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. This program is an excellent professional development and organizational team-building opportunity. Vendors encouraged to display.
Diane Perry, Senior Manager, Operations Systems, Puget Sound Energy
Michelle Carman, Director, Customer Service, FortisBC
Hyatt Regency La Jolla
3777 La Jolla Village Dr.
San Diego, CA 92122
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 and management professionals
• Service company providers
Member: $799 USD
Regular: $1,749 USD
Registration prices increase $150 after February 25, 2022. Registration includes full conference access and digital program materials through the app. This registration also includes complimentary access to the virtual event on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Guest tickets are available for $99 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 full conference access. It does not include virtual event access.
Please see the Vendor tab for information about registering as a vendor for the event.
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.
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.
1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
The registration desk will open early in the Regency Foyer for attendees to pick up their name badge. Please have your COVID-19 vaccine card or negative test result available. The registration desk and event lanyards are sponsored by:
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Vendor Displays Open
Be the first to visit the vendor displays!
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
New Attendee + Program Development Team Meetup
We want you to get the most out of your experience at the Symposium. If this is your first time attending, join the Program Development Team and other new attendees to make connections through networking and icebreaker activities.
4:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Welcome to the 2022 Customer + Corporate Symposium
Speakers: Diane Perry, Senior Manager Operations Systems, Puget Sound Energy
Michelle Carman, Director, Customer Service, FortisBC
The Symposium Co-Chairs will welcome us to San Diego, California.
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Speaker: Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, Senior Vice President, Diversity and Community Partnerships, Sempra Energy
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Join us to catch up with colleagues from across the West and meet fellow Symposium attendees.
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Leadership 2.0: Leading Past Digitization to Build a Culture of Innovation
Speaker: Brian Solis, Global Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce
A new generation of leaders must build innovative organizations by breaking free from the rigid processes and risk-averse cultures that hold companies and employees back. Business models weren’t the only thing disrupted when the world became digital-first overnight. Leadership itself needs a Ctrl-Alt-Del to compete in this new and still evolving world. Legacy management, rigid processes and mindsets, and risk-averse cultures won’t help businesses compete at the speed and capacity that markets are demanding. But many executives are confusing digitization brought on by 2020 disruption with innovation. There’s a stark difference, however. The adoption of innovative technologies can offer a blinding illusion of making businesses innovative when in actuality, they’re digitizing yesterday’s processes. Now, leaders must reassess how digital technologies, evolving behaviors and expectations, and innovative leadership and operating models can lead to the creation of new market value. Otherwise, executives will get stuck in a finite cycle of trying to succeed in a digital economy with a pre-digital value proposition. The opportunity for leaders in this new world is to create space for creativity and imagination and an operating culture that helps people nurture their ideas into something transformative and meaningful to unlock new value.
9:45 AM – 10:15 AM
Networking Break with Vendors
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
Customer Contact Transformation – Working from Home: Here to Stay or Gone Away?
Data-Driven Insights – Sail Smoothly Across the Data Lake and Not Wash Overboard on the Rough Analytical Sea
Embracing + Leading Customer-Driven Change – Managing Customer Debt and Affordability
Emerging Threats + Risk Management – How Current Trends Are Shaping ERM Programs
Innovation + Business Agility – Utilities Can Innovate Too: Accelerating Digital Transformation
Optimizing the Customer Experience – How Intelligent Automation Can Boost Customer Experience
Our Customers + Community – Communicating Industry Change
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Networking Lunch + Vendor Showcase
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
Embracing + Leading Customer-Driven Change – Building Organizational Capacity to Embrace Customer Disruptions
Emerging Threats + Risk Management – Workforce Management
Optimizing the Customer Experience – Developing a Strong Channel Strategy
Our People – Bring on the Conflict
2:15 PM – 2:45 PM
Networking Break with Vendors
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Customer Contact Transformation – Exploring the Human Side of Productivity
Data-Driven Insights – Leveraging Story Weaving of Data and the Ensuing Neural Ballet to Improve Stakeholder Engagement
Innovation + Business Agility – A Clean Future: Energy Diversification + Innovation
Our Customers + Community – Beyond Covid (What Covid Practice Should Be Integrated Into Real World)
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Networking Breakfast + Program Development Team Recognition
Join us for breakfast as we honor the 100+ energy professionals from WEI member utilities and service companies who made this event possible.
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Emerging Threats + Risk Management – Risks of Ransomware in the Cyber Security Domain
Optimizing the Customer Experience – Accelerate Rate of Change by Leveraging Operational and Voice-of-Customer Data
Our People – Navigating the Evolution of the Hybrid Workplace
Our Customers + Community – Affordable Service/Social Responsibility
9:45 AM – 10:15 AM
Networking Break + Hotel Check Out
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
Customer Contact Transformation – Create a Brighter Future Today…For the Workforce of Tomorrow!
