Human Resources (Nov 05-06)

This semi-annual program provides a roundtable opportunity for human resource leadership to address contemporary, strategic issues in human resource management. Regardless of company size or structure, energy industry human resource professionals face complex challenges related to recruitment and retention, employee assessment and training, succession planning and maintaining safe and compliant business practices. The program considers strategic inclusions such as collective bargaining agreements, benefits, employee diversity, performance management, compensation policies and change management.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Renée Castillo, Sr. Director, Human Resources, Salt River Project

    • Program Location
    • Salt River Project
    • 1511 N. Project Drive
      Tempe, AZ 85281
    • Who Should Attend
    • Participation is restricted to senior leaders responsible for management of human resources functions at WEI energy member companies. The small size of this program encourages open discourse, problem-solving and long-term relationship building.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $499 USD

    Registration includes a networking dinner Tuesday night as well as catered breakfast, lunch, light snacks, and beverages at the meeting. Guest tickets are available for $95 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 all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

  • 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 Amy Nye, Program Manager at (503) 688-2794.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Registration + Networking

Arrive early to network with peers. Light refreshments will be served.

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM


Our host will welcome us to Salt River Project.

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM

Introductions + Opening Roundtable
Facilitator(s): Renee Castillo, Sr. Director, Human Resources, Salt River Project

We will kick-off attendee introductions by sharing a recent challenge and success story that you and your team have experienced in the last six months.

2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Networking Break

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Corporate Mentoring Programs
Speaker(s): Ina Heffner, Sr. Human Resources Analyst, Salt River Project

Effective career development requires intention, attention, and effort. Sponsoring mentoring is one of the ways organizations can support career development while helping employees better connect, increase organizational knowledge, acumen, and leadership, and more fully develop to their potential. In this session, we will hear about how Salt River Project is using mentoring to help employees and the organization strengthen engagement and inspire higher performance.

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Networking Break

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

HR Analytics
Speaker(s): Kisshell Wilson, Manager, HR Operations, Salt River Project

Human Resource Analytics is an area of analytics that deals with people analysis and applies analytical processes to the human capital portion of an organization. In this session, we will hear about how SRP uses HR Analytics to transform processes for the future workforce, inform key stakeholders of performance, drive human capital strategic direction and empower HR decision-making.

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Networking Dinner

Join us for a WEI Hosted Networking Dinner at:

House of Tricks
114 E. 7th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Networking Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast onsite.

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM

Alternative Work Schedules + Remote Work Policies
Facilitator(s): Sarah Griffin, Vice President, Human Resources, Idaho Power Company, Jai-Anana Elliott, Talent and Workforce Development Director, Seattle City Light, Nichole Reitzenstein, Human Resources Manager, Clark Public Utilities

Flexible work schedules and remote work options continue to be on the rise and utilities have begun adopting this practice to attract and retain talent, accommodate work/life balance, reduce traffic and commute times, and increase productivity. With this comes new policies, procedures, and technologies. In this session, we will hear from Seattle City Light, Clark Public Utilities, and Idaho Power Company on how they are planning and implementing policies to engage and support alternative work schedules and a remote workforce.

9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Open Roundtable Discussion
Facilitator(s): Renee Castillo, Sr. Director, Human Resources, Salt River Project

This session provides time for attendees to address new topics and elaborate upon previous discussions at the forum. Attendees are encouraged to come prepared with one "top of mind" issue for discussion.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Networking Break

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Threat Assessment + Workplace Safety
Speaker(s): Rich Hyatt, Director, Security Division, Chelan County PUD

Workplace violence covers a wide range of disruptive behaviors that may include threats, harassment, intimidation, bullying, assaults, and domestic violence. Hear from Chelan County PUD's Security Director, Rich Hyatt, on how to develop a mindset of awareness, recognize behaviors and indicators, and establish prevention strategies in your own organization.

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

D+I Roundtable Discussion
Facilitator(s): Lorna Klemanski, Managing Director - HR Labor & Safety, Chelan County PUD

This time is designated for a roundtable discussion focused on gender-neutral job titles and position descriptions. Come prepared to discuss what your utility is creating and using to align with your Diversity + Inclusion initiatives.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Lunch + Spring 2020 Planning

Join the discussion as we wrap up the forum over lunch and begin planning for the Spring meeting on May 5 + 6, 2020 in Boise, Idaho.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (877) 688-4613 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) to receive a special rate of $190 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until October 15, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Renee Castillo

Salt River Project

Sr. Director, Human Resources

Jai-Anana Elliott

Seattle City Light

Talent and Workforce Development Director

Sarah Griffin

Idaho Power Company

Vice President, Human Resources
Learn More

Sarah E. Griffin was named Vice President, Human Resources in October 2019. Previously, she was Human Resources Director and Human Resources Manager for Idaho Power. She oversees all aspects of Human Resources, including compensation, benefits, employee relations, diversity, talent and organizational development, employee engagement and succession planning.

Griffin has been in Human Resources since 1995 and with Idaho Power since 2007. Prior to Idaho Power, Griffin worked in various human resources roles at Boise Cascade, Delta Dental of Idaho, Thoratec Corporation and NPS Pharmaceuticals.

Griffin has her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah and her Master of Business Administration degree from Boise State University.

In February 2017, Gov. Butch Otter appointed Griffin to the Idaho Personnel Commission. She also serves on various councils promoting workforce development and a diverse talent pipeline in Idaho.

Nichole Reitzenstein

Clark Public Utilities

Human Resources Manager

Kisshell Wilson

Salt River Project

Manager, HR Operations

Ina Heffner

Salt River Project

Sr. Human Resources Analyst

Lorna Klemanski

Chelan County PUD

Managing Director - HR Labor & Safety
Learn More

Over 20 years of broad-based human resources experience spanning both the public and private sectors and including government, health care and utility industries.

Rich Hyatt

Chelan County PUD

Director, Security Division
Learn More

Richard is the Director of Security for Chelan Public Utility District with a combined 32 years of multi-discipline security experience and is retired from the New York City Police Department. Board certified in both Security Management and Investigations from the American Society of Industrial Security, Richard obtained his Bachelor of Science degree for Information Technology from the University of Phoenix and is an Alumni of The Wharton School’s Security Executive Program. Richard has extensive experience in all aspects of physical security, threat assessment, crisis management, regulatory compliance, business continuity and critical infrastructure protection. In addition, Richard is a longstanding servant leader participating in the security industry as a volunteer for the ASIS Utilities Security Council, ASIS CSO Center and currently Chairs WECC’s Physical Security Work Group.