Apr

23-26

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
Jorg Stangl, Director, Distribution Engineering & Standards, 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.

Agenda

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

9:00 AM – 4:00 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 name badges prior to the Welcome Reception, we provide early registration check-in. After 4:45 name badges will be available at the Welcome Reception.
Lanyards sponsored by:

4:30 PM – 5:00 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
Continental Breakfast + Registration

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Operations 2019 Official Welcome to Vancouver

8:15 AM – 9:30 AM
General Session Opening Keynote

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 Management – 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 and 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 – SF6 is Going Away – What?!
Electrification/New Loads – Marijuana Legalization – The Challenges Utilities Face Serving The New Load
Evolving Grid Operations – Driving Grid Innovation Through DER’s

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Lunch

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Wednesday Afternoon General Session

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 – When/If Disaster Happens
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 – Applied Distribution Technology
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?

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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
General Session Day 2 Keynote

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

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 3
Damage Prevention
– Taking Locate Quality to the Next Level
Operational Leadership + Workforce Development – Leadership from Those Like Us & Why You Need It
Safety + Health – Mental Health in the Workplace
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 – Tale of Two Cities: 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

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Lunch

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 – Are You Ready? Emergency/Rescue Preparedness
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 – CYA (Covering Your Assets) with the FBI Perspective
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Management Systems – DIY – KPI’s and Measuring the Value Created by Your PSMS
Electric Transmission – Wildfire Prevention, Suppression & Survival
Electric Distribution – The Integrated Customer
Electric Substation – Avoiding Maintenance Mayhem
Electrification/New Loads – The Future of Transportation Fleet Electrification
Evolving Grid Operations – Forced Innovation – Regulation and Industry Drivers

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Break

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Afternoon General Session

Friday, April 26, 2019

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Day 3 General Session – Operations Emergency Response

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

9:30 AM – 10:00 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

JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
39 Smithe Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 0R3
Phone: (604) 683-7277

Click here to make your reservation now.

Reservation Instructions
Please contact the hotel directly at to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) to receive a special rate of $299 CAD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 29, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full.

Networking

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

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Golf Tournament at BC University Club
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 drive from the JW Parq Marriott.

12:30 PM – 3:00 PM
BC Hydro Downtown Vancouver BC Operations Tour
Come tour BC Hydro’s Downtown Vancouver operations, where BC Hydro provides service to in one of the most dense, diverse cities in the world. Maintaining high levels of service in a community with exploding growth in electric vehicles, a 100% commitment to run on renewable energy, and a complicated grid takes premier service and exceptional teams.

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

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
BC Hydro Powertech Labs Tour
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.

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

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
FortisBC Biogas Operations Industry Tour

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.

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

Vendor Displays

Registration Options
Conference Registration + Vendor Display Member: $1,299 USD
Conference Registration + Premium Vendor Display Member: $1,899 USD
Conference Registration + Vendor Display Regular: $2,249 USD
+ Vendor Display Assistant for $599 USD
+ Guest Pass for $99 USD

Prices increase $200 for all registration options, except the Vendor Display Assistant + Guest Pass, March 29, 2019. Conference Registration + Vendor Display includes one main Vendor Display representative, one (1) skirted Vendor Display Table for Wednesday and Thursday display events, plus comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals.

The Conference Registration + Premium Vendor Display option includes one Vendor Display representative, two premium skirted Vendor Display Tables in one of four corners of the exhibit hall (see vendor display map) for Wednesday and Thursday display events. This ticket also includes comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals.

A Vendor Display Assistant registration is added to a vendor display registration and includes all meals on Wednesday and Thursday, April 25 and 26. The Vendor Display Assistant pass does not provide access to the opening session, nor any General Sessions nor breakout sessions. Participation in any of these events require a full conference registration.

The Guest ticket can be added to a conference registration and allows 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.

