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 DUAL TRACKS: (1) Operational Leadership, (2) Workforce Development, (3) Safety + Health, (4) Safety Management Systems (SMS), and (5) Asset Management; GAS OPERATIONS TRACKS: (6) Damage Prevention, (7) NG Green Future, (8) NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration, (9) NG D&T Integrity Management, and (10) NG Operational Excellence; and ELECTRIC OPERATIONS TRACKS: (11) Grid Hardening, (12) Electric Distribution, (13) Evolving Grid Operations, (14) Electric Substation, and (15) Electric Transmission. Track breakout sessions are complemented by thought-provoking general sessions with industry leaders and keynote speakers. This conference is a must for any professional in the energy business. Limited sponsorship opportunities are available.
Andrew Kendall, Senior Assistant General Manager Power System Construction, Maintenance and Operations, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
No travel required. All agenda times are in Pacific time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided before the program.
Who Should Attend
Electric and Natural Gas Energy Operations:
• Vice Presidents
• Front line employees
• Control professionals
• Engineering professionals
• Planning personnel
• Substation professionals
• Electric transmission professionals
• Asset Management professionals
• Renewable Gas engineering and policy leaders
• Electric personnel responsible for wildfire mitigation, planning, and response
Member: $249 USD
Regular: $349 USD
Women in Leadership Participant: No cost
Member and regular registration prices increase $100 after April 6, 2021. Registration includes virtual access to all agenda items and digital program materials through the conference app.
The Women in Leadership Participant registration is available to enrollees of the 2021 Women in Leadership – Mentoring + Development Program to register for Operations Conference at no cost. Registration includes virtual access to all agenda items and digital program materials through the conference app.
Cancellation Policy for WEI Member Promotion
The promotional registration rate of $199 per person for 3 or more from the same company is non-refundable, but registrations can be transferred to another person from within the company up to the day before the program begins.
General Cancellation Policy
To best serve WEI members and program participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, WEI will be waiving its standard cancellation policy for this program and all virtual programs through July 2021. Registrants can now receive a full refund should they need to cancel their registration up to the day before the program begins. This applies to both new and existing registrations for virtual programs.
Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public. Recording is not permitted for any portion of the event.
For more information contact Eric Christenson, Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics at (971) 303-2118.
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check
WEI will host a virtual registration and help desk before the conference begins and throughout the day. Stop in for a visit if you have questions about the agenda, want more information on how to use the app, or need assistance accessing GoToWebinar or any of the GoToMeeting breakout rooms.
Event app sponsored by:
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
First-Time Attendee Meetup
We welcome first-time WEI attendees and demonstrate the Conference App and how participants may get the most out of their experience at the 2021 Operations Conference.
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Conference Registration Room Open
WEI will host a virtual registration and help desk before the conference begins and throughout the day. Stop in for a visit if you have questions about the agenda, want more information on how to use the app, or need assistance accessing GoTo Webinar or any of the GoTo Meeting breakout rooms.
8:00 AM – 8:45 AM
8:45 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 1
Operational Leadership – Cultivating from Within: Improving Safety Culture and Performance
NG Operational Excellence – Digital Transformation of Utilities
Grid Hardening – High Tech Hardening: Aligning Fire Risk Mitigation with Grid Operations
Electric Distribution – Everything Outage
10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 2
Safety + Health – Mental Health and Well-Being in Light of New Stressors
Damage Prevention – Digging into the Numbers: The Power of Analytics and Power Reduction
NG Green Future – Implementing Hydrogen: Moving from Theoretical to Operational
Grid Hardening – Innovation and Technology: Managing Risk Using Advanced Technology
Electric Substation – Aging Equipment: Innovative Circuit Breaker Restoration Program
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 3
Operational Leadership – How To Turn Silos Into Bridges With Effective Change Management
NG Operational Excellence – Best Value Contractor Evaluations
Electric Distribution – Evolutions of Aging Infrastructure Programs in Response to New Challenges and Opportunities
1:45 PM – 2:15 PM
2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 4
Safety + Health – Incorporating 3D Simulation into Operational and Safety Practices
Damage Prevention – What Makes an Effective State Damage Prevention Program
NG Green Future – System Impacts of Injecting Lower Btu Gas
Grid Hardening – Get the Most Out of Your Wildfire Mitigation, and Prove It, too!
Electric Substation – Using Technology for Virtual Site Visits
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Conference Registration Room Open
WEI will host a virtual registration and help desk before the conference begins and throughout the day. Stop in for a visit if you have questions about the agenda, want more information on how to use the app, or need assistance accessing GoTo Webinar or any of the GoTo Meeting breakout rooms.
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 5
Operational Leadership – Building Your Leadership Bench Strength, with Insight from the Coach’s Corner
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – What’s Your Knowledge Playbook?
NG D&T Integrity Management – Education vs. Experience: Engineering a New Future for Integrity Management
NG Operational Excellence – Leading with Innovation
Grid Hardening – The Importance of Customer Communication + How To Do It
Electric Distribution – Distribution Engineering Innovations + Paradigms
Electric Transmission – Technological Innovations
10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 6
Workforce Development – Growing and Leading through Change
Safety + Health – When No One Is Looking
Asset Management – Building Blocks to AM Strategies
Damage Prevention – Fostering Good Relationships Between Locators and Excavators
NG Green Future – Power to Gas (P2G) – Case Study
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Edge Intelligence and Automation for Emergency Response
Grid Hardening – Risk-based Asset Management
Evolving Grid Operations – Evolution of the Control Room: ADMS Impacts to Technology and Personnel
Electric Substation – Ground Grid Integrity Testing and Safety Practices
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 7
Operational Leadership – Leading On Purpose: The Power of Intentionality
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – Synergy Between Human Behavior and Safety Management System (SMS)
NG D&T Integrity Management – Common DIMP Problems
NG Operational Excellence – Innovative Approaches to Gas Odorization
Electric Distribution – How Does Your Utility Stack up to Other Utilities When it Comes to COVID Response and What Innovations Came from the New Normal?
Electric Transmission – Designing Resiliency: Best Engineering Practices for the Unexpected
2:15 PM – 2:45 PM
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 8
Workforce Development – Beyond COVID-19 – Transitioning to the New Normal
Safety + Health – Clearing the Air
Asset Management – AM Data – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!
Damage Prevention – Bridging the Gap: In Depth Look at Damage Prevention from Excavators Perspective
NG Green Future – RNG Sleight of Hand – Lessons Learned Operating an RNG Interconnect Facility
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Staying Safe Amidst Chaos
Grid Hardening – Portfolio + Program Management: Successfully Herding Cats
Evolving Grid Operations – Artificial Intelligence in Utility Operations – Here Today and into the Future
Electric Substation – Safety by Design – Substation Entry for Non-qualified Workers
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Conference Registration Room Open
WEI will host a virtual registration and help desk before the conference begins and throughout the day. Stop in for a visit if you have questions about the agenda, want more information on how to use the app, or need assistance accessing GoTo Webinar or any of the GoTo Meeting breakout rooms.
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 9
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – Assessing the Status and Health of Your Safety Management System
NG D&T Integrity Management – What a Difference a Decade Makes
Electric Transmission – Recent Transmission Projects: Conquering Urban Design + Construction Constraints
10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 10
Workforce Development – Gamification and Augmented Reality – How Technology is Changing the Way We Train
Asset Management – Building the AM-Centric Culture
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Great Balls of Fire!
Evolving Grid Operations – Microgrids: Grid Operation Impacts Both Now and in the Future
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 11
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – Integration of SMS with Current Business Processes
NG D&T Integrity Management – The Mega Rule, Our Story so Far
Electric Transmission – Old Equipment – New Needs
1:45 PM – 2:15 PM
2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session 12
Workforce Development – Knowledge Delivery/Transfer + Management
Asset Management – Asset Management is Easy – When You Know Your Risks
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Superheroes Drive Gas Trucks
Evolving Grid Operations – Effective from Afar: Overcoming Challenges to People, Processes, and Technology Involved in Keeping the Lights on in the New Normal
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Conference Close + Celebration
The Operations Leadership track will focus on how we can continue to improve by investing in our people. Session topics will include developing our bench strength from within the organization, practices that support our work through safety leadership, and using change management to cross silos and get buy-in. We will explore ways to lead through both industry disruption and daily challenges by tapping into our greatest asset, our people.
With the solid presence of three generations in the workforce today, it is more important now than ever to step up your game in developing your workforce. The Workforce Development track is a combination track that speaks to all audiences, both gas and electric. This track will dive into an array of topics such as Growing and Leading Through Change, looking Beyond COVID – Transitioning to the New Normal, exploring how New Technology is Changing the Way We Train, as well as a session that offers some insights into Knowledge Delivery, and Transfer and Management.
Safety + Health
Safety + Health is the track for everyone! Whether you work with electricity or gas, in the field or in the office, safety and health are of paramount importance to our industry. Our topics and presenters offer something for everyone.
Safety Management Systems (SMS)
Effective Safety Management Systems (SMS) are people-oriented, integrated with work processes, and assessed periodically to ensure continued improvement and progress towards system maturity. Join us to discuss real-world examples on knowledge management, use of SMS to drive a safety culture, how SMS can be integrated into work processes to accelerate adoption and the need to conduct ongoing assessments to ensure your SMS is effective and continually improved.
The US federal government defines asset management as “the practice of managing infrastructure capital assets to minimize the total cost of owning and operating these assets while delivering the desired service levels.”
For most organizations asset management is simply driven by a cost-benefit analysis. But for gas and electric utilities, the service levels we strive for are 100% reliability and zero tolerance for safety incidents involving employees, contractors, or members of the public. These constraints have led to an entire new profession of Utility Asset Manager – they understand utility operations, the people who do the work, codes and standards, and a commitment to customers.
The WEI Operations Conference Asset Management Track has led this new profession for nearly a decade, bringing together key influencers and employees who do the work for yearlong conversations leading up to the annual WEI Operations Conference. Join this track in 2021 to learn about Asset Management strategies, decision making and new definitions of risk, as we will discussions of world class best practices through presentations and roundtable discussions.
This track will explore best practices in reducing excavation damage to underground utility infrastructure utilizing risk analytic software and strategies that create an effective state damage prevention program. It will also look at how to foster good relationships between utilities and excavators and bridge communication gaps to reduce damages.
NG Green Future
Natural Gas Green Future will delve into how natural gas is key to our environmentally focused future. Session topics cover new industry focuses such as how to incorporate new pipeline fuels such as Renewable Natural Gas and Renewable Hydrogen in your pipeline system. Come join us as we explore the exciting future of our natural gas industry.
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration
Emergency response and restoration is of vital importance for any natural gas company. Learn how the industry handled some of the unique challenges of 2020 including wildfire response and civil unrest. Industry experts will also share some of the latest tools for Emergency Operations and Emergency Response.
NG D&T Integrity Management
This year’s Natural Gas Distribution & Transmission Integrity Management track will share lessons learned from operators on the Mega Rule, from multiple parties specific to material traceability, discuss current DIMP issues and how utilities are addressing them and strategies for retaining a developed workforce to reduce the potential integrity management risk associated with knowledge transfer.
NG Operational Excellence
This year’s Natural Gas Operational Excellence track focuses on technology, the latest innovations and trends to enhance gas delivery, quality assurance and safety.
WEI’s Members see Grid Hardening as the new area for infrastructure improvements, upgrades to communications, and service to customers. Wildfires are not the only risk to the grid. The WEI Grid Hardening Track will address a variety of risks to the grid plus tools and solutions in what has become the largest Track in the history of the Operations Conference.
With twenty-five Members supporting the development of the 2021 Grid Hardening agenda, nearly 40 guest expert speakers, electric utility professionals involved in assessing and managing wildfire risk and other major events will find these six sessions impossible to miss.
Electric utility professionals meet to discuss current standards, materials and maintenance for distribution operations. Agendas include roundtable discussion so that each attendee has an opportunity to submit questions and receive feedback from their peers. Presentations focus on new technologies, applications, and specifications available for designing, building and maintaining overhead and underground lines. Attendees leave with the practical knowledge to improve efficiency, safety and reduce costs.
Evolving Grid Operations
Are you looking for ways to aid in evolving the grid and landscape of the operating room? Whether it is through leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and Energy loT platforms to reshape operational solutions, overcoming the hurdles that come with customer-owned microgrids, or how to do all this from afar, you will walk away with some great information. Join us as we tackle these issues and learn from each other during roundtable discussions.
This track focuses on sharing experiences, solutions and current best practices in substation workforce development, new technology and its implementation, aging infrastructure, and changing security concerns.
This track focuses on sharing experiences, innovative solutions, and current best practices in meeting various challenges in the Transmission Sector. Sessions will cover workforce development, new technology and its implementation, aging infrastructure, wildfire prevention, changing security concerns, and compliance with safety and security regulations.
