Operations Conference (Apr 23-26)

The WEI Operations Conference brings together over 600 electric and natural gas energy operations senior leaders, managers, supervisors and front-line employees for three days of education and networking, with breakout discussions for specific operations functions, including: (1) Damage Prevention, (2) Operational Leadership + Workforce Development, (3) Safety, (4) Asset Management, (5) Natural Gas Operational Excellence, (6) Natural Gas D+T Integrity Management, (7) Natural Gas D+T Emergency Response + Customer Field Services, (8) Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Management Systems, (9) Electric Transmission, (10) Electric Distribution, (11) Electric Substation, (12) Electrification / New Loads, and (13) Evolving Grid Operations. The breakout sessions are complemented by thought-provoking general sessions by industry leaders and professional keynote speakers. This conference is a must for any professional in the energy business. Limited vendor display booth registrations and sponsorship opportunities are available.

Register Now

General Details

Program Chair
Matt Wilson, Director, Construction Services, BC Hydro

Program Location
JW Marriott parq Vancouver
39 Smithe Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 0R3

Who Should Attend
Electric and Natural Gas Energy Operations:
• Vice Presidents
• Directors
• Managers
• Supervisors
• Front line employees
• Control professionals
• Engineering professionals
• Planning personnel
• Substation professionals
• Electric transmission professionals

For more information contact Eric Christenson, Senior Program Manager at (971) 303-2118.

Registration Options
Member: $799 USD
Regular: $1,599 USD

Registration prices increase $200 after March 29, 2019. Registration includes comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals. Guest tickets are available for $99 (USD). A guest ticket is required for any guests attending a reception or other meals 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 and receptions, and all program materials.

For vendor registration options, please see the Vendor Displays tab.

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.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Optional Networking Events
Check the Networking tab for more details.

3:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Registration Desk Open – Name Badge Pickup
For guests who wish to pick up their conference materials prior to the Welcome Reception, we provide early registration check-in.
Conference WiFi access and lanyards sponsored by:

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Program Development Team and First-Time Attendee Meetup
If this is your first time attending a WEI event show up early to meet the Program Development Teams that make this conference possible. We want you to get the most out of your experience at the Operations Conference!

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Welcome Reception
Sponsored by:

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast + Registration
Coffee service throughout the conference sponsored by:

Breakfast sponsored by:

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Welcome to Vancouver and Operations 2019 Conference Opening
Speakers: Chris O’Riley, President and Chief Operating Officer, BC Hydro
Matt Wilson, Conference Chair, Director, Construction Services, BC Hydro
Conference audio visual support sponsored by:

8:15 AM – 9:30 AM
“Leading the Shift” – The Five Mindsets of Personal & Team Performance!
Speaker: Ryan Walter, Speaker, Author, and Leadership Expert
Utilizing his new Thinking Tendencies Model from his upcoming book, Ryan Walter will help leaders discover the 5 Mindsets that their people either drift into or choose to shift into. Drawing from his 17 seasons of experience as an NHL player and coach, three years as the President of a professional hockey team, and leveraging his master’s degree in Leadership/Business, Ryan will inspire, entertain, and challenge your leadership growth.

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Break with Vendor Displays

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 1
Damage Prevention
– How PG&E’s “DiRT Team” Reduced Damages by 33 Percent
Operational Leadership + Workforce Development – Change Leadership – Using Employee Engagement to Drive and Thrive Change
Safety + Health – I Own It
Asset Management – Asset Management Across the Enterprise
Natural Gas Operational Excellence – Using Data to Drive Operational Excellence
Natural Gas D+T Integrity Management – The Changing Regulatory Landscape – Megarule
Natural Gas D+T Emergency Response + Customer Field Services – Tech & Talk: Using Technology and Communications for Customer Impacted Work
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Management Systems – Building the PSMS House – Which Tools Will you Use?
Electric Transmission – Looking Forward with Hindsight
Electric Distribution – Taking “Wild” Out of Wildfire: Wildfire System Management
Electric Substation – Avoiding Maintenance Mayhem
Electrification/New Loads – Insight into the Growing Industry of Marijuana Cultivation
Evolving Grid Operations – Driving Grid Innovation Through DER’s
Electric Operational Excellence – Insight into the Growing Industry of Marijuana Cultivation
DERs + Innovation – Driving Grid Innovation Through DER’s
Project Lessons Learned – Looking Forward with Hindsight – Transmission Project Lessons Learned
Wildfire Response – Taking “Wild” Out of Wildfire: Wildfire System Management

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Sponsored by:

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Building a Positive and Sustainable Safety Culture
Speaker: Robert Beidler, Undersheriff, Snohomish County Sherriff’s Office
With a sound safety platform and committed leadership you can create a sustainable safety culture. As leaders we always say, “safety first.” As managers, supervisors, CEO’s, or any other position of authority we are obligated to do everything we can to get our people home safely every day. When we say “our people”, it means those that work with us and those citizens we serve.

This presentation shows a real life example of how the dedication to safety can have an immense impact on an organization and its culture. You will see and hear how it’s being accomplished and the data that it has produced to date. Hopefully you will find that many of the programs aspects and its philosophy will work within your organization.

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Break with Vendor Displays

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 2
Damage Prevention
– Make Boring Less Exciting – Strategies for Safer Directional Drilling
Operational Leadership + Workforce Development – Surfing the Silver Tsunami without Drowning: Leadership Lessons on Attracting & Retaining Top Free Agent Talent
Safety + Health – Drug Use in the Workplace
Asset Management – From Electrons and Hydrocarbons to Bits and Bytes: How Artificial Intelligence is Shaping Asset Management Today
Natural Gas Operational Excellence – Technology is Like Riding a Bike…To Keep Your Balance You Must Keep Moving Forward
Natural Gas D+T Integrity Management – Emerging Technology in Integrity Inspections
Natural Gas D+T Emergency Response + Customer Field Services – CYA (Covering Your Assets) with the FBI Perspective
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Management Systems – Complex Change Got You Scared? – How Operators are Effectively Managing Change in the Pipeline Industry
Electric Transmission – Transmission – Evolving Operations
Electric Distribution – Leveraging Distribution Technologies
Electric Substation – The Seven Essential Questions to Culture Change
Electrification/New Loads – Cryptocurrency Loads – A Discussion of Ways Utilities + Developers Can Work Together to Successfully Integrate Them into the Grid
Evolving Grid Operations – Customer Expectations – Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?
Electric Operational Excellence – The Seven Essential Questions to Culture Change
DERs + Innovation – Leveraging Distribution Technologies
Project Lessons Learned – Surfing the Silver Tsunami without Drowning: Leadership Lessons on Attracting & Retaining Top Free Agent Talent
Wildfire Response – Transmission – Evolving Operations (Vegetation Management + Transmission Maintenance)

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Reception with Vendor Displays
Sponsored by:

Thursday, April 25, 2019

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Sponsored by:

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Wildfires Management Keynote Panel
Facilitator: Tara Fraser, Fire Marshal, BC Hydro
Panelists: Rob Schweitzer, Acting Director, BC Wildfire
Bruce Blackwell, Principal, B.A. Blackwell & Associates
Ann Walker, Owner, Ann Walker Consulting
Climate change has brought hotter, dryer summers to western North America. Last not only did we endure another summer of fierce wildfires in California and other western states, British Columbia lost nearly 3.21 million acres to wildfires, making 2018 the highest year for area burned on record.

Our cross-section of wildfire management leadership will provide you perspectives from leaders in essential services and fire agencies, forestry services, and the energy industry. Learn the full story of how agencies and utility teams are acting to prevent wildfires, mitigating the damage from these wildfires, and ultimately responding to the needs to restore of gas and electricity service to customers. Learn what your industry or service organization must know to be successful in a changing environment.

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Break with Vendor Displays

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 3
Damage Prevention
– Case Study: High-Quality/High-Cost Locate Services
Operational Leadership + Workforce Development – Leadership from Those In the Industry & Why You Need It
Safety + Health – Are You Ready? Emergency/Rescue Preparedness
Asset Management – Customer Benefits Realization through Effective Asset Management
Natural Gas Operational Excellence – Building Sustainable Relationships: Contractors are from Mars, Utilities are from Venus
Natural Gas D+T Integrity Management – UAV-Based Inspection Technology
Natural Gas D+T Emergency Response + Customer Field Services – Mock It Up
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Management Systems – An Extension of Your Organization – How Contractors are being Engaged in PSMS
Electric Transmission – Transmission Innovations
Electric Distribution – Building Operations Excellence – Fostering Innovation
Electric Substation – Substation Project Life Cycle
Electrification/New Loads – Working Together to Increase EV Adoption: Case Studies of EV Charger Infrastructure Deployment
Evolving Grid Operations – Moving Beyond the Pilot
Electric Operational Excellence – Transitioning Fleet Vehicles to Electric: Lessons Learned and Best Practices for a Successful Implementation
DERs + Innovation – Moving Beyond the Pilot
Project Lessons Learned – Substation Project Life Cycle
Wildfire Response – Are You Ready? Emergency/Rescue Preparedness

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Lunch with Vendor Displays
Sponsored by:

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 4
Damage Prevention
– Will Future Damage Prevention Need Paint or Locators?
Operational Leadership + Workforce Development – Leadership – How to “TAKE THE LEAD”
Safety + Health – Mental Health in the Workplace
Asset Management – Future Proofing Your Lifecycle Plans
Natural Gas Operational Excellence – Saving Space, the Final Frontier
Natural Gas D+T Integrity Management – Natural Forces Mitigation – Tools for River and Fault Crossings
Natural Gas D+T Emergency Response + Customer Field Services – When/If Disaster Happens
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Management Systems – DIY – KPI’s and Measuring the Value Created by Your PSMS
Electric Transmission – Wildfire Behavior and Survival, Basic Strategies for Utility Personnel
Electric Distribution – The Integrated Customer
Electric Substation – SF6 is Going Away – What?!
Electrification/New Loads – Transitioning Fleet Vehicles to Electric: Lessons Learned and Best Practices for a Successful Implementation
Evolving Grid Operations – Forced Innovation – Regulation and Industry Drivers
Electric Operational Excellence – Avoiding Maintenance Mayhem
DERs + Innovation – Forced Innovation – Regulation and Industry Drivers
Project Lessons Learned – The Integrated Customer
Wildfire Response – Wildfire Behavior and Survival, Basic Strategies for Utility Personnel

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Break with Vendor Displays

3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Developing Leadership in Utility Operations Teams

Speaker: Annette Gardiner, Vice President, Strategy, Itron, Inc.
Annette Gardiner is a practiced leader with a vast array of industry experience; her executive leadership including roles as Vice President at SEMCO Energy, President at New Mexico Gas Company, Vice President of Shared Services at Consumers Energy, and currently the Vice President of Gas Strategic Development with Itron, Inc.

Mrs. Gardiner will share her diverse experience and provide guidance to those who lead operations teams and are charged with mentoring emerging leaders at all levels. She will share the tenants of leadership and the top five qualities of a leader, challenges to leadership and what it takes to be a leader at all levels in an organization, and tips on developing talent.

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Day 2 Close and Scavenger Hunt Prize Drawing

Friday, April 26, 2019

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Unspoken Heroes in the Industry – Responding to the Enbridge Pipeline Disruption
Speakers: Gary Venz, Manager, Marketing Services, Williams Northwest Pipeline
Terry Hardman, Manager – Pipeline Control, Williams Northwest Pipeline
Scott Winner, Department of Energy Operations Research Analyst, Bonneville Power Administration
Ferenc Pataki, Director, Operations – Metro, Vancouver Island & Interior North, FortisBC
Jason Wolfe, Director, Energy Solutions, FortisBC
Brennan Jaques, Manager, Gas Control, Enbridge
Rick Rautenbach, Manager, Commercial Optimization, Enbridge
On October 9, 2018 at approximately 5:45 p.m. pacific time a rupture occurred on a natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge approximately 13.5 km north of Prince George, British Columbia. Enbridge emergency crews responded, isolated and depressurized two natural gas transmission lines in the vicinity to contain the incident and cordoned off to maintain public safety.

What followed over the next two days was a heroic response by teams across the west from gas extraction companies, natural gas pipeline companies, local distribution companies, power supply and transmission providers, and others, who worked together over the next several days to avoid a serious disruption to our customers’ energy needs.

You will gain insight from those who were there: (1) how Enbridge managed the immediate impact and pipeline repair; (2) Bonneville Power Administration’s role maintaining the power supply as gas generation across the northwest was curtailed; (3) FortisBC’s management and preparation for of the local distribution system; and (4) the coordinating role that Williams provided through the Northwest Mutual Assistance Agreement.

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Closing and Conference Adjourns

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Wrap-up and 2020 Planning
Open to all Operations Conference participants who are interested in joining the leadership teams or just want to provide your feedback, you’re invited to participate in the wrap-up as we set the stage for 2020!

Hotel + Travel

WEI Operations Conference Overflow Block Reservations
Due to the robust attendance for the 2019 Operations Conference, the WEI hotel blocks at the Parq Vancouver hotels are both sold out. WEI has contracted with two additional hotels in the area for overflow with guaranteed rates (pending availability). If you are unable to book at either of the hotels below, please contact Eric Christenson at 971-303-2118 for additional information.

Holiday Inn & Suites Vancouver Downtown (1.5 km from Parq Vancouver)
1110 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1R2

Make your reservations for the Holiday Inn & Suites directly online.

Please contact the Holiday Inn & Suites at 800-663-9151 to reserve your room. Identify your reservation with the “WEI” group code to receive a special rate of $159 CAD/night. Rates are subject to availability and subject to 8% PST, 3% MRDT, 5% GST and 1.304% destination marketing fee. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full.

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (1.4 km from Parq Vancouver)
900 W Georgia St
Vancouver, BC V6C 2W6

Make your reservations for the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver directly online.

Please contact the hotel’s “In-House” reservations department at 604-684-3131 or their toll-free central reservations line at 1-800-441-1414 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with the “WEI Operations Conference Overflow Block” to receive a special rate of $289 CAD/night. This courtesy rate can be booked based hotel availability only and is not guaranteed. Please note that this hotel will retain a one-night non-refundable deposit at time of booking.


