Customer + Corporate Symposium – Virtual (Jun 16-18)

Join over 250 energy professionals to discuss the latest industry trends and best practices in corporate and customer services. The diverse mix of presentations, Q&A panels, roundtable discussions and networking allow attendees to share their experiences and develop contacts throughout the industry. Expect to gain applicable insights on a variety of topics including customer experience; human resources; emerging technology, products and services; community engagement; data and business systems; innovation; risk management; and change management. This program is an excellent professional development and organizational team-building opportunity.

Register Now

General Details

Program Chair(s)
Neena Master, Director of Customer Services Field, Southeast Region, Southern California Gas Company
Denise Wilcox, Vice President, Human Resources, New Mexico Gas Company

Who Should Attend
• Corporate and customer service senior management
• Customer experience and channel managers
• Service center managers
• Customer program managers
• Community outreach and public relations professionals
• Human resources professionals
• IT and technology professionals
• Data analysts, scientists and management professionals
• Enterprise risk management leaders
• Risk analysts
• Compliance analyst/managers
• Change Management Professionals
• Service company providers

Registration Options
Western Energy Institute takes the health and safety of our employees and members very seriously. With safety as our top priority, this program is being offered in a virtual format. No hotel or travel is required. If you have any questions, please contact the Program Manager directly.

Attendee: $299 USD
This registration includes full access to the virtual conference and meeting materials through the conference app.

General Cancellation Policy
WEI will be waiving the standard cancellation policy for this program and other programs occurring in March, April, May, and June 2020. Registrants can receive a full refund of their fee if requested up to the day before the program occurs for increased flexibility due to the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation. This applies both to new and existing registrations. This also applies to any registration fees paid for virtual program formats.

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.


This agenda is subject to change as we finalize session details and times. Please check back for updates or contact Amy Nye to sign-up for important announcements related to the virtual agenda. All session times are listed as Pacific Time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Virtual Happy Hour (Optional)
Grab your favorite beverage, activate your mic, and turn on your webcam to connect with colleagues and friends.

A/V for the Virtual Customer + Corporate Symposium is sponsored by:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Virtual Registration + Help Desk
WEI will host a virtual registration and help desk before the conference begins and throughout the day. Stop in for a visit if you have questions about the agenda, want more information on how to use the app, or need assistance accessing GoTo Webinar or any of the GoTo Meeting breakout rooms.

8:00 AM – 8:45 AM
Welcome to the 2020 Customer + Corporate Symposium
Speakers: Neena Master, Director of Customer Services Field, Southeast Region, Southern California Gas Company
Denise Wilcox, Vice President, Human Resources, New Mexico Gas Company
The Customer + Corporate Symposium Co-Chairs will welcome all participants and provide an overview of the virtual experience.

8:45 AM – 9:00 AM

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Concurrent Tracks – 1A
Customer Contact Transformation – Exposing the Bottom Line: From Customers to Shareholders
Data-Driven Insights – In the Beginning…There was Data
Emerging Threats + Risk Management – Enterprise Risk Management: A Journey, Not a Destination
Evolving Your Brand Identity – Enhancing Your Brand Image in a Rapidly Evolving World

10:15 AM – 10:45 AM

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – 1B
Facing Customer Disruptors – Embracing the Challenges + Opportunities with the Growth of EVs + Renewables
Innovation + Business Agility – Showcasing Innovation
Insights That Drive Customer Value – Translating Satisfaction to Value
Our People – Diversity, Equity + Inclusion: Creating an Environment Where Everyone Can Thrive

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Break for Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
Concurrent Tracks – 2A
Customer Contact Transformation – Contact Center Development – From Agent to Leader
Data-Driven Insights – Treat Your Data Like an Asset
Emerging Threats + Risk Management – A New Emerging Threat: Wildfires
Evolving Your Brand Identity – Using Today’s Voice of the Customer to Improve Tomorrow’s Brand Value

2:15 PM – 2:45 PM

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – 2B
Facing Customer Disruptors – Hydrogen – Enabling the Energy Transition
Innovation + Business Agility – Tackling Roadblocks to Innovation
Insights That Drive Customer Value – Leveraging Your Customer Feedback to Create a Better Customer Experience
Our People – How Enterprise Change Management Impacts Our People

Thursday, June 18, 2020

7:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Virtual Registration + Help Desk
WEI will host a virtual registration and help desk before the conference begins and throughout the day. Stop in for a visit if you have questions about the agenda, want more information on how to use the app, or need assistance accessing GoTo Webinar or any of the GoTo Meeting breakout rooms.

