD
    Regular: $879 USD

    Registration prices increase $100 after March 27, 2019. Registration allows access to all Claims + Damage Recovery agenda items and meeting materials. Registration includes a welcome reception, all meals on the second day including a networking dinner, and breakfast and lunch on the final day. Guest tickets are available for $90 and allow a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

  • 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 Amy Nye, Program Manager at (503) 688-2794.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Networking Reception

Join us on the rooftop of Rustic Root for a hosted networking reception co-sponsored by JNR Adjustment Company, Inc. and AEGIS Insurance Services, Inc:

535 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Thursday, April 11, 2019

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Networking Breakfast

Enjoy a hot breakfast sponsored by KPMG LLP.

8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Welcome to Sempra Energy Headquarters
Facilitator(s): Carl Villarreal, Claims Liability Management Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Speaker(s): Angelica Espinosa, VP and Chief Risk Officer, Sempra Energy

Our host will welcome us to Sempra Energy Headquarters.

8:45 AM - 10:00 AM

Facilitator(s): Carl Villarreal, Claims Liability Management Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Our chair will kick-off conversation through round-robin attendee introductions. Come prepared to share recent successes and set-backs.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Networking Break

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

The Art of Surveillance + Fighting Fraud with Social Media
Speaker(s): Jason Caroluzzi, Vice President, Ethos Risk Services

Ethos Risk Services will present on how information is gathered through internet mining and how that information is beneficial for successful surveillance. This session will include an overview of social media statistics, the ethics of social media investigations, the deep and dark web, metadata, cutting-edge technology for investigations, surveillance laws and ethics, when to utilize surveillance, red flags and fraud indicators, and examples of effective surveillance. 

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Networking Lunch

Enjoy a catered lunch onsite sponsored by Phoenix Loss Control.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention
Speaker(s): Kat Rosenbaum, Senior Legal Counsel & Claims Manager, NW Natural, Barbara Gliszczynski, Administrator, Southwest Gas Corporation

This session will walk through an actual motor vehicle accident claim from start to finish — the investigation, litigation over the claim, and end results. We will discuss what worked and what didn’t, along with tips learned along the way. We will also explore different options for utility fleet and motor vehicle safety programs to help with claims arising out of accidents.

1:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Networking Break

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Aging Infrastructure
Facilitator(s): Michael Moreno, Claims Manager, Southern California Gas Company, Michael Moreno, Claims Manager, Southern California Gas Company
Speaker(s): Jamiel Dave, Senior Litigation Counsel, Southern California Gas Company

Aging Infrastructure continues to be a major concern in the utility industry. Deteriorating infrastructure poses risks to both service and safety. Southern California Gas Company will review a case study on a significant water leak in their gas line that resulted in service outages and safety concerns. Jamiel Dave will walk us through their case study and discuss the financial implications and steps their organization took to repair their facilities.

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Evidence Handling Best Practices
Speaker(s): Robert Ramos, Director, Risk & Claims Management, Southern California Edison, Frederick McCollum, Senior Manager, Southern California Edison

Join this interactive presentation to help keep the focus of your case on the ‘evidence’ rather than the ‘handling of the evidence.' Topics for discussion will include preservation notices, chain of custody, documentation, LiDAR, marking, storage facilities, security, and the use of technology. We will also cover handling for inspections, retention requirements, and disposal. Come prepared to share tips and best practices that are in place at your own organization. 

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Networking Dinner

Join us for a WEI hosted networking dinner at Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp:

333 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Friday, April 12, 2019

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Networking Breakfast

Breakfast will be served onsite.

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Roundtable Discussion
Facilitator(s): Carl Villarreal, Claims Liability Management Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Michael Moreno, Claims Manager, Southern California Gas Company

This session provides time for attendees to address new topics and elaborate upon previous discussions at the forum. Attendees are encouraged to come prepared with one “top of mind” issue for discussion.

9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Wildfire Mitigation: Part I
Speaker(s): Joe Vaccaro, Fire Mitigation & Climate Adaptation Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Larry Davis, Assistant General Counsel, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

San Diego Gas & Electric Company will share their recent fire prevention initiatives and their three prong approach to wildfire mitigation:
1. Operations and Engineering: system hardening, including upgrading wood pools to fire-resistant steel poles; aggressive vegetation management; and a firefighting helitanker with the capacity to drop 2,650 gallons of water.
2. Situational Awareness and Weather Technology: detect, monitor and forecast weather conditions and fire behavior with meteorology and fire science capabilities; alert SDG&E cameras; and wildland fire prevention and ignition suppression services. 
3. Customer Outreach and Education: collaborating with local agencies to help ensure effective outreach and communications to the public, including establishing nine stationary Community Resources Centers where impacted communities can go when circuits are shutoff in their area. These centers provide up-to-date information and basic needs like water, snacks, and charging stations. 

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Networking Break

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Wildfire Mitigation: Part II
Speaker(s): Joe Vaccaro, Fire Mitigation & Climate Adaptation Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Part II of this topic will include a demo of SDG&E's high-definition cameras with a live-streaming view of fire-prone areas and their Wildfire Risk Reduction Model showing a model of fire simulations that can be made in near real-time.

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Wildfire Discussion
Facilitator(s): Brian Cardoza, Senior Attorney, Southern California Edison, Larry Davis, Assistant General Counsel, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

We will wrap up the morning sessions with a facilitated discussion on wildfires.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Networking Lunch

A box lunch will be served onsite.

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Wrap-up and 2020 Planning

Interested in improving our experience? Join us at the wrap-up session to share your thoughts on the forum and help generate ideas for future agendas. This session is also a great starting point for those who wish to volunteer as a planning team member for our 2020 forum.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (877) 622-3056 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $209 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 27, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

James DeFrates

NV Energy

Claims Manager

James DeFrates

NV Energy

Claims Manager

Carl Villarreal

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Claims Liability Management Manager
Learn More

* 24 Years Liability Claims Management – San Diego Gas & Electric Company

* 16 Years Casualty Claims Management – Insurance Industry

Kat Rosenbaum

NW Natural

Senior Legal Counsel & Claims Manager

Barbara Gliszczynski

Southwest Gas Corporation


Michael Moreno

Southern California Gas Company

Claims Manager

Jason Caroluzzi

Ethos Risk Services

Vice President

Rob Ramos

Southern California Edison

Director, Risk & Claims Management

Frederick McCollum

Southern California Edison

Senior Manager

Angelica Espinosa

Sempra Energy

VP and Chief Risk Officer

Joe Vaccaro

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Fire Mitigation & Climate Adaptation Manager

Larry Davis

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Assistant General Counsel

Brian Cardoza

Southern California Edison

Senior Attorney

Jamiel Dave

Southern California Gas Company

Senior Litigation Counsel