Human Resources (Nov 01-02)

This semi-annual program provides a roundtable opportunity for human resource leadership to address contemporary, strategic issues for 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)
  • Lonnie Krawl, Senior Vice President, Administrative Services, Idaho Power Company

    • Program Location
    • Idaho Power Company
    • 1221 W. Idaho StreetBoise, ID 83702
    • 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 fosters an environment conducive to open discourse, problem-solving and long-term relationship building. 

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $449
    Registration includes networking dinner Tuesday night, catered breakfast, lunch and light snacks at the meeting, and all meeting 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 Kara Wolfe, Program Manager at (503) 688-2794.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Registration + Networking

Arrive early to network with other attendees. Light refreshments provided.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Welcome + Introductions

Our chair will welcome us to Idaho Power Company followed by attendee introductions. Come prepared to share a recent win or current challenge.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Managing Healthcare Costs
Speaker(s): Irene Nishida, Manager, Total Rewards, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, David Sarkaria, Sr. Director, Compensation and Benefits, Sempra Energy

The cost of healthcare to companies and their employees continues to rise due to population risk factors (obesity, stress), increased disease prevalence and escalated use of prescription and specialty drugs – to name a few. This session will follow two companies in their approach to managing rising healthcare costs, and will be supplemented by group discussion on other innovative steps taken to combat this issue. Areas of conversation include employee/consumer education, health spending accounts and wellness programs.

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

3:15 PM - 5:00 PM

Facilitator(s): Barb Gomez, VP, Human Resources, Arizona Public Service Company

Barb Gomez of Arizona Public Service will kick-off our first open floor session by sharing information on her organization’s Talent Review Process, which factors into an effective succession planning model. From there, conversation will address multiple topics. Attendees should come prepared for discussion on the below subjects, and are encouraged to pose additional topics:
•    Deciphering the real value of wellness programs
•    Employee communications/Engagement Surveys
•    Handling flexible schedules

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Networking Reception

Join for a wine tasting at Mouvance Winery located at 1414 W. Grove St. – just a few blocks from Idaho Power Company.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Networking Dinner

Join for a hosted dinner at Chandlers, located just a few blocks from the Hampton Inn & Suites Boise-Downtown. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Networking Breakfast

Dine at your leisure at the hotel before heading to Idaho Power Company. Continental selections will be available on-site. Idaho Power Company is a 15 minute walk or 5 minute drive from the hotel.

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM


We will wrap-up discussions from Day 1 and generate topics for our closing roundtable.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

The Future Workforce: Where are We Trending?
Speaker(s): Melinda Rogers, Senior Manager, Organizational and Employee Development, NW Natural

Speaker: Melinda Rogers, NW Natural
At the start of 2016, NW Natural launched a long-term strategic planning process to take a fresh look at changing workforce realities. Designed to use data to inform a new talent strategy, this eight month initiative was driven by cross functional leaders who used external data, internal surveys, focus groups and leader discussions to generate a reinvigorated HR strategic plan. The results confirmed some commonly held assumptions but also surfaced surprising realizations. This presentation will cover the process, findings and recommendations in preparing for the workforce of the future.

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

10:15 AM - 12:00 PM


We will address topics not fully discussed in day one:
•    Generational differences and the culture challenges (Millennials)
•    More efficient ways to hire
•    Leveraging technology

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Lunch + Spring Planning

Enjoy a catered lunch as we discuss plans for the spring forum.

12:30 PM - 12:30 PM

Meeting Adjourns

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (208) 331-1900 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $145/night. This rate is guaranteed until October 10, 2016 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Melinda Rogers

NW Natural

Senior Manager, Organizational and Employee Development

Barb Gomez

Arizona Public Service Company

VP, Human Resources

David Sarkaria

Sempra Energy

Sr. Director, Compensation and Benefits
Learn More

David has been with Sempra Energy, a Fortune 500 energy services company, since its inception in 1998. His present responsibilities include managing Sempra Energy’s overall compensation and benefit programs, including: strategic plan design; executive compensation and benefits; plan accounting, audits, and budgets; compliance activities; and benefits administration services and systems. Prior to joining Sempra Energy, David held various positions in operations, legal, tax and financial areas within the oil and gas and real estate business sectors.

The Sempra Energy companies, with nearly 17,500 employees worldwide, develop energy infrastructure, operate utilities, and provide related products and services to more than 31 million consumers worldwide.

Irene Nishida

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Manager, Total Rewards
Learn More

Irene’s been with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District for over 20 years. As a long term employee, she’s seen the organization go through many changes as a result of new and “improved” laws, rules and regulations. She, as with other SMUD employees, has enjoyed the generous benefit and competitive pay programs that have been offered to employees. Today, as Manager, Total Rewards she and her team are working on ways to better manage labor costs while still demonstrating how SMUD treasures our employees.