Incident Command System Leadership (May 18-19)

Within a utility organization, the Incident Command System (ICS) strengthens the company’s response to emergencies and can provide a solid base for managing planned events. WEI’s ICS Leadership program brings together utilities from the US and Canada to share best practices, provide practical information on ICS training and implementation, and learn of initiatives at the federal, state and local levels. This annual in-person program is open to anyone. This program is intended for electricity and natural gas employees with responsibilities in business continuity and emergency management, business resilience, Incident Command System training, first responders, and others considering implementing ICS for their organizations.

Register Now

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Todd Felix, Emergency Manager, NW Natural

    • Program Location
    • NW Natural
    • 250 SW Taylor Street Portland, Oregon 97204
    • Who Should Attend
    • This program is intended for electricity and natural gas employees with responsibilities in business continuity and emergency management, business resilience, Incident Command System training, first responders, and others considering implementing ICS for their organizations.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $349 USD
    Regular: $649 USD

    Registration prices increase by $100 after May 6, 2022. Registration includes all meals and 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. Recording is not permitted for any portion of the event.
  • For more information contact Beverly Woolf, Program Manager at (503) 688-2790.


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Registration + Networking

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Welcome to NW Natural
Speaker(s): Wayne Pipes, Director Facilities, Security & Emergency Management, NW Natural, Todd Felix, Emergency Manager, NW Natural

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Opportunities + Challenges Roundtable

Come prepared to share what’s working really well as well as what are you struggling with when it comes to implementing ICS.

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Networking Break

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Military Assistance to Utilities
Speaker(s): Mark Crosby, Commander, Joint Domestic Operations, U.S. Air Force

General Crosby, Joint Task Force Oregon dual status commander, will explain not only how the military operates during a disaster, but what assistance they can provide to utilities, both public and private companies.

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Hosted Networking Dinner

Social Lounge
Punch Bowl Social
Pioneer Place Level 3
340 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97204

Thursday, May 19, 2022

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM


Breakfast will be available at NW Natural.

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Innovation at NW Natural
Speaker(s): Bill Bateman, Operations Manager, NW Natural, Todd Felix, Emergency Manager, NW Natural, Rob Marcoff, UFS Supervisor, Emergency Response Division, NW Natural

Innovation has been a hallmark of NW Natural in recent years, from the design of their headquarters to their low-carbon initiatives. Learn how this spirit of innovation has been applied to and within the ICS structure.

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Networking Break

9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Cybersecurity Panel
Moderator(s): Sarah Laylo, Chief Security and Continuity Officer, Bonneville Power Administration
Panelist(s): Tim Swanson, Director, Corporate Security and Business Continuity, FortisBC, Gary Dodd, Chief Information Security Officer, Bonneville Power Administration, Christian Nolke, Director of Cybersecurity and CISO, Portland General Electric

What are the cybersecurity threats facing utilities and what can be done to mitigate threats? How do companies utilize ICS with regards to cybersecurity?

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Networking Break

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

ICS Pre-, During, and Post- Pandemic
Facilitator(s): Todd Felix, Emergency Manager, NW Natural
Panelist(s): Erin Swearingen, Emergency Management Manager, Avista Corp., T.M. Sandulak, Manager, Emergency Management & Business Continuity Programs, FortisBC, Denny Neville, Senior Emergency Readiness Program Advisor, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Tim Stuber, Senior Emergency Readiness Program Advisor, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Corey Fisher, Senior Business Continuity & Emergency Management Consultant, Portland General Electric

It's been a long couple of years! What went well, where are we now, and what might the future hold?

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Lunch and Wrap Up

We’ll have lunch that you can grab and go if you have to leave or stay for additional conversation and program wrap up.

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Optional Tour

NW Natural will lead an optional tour of their new headquarters including their EOC and highlighting structural aspects of the building, currently the most earthquake resilient in Portland.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (503) 223-2100 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) to receive a special rate of $175 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until May 9, 2022 or until the WEI room block is full.

Onsite Safety + Health Info

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.

Please refer to WEI’s Safety + Health Code of Conduct for other important considerations.

