Operations Business Strategies (Oct 07-08)

Designed for electric utility executives, participants engage in best practice roundtables to address electric distribution system and substation reliability and safety. Members share benchmarking and performance study results spanning safety, workforce management, infrastructure improvements and overall performance excellence. Topics in recent years include: advanced metering analytics, system infrastructure, transmission physical security, underground inspection programs, workforce planning, recruitment, mobile scheduling technology, electronic tailboarding, fatigue management, reducing vehicle incidents, emergency management, and safety root-cause analysis.

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General Details

Program Chair
Wayne Wisdom, Sr. Director, Distribution Operations & Maint., Salt River Project

Program Location
Rimrock Resort Hotel
300 Mountain Avenue
Banff, AB T1L 1J2

For more information contact Christopher Lee at 971.255.4967.

Who Should Attend
Restricted to WEI energy companies only, this strategic forum is designed for senior electric utility executives including vice presidents, directors of electric operations and general managers responsible for maintaining system reliability in the face of tightened budgets, aging workforce and increased public scrutiny.

Registration Options
Member Conference Registration: $699
Guest Registration: $125

Registration price increases $100 after September 15.


Wednesday, October 7

12:30 – 1:00 PM
Lunch on your own

1:00 – 1:15 PM
Welcome and Introductions
Wayne Wisdom, Salt River Project

1:15 – 2:15 PM
Current Challenges and Opportunities Roundtable

2:15 – 2:30 PM

2:30 – 2:45 PM
Recap of WEI Safety Summit
WEI will share the agenda and topics discussed at the WEI Safety Summit.

2:45 – 4:15 PM
Safety Roundtable
What safety improvements have you made since the last meeting?
Have you had any major incidents since the last meeting?

4:15 – 5:00 PM
Technology Roundtable

  • Drones: Bernie to kick off with photos and short story followed discussion on pros and cons.
  • Workplace Technology: iPhone/iPad, apps, new tools/technology

5:30 – 8:00 PM
Welcome Reception and Dinner
Location TBD

Thursday, October 8

7:00 – 8:00 AM
Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 AM
Leadership Northwestern
Emmett Riordan

9:00 – 10:00 AM
Workforce Roundtable
Fatigue Management – Jeff Barbutza
Labor Contracts – How are decisions on break times, lunch timing, and overtime assignments being made?
Hiring Strategies – What skills or characteristics are most important when making new hire decisions or acceptance into employment programs?
Managing the Workforce – Issues administering union contracts

  • Leadership training
  • Action plans to replace trades or crafts workers
  • How do you attract a diverse workforce into the trades?

10:00 – 10:30 AM

10:30 – 12:00 PM 
Workforce Roundtable (continued)

12:00 – 1:00 PM

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Infrastructure Roundtable
Ben Hendry – send topics to BHendry@idahopower.com

  • What’s broken? What’s working well?
  • Lightning Arrestors
  • Fault Current
  • Reclosers

2:00 – 2:45 PM
Advanced Inverters Pilot Project
Wayne Wisdom, Salt River Project

2:45 – 3:00 PM

3:00 – 4:30 PM
Emergency Management
Jerry Koenig, Seattle City Light
Wayne Wisdom, Salt River Project

4:30 – 5:00 PM
Brainstorm Topics for Spring Meeting

5:00 – 6:00PM
Networking Reception
Dinner on your own

Hotel + Travel

The Rimrock Resort Hotel
300 Mountain Ave
Banff, AB T1L 1J2
Phone: 403.762.3356

Please contact the hotel directly at 888.746.7625. Identify yourself as being with WEI Fall Operations Business Strategies Electric to receive a special rate of $183 single/double plus state and local taxes. This rate is guaranteed to September 15th, 2015 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Emmett Riordan

NorthWestern Energy

Director, Engineering & Planning

Jeff Barbutza

ATCO Electric

Regional Manager

Jerry Koenig

Seattle City Light

Emergency Management Strategic Advisor
Learn More

As Seattle City Light’s Emergency Manager, Jerry J. Koenig is responsible for business continuity and emergency management throughout the utility. In his role, Jerry facilitates company efforts to mitigate potential business interruptions and preparedness to respond to disaster-related incidents.

Prior to his current position, Koenig was the manager of the Seattle Office of EG&G’s Homeland Security Division responsible for emergency planning and exercise design for local, state, and federal jurisdictions throughout the U.S. Jerry has also served as an emergency manager for the State of Alaska.

Jerry’s career spans 30 years as an Emergency Manager and Firefighter. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, retiring in 2003.

Ben Hendry

Idaho Power Company

Engineering Leader

Wayne Wisdom

Salt River Project

Sr. Director, Distribution Operations and Maintenance
Learn More

Wayne Wisdom is the Senior Director of Distribution Grid Services for the Salt River Project (SRP). His area is responsible for performing Maintenance and Reliability Improvement functions and providing Support Services for SRP’s Electric Distribution System.

Wayne joined SRP in 1986 and has served in a variety of engineering and management positions in transmission and distribution.

Wayne holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Arizona.