Adam Norris, CRSP (Canadian Registered Safety Professional) is a Senior Safety Advisor with BC Hydro. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering and a master’s degree in Occupational Hygiene. In his eight years with BC Hydro, Adam has worked on safety program and management system development, with a focus on practical solutions to effectively manage risk. Currently, Adam is working with a talented group of professionals in a leadership capacity to maintain and continuously improve BC Hydro’s safety management system.
Anthony D. Palizzi is a dynamic and results-focused leader with over 28 years of progressive experience in business development, sales, revenues, and profits. Anthony is currently responsible for Fugro’s Power practice in the Americas. He has held several executive positions with leading geospatial, software, technology, and consulting firms. He has extensive experience and knowledge base delivering asset management, land management, mobile, and GIS custom solutions, to multiple markets including: Power, Commercial, Governments, Natural Resources, and Public Sector. Mr. Palizzi serves on the Board of Directors of several organizations, is actively involved in numerous volunteer organizations and is a member of several technology and industry associations. He received a Master of Management / Organization Development from Regis University and a Bachelors of Science in Geology / Land use from Metropolitan State University.
Antony Joseph Alapatt is a Senior Electrical Engineer with Burns and McDonnell in the Public Utility industry group specializing in Electric Substation design. His specializations include grounding, arc-flash studies, and insulation coordination. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and two young boys; enjoys psychology and anything outdoors for a pastime.
Albert Calderon is a Project Manager working for San Diego Gas & Electric. Albert started his career as a intern in SDG&Es gas distribution department as a Gas Distribution Engineer. Albert has spent the last 9 years working in varying roles with increasing responsibilities within the Company. Albert currently works in SDG&E’s Construction organization, where he manages multiple pipeline replacement projects ranging from 1 to 5 miles in length. Albert Calderon graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2013, with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. He is a registered professional Engineer in the State of California.
Alan Dulgeroff is the Director of Electric System Planning for San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). In over twenty years at SDG&E, he has served in leadership and technical positions in strategy and finance, HR, IT, and nine areas of electric and gas transmission and distribution engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance. Mr. Dulgeroff is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with minor in Computer Science, and continues to give back to the profession and education through mentoring and service on several boards. He was honored with the SDSU Alumni Award of Distinction, San Diego County Engineering Council Outstanding Leadership in Engineering Outreach award, and as a Sempra Energy Diversity Innovation finalist. Mr. Dulgeroff is licensed in California as a Professional Engineer in Electrical Engineering.
Andrew Johnson, P.E. is HDR’s Oil, Gas, and Chemicals (OG&C) Practice Lead where he is responsible for leading HDR’s OG&C team throughout North America. At this time, Andrew and his team of nearly one-hundred and twenty (120) are providing professional services on several projects to OG&C operators across North America. With more than 17 years of industry experience, which includes more than 4 years working in abroad in South America, Africa, and the Middle East, Andrew has been involved with all facets of a project lifecycle. Andrew has a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering from South Dakota State University. Andrew joined HDR in 2015. While at HDR, Andrew has become very active in the Western Energy Institute (WEI) as well as the American Gas Association (AGA) and Southern Gas Association (SGA). When not at work, Andrew can be found running, biking, or playing golf with his three young children.
Angie Schuler (she/her) is a technical leader passionate about empowering others. She graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and began her career at S&C Electric Company, where she is still today. Her background is in Distribution Automation and helping utilities improve their distribution system reliability. Currently she is the Vice President – Power Systems Solutions at S&C. In this role Angie is responsible for the global services team that helps customers apply and use S&C’s products around the world.
Anita Tang has worked for Southwest Gas for 15 years in both Arizona and southern Nevada. She is currently the Engineering Staff Supervisor and is responsible for the development of an engineering training program for Southwest Gas. Anita holds a Civil Engineering degree from Arizona State University. Additionally, Anita obtained an Exercise Physiology degree from the University of Arizona
Andrew has nearly 20 years of utility design and construction experience in various program and project management leadership positions. In his current role as Engineering Program Manager for Charge, he supports a diverse team of highly skilled engineers, drafters and designers who focus on providing best in class engineering services to the utilities sector and its customers. Andrew is engaged in multiple company-wide initiatives, including business development and continuous process improvement for operational efficiency and increased productivity.
Mr. Ulanday is a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Illinois, has a BS in Thermomechanical Engineering and Energy Conversion, and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds a MBA in Finance with a Minor in Operations Management from the University of Chicago. He is a main body member of the ANSI ASC Z380 Gas Piping and Technology Committee.
Mr. Ulanday is currently a Sr. Project Manager at EN Engineering, overseeing a variety of projects providing consulting services that support the firm’s gas and oil pipeline and gas utility clients. These projects include DIM and TIM Plans and Program Management Support, ECDA, ICDA, Engineering/Operations Regulatory Audits and Pipeline Safety Regulatory Compliance, Procedures and Standards Development, and Engineering/Operations Training. He applies over 30 years’ experience on gas utility engineering and standards, code compliance, and operations to his current EN Engineering consulting role.
He enjoys travel and the outdoors, especially with family.
Brian D’Agostino is the Director of Fire Science & Climate Adaptation for SDG&E. As director, D’Agostino is responsible for meteorology, fire science, and climate adaptation initiatives. D’Agostino joined SDG&E in 2009 and oversaw the development of SDG&E’s weather network, one of the nation’s largest and most sophisticated privately-owned weather networks. D’Agostino is the former chair of the American Meteorological Society’s Energy Committee and is a founding member of the AMS Committee on Wildfire Weather, Technology and Risk. D’Agostino also sits on several advisory committees specializing in climate adaptation and fire science. D’Agostino is a graduate of Plymouth State University with a bachelor of science in meteorology.
Blake Darling became the Director of Operations at Aquawolf in October 2019. Blake was formerly the PMO Director at nationwide AEC firm where he was developing a new project management office for the Power Delivery Division. Prior to his assignment as the PMO Director, Blake served as the Manager of Natural Gas Engineering and, subsequently, Director of Gas Operations at the firm from 2016 through 2019. From early 2007 through 2016, Blake was an engineer at San Diego Gas and Electric, serving as a natural gas pipeline engineer for seven years and as an engineering team lead for Electric Transmission Engineering and Design until leaving the utility in 2016. Blake has a broad diversity of experience in utility planning, engineering, design and construction and has a passion for organizational development and leveraging technology to make a workforce more efficient, engaged, and creative. Blake holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from San Diego State University and holds a professional engineer license in the state of California, as well as a Project Management Professional certification.
Bernhard Spalteholz is a Specialist Engineer with BC Hydro in Victoria, BC. He has been with BC Hydro since 2002, and in the Work Methods group since 2003. As part of this group, Bernhard has been developing tools and procedures for both grounded and energized work on the distribution and transmission system. Bernhard has experience in a wide variety of work including live line tool and barehand procedures, energized maintenance methods using helicopters, and the development of custom tools for specific applications that are not available in the industry.
Ben Kohner is a Project Manager working on SMS implementation and strategy for Southern California Gas Company. Ben is leveraging influencing skills developed in sales as well as his passion for technology to improve SMS engagement and controls. Prior to this role, Ben worked as an Account Manager as well as Field Engineer within the energy sector. Ben graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and is currently an MBA candidate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Brandon Young is BC Hydro’s digital communications manager. He is responsible for developing and integrating the organization’s digital strategy. He is also responsible for managing customer communications online and in email, as well as BC Hydro’s social media channels. Over the past few years, BC Hydro has focused on enhancing the customer experience during outages, specifically during large, high impact storms. To do this, the team has focused on integration between operations and customer channels”.
Brent Hunziker, Vice President of Operations – Natural Gas, is in his 24th year with Whitaker Construction Company based in Brigham City, Utah. Brent attended Weber State University specializing in Construction Management Technologies. Brent is the former President of the Intermountain Utility Contractors Association and former board member for Associated Builders and Contractors of Utah. Brett has performed a wide array of roles in underground utility construction within Whitaker, from a crew laborer, to improving the excavation policies and procedures, and helping create legislative changes to Blue Stake laws in Utah. Brent currently makes his home in Perry, Utah.
Bret Marchese (Mar-kees) is the Director of Distribution Maintenance for the 3rd largest public power company in the U.S. He has been at Salt River Project or SRP, which is in Tempe, Arizona, for more than 22 years. Bret’s involvement in the utility is diverse with experience in Operations, Underground Fault Locating, New Business Design & Construction, Transmission Maintenance and Business Technology. His current role as the Director Distribution Maintenance, is responsible to keep the lights on for SRP’s 1M+ customers. His responsibilities in this role include the engineering, inspection, design and line maintenance teams, as well as vegetation management.
Brian Taylor has 25 years of experience in the utility business and currently works as the Manager of Gas Operations (Medford, Oregon) for Avista Utilities. He started his career in the natural gas industry working for his grandfather in the family owned distribution and maintenance contractor business before he took an entry level position with Avista Utilities. Brian has worked in many craft positions including, Crewman, Journeyman Main fitter, Crew Foreman and Measurement Control Technician before he moved into a formal leadership role in 2006. Brian attended Liberty University and currently serves in a variety of leadership roles within his community. Brian has a wonderful wife Mary Jane and four boys, Benny, Colby, Easton and Hayden.
Lane has over 30 years of experience and progressive responsibilities in pipeline safety. This experience includes regulatory auditing for compliance, evaluation of programs and procedures, guidance, consulting and training of the pipeline safety regulations. His recent experience with TRC is providing support to pipeline companies in pipeline regulatory matters.
Brian Doubinin is the CEO and co-founder of 3DInternet. 3DInternet is a leading supplier and world leader in 3D technology development, 3D simulations and interactive courseware to the energy sector world-wide. With over three decades of technology experience, 3DInternet developed an innovative 3D web based interoperable architecture that can be deployed on LMS servers, mobile devices and standalone computers which employs advanced gaming platforms and cinema grade animation technology for realistic commercial and industrial applications. 3DInternet specializes in 3D interactive safety simulations, virtual reality, app development, infrastructure visualization projects, electrical, gas and oil courseware development. Most large Electrical Utilities in North America and many of the largest Oil & Gas Companies world-wide have utilized our products and services. Some of our high-profile projects include simulations for nuclear & power plants, oil refineries, operator training in control rooms, PLC and motor control, substations, tabletop virtual reality scene builders and, multi-user emergency response involving military and first responders.
Brian is a Construction and Maintenance Superintendent for Clark Public Utilities. He started his career in the utility industry nearly 20 years ago, and has six years to date of oversight and managerial experience from both, public utility and private contractor, sectors of the industry. In his current role, Brian oversees line construction in the Vancouver Area which includes operational oversight of transmission and distribution line maintenance, utilizing internal and external line crews, civil crews, system inspections, cable testing and curing, new construction, agency, and capital projects. He is a journeyman lineman with a degree in business management. Additionally, he holds an Electrical Administrator’s License as well as a FAA Part 107 License.
Dr. Landry is a Senior Advisor on the Enterprise Risk Management team at Southern California Edison. He has a Ph.D. in Geography with a specialty in energy infrastructure; a M.Sc. in Geography in economic geography and locational modeling; and a B.A. in Economics, with a minor in History. His primary focus areas revolve around modeling environmental risks, most notably wildfire and climate change.
Bryan has been with ELM Utility Services since April of 2002. While attending Boise State University, he was hired on as a locate technician. He continued his advancement within ELM by overseeing operations in Colorado, Montana, Nevada and Idaho before accepting his current position as Vice President of Operations. He is an active participant in various utility coordinating councils in multiple states throughout ELM’s footprint, bringing awareness and education to the community. Bryan enjoys spending time participating in various outdoor activities with his family and expanding his culinary skills by creating and developing recipes to prepare for his wife, friends and family.
Brian J. Trager is a member of the IEEE. He received his B.S. and M. Eng. degrees in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York in 1979 and 1980, respectively, and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1986. Mr. Trager has held various positions in Engineering, Consulting and Management at American Electric Power Company, Cooper Power Systems and Fisher-Pierce, and most recently at Hendrix Wire and Cable, where he is currently employed as Director, Technology & International. He has taught Electric Power Engineering at Ohio State University, West Virginia University, and Pennsylvania State University, in addition to teaching courses to utility clients, and has authored over 50 technical papers and articles for the IEEE and other national and international organizations. With regards to electric power line specification, design, construction and management, Mr. Trager has worked on projects funded by international aid organizations (USAID, ADB, JBIC, and others) to meet growing demand worldwide through the expansion of electric power infrastructure. He has brought to fruition numerous high-reliability power distribution projects in various sites on seven continents over a period spanning over 40 years, and for the past 26 years solely dedicated to Aerial Covered Conductor Systems.
Byron Bader has been the Senior Regulatory Advisor, Analytics and Data Science at FortisAlberta since August 2017. Prior to FortisAlberta, Byron worked in various senior analytical roles within the telecommunications, business consulting and post-secondary industries. In his current role, he is responsible for predictive modelling development and execution, forecasting and dashboard development within FortisAlberta’s asset management division. Byron graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Master’s of Management Science in 2009 and a Bachelor of Arts in 2007. When not working, Byron can usually be found on the backyard rink with his wife and three boys or analyzing hockey stats.
