Key Accounts (May 04-05)

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.

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General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Rick Edwards, Director of Key Accounts and Customer Education, NorthWestern Energy + Howard Skjervem, Manager- Community Relations, NorthWestern Energy

    • Program Location
    • Premier Best Western Helena Great Northern Hotel
    • 835 Great Northern Blvd., Helena, Montana 59601
    • 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 Representatives
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $499 USD

    Registration price increases $100 after April 21, 2023. Registration includes digital materials and access to all event sessions and meals listed on the agenda. Guest tickets are available for $125 and allow for 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 listed on the agenda.

  • 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 Amy Carlow, Program Manager at (971) 303-1716.


Thursday, May 4, 2023

9:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Miners to Millionaires – Downtown Helena Historical Walking Tour

Every step tells a story on this tour of Helena’s historic Last Chance Gulch. Discover the vibrant history of a rowdy mining camp turned capital city told through the complex legacies of downtown Helena’s spectacular buildings. From wooden cabins to brick jewels, you will hear stories of crime, corruption, and community spirit that transformed Helena into the Queen City of today. This tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and we will walk about 1.5-2 mi throughout downtown. Pre-registration is required for this optional networking tour.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Registration + Lunch

Check in, grab some lunch, and network with peers.

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Welcome + Opening Remarks
Speaker(s): Rick Edwards, Director – Community Connections, NorthWestern Energy, Howard Skjervem, Manager, Community Relations, NorthWestern Energy

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Introductions + Current Challenges: Roundtable Discussion

The Program Chair will welcome the group and kickoff roundtable introductions. Come prepared to share a recent success story and the biggest challenges you and your team are facing right now.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Overview of the Current Energy Landscape
Speaker(s): John Hines, Vice President - Energy Supply, NorthWestern Energy

Hear from NorthWestern Energy's Vice President of Supply and discuss the present realities and challenges affecting energy supply across the US and the West.

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Networking Break

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Key Accounts Re-Imagined: The Future of the Profession.
Moderator(s): Bryce Tiernan, Business Services Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

What does the future of the Account Executive look like? How is your team handling changes within the industry and new demands from customers? Hear from panelists about their experience and discuss opportunities and insights with colleagues from other utilities.

4:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Day 1 Wrap-Up

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Hosted Networking Dinner

This WEI hosted dinner will be at a local favorite: The Marysville House Historic Restaurant. Transportation to the restaurant from the hotel will be provided.

Friday, May 5, 2023

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM


For hotel guests, breakfast is included with your room rate.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

How to Effectively Communicate with Your Customers on Difficult Issues

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Networking Break

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Electrification + Decarbonization: Gas + Electric Joint Session
Moderator(s): Nanette Boga, Commercial & Industrial Services Manager, Southern California Gas Company

11:15 AM - 11:45 AM

Electrification + Decarbonization Continued + Open Roundtable Discussion

11:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Closing Remarks + Meeting Ends

Hotel + Travel

  • Premier Best Western Helena Great Northern Hotel
  • 835 Great Northern Blvd.
  • Helena, Montana 59601
  • Phone: (406) 457-5500
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please call 406-457-5500, and refer to NorthWestern Energy when making room reservations for the discounted group rate of $165/night plus tax. This rate is guaranteed until April 3, 2023 or until the room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Howard Skjervem

NorthWestern Energy

Manager, Community Relations

Rick Edwards

NorthWestern Energy

Director – Community Connections

John Hines

NorthWestern Energy

Vice President - Energy Supply

Bryce Tiernan

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Business Services Manager

Nanette Boga

Southern California Gas Company

Commercial & Industrial Services Manager