All networking events are scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

Golf Tournament at BC University Club
6:45 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration Fee: $115 USD per person
Capacity Limit: 80
Refund Policy: No refunds after March 29, 2019
WEI’s Annual Golf Tournament will be at the University Golf Club, a traditional golf course with long, narrow fairways and towering old growth trees only a short trip from the JW Parq Marriott.

The tournament will be 18 holes of traditional golf, and includes lunch; complimentary warm up balls at driving range (Available 90 minutes prior to tee off); putting contest; complimentary golf carts for each pair of golfers; and locker and shower facilities with towels.

BC Hydro Powertech Labs Tour
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Registration Fee: $75 USD per person
Capacity Limit: 20
Refund Policy: No refunds after March 29, 2019
Powertech Labs Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of BC Hydro that provides research and development, consulting, equipment testing and evaluation, condition assessment, asset management, power system analysis and software development to support the power utility industry, equipment manufacturers and other industries such as automotive. The tour will include stops at the Chemistry Lab, Smart Utility Lab, Mechanical Lab, Materials Lab, High Voltage Lab, Hydrogen & Electric Vehicle charging stations, and the High Power Lab. Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toed shoes. Powertech Labs will supply PPE if it is needed.

FortisBC Downtown Vancouver Gas Operations Industry Tour
9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration Fee: $75 USD per person
Capacity Limit: 20
Refund Policy: No refunds after March 29, 2019
We will tour the 2010 Olympic Venues with a discussion of the safety planning, challenges, any incidents, solutions, and successes involved. Included are the Vancouver Olympic Center, Olympic Village, BC Place Stadium, Canada Hockey Place, and Main Media Center. We will also tour the pressure-regulating station at E. 2nd Avenue and Woodland Drive. We will also tour the pressure-regulating station at E. 2nd Avenue and Woodland Drive. After the tour, lunch will be hosted by WEI at the Sandbar in Granville Island.

BC Hydro Downtown Substation Tour
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration Fee: $75 USD per person
Capacity Limit: 14
Refund Policy: No refunds after March 29, 2019
Join on us we tour inside BC Hydro’s Mount Pleasant and Cathedral Square substations. Lunch will provided. Steel toe boots, a hard hat, safety glasses, and full fire retardant clothing head to toe is required.

FortisBC Biogas Facility Industry Tour
12:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Registration Fee: $75 USD per person
Capacity Limit: 20
Refund Policy: No refunds after March 29, 2019
As an energy leader, FortisBC is the first North American utility to offer a Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Program to its customers. Come learn how FortisBC partnered with the City of Surrey to provided upgraded biogas that is pumped into the Fortis natural gas energy grid.

Note: WEI Reserves the right to cancel networking tours if a minimum number of participants is not met.

Vendor Displays

Registration Options
Vendor display tables are officially sold out. There are still sponsorship opportunities for certain sessions available. Please contact Kevin Sullivan to discuss options for your company. You are also welcome to register as an attendee for the conference without the table.

Shipping Information
WEI has appointed Davidson & Sons, as the official Transport Carrier and Customs Broker to facilitate round-trip shipping, customs, storage and delivery of your materials to/from the hotel. Special shipping instructions will be sent directly to the registered vendor attendee in advance of the conference. You may also reach out directly to Davidson & Sons via email or by calling 604.681.5132. Please review the Shipping/Customs/Warehousing Instructions Kit for more detailed shipping information.

Vendor Display Schedule
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Set-up available

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Check-in and set-up
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM: Lunch with Vendor Displays
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Break with Vendor Displays
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Reception with Vendor Displays

Thursday, April 25, 2019
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: Breakfast with Vendor Displays
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch with Vendor Displays
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Break with Vendor Displays
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Tear Down

Vendor Display Map

Program Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Booz-01Bridge-01Burns + McDonnell-01

Copperleaf-01HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01Landis+Gyr-01  Potelco-01Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01Siemens-01

Gold Sponsors
ActiveTelesource-01Acros-01Asplundh-01 Barnard-01Black + Veatch-01Esource-01Energy Care-01HGCA-01IBM-01 Nexant-01PrintSEL-01-01     snelson_300dpiTDW-03-01The HDD Company-01vertexone logo w-tagline NEWWilson Construction-01

Meet The Speakers

Jody Mitchell


Senior Director Energy & Utilities
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Jody has been engaged in operating, constructing, and running energy companies focused in transmission and distribution for over 40 years, working across all of North America, including several Canadian provinces and half the states in the Union. Jody started as a pipeline welder on maintenance and construction crews and moved into leadership roles in a variety of areas including field operations, construction, project management, HSE, business development and finance. He also served in executive positions with operating companies, and later to the President’s chair of two service providers to the industry. His deep experience includes evaluating & quantifying risk, management system deployments, compliance program creation, workforce development, evaluating market opportunities and building the business case for investment.

John Gibson

Avista Utilities

Chief R&D Engineer, Manager of Distribution Services
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John Zachary Gibson, P.E.
Chief R&D Engineer, Manager of Distribution Services | Avista Utilities

John Gibson is an experienced engineer working at Avista for over twenty five year leading a variety of power and innovation projects. John’s positions at Avista have included hydro generation, facility management systems, distribution planning, smart grid DMS systems, storage and micro-grid projects. As the Chief R&D engineer, John is one of the principle team members responsible for envisioning, proposing and implementation grid edge projects. The grid edge projects focus on blending renewable resources, DERM’s, and rate design into a new utility delivery platform. John’s most recent effort is the sponsorship of an eco-district designed to incorporate private investment into utility infrastructure to achieve “net-zero” and “carbon free” cost effective developments. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical (BSEE) and civil engineering (BSCE) from Gonzaga University and a Masters in Engineering Management from Washington State University.

Matthew Mullineaux

Avista Utilities

Manager, Gas Quality Assurance
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Matt Mullineaux is the Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manager in Medford, Oregon for Avista Utilities and has 18 years of experience in the utility business. Matt has held several positions including, GIS Editor, Gas Dispatcher, Compliance Technician, Customer Project Coordinator and Assistant Operations Manager. Matt currently manages auditors in Washington, Idaho and Oregon to ensure Avista Gas Standards are being followed. Matt is married to his wonderful wife Tracey and they have a daughter named Addysen who is 10 years old.

Dan Austin

Avista Utilities

Electric Meter Shop Manager
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Dan Austin leads the Electric Metering Department at Avista Corp. In this role Dan is responsible for leading both the field and engineering staff necessary to operate and maintain revenue metering systems. Dan has a diverse background highlighted by adaptability and transformational leadership beginning in 2004 when he lead US Army Special Operations teams through countless combat missions over an eight year period. After his military service Dan transitioned into the utility industry as an engineer but quickly moved into electric operations leadership. Recognizing the value of quality leaders Dan has strived to implement servant leadership and other techniques learned on the battlefield with our front line leaders.

Lisa Flynn

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Manager, Process Improvement, Gas T&D Operations
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Lisa Flynn is Manager of Process Improvement in Gas T&D Operations at Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). In her current role, Lisa is responsible for partnering with gas safety inspection programs to resolve customer access issues, increase operational safety and reduce risk. Over the last year, Lisa built a brand-new team responsible for managing critical compliance dates and working with customers to perform required corrosion, leak survey, and other critical safety inspections. Lisa manages a call center operation and field technicians creating a unique partnership between work scheduling and work completion while optimizing opportunities to bundle compliance work. Prior to her current role, Lisa served as Chief of Staff and Principal Program Manager for the Vice President of Gas T&D Operations. Her past experience working at Western Energy Institute as a Program Manager prepared her for a career at PG&E and helped her develop a passion for the energy industry. Lisa lives in Danville, California with her husband Ryan and her daughter, Noelle.

Aaron Quilici

Southwest Gas Corporation

Operations Supervisor - DMDP

Taras Sandulak


Manager, Emergency Management & Business Continuity
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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 300 as well as holding an NCSO safety designation. Previously serving as both an Infantry non-commissioned officer and commissioned officer in the Canadian Armed Forces for a total of twenty-four years and bringing extensive institutional and operational experience.

T.M. is currently into the final stretch of a Master’s Degree in Disaster and Emergency Management at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia having most recently completed his final residency.

Lucy Sarkisyan

Southern California Gas Company

Technical Advisor
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I am a current MBA candidate at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and a graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. My journey in the utilities industry started in 2015 as a consultant for Jacobs Engineering serving our newest client, SoCalGas. During this time, I implemented instrumental changes to the procedures and templates used by the company for Management of Change, which improved the quality, validity, and resourcefulness of the process. As of 2016, I joined SoCalGas as a direct employee, and have since been promoted to a Program Advisor to assist with the implementation of API 1173 for both SoCalGas and SDG&E. I hope to utilize my expertise in management of change towards standing up the Operational Controls tenet for the Company’s

Shae Rowland


Senior Assurance Specialist
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Shae Rowland is a management system enthusiast. As she completed her B.Sc in Computer Science and Business at the University of Victoria, the foundation for systems thinking and business process design was formed. Over the last 18 years, Shae has worked in project services, gas measurement, plant simulation and optimization, management systems and assurance in the technology and energy sectors. Her passion for bringing together process, technology and strategy culminated in the design and implementation of Spectra Energy’s MOC process. Shae is currently a Senior Assurance Specialist for Enbridge Inc.

Graham Emmerson


Technical Manager, Integrity Programs
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Graham Emmerson is chair of the CSA Z260 technical committee and Technical Manager, Integrity Programs at Enbridge Inc. Over his 20 year career, Graham has worked in oilfield services, EPC, pipelines and energy regulation. Over the past 8 years, his focus has been on safety and loss prevention and applying high reliability concepts to improve pipeline safety. He has engineering degrees from Queens University and the University of Calgary.

Chris Moulden

ARB, Inc.

Mechanical Contractor
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Chris is the Safety Director at ARB, Inc. a subsidiary of Primoris Services Corporation and is responsible for leading the safety effort for ARB along with 6 other business units that are on the West Coast of the United States. His team is comprised of more the 45 safety professionals. Chris’s 15 year career began when he graduated from The College of Oceaneering which was located in the Port of Long Beach. Following his graduation, he became a commercial diver specializing in Hyberbaric Medicine. This translated nicely in to Chris’ safety career being that safety operations are very safety oriented. As his career matured he started to realize that in order to duplicate positive results systems needed to be put in place. Chris has played a vital role in creating and implementing ARB’s Health and Safety Management Program first modeled after ANSI Z-10 which has opened the conversation to adopt API 1173. He currently sits on the National Mechanical Contractors Association of America Safety Board. In 2017 he was voted by his peers in the Distribution Contractors Association as Safety Director of the year. Chris is originally from Winnipeg Manitoba, and currently resides in Orange County California.

James Kane

Avista Corp.

Operations Manager
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As an experienced Operations Leader, Jim Kane has worked at Avista Utilities for 29 years and has led a variety of innovative projects including the development of Avista’s Safety System and Avista’s Field Leadership Training Program. Jim’s positions cover a broad spectrum including: Journeyman Lineman, Instructor of Apprentice and Linemen Training Programs, General Foreman, and Operations Manager. Currently, as Operations Manager, Jim is responsible for all electric distribution and transmission, including capital and maintenance projects, in North Idaho and Western Montana, as well as natural gas delivery in North Idaho.

Kenton Eatherton

Asplundh Construction, LLC

Director of Planning
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Ken Eatherton is the Director of Planning and Design for Asplundh Construction, LLC. As the Director of Planning, Ken is responsible for the strategic growth, direction, development and financial stability of the planning organization.

Ken joined Asplundh in March of 2005 and has been in the electrical distribution industry since May of 2000. Before joining the electrical distribution industry, he previously worked as a financial analyst.

Ken earned his Associates of Arts Degree from Orange Coast College; Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from CSULB; and Master’s Degree in Business from Pepperdine University. Ken also holds his C-10 Electrical Contractors License and General A Contractors License.

Brock Armstrong

Southwest Gas Corporation

Administrator of Division Compliance

Duncan Kerr

The Engine Room

Managing Partner
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Duncan is a international speaker, auther, operations executive and consultant with over 28 years’ experience in over 3 continents. He has spent approximately half his career working in heavy industry in leadership roles spanning operations, engineering, safety, asset management, general management and capital projects. He has worked as the Chief Operating Officer for a large publicly traded company as well as private companies and consulting firms.

As a consultant, Duncan is a recognized expert on leadership development, performance coaching, teamwork, culture and organizational development strategy. He has led and worked on a wide variety of successful projects worldwide supporting organizational transformations, operational excellence, performance management, safety and error reduction for organizations in the utility, oil, gas and mining sectors.

Duncan’s work has been featured in Incident Prevention Magazine, Utility Safety and Hygene News and Utility Products News and he has been selected to speak at the World Gas Conference in Washinton DC. Duncan is a Managing Partner at The Engine Room Group a workforce performance improvement firm that accelerates operational exclellence to achieve measurable business results.

• Bachelor of Engineering in Mining Engineering, University of McGill, Montral, QC • Directors Education Program, Institute of Corporate Directors

For a change of pace, Duncan enjoys outdoor sports including cycling and kayaking, or can be found pursuing fine woodworking projects in his home workshop.

Jesse Pickard


Operations Manager – Support, Gas & Electric Distribution Planning
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Jesse Pickard is an Operations Manager – Support at FortisBC for our shared Gas-Electric service territory. In this role, he oversees customer-driven distribution design teams as well as system-driven designs for the Gas region. Since joining FortisBC in 1993, Jesse has worked as a Power-Line Technician, Field Designer, and Sr. Dispatcher. Jesse lives in Kelowna BC, enjoying the Okanagan lifestyle with his wife and two children.

Dominic DeLucia

NW Natural

Customer Acquisition Engineer
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As NW Natural’s Customer Acquisition Engineer, Dominic DeLucia manages all of the company’s individually metered multifamily projects. Dominic designs the gas utility’s infrastructure within buildings and works closely with developers to ensure that the meter closets and piping are built to NW Natural’s standards. Dominic has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and has worked in the manufacturing, construction, and renewable energy sectors.