Chris Arends is the Meteorology Program Manager for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities. As the Meteorology Program Manager, Arends has full managerial and technical responsibility for the provision of weather products and forecasts that enable situational awareness and address impacts to operations. Prior to joining San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Arends was a US Navy operational meteorology and oceanography officer experienced in providing strategic and tactical forecasting services and risk reduction products to ensure well-informed operational decisions. During a 24-year career that included two wartime deployments, Arends forecasted operational impacts to carrier aviation operations, marine amphibious landings, Navy SEAL operations, and voyage management. Arends holds bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Cornell University, a master’s degree in meteorology and physical oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an MBA in international business from Georgetown University.
Carol Johnston has over 20 years of product management and marketing experience working in the mobile workforce management and other related technology industries for utility vendors such as ABB Software and Itron. She is a member of the advisory and planning committees for DistribuTECH International and Western Energy Institute, and is a track chair for SAP for Utilities.
Christina Hallows is a native Arizonan. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business with a Minor in Business Communication from Western International University. She is a Sr. Public Involvement Representative for the Salt River Project, and has been there for 17 years. She is married to another SRP employee, Terence; together they have three children, Gavin, Kyle, and Alaina. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her family in their RV and watching documentaries.
Chris Stinski is the Section Supervisor of Distribution Maintenance for the 3rd largest public power company in the U.S. He has been at Salt River Project or SRP, which is in Tempe, Arizona, for more than 12 years. Chris’s experience in the utility industry is diverse. He started his career as an apprentice where he worked in New Business, Distribution Improvements, Transmission Maintenance, and Reactive Maintenance. As a Journeyman Lineman, Chris worked in Reactive Maintenance and Pole replacement program. He then progressed to Working Foreman in Pole Replacement and Reactive Maintenance. During this time, Chris was on various committees and became Chairman of the Divisional Safety Committee. Currently working as Section Supervisor in Reactive Maintenance, Chris is responsible for keeping over one million SRP customers in power. His responsibilities include organizing crews to work emergency callouts while maintaining safe and effective work and procedures while maintaining and repairing overhead and underground equipment to keep the power system running smoothly.
Craig Kreinest is the Team Lead for Electric System Hardening Engineering and Design at SDG&E. He began his career as an electric distribution engineer for South Carolina Electric and Gas and worked his way up to Electric Distribution Crew Quarter Manager. Following a move to San Diego, he worked as a consultant on SDG&E’s Fire Risk Mitigation program before joining SDG&E in the Electric System Hardening department. Craig started on the Distribution Strategy team. The focus for this group was on scoping projects using a combination of data driven models, real-world conditions, operational knowledge, etc. in order to best reduce fire risk in SDG&E’s backcountry. In his current role he ensures that the scope from Distribution Strategy is executed using consistent engineering and design methodology along with robust QA/QC. Craig holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University and a PE in California.
Denise has been with SCG for 10 years. She has held a few roles beginning In 2011 where she started as a CSR in Redlands. In 2016 she moved into Claims as a Project Specialist to help during the Aliso Canyon leak. In 2017 she moved into Gas Scheduling as an Analyst transporting natural gas into the SoCal Gas transmission system, and most recently in January of 2020 she moved into Emergency Management. During her time here in EM she managed the restructuring of EM’s training handbooks – EOD Binder/Resource Guide – expected to begin training all departments to these guides this year. She managed the restructuring of Noggin’s Situation Management Platform – expected to begin training applicable departments this year. She also manages the Executive On-Call Schedule for the year and weekly assigned On-Call responsibilities where she has managed multiple incidents such as the Covid-19 pandemic, planned demonstrations, hit high pressure mains, hit transmission lines, wildfires, water-in-the-main, earthquakes and mutual assistance.
Dana Kaul has been in gas planning roles with Puget Sound Energy for 15 years. The 10 years prior to PSE, he was a commercial and industrial consulting engineering with most of the larger companies in western Washington (including PSE) for 10 years. He has also held roles as manufacturing engineer, process engineer, aerospace and composites/materials engineer.
Daniel Honeyfield joined Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in August 2015 as a Principal Electrical Engineer. In January 2017, he was promoted into his current role as the Engineering Manager of Transmission & Distribution Maintenance Planning where he oversees the development of yearly Operation & Maintenance (O&M) and Capital plans for all SMUD-owned substations and transmission & distribution lines that ensure SMUD’s compliance with Federal & State regulations. With over 16 years in the utility industry, Daniel’s experience combines both private business and non-profit organizations. Prior to joining SMUD, Daniel worked for the City of Riverside Public Utilities from 2007 – 2015 with increasing responsibilities. His last role there was utilities senior electric engineer where he supervised professional and technical personnel in their Electric System Planning Department. His previous employment also includes engineering roles at Jacobs Engineering from 2006 – 2007 and Verizon from 2004 – 2006. Daniel received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and his MBA, with emphasis in Technology Management, from the University of Phoenix. He also holds a PE license with the state of California.
Danny has been with ATCO for 14 years, including regulated and non-regulated businesses. For much of his career he has managed Supply Chain, and now manage 5 teams within ATCO’s Natural Gas Business. Contractual engagements, contractor relations, and cross-functional project strategies are still a major component of his current role.
Danny leads the business development efforts at Locusview focusing on expanding digital as-builting to the electric utility market. He has 20 years of experience in the utility IT space having worked with Miner & Miner, Telvent and Schneider Electric and has vast knowledge of the Graphic Work Design>As-Built>GIS>ADMS workflows at utilities throughout the world.
Danny is the Vice President of Business Development at Locusview and leads the efforts on digital as-building for the electric utility market. He has 20 years of experience in the utility IT space having worked with Miner & Miner, Telvent and Schneider Electric and has vast knowledge of the Graphic Work Design>As-Built>GIS>ADMS workflows at utilities throughout the world.
Daqing Hou received BSEE and MSEE degrees at the Northeast University, China, in 1981 and 1984, respectively. He received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Washington State University in 1991. Since 1990, he has been with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc., where he has held numerous positions, including development engineer, application engineer, research and development manager, principal research engineer, technical director for East Asia, and interim SEL China manager. He is currently a fellow engineer. His work includes power system modeling, simulation, signal processing, and advanced protection algorithm design. Daqing holds multiple patents and has authored or coauthored many technical papers. He is a senior member of IEEE.
With over 20 years of engineering and project management experience, Ms. Byrne-Kelly is the Distribution Operation Control (DOC) Manager at Northwestern Energy (NWE). 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, moved to manage the operations at Butte Division where she oversaw the electric and natural gas systems within the Division and recently became the DOC Manager where she manages the dispatchers and controllers for Montana and South Dakota. Her role is to lead in the development of the DOC team and oversee processes and procedures necessary for directing and controlling the operations for all of the electric and gas distribution systems in Montana and South Dakota. 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 and background distribution operations. 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.
Mr Murtaugh received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada in Electrical Engineering in December 2002, and obtained licensure as a Professional Engineer in the State of Oregon in December 2007. Mr Murtaugh has nearly 19 years of experience in the utility industry having begun his career in Transmission Operations at Sierra Pacific Power Company in Reno, Nevada, before moving to Portland General Electric where he worked as a Transmission Planner, Distribution Planner, and T&D Project Manager. Mr Murtaugh also has 7 years of experience managing T&D Planning for PGE and is currently the manager of PGE’s Grid Edge Solutions team which has the responsibility for delivering the company’s Energy Storage and Resiliency strategies
David James is in his 29th at Avista Utilities, Spokane WA. He has held various positions within T&D Engineering and Operations and is currently developing Avista’s Wildfire Resiliency Program. He has engineering degrees from University of Idaho (BSEE, `89) and Washington State University (MSEE, `91). He was instrumental in the development of Gonzaga’s Transmission & Distribution engineering program and remains involved at Gonzaga University.
Darren is an engineering professional with over a decade of experience working in distribution systems. His experience in the water industry covered the full spectrum of a pipe’s lifespan across planning, engineering, construction, and maintenance. He joined the gas industry three years ago and found a home in DIMP. Outside of work, he enjoys home improvement projects and invasive species management.
Duffy is a professional land surveyor who has 27 years of combined experience with land surveying and information technology. A senior associate with David Evans and Associates, Inc., Duffy serves as the regional survey manager for the Mountain West Region and the firmwide Business Development Strategy Leader for the Surveying and Geomatics team. Through his in-depth knowledge and understand of surveying and technology, he can provide the most complete and efficient solution by combining the use of conventional and technological applications such as mobile laser scanning, static scanning, sUAS surveys, bathymetric surveys, and GPS surveys
Dennis Bott, Administrator/Damage Prevention, Southwest Gas. Dennis started in the Damage Prevention industry in 2000, working as a utility line locator. Later he was promoted into management and worked his way into the Nevada / California State Director position for ELM until 2015. Dennis moved on to work for the City of Mesa in Arizona, overseeing the city’s locating program. A short year later, in 2016, Dennis was selected by Southwest Gas to fill the first Damage Prevention Administrator position within the company. Dennis joined as a Board Member with the Nevada Regional Common Ground Alliance in 2016. In 2020 Dennis accepted the Chair nomination for the NRCGA Board of Directors.
Desiree Gajonera is the Supervisor of Electrical and Controls Engineering at Enbridge Gas Inc. She worked as a research associate focusing on cellulosic biofuels before joining the natural gas industry in 2012 where she held various roles in operations, project planning, and engineering. We are excited to learn about Enbridge’s project to blend hydrogen produced from North America’s first utility-scale power-to-gas facility into their existing natural gas distribution system. Desiree lives in Toronto and in her spare time, she enjoys travelling, hiking, and cycling.
Mr. Jarnecke has been involved in the Gas Industry for over 20 years. His experiences have spanned various aspects of the natural gas industry; from distribution to transmission. Currently, he is the Director of R&D for GTI’s Energy Delivery business unit. Responsibilities include directing the technical teams and formulating, developing, and managing research and development programs to meet organizational needs for the improvement, cost reduction, and safety improvements. He also leads various consulting engagements with utility companies focusing on compliance, risk mitigation, and best practices. Prior to GTI, Dennis held technical and managerial roles at Nicor Gas (a Southern Company) with responsibilities for design, construction, engineering, and developing both regulated and unregulated business opportunities.
Darin Johnson is the President and director of the asset management practice at BIS Consulting, LLC. His experience includes risk analysis, business cases, and life-cycle cost analysis for electric T&D and generation, water/wastewater, and transit facilities. One area of focus is decision-support methods for evaluating mitigation options of big risks, such as seismic and wildfire.
Dan Nunez has been with Bonneville Power Administration since 2009 . He started as a transmission line designer working both lattice and wood design. In 2015 Dan moved into asset management risk and strategy to develop a methodology to prioritize BPA’s transmission investment decisions both maintenance and capital. Since then he has been implementing risk based planning into all parts of the Transmission business utilizing Institute of Asset Management (IAM) and International Standards Organization (ISO) as the guiding frameworks for quantifying risk with data to inform processes, contracts and investment actions. Dan graduated from California Polytechnic with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with certificates of IAM, PMP and EIT.
Don is the Engineering Supervisor for Gas System Integrity – Maintenance Planning at Puget Sound Energy. He is a Civil Engineer from the University of Washington and a licensed PE in the State of Washington. Since joining PSE in 2002, he spent the majority of his career in the engineering department designing regulator stations and high pressure mains and conducting MAOP records research. For the last seven years, he has been in an integrity management role developing new programs and risk reduction strategies and serving as an overall subject matter expert for DIMP and TIMP.
Duane Stott has been working in the natural gas industry for over 35 years, starting as a crew assistant for NPL, working on Southwest Gas’s distribution system in Phoenix. Progressing through roles of increasing responsibility, Duane built operational and leadership experience in a variety of settings, including Northern Arizona, Oklahoma, Las Vegas, Northern California, and Southern California. He is currently Vice President of Operations for NPL’s California area with oversight of services supporting SoCal Gas. NPL Construction Co. is a natural gas infrastructure services contractor with over 6,000 employees operating in 35 states across the U.S. With over 50 years of experience, NPL’s Think Ahead philosophy and unwavering commitments to safety, quality, and employees has earned a reputation as an industry leader. NPL is the largest subsidiary of Centuri Group, Inc., a comprehensive utility infrastructure services enterprise dedicated to delivering a diverse array of solutions to North America’s gas and electric providers.
Edmond Binuya is an Asset Information Lead at San Diego Gas & Electric responsible for coordinating the activities of the Data Governance and Records Management team to assess, integrate, and govern asset information for the purposes of advancing San Diego Gas & Electric’s Asset Management System. He has been with San Diego Gas & Electric for 11 years, spending the earlier part of his career managing and developing Energy Efficiency programs. Prior to his current role, Edmond was responsible for developing an ISO 55001 implementation work plan and measuring progress towards adherence to the standard.