Meet The Speakers

Todd Felix

NW Natural

Emergency Manager

Wayne Pipes

NW Natural

Director Facilities, Security & Emergency Management

Bill Bateman

NW Natural

Operations Manager

Mark Crosby

U.S. Air Force

Commander, Joint Domestic Operations
Learn More

Brigadier General Mark Crosby is the Assistant Adjutant General-Air and the Commander of Joint Domestic Operations for the Oregon National Guard. He is responsible for planning, organizing, training, exercising, deploying, and leading Oregon Army and Air National Guard forces when activated in response to state natural disasters and emergencies.

General Crosby earned his commission from the United States Air Force Academy and served seven years on active duty before transferring to the California Air National Guard in 1993. In 1998, he joined the Oregon Air National Guard and had various command and staff assignments throughout the state before assignment in his current position. In April of 2021, he was designated as Oregon’s first Dual Status Commander guiding active duty and reserve component service members in support of county, state and federal civilian agencies at a vaccination center in southern Oregon.

In his civilian career, General Crosby has had a distinguished 23-year as an executive in airport and seaport management. Currently, General Crosby is a Principal Consultant specializing in airport security, public safety and emergency preparedness with a design and engineering firm.

Sarah Laylo

Bonneville Power Administration

Chief Security and Continuity Officer
Learn More

Sarah Laylo serves as the Chief Security and Continuity Officer for Bonneville Power Administration, a role which she has held since May 2017. Prior to accepting the role with Bonneville, Sarah worked for the Department of Defense, Defense Security Service, as a field office chief overseeing the security of classified information and programs at over 650 cleared contractor facilities in the National Capital Region.
Sarah’s career began as a Military Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army. She served as an Intelligence Officer in the 1st Armored Division Artillery, and as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Analysis and Control Team Chief in the 501st Military Intelligence Battalion, 1st Armored Division. During the course of her military service, she deployed in support of efforts in Bosnia and Kosovo. After leaving the military in 2001, Sarah worked as a contractor supporting US Army programs, and then as an Operations Manager with Frito Lay for several years before returning to government service in 2008 with the Defense Security Service where she served in various capacities

Tim Swanson


Director, Corporate Security and Business Continuity
Learn More

Tim Swanson has over 33 years’ experience in the utility industry. Prior to his role as Director, Information Systems at FortisBC he held the position as IT Manager at the utility. He is a member of Canadian Electricity Association, Western Energy Institute, and BC Tech; and is a certified Professional Project Manager.

Gary Dodd

Bonneville Power Administration

Chief Information Security Officer
Learn More

– Chief Information Security Officer and manager of the Office of Cyber Security for Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Gary manages a team of cyber security specialists, ethical hackers, forensics professionals, cyber threat intelligence analysts and policy wonks who work with automated technology implementers and designers to identify, detect respond and reduce cyber security threats across the enterprise.
– Gary has over 24 years of experience in implementing, testing and verifying cyber security controls to enable business, with prior work experience in both the public and private sectors. His experience runs from information assurance and cyber security gained in classified and unclassified, State Department, DoD and other federal security implementations to managing the operations of an Internet data center for a Fortune 500 company, from IT auditor at one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. to of course CISO of a federal electric utility – BPA.
– Gary is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking as well as several IT industry certifications.
– Born and raised in Sacramento, California he served 13 years on active duty as an Infantry Squad Leader in various worldwide assignments, in the U.S. Army, awarded; 4 Army Commendation Medals, 3 Army Achievement Medals, an Army Superior Unit Award, the Saudi Arabian Kuwait Liberation Medal, 3 Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, Air Assault Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, and the French Forces Commando Badge.
– After leaving the Army he settled in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2005 and has been with Bonneville Power Administration since 2007. He lives in a small town in Oregon with his wife of 24 years, and his 19 year old son who attends Oregon State University (and who he can no longer beat at Chess, video games, knowledge of history or predicative analysis of current events).

Erin Swearingen

Avista Corp.

Emergency Management Manager
Learn More

Erin Swearingen is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) with over 20 years of experience in business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency preparedness and management. Erin has designed and implemented business continuity programs for various industries including the utility and financial industries.

Erin has been with Avista for 10 years and has implemented the Enterprise Business Continuity program which includes business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency operations response. She has also developed and implemented emergency response and life safety programs, promoting employee safety, personal preparedness and preparedness education.