Brian Taylor

Avista Utilities

Manager of Gas Operations (Medford, Oregon)
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Brian Taylor is the Gas Operations Manager in Medford, Oregon for Avista Utilities and has 22 years of experience in the utility business. He started his career in the natural gas industry working for his grandfather’s family owned distribution and maintenance contractor business prior to coming to Avista. Brian has held several positions including, Crewman, Journeyman Main fitter, Crew Foreman and Measurement Control Technician. In 2006 Brian moved into a formal leadership role as the Assistant Operations Manager in Medford. Brian has a wonderful wife Mary Jane and four active boys, Benny, Colby, Easton and Hayden.

Juan Cardona

Salt River Project

Sr. Engineer - Grid Planning and Performance

Erich Orth

Bonneville Power Administration

Project Manager
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Erich is the supervisor of the Civil Design group at Bonneville Power Administration, responsible for Site Civil and Access Road design for BPA’s transmission system. Prior to his current role he was a Senior Project Manager responsible for large capital transmission line projects. He joined BPA in 1999 after earning his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Washington State University. He is a licensed Civil Engineer and Project Management Professional. He enjoys volunteering at his daughter’s school and has a passion for snow skiing. He lives in Brush Prairie, WA with his wife Kristen and daughter Tova.

Matthew Gordanier

Portland General Electric

Transmission Engineering - Manager
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Matt Gordanier is the supervisor of Transmission Engineering and Specialized Design. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2008 with a Bachelor in Science in Civil Engineering. He is a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of Oregon. Matt began his career with POWER Engineers doing transmission line design before transitioning to a project engineering role at Portland General Electric. Matt has been in his current supervisory role since 2016.

James Blessing

Tacoma Power

Power Engineer IV
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James Blessing has worked for Tacoma Power for over 15 years. Initially, he worked in the Substation Engineering Group designing new substations and asset replacements. Then five years ago, he was provided an opportunity to assist the Projects and Services Group with the construction contract bidding and management of the rebuild of our Potlatch Transmission Lines North Bay Crossing near Allyn, WA. He officially joined the group in late 2014 to manage the next marine crossing at Henderson Bay near Purdy, WA.
James previously was a Plant Engineer with ALCOA in Wenatchee, WA, and was responsible for capital improvement project oversight and maintenance support of plant electrical and process systems. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

Ryan Monk

BC Hydro

Trades Training Instructor
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Ryan Monk is Trades Training Instructor for BC Hydro specializing in PLT (Lineman) Transmission work method development and instruction. Ryan has worked for BC Hydro since 2002, as a PLT throughout the province until taking his current role in 2013. He makes his home in Kamloops, British Columbia where he enjoys hunting, fishing and motorcycles while spending time with his wife and daughter.

Ivan Jovanovic

G&W Electric Company

Director of Engineering, Specialty Products
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Ivan Jovanovic has worked in various Engineering, R&D, Marketing and Product Management positions in Power Systems industry for last 22 years. He obtained his electrical engineering degree from the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and his MBA degree from Loyola University Chicago.
Since 2001 he is with G&W Electric Company, where he started as a R&D Engineer in Cable Accessories group and now has global engineering responsibility for Cable Accessories and Current Limiting devices product lines.
Ivan oversees development and market introduction of HV and EHV terminations and joints for both extruded and oil-impregnated paper cables up to 500 kV as well MV current limiters and has been involved in all aspects of cable systems, from design to field application, diagnostics and maintenance.
Ivan authored and co-authored many papers and studies in the field of power systems and was invited speaker at US and international conferences and forums. He is very active in industry organizations and is currently chairing future IEEE standard for Transmission Terminations and Joints. He is US representative in different capacities in international organizations and standardization bodies CIGRE and IEC.

Zachary Wassenberg

Burns & McDonnell

Augmented TechnologiesTransmission & Distribution Services
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Zachary works in augmented technologies, focusing on innovation program management and enterprise level technology deployments. He spearheads investigation and implementation of augmented technologies in the utility and construction world. Zachary earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Kansas State University and is a Professional Engineer in the State of Kansas.

Jeff Millar

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Senior Public Safety Specialist
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Jeff Millar is a Senior Public Safety Specialist with Pacific Gas and Electric Company. His role on emergency events is to serve as the PG&E Agency Representative, coordinating and integrating PG&E’s restoration efforts with the public safety agencies’ emergency response. Jeff has had a 39 year career in emergency response and resource management and he retired as a Battalion Chief from CAL FIRE in 2011, after 30 years of service.

During his career he worked in nearly every program area within CAL FIRE, including operations, Conservation Camps, Emergency Command Centers, Fire Prevention, Resource Management, and Aviation. He was a member of CAL FIRE’s Incident Management Team 6 for 13 years, having served as the team’s Liaison Officer, Operations Section Chief, and Deputy Incident Commander. He is also a qualified Type 1 Incident Commander.

Following CAL FIRE, Jeff worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assigned as an Operations Branch Director on one of FEMA’s Type 1 National Incident Management Teams. Assignments with FEMA included managing the federal response to the Colorado Flooding, the Washington mudslide, and the recent Unaccompanied Children Influx on the Southwest Border.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry from UC Berkeley.

Tara Laycock

BC Hydro

Manager, Emergency Planning
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Tara Laycock is an emergency manager, adventurer and passionate Sea to Sky resident. She has 18 years’ experience preparing for and responding to disasters possible in the pacific northwest such as; earthquake, wildfire, flood, avalanche, and tsunami.

She is personally resilient and uses incident command during event response, and as a proxy throughout daily work and life. She enjoys incident command’s guiding principles and steps to follow: establish leadership and direction, conduct risk assessment, effective communications, take action and stay calm, work with others as a team. As the lead of BC Hydro’s Emergency Management team, Tara supports embedding incident command to 5000+ employees so that they, and BC Hydro as a power smart organization, are effective when responding to emergency events.

Tara has a Masters’ degree in Disaster Management, Post-grad Diploma in Environmental Science, and a Bachelors’ degree in Earth Sciences, along with years of field and more recently office work. An avid recreationalist, she loves to be outside. Her travels to far-away places like Bangladesh, Iraq, and recently to the Republic of Georgia have given her an appreciation for different cultures and styles of resiliency.

Larry La Bolle

Avista Corp.

Manager of Reliability Strategy and Planning
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Larry joined Avista (The Washington Water Power Company) in 1990, after spending several years as a regional fishery manager with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fisheries Science from the University of Idaho and Oregon State University, respectively. In his early years with Avista, Larry conducted natural resource studies, worked in transmission facility siting, EMF communications, and special projects, as well as developing the Company’s first formal public involvement program. From 1993 – 1999, Larry was manager of hydro relicensing for the Clark Fork projects in Idaho and Montana. The collaborative management of the Clark Fork River, among two states, five Tribes, and a variety of federal agencies and interest groups, which was established during the relicensing, is still active and a model cooperative effort. In early 1999, Larry was named Director of Communications and Community Development, and also served as General Manager of Hydropower Development (a joint venture with Chelan County PUD). From 2000 – 2005, Larry was Director of Operations for Avista’s electric and gas business in Idaho and Southeast Washington, during which time he also established Avista’s Asset Management Group. As Director of Federal and Regional Affairs Larry worked on a variety of regional utility issues including settlement of several issues related to the Bonneville Power Administration, and litigation and other activities related to threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River watershed. In his present role Larry is responsible for developing Avista’s electric reliability strategy and the application of asset management principles to reliability planning. He also manages the Company’s regulatory approach to reliability strategy, planning and reporting.

Joe Colett

Portland General Electric

Emerging Technologies Product Manager
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Joe Colett is an Emerging Technologies Product Manager at Portland General Electric where he is currently focused on transportation electrification and residential energy storage pilot program design and implementation. Joe has been with PGE for two years and previously worked as a technical consultant conducting research on energy efficiency standards and test procedures for utilities and advocacy organizations. Joe holds master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and sustainable systems from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University.

Rob Beidler

Snohomish County Sherriff's Office

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Rob Beidler is a 1990 graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in Business and Human Resource Management. In 1991 he began his Law Enforcement career in Snohomish County. With the Sheriff’s Office he has held various positions in Patrol, SWAT, Motors, and Special Operations. He was promoted into Command Staff in 2008. Since that time he has been the Chief of Operations, Admin Services (Budget and finance,) and Corrections. He is currently the Undersheriff and responsible for the operations of the agency.

Rob taught at Everett Community College for 10 years and has traveled extensively teaching Executives, Industry Leaders, and Emergency Responders the value of a safety culture. All of that teaching experience is centered around the safety of those that work with you and the safety those you serve. He and his organization are deeply invested in safety and use Below 100 as their platform. Their belief is that with a sound safety platform, committed leadership, training programs, technology, and partnerships you can drastically improve the odds of getting your people home to their families every day.

Chris Heminsley

BC Hydro

Senior Manager, Business & Economic Development
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Chris Heminsley is a Senior Manager of Business & Economic Development at BC Hydro. Since joining BC Hydro in 1990, Chris has held a variety of positions within the company that are focused on fostering economic activity across B.C. He has also been involved with First Nations negotiations related to energy procurement and transmission infrastructure.

As the Senior Manager of Business & Economic Development, Chris leads a team that is responsible for attracting new customers to B.C. by identifying the barriers to locating in B.C., and working collaboratively within BC Hydro, government and non-government organizations to remove those barriers.

Chris holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of British Columbia.

Shane Golden

Goldenstrike Technologies Inc.

Managing Director
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Shane began CPU mining bitcoin in 2011 and has continuously stood at the forefront of crypto mine development in Western Canada. In early 2013, Shane began building, selling, servicing and offering hosting packages for GPU miners, and later that year, Shane was given the opportunity by investors to help build the first commercial mine in Western Canada. During this time, the introduction of ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) miners brought a new wave of capability into the crypto-mining market and both Shane’s private mining operation and his hosting facilities grew rapidly. Shane pivoted Goldenstrike into the crypto-mining consulting firm it is today, utilizing his experience and knowledge as Managing Director to help others build and maintain profitable mining operations. Frustrated with lack of reliable and trustworthy mining software, Goldenstrike’s signature product Ground Control broke ground.

Bryan Hellard

Goldenstrike Technologies Inc.

Mechatronics Technician
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Bryan began researching Bitcoin over the summer of 2013, building off his background in Mechatronics and Robotics. In fall 2013, he began to get involved with the cryptocurrency groups around Vancouver. Bryan worked with the local DCTRL doing educational nights on mining, as well as becoming a local reseller of ASIC hardware. He’s been involved in Coinfest since the first year, giving talks, being on panels, or running workshops about the mining aspect of Bitcoin. He’s been on podcasts, on the radio and in the newspaper, speaking about Bitcoin and how it’s spreading throughout the city and across the world. Bryan’s goal is to keep pushing on the educational aspect of cryptocurrencies, so that everyone can learn about them and participate in this next great technological leap. Bryan and Shane began working together on Goldenstrike in 2014. Bryan handles the hardware side of the mining operations, ranging from choosing the best ASICs for the task to designing the data center requirements.

Greg Smith

Chelan County PUD

Manager - Safety/HPI
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Greg Smith is a Safety Manager at Chelan County PUD. Chelan PUD employs over 800 employees and generates, transmits and distributes electricity to over 100,000 customers. Greg has work for Chelan County PUD helping lead safety for over 3 years. For the past three years, Greg has been on the journey of implementing Human Performance principles and practices into the field. His “test bed” methods have proven to be successful through behavior and mindset changes Chelan County PUD have witnessed.

Prior to joining Chelan County PUD in 2015, Greg spent 6 years as project/safety manager contracting for the Fallon Naval Base involving water treatment, structural and Special intelligence projects (SIP). Greg also has safety experience in the home building industry. Greg’s career in the safety field spans more than 12 years.

Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Communications, from Eastern Washington University and it currently working toward his Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP). Greg can be reached at greg.smith@chelanpud.org.

Byron Shovlain

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Senior Engineer
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Byron Shovlain holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration degree from San Diego State University and is a registered Professional Engineer in California. He has worked at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) for 17 years, currently in the Substation Maintenance and Operations Asset Management group and prior in Distribution Planning, Operations, Engineering, and Regulatory Compliance programs. Before joining SDG&E he was a Safety Engineer for the California Public Utilities Commission inspecting utility facilities and enforcing California and Federal safety and construction standards.

Tom Rak

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Manager Standards Engineering
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Tom Rak is Manager of Standards Engineering at PG&E. He is area of responsibility is Substations and T-Line Specification, Design criteria, Utility documents, Manuals, Bulletins, Waivers and evaluation of new technologies. Prior to his current role Tom Managed the Design Engineering department. Tom has a BSEE from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a MSEE from Portland University. Tom enjoys hiking and red wine.

Jeremy Jordan

Chelan County PUD

Organizational & Employee Development Program Manager
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Jeremy Jordan is the Organizational & Employee Development Manager for Chelan County PUD, a three-dam hydroelectric utility in Washington State that is one of the largest such projects in the western U.S.Jeremy has led organizational change and learning initiatives for two Fortune 50 companies, and consulted for many more. He is currently completing his Master’s in Management with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. He lives with his wife and four children, ages 6 years to 6 months, in Wenatchee, Washington.

Randy Walls

Puget Sound Energy

Manager of Substation and Relay Operations
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I came to Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in 2004 as an electrical engineer in our Substation Field Engineering Department. Through my years at PSE, I’ve had many great opportunities to work in different departments and gain insight into our industry from different perspectives. I worked as a maintenance planner, construction manager, Supervisor of Operations, special projects that brought Outage Management System into Operations and also a short time in our Change Management Organization. Most recently, I’m the Manager of Substation and Relay Operations, where I’m responsible for maintaining and constructing our substation and protection systems. Prior to PSE, I worked at Tacoma Power in the Transmission and Distribution Planning Department and nine years in the High Tech Industry working for Intel in Oregon and Silicon Valley. I have Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Electric Engineering.