Ed has over 26 years’ experience with BC Hydro. He began his career as a Power Line Technician in 1994. After a decade on the front lines, Ed joined management. Over the past 15 years he has managed various Line crews and Distribution teams in the Lower Mainland. He also has spent 4 of those years in the Training Department overseeing the development and training needs for the PLT community in the province. Ed has recently spent time with the Construction Services group and is currently working closely with the Power Cable Technician team overseeing the installation and maintenance of the Underground Cable network in the province. Ed has a BA from Simon Fraser University (1993) and is a Red Seal qualified Power Line Technician in the province of British Columbia (1997). Ed has 3 teenage boys which keeps him busy when not at work
Edward Thurman is a System Modeling Engineer at NW Natural. Edward has worked in the gas utility space for 7 years. Edward specializes in hydraulic modeling LDC gas networks and has held roles in system design and gas supply. When not at work, Edward enjoys water activities such as sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling. We are looking forward to hearing how NW Natural’s addresses varying BTU contents on their gas system.
Eamonn is a Senior Engineer in Asset Maintenance and Construction Standards for Emma Power Corporation in the city of Calgary. An engineer with over 10 years experience, he has worked in Emma over 3 years having previously worked in consultancy and construction service companies serving Oil & Gas and Commercial construction sectors. In his current role, Eamonn develops and maintains construction standards utilized by Emma construction personnel and its contractors, as well as investigate any infrastructure related hazards in the downtown network and underground distribution. He is a Professional Engineer licensed in the Province of Alberta and has a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University College Cork.
Eric Putnam is a Senior Electrical Engineer with Burns & McDonnell focused on power generation and distribution for mission critical facilities including hospitals, data centers, and DOD facilities. His projects have included microgrids utilizing both renewable and fossil-fueled generators combined with energy storage and advanced load management. He has also helped to develop solutions for large scale transit and over-the-road trucking fleets transitioning to electrical vehicles. Eric has twenty-seven years’ experience as a consulting electrical engineer and is a licensed engineer in the State of Missouri.
Eric has been in the safety field dating back to early 2015 when he started his career in the Shoring and Trench Safety industry. For 4 years Eric was a local market leader in shoring equipment sales and competent person training services during his time at Cascade Shoring. In mid-2018 Eric made the jump from the sales/service side of the industry over to the contractor realm and took over as the Safety Director for Moore Excavation, Inc. located just outside of Portland, Oregon. Moore Excavation (MEI Group) is one of the largest heavy civil excavation companies in the Portland Metro area. In 2020 alone Moore Excavation completed nearly $65 Million in work executing nearly 250 utility locate tickets. Along with his duties as the Safety Director at MEI, Eric also is a board member for the Northwest Utility Contractors Association (NWUCA) and is the chair of their Safety Advisory Group.
Eric has 38 years of experience in the Civil Construction Industry. Eric has worked on multiple major highway/roadway expansion/rehab projects where he has worked facility owners and managers to ensure protection of their existing facilities while his crews facilitate their work. Eric is currently employed at L2 Excavation. L2 is an AGC Specialty Contractor – Underground Utilities. Eric is an active member in both the Ada County and Canyon County UCC’s. Eric is a member of the Damage Prevention Boards Rules Subcommittee that is currently working on revised language to our current standards/legislation and assisting to draft new legislation with regard to Damage Prevention. Outside of work Eric enjoys spending time with his family and his grandchildren.
Erin Scarcliff is the Project Manger of Gas Leak Survey Programs for Xcel Energy. Based in Denver, she oversees regulatory required inspections of the distribution natural gas system throughout the state of Colorado. Over the past 10 years, Erin has held positions in Technical Training, Compliance Program Management and Quality Assurance/Quality Control. She also held a team lead role on the asset management and data conversion team during Xcel Energy’s migration to SAP for Work and Asset Management (WAM). Throughout her career, asset and records management have been at the core of her responsibilities.
Franco Massari has 25 years of experience in natural gas pipeline construction. During this time, he and has been involved with project coordination between Gas Utilities and Major Highway Expansions in Idaho and served as President of the Idaho Utility Coordinating Council from 2008 to 2012. Franco is currently employed with Das-Co of Idaho Utility Contractors as Vice President of Natural Gas Operations. He has been happily married to Nicole for 28 yrs. and together have raised two successful daughters.
Gabe Cabatic is the Manager of Quality and Qualifications at NW Natural where he oversees Field Operations Quality Assurance, Weld Inspection, Operator Qualifications, and the NW Natural Field Operations Manual. With over 18 years with NW Natural he’s spent the last 8 in his current position. Gabe has also worked in Technical Training and Customer Field Services.
Gary Cheng is a senior advisor in Southern California Edison’s Enterprise Risk Management department. Over the past couple of years, Gary has played an integral role in developing Wildfire risk analysis and Risk Spend Efficiency (RSE) for mitigations. In addition, Gary has integrated these results into key regulatory risk proceedings in California, including the 1) Wildfire Mitigation Plans, 2) SCE’s General Rate Case, and 3) RAMP report (a risk analysis report that precedes the General Rate case).
Greg Davis, Principal Electrical Engineer on the Public Safety Power Shutoff team, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Greg Davis has been working with electric transmission lines for over 15 years. He began his career as a project engineer creating innovative solutions for projects involving new lines, reconductoring and reliability work. In this role Greg worked on some of the largest overhead transmission projects at PG&E. Subsequently, he has supervised project engineering teams, project management teams and in 2018 began working in the area of wildfire and transmission lines. Greg currently is focused on using risk based models to inform scoping of transmission lines in a PSPS event. Greg has a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Gabe leads Sempra Utilities’ digital and cloud strategy development and leads the company’s innovation program which evaluates emerging technologies. Additionally, he leads the company’s Digital Factory which delivers digital services for both SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric. Gabe is a genuine, creative, inspiring leader with global experience providing direction and expertise in business enablement strategies, digital innovation, cybersecurity, and cost-optimization initiatives that increase efficiencies and effectiveness, enhance performance metrics, and achieve multimillion-dollar savings.
My utility career began in 1988 at Pacific Gas & Electric where I interned in various departments for four summers before starting full time as a Utility Worker in the Gas T&D department. In 1993 I hired on as a gas crewman at Intermountain Gas Company after relocating to Boise, Idaho. Prior to beginning my current role as a Manager of Policy & Procedure for MDU Utilities Group, I was a Construction Inspector, District Operations Manager and the Manager or Standards & Compliance. In addition to writing and reviewing company procedures, I oversee the management of change (MOC) process and respond to regulatory agencies. I’ve been happily married to my high school sweetheart for 26 years and am a proud father of two grown children and even prouder grandpa of my grandson.
Halli Chesser is the Northwest Natural Project Engineer for Business Development initiatives including Renewable Natural Gas and Power-to-Gas. Prior to joining NWN, she held various positions within the Engineering department at Southwest Gas and has more than thirteen years’ experience designing and managing natural gas pipeline and gate station projects. Halli has a B.S in mechanical engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Harley began his career in the damage prevention industry in 1999 when he started at ELM Locating & Utility Services as a locate technician. He served as a locate technician for two years and then moved into management. He was a City Manager from 2002-2006 in the Utah cities of Logan, Ogden, and Salt Lake City. From 2006-2007 he was State Manager in South Dakota, and from 2007-2010 he was State Manager for Colorado. Harley became a State Director over the states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming from 2010 through September of 2011. Since then, Harley has been a Regional Vice President, supervising the operation of several states. He is now Sr. Vice President of Operations, in charge of all operational functions across ELM’s footprint.
In her role as a chief data officer at Portland General Electric, Hema facilitates data-driven decisions by monetizing or leveraging the data that PGE collects. Within IT, she leads a team of business analysts, data architects, data engineers, data scientists, platform administrators, and managers. She and her team work with business partners to engineer new, more efficient processes and creative solutions enterprise-wide. Her career path has included roles as application developer, data architect, business architect in customer service, systems integrator implementing large scale-platforms (SAP), and content management and data governance roles in the oil, gas and utility industries.
Hudson Foley is the VP of Business Development, Partner and founder of Maskwa Environmental Consulting Ltd. He has worked for almost 30 years in the natural resource and energy industries providing professional support in a variety of capacities. Hudson has years of experience working at and for electrical utilities across Canada, with a focus on linear transmission lines and power generation. He specializes in strategic project planning, stakeholder engagement and regulatory defensibility and will be sharing his advice and experience in relation to the challenges and techniques associated with siting and constructing electrical facilities within urban environments. Hudson is also Metis and has a passion for the outdoors, which he shares with his wife and three daughters.
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.
Ivan Zelada has been working at SoCalGas for 19 years, and he is a Company’s Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the area of gas odorization with a vast experience working with odorization systems, sulfur analysis, odor conditioning of new steel pipelines, and odor fade investigations. Ivan has been involved with over 500 odor conditioning projects, odorization support to field operations, evaluations of chemical analytical instruments/gas monitors. As an SME, he has been instrumental in development SCG odorization policies and played a vital role to ensure compliance required by operations. Ivan is well known in the gas industry for his gas odorization knowledge, analytical skill, and support for Research work at the AGA and other Research institutes. Ivan has a BS in Chemical Engineering from California State University, Long Beach, and an MBA degree from Brandman University.
Jacob Gates is an Asset Manager with New York Power Authority (NYPA). Mr. Gates has 12 years of experience in engineering, utilities and asset management. His current areas of responsibility includes oversight of his regions Asset Management System, planning and risk mitigation. Prior to joining NYPA, Mr Gates worked on flight controls systems and is a US Army combat veteran. He earned a bachelors and masters in engineering and holds a certification in Asset Management.
Jason Lambert has spent his 16-year career working for the Williams Companies, a natural gas pipeline operating company. His roles have generally included GIS, physical risk management and pipeline safety regulatory compliance. Currently located in Salt Lake City, UT, but soon relocating to Houston, TX, Jason currently leads compliance efforts tied to MAOP reconfirmation and material verification as required by part 1 of the DOT Part 192 “Mega Rule” issued October 1, 2019.
Jason Pfaff is vice president of Innovation and Business Unit Director for Applied Technology. Jason is the former CEO and President of Visual Genesis, Inc. a 3D technology company acquired by POWER in 2007. While at POWER, Jason has advanced technical services and products including visualization, virtual reality, machine learning, drones, ballistics threat tools, interactive, real-time worlds and geospatial applications. Today, Jason leads a small team of innovation managers to identify and advance innovative ideas for POWER. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science in landscape architecture from the University of Idaho.
Julie is the Lead Analyst for Tacoma Power’s Strategic Asset Management team, and focuses on building the organizational expertise needed to make the best decisions around infrastructure upgrades. She gained an appreciation for the importance of trustworthy data analytics in prior roles uncovering trends in international web traffic for Expedia, Inc., and analyzing terrorism threats for the United States Air Force. Julie holds a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics as well as an MBA, and holds certifications in Knowledge, Change and Asset Management.
Jen Pearson is the Safety Manager at Avista Utilities In Spokane, WA where she leads a team that supports safety and health for the entire organization. Prior to this role she was the Human & Organizational Performance (HOP) Manager. Her work focused on integrating Human Performance Improvement (HPI) tools and methodologies into Avista’s practices and supporting organization learning around safety. Jen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, a Master’s in Professional Studies in Education and an MBA in Strategic Leadership. She has her OSHA-30 Certificate and is currently working on becoming a Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP).
Jennifer Bauman is a Customer Outreach Coordinator at Puget Sound Energy. She has more than 11 years’ experience in customer support roles at PSE, with nearly 6 years’ experience strategically implementing communications plans for PSE’s electric and natural gas infrastructure projects. She communicates with customers about maintenance, upgrade and system reliability projects in the pre-construction and construction phase, working side-by-side with PSE’s Operations teams and service providers to keep customers informed, set clear expectations and resolve customer issues. Jennifer has also worked with Operations partners to improve customer-facing processes, including planned power outage communications and pandemic-related process changes, and has experience communicating with customers during storms and other emergency events.
Jonathan Ngai is a Project Manager working on SMS implementation and strategy at the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). Prior to his current role, he has spent time working on construction projects as a Project Engineer and Project Manager for SoCalGas’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Program. Jonathan graduated from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of California.
Jodie Lamb is the Pipeline Safety Planning Manager at Avista Utilities in Spokane, Washington. He is a Licensed Engineering Geologist and certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Jodie practiced as a consulting Engineering Geologist for 16 years, managing a broad range of natural gas and liquid petroleum pipeline projects. In 2013, Jodie accepted a position as Avista’s Gas Programs Manager and led efforts to streamline Avista’s Leak Survey, Atmospheric Corrosion, Isolated Steel, and Pipeline Marker Programs. Currently, Jodie is leading implementation of a Pipeline Safety Management System for Avista in alignment with American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 1173.