8:00 AM – 8:45 AM
General Session

8:45 AM – 9:00 AM

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Concurrent Tracks – 3A
Customer Contact Transformation – Creating a Collaborative Culture – Corporate to Customer
Data-Driven Insights – Analytic Insights for Improving EE, DR, and DER Adoption
Emerging Threats + Risk Management – Navigating the Changing Landscape of Data Privacy
Evolving Your Brand Identity – Stand Up and Stand Out: Being Bold in Times of Adversity

10:15 AM – 10:45 AM

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – 3B
Facing Customer Disruptors – Insights from SoCal Edison and Google’s Smart Speaker Projects
Innovation + Business Agility – How to be More Like Amazon and Innovate Faster
Insights That Drive Customer Value – Do You Really Know Your Customer?
Our People – Workforce Shaping: Responding to Intelligent Automation’s Impact

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Break for Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – 4
Customer Contact Transformation – The Power of Emerging Training for CSRs Today
Data-Driven Insights – Bigfoot, Unicorns, and Self-Service Analytics: Reality or Myth?
Emerging Threats + Risk Management – Is Your Grid Ready for EIM?
Combined: Evolving Your Brand Identity + Our People – Why Being an Employer of Choice Matters
Facing Customer Disruptors – Playing a Catchy Tune – Building Customer Advocacy
Innovation + Business Agility – How to Greenlight Your Innovative Project
Insights That Drive Customer Value – Using Segmentation to Drive Customer Strategy

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Concurrent Tracks – 5
Customer Contact Transformation – Empowering and Understanding Low-Income Customers
Combined: Data-Driven Insights + Emerging Threats + Risk Management – Risk Management: 3rd Party + Data Interactions
Evolving Your Brand Identity – Looking Outside of the Utility Industry to Inspire Your Brand
Facing Customer Disruptors – CCA 101
Combined: Innovation + Business Agility + Our People – Establishing a Culture of Innovation in an Increasingly Complex Environment
Insights That Drive Customer Value – When Customers Call, We Are Listening

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Wrap Up Celebration (Optional)
Join us as we wrap up the Symposium and acknowledge the people who made this all possible. We also invite you to join the Program Development Team for the 2021 Customer + Corporate Symposium scheduled for March 8 – 10, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego, California.

Track Details

Customer Contact Transformation
With a focus on contact center management and customer-facing frontline employees, this track will explore how utilities are preparing their current and future customer workforce to handle emerging challenges. Attendees to this track are managers or customer contact center representatives, staff of payment centers, and those working in the field with customers regularly. Employees responsible for customer workforce management strategy and training are encouraged to attend.

Data-Driven Insights
Utilities find themselves inundated with a diversity of data across all lines of business. This track will explore how companies are using data as an asset to improve systems and operations, enhance the customer experience, and ultimately improve the bottom line.

Emerging Threats + Risk Management
Utilities have always managed risks to maintain a successful business model. However, with the pace of change increasing, emerging risks pose a variety of threats. This track will focus on how utilities measure the likelihood, impact, and velocity of emerging risks across business units.

Evolving Your Brand Identity
A utility’s brand and communications must meet the needs and desires of changing customers and employees. How can and how do utilities strategically brand and market themselves in this changing landscape? This track will explore how companies are enhancing their customer experience, delivering consistent communications and accurate messaging across a variety of channels, utilizing technology to maximize their message, and creating a customer-driven strategy across business units. External communications professionals, social media strategists, digital specialists and contact center employees are encouraged to attend, as are those individuals responsible for developing customer communications strategies.

Facing Customer Disruptors
With the industry facing disruptions and competitors on many fronts, the trusted energy partnership that many utilities have cultivated with customers for decades is at risk. Utilities must identify disruptors and develop processes, products, and services to better serve their customers. This track is designed for professionals responsible for developing and rolling out new products and services, developing innovative partnerships to enhance your relationship with customers, and creating strategies to better understand your customer’s needs.

Innovation + Business Agility
Utilities must be proactive in embracing change and chasing innovation, or risk no longer being relevant and possibly failing to exist. This track will focus on technology, process and cultural changes that increase a business unit’s ability to be agile and implement practices that foster innovation across all levels of their organization.