Kevin Gowan

Puget Sound Energy

T&D Asset Management Supervisor
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Kevin Gowan is the supervisor of electric system asset management for Puget Sound Energy located in the Washington State. He has enjoyed the past 8 years at PSE. He has received his PE in Electrical Engineering. In addition to his present role, Kevin has also worked as a substation field engineer, electric distribution system planning engineer, been majorly involved with storm restoration, managed special projects, implemented a custom Storm Damage Assessment App and interned at a wind energy facility. Kevin has a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University, has received certifications in Electrical Engineering and is in process of getting his masters in Engineering Management. In addition to his enthusiasm for the electric system, Kevin enjoys spending time in the mountains, climbing to the top of things, traveling to other countries (especially those in South America), and a good cup of coffee.

Ramsay Sawaya

Accenture Inc

Principal Director
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Ramsay is a Senior Manager at Accenture specializing in Asset Management, Risk Management and Investment Management. Ramsay has worked in the Electric Utilities since 1991 in Electric Transmission, Electric Distribution and Generation as well as Gas Operations. In 2002, he established the Asset Risk Management department at Xcel Energy responsible for the analysis of key operational and financial risks, optimizing asset investments, and the development of models to ensure optimal utilization of company resources and supporting the utilities regulatory proceedings. Prior to joining Accenture by way of Davies Consulting, Ramsay was Director Risk Analytics at Xcel Energy.

Phil Jones

Copperleaf Technologies Inc.

VP, Sales
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Phil joined Copperleaf as Vice President, Business Development in 2009. Over the past 9 years he has worked with energy utility clients in North America and globally to improve their approach to Asset Management with a focus on helping them achieve their strategic objectives through the application of Value-based, Risk-informed decision making practices. Prior to Copperleaf, Phil worked in business development, product management, project management, and design engineering in a variety of industries. Phil earned his Bachelor’s and Masters in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech in the early 1990s and also holds a Asset Management Certificate from The Institute of Asset Management. Originally from the US, Phil was “imported” to Canada by his wife 21 years ago and now resides in Vancouver BC.

David Lewry

Southern California Edison

Principal Manager, T&D Asset Management
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As the acting Principal Manager of T&D Asset Management within the Asset Management, Strategy & Engineering group at Southern California Edison, David is responsible for advancing T&D’s progress toward an ISO 55001 asset management framework, including the development of wildfire mitigation strategies and integrated asset strategies. David previously worked in the contract origination group, where he structured power purchase agreements for energy, capacity, GHG and renewable energy credits. David began his career in venture capital and equities portfolio management.

David earned his psychology degree from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the University of California Los Angeles.

Matthew Miller

Dominion Energy

Manager, Western Operations, Corporate Security
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Matthew Miller is Manager, Western Region Operations, Corporate Security, Safety and Health for Dominion Energy.

Miller and his western region operations corporate security team is responsible for the physical security of all western region Dominion Energy facilities, including operations in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, as well as the security of its employees. This includes overseeing all regional security operations, investigations, technical security services, security policies and procedures, emergency response and evacuation plans, contract security management and administration, intelligence collection and dissemination, and regulatory compliance and guideline requirements. His group also is responsible for conducting security risk, vulnerability, and threat assessments for company facilities and entities, and works with state and local law enforcement, federal partners, regulatory agencies, industry trade organizations, and peer groups on behalf of the company. He provides situational reports and security briefings to Dominion Energy Utah executives and Dominion Services group leadership.

Miller was hired by Questar Corporation in 2013 and joined Dominion Energy when Questar was acquired in 2016. He previously worked as a Special Agent and Supervisory Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Phoenix and Salt Lake City divisions.

He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree from the University of Gonzaga.

Doreen Hartley

NPL Construction Co.

Vice President, Safety, Quality & Regulatory Compliance
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Doreen Hartley is the Vice President of Safety, Quality & Compliance for NPL Construction Co., a nation-wide energy systems services provider. With over 31 years of industry experience in utility management and gas construction, Doreen has held various leadership positions in areas including gas operations, electric distribution, damage prevention, design & engineering, customer relations, reliability, and new construction.

In her role as Vice President of Safety, Quality & Compliance at NPL, Doreen has responsibility for developing and implementing safety programs intended to maintain the health of over 5,000 employees performing gas & electric construction, traffic control, and hard surface restoration functions in 22 states across the United States. Her team also oversees NPL’s quality and compliance programs, which ensure long-term, reliable installations that meet customer requirements and maintain public safety. In addition to her responsibilities for NPL, Doreen also partners with the safety leadership of Centuri Construction Group in the sharing of best practices and support of strategic enterprise safety and quality goals.

Doreen is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Home Builders Association of Maryland. Her industry accomplishments and contributions to the community were also recognized with the YWCA’s Tribute to Women in Industry Award.

Doreen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Towson University and has a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University.

Chris Grajek

Allteck Line Contractors Inc.

Director of HSE | Work Methods
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Since 2006, Chris manages and coordinates health, safety, work method and environmental programs and initiatives. Chris leads a team of trades trainers and field safety coordinators for local and international construction and maintenance activities. He is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP) with extensive experience in heavy utility construction, high voltage transmission/distribution/substation projects, gas transmission and distribution construction and maintenance, remote and heavy terrain environments, air and marine logistical operations, and various specialized work methods for the electrical and gas utility sector. Chris is involved with a number transmission and distribution partnership task teams, governing board member for the BC Crane Safety Association, governing board member of the CUSP for the US and Canada, and provides ongoing leadership direction and specialized training for internal operations and utility partners.

John Vanacore

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Executive Director
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John Vanacore is the Executive Director of the Joint Safety and Training Institute. He has been with LADWP for 27 years.
He started his career as an Electrical Craft Helper and worked his way through the ranks. John holds a CUSP and now oversees the Joint Safety and Training institute which is an independent trust funded by the employees of LADWP.

John has been married for 28 years and is the father of 2 boys, 18 and 20, both currently attending Universities.

Majid Karimi

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Safety Compliance Manager
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A Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) with more than 22 years of Environmental, Health, Safety, Training, and Industrial Hygiene program development and implementation experience in Manufacturing, R&D, Laboratory, Testing, Engineering, Education, Utilities and Construction environments. Majid’s role as the Safety Compliance Manager at SDG&E for the last 4 years also includes managing the Company’s drug and alcohol program.

Jay Jewess

Portland General Electric

Director, Business Continuity & Emergency Management
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Jay is the Manager of Business Continuity & Emergency Management overseeing business continuity and incident management functions while working to build resiliency at Portland General Electric (PGE) in Portland, Oregon. He joined PGE in July 2015. Prior to his current role, he was a FEMA Region IX Incident Management Assist Team Lead responsible for responding to disasters in California, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands. He served 27 years in the United States Coast Guard as an engineer, aviator and in incident management. He serves in the community as an American Red Cross Board Member and makes his home in Oregon City, Oregon with his wife Luci.

Tarek Morgan

BC Hydro

Field Manager
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Tarek is an Professional Electrical Engineer with EGBC (Engineers and Geoscientists of BC) and currently working as a Protection and Control Field Manager with BC Hydro. Prior to that role, Tarek was the Substation Manager for the Vancouver and downtown area where he was involved in the development of the fire response plans for indoor substations. Tarek graduated from UBC specializing in the power option where he later joined BC Hydro in 2012 as an Engineer-in-Training.

Jack Carmichael

BC Hydro

Incident Management Team Lead
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Jack is the Incident Management Team Lead for BC Hydro’s Safety department. He oversees a group of safety professionals who manage the Incident Management System. This entails triaging reported incidents and conducting safety investigations in order to develop and implement corrective actions that help keep workers and the public safe and meet BC Hydro’s regulatory obligations.
Prior to joining Safety, Jack spent about 25 years working in Grid Operations as a Power System Operator and in Field Operations as a Distribution Line Manager. He has two grown children in university and lives in the seaside community of White Rock with his wife Susan.

Mike Barnett

Dominion Energy

Physical Security Consultant
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Mike Barnett is a Physical Security Consultant, Western Operations, Corporate Security, Safety and Health, at Dominion Energy. In this capacity, Barnett conducts internal and external investigations; is responsible for corporate emergency response and evacuation plans; manages contract security; collects and disseminates intelligence and threat information; and conducts risk, facility security, and threat assessments for Dominion Energy facilities and operations in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. He liaisons and works with federal, state, and local law enforcement; regulatory agencies; industry organizations; and security groups and associations.
Barnett joined Dominion Energy/Questar Corporation in 2014, when he retired after more than 23 years as a Special Agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Barnett was a Special Agent Bomb Tech, Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator, Evidence Response Team Leader, Hazardous Evidence Response Team Leader, Joint Terrorism Task Force Coordinator, InfraGard Coordinator, and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Prior to his career at the FBI, Barnett was a Certified Public Accountant at Deloitte.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Master of Accountancy from the Brigham Young University and his Master of Arts in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is a CPA, NRA certified pistol instructor, and ASIS Professional Certified Investigator.

Julie Lockwood


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Julie Lockwood is a professional engineer at ATCO in the Natural Gas Distribution division, and has been with the company for 2 years. Her responsibilities include the design, management, and execution of projects within the plastic mains replacement group, a program responsible for replacing ATCO’s vintage gas distribution system in Alberta. Prior to ATCO, she worked at an engineering firm, consulting for large midstream and downstream oil and gas companies. Born and raised in Calgary, she has enjoyed many travel ventures around the globe, but is now settling down with the recent purchase of a new home and welcoming a puppy into her family early May.

Jenny Haykin

Puget Sound Energy

Integrated Leaves & Accommodations Program Manager
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Jenny Haykin is the Leaves & Accommodations Program Manager at Puget Sound Energy where she oversees myriad of support services vendors including the employee assistance program, disability accommodation, workers’ compensation, and absence management. She has been with Puget Sound Energy for 12 years. Jenny speaks nationally (and thanks to Canada, internationally!) on stay at work and return to work and is a magazine columnist on the topic of mental health in the workplace. She lives in Seattle with her two children and her ocicat.

Greg Bailly

NorthWestern Energy

Operations Manager

Haik Movsesian

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

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Haik Movsesian is a planning engineer at LADWP with expertise in Distributed Energy Resource technologies and valuation. Prior to DER Planning he worked in LADWP’s energy storage team, planning and evaluating battery storage projects. He was the lead planning engineering for LA’s largest battery energy storage project. Haik has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and is a licensed professional engineer. Haik spends most of the time asking and answering questions that start with “What if…”.

Lora Anguay

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Director, Distribution Operations & Maintenance
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With 15 years in the electric utility industry, Lora Anguay works as the Director of Distribution Operations and Maintenance for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Lora is responsible for Distribution Control Center Operations, Operations Engineering, Maintenance Planning, Electrical Design and Standards and Distribution Management Systems. Lora’s previous experience within Transmission and Distribution includes overseeing the work management activities for line design and construction, leading the deployment of SMUD’s Smart Meter project and management of SMUD’s distribution automation project. As part of SMUD’s grid modernization efforts, Lora is currently overseeing the automation of SMUD’s sub-transmission system, the update of SMUD’s communication networks and implementation of an Advanced Distribution Management System. Lora earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the California State University, Sacramento.

Kimberly Davis

Southern California Edison

Region Construction Manager
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Kim Davis has over 16 years’ experience managing teams and cross-functional projects in the utility industry, private, and non-profit sectors. In her current role, she has operational oversight of the region’s electrical line construction, traffic control, street lighting and meter conversions contracts. Kim holds a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational psychology and is a current WEI member.

Travis Parks

Southern California Edison

District Manager
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Travis Parks, District Manager, Southern California Edison
Travis Parks has over 19 years in the electrical industry. He began his career as a Cable Splicer and Journeyman Wireman before joining Southern California Edison. From there, he became a Journeyman Lineman and then a Troubleman. Subsequently, he worked his way through a variety of supervisory roles leading electrical line construction teams, and next a Local Planning organization. In his current role, he manages a service center responsible for planning, constructing, and troubleshooting the distribution electrical system. Furthermore, he serves on SCE’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) task force, as well as many other teams revolving around safety and work environment improvements. Travis holds a Master of Arts in Management and is a current WEI member.

John Mannetti

Puget Sound Energy

Director, Operations Solutions
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John is currently the Director of Operations Solutions at Puget Sound Energy. In this role, he leads the development and implementation of operations transformation and technology programs. John’s has held numerous leadership roles in his ten years at Puget Sound Energy including Wind Generation, Asset Management, Supply Chain and Integrated Resource Planning. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado, and a M.B.A. from the University of Washington. Prior to coming to Puget Sound Energy, John worked in project and program management for a U.S. Navy shipbuilding program in Washington, D.C.

Gregory Wells

EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc.

Customer Service Manager
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Greg is responsible for Customer Services within the Electricity Distribution and Transmission departments at EPCOR. Over the course of Greg’s career, he has worked on designing and deploying key strategic and transformational activities, and has championed exceptional customer experiences throughout the power and telecommunications industries. During his time at EPCOR Greg has implemented various call deflection strategies, which resulted in a reduction of call volumes and significantly improved operating efficiencies and customer satisfaction metrics. Greg was recently married in the Dominican Republic, is a terrible golfer and a sad…but loyal Edmonton Oilers fan.

Travis Squires

METSCO Energy Solutions Inc.

Senior Associate - Data Science
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Travis Squires, Ph.D, holds a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Toronto, is a published researcher in mathematics and mathematical physics, and has been using advanced statistics, modelling and machine learning as a consultant for over 6 years in various sectors including energy, supply chain, retail, and social media. Prior to working as a consultant Travis was a lecturer at The University of Toronto, and The University of Toronto, Mississauga mathematics and engineering departments.

Tessa Ryan

EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc.

Distribution Asset Engineer
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Tessa Ryan is an Asset Management Engineer working in EPCOR Distribution and holds a BASc in Computer Engineering from Simon Fraser University. She spent the first 3 of her 4 years at EPCOR in an EIT rotation program doing engineering work on 11 different teams, earning her a unique understanding of the utility business. Tessa manages the operation of EPCOR’s on-site Cable Test Lab facility and is closely involved in equipment root cause failure investigations. While working full-time, Tessa is pursuing her PhD in Engineering Management at the University of Alberta, conducting research on the reliability of underground power cable in urban Distribution systems. She is an active member of her local IEEE chapter and Chair of both Young Professionals and Women in Engineering affinity groups.