Shipping Information
Special shipping instructions will be sent directly to you in advance of the conference. WEI is using a shipping broker to help facilitate the process since the location is in Canada.

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
ABDD-01Booz-01Bridge-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01Landis+Gyr-01Potelco-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

Mosaic

Senior Director Energy & Utilities
Learn More

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

Manager, Distribution System Operations

Matt Mullineaux

Avista Utilities

Manager, Gas Quality Assurance

Dan Austin

Avista Utilities

Electric Meter Shop Manager

Lisa Flynn

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Chief of Staff, Office of the VP, Gas T&D Operations

Aaron Quilici

Southwest Gas Corporation

Operations Supervisor - DMDP

David Rios

El Paso Electric Company

Director-Distribution Construction & Maintenance

TM Sandulak

FortisBC

Manager, Emergency Management & Business Continuity

Mike Barnett

Dominion Energy

Corporate Security

Lucy Sarkisyan

Southern California Gas Company

Technical Advisor

Shae Rowland

Enbridge

Graham Emmerson

Enbridge

Technical Manager, Integrity Programs
Learn More

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

Shiv Kumar

ENMAX Corporation

Director, System Development and Asset Management
Learn More

Shiv Kumar works as the Director of Projects in ENMAX Power Corporation. In his role as a Director, he is responsible for the project delivery of ISO Capital growth, maintenance and customer-driven projects for transmission, distribution and network projects. He has direct oversight of the regulatory approval for facility applications, procurement, engineering support and project management functions related to the Project life cycle.

In his 22 years of industry experience, Shiv has held various positions in Canada and the Middle East relating to engineering, projects, asset management, product application and project specialist roles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is a registered professional engineer in the province of Alberta.

James Kane

Avista Corp.

Operations Manager

Kenton Eatherton

Asplundh Construction, LLC

Regional Manager - Electrical Distribution & Design

Daniel Cadigan

NW Natural

Talent Acquisition Manager

Christine Asaro

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Project Advisor

Brock Armstrong

Southwest Gas Corporation

Administrator of Division Compliance

Duncan Kerr

The Engine Room

Managing Partner

Jesse Pickard

FortisBC

Operations Manager – Support, Gas & Electric Distribution Planning

Javid Khan

Accenture Inc

Senior Manager

Linda Floyd

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Director, Gas Operations Training

Domenic DeLucia

NW Natural

Engineering 1

Brian Taylor

Avista Utilities

Manager of Gas Operations (Medford, Oregon)
Learn More

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

Senior Engineer

Erich Orth

Bonneville Power Administration

Project Manager

Matthew Gordanier

Portland General Electric

Transmission Engineer - Supervisor
Learn More

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

Project Manager
Learn More

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

Ivan Jovanovic

G&W Electric Company

R&D Engineer in Cable Accessories

Zachary Wassenberg

Burns & McDonnell

Augmented TechnologiesTransmission & Distribution Services

Jeff Millar

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Senior Public Safety Specialist
Learn More

Jeff Millar is a Senior Public Safety Specialist with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. In this role, he serves as the PG&E Agency Representative during emergency events, coordinating and integrating PG&E’s response and restoration efforts with the public safety agency response. Jeff has worked in the emergency response field for 39 years and has held positions at the local, state, and federal level. He retired as a Battalion Chief from CAL FIRE in 2011, after 30 years of service and was a member of CAL FIRE’s Incident Management Team 6 for 13 years, having served on the team as a Liaison Officer, Operations Section Chief, and Deputy Incident Commander. During his career with CAL FIRE, Jeff also instructed numerous courses on many different subjects, including fire behavior, incident management, and ICS. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tara Laycock

BC Hydro

Emergency Preparedness Manager

Larry La Bolle

Avista Corp.

Regulatory Strategic Planning Manager

Joe Colett

Portland General Electric

Emerging Technologies Product Manager

Robert Beidler

Snohomish County Sherriff's Office

Rob
Learn More

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.