Customer Connections – Virtual (Feb 24)

Customer-focused utility executives gather annually to discuss current topics and best practices surrounding pressing issues in their departments. Roundtable topics from recent offerings include CIS implementations, customer analytics, customer IT solutions, live chat, outage restoration communications, call center leadership, social media strategies, and employee development and morale.

Register Now

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Mike Broemeling, Avista Corp.

    • 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 is restricted to senior leaders of WEI energy member companies. This strategic forum is designed for Vice Presidential level customer service executives, Directors of customer service areas, and Chief Customer Officers responsible for all areas of customer contact.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $199 USD

    Registration provides full access to meeting sessions, materials, and roster.

  • 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 2021. 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 Beverly Woolf, Program Manager at (503) 688-2790.


All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcome + Introductions
Speaker(s): Mike Broemeling, Director, Customer Services, Avista Utilities

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Challenges, Opportunities, and Successes Roundtable
Facilitator(s): Mike Broemeling, Director, Customer Services, Avista Utilities

Everyone will have the opportunity to discuss current challenges as well as new initiatives and what’s going well at your company.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Communicating with Customers during COVID
Speaker(s): Bobbi Schroeppel, VP - Customer Care, Communications and Human Resources, NorthWestern Energy

Learn about the steps NorthWestern Energy took to communicate with their customers during the pandemic and the subsequent resumption of disconnections.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Open Roundtable

Topics may include:
   • The future of the CSR – home agents, skill set, hiring, empowering, etc.
   • Technology and business processes supporting both employees and customers
   • Customer Experience efforts

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Disconnections
Facilitator(s): Mark Freeman, Director of Employee, Customer & Community Services, Central Lincoln PUD

This facilitated roundtable on the resumption of disconnections will cover topics that may include:
   • Alternative payment plans
   • Regulatory issues
   • Communication strategies

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Social Time

Social distancing doesn’t need to end the socializing. Grab a beverage and turn on your webcams for a time to chat, network, and connect with colleagues and friends.

Meet The Speakers

Mike Broemeling

Avista Utilities

Director, Customer Services
Learn More

Mike Broemeling leads the Avista Customer Service areas including Field Collections & Meter Reading, Billing, Credit, Revenue Collections, Customer Contact Centers, Key Business Accounts, Enterprise Business Process Improvement & Customer Experience along with the technology supporting Avista’s customers.

Mike joined Avista in 1983 and has held a variety of leadership roles during his career. He is a graduate of Whitworth University and resides in Spokane, Washington.

He has been active in the community serving on non-profit boards along with being very active in the Boy Scouts of America.

Bobbi Schroeppel

NorthWestern Energy

VP - Customer Care, Communications and Human Resources
Learn More

Ms. Schroeppel is Vice President – Customer Care, Communications and Human Resources for NorthWestern Energy. Ms. Schroeppel’s responsibilities include strategic and day-to-day leadership of NorthWestern’s customer facing, corporate communication and human resources processes; including customer interaction, revenue collection, customer education, customer programs and services, energy efficiency, market research, customer care systems and infrastructure, branding and advertising, media relations and the human resource generalists processes.

Since joining NorthWestern in May of 1998, Ms. Schroeppel has also held positions in market research, support services and strategy.

Ms. Schroeppel started her career in 1994 at Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative, Rockford MN. While at Wright-Hennepin, she held positions in electric and security dispatch, marketing and market research, and technical field services.

She holds degrees in Statistics and Sociology from the University of Minnesota, as well as an MBA from the U of MN Carlson School of Management.

Mark Freeman

Central Lincoln PUD

Director of Employee, Customer & Community Services