David Johnson

Avista Utilities

Project Coordinator/Designer
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David Johnson is a project coordinator/designer and previously a Journeyman Lineman for Avista Utilities. He has been with Avista for almost 10 years, serving in various locations throughout Avista’s territory. He is involved with promoting public safety awareness, 811 community education, and other community service events. David enjoy many outdoor activities and spending time with my wife and 5 children.

John Stoll

Chelan County PUD

Managing Director, Customer Utilities
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As the managing director of customer utilities at Chelan County PUD, John is responsible for the distribution, water, wastewater, and customer service functions of the utility. John has held this position for over seven years and has worked in the utility industry for twenty years.
John has had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of strategic issues within the utility on projects ranging from siting large infrastructure projects to developing rate proposals reflective of our evolving industry. In addition, John has implemented multiple technology projects and has championed the stakeholder engagement initiative within Chelan PUD.
John has a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Washington University and is currently a Western Energy Institute board member as well as founding member of the Large Public Power Council Customer Service Executive Committee.

Matthew Wilson

BC Hydro

Director, Construction Services
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Matt joined BC Hydro in 2006, bringing with him 9 years of experience from TELUS and the telecom utility sector. At TELUS, Matt developed his leadership skills working with and leading outside plant construction crews. In 2004, Matt took on a front line management role with TELUS, leading a team of construction and customer facing staff in the Sea to Sky corridor. Matt regularly interacted with high profile clients and event organizers at Whistler Blackcomb to provide successful telecom support to multiple world class events including World Cup ski racing and mountain biking.

After joining BC Hydro, Matt played a key role in BC Hydro’s successful construction and operation of the Winter Olympic venue energization program in 2010, in addition to completing a pre-event system maintenance program of previously unprecedented volume. In July 2010, Matt took on a senior leadership role as Area Manager with Northshore/Coastal Distribution Operations. In July 2011, Matt became the Lower Mainland Regional Manager responsible for the Lower Mainland Distribution and Stations portfolio. His passion for team development, coaching, and “acting as an owner” enabled the team, under his leadership, to reduce the number of time loss accidents, increase crew productivity, increase crew engagement, and improve emergency response times and customer service metrics. In December 2015, Matt took on a new challenge as General Manager (now Director) of Construction Services, leading a province-wide multi-discipline team in the delivery of capital construction projects, maintenance, and emergency support.

Matt has supported the WEI Operations conference as either a PDT member, PDT Lead,, Mentor, or Track Lead since 2014.

Andreas Kammereck

Golder Associates

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A Principal Engineer at Golder Associates with over 25 years of experience focused on mining and pipeline projects for mining, energy, and oil/gas clients. His expertise is in hydrotechnical engineering (i.e. civil design supporting hydrology, hydraulics, and fluvial geomorphology) and hazard mitigation that is integrated with geotechnical and geologic efforts. His client and project experience spans the continental United States and Canada, and includes work in South America, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Grant Coleman

Enduro Pipeline Services Inc

Technology Director
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Grant is the Technology Director for Enduro Pipeline services responsible for bringing new ILI
solutions to market and continuous improvement of existing Enduro technologies and processes
that address pipeline operator needs. Grant has been active in the industry for over 20 years in
various R&D and management roles. He has presented papers at IPC, PPIM, and NACE conferences
and contributed to courses offered through SGA and others. He is a member of NACE and ASME
and is the Enduro representative at PRCI. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Engineering
Physics from the university of British Columbia and is a registered professional Engineer in the
province of Alberta. He currently lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and twin teenage boys.

Jeremy Clark

T.D. Williamson, Inc.

NDE Quality Supervisor
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Jeremy is the NDE Quality Supervisor at T.D. Williamson, responsible for process, procedures and field execution in the United States. Prior to his current role he was the NDE Field Services Supervisor, managing the NDE Field Technicians. He joined T.D. Williamson in 2008. He makes his home in Tulsa, OK, with his wife Molly. He enjoys Co-Hosting a Podcast with his wife and most nights you can find him at the local gym getting a workout in.

DeWitt Burdeaux

TRC Solutions

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DeWitt Burdeaux’s 40-plus year career in the energy industry includes compliance oversight, training and research for state and federal agencies as well as lobbying, engineering, operation and compliance for the private sector. He has been with TRC Solutions since April 2017 providing regulatory compliance consulting, participating on AGA and API committees, and providing training related to pipeline safety. DeWitt would love to spend more time hacking at golf and sitting in a boat pretending to catch fish.

Amanuel Legesse

Southern California Gas Company

Transmission Project Manager

Douglas Honegger

D.G. Honegger Consulting

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Doug Honegger has been President of D.G. Honegger Consulting in Arroyo Grande, CA since 1995. Doug has over 35 years of experience related to understanding the response of structures, structural components, and equipment to extreme loading resulting from earthquake hazards, blast, and impact. He is a recognized expert in the evaluation of buried pipelines and conduits exposed to large permanent ground deformations and continues to advance the state of practice through laboratory and field research activities. He has been the principal investigator on industry-sponsored projects to develop guidelines for the design of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbon transmission pipelines for hazards related to earthquakes, landslides, and subsidence.

Tara Fraser

BC Hydro

Fire Marshal
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With over 15 years as a Fire Safety professional, Tara has had a broad background in both “boots on the ground” fire response experience and senior fire prevention and strategy positions. As the Fire Marshal for BC Hydro since early 2014, Tara has been responsible for developing fire risk management program elements and providing subject matter expertise in all things fire safety throughout the business. Among many other things, this includes significant input to our job planning and risk management strategies to ensure compliance with provincial Regulations to prevent wildfires from starting and spreading.

Tara is also married and a mom to two busy young kids. In my down time, you can often find me hiking, camping, skiing, boating and enjoying the spectacular nature found in my backyard. Protecting people and our beautiful outdoors is what I’m passionate about in both my professional and personal life.

Carol Johnston

Clevest Solutions Inc

Vice President, Product and Marketing
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Carol Johnston has over 15 years of product marketing and product management experience working in the mobile workforce management and other related technology industries. Prior to Clevest she was VP of Product and Strategic Partnerships for Bazinga Technologies; Solutions Manager for ABB Software (formerly Ventyx); and Product Line Manager for Itron, managing their product and go-to-market strategies.

Jon Gilrein

Avista Corp.

Regional Operations Engineer
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Jon is a Regional Operations Engineer at Avista Utilities, where his service territory includes the greater Spokane area and the outlying parts of Spokane County. Prior to working at Avista Utilities, Jon worked as an Electrical Engineer with Coffman Engineers, where he designed power and control systems for industrial and commercial facilities. Jon lives in the Palouse with his wife and three children, where they are attempting, however unsuccessfully, to raise chickens that may someday lay eggs.

Neil Bolger


Senior Manager of Gas Sustaining Projects
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Neil Bolger is the Senior Manager, Gas Sustaining Projects at FortisBC. Managing a team of Project Managers and Construction Supervisors responsible for safe, efficient, and productive delivery of capital projects. Neil is a mechanical engineer with a career with owner and consulting companies working in design and project management.

Jonathan Bos

Village Farms International, Inc.

VP Asset Development
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Jonathan has been active in horticulture for over 30 years and with Village Farms for 24 years- serving in many operational support and project roles for the company assets in the US and Canada. He is involved with utilities procurement and relations, new technology integration, infrastructure upgrades, existing building renovations, new greenfield construction and business development for the company. Recently he has been involved with the planned 2 x 24mw electrical upgrades for the Delta greenhouses.
Jonathan is also responsible for Village Farms’ Clean Energy division- a 7 MW landfill gas to electricity cogeneration plant situated at the Village Farms Delta 1 division.

Matt Piper


Global Director of Industry Solutions: Utilities, Infrastructure & AEC
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Matt Piper is the Global Director for Industry Solutions at ESRI and Leads the Utilities, Water and AEC Sectors. Matt is a Professional Engineer who has 18 years working in the largest power company in Australia, with extensive experience in Asset Management, GIS and Business Intelligence. As an Industry thought leader Matt represents the value of GIS and how it can be applied across an organization.

Ian Turnbull


Damage Prevention & Emergency Services Manager
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Ian is currently the Damage Prevention and Emergency Services Manager, for FortisBC Inc. with responsibility for the company’s programs to reduce third party damage and maintain system integrity. In his time with FortisBC Energy and predecessor companies, Ian has spent time as the Emergency Planning Manager and Training Manager.

He is a director of BC One Call.

Ian is qualified as a Class “A “ Gasfitter in the Province of BC, as well as being dual ticketed as a Journeyperson Steamfitter and Plumber.
He is a member of the Canadian Standards Association’s Committees for the B149 – Gas Installation Code Committee and the Z 247 – Damage Prevention Standard for Energy & Utility Networks.

He a member of both the Common Ground Alliance & BC Common Ground Alliance’s Damage Data Reporting & Evaluation Committees.

Charles Gadzik

Puget Sound Energy

Manager, Public Safety
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Charlie Gadzik manages damage prevention and public awareness for Puget Sound Energy, which provides natural gas and electric service to 1.6 million customers in Western Washington. His department’s current priorities are to help PSE achieve 1st quartile performance in damage prevention and to incent plumbers to adopt sewer-cleaning processes that reduce the risk of a cross bore accident. His 20 years of utility experience span labor relations and corporate communications as well as public safety.

Denise Jamal

Hydro One Inc.

Senior Manager, Community Relations

Patrick McConahay

Southern California Edison

Distribution Engineering Manager
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Patrick McConahay is an Engineering Manager at Southern California Edison. He is responsible for managing a team of engineers and technical specialists charged with the long term planning & operational support of the distribution grid for Edison’s Rurals Region, covering approximately 35,000 sq. miles of SCE’s territory. Patrick oversees the integration of small & large scale load and generation projects, including pilot & grid modernization technologies for the area. Patrick is currently leading multiple efforts to incorporate over 800MW of cultivation load onto SCE’s grid. Patrick earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis in Power Systems from San Diego State University.

David Lebeter

BC Hydro

Senior Vice President, Safety
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Graduating from UBC in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Engineering David spent the first 23 years of his career in the Forest Industry. In 1986 he moved into lumber manufacturing, working and living in several communities in British Columbia. During this time David progressed through mill management culminating as Mill Manager. As Mill Manager he was responsible for all aspects of operation including safety, profitability, customer and product selection. Returning to Vancouver in 1991 David joined the Executive Masters of Business Administration program at SFU, graduating in 1994.

In 2003, on behalf of International Forest Products, David started a wholly owned subsidiary in the People’s Republic of China. The enterprise engaged in manufacturing engineered lumber products for the Japanese and Chinese markets.

In January 2005 David joined BC Hydro as General Manager, Peace River Generation. Over the next two and a half years he held positions of increasing responsibility within Generation. Midway through 2007 he assumed responsibility for Generation Operations. This department was responsible for the safe and efficient operation of BC Hydro’s generation stations, Dam Safety, Asset Management, Environmental & Social Issues and Resource Management.

In November 2010 David joined Transmission & Distribution as the Vice President of Field Operations & Safety. FO maintains, operates, and restores approximately 18,000 kilometres of transmission line and 57,000 kilometers of distribution line in BC Hydro’s service area. As Vice President, David oversees a scope of work that includes distribution service connections, meeting the needs of customers, building new infrastructure, restoring outages, maintaining and operating the distribution and transmission system, including non-integrated areas, and more.

Thomas Smith

University of Wisconsin

Professor Emeritus
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Thomas W. Smith, is a Fellow of the Institute of Asset Management, a member of the IAM Faculty and a recipient of the IAM President’s award. He is also a Director of the IAM-USA. He is recently retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and retains Emeritus status with the University. He is the founder of the University’s award winning Master of Engineering degree in Engineering Management and continues his involvement in this field. Tom began his academic career as a researcher in the U.W. Institute for Environmental Studies, and spent many years working in the areas of environmental impact assessment, energy management and energy conservation. He currently serves as an U.S. Delegate to the International Standards Organization (ISO) Technical Committee on Asset Management.

Jorge Gil-Blanco

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

DiRT Team Supervisor
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Jorge Gil-Blanco supervises Pacific Gas & Electric’s Dig-in Reduction Team (DiRT). The team consists of 23 Investigators and 1 Damage Prevention Specialist and are deployed across a 70,000-square mile service area in Northern California. The team is charged with the investigation of 100% of all dig-ins to PG&E facilities (gas, electric and fiber optics) and the reduction of dig-ins to the system. The team has been successful in helping reduce the dig-in ratio by 33% over the last 4 years. Jorge’s background is 44 years in Law Enforcement.

Holly Mulic

Puget Sound Energy

Training Coordinator, Safety Department
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Holly Mulic is the Safety Training Coordinator at Puget Sound Energy, responsible for coordinating safety certifications and creating calendars for various safety trainings for office and field employees. Holly has spent nearly 4.5 years within the Safety Department at PSE and worked Administrative Specialist within the department before taking over at Training Coordinator. She is visiting from Tacoma, Washington where she is raising her son Leo with her husband Mili (pronounced Mill-E).

Megan Loy

MDU Utilities Group

Operations Policy Specialist
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Megan Loy is an Operations Policy Specialist at Montana-Dakota Utilities Company. She began her career in the gas industry as a technical writer and facilitated the resurgence of the Management of Change (MOC) program for Cascade Natural Gas Corporation. Megan played an instrumental role in developing and coordinating the MOC program across an 8-state platform following the integration of three utility brands. She enjoys seeing the program evolve and implementing new ways to effectively communicate change to promote pipeline safety.

Melvin Jessee

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

Quality Programs Manager
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Over 40 years of highly diverse experience working for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). The last 25 years have been focused on Quality and Compliance related functions.

Accountable for development and implementation of Alyeska’s new risk-based quality management system (TAPS Framework for Excellence – TFX) that complies with the requirements of API’s RP1173 Pipeline Safety Management System standard.

Accountable for numerous TAPS quality related programs and processes, including TFX Governance, Quality Assurance Program, Vendor Qualification Process, Assessment Process, Lessons Learned Process, Incident Investigation Process and High Learning Value Event (HLVE) Bulletins.