Data-Driven Insights – Taking Utilities into the 21st Century
Innovation + Business Agility – How Does Strategic Change Management Guide Disruption + Innovation?
Embracing + Leading Customer-Driven Change – Customer Habits have Changed, Have Yours?
11:45 PM – 12:30 PM
Wrap Up Meeting
You’re invited to participate in the wrap-up as we set the stage for the next Symposium on March 1-3, 2023 in Portland, Oregon! This session is open to all Customer + Corporate Symposium participants who are interested in joining the planning teams or want to provide feedback on their experience. Light refreshments will be provided.
Hyatt Regency La Jolla
3777 La Jolla Village Dr.
San Diego, California 92122
Please make your reservations online or by contacting the hotel directly at (858) 552-1234. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) Customer + Corporate Symposium to receive a special rate of $229 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until February 25, 2022, or until the WEI room block is full.
It is WEI’s policy that anyone attending a WEI-hosted program be vaccinated for COVID-19. This policy does allow for a negative COVID-19 test to be submitted in lieu of vaccination if the attendee is unable to receive the vaccine and if permitted by local host cities or venues. This policy applies to all WEI staff, as well as attendees, guests, speakers, and exhibitors.
Fully vaccinated is defined by the United States or Canadian governments. WEI accepts the following as proof of vaccination: (1) a CDC or Provincial-issued vaccination card, (2) a photo of a CDC or Provincial-issued vaccination card (front and back); (3) a document of vaccination from a licensed healthcare provider; or (4) a digital vaccine record issued by the State or Province in which the attendee resides.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 test means a printed document or image on a phone from a test provider, laboratory, or government agency-approved at-home test method that shows a negative result of a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test within 72 hours before first entry.
Attendees must show a picture or document with vaccine status or a negative test result upon arrival at the program. Attendees without the required proof will be denied entry. No refunds will be given if any attendee is denied entry due to vaccine and/or testing requirements.
All meeting attendees, speakers, guests, exhibitors, and WEI staff must wear masks while inside the meeting space, regardless of jurisdictional requirements, unless they are eating, drinking, or presenting.
Please refer to WEI’s Safety + Health Code of Conduct for other important considerations.
Member Vendor Display + Conference Attendee: $1,198 USD
Regular Vendor Display + Conference Attendee: $2,248 USD
Vendor Display Assistant: $299 USD
Registration prices for the Vendor Display + Conference Attendee increase $150 after February 18, 2022. This registration option includes full conference access, digital program materials through the app, and includes you as the main Vendor Display Representative with one skirted table in the display area. Arrangements for power, audiovisual equipment, or other supplies may be made by calling the hotel directly. This registration also includes complimentary access to the virtual event on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
Vendor Display Assistant price increases $100 after February 18, 2022. This registration is for companies who have already purchased a full vendor registration and would like to add an additional vendor representative for their display table. This registration ONLY includes vendor display access and does not include full conference or virtual event access.
Vendor Display Schedule
Monday, March 7, 2022
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Vendor Check-in and Setup
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Vendor Displays Open
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
7:30 AM – 6:00 PM: Vendor Displays Open
9:45 AM – 10:15 AM: Networking Break with Vendors
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Networking Lunch + Vendor Showcase
2:15 PM – 2:45 PM: Networking Break with Vendors
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Networking Reception with Vendors
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM: Teardown
CORPORATE SERVICES TRACKS
Description: 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, educate newcomers to the data landscape, and ultimately improve the bottom line.
Target Audience: Professionals responsible for Data Analysis; Predictive Analytics; Data Strategy; Data Governance; Data Visualization; Systems Integration; Leveraging Data, or Data Asset Management.
Description: Utilities have always managed risks to maintain a successful business model. However, with the pace of change increasing, emerging risks pose a variety of both internal and external threats. This track will focus on how utilities measure the likelihood, impact, and velocity of emerging risks across business units.
Target Audience: Professionals responsible for Business Continuity; Risk Management; Risk Mitigation; Information Technology; Cybersecurity; Compliance; Finance; Contract Management; Data Security + Privacy; or Internal Auditing.
Description: How can utilities be more proactive in embracing change and chasing innovation? This track will focus on advancements in technology and digitalization, process improvement, business agility and resilience, change management, and how to implement practices that foster innovation and collaboration across all levels of the organization.
Target Audience: Professionals responsible for Process Improvement; Project Management; Information Technology; Robotic Process Automation; Artificial Intelligence; Digitalization; Innovation; Change Management; Enterprise Resource Planning; or Business Development.