Insights That Drive Customer Value
Customer analytics allow utilities to better understand their customers’ preferences, improve the customer experience, and optimize systems and operations within customer business units. This track will focus on how utilities are using data to better serve their customers. It is intended for customer analysts, data analysts, customer managers, and leaders responsible for customer service, product development and leveraging customer data.

Our People
Utilities face core challenges to recruit, retain, develop, and train their workforce. This track will bring together employee development and training experts, HR leaders, change management specialists, and other professionals to share case studies on current issues and preparing the utility workforce for future challenges.


Platinum Sponsors
Black + Veatch-01Booz-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01 HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01Landis+Gyr-01   Potelco-01Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01

Gold Sponsors
ActiveTelesource-01Acros-01Asplundh-01 Barnard-01Esource-01Energy Care-01HGCA-01 PrintSEL-01-01     snelson_300dpiTDW-03-01The HDD Company-01vertexone logo w-tagline NEWWilson Construction-01

Meet The Speakers

John McFarland

Portland General Electric

Vice President, Customer Solutions, Chief Customer Officer
Learn More

John McFarland oversees all aspects of Portland General Electric’s customer experience and is responsible for developing new strategies to meet the changing needs of our customers. Before joining PGE in April 2019, McFarland spent more than 16 years in general management, marketing, product innovation and digital transformation at two Fortune 500 companies, General Motors and Procter & Gamble.

Most recently, McFarland served as director of Global Digital Experience and Connected Vehicles at GM. He led the company’s connected ecosystem transformation, digital customer experiences and in-vehicle digital ecosystem strategy. McFarland previously served as chief marketing officer of GM’s global OnStar business. He also served more than eight years in finance and brand management leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, working on iconic brands such as Tide, Gain and IAMS. AdWeek magazine named him one of the Top 10 Marketers of the Year for his work on Tide.

McFarland earned a B.S. in management information systems and accounting from Miami University, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with a focus on strategy, marketing and finance. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Leadership Program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He is a guest professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He previously served on the board of AdCraft Detroit, the nation’s oldest active advertising organization.

Neena Master

Southern California Gas Company

Director of Customer Services Field
Learn More

Neena Master is the Director of Customer Services for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), the nation’s largest natural gas distribution company serving nearly 21 million consumers. SoCalGas has over 8,000 employees and is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Previously, Neena has experience in community relations, pipeline safety, billing operations, customer services and marketing. Neena has over 20 years in the utility industry and has working experience with energy, federal and local government agencies, and manufacturing industries. Neena also sits on the Board of Directors for the Orangewood Foundation, Orange County Human Relations and Korean Health Education, Information, and Research (KHEIR) organizations. She is a Certified Energy Manager and has earned a Master Degree of Business Administration from Claremont Graduate University in 1999 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Southern California in 1995.

Denise Wilcox

New Mexico Gas Company

Vice President, Human Resources
Learn More

Denise is responsible for leading Human Resources, Corporate Security and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategic Solutions. Before joining New Mexico Gas Company in February 2009, Denise built a distinguished career with the City of Albuquerque, serving in a variety of leadership positions in municipal development, environmental health, labor relations, risk management and customer services. Denise holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a B.A., both from the University of New Mexico. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and holds the SHRM-SCP designation through the Society for Human Resources Management. Denise serves on the Board of Directors of the Anderson School of Management Foundation and the Domestic Violence Resource Center.

Jason Klotz

Portland General Electric

Manager, Regulatory and Policy Strategy, Grid Architecture, Integration and System Operations
Learn More

10 years of energy and regulatory experience. JD and Masters in environmental policy and law. Member of the Oregon Bar, licensed to practice in Oregon. Expert on emerging technology in the energy sector from energy efficiency to transactive control. Several years of experience with wholesale markets, carbon policy and demand side resource development. Currently leading Oregon policy development on electric vehicles, energy storage and demand response. Initiated and worked to assure funding for the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. Privileged to be an early team member with PNNL developing the concept of transactive control. Worked on energy efficiency and resource planning before Commissions in ID, WA, OR, MT, CA and VT. Regular engagement with the Northwest’s congressional delegation and state legislators. Helped permit the first “cow power” plant in Vermont.