Joel DuPlessis is the Work Leader with the Apparatus Testing Department at BC Hydro. Joel is a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology and has been at BC Hydro for 30 years. His diverse group performs a number of specialized testing functions including Infrared Thermography, MV Cable Testing and Ground Grid Studies. Joel lives in Burnaby British Columbia with his wife and daughters. Each year Joel builds an extensive Christmas light display to support BC Children’s Hospital.
John Adam Chapman began his career in the natural gas industry 21 years ago as a field technician performing a variety of services for utilities across the southeastern United States. These included mobile and walking leak surveys, damage prevention services, and AMR/AMI installations. John then served in roles of progressing responsibility, from project management, to sales engineering, and then operations management over large, multi-state utility contracts throughout the United States. He is now the Leader of Strategic Business for Honeywell’s Smart Energy division, working closely with utilities throughout the world to create new and innovative solutions to overcome the biggest challenges facing our industry. John attended Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, where he still resides with his wife and two daughters.
John Adam Chapman is the Senior Vice President of Gas Sales and Business Development at Hydromax USA. He began his career over 20 years ago as a field technician, and puts this real-world, hands-on experience to work as he now works to address some of the biggest challenges facing the natural gas industry today. Widely recognized as a leading expert on digital transformation for utilities, John is passionate about improving the safety and reliability of natural gas distribution with cutting-edge technologies.
John attended Shorter University in Rome, Georgia where he still resides with his wife and two daughters.
Jonathan Beaty leads Kiewit’s Field Inspection Services group. His career expands over 15 years in the power generation, power delivery, infrastructure and food and beverage markets. Jonathan is also a licensed Part-107 drone pilot leading UAS operations from Canada to Mexico. Jonathan is currently responsible for developing and utilizing the latest geospatial data collection and data analysis methods supporting Kiewit’s engineering services markets.
Jonathan Fonti is the Manager of the Electrical Station Maintenance (ESM) section. Mr. Fonti began his career in 1985 as an Electrical Craft Helper in the overhead section. In 1987 he transferred to ESM. He promoted through the racks to Manager in 1995. Over the last 5 years Mr. Fonti has over seen several large scale projects including the Circuit Breaker Life Extension (CBLE) project.
Jonathan has worked for NW Natural for nearly 4 years. His current role for NW Natural is Integrity Management Engineer, where he is responsible for various TIMP and DIMP programs. These programs include in-line inspections, ECDA assessments, sewer cross bores, actuated valves, and natural forces. Jonathan received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University in 2017.
Josh Wepman is an expert in the architecture, design, measurement, security, and management of largescale energy and telecommunication data systems and analytics. In his role as CTO, he focuses on developing a deep understanding of the evolving challenges the energy market faces, a broad understanding of the potential application of emerging technology breakthroughs, and develops focused strategies to leverage that understanding into impactful solutions and opportunities for change. Josh has led innovation teams focused on areas such as digital engineering, advanced grid planning, spatial analytics, storm recovery, reliability engineering, and most recently, scaled drone autonomy. Josh has authored numerous white papers and presentations on the business challenges that face modern utilities, and the role data, analytics, and culture can play in creating competitive modern enterprises. He supports numerous utility industry conferences, task forces, and participated on the North American Electric Reliability Corporation Smart Grid Task Force. Josh is also a volunteer instructor at the Institute for Public Utilities Annual Regulatory Studies Program and a proud graduate of Michigan State University.
Jason Wang is an engineer at the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) where he evaluates the performance and emissions of end use equipment such as residential appliances and commercial cooking equipment. He has experience with testing gas interchangeability, energy efficiency, and leak detection. In his free time he enjoys 3D printing household objects and trading meme stocks.
Jeremy Odam has been in the Natural Gas Industry for 20 years, all with NW Natural. His career has spanned several areas within operations. Jeremy has held positions in Construction, Customer Field Services, Training and has been in his current role of Field Operations Supervisor for four years. This is his second year participating in the WEI Operations Conference and he looks forward to many more!
Ms. Athanasopoulou has over ten years of experience in program management, design, and execution of heavy civil, marine, and infrastructure projects. She has worked with multinational firms in Europe and the Middle East on the delivery of remarkable large-scale infrastructure projects. Ms. Athanasopoulou has led large utility programs and offers a breadth of knowledge in project and program management, project controls, change management process improvement, risk assessment, and financial planning. With comprehensive knowledge of project lifecycle and organizational processes, she has been involved in all stages of projects, from feasibility studies to closeout. She has successfully established Project Management Offices to drive project execution and achieve efficiencies on program and portfolio levels for utility clients. Ms. Athanasopoulou holds an M.S. in Engineering Project Management from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kyle Marshall, PE is a Structural Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) Supervisor for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and possesses over 9 years of experience in structural analysis of components related to energy infrastructure, including nuclear plants, hydroelectric dams, and transmission and distribution facilities. At SDG&E, he was a leader within the Fire Risk Mitigation Program, which focuses on hardening distribution facilities in fire-prone regions of San Diego. Currently, he works in QA/QC of design and engineering of distribution facilities throughout San Diego County. A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (BS) and University of California, Davis (MS), Kyle specialized in finite element analysis, fatigue, and fracture mechanics of metallic structures. In addition, Kyle is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California.
Kirsten Petersen is the Distribution Strategy team lead in SDG&E’s Electric System Hardening group. Within this team, the company’s data-driven methodology is applied to scoping, prioritization, and alignment of distribution projects ranging from Reliability to Wildfire Mitigation. Since starting her career with SDG&E in 2014, Kirsten’s roles have collectively supported wildfire mitigation and resiliency: first as the engineer on SDG&E’s Falling Conductor Protection project in System Protection Automation and Controls Engineering and then later through developing, simulating, and testing automation for battery energy storage and microgrid projects in the Distributed Energy Resources team. Kirsten received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University. She is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.
Responsible for Knowledge Management and Knowledge Transfer strategies enterprise wide. Certified Knowledge Manager; KMI Institute Master of Arts, Organizational Leadership 19 years of service with PG&E – recruiter, distribution center operations, change management lead, gas operations clerical support supervisor.
Kyle Comstock is a Grid Operations Industry Expert for The Mosaic Company. Kyle has industry expertise in Transmission and Distribution Operations with advanced knowledge in ADMS solutions and operations training. Prior to joining Mosaic, Kyle spent 12 years at a large utility in the western United States filling various roles including Operations Engineer, System Operations Trainer, and Manager of Transmission and Distribution Operations.
Lamis El Didi assembles and manages multi-disciplinary teams to solve the complex engineering, science, regulatory, and business issues facing utility clients today. Ms. El Didi advises clients throughout the entire capital investment and execution process from strategy and planning, project development, and investment plan development to work plan development, project execution, and change control. She has assessed, developed, and managed large scale capital projects and programs, including defining performance metrics, developing tailored process and procedures, developing project and program level reporting, and providing contract oversight. Ms. El Didi has assisted utility clients define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and develop the reporting framework and roll-up from project to program to portfolio level for a multi-billion dollar electric transmission and distribution portfolio to facilitate the evaluation of work progress, identification of execution risks, development of mitigation strategies, and improve forecasting and achieving the annual budgets. She has led project business case development, portfolio scenario planning and resource balancing sessions, and conducted unit cost and schedule benchmarking and developed a tool that uses predictive analytics to forecast new projects for electric transmission and substation projects. Ms. El Didi has also led a multi-year data improvement initiative for the Transmission Integrity Management Program within a utility’s Gas Operations, that identified, collected, digitized, prepared and delivered critical historical documents and datasets for incorporation in GIS to better inform the utility’s risk algorithm and enable predictive risk intelligence. She has also provided risk analysis services such as probabilistic scheduling, Monte Carlo simulations, and schedule and cost risk assessments, on several large electric transmission and substation projects. Prior to Exponent, Lamis held several roles within the project management department at Dar Al Handasah in Cairo, Egypt and at Booz Allen in Cairo and Dubai. Lamis received a B.Sc. in Construction Engineering from the American University in Cairo (AUC) and holds a M.Sc. in Engineering & Project Management from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).
Leonard Rondeau is the Safety and Health Specialist for Salt River Project. He has worked in the electrical utility industry for 42 years and in safety for thirteen years. He has specialized in the safety of the Transmission and Distribution industry and we are excited to hear his perspective on how Salt River Project developed task specific training to qualify non-qualified personnel to be qualified. He likes grilling and barbequing for cookouts and enjoys hiking with family.
Liam Perrott joined FortisAlberta in 2017 as a GIS Support Analyst, and in 2019 moved to his current position of Senior Regulatory Advisor Spatial Data Analytics. He has enjoyed learning about the electrical distribution industry on the fly while being involved in grid modernization, data quality, and spatial analysis projects. Liam holds BSc designations in Geography and GIS, and has spent almost as much time travelling the world as receiving a classroom education about it. When not travelling or making maps, Liam likes to spend time hiking and skiing in the Rocky Mountains.
Lindsey Walimaki is the Supervisor of Communications Initiatives at Puget Sound Energy. She has more than 10 years’ experience designing and implementing communications and public engagement plans for PSE’s electric and natural gas infrastructure projects, including complex, initiative-level projects as well as day-to-day projects in the active construction phase. For the past 5+ years, she has supervised a team of communications professionals who engage with customers about PSE’s infrastructure projects and work with project managers to problem-solve customer concerns. Lindsey has worked alongside PSE’s Operations leadership to improve customer-facing processes, including planned power outage communications and meeting increasing jurisdictional notification requirements, and has experience communicating with customers during storms and other emergency events. She has a BA in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism from Washington State University.
Lindsey Rennecker is a Project Manager at EN Engineering in their Pipeline and Facility Solution division. She graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. She has 14 years of experience in the Pipeline Industry with focus on Integrity Management, Internal Corrosion and Pipeline Safety Management Systems. Her work experience has included developing, implementing and evaluating pipeline safety management systems for various clients, developing Transmission and Storage Integrity Management Programs, as well as, evaluating and developing internal corrosion control programs for pipelines and underground gas storage fields. She resides in Naperville, Illinois with her husband and two kids.
Mark Esguerra has been with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) approximately 23 years where he has held various leadership positions within the organizations of Distribution Planning, Transmission Planning, Generation Interconnections and Transmission & Substation Engineering Standards. Currently, Mark is the Senior Director of PG&E’s Electric Asset Strategy organization where he is responsible for the life cycle management of PG&E’s electric assets.
Mark Esguerra earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from San Francisco State University and also obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Masagung School of Business at the University of San Francisco. Mark is a registered professional Electrical Engineer for the State of California and is the current Chair of the AEIC’s DER Sub-Committee (subcommittee to the AEIC Power Delivery Committee).
Mark Ewen is responsible for customer facing sales and business development initiatives at Senet targeting utilities, enterprises, solution providers, systems integrators, radio access network providers, and communications service providers. Mark brings more than 20 years of leadership experience managing and scaling global teams and relationships across mobile, wireless and Internet of Things (IoT). Mark joined Senet from Actility where he held the position of Area Vice President Americas responsible for establishing and managing customer and partner relationships for the company’s Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) IoT platform. Prior to Actility, Mark held senior executive roles at business-to-business software and services companies including Zoove, Motricity, Openwave and Oracle, supporting enterprise and communication service provider customers. Mark has a degree in Quantitative Business Analysis from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
Matt Fragale works closely with Energy and Utility clients across North America to better incorporate best practices and industry standards to bring technology and field data collection to the forefront of damage prevention. He works with the irth Solutions product team to identify more efficient procedures of collecting, analyzing, and applying today’s data to predict the actions of tomorrow. Prior to joining irth Solutions, Matt served as General Manager for Verizon Wireless, where he led Operations, Customer Service and Sales. He has been with irth Solutions since 2016.
Morgan Griffith is an engineer in Exponent’s Buildings & Structures practice. He specializes in the areas of non-linear structural analysis, performance-based design and assessment of structures, earthquake engineering, and soil-structure interaction. Mr. Griffith has performed analyses of structures under extreme loading conditions including those imposed by seismic, wind, flood and snow loads. He has assessed damage to structures due to earthquake, wind, fire, ground settlement and material degradation such as wood decay and steel corrosion. Mr. Griffith has experience in the design and analysis of wood, steel, and concrete structures as well as in geotechnical investigations for offshore foundation design.
Mike Diedesch is the Avista Grid Innovation Lab Manager. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University in 2008 and is a registered Professional Engineer in Washington. Since joining Avista Utilities in Spokane, WA, he has worked in various engineering roles including Generation Controls, SCADA, System Protection, Metering, and Smart Cities Lead.
In his current role, Mike leads ATCO’s natural gas transmission and distribution construction team in southern Alberta. Since August of 2020, he has also taken on a role within ATCO’s hydrogen team, which includes leading the planning and execution of ATCO’s hydrogen blending project in Fort Saskatchewan, AB.