Nicole Garrett

MDU Utilities Group

Manager Quality Assurance & SMS
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Nicole is the Manager of Safety Management Systems and Quality Assurance at MDUG. She is responsible for the development and implementation of the SMS & QA programs for the eight state service territory of MDUG. Nicole has spent her five years in the utility industry focused on: SMS development & implementation; risk management; and internal audit. Nicole is a licensed CPA. When not working, Nicole and her husband John spend their time chasing after their 4 year old daughter Virginia and German Shepard Ranger.

Gregory Denton

Quantum Spatial Inc.

Program Manager
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Greg joined QSI 5 years ago and currently leads projects in the North American utility sphere. He provides guidance and strategic leadership for cross functional teams as an experienced project manager in areas of remote sensing, land survey, data modeling, analysis and reporting. Greg is currently focused on the design, implementation and maintenance of industry leading vegetation management programs to disrupt business-as-usual practices and drive innovation. Greg has a proven track record of stakeholder engagement to ensure projects requirements are met through detailed risk and issue tracking, earned value assessment, integrated change management and comprehensive status reporting.

Marcia Isbell

Tucson Electric Power

Enterprise Change Process Leader
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Marcia Isbell is a seasoned change practitioner with over twenty-five years partnering with utilities to effectively integrate changes and transform performance. As Enterprise Change Process Leader for UNS Energy, she works with large-scale initiative teams to appropriately plan and implement around two mutually important goals: realizing the identified benefits while ensuring people are successfully integrating the change. To achieve results for both goals, leaders use a methodology introduced by Marcia that considers the four quadrants of mindset, behavior, culture and systems as integral to planning every change.

Leanne Swanson

Southern California Edison

Principal Manager - DC&M Metro West
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Leanne Swanson is the Principal Manager of Distribution Engineering in the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) organization at Southern California Edison (SCE). In that role she is responsible for providing strategic direction and managing the teams responsible for the planning of the electric distribution and substation infrastructure throughout the SCE system, including the interconnection of distributed resources.
Previously, Leanne managed the Saddleback District, responsible for electrical and civil design, construction, maintenance and inspection of the overhead and underground electric distribution system in South Orange County. She began her career at SCE in 2000 and has held a variety of engineering, supervisory, and management positions in the Transmission and Distribution Organization.
Leanne earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona in 2001, and obtained her Professional Engineering license in 2005. In addition, she graduated from the Western Energy Institute (WEI) Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders program in 2007. In 2016 Leanne was named the Distinguished Alumna for the College of Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona.
Leanne leads the Women in Engineering Steering team at SCE and is the liaison to the Edison International Women in Engineering Program at Cal Poly Pomona.

Michael Rodela

Southern California Edison

Field Safety Manager
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Mike Rodela has 29 years in the electric utility industry. He began his career at SCE as a Groundman in the Transmission organization. While there he progressed to Apprentice Lineman and Journeyman Lineman. Later he transferred to the Distribution organization as a Journeyman Lineman, and went on to promote to an Electrical Crew Foreman. He left the field in 2002 for a position in T&D Safety as a Safety Environmental Specialist (SES). In his current role, he manages Field Safety Advisors who support the T&D business lines.

Michael Newland

BC Hydro

Program Manager – Talent, Leadership & Professional Development
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Michael is a facilitator and coach at BC Hydro, responsible for the Coaching and Mentoring programs. Prior to his current role, he developed and managed the Employee Engagement Councils along with other change interventions to bring about greater organizational performance with individual fulfilment. He volunteers time with minor hockey and currently does not sit on any boards. He makes his home in North Vancouver, with his wife, three growing kids, a dog, and an extended family of friends.

Gary Venz

Williams Northwest Pipeline

Manager, Marketing Services
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Gary Venz is the Manager of Marketing Services for Williams Northwest Pipeline. Gary is a graduate of the University of Utah, where he received a BS in Finance. Before joining Williams, Gary worked as the Manager of Origination for Duke Energy North America and started his professional career in San Francisco working for the Private Client Group at Merrill Lynch.

At Williams, Gary directs and maintains customer relations and commercial activities for pipeline customers. Develops, negotiates, and administers transportation related agreements and strategies for the pipeline company to ensure customer satisfaction, loyalty, market growth and segmentation and value added strategy initiatives. Oversees the development and evaluation of transportation marketing opportunities and discounting strategies.

Scott Winner

Bonneville Power Administration

Department of Energy Operations Research Analyst
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Scott Winner has been with the Bonneville Power Administration for 15 years. He is currently the Senior Subject Matter Expert in Hourly Generation Scheduling of the Federal Columbia Power System (FCRPS).

Lisa Empson

FortisAlberta Inc.

Manager, Operations Project Management Office
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Lisa Empson is the Manager – Operations Project Management. She has worked in the electric distribution utility sector for 20 years. She has specialized in powerline design and project management. Her presentation today is about customer new connections as it pertains to project delivery and what FortisAlberta’s customers are saying about the experience.

Terry Hardman

Williams Northwest Pipeline

Manager - Pipeline Control
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Terry Hardman has worked for Williams – Northwest Pipeline for almost 34 year – the last 27 years which have been spent representing the gas control center located in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Alan Brookstone

Precision Medical Monitoring

Program Administrator
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Dr. Alan Brookstone is an addiction medicine physician with 30+ years of clinical experience and over 15 years as a user of Electronic Health Records and information technology in clinical settings. He provides strategic leadership to Precision Medical Monitoring and quality assurance for all programs and services.

Brian Lowe

Chelan County PUD

Distribution Stations Superintendent
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Brian’s Utility career began in 1980. He received his Journeyman Lineman ticket in 1984, worked as lineman, line foreman, and taught Lineman apprentice school during that time. Brian has worked in a variety of roles, all in the distribution and fiber optic side of the Utility. Brian and his wife live in Cashmere, and when they are not working can be found on a river in Montana.

Fiona Taylor

BC Hydro

Director, Smart Technology Operations & Restoration
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With nearly 30 years in the Utilities Industry, Fiona has deep experience in customer care, distribution work management, smart metering, grid modernization, and now in safety with a new role in BC Hydro’s corporate safety organization.
Fiona began her career in management consulting at Arthur Andersen (now Accenture), followed by increasingly more senior roles at BC Gas, Peace Software, and First Data Utilities. She joined BC Hydro in 2009 to help lead their Smart Metering project, and has been in T&D Operations for the past 4 years.
Today, Fiona is accountable for Safety and Security at BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project in Northeast British Columbia, where she is a strong advocate for a safe and engaged workforce of both BC Hydro employees and Contractors.

Ferenc Pataki


Director, Operations - Metro, Vancouver Island & Interior North

Jason Wolfe


Director, Energy Solutions
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Jason has been with FortisBC for 16 years, and is presently the Director of Energy Solutions responsible for the Marketing and Sales efforts of FortisBC including the residential sales team, commercial and industrial account management, the development of new energy products and services (including new energy technologies for customers), and renewable natural gas customer demand. In 2018 these efforts resulted in the largest number of annual new customer attachments to the FortisBC gas system in over two decades and the introduction of a commercial carbon capture pilot.

Previously, Jason oversaw the FortisBC Market Development team and was responsible for negotiating and working with the Province to develop the Orders in Council approving the Tilbury LNG facility upgrades and the pipeline to service the Woodfibre LNG. Jason also oversaw the forecasting and resource planning departments. Prior to that, Jason was responsible for launching the FortisBC thermal energy business efforts with large commercial and institutional customers including schools municipalities and health authorities. Jason also spent four years in the Regulatory Affairs Department. Jason holds a Masters of Business Administration from Royal Roads University, a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Calgary.

Brennan Jaques


Manager, Gas Control
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Brennen Jaques is an Operations Manager with 25 years of progressive experience in the Oil & Gas Industry.
He has a diverse background in operations, technical, marketing & customer service.

His career in Oil & Gas began as a Construction Inspector on gas plants and sour gas pipelines. Following that, he spent over 10 years working on starting-up and operation of gathering systems, sour gas plants and transmission pipelines. Having worked as an electrical and controls designer on many projects, and in Marketing & Customer Service for over five years, Brennen has build a strong foundation for decision-making and leadership within the Enbridge Canadian Gas Transmission (CGT) Operations Leadership team.

Brennen graduated in May 2013 with an MBA from the University of Calgary – Haskayne School of Business. He was trained in Strategic Negotiation at Harvard Business School – Executive Education, holds technical certifications from Northern & Southern Alberta Institutes of Technology, and a BC Power Engineering certification.

Outside of work, Brennen is focused on making Calgary a vibrant, resilient city. He volunteers on two non-profit boards and several other high-impact organizations.

Rick Rautenbach


Manager, Commercial Optimization

Annette Gardiner

Itron, Inc.

VP Strategic Direction
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Annette Gardiner joined Itron in September 2016 as its Vice President, Gas Strategic Development. Prior to joining Itron, Annette held leadership roles in the gas utility industry including Vice President at Consumers Energy and President of New Mexico Gas Company.

Gardiner has held leadership positions in engineering, operations, rates and regulatory affairs, and president of a natural gas utility in a career spanning over 25 years.

Gardiner has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University and an Executive Masters of Business Administration degree from Michigan State University. She is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan and New Mexico.

In 2014, Gardiner was awarded the Maverick Award from Midwest Energy Association’s Energetic Women group for advancing opportunities for women in engineering and operating roles in the utility industry. In 2013, Gardiner was inducted into the Academy of Engineers at Michigan Technological University for career achievement.

Glenn Taylor

Southern Company

Industry Manager

Ingrid Rahaim

Tucson Electric Power

Manager- Substation Engineering & Tech Services
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Ingrid Rahaim is the Manager of Substation Engineering & Technical Support at Tucson Electrical Power TEP). She has worked in the electrical utility industry for more than two decades and has specialized in the development of Electrical Substation Engineering and Design teams. We are excited to hear her perspective on how TEP’s lessons learned in respect to the Substation Design Project Lifecycle, the topic of the panel Project Lessons learned – The Substation Project Lifecycle. Ingrid lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and has frequent chats & visits with her daughters in Maine. When she is not working she enjoys hiking, international and local travel, and cooling off in the pool during the hot Tucson summer months.

Brian Cole

Arizona Public Service Company

Director, Transmission and Distribution Engineering
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Brian Cole is the Director of Transmission & Distribution Engineering, at Arizona Public Service – a subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. In this role, he is responsible for transmission and distribution planning, distributed energy resource integration and analytics, transmission siting, engineering design and standards, GIS, system protection, engineering controls, interconnection development & contracts, and overall transmission and distribution system health and asset management. Prior to this he was the Manager of Term Trading for APS where he was responsible for longer term energy sales and the APS hedge program. Prior to that, he also had leadership roles in the areas of Power Procurement where he was responsible for long-term power procurement of both conventional and renewable resources on behalf of APS’s retail customers and in the Resource Planning Department. He has over 25 years of experience in the utility industry. In addition to transmission and distribution engineering, marketing and trading, power procurement, and resource planning, his experiences have included time in front of the Arizona Corporation Commission, power plant engineering & operation, independent power provider, and FERC interconnection and transmission rules.

Mr. Cole has earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University as well as a Masters degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University.

Charles Adamson

Southern California Edison

Principal Manager
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Chuck Adamson is a manager in the T&D Major Projects group at SCE. He is responsible for managing a group dedicated to the development, siting, licensing, engineering, procurement, and construction of major transmission, distribution and substation projects. Chuck has over 38 years of experience in management, project management, engineering, technical training, construction, and technical support at SCE and has spent the past 20 years managing the siting, licensing and construction of major transmission infrastructure projects such as the Tehachapi Renewable, Eldorado-Ivanpah, Devers-Colorado River, San Joaquin Cross Valley Loop, Coolwater-Lugo, Mesa 500kV Upgrade, West of Devers Transmission, and Eldorado-Lugo-Mohave Upgrade Projects. He was also involved in the recently completed TRTP 500kV underground segment through Chino Hills CA, “North America’s First.” Starting with the Delaney-Colorado River and Harry Allen-Eldorado Transmission Projects, Chuck led the SCE FERC Order 1000 team. SCE bid and collaborated on both the DCR and HEA project solicitations from the CAISO and continues to monitor FERC Order 1000 developments.

Jonathan Wong

Southern California Gas Company

MAOP Policy & Validation Lead
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Jonathan is a team lead in the Pipeline Integrity department for the Southern California Gas Company and has 8  years in the utility business. He started his engineering career with SoCalGas in distribution engineering with system  modeling for master planning, damages, and new customers. Shortly after, he moved to the Distribution Riser Inspection  Project (DRIP) focusing on the prevention/mitigation of anodeless risers. After DRIP, he moved onto the Pipeline Safety  Enhancement Plan as a project manager focusing on valve automation before switching over to Pipeline Integrity. He  currently leads a team of engineers who focus on MAOP validation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical  Engineering along with an MBA and is a registered professional engineer in the state of California. 

Eric Nunnally

Southern California Edison

Engineering Manager
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Eric Nunnally began his career at Southern California Edison in Distribution Engineering, focusing on long term system planning and design of the distribution grid. Eric has since focused on special project assignments tackling some of the latest challenges for distribution systems in California, including SCE’s first ever Distribution Resources Plan (DRP) filed in 2015, and crafting their first ever Grid Modernization Volume for the 2018 General Rate Case. In his current role as the engineering manager for Grid Modernization Technology Integration, Eric helps to define and execute SCE’s grid modernization vision, technical strategy and implementation plan, and necessary steps to prepare SCE’s utility workforce of the future. Eric has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Master’s degree in Power Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Rob Schweitzer

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations

Acting Director, BC Wildfire Service
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Rob joined the BC Wildfire Service as the Kamloops Fire Centre Manager in 2016 and is currently the acting Director, Wildfire Operations with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Rob is a Registered Forest Technologist and has worked in a number of roles and locations throughout the province with the BC Public Service since 1991 mainly focused on natural resource management.