Erin currently serves as Co-Chair for the Mutual Assistance/Emergency Preparedness Executive Committee for Edison Electric Institute. Erin also serves as the President of the Washington State Chapter of the Association of Continuity Professionals (ACP).

Christian Nolke

Portland General Electric

Director of Cybersecurity and CISO
Learn More

Combining a background in electrical engineering, business, and experience with cybersecurity in Fortune 500 companies, Chris found success and a real threat model in securing the grid and developing leaders at PGE. Chris has 25 years of cybersecurity experience across a variety of industries and is a two-time NIKE Maxim Award winner. All of Chris’s hobbies involve his family and wheels.

T.M. Sandulak


Manager, Emergency Management & Business Continuity Programs
Learn More

T.M. (Taras) Sandulak is the manager for FortisBC’s corporate emergency management and business continuity program and has been in the role since 2016, bringing with him several years of experience in various capacities of emergency response, crisis management and occupational health/safety. He is responsible for managing 88 business continuity plans, 44 regulated emergency response plans to include: natural gas transmission, distribution, LNG operations, propane plant facilities, natural gas for transportation, electric transmission/distribution and hydro-electric generation. T.M. also holds 23-26 regulated exercises per year to include 3-5 Full-scale exercises involving multiple agencies. He is also responsible for EOC operations, training and the management of real-time emergencies throughout the province, providing advice and recommendations to senior leadership and the company executive.

He is an NFPA 1001 professionally trained firefighter, high-angle and confined space rescue technician as well as NFPA 472 Hazmat Operations certified, certified to ICS 400 as well as holding a National Construction Safety Officer designation. Previously serving as both an Infantry non-commissioned officer and commissioned officer in the Canadian Army for a total of twenty-four years and bringing extensive institutional and operational experience.

T.M. has a Master’s Degree in Disaster and Emergency Management from Royal Roads University, in Victoria, British Columbia and is on the part-time faculty of Northern College where he teaches Terrorism Response and Recovery.

Denny Neville

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Senior Emergency Readiness Program Advisor
Learn More

Denny currently serves San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) as a Senior Emergency Readiness Program Advisor. He has been with SDG&E for over 5 years in roles associated with both the company’s emergency response program and facilitating the First Responder Outreach Program in addition to training and mentoring our ICS program. Prior to joining SDG&E Denny spent 39 years in the fire service, retiring at the rank of Deputy Fire Chief.

During his fire service career, he was engaged in many facets of a modern fire agency. From Operations Chief to Fire Marshal, he also specialized in the public safety communications space, specifically involved in the design, specification, construction, operational use and management of radio systems, radio hardware, public safety dispatch centers and mobile command resources.

A native of San Diego, Denny and his wife enjoy travel, wine, and when possible travelling for wine.

Tim Stuber

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Senior Emergency Readiness Program Advisor
Learn More

Timothy Stuber is a Senior Emergency Readiness Program Advisor at San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). Before joining SDG&E in 2020, Timothy climbed the San Diego Fire Service ranks and retired after 31 years of service in the dual role of Deputy Fire Chief and Emergency Manager for a local municipality in San Diego County, California. During his tenure in the fire service, he responded to countless emergencies where he served in the role of Incident Commander and various other positions identified in the Incident Command System.
His goal at SDG&E is to transfer his knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide gas and electric responders with emergency scene management skills, Incident Command System proficiencies, and ultimately a safer work environment for operators at emergency incidents. He enjoys spending time with his family, riding motorcycles, and exercising in his personal time.

Corey Fisher

Portland General Electric

Senior Business Continuity & Emergency Management Consultant
Learn More

Corey has been a walking disaster since his childhood in Florida where he had his first incident response experience selling generators for cash and cleaning inches of water and debris from the Sears store he worked at in high school after hurricanes damaged the roof. Since then he has spent 13 years studying and working in emergency management and business continuity in healthcare, private and public sectors. He holds both Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and Associate Member of the Business Continuity Institute (AMBCI) credentials. Corey loves supporting the communities he lives in and serves through preparedness, emergency response activities, and volunteering.

Joe Karney

NW Natural

Senior Director of Operations

Ryan Truair

NW Natural

Sr. Manager Code Compliance

Cari Colton

NW Natural

Director, Utility Technical Services

Rob Marcoff

NW Natural

UFS Supervisor, Emergency Response Division