Michelle Sakamoto is a senior consulting engineer with over 13 years at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. She started her career in Transmission Planning and Reliability Asset Planning, focusing on customer reliability with programs such as remote sectionalization of the transmission system and vegetation right-of-way expansion. For the past four years, Michelle has been involved with Transmission Line Asset Strategy, helping with the transition to risk-based inspections and maintenance, Public Safety Power Shut-off transmission line scoping methodology and mitigations, and the maturity of the Transmission Line Asset Management Plan and associated risk modeling efforts. Michelle has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Monica Yankowski is the Manager of Gas Safely Excellence at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Gas Operations. She provides direct oversight of the implementation of Gas Operations’ integrated safety management system consisting of three main components: Asset Management, Safety Culture, and Process Safety. She works closely with PG&E’s third-party assessors to ensure continued compliance and certifications for best-in-class industry standards, namely, ISO 55001 (Asset Management System), API Recommended Practice 1173 (Pipeline Safety Management Systems), and API Recommended Practice 754 (Process Safety Performance Indicators). Prior to her current role, Ms. Yankowski served as Principal in Risk Management at PG&E where she served as Subject Matter Expert for operational and business risk strategy, led risk assessment efforts in accordance with organizational standard practices, and worked collaboratively with stakeholders to develop, implement, and monitor appropriate risk mitigation activities and controls. Ms. Yankowski has over 20 years experience in various functional areas of a management system including quality management and audit, compliance and regulatory relations, vendor management, and process improvement. Ms. Yankowski holds a B.S. in Business and Economics and MBA. She is certified by the Institute of Asset Management and holds a Six Sigma green belt.
Mike recently joined Scope and is accountable for all elements of Scope’s Information Technology landscape, including Infrastructure Operations, Application maintenance and lifecycle support and Information Security and Compliance. Mike is responsible for developing and implementing innovative IT solutions for Scope Services and her clients. Prior to assuming the current role, Mike managed Whirlpool Corporation’s Engineering and Internet of Things (IOT) IT Operations and Support organizations; responsible for providing around the clock support to over 15,000 employees and 250,000 consumers globally. In this position, Mike led Whirlpool’s Agile, DevOps and Cloud transformations. Over his 20+ year career, which included 20 years in the United States Navy, Mike has held leadership positions in Business Transformation, Operations and Logistics, Synthetic Training and Technologies, Strategic and Operational Planning, and Government and International Operations. Mike holds a degree in Civil Engineering along with a MS in Operations Research and MA in Operational Planning. He holds the following certifications; Project Management Professional (PMP) and Black Belt Certified Professional.
Neil Jenest is currently the Manager of Project Engineering and Design for pipeline assets in PG&E’s Gas Transmission organization and is a registered professional engineer in the State of California. His team is responsible for designs to retrofit pipelines for in-line inspection and for designs to install or replace pipe, valves, and fittings on PG&E’s 6,500 miles of transmission pipelines throughout California. Neil graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and after a few years with Bechtel Corp. in downtown San Francisco, moved to join PG&E across the street as an associate gas engineer. He has been in PG&E’s GT engineering group for the last 16 years holding various roles in the pipeline services and pipeline design groups, and has been managing the project design team for the last 3 years.
Neil Stuchbury Director of Sales and Shareholder at Thyson Technology, a UK business located in the North West of England near Liverpool. Neil leads a team of highly experienced Sales Managers and Engineers, develops innovative solutions and new opportunities for the business, whilst setting and implementing the company strategy along with the other shareholders. His achievements include enacting change of constitutional regulations enabling the use of a new type of measurement technology and leading the design philosophy and implementation for the very first and second RNG measurement stations in the UK, which all subsequent UK designs have been based on.
Matt is a Registered Professional Civil Engineer in Black & Veatch’s Global Transmission Business. His responsibilities include all aspects of project engineering for substation and transmission line projects. He has extensive experience performing detailed design and providing engineering support for construction both remotely and in the field in a full-time onsite role during active construction. Matt has worked on brownfield and greenfield projects and both overhead and underground transmission as well as substation development projects across voltages from 34.5kV to 500kV.
Graduate of Washington State University from the School of Construction Management Been employed with Loy Clark Construction (formerly known as Loy Clark Pipeline Co.,) since 1999. Risen within the company from the role as Project Manager, promoted in 2012 to Operations Manager and then to the Vice President in 2016. Loy Clark Construction, established in 1957, is a construction company specializing in the installation of underground electrical, communication and natural gas distribution systems.
Nicole Arienzale, CPHR, M.Ed., B.Mgt. Nicole is Director Human Resources for FortisAlberta, responsible for the operational and strategic direction of the company’s people programs and initiatives. She provided leadership and guidance on policy, communications and approach leading into and through the COVID-19 pandemic, working with the company’s pandemic response team to ensure employee health and safety remained a priority while safe and reliable services were offered to customers. With over twenty years of experience in corporate administration, health and safety and communications, Nicole is a pragmatic leader, passionate about driving inclusivity within work environments, delivering quality and supporting the growth and development of people and organizations.
Nicole is the Manager of Safety Management Systems (SMS) and Quality Assurance (QA) at Montana Dakota Utilities Group (MDUG). She is leading the implementation and advancement of the SMS & QA programs for the eight-state service territory of MDUG. Nicole’s areas of expertise are SMS development & implementation, risk management, process improvement, and financial audit. She has a degree in Accounting from Butler University and is a licensed CPA. Originally from the Midwest, Nicole and her family now live in Boise, ID.
Paul McGregor is the Director of Electric Operations Risk Management and Analytics at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) which includes Wildfire Risk Management, Electric Asset Safety & Risk Management, and Risk and Data Analytics. He is an integral part of PG&E’s Wildfire Risk Model development and related regulatory filings including GRC, WMP, Risk OIR and PSPS OIR. Previously he led the Enterprise Risk Management organization at Southern California Edison (SCE).
Patrick Peterman joined ATCO in 2012 holding varying positions in the Electricity workforce development team, and in 2018 moved to his current position of Supervisor, Work Methods and Technical Training. He has worked on several projects including the implementation of ATCO’s competency assessment program, and redesign of technical training material to better support employees access information in the flow of work. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta, and spends as much of the limited Canadian summer golfing and enjoying time outdoors.
Currently Paul is the Quality Performance & Business Development Manager for International Line Builders Southern California Civil Division. He has been with the company since 2005 holding various positions consisting of Superintendent, General Superintendent, Contract Manager along with my current position of Quality Performance & Business Development Manager. Some of Paul’s key responsibilities consist of training, educating and developing our growing workforce. Paul holds an OSHA 500 Training Card which assists with the training, educating and development of our group.
Paul has over 37 years of experience within the civil construction industry ranging from the installation of wet and dry utilities as well as the installation of natural gas and petroleum pipeline. His expertise is in the industry associated with trench excavation for the installation of various underground infrastructures. Started his career as a laborer before moving into roles of an Operator, Foreman and then into a Senior Leadership role.
Teddy Menke is a Product Manager working on Burns & McDonnell’s Innovation Team. He has been working on 3D technology and Matterport for 3.5 years at Burns & McDonnell. We are excited to hear his perspective on how this technology has and will impact the industry. Teddy lives in Kansas City, MO and in his spare time enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs.
Dr. Brown is an internationally recognized expert in infrastructure asset management, power system reliability, major event performance, system hardening, reliability improvement, power delivery system planning, smart grid, system automation, distributed energy resources, risk assessment, and economic analysis. Dr. Brown has extensive experience with extreme weather events including hurricanes, linear winds, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, floods, ice storms, and winter storms. This includes post-event analyses to examine utility infrastructure performance, restoration performance, and storm cost recovery support. Dr. Brown is also one of the early pioneers in transmission and distribution system hardening against major weather events and has helped several major utilities develop and implement infrastructure hardening programs. He led a consortium of Florida utilities under the direction of the Florida Public Utilities Commission do develop a probabilistic storm and restoration simulation to quantify the costs and benefits of hardening options. Dr. Brown was also retained by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas to quantify the costs and benefits of proposed system hardening legislation, and to recommend best practices. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Washington.
Richard Kiser is the Integrity Management supervisor for Dominion Energy’s DEUWI gas distribution company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has 14 years of experience in the industry and eight years of experience in integrity management. In 2013 he was hired to lead the development of the distribution integrity management program. While in this role some of his accomplishments included leading the development of a new subject matter expert risk process, expanding program performance metrics, and adding intelligence to the leak reporting process. He earned his Master of Mechanical Engineering and MBA from the University of Utah. Richard is also licensed as a professional engineer in the state of Utah. He adores his beautiful wife and 5 kids and loves spend time with them.
Rob Weik is a Senior Manager responsible for Portland General Electric’s (PGE) Strategic Asset Management (SAM) group. Mr. Weik has more than 20 years’ experience in utility construction, engineering, and management. His current areas of responsibility include oversight of PGE’s Asset Management Planning, Asset Management Analytics, Asset Management Engineering, and GIS departments. Prior to joining PGE, Mr. Weik worked on high voltage electrical systems in the United States Air Force. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Portland State University following his time in the military.
Robert is one of the creators of the Ringorang microlearning software, which was co-developed for the energy industry by the U.S. DOE, NV Energy and DTE Energy. The software was included in multiple clinical trials proving that it changed energy customer behavior. Robert went on to apply Ringorang to workforce development for Sempra Energy, VEIC, AEP Texas, Puget Sound Energy, Arizona Public Service and Glendale Water & Power. In these efforts, Robert innovated Ringorang’s approach to workforce performance with the ASK Methodology (Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge). He now supports Fortune 50 tech companies in their use of Ringorang to transform how workforces learn, perform and deliver measurable results for their organizations. Robert recently returned from Silicon Valley to his hometown of San Diego, California.
Ryan Privratsky is the Director, System Integrity for the MDU Utilities Group companies (Cascade Natural Gas Corporation, Intermountain Gas Company, Montana Dakota Utilities, Great Plains Natural Gas). Ryan graduated from Montana State University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. After graduation he began his career in the natural gas industry with WBI Energy in Glendive, MT, as a Pipeline Engineer. As a Pipeline Engineer he was responsible for the design of new expansion and replacement pipeline projects. In 2010, Ryan moved to Washington joining Cascade Natural Gas Corporation in Kennewick, WA as an Engineer where he continued pipeline and facility design along with managing Cascade’s Transmission and Distribution Integrity Management Programs. In 2012, Ryan was promoted to Manager, Corrosion Control where he was responsible for providing leadership and supervision to company Corrosion Technicians and the operation of the company’s corrosion control systems. Then in 2017, Ryan moved into the Director, System Integrity role with direct oversight over the Transmission and Distribution Integrity Management Programs, maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) validation work, and Corrosion Control. Ryan is a registered professional engineer in the State of Washington and NACE Cathodic Protection Technologist.
Ryanne Metcalf, B.Sc., P.Geo is Senior Safety Compliance & Regulation Specialist with BC Hydro. Ryanne has worked at BC Hydro for 20 years and has been in the safety field for fifteen years. She has a varied professional background that includes safety audits, serious incident investigation, public safety, risk management, safety management systems. Currently, Ryanne is developing the processes and requirements for safety assurance at BC Hydro and the tool to assess and continuously improve BC Hydro’s safety management system.
I am the Strategy Manager for SDG&E’s Wildfire Mitigation Department. In my current role, I lead the development of wildfire mitigation strategies based on risk modeling. My most recent work included the development of circuit risk models that provide insights for both operational decision-making during fire season as well as long-term decision-making for grid hardening. Prior to my current role, I was a Risk Manager in the Enterprise Risk Management Department supporting the company’s process for assessing and mitigating enterprise risks. I also spent 6 years of my career as a consultant for electric utilities across the US guiding the development and improvement of risk management programs and the implementation of risk-based decision-support tools. I hold a BS in Systems Engineering from George Mason University and I’m currently pursuing an MBA from the University of Illinois. Outside of work, I enjoy art, music and travel. I also have a passion for supporting youth and empowering women which has led me to volunteer as a ‘Big Sister’ for Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County. Given my background as an immigrant from a war-torn country, I am open to opportunities where I can support immigrant and refugee youth in their transitions to enable them to maximize their opportunities and reach their potential.
Sara manages POWER’s Canada Transmission Line Group out of the Toronto, Ontario office. After graduating with a Civil/Structural Engineering degree in 2007, Sara got a taste of high voltage transmission line design and never looked back. Sara’s design experience includes wood, composite, tubular steel, concrete and lattice steel transmission lines up to 500 kV. She has extensive knowledge of the PLS-CADD software package and its design applications and has executed projects at conceptual and detailed design levels. Some notable projects include the design of a catenary structure high in the mountains of British Columbia, and more recently overseeing a team who designed the replacement of almost 900 transmission and distribution poles in high risk fire areas on the southwestern United States. Sara’s newest COVID hobby is riding a unicycle around the block to put a smile on her neighbors’ faces.