Joe Di Placito

RAM Engineering

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Joe is a Principal and Co-founder with RAM Consulting; Canada’s fastest growing professional service firm. Joe graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) with Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC) and a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (PMI). Joe has worked with public and private project owners on traditional and design-build undertakings throughout Canada and in the Caribbean. He has extensive experience leading complex multi-discipline projects from design to construction. Successful notable project experience include Vancouver’s Canada Line Metro, South Fraser Perimeter Road (Highway 17), and FortisBC’s Coastal Transmission System Project. Joe is also actively involved in the community, supporter of Canadian soccer, and a long-suffering fan of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Katrina Dwyer

Xcel Energy Inc.

Corrosion Engineer
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Katrina Dwyer is a Corrosion Engineer at Xcel Energy. She has seven years’ experience in pipeline integrity, primarily ILI assessments of the gas transmission system. In her current role, Katrina is responsible for the data analysis, repair, and reassessment recommendations. Katrina lives in Denver and outside of work you’ll find her exploring the nearby mountains.

Dominique Mitchell

Southwest Gas Corporation

Engineering Supervisor
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Dominique Mitchell (Dom) is an Engineering Supervisor at Southwest Gas Corporation with just over 25 years of experience. He has worked in several areas within the Company’s service territory, which includes Corporate Headquarters (Las Vegas), Central Arizona Division (Phoenix) and currently, Southern Arizona Division (Tucson). Dom has experience in several operational areas such as Code Compliance, New Business, Franchise Replacements, High-Pressure and Measurement-Regulation Project Designs, Gas System Planning, Transmission Integrity and MAOP activities. Dom graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Dom appreciates working for Southwest Gas, as the company sets Safety, Service and Reliability in the forefront of everything they do. In addition, working with and assisting with the development and training of new engineers, either new to the company or within the internship program, is one of the key activities that Dom enjoys the most.

Shasta Culp

DHS Consulting, Inc.

Vice President of Engineering
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Shasta Culp is Vice President of Engineering within the Energy Division at DHS Consulting, Inc., which is a Project/Construction Management and Engineering Consulting Firm specializing in Transportation, Buildings, and Energy market sectors. Her background includes leadership and experience in both the utility and consultant industry with distribution system designs, automation, and operations including electric utility planning and grid modernization. She has managed a variety of internal and external workforces through strategic projects and operational change driven by advancing technology and regulatory policies. Recent client projects include the leadership and support of the California Distribution Resource Plan (DRP), which was mandated by the California Public Utilities Commission to integrate distribution energy renewables on a variety of grid platforms such as, microgrids, high renewable penetration areas, and traditional capital project deferrals. She has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in power systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona CA.

Nate Hill

Puget Sound Energy

Manager Regulatory Policy
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Nate Hill is the Manager of Regulatory Policy at Puget Sound Energy (PSE). His main responsibilities include policy analysis, response and implementation at the federal, regional and state levels. This includes engagement with various regulatory agencies such as FERC, CAISO, Washington state Utilities & Transportation Commission and others. Nate previously worked in Washington, D.C. as Director of Government Affairs for the American Public Gas Association and a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan for energy and natural resource policy issues. Nate is a graduate, with distinction, from the London School of Economics with a master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Regulation.

Jon Jamieson

Southern California Edison

Transmission System Operator
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Jon Jamieson is a Transmission System Operator at Southern California Edison (SCE) with the responsibility of managing the real-time transmission, sub-transmission, and distribution grid in the Orange County, California region. Jon is also actively involved in System Operator training and serves as a spot instructor for initial training classes as well as presenter of recurrent-refresher training topics. He is a subject matter expert for the SCE Grid Modernization and Distribution Energy Resource Management efforts. Aside from training, Jon is considered a safety leader and serves on the SCE Grid Ops Safety Congress, Safety Congress Steering Team, and Safety Oversight Council. As a NERC certified Reliability Coordinator, Jon is also involved in the North American Transmission Forum (NATF) with a focus on operations training. Jon has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from the University of California Riverside and an Associate in Applied Science with an emphasis on Electrical Transmission System Technology from Bismarck State College. He is also the author of two books, the last being published in November 2018.

Brent Pingel

Whiting Oil and Gas

Damage Prevention Supervisor
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After graduating from the University of Utah, Brent began working in the construction industry as a general contractor and later transitioned into the oil and gas industry. Brent began locating underground facilities for Whiting Petroleum and has spent the last 4 years supervising the damage prevention activities of the South Williston Basin for Whiting Petroleum. Brent’s responsibilities include training, best practice development, public liaison activities, and industry advocacy. With a focus on implementing new technologies to improve accuracy in identifying underground facilities and improving efficiencies, Brent began working with Argis Solutions on implementing augmented reality into Whiting’s damage prevention best practices, which have resulted in the development of new best practices and standard operating procedures. Brent currently resides in Watford City, North Dakota.

Mark Bruce

Hydromax USA

Executive Vice President
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Mark graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering and has 45 years of experience in construction, manufacturing and services industries.
He is a principal of a pipe inspection service company for gas distribution, sewer and water utilities with a strong focus on new technologies and data conflation.
Mark has authored articles in numerous publications and is a frequent presenter at conferences in the U. S. and internationally. Mark has U.S. patents on pipe design and his products have been used on five continents. He has twenty years of ISO 9001 quality system experience.

Organizations, Current:
▪ President Cross Bore Safety Association
▪ Executive Vice President Hydromax USA
▪ Chairman of the ASTM C-12 Committee
▪ Member of ASTM C-04, D-20, F-17, F-36 Standards Committees
▪ Member of the ASCE 36 Committee

Notable Career Highlights:
▪ Past Chairman of NASTT – North American Society for Trenchless Technology
▪ Past President of the National Clay Pipe Institute
▪ Past President of the Midwest Society of Trenchless Technology

Ted Dowling

BYD Heavy Industries

Regional Vice President

John Himmel


Manager, Business Performance
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John has over 40 years of experience in the utility industry and has held a variety of positions. His primary focus throughout his career has been in change management, process improvement and automation. He is currently manager of Business Performance for FortisBC Energy Inc. responsible for business reporting and improvement, Operations and Engineering finance, and process support.

Chris Dichard

Asplundh Construction, LLC

West Coast Safety Manager
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A Journeyman Lineman with 29 years in the Electrical utility construction, 13 years as a Safety professional in the industry.
Certified Utility Safety Professional, Certified Loss Control Professional,
Sitting member of the ETD Strategic OSHA alliance Best Practices committee, OSHA Outreach instructor, Certified crane instructor/Practical Examiner.
12 years as a Safety professional in the industry.

Zachary Meehan

ENSTAR Natural Gas Company

Engineering Services Supervisor
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Zach is the supervisor of Engineering Services for ENSTAR Natural Gas Company in Anchorage, Alaska. Zach was born and raised in Alaska. He began working at ENSTAR in 2005. He has worked as a line locator and an engineer on distribution and transmission pipeline projects. Zach holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and is currently a registered Professional Engineer.

Shannon Halverson

ENSTAR Natural Gas Company

Engineering Services Lead
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Shannon is the Engineering Services Lead at ENSTAR. Shannon grew up in Las Vegas, and moved to Alaska on an internship and has resided in Alaska for 30 years. He began working at ENSTAR in 1993. He has worked in the Engineering Services department for 21 years. Shannon has also spent time in the service department as a Service Technician and Dispatcher.

Frankie McDermott

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Chief Energy Delivery Officer
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Frankie McDermott is the Chief Energy Delivery Officer at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), overseeing Power Generation, Grid Assets, the Sacramento Power Academy and SMUD’s Commercial Development team. Energy Delivery’s work is at the core of SMUD’s mission—generating and delivering reliable and affordable electricity to customers, with a focus on safety and environmental responsibility.
McDermott held several leadership positions across SMUD prior to his current role. Before joining SMUD, he held senior management roles in the semiconductor industry in California and Ireland. He attended engineering school in Ireland, earned an MBA from Golden Gate University, and completed the Berkeley Advanced Management Program at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Willie Thomas

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Fire Risk Mitigation Program Manager
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Willie Thomas is an experienced engineer and manager who has been with San Diego Gas & Electric since 2004, holding numerous positions with increasing responsibility. He first went through an 18-month rotational engineering program, spending five years in distribution engineering as a switch engineer and then served as team lead of construction standards. He spent five years in transmission engineering as a team lead and manager and, for the last two years, as the program manager of the Fire Risk Mitigation (FiRM) Program. He has overseen the permitting, design, engineering, and construction of numerous Transmission and Distribution pole replacement projects throughout SDG&E Service territory since 2011. Willie earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2004, and has held a PE in California since 2006.

Chris Iveson

Hydro One Inc.

Director, Fleet Services
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Chris Iveson currently occupies the role of Director of Fleet Services at Hydro One Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro One Inc. the largest Electricity transmission and distribution company in Ontario.
Chris is accountable for managing Fleet Services throughout Ontario including over 8000 pieces of Transport and Work Equipment and 40 repair location situated around the province. As a member of Shared Services our mission is to deliver services that enable the business to achieve operational excellence by creating value through innovative solutions and exceptional customer service. Our focus is on continuous improvement to reduce costs, improve service, improve safety and increase value to customers and shareholders.
Chris joined Hydro One in May 2018 and comes from an extensive career in the Transportation and Maintenance field. In 2015 Chris received the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year award and received profession designation of CDM/E in 2016. Chris holds a valid 310T/S certification and is an advocate for advancing trades to college graduates. Chris has a large family and enjoys travel, automobile restoration and home renovations.

Robert Barrosa

Electrify America

Director, Utility Strategy and Operations
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Robert Barrosa is the Director of Utility Strategy and Operations for Electrify America and also the Chief Operating Officer for Electrify Canada, both are EV charging providers focused on promoting Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) adoption by offering an ultrafast and convenient charging network . Rob has over 10 years of experience in the EV infrastructure industry providing solution for on-road and off-road applications. Previously, Rob served as vice president of OEM Strategy & Business Development for EVgo and as an executive with AeroVironment Inc. in engineering, product development, and business development.

Marisa Espinosa

City of Vancouver

Director, Green Operations
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Marisa Espinosa is Director, Green Operations for the City of Vancouver Engineering Services Division where she works on innovation and sustainability for the city’s fleet and equipment, construction safety, construction materials operations, and engineering administrative functions.

Marisa’s career spans multiple years of public sector experience in transportation, operations and planning in both Canada and the United States. Marisa is a graduate of the American Public Transportation Association’s Leadership APTA program which identifies leaders in the transportation field. In addition, she is a former Board member of the Women’s Transportation Seminar, an international organization that supports the advancement of women in transportation and infrastructure.

Marisa served as Senior Manager for Long Range Transportation Planning with the City and County of San Francisco and prior to that worked for Translink as Senior Manager for Strategic Planning, leading the development of the Mayor’s Council Vision for Regional Transportation Investments and major infrastructure projects such as the Broadway- Millenium Line extension, and Surrey LRT projects. She also previously served as Senior Manager of System Planning, working on multimodal transportation projects for the region.

Marisa believes that building leadership from within is a fundamental element of a successful operation. She spent several years in the leadership development field, coaching professionals and community-based organizations. Prior to her work at TransLink, Marisa served as the Manager for Planning and Research for the San Mateo County Transit District where she worked on major capital projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, and as Manager of Strategic Policy Initiatives for the San Francisco MTA, the seventh largest transit system in the United States, leading strategic planning, and integrated transportation and land use for capital projects. Marisa has degrees in policy, politics and economics from Stanford University and in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, and volunteering for leadership and environmental groups.

Brian Collison

Argis Solutions

Vice President of Sales
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In his role as VP of Sales at Argis Solutions, the premiere provider for Augmented Reality integrated with geospatial information, Brian Collison helps prospective business partners fashion solutions that address their primary concerns and needs. Brian believes in earning the trust and business of his clients through partnership and dedication to a common goal. Brian has seen measurable results of increased sales through year-over-year growth for existing clients and in new account acquisition. His clients, in turn, have experienced higher profits, leading to long-term relationships that are based on mutual benefit and trust. Brian holds a B.S in Marketing and Accounting from Colorado State University.

Bruce Blackwell

B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd.

Principal, M.Sc., RPF, R.P.Bio.

Ellie Lynch

EN Engineering, LLC

Manager - GIS, Data Integration & Analytics
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Ms. Lynch is a data analytics professional with experience in the Oil & Gas and Utility industry. She studied Civil Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology while she worked for Zero Energy Lab, a consultant firm specializing in retrofitting existing infrastructure to use energy more efficiently. Her work with Zero Energy included mapping and analyzing existing utility networks for smart grid design and efficient facility planning.

When she joined EN Engineering, Ms. Lynch continued her work with utilities, working with multiple clients on large main replacement projects, inspecting construction and system analysis. Ms. Lynch combined her gas engineering expertise with her geospatial analysis background to develop the GIS, Data Analytics and Integration team at EN Engineering. In her current role, she helps organizations develop sustainable data system strategies to extract long term value from their data systems. In her pursuit to help organizations bring together the worlds of analytics, engineering and operations for more resilient, robust and efficient energy systems, she is pursuing M.S. Data Science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence and will be graduating in August 2019. Ms. Lynch has used her machine learning and advanced analytical course work to maximize the benefit of data with current organizations, applying the analytical capabilities to design data driven risk assessments and system design.

Ashley Quinonez


Technical Consultant
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Ashley Quinonez joined The Mosaic Company in 2016 and is currently leading the consulting and development efforts for the SaaS solution, Tapestry, an information relationship database, powered by Mosaic. Prior to this role, she ran other projects for a west coast investor-owned utility that ensured role-based training alignment for over 60 roles, developed processes to ensure risk reduction in the field, and performed strategy analysis of other utilities across the United States. Before joining The Mosaic Company, Ashley worked in retail as an Assistant Manager at a massive retailer where she was able to increase sales and improve employee engagement while earning her Master’s Degree in Literature from Chapman University in Orange, CA. Ashley’s diverse background allow her the flexibility and creativity to find a niche in process analysis, improvement, data and technology where she is highly effective at evaluating organizations and their workforce to reduce risk and improve efficiencies.

