This program provides senior leadership from the Communications function with an exceptional opportunity to build relationships with energy company peers and discuss the most effective communication methods needed to support their organizations’ strategic plans.
Energy company senior leadership within the Corporate Communications function. At most small and medium-sized utilities these will be Directors and Managers. Large utilities may have executive positions.
Member: $349 USD
This ticket allows you access to all Corporate Communications agenda items. Registration includes a networking dinner, catered breakfast, lunch and light snacks at the meeting, and all meeting materials.
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Welcome and Introductions
Speaker(s): Bill Shawver, Director, Corporate Communications, Idaho Power Company
A welcome to the first Corporate Communications program followed by introductions. Attendees are encouraged to share their name, company overview, and general role within the organization as well as any successes and challenges that they are experiencing within their company.
1:45 PM - 1:45 PM
Bringing the Vision, Values and Strategic Priorities to Life for Employees
Speaker(s): Cynthia Dyson, Director of Marketing, Communications and Brand Strategy, BC Hydro
Corporate vision, value and priorities are an important part of an organizations strategy. But let’s admit it – a little on the boring side as a topic to communicate. How do you bring these important foundational pieces to life for your employees? BC Hydro undertook a communications planning process in 2015 to do just this: launching a plan to share our vision, values and objectives and more importantly, devising a plan to keep them alive in our communications monthly, and annually. Be ready to participate and share your own stories with the group.
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
2:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Executive Communication Strategy
Speaker(s): Julie Dixon, Senior Manager, Employee Communications, FortisBC, Claudia Rapkoch, Director, Corporate Communications, NorthWestern Energy
Learn from FortisBC on their new strategy to supplement leaders’ ability to connect with employees in a consistent way with consistent messages on the company’s business priorities and results. Then we hear from NorthWestern Energy on an executive communications approach that has improved safety culture.
3:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Communicating with Employees in the Field
Moderator(s): Erica Erland, Corporate Communications Manager, Clark Public Utilities
Panelist(s): Mike Stephens, Manager, Corporate and Internet Communications, Salt River Project, Heather Allmain, Communication Services Manager, Clark Public Utilities, Karla Wingate, Manager, Internal and External Communications, ENMAX Corporation
Hear from ENMAX and Clark PUD on their new intranet projects. Then learn from Salt River Project on a new digital signage effort. The session will include a moderated panel discussion and participation from the group on other ways to communicate with employees in the field.
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
WEI Hosted Networking Dinner
7:30 AM - 7:30 AM
8:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Communications Made Clear for Everyone
Speaker(s): Patrick Buckley, Vice President, maslansky + partners
Attendees will hear from Patrick Buckley, an Executive with Maslansky + Partners. Maslansky is a leading communications firm and the company responsible for helping with the Lexicon Project, an effort in the energy industry to use language that customers will understand.
9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Speaker(s): Suzanne Hartman, Communications Manager, Chelan County PUD, Chris Sandve, Director, Policy and Corporate Relations, BC Hydro
Hear from Chelan County PUD about their new strategic planning initiative as well as BC Hydro on their “seed” initiative; a plan to revitalize the downtown core of Vancouver while at the same time upgrading their system.
11:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Hot Topic Roundtable
Attendees will have a chance to ask questions directly to their peers for feedback. Topics so far include: Mutual aid network for communications professionals, social media presence, electric vehicles, grid modernization, lessons learned from high profile crisis, new sites in cities.
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch and Planning for Next Steps
Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 711-2971 to reserve your room, or complete your reservation online. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $169/night. This rate is guaranteed until January 9, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.
Heather Allmain has led community outreach and employee communications efforts at Clark Public Utilities for more than 18 years. As the Senior Communications Manager, her top priority is to ensure employees are connected to each other in their work and invested in the communities we serve.
As a public utility with customer service at its core, Clark Public Utilities has a long history of employee and community engagement efforts. For example, Heather annually produces a full-scale Home and Garden trade show staffed throughout the weekend by hundreds of employee-volunteers. The Home & Garden Idea Fair will mark its 25th anniversary next year and attracts more than 20,000 customers who attend as an annual tradition. She also manages all internal communication including a weekly employee and retiree newsletter, the utility intranet, and ongoing employee and retiree engagement initiatives.
Heather attended the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon and received a B.S. in journalism and photojournalism during the days of floppy disks and darkrooms.
Julie is a strategist, a big-picture thinker and a creative mind. At FortisBC she leads the Employee Communications and Talent Development teams to deliver on the business’ communications, engagement and talent development needs. As a former athlete and swim coach, Julie’s passion to build strong teams begins with collaboration and team work.
Claudia Rapkoch is the Director of Corporate Communications for NorthWestern Energy, an electric and natural gas transmission and distribution utility serving more than 650,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. In addition to all internal and external communication activities, she’s also responsible for community relations, corporate philanthropy and stakeholder engagement programs. Her marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns have received regional and national recognition.
Claudia grew up in Colorado and obtained a B.A. in Journalism from Colorado State University. After a brief stint as a reporter and television producer, she joined the “corporate world” in 1995 and subsequently obtained an M.B.A. from the University of Montana and accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). When not doing fun things outside, she’s hard at work in her office in Butte, Montana or traveling back and forth to her “other” office in Sioux Falls, S.D. She and her husband are the proud parents of a young son and share their home with a basset hound and a black cat.