Sarah has been with BC Hydro for 15 years and began her career as an Administrative Assistant to the Chief Finance Controller. In 2008 she transitioned over to Human Resources into an HR Analyst role supporting Corporate client services and then successfully landed the role of HR Business Partner within the Operations client services team. Sarah has been an HR Business Partner for the past 8 years supporting various client portfolios including Vancouver Island Distribution, Provincial Metering Operations, Distribution Design, Customer Connections and Distribution Engineering. She also supported one of BC Hydro’s subsidiary company’s Powertech for 3 years. Sarah is currently in her second year supporting Construction Services which is BC Hydro’s largest workforce of temporary employees who are located throughout the province. Sarah has a Bachelor of Education from Simon Fraser University (2001) a Human Resource Management Certificate (BCIT) and is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR). Sarah has 3 daughters and is kept busy between getting them to soccer practices and gymnastics training
Shalene Choon is a Technical Advisor at Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and is responsible for developing and implementing training tools, programs, and education materials to raise the awareness and understanding of SoCalGas’s Safety Management System (SMS) among employees and external stakeholders, she is also responsible for the development and implementation of the Organizational Management of Change SharePoint Knowledge Transfer tool. Shalene has been under the Sempra umbrella for over 10 years, she has worked at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in the Customer Programs Department. She moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and reported to the Pipeline Safety Enhancement Program (PSEP) Sr. Director and subsequently as a Project Specialist supporting the PSEP regulatory filings. Shalene has a B.S. in Healthcare Administration from National University, San Diego and successfully passed the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) in December of 2020. Shalene is currently pursuing her Master’s in Organizational Leadership from the University of Arizona.
Sarah E. Griffin is the Vice President of Human Resources at Idaho Power Company. She has been in HR since 1995 and with Idaho Power since 2007. She currently oversees all aspects of HR, including compensation, benefits, employee relations, diversity/equity/inclusion, talent and organizational development, recruiting, employee engagement and succession planning. She was appointed in February 2017 by then governor Otter to the Idaho Personnel Commission and serves on various councils promoting workforce development and a diverse talent pipeline in Idaho. She is also Vice President of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights board and on the board of The Cabin, a literary arts organization. Prior to Idaho Power, Sarah worked in various HR roles at Boise Cascade, Delta Dental of Idaho, Thoratec Corporation (Pleasanton, CA) and NPS Pharmaceuticals (Salt Lake City, UT) Sarah has her B.A. in English from the University of Utah and her MBA from Boise State University.
Shane is currently VP Sales and Marketing with eSmart Systems and responsible for helping utilities transform the way Transmission and Distribution inspections are performed, by combining the productivity of Artificial Intelligence with expertise of utility subject matter experts to enhance safety, increase reliability, reduce O&M costs, and improve operations. Shane has worked with utilities for 20 years with a background in Artificial Intelligence and analytics, smart meter infrastructure, demand response, energy efficiency, and customer engagement. Shane holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems from Baylor University and an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia.
Manager/Construction Operations Support. Responsible for advancing quality assurance, quality improvement and operational efficiencies in line locating, leak survey, third-party inspection and other field operational related activities within Southwest Gas and our contractors. Possesses over 33 years of experience in operations and maintenance, production, management, customer service and construction. The last 30 years of that work has been in the natural gas industry. Throughout career has worked in various capacities in LNG plant operations, natural gas construction, District and Division Operations, project management, policy and procedure development, field equipment and material trials, and material evaluation.
Shelby Dill works for Southwest Gas as an Engineering Supervisor for the Southern California Division overseeing System Integrity. She has been with the company for 6 years starting in Phoenix and then transferring to Victorville. Shelby hopes in her role to also influence and nurture future leaders in her workgroup. Prior to her time with Southwest Gas, Shelby spent 7 years working in the water/wastewater industry. She is an Arizona State University alumni with her Bachelors of Science degree in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering. When she is not working, Shelby loves gardening and cooking.
With over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, Cody has operated in the roles of Software Developer, System Administrator, Database Administrator, Network Administrator, Team Leader, IT Manager, and now the Senior Manager of IT Operations for Idaho Power. Cody has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology and a Master of Business Administration as well as numerous industry technical certifications, Certified Scrum Master, and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Before coming to Idaho Power, Cody was the Retail Information Systems Manager for WinCo Foods and it was there he nurtured his passion for delivering premium Customer Service as well as discovering creative technical solutions successfully on very slim budgets. At Idaho Power, Cody oversees all facets of IT Operations including: Compute, Storage, Cloud, DR, Compliance, ITSM, Service Desk, Enterprise App Support, Networking, Telecom, Desktop Services, Operational Security, and MMC (Messaging, Mobility, and Collaboration). When he is not working, Cody is an avid traveler, loves camping and fishing, and trains extensively in Brazilian Jiujitsu.
Shawn Kendall began his career with Idaho Power in 1999 with the T&D department as an Apprentice Lineman. From there, Shawn quickly advanced through the rankings and held various titles that included Lineman, Lead Lineman, Line Crew Forman and Field Service Leader. In 2012 Shawn joined the Idaho Power Regional Operations Management team as the Area Manager in McCall, Idaho. Then in 2020 Shawn moved into his current role as T&D Construction Senior Manager where he as continually developed his role through a wealth of operational experience and maintaining a strong customer focus. Shawn is responsible for leading T&D Lines Construction, Stations Construction and T&D Inspection.
Steven Byrnell is a fourth generation utility worker and brings over 20 years of experience to his new role as Manager of Network Operations. He joined FortisBC in 2011 as a power line technician then progressed as a temporary crew leader and performed the role of operations supervisor.
Steve has been in the industry for more than 20 years. Began his career at the Kansas Corporation Commission where he led a team of state inspectors in compliance activities. Since joining Black Hills Energy, Steve has held various positions in Engineering and Operations. Today he is the Director of Asset Risk Management, Engineering, and Standards and serves as the 1st Vice Chair on AGA’s Construction Committee.
Steve is the Supervisor of Engineering Programs & Major Projects at Hydro Ottawa. Steve leads
a team of Distribution Engineers who perform the role of Project Manager for substation related
capital projects, large generation connection projects and specialty programs at Hydro Ottawa
Limited. In October, 2018 Steve took on the internal role of Program Manager for Hydro Ottawa
Limited’s initiative to align and then certify to, ISO 55001.
Steven Fischer is a Senior Program Manager for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). While his duties at PHMSA are transitioning, his focus has been to support damage prevention, audit state one call law enforcement programs, develop unusually sensitive areas rulemaking, and represent PHMSA with the development of the 3rd edition of the RP 1162. He rejoined PHMSA in July 2015 after working for two and half years for a large gas transmission and distribution utility, responsible for public safety, emergency preparedness, public awareness, damage claims, and damage prevention reduction for the company. Prior to leaving for the private sector, Steve had sixteen years of public service at PHMSA and last served as the Director of Program Development. He and his team worked to develop, implement, and lead initiatives focusing on damage prevention, 811 awareness, public awareness, emergency planning and response, PIPA, state damage prevention and technical assistance grants, and the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS). Prior to joining PHMSA, Steve worked both in the private and municipal sectors on multiple geospatial data conversion, integration, and implementation projects.
Steven Rogers is a Professional Engineer registered in the Province of Ontario. Steven holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University and has been working with Enbridge Gas Inc. for the last 7 years. Day-to-day Steven is responsible for the technical oversight of all Growth and Renewable Projects from an engineering perspective and focused on Renewable Natural Gas, Compressed Natural Gas and Power-to-gas as well as the Distribution Stations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Eastern and Northern Regions of Ontario. Steven has held various roles in Operations and Engineering across the province.
Tom Bialek is currently employed by San Diego Gas & Electric Company (“SDG&E”) as a Chief Engineer. His present responsibilities involve technology strategy and policy for transmission and distribution issues including equipment, operations, planning, distributed generation and development of new technologies. He was also the Principal Investigator on DOE and CEC funded Micro Grid projects. He has been a frequently requested external speaker and DOE R&D peer reviewer. Tom was also recognized by Greentech Media in its inaugural 100 Top Movers and Shakers in Smart Grid. In 2009 Tom was recognized with SDG&E’s Cornerstone award and in 2010 received the Outstanding Engineer award from the San Diego County Engineering Council. He has held various positions with other North American utilities and equipment manufacturers since graduating in 1982. His experience includes electric utility design, planning and operation and equipment design, development and manufacturing. Tom is an IEEE Senior Member. Tom sits on the DOE Electricity Advisory Committee as the Smart Grid Subcommittee Chair. Tom also chairs the NREL’s Electric System Integration Technical Review Panel. Tom is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society. He is also a registered Professional Engineer, Electrical Engineering, in the State of California. He has authored a variety papers on a diverse of subjects such as distribution fault location, surge protection of equipment and testing of cables and has been awarded three patents.
Ted is the CEO of a small infrastructure intelligence tech company, EII. He has utility wide experience, both as a consultant and holding various direct roles within T&D utilities. He has been involved in a number of initiatives, including project management, design supervision, work management, capital planning, asset management, risk modelling, productivity, process optimization and participating in multiple electricity rate filings in North America. Ted’s background is in industrial engineering. He holds a master’s degree in financial engineering, along with a certificate in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation & Technology in Engineering from the University of Toronto. Ted is also a LEAN/six-sigma green belt, a certified Asset Management professional, and professional engineer in two provinces. Ted has first-hand experience with wild fires, during one of his own projects a prairie grass fire broke out twice and in one case spread across an entire quarter section of land. The cause of which was rooted in lack of powerline maintenance practices.
Tom has been a Community Assistance and Technical Services (CATS) Manager/Community Liaison for the Western Region, which is in Lakewood, CO, since August 20, 2009. From January 1, 2002 until August 20, 2009 he served as the State Liaison Representative (SLR) for the Western Region. His role in the PHMSA/OPS focuses on enhancing communications with Stakeholders including the Western Region States Pipeline Safety Programs. Tom attended the Colorado School of Mines from 1964-1968 majoring in Petroleum Engineering. He has 48 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. From January 1, 1973 until October 12, 1999, he was employed by Cathodic Protection Services Company. He was the manager of the Farmington, NM district office that worked to provide cathodic protection of well casings and pipelines. He is a National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Certified Senior Corrosion Technologist and a NACE Lifetime Member. He has been a member of NACE the past 45 years. He joined RSPA/OPS now PHMSA/OPS on October 12, 1999. Per the attachment below, Tom has been welcomed into Who’s Who of America’s prestigious roster of Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement inductees. Thomas Finch has 25 years of combined federal service.
Tomaso Giannelli is a Senior Manager with over 20 years of experience in one of the largest electric utilities in the United States. Throughout his tenure at Southern California Edison, he has had the opportunity to work in several offices and departments. Through discipline and dedication he ascended through the ranks from meter reader to a Senior Manager. Currently, Tomaso oversees two teams, The first is focused on improving strategic communications to all customers about outages. In addition, Tomaso oversees the 24/7 Outage Communications team for business customers. Tomaso’s team has also been instrumental in implementing an award winning customized messaging solution for customers who may be impacted by Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). Tomaso’s teams have been awarded numerous external awards for their work in the Outage Communications space.
Tony has served as Executive Officer for the Dig Safe Board since it was created in July 2017. He had previously served California state senator Jerry Hill as consultant for the Senate Subcommittee on Gas, Electric, and Transportation Safety, where he staffed legislation and organized hearings on excavation safety, power line-initiated wildfires, and regulatory models for improving safety. Tony has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Davidson College.
As President of CraneMorley Inc, Thomas Pratt leads a brilliant team of learning and technology designers, who develop solutions that improve business performance. He has more than twenty years’ experience working in enterprise to help companies develop strategies that optimize investment in their workforce. His company is a Gold level partner with Microsoft and lead trainer for strategic customers, such as SoCalGas, on using mixed reality and the HoloLens to upskill workers. Thomas completed studies at the University of California, Irvine in film and television. He is active in the International Society for Performance Improvement and is working with gas industry association NYSEARCH to develop cutting edge mixed reality training and on the job support applications for member companies.
Travis is a data scientist with over 10 years experience consulting using data driven approaches to improve organizations in a wide variety of sectors including asset management, consumer produced goods, government, manufacturing, and cognitive science. At METSCO I am employing modern data analytic techniques to lead utilities into rigorous decision-making processes.
Tessa Ryan (BASc 2014, Simon Fraser University) is a professional engineer in the province of Alberta working for EPCOR Distribution & Transmission (Electricity) as an asset management engineer. Her primary focus is management of underground distribution cable assets, including risk analysis, investment and intervention planning, maintenance, and failure analysis. She also manages the maintenance and lifecycle of Distribution Automation assets and EPCOR’s MV Cable lab which analyzes cable failures and integrates findings into future risk and investment planning. She is also an Engineering Management PhD student at the University of Alberta with research interests in reliability, quantitative risk analysis and lifecycle management of linear underground assets.