Ryan Walter

Heads up Communications Corp

President / CEO
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Ryan Walter played more than 1000 games over 15 seasons in the National Hockey League. Drafted second overall by the Washington Capitals, Ryan was named the youngest NHL captain in his second of 4 seasons, played 9 seasons and won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens, and returned to his home town to play his last 2 seasons for the Vancouver Canucks. He was named Team Canada Captain in the World Junior Tournament, was selected to play in the NHL All-Star game and for Team Canada in 3 World Championships, became a Vice-President of the National Hockey League Players Association, and was honoured as NHL Man of the Year. Ryan has been inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame, the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame, named to the 30 all-time Washington Capitals’ Dream team, the top 50 all-time BCHL players, the top 125 WHL players of all time, and the top 100 Montreal Canadiens in 100 years.

Ryan has a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership/Business. He is the author of 5 books and an expert contributor to both online and print magazines, newspapers, radio, and television. Ryan serves as a Director of both the Hockey Canada Foundation and Partners International Canada, and is a member of the Seton Hall University Stillman School of Business Leadership Advisory Council, and the recipient of the TEC Canada 2015 Speaker of the Year Award.

Ryan won a Gold Medal as Head Coach of Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team, was Assistant Coach of the Vancouver Canucks, co-founder and president of two start-up companies, a TV and radio hockey analyst, a hockey adviser and actor for both television and movies, the creator of the board and electronic game Trade Deadline Hockey, and the President of a professional hockey team. Ryan continues to inspire players, teams, businesses, and organizations across North America and beyond, to become their very best.

Robert D’Arienzo

IBM Americas

Senior Meteorologist, Global Strategy Leader
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Mr. D’Arienzo is currently a Senior Meteorologist and Global Strategy Leader for IBM. At IBM, Mr. D’Arienzo leads the global Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy for the Energy, Environment & Utilities industry within The Weather Company integration team. Mr. D’Arienzo’s expertise includes operational weather forecasting, weather and climate modeling, outage and impact prediction, data analytics, and strategy consulting. Prior to IBM, Mr. D’Arienzo served as the lead Meteorologist for Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) in Vermont and as an Assistant Meteorologist for ConEdison in New York City. Mr. D’Arienzo holds a B.S. in Meteorology from Rutgers University and a M.S. in Business Analytics from Quinnipiac University. Mr. D’Arienzo’s professional affiliations include the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Weather Association (NWA).

Scott Hines

Puget Sound Energy

Lead System Operator
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Scott Hines is a Lead System Operator with Puget Sound Energy and has 25 years of experience in the utility industry. For the past 19 years, he has been a part of the System Operations group with the last 5 years as a Lead System Operator. Scott has been involved with developing and implementing numerous projects that ensure crew safety as well as reduce customer outage time. For the past decade he has been directly involved with developing, improving, and implementing the System Operator Training program as the Training Committee chair. Scott has had an integral part in rolling out various technologies such mobile dispatch, outage management system, and will be a subject matter expert for PSE’s new ADMS implementation over the next couple of years. He is looking forward to the challenges and rewards of upcoming technology advances in the distribution arena over the next decade.

Brady Kinsella

Puget Sound Energy

Business Delivery Manager for Integrated Work Management Initiative
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Brady Kinsella is the Business Delivery Manager for Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) Integrated Work Management (IWM) initiative which is a sub-program of PSE’s plan to “Get to Zero” customer calls. His primary responsibility involves transforming Operations with the implementation of work optimization software and mobile tools for the field. Brady comes from an Engineering and Planning background, utilizing his Mechanical Engineering Degree from California State University Long Beach. He has even had the opportunity to lead PSE’s Gas System Operations team, which included Dispatch, Maintenance Programs, and Gas Control. Brady enjoys traveling, camping and fishing with his family and friends.

Christopher Eisenbrey

Edison Electric Institute

Senior Director, Preparedness & Recovery Policy
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Chris joined the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) in 2002 and serves as Senior Director, Preparedness & Recovery Policy at the Edison Electric Institute in EEI’s Security and Preparedness Group. Chris is responsible for a number of key business and operations continuity policy issues including national-level mutual assistance and emergency preparedness, spare transformer and equipment sharing programs, emergency cross-sector transportation initiatives, and the industry’s expanding use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Prior to his responsibilities within EEI’s Security and Preparedness Group, Chris led the Institute’s external facing and collaborative industry activities related to smart grid and grid modernization.

Prior to joining EEI, Chris worked at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the policy organization and trade association of the U.S. nuclear energy industry and International Access Corporation (IAC), a Washington, DC‐based business research and consulting firm specializing in the U.S. and Japanese electric power sectors.

Chris received his undergraduate degree in Politics from The Catholic University of America, and his masters in International Business from The Johns Hopkins University.

Steven Lopez

Salt River Project

Senior Director Customer Strategy
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Steve Lopez is the Senior Director of Customer Strategy at SRP. In this role, Steve leads and develops processes aimed at Customer Technology, Customer Experience Insights, Change Leadership and Commercial Customer Engagement. Steve has been with SRP for 19 years and has served in a variety of engineering, operations and leadership positions in transmission, distribution and customer services. He has successfully led high profile design and construction projects and provided oversight of system implementations related to work management, financial management, and design software.

Steve is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a degree in Civil Engineering. Steve enjoys hiking, fishing and camping. Steve and his wife especially enjoy cheering their three boys on the hockey rink.

Chris O’Riley

BC Hydro

President & Chief Operating Officer
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Chris leads B.C.’s largest Crown corporation, the fourth largest company in the province as ranked by annual revenue. With a clean energy advantage thanks to a long history of hydroelectric generation, BC Hydro delivers 98% renewable and clean electricity to its 4 million customers. To ensure a reliable supply of this critical product, BC Hydro will spend approximately $2 billion per year over the next 10 years to refurbish and expand its electricity assets. With construction of the Site C Project currently underway, Chris continues to seek opportunities to support clean development in B.C., such as through low carbon electrification.

Chris built his career at BC Hydro, starting as an engineer-in-training fresh out of university in 1990. During his 29-year career, Chris has held positions throughout the organization and across the province, including roles working with customers, leading operations, overseeing capital projects, and working at BC Hydro’s trading subsidiary. He has been a member of BC Hydro’s Executive Team since 2007, and was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer in 2015.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Chris’ family relocated to B.C. in 1974. Why? His dad was inspired by the growth in B.C. and in particular, a Time Magazine article featuring W.A.C. Bennett, the driving force behind BC Hydro as we know it today. With great appreciation for the sense of history and legacy of our province’s crown jewel, Chris feels honoured to be leading the company today.

Chris is a Professional Engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Chris lives in Vancouver with his wife and three children, where he is active in his local community.

Jim Walton

Linescape Directional Drilling

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Jim Walton is President of LineScape of Washington LLC. He started the company in 2006, driving a single truck and directional drill in the Seattle area after an enjoyable 23 year career in the cable TV industry in Portland, Oregon. LineScape of Washington added vac truck work in 2013 and in 2017 started private utility locating, excavating and dump trucks.

Jim has been a board member of the Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors Association of Washington for over 10 years and a member of the Washington State Dig Law Safety Committee. The focus of the Safety Committee is integral to our business and it has been especially rewarding to work with a group of people with numerous perspectives in the industry, striving to achieve a similar goal: to operate our businesses safely.

Michael Anderson

Ditch Witch West

General Manager
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Mike Anderson has been in the underground industry for 30 years and the equipment distribution business for more than 40 years. As President of Ditch Witch in California for nearly thirty years, he was instrumental in the early development and implementation of HDD technology throughout the state. He has co-developed not only many technology patents used in the industry today, but also developed the first HDD Operator and Safety Training Programs over two decades ago. Today those curriculums are the foundation of all the HDD, Vacuum Excavation and Gas Line Splitting training provided on the West Coast by Ditch Witch West, now since 2017, a part of the Papé Group of companies. Over the years, more than 3,000 people have attended the training classes provided by Ditch Witch West. Today he oversees all California operations of Ditch Witch West.

Derk DeVries

Black & Veatch

General Manager, Power Delivery

Dave Packard


Vice President, Utility Solutions
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Dave Packard co-founded ClipperCreek Inc., a provider of EV infrastructure and served as the company’s president until 2014 when he joined ChargePoint. In 1998 he joined EVI, an electric vehicle infrastructure company that helped develop the modern standards which remain in place today. Dave began his career in engineering with Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, CA. He joined the EV market in the early 1990s as Vice President of Sales at EPTI, an Atlanta start-up, rapid battery charging company. Dave holds a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering and a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

Rachel Anderson

Intermountain Gas Company

District Manager

Darcy Byrne-kelly

NorthWestern Energy

Manager, Operations
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With over 20 years of engineering and project management experience, MS Byrne-Kelly is the Operation Manager at Northwestern Energy (NWE) at Butte Division. Joined NWE in 2007 as a quality control/safety engineer, then moved into a Project Management of the Distribution Infrastructure Program where she developed the plan, set the metrics and the project management reporting to manage the program. In 2014, she was given a huge opportunity to manage the operations at Butte Division where she oversees electric and natural gas systems within the Division. She is responsible for safety, quality, cost, reliability, engineering, and execution of the work for electric and gas operations within the Division. Prior to NWE she worked 14 years for DOE, EPA and DOD on both engineering and project management of projects.

Darcy has a strong knowledge of and has been responsible for total management of programs and projects. She has experience in all aspects of financial forecasting, resource allocation, accounting and control. Furthermore, supports new strategies to achieve company goals and objectives in a continuous changing industry.

Darcy holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering, Masters Business Administration (MBA) and Project Management Certification. She is an active board member of the Big Brother and Big Sisters program. She is married, has two sons and two dogs.

Jimmy Yip


Emergency Program Lead
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Jimmy Yip is the Emergency Program Lead at FortisBC, where he is responsible for supporting the execution of FortisBC’s Emergency Management & Business Continuity Programs. He is primarily responsible for the development and maintenance of related plans as well as facilitating the regulated exercise program.

Jeff Enns

BC Hydro

Kurt Kathol


UAV Manager
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Kurt has been working with UAV data acquisition methods for 8 years throughout the United States. His work includes extensive experience implementing usable High Precision Airborne GPS data for traditional stereo collection and point cloud creation. On a day-to-day basis, Kurt also manages video, RGB, thermal, Multispectral imagery and Airborne Lidar data acquisition for a variety of applications. As a constant, Kurt is involved in innovative research and development, integration and implements these findings to create high value UAV services. Kurt is the co-founder of Skyscene LLC, and has managed and provided UAV services for Skyscene clients for approximately four years. Skyscene LLC was then acquired by NV5 Engineering in 2017.

Steven Morris

UMS Group Inc.

Vice President
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Mr. Morris has 31 years of consulting and management experience with the last 24 years spent in the electric and gas utility industries. He is the North American leader of UMS’ Asset Management solution and an IAM Endorsed Assessor for ISO 55001. He has led Asset Management projects for AES, Avista, Enbridge, EPCOR, Manitoba Hydro, Nova Scotia Power, PG&E, PSE&G, SCE, SRP, Toronto Hydro, TVA, and Westar. These projects have included PAS 55/ISO 55000 assessments, asset management training workshops, development of asset management plans, creation of asset replacement and maintenance decision-support tools, organizational redesign to support Asset Management, and full business unit asset management transformations. Prior to joining UMS, Mr. Morris worked for both Andersen Consulting and Navigant Consulting. He holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A., both from Cornell University.

Paul Roskilly


Engineering Manager

Tom Gutwin

BC Hydro

Principal Reliability Engineer
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Tom began working in the System Reliability Department at BC Hydro in 1991 and focused specifically on reliability and risk management items for regional, station, and transmission issues. In 1997 he refocused his attention to telecom, by joining the telecom services group to work on the BCH lower mainland mobile radio system rebuild and later joined the group as a telecom system planner.

In 2000, Tom left BCH to work at an external telecom test and measurement company which led to him consulting under his own proprietorship. When BCTC was born, he joined them as the Regional Transmission Planner for the Fraser Valley and in 2005 was attracted back to BC Hydro to work as a Reliability Specialist for Distribution Planning. Tom is now a Principal Engineer.

Distribution reliability work has focussed on developing reliability and asset management strategies, targets and goals for BC Hydro. Specific items of work include the annual worst performing circuit list (URI), DA Overhead automation recloser program, specialized reliability knowledge for management and board reporting, and many data analysis & reporting tools to help planners turn system outage data into useful decision-making information for planning the distribution system.

Alexander Bakulev

METSCO Energy Solutions Inc.

Chief Executive Officer
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Mr. Bakulev has an extensive utility experience in the areas of asset management, lifecycle optimization, risk profiling and regulatory submissions. Alexander co-authored several publications and research papers for IEEE, CIGRE, and CEATI, and he made numerous presentations at industry conferences, educational courses and workshops. Mr. Bakulev holds a Diploma and Assessor certification in Asset Management. He has a PhD degree in Economics from St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Currently, Alexander is a CEO of METSCO Energy Solutions, a company that provides valuable offerings to utilities in engineering economics.

Fino Tiberi

Alberta Utilities Commission

Executive Director - Market Oversight and Enforcement

Curtis Kirkeby

Avista Utilities

Fellow Electrical Engineer
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Curtis Kirkeby holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering (BSEE) from Montana State University and a Masters in Engineering Management (MSEM) from Washington State University. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Washington and has extensive experience in the electric and gas utility industry; 6 years in substation design; 18 years in GIS, outage management, asset management, advanced metering systems, engineering modeling; and 14 years in applied research and development focused on energy storage, renewable integration, smart grid, and smart cities. Mr. Kirkeby is currently responsible for innovation strategy and applied research and development, focused on technologies and solutions that enhance the grid and deliver increased value to customers.

Operations Conference

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Senior Assistant General Manager Power System Construction, Maintenance and Operations
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Andrew Kendall is LADWP’s Senior Assistant General Manager of Power System – Construction, Maintenance, and Operations. In his role as Senior Assistant General Manager, Mr. Kendall reports directly to the General Manager and the Chief Operating Officer and has oversight of Power Transmission and Distribution, Power Construction and Maintenance, Power Supply Operations, and the Power System Safety and Training Group.