Customer + Corporate Symposium – Virtual (Feb 09)

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)
  • Diane Perry, Senior Manager, Operations Systems, Puget Sound Energy and Michelle Carman, Director, Customer Service, FortisBC

    • Program Location
    • Virtual Event
    • No travel required. All agenda times are in Pacific time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided to the attendee before the program.
    • Who Should Attend
      • Corporate and customer service senior management
      • Customer experience and engagement managers
      • Service center managers
      • Corporate communication professionals
      • Community outreach and education professionals
      • Human resources and workforce development professionals
      • IT, innovation, and technology professionals
      • Data analysts, scientists, and governance professionals
      • Enterprise risk managersCompliance analysts
      • Service company providers
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $199 USD
    Regular: $299 USD

    Registration includes virtual access to all agenda items and digital program materials presented on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. If you are planning to attend the in-person Symposium on March 7-9, 2022, please register for that event here. In-person registration includes access to this virtual event.

  • 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 virtual program. Registrants can receive a full refund should they need to cancel their registration up to the day before the program begins.
  • 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.


All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check

The room will open early with optional time for participants to get familiar with the virtual platform, test their audio and webcam, or ask questions about the agenda before we begin.

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Welcome + Opening Remarks
Speaker(s): Diane Perry, Senior Manager Operations Systems, Puget Sound Energy, Michelle Carman, Director, Customer Service, FortisBC

9:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Breakout Sessions #1

Customer Contact Transformation Track: Building Resilient Training Programs
Speakers: Amber Morgan, Supervisor & Trainer, Active TeleSource, Inc.
Gretchen Alexander, Training and Development Manager, Clark Public Utilities
Juan Argueta, Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives and Energy Education Centers, Southern California Edison
Does the idea of hosting virtual training leave you feeling uneasy? If so, you’re not alone and we’ve assembled a panel of industry experts who faced the virtual wall and found a way to thrive. Hear about the challenges they faced, obstacles they had to overcome, how they measured progress, what the future looks like for training, and how they ultimately found success in a virtual world. Be sure to join with your virtual training questions ready for this open forum discussion as they share the tips and tricks that helped them along the way.

Data-Driven Insights Track: Your Data Analytics Strategy is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.
Moderator: Cecilia Rodriguez, Director, People Services & Strategies, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Speakers: Henry Wu, Group Product Manager, Southern California Gas Company
Morris Treadway, Title Principal, Finance Transformation and Performance Management, KPMG LLP
Despite unlimited access to talent and technology, utilities are still struggling to transform into data-driven organizations. This presentation will discuss the challenges of deploying advanced analytics across a business and provide actionable insight to addressing barriers. Whether you’re a data analyst or a senior leader, learn how your influence and strategy can help make data a core tenet of your business.

Our Customers + Community Track: Navigating the Changing Media Landscape
Speakers: John Egan, President, Egan Energy Communications, Inc.
Huntley Ritter, CEO/President, Stafford Multimedia, LLC
Consumers’ media consumption is soaring, but their choices and preferences on how to receive news differ among age and generation – leading marketing dynamics to change rapidly and dramatically. With continuously evolving mindsets, expanded platform choices, technology developments and events such as the global pandemic, utilities need to quickly adapt and respond to the behaviors of our audiences to meet the needs of their customers. Not always an easy task in today’s unpredictable marketing environment. In this session you will hear more about the following: 
•    Strategies to use paid advertising to complement earned media and amplify your company’s messaging
•    The best use of social media platforms to reach your target audience
•    Attracting and keeping your audience’s attention in an environment where consumers are changing the way they access information

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM


10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Breakout Sessions #2

Emerging Threats + Risk Management Track: Extreme Weather
Deana Ng, Director, PMO, Southern California Gas Company
Sara McCoy, Director, Risk Management, Salt River Project
Over the past several years, utility providers around the world have been faced with adversity due to acts of nature. Aging infrastructure, cyber threats, supply chain constraints, and emergency response management all bake into a recipe that if not prepared for will delay response and macerate recovery. Learn from industry examples of risk mitigation and maintaining business continuity while still providing a high level of customer service.  

Innovation + Business Agility Track: Courting Technology + Innovation to Become a Stronger Inclusive Workplace
Speakers: Corrie Mros, Manager, Facilities Workplace Experience, Salt River Project
Alexis Alexander, Director of Generation, Production and Substation Support, Avista Corporation
Don Ashmore, Fleet Manager, Tacoma Public Utilities
Melinda Steckler, Director of Human Resources, MDU Utilities Group
Want to emerge as the company of choice? Come learn what your future employees expect for their work environment with our ‘dating’ game contestants! We will have 3 different work environments for our contestant to interview and determine their best match. Who will you swipe right on?

