Executive Planning Committee (May 09-10)

The Executive Planning Committee (EPC) is a distinctive group of senior energy leaders who meet annually to bridge the strategic vision of the WEI Board of Directors and Board Committees, with content and planning for individual programs. The EPC’s efforts culminate over two days, where they meet with their respective business sections of Gas Operations, Electric Operations, Customer Connections and Corporate Services, to address common issues across member organizations. Attendees work together on how to best combine efforts and leverage resources into creating educational track content at both the Customer + Corporate Symposium and the Operations Conference.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Ron Nichols, President, Southern California Edison

    • Program Location
    • Hotel Monaco
    • 506 S.W. Washington Street
      Portland, OR 97204
    • Who Should Attend
      • Members of the Executive Planning Committee or their assignees
      • WEI Board Committee members
      • Special invitations
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $399 USD

    Registration includes access to all Executive Planning Committee agenda items. Registration includes a networking dinner, catered breakfast, lunch and light snacks at the meeting, and all meeting materials. Guest passes are available for $100 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 Kevin Sullivan, Director of Member Engagement at (971) 255-4973.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Registration Open

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Service Company Committee Meeting

Service Company Members only.

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Welcome to the Executive Planning Committee Meeting
Speaker(s): Chuck Meyer, President, Western Energy Institute

The committee will receive an update on WEI, their role as committee members, and goals for the session.

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

WEI 2017 – 2018 Theme and Strategic Energy Issues
Speaker(s): Ron Nichols, President, Southern California Edison

WEI's Annual Theme will be provided by the WEI Chair-Elect

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Executive Hot Topics
Facilitator(s): Ryan Germaine, Vice President, District Operations, ATCO Gas, Jorg Stangl, Director, Distribution Engineering & Standards, BC Hydro, Lisa Fix, Director of Customer Service, Clark Public Utilities, Jason Pitts, Manager, IS Operations, Avista Utilities

During this session each of the four functional areas break out in separate rooms to discuss strategic issues facing their organizations. EPC members will exchange their own expertise to gain a deeper understanding of common challenges. Each of the four WEI Board Committees will provide notes on critical issues from committee meetings. Together, the top issues identified by this roundtable will spring board the EPC into the second day.


  • Create peer to peer relationships
  • Exchange challenges and best practices to gain a deeper understanding of the issues and solutions in our industry
  • Review WEI program portfolio to ensure the right programs are being addressed – offer suggestions for new programs and ideas

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Hosted Networking Dinner

Located at Portland City Grill:
111 5th Ave, Portland, OR – 30th Floor of Building
Reservation under WEI

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Networking Breakfast

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

The Challenges Facing our Industry and the Impacts of Solving Them
Speaker(s): Hugo van Nispen, CEO, BRIDGE Energy Group

The committee comes back together for a further look at examples of the key changes and interdependencies within our industry.  Our speaker will also recap the discussions had in the afternoon during the executive roundtable to ensure committee awareness across the four breakouts.

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Conference Leadership Breakout Sessions

Groups will discuss the relevance of the WEI annual theme and the committee guidance. Members will then recommend tracks for their area and clearly articulate the specific audiences for each. Finally, we will identify commitments for Program Delivery Team members and Mentors.


  • Create tracks for the agenda for the 2018 Customer + Corporate Symposium and the 2018 Operations Conference
  • Recommend topic areas to focus on within each track
  • Recommend people from your company to join a Program Development Team for the Customer + Corporate Symposium or the Operations Conference to further plan the agenda

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Customer + Corporate Symposium and Operations Conference Combined Sessions

The Customer and Corporate breakouts will come together to identify key areas for partnership at the Customer + Corporate Symposium. Similarly, the Gas Operations and Electric Operations breakouts will come together to discuss partnerships for the Operations Conference.


  • Bring both sides of the conference together to discuss key themes and areas for combined sessions or partnerships
  • Discuss key changes to the overall structure of the conference
  • Brainstorm ideas for general sessions

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch and Report Outs

Each team will report out to the full group on what they came up with for their respected part of the conference.


  • Report out on the work you accomplished and the tracks and topics that you are suggesting
  • Provide the EPC a full look at issues that are within each of our four focus areas

1:30 PM - 1:30 PM


Hotel + Travel

  • Hotel Monaco
  • 506 S.W. Washington Street
  • Portland, Oregon 97204
  • Phone: 800-711-2971

  • Click here to make your reservation now.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $209/night. The discount code is 11500704022. This rate is guaranteed until April 14, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Chuck Meyer

Western Energy Institute


Hugo van Nispen

BRIDGE Energy Group


Ron Nichols

Southern California Edison

Learn More

Ronald O. (R.O.) Nichols is president of Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for external affairs, compliance, power production and procurement, and other operations. He is a member of SCE’s board of directors.

Nichols has more than 35 years of experience in the electric and water utility industry. He has been a strategic and operational advisor to utilities, state and local government, power suppliers and the financial community on complex energy and utility matters throughout the United States, particularly in the West.

Previously, Nichols was senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs and Nuclear for SCE, overseeing regulatory policy and affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs.

Prior to joining SCE in 2014, Nichols served for three years as General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), where he provided leadership for the utility in supplying reliable and competitively priced water and electricity while continuing to maintain and implement environmentally conscious policies and priorities.

Previously, Nichols was a managing director at the energy practice of Navigant Consulting, an international consulting organization with over 2,000 employees. From 1980 to 1997, before his position at Navigant, he was a co-founder and Senior Vice President of the energy and water utility consulting firm, Resource Management International, which was headquartered in Sacramento with offices throughout North America and in Europe and Asia. Prior to starting his energy and water utility consulting career in 1980, he held positions with the California Department of Water Resources and the California Energy Commission.

Nichols is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a degree in agricultural economics and business management.

Ryan Germaine


Vice President, District Operations
Learn More

Ryan Germaine is the Vice President of Operations, Calgary & Edmonton Regions, Natural Gas Transmission & Distribution Division, Pipelines & Liquids Global Business Unit. Ryan joined ATCO in 2001 and has held various leadership roles within the engineering and operations groups, providing additional guidance to ATCO’s regulatory team. He played a key role in ATCO’s response to the devastating wildfire that swept through Northern Alberta in 2016.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and has more than 16 years’ experience in the natural gas industry. He is a member of APEGA and currently serves with the Canadian Gas Association as a member of the Standing Committee on Operations.

Lisa Fix

Clark Public Utilities

Director of Customer Service
Learn More

For more than five years, Lisa has served as the Director of Customer Service for Clark Public Utilities. In her role she nurtures an award-winning, customer-centric culture and leads two contact centers to meet the needs of 194,000 electric and 34,000 water utility customers. Prior to her work with Clark Public Utilities, Lisa spent 25 years with Marriott Hotels, serving in roles related to finance, customer services and executive leadership. Lisa holds an MBA from Washington State University-Vancouver, and a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stout. Outside of work, she tends to a small ranch in the north part of Clark County where she rides her horses and enjoys the country lifestyle.

Jason Pitts

Avista Utilities

Manager, IS Operations

Jorg Stangl

BC Hydro

Director, Distribution Engineering & Standards