Tim retired from the Los Angeles Police Department as a Lieutenant ll in May 2019 after 32 years of service. His last assignment was as Commanding Officer, Devonshire Detective Division. His previous assignments included Patrol, Special Problems Unit, various Task Forces, Uniform and Undercover Vice, Gangs Narcotics and various administrative assignments. He is currently the Corporate Security -North Manager for Sempra Energy. He is assigned to SoCal Gas, the nation’s largest natural gas utility.
“Mr. Tuffley is an electrical engineer with experience in transmission, distribution and substation design, engineering, and consulting. He has assisted in the hiring process that grew a distribution team from two to over ten fulltime engineers in under a year. He has provided training to multiple teams of new hires in geographic information systems (GIS), overhead (OH) and underground (UG) distribution systems and line design. He also assisted new hires with internal and client onboarding process, IT issues, and navigating company policies. He provided technical distribution training through quality control, group project work, reviews and demonstrations. In his current role, Mr. Tuffley works closely with utilities in the west to build strong relationships to support their individual needs when it comes to modernizing their electric power grid. Prior to becoming an engineer, Mr. Tuffley’s previous careers included over 15 years in the customer service industry, teaching, mentoring and growing relationship between clients and team members.”
Mr. Tyler Lamb has over eleven years of engineering, project management, and project development experience within the power delivery industry. He is a registered Professional Engineer with experience in both Power Delivery and Heavy Civil Construction. Experience includes the project management, technical oversight and design of overhead and underground transmission and distribution lines ranging from 12kV to 500kV, including wood pole, tubular engineered steel and steel lattice projects. Mr. Lamb focuses on aiding public and private utilities, developers and federal entities in at-risk development, merchant transmission, and capital projects. My role focuses on consulting with multi-disciplinary client teams to successfully develop transmission projects under the FERC-1000 landscape as well as merchant opportunities. His background focuses on large scale transmission projects and successfully navigating regulatory requirements, ISO/RTO requirements and client needs.
Vincent Zabukovec has worked for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the last 19 years. He is licensed professional engineer with a B.S.E.E. from California State University, Los Angeles and a M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. He is a Power Engineering Manager leading the Distribution System Development and Reliability Subsection. He oversees the work of electrical engineering staff responsible for developing plans for both distribution and sub-transmission systems to add capacity for traditional load growth, electrification, and renewable integration. He also leads staff who performs reliability analysis, reliability plans, and works closely with other power system stakeholders to establish targets and identify candidates for distribution asset replacements as part of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s Power System Reliability Program. Prior to his management role, Mr. Zabukovec supervised engineers in a variety of groups in distribution, meter engineering, customer station design, and transmission planning.
Ron Christie has been in the field of training and education for 40 years. He has a wide range of teaching and management/administrative experience in corporations, community colleges and universities. His experience spans the aerospace/defense, automobile, and natural gas industries. He has served as an adjunct university instructor and higher education administrator. His areas of expertise include Instructional Systems Design (ADDIE), training project management and leadership development. Ron is an expert in management of enterprise-level training rollouts and is accomplished in the development and implementation of eLearning. Mr. Christie is the Manager of Gas Operations Training and Development for Southern California Gas Company. He is currently orchestrating the transformation of traditional training to a blended multimedia, individualized training system.
Will Fajber is the Principal Engineer for Station Design at BC Hydro with 30 years of experience in the Transmission Stations Design and Field Operations. He is knowledgeable about all aspects of station design and is an evangelist for Safety by Design. Will has a longstanding interest in digital design tools and efficient use of CAD applications. Will has a Bachelors Degree in Applied Science from University of British Columbia, graduating from Engineering Physics in 1986. He is a member of the IEEE and is registered as a Professional Engineer in the province of British Columbia.
Bill Schoenberg is a change management consultant in National Grid’s Gas Transformation Office where he supports major multimillion-dollar transformation initiatives. He has over 25 years of business experience in variety of industries. Prior to joining National Grid, he managed the leadership and management development programs for a market leading conversational AI company. Bill has a masters degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Prosci Certified Change practitioner.
Manager of Organizational Change Management, PSE Winter leads the OCM practice at PSE, and has spent most of his career as a consultant, in both project delivery and the people-side of change. Prior to joining PSE in 2018, he led change strategy and planning for digital transformation initiatives at Stanford University and Honda North America.
Zach Lewallen brings 7 years of Verizon experience. As a Principal Solutions Architect for Emerging Technology he works with developers, customers, and sales leaders to bring products, solutions, and networks to Verizon Business Customers. Currently, these products and services are, but not limited to, Verizon Grid Wide, Critical Asset Tracker, Critical Asset Sensor, Condition Based Monitoring, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), with much more to come. “As the solutions architect, it is my job to work hand in hand with customers and product development to deliver world-class solutions for Verizon’s valued business customers.” Zach attended the University of Sioux Falls studying in Exercise Sciences and Business Administration with an emphasis on media and marketing.
Robert Ousley is the ADMS Program Manager at Arizona Public Service, managing the ADMS 3.8 Upgrade as well as the Advanced Apps and Breaker Control (ABC) projects. Robert has 10+ years of experience working in various roles within the APS Distribution Operations Center, including hands-on Operator experience operating in the ADMS. Following the successful October 2020 Go-live of the Schneider Electric ADMS 3.8 Upgrade, the ADMS Program at APS will now shift focus to leveraging Advanced Applications within the system and moving the APS control center jurisdictional boundary to allow ADMS control of Distribution level substation breakers.
I am a P.E., registered in Oklahoma, working for the largest electric utility in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Gas & Electric. I have been working in distribution design, distribution operations, protection & control, and now Smartgrid/SCADA/DMS for OG&E since 2005. I’ve been involved and leading our efforts to configure, test, administer, and implement OG&E’s Distribution SCADA and Distribution Management System (DMS). I was a lead subject matter expert when we first implemented an ABB DMS from 2010-2012. The system began operating a model based volt-var control that automatically executes its controls in 2012 to optimize our distribution system and reduce electric demand during peak conditions. I was again the lead SME when OG&E implemented a second DMS system provided by OSI to replace the ABB system in from 2016 to 2017. I now manage the engineering support group for distribution operations as well as our ADMS. Our focus is preparing and equipping our control center for the more complex distribution system operation of the future. I am also an Adjunct Professor part time, teaching courses on power systems analysis, design, and protection at Oklahoma Christian University
Nathan Marr is a long tenured utility professional. Educated in Power Plant Technology and Business Management he has over 20 years of leadership, operational knowledge, grid reliability, project management, business development, and strategic planning. Starting out as a principal engineer/project manager for Erin Engineering, he established predictive and preventive maintenance programs for nuclear and fossil plants around the world. Nathan operated the power grid for Conectiv Energy and PJM prior to joining APS as a trainer. He is well versed in grid operation (generation, distribution, and transmission), operations training, energy markets and trading among several other areas in the electoral utility industry. Most recently he established the training program for APS operations that received a noteworthy acknowledgement form and NATF Peer review.
Rob began his career at BC Hydro in 2009. After completing his Power Line Technician apprenticeship he worked in both distribution and transmission until 2017, when he took a temporary management position in Field Operations. He made the permanent move to management in 2018, and has managed 2 different departments since then. Rob is currently backfilling the Senior Manager position in his area on a 6 month rotation, and is overseeing the operation of the distribution crews in the Fraser Valley outside of Vancouver. Rob completed a BPHE from the University of Toronto (2001), and is a Red Seal qualified Power Line Technician (2015). Rob has 3 young kids at home and is actively involved in their hockey team,
Jane L. Snowden Galvin holds a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has extensive experience in a wide variety of clinical settings, including inpatient acute care, residential treatment, psychiatric wards, and outpatient treatment. Jane currently serves as Senior Vice President of Client Services for The Holman Group. She has been employed with The Holman Group for over 30 years. She is widely recognized as an expert trainer in a variety of mental health areas, including stress management, substance abuse, work life balance, communication and cultural diversity.
Adriana Pardo is a Pipeline Integrity Team Lead overseeing workplace development, within her organization. Her current responsibilities include managing training curriculum and compliance, job requisitions and onboarding employees. She’s held positions within SCG’s Gas Scheduling Department, Customer Service Solutions and Commercial/Industrial Markets Services. Her work experience, thus far, has gained her good knowledge of gas delivery and system operations, intrastate pipeline operations and shippers, gas nominations and scheduling, commercial/industrial gas consumption and gas energy efficiency. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in English, from California State University, Los Angeles
Andrew Swisher, P.E., is a consulting engineer at Southern California Edison (SCE). He received his bachelor’s degree from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona in electrical and computer engineering with a certification in power engineering followed by a master’s degree from the University of Idaho, Moscow with a certification in power system protection and relaying. Swisher is a licensed professional engineer registered as an electrical engineer in California.
Tony is a front line field supervisor for Portland General Electric. He directly supervises substation operations personnel which include, but is not limited to; Journeymen Wiremen, Wireman Foremen, Meter Relay Technicians, Batterymen, civil construction workers, apprentices, Wiremen helpers, and station operators. Tony completed his apprenticeship in 1988 and has been in his supervision role for over 10 years. Tony is involved in numerous committees and teams throughout PGE’s operations and is recognized as a SME in substation operations.
Brodie Chalmers is a mechanical engineer. He has worked for ATCO’s Natural Gas division for more than seventeen years in roles including distribution design, transmission and distribution planning, operations, midstream project development, and most recently, strategy. Brodie led the team that developed and justified ATCO’s Urban Pipelines Relocation project and is working to help ATCO define a path toward the utility of the future, which will likely involve the integration of electric and gaseous energy delivery systems, including hydrogen.
Carl comes to PSE after a 30 year career in Washington State Government as an Accountant and Change Management professional. He is particularly passionate about engaging and building strong relationships with stakeholders and leaders to help guide them through change
David Leslie has served as Vice President of the Power Delivery Engineering Division of POWER Engineers since 2019. He is responsible for ensuring that POWER’s 1,300-person nationwide power delivery engineering teams meet the challenges posed by the changing business environment of electric utility owner-operators. Mr. Leslie graduated from Gonzaga University in 1992 and joined POWER in 1995 as a substation engineer after working at a smaller engineering firm in Seattle, Washington. Over the years at POWER, he has held the position of Project Engineer, Substation Regional Manager and Substations Business Unit Director.
Jeffrey Siegel, Ph.D., is a Professor of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto and a member of the university’s Building Engineering Research Group. He holds joint appointments at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley as well as a B.Sc. from Swarthmore College. He is internationally recognized for his work on indoor air quality generally and air cleaning specifically and is a fellow of ASHRAE and a member of the Academy of Fellows of the International Society for Indoor Air and Climate (ISIAQ). His research interests include healthy and sustainable buildings, filtration and air cleaning, ventilation and indoor air quality in residential and commercial buildings, control of indoor particulate matter, and the impact of building systems on indoor microbiology and chemistry. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on indoor air quality and related subjects and has been active in disseminating information about filtration and ventilation solutions for COVID-19.
Elizabeth Peters serves as the Manager overseeing the development, implementation, ongoing management, and continuous improvement of San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s (SDG&E) enterprise-wide Safety Management System. Elizabeth studied Political Science at California State University San Marcos and then Business Litigation at the University of San Diego. Elizabeth joined the Sempra Energy family of companies in 2002 in the regulatory law department supporting SDG&E and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) in state and federal regulatory proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Upon convergence of Sempra Energy’s Renewable and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) business units, she served as the Regulatory and Compliance Manager and helped develop their federal regulatory compliance program and supported FERC permitting efforts for Sempra’s Cameron LNG facility. Upon returning to SDG&E in 2018, Elizabeth served as a Regulatory Case Manager for SDG&E and SoCalGas’ General Rate Case and Risk Mitigation Assessment Phase proceedings before joining the safety department.
Emil Abdelshehid manages The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s – Information and Advanced Technology section of the Power System. For the last 15 years, he has responsible for projects such as Distribution Automation and Smart Meter Deployment. He is also responsible for mission critical systems that are used by our operations teams, such as our Distribution Outage Management System and our Geographic Information System. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California Irvine, in Electrical Engineering and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He is a Certified Project Management Professional and a licensed Professional Engineering in the State of California.
Eric is a Registered Professional Electrical Engineer in Black & Veatch’s Global Transmission Business. His responsibilities include all aspects of project engineering for overhead and underground transmission line projects. His experience includes feasibility, estimation, detailed design, and construction support for 4 kV – 230 kV projects.
Senior Electrical Mechanic with a machinist/manufacturing background. Eric started with LADWP in 2005 and has been the lead person of the CBLE Group from its inception. He is responsible for creating the process of efficiently overhauling the operating mechanisms, electing the correct lubrication mediums, appropriate gasket materials, springs and all consumable items. Eric is instrumental in creating the specialized tools needed to overhaul the components and the tools required to remove and install the operating components. He coaches the journeymen, Seniors and trains the new trainees on this process. Eric is also responsible for placing all orders to maintain stock and inventory of supplies to keep the CBLE shop running at maximum efficiency.