Optimizing the Customer Experience Track: Another Day, Another Crisis: Why your Customers Aren't Happy, your Department is Suffering, and How to Navigate through it to Deliver a Positive Customer Experience
Moderator: Megan Poshka, Customer Service Operations Manager, Idaho Power Company
Speakers: Angie Ozminkowski, Learning & Development Coordinator, Avista Utilities
Sean Gatfield, Human Resources Leader, Idaho Power Company
What comes first? The shaky customer or the shaky rep? Ways for your department to recognize customers expressing crisis fatigue, and how your equally fatigued customer service representative can turn that customer experience around to drive the customer experience home. Sharing the factors that are causing fatigue and strain on our employees and our customers, and how to achieve the best possible outcome when it does not feel viable.

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Utility Executive Panel
Moderator(s): Aidan McSheffrey, Chief Financial Executive & Associate General Manager, Salt River Project
Panelist(s): Roger Dall'Antonia, President and CEO, FortisBC, Caroline Winn, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Hear from a dynamic panel of utility executives on the challenges and opportunities they face with the changing landscape of the energy industry. Take the opportunity to interact by submitting your own questions.

1:45 PM - 2:00 PM


2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Breakout Sessions #3

Embracing + Leading Customer-Driven Change Track: Employee Engagement in an Ever-Changing Environment
Speakers: Glen Traasdahl, Director Customer Contact Operations, Salt River Project
Mark Turner, Employee Engagement Lead, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Panelists will share how they keep remote employees engaged and involved. Understanding the importance to connect leadership to employee and employee to customer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and changing customer needs. This discussion will explore ways that companies have found success in engaging remote employees to meet customer needs during uncertainty.

Our People Track: Diversity, Equity + Inclusion in a Virtual World: Navigating in the New Normal
Heather Burns, Director, Human Resources, NorthWestern Energy
Olivia Polynice, Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Department of Human Resources, City of Tacoma
Hear from diversity, equity, and inclusion experts on the roadblocks to advancing efforts, along with the additional challenge of navigating DE&I in a virtual environment. The speakers will discuss current challenges that industries are facing regarding psychological safety and navigating microaggressions in the workplace. From this session, you will learn about best practices for establishing a recruiting process that supports DE&I and encourages employee engagement. 

Track Details


Data-Driven Insights

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.

Emerging Threats + Risk 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.

Innovation + Business Agility

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.

Our People

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 Contact Transformation

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.

Embracing + Leading Customer-Driven Change

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.

Optimizing the Customer Experience

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.

Our Customers + Community

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.

Meet The Speakers

Diane Perry

Puget Sound Energy

Senior Manager Operations Systems

Michelle Carman


Director, Customer Service

Roger Dall’Antonia


President and CEO

Caroline Winn

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Chief Executive Officer

Aidan McSheffrey

Salt River Project

Chief Financial Executive & Associate General Manager

John Egan

Egan Energy Communications, Inc.


Amber Morgan

Active TeleSource, Inc.

Supervisor & Trainer

Gretchen Alexander

Clark Public Utilities

Training and Development Manager

Juan Argueta

Southern California Edison

Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives and Energy Education Centers

Cecilia Rodriguez

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Director, People Services & Strategies

Henry Wu

Southern California Gas Company

Group Product Manager

Morris Treadway


Title Principal, Finance Transformation and Performance Management

Deana Ng

Southern California Gas Company

Director, PMO

Sara McCoy

Salt River Project

Director, Risk Management

Alexis Alexander

Avista Corp.

Manager, GPSS Construction and Maintenance

Corrie Mros

Salt River Project

Manager Facilities Workplace Experience

Don Ashmore

Tacoma Public Utilities

Fleet Manager

Melinda Steckler

MDU Utilities Group

Director of Human Resources

Angie Ozminkowski

Avista Utilities

Learning & Development Coordinator

Megan Poshka

Idaho Power Company

Customer Service Operations Manager

Sean Gatfield

Idaho Power Company

Human Resources Leader

Glen Traasdahl

Salt River Project

Director Customer Contact Operations

Mark Turner

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Employee Engagement Lead

Olivia Polynice

City of Tacoma

Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Department of Human Resources

Heather Burns

NorthWestern Energy

Director, Human Resources