Description: Like most industries, utilities face core challenges to recruit, retain, develop, and train their employees. This track will bring together employee development and training experts, HR leaders, and other professionals to share best practices, present case studies on current issues affecting workplace culture, and preparing the utility workforce for future challenges and opportunities.
Target Audience: Professionals responsible for Talent Acquisition + Management; Human Resources; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Onboarding; Training + Apprenticeships; Organizational + Workforce Development; Total Rewards + Compensation; or Succession Planning.
CUSTOMER CONNECTIONS TRACKS
Description: With a focus on contact center management and customer-facing frontline employees, this track will explore how utilities are supporting and preparing their current and future customer workforce to handle emerging and evolving challenges.
Target Audience: Professionals responsible for Customer Contact Centers; Customer Care; Billing + Payment Centers; Customer Quality Assurance; Customer Workforce Training + Development; Field Customer Services; or Customer Operations.
Description: While the industry continues to face disruptors and competitors on many fronts, customers are different today than they were yesterday. Customer expectations are changing, and utilities must be a trusted advisor to lead customers through significant change by offering new technologies, service options, and energy choices.
Target Audience: Professionals responsible for Strategic Planning + Initiatives; New Products + Services; Research + Development; External Partnerships; Business Development; Sustainability Goals; Consulting; or Program + Project Management.
Description: 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 proactively engage with their customers, anticipate needs, and identify new opportunities.
Target Audience: Professionals responsible for Customer Analytics; Customer Data; Market Research + Analysis; Service + Product Development; Customer Solutions; or Customer Care.
Description: A utility’s brand and communication must meet the ongoing needs and desires of their customers and community. How do utilities strategically brand and market themselves in this changing landscape? This track will explore how companies are delivering consistent communications across a variety of outlets, utilizing technology and social media to maximize their message, informing their customers through community outreach and education, and taking a customer-first approach to building strategic partnerships.
Target Audience: Professionals responsible for Social Media; Public Relations; Public Affairs; Brand Consulting + Development; External Communications; Advertising; Digital Content + Marketing; Customer + Stakeholder Relations; or Community Outreach + Education.
Brian Solis is a world-renowned digital anthropologist and futurist who serves as Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. Brian is also an 8x best-selling author and international keynote speaker. Forbes has called him “one of the more creative and brilliant business minds of our time,” ZDNet said that Brian is “one of the 21st century business world’s leading thinkers” and The Conference Board claimed that Brian is “the futurist we all need now.”
Over the past 20 years, Brian studied the impact of Digital Darwinism on businesses, markets and society. In his work, he explores the evolving future of innovation, digital transformation, experience design, the cognitive enterprise, and technology’s effects on human behavior.
Brian has published over 60 research papers and also actively shares his work in industry-leading publications including Forbes, ZDNet, CIO, Fast Company, and Adweek.
His insights on the state and future of digital trends have made him a go to resource among leading brands, media, and celebrities.
Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell is senior vice president of diversity and community partnerships for Sempra. In this role, Mitchell advances the company’s high-performance culture by leading a collective effort to enhance diversity and inclusion within Sempra, its operating companies and in the communities it serves.
Previously, Mitchell served as vice president of state governmental affairs and external affairs for San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Company, Sempra’s regulated California utilities. Prior to his work with Sempra’s California utilities, Mitchell served in a variety of roles in governmental affairs and community relations for City of San Diego, labor and business entities.
Mitchell serves on the boards of San Diego Housing Commissioner, Lucky Duck Foundation, Sharp Hospital Board of Trustees, Voice of San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Foundation, and San Diego Opera Board of Directors.
Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Redlands.
Diane Perry has over 25 years applications management, technology strategy and leadership, project delivery, and project management experiences in the utility, financial, and insurance sectors. She joined Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in 2021 as a Senior Manager for Operations Systems within Information Technology Services. Prior to PSE, Diane was Senior Manager of Applications at Snohomish County (Washington) PUD (SNOPUD) where she was responsible for the utility’s enterprise applications and technology strategy. In addition to new cloud implementations, many of the applications she supported at SNOPUD migrated to the cloud during her tenure. Over the last several years, she also has participated in various Western Energy Institute’s programs including Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders and Customer + Corporate Symposium; she is the co-chair for 2022’s Symposium. She has a BS from Central Washington University
Michelle Carman is Director of Customer Service for FortisBC, overseeing and leading a team of approximately 275 people in contact centre operations, billing services, collection services and revenue protection support for both electricity and natural gas business operations. Michelle is in her 20th year of experience with the energy industry, nearly 16 years of which have been with FortisBC after starting her career at Manitoba Hydro. Michelle has held various roles throughout her career in finance, regulatory affairs and customer service. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba as well as certified professional accounting designation.