Key Accounts (May 01-02)

Utilities proactively partner with industrial, commercial and other large customers to better understand their needs, anticipate load, improve services, maintain competitive edge and stabilize the grid in their service territory. Join key accounts directors and managers to share best practices, and develop creative solutions to current challenges. The meeting format features a keynote from the host utility and ample time dedicated to roundtable conversation for members to share information and effective strategies for managing key accounts. Breakout sessions are utilized to provide more focused and relevant conversation as needed. Overall program content covers a wide range of topics, including: alternative energy; customer communication and education; organizational approaches and metrics for managing KA departments; new customer programs and business development.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Bart Hansen, Key Accounts Manager, Clark Public Utilities

    • Program Location
    • Vancouver City Hall
    • 415 W 6th St
      Vancouver, Washington 98660
    • Who Should Attend
      • Directors and Senior Managers of Key Account teams
      • Senior Account Managers
      • Major Accounts or Major Customer Representatives
      • Energy Solutions/Strategic Energy Partners or Advisors
      • Commercial or Industrial Account Services
      • Key account reps
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $349 USD

    Registration price increases $50 after April 9, 2019. Registration provides access to all agenda items and meeting materials. Registration includes a networking dinner as well as catered breakfast, light snacks and beverages at the meeting. Guest tickets are avilable 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. 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 Christopher Lee, Senior Program Manager at (971) 255-4967.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM


Lunch is on your own

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Economic Development in the Region
Speaker(s): Larry Holt, Vice President of Business Development, Greater Portland Inc, Jennifer Baker, President, Columbia River Economic Development Council

Presenters will highlight the economic opportunities in the region and why the Vancouver/Portland area is attractive to large companies.

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Introductions + Safety

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM


2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Gas/Electric Breakout Roundtable

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM


3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Inventory/Comparison of Key Account departments
Facilitator(s): Rick Edwards, Director – Community Connections, NorthWestern Energy

A survey will be sent ahead of time to those registered for the meeting.

Proposed Questions:
•Who do you report to? Directly? C-suite?
•How many reps are there? How are they organized?
•How many customers per rep? How are they assigned? Small vs large?
•What about for small businesses or non-assigned accounts? Do they get reps?
•Also succession planning – how are we planning for retirements?
•Onboarding – how do you train KA reps?

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM

What’s the value of Key Account programs in changing customer environment?

A round table discussion to compare how different companies are tackling this challenge.

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

WEI Hosted Networking Dinner

Twigs Bistro
801 Waterfront Way
Suite 103
Vancouver, WA 98660

Thursday, May 2, 2019

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM


8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Engaging Utility Executives
Facilitator(s): Rick Edwards, Director – Community Connections, NorthWestern Energy

This session will start with a short overview of how NorthWestern has started to assign a company executive to each key account. A discussion will follow on how different companies are engaging their executives for key account relationships.

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Project Spotlight – PSE Talks
Speaker(s): Andrew Lightfoot, Major Accounts Executive, Puget Sound Energy

Puget Sound Energy recently filmed a series of short video for their key customers in lieu of an annual customer forum. They will present a couple examples and give a report out on the outcomes of the project.

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM


9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Communication Methodologies – adapting to new expectations of younger customers
Speaker(s): Erica Erland, Corporate Communications Manager, Clark Public Utilities

How are utilities responding?

  • Social media complaints
  • Scheduling windows
  • How to compete with uber, etc.
  • Does anybody have a mobile app for customers or business customers?

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Hot Topics Roundtable Discussion

What are the enhanced services and products desired by Gen, X, Y and Z of their utility Energy Advisors?
•Behind the meter products offered by utilities?
oWhat is everybody offering?
oIs it fuel dependent?
oIs there a demand for these products?

Hotel + Travel

  • The Heathman Lodge
  • 7801 NE Greenwood Drive
  • Vancouver, Washington 98662
  • Phone: 888-475-3100
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (888) 475-3100 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) to receive a special rate of $163 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until April 9, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full.

  • Driving Directions
  • Airport Shuttle Service:
    The Heathman Lodge offers shuttle service between the Heathman Lodge and the Portland International Airport. Shuttle service is available from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm at the cost of $15.00 per person per trip. 10-day minimum advanced reservations are required, same day shuttle requests cannot be guaranteed but will be accommodated on an availability bases. For reservations please contact

Meet The Speakers

Rick Edwards

NorthWestern Energy

Director – Community Connections

Larry Holt

Greater Portland Inc

Vice President of Business Development

Jennifer Baker

Columbia River Economic Development Council


Andrew Lightfoot

Puget Sound Energy

Major Accounts Executive

Erica Erland

Clark Public Utilities

Corporate Communications Manager