Operations Conference (Apr 19-22)

The WEI Operations Conference brings together hundreds of 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; Operational Leadership, Workforce Development, Safety + Health, Safety Management Systems, Asset Management, Damage Prevention, Natural Gas Green Future, Natural Gas Emergency Response + Restoration, Natural Gas Integrity Management, Natural Gas Operational Excellence, Grid Resilience, Electric Distribution, Grid of the Future, Electric Substation, and 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 vendor display booth registrations and sponsorship opportunities are available.

Register Now

General Details

Program Chair
Lora Anguay, Chief Zero Carbon Officer, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Program Location
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites
404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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

Registration Options
Member: $849 USD
Regular: $1,599 USD

Member registration price increases $150 and regular registration price increases $200 after April 3, 2022. Registration includes full conference access and digital program materials through the app. This registration also includes complimentary access to the virtual event on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Guest tickets are available for $99 and allow a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes full conference access. It does not include virtual event access.

Attendees are encouraged to take a moment to review the local guidance related to COVID-19. Please note that Los Angeles has unique requirements related to the verification of vaccination status at local restaurants, businesses, and indoor public areas. Please take a moment to review the city’s current guidelines so you are prepared for your visit.

Please see the Vendor Displays tab for information about registering as a vendor for the event.

General Cancellation Policy
Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.

Participation Policy
Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.

For more information contact Beverly Woolf, Program Manager at (503) 688-2790.


The event app for the 2022 Operations Conference is sponsored by:

The wifi for the 2022 Operations Conference is sponsored by:

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Optional Networking Activities

2:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Registration Desk Open
WEI staff will be on hand outside the San Diego Ballroom for you to pick up your nametag or get help downloading the conference app. The registration desk and lanyards for the Operations Conference are sponsored by:

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Program Development Team and First-Time Attendee Meetup

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Welcome Reception
The welcome reception is sponsored by:

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Speaker: Moogega Cooper, Planetary Protection Engineer, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
On February 18, 2021, Dr. Moogega “Moo” Cooper helped make history when the Mars Perseverance Rover successfully landed on the Red Planet. Part of the famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team, Moo is blazing a trail as a real life ‘Guardian of the Galaxy’ holding the awesome responsibility of keeping the Red Planet safe from Earth’s contaminants. Now she is sharing leadership lessons learned from her inspirational journey to the top of a male-dominated field—space exploration, and insights on how perseverance pays off and how diversity makes the JPL team even greater.

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

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Breakout Sessions
Damage Prevention – Unsafe Digging Practices
Electric Distribution – Undergrounding: Can Utilities Afford It?
Electric Substation – Asking More of an Older Grid: Aging Station Infrastructure
Grid Resilience – Wildfire Mitigation and Response, Leveraging Data and Technology
Natural Gas Emergency Response + Restoration – Keeping the Gas On – Staying Safe During Civil Unrest
Natural Gas Operational Excellence – Methane Reduction Strategies: The Future of Leak Management and Detection
Safety + Health – Transferring Skills + Knowledge Across Generations
Workforce Development – Technology and the Workforce of the Future

11:15 AM – 1:15 PM

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM
Breakout Sessions
Damage Prevention – Managing Ticket Volume + Contracted Locator Personnel Retention
Electric Substation – How to Handle an Ever-Changing Workforce in an Ever-Changing Environment
Electric Transmission – Failure Analysis and Prevention
Low Carbon Fuels – Hydrogen Pathways to Renewable Energy
Natural Gas Integrity Management – New Technologies in Leak Detection and Mapping
Operational Leadership – Improving Culture for Front Line Staff
Safety + Health – Ergo Everywhere: Enhancing Safety Through Ergonomics
Safety Management Systems – Measuring SMS Effectiveness and Success

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

3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Breakout Sessions
Asset Management – Journey from Data to Technology Solutions Show + Tell
Electric Distribution – Change Agents: Using EVs as a Catalyst for Distribution System Advancement and Flexibility!
Electric Transmission – Contract Services – Consultant + Utility Points of View
Grid of the Future – Operational Technologies that Enable Grid of the Future
Low Carbon Fuels – Hydrogen Blending – What Have We Learned
Natural Gas Integrity Management – Mind Over Metal: Advancements in Corrosion Control
Safety Management Systems – How Are You Engaging Your Contractors in your SMS?
Workforce Development – Personnel and Knowledge Retention + Soft Skills and Culture

4:15 PM – 6:30 PM
Reception with Vendor Displays
Sponsored by:

Thursday, April 21, 2022

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast with Vendor Displays

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Powered Productivity: Super Tech Tools to Get Stuff Done
Speaker: Beth Ziesenis, Author, Speaker, Nerd, Your Nerdy Best Friend
Exasperated by email? Peeved about passwords? Tired of tedious tasks? You’re not alone. Join Your Nerdy Best Friend, aka Author Beth Ziesenis, for a research-based look of common productivity problems, followed by the technology to solve them. Discover how to use free and bargain technology tools you never knew existed to work more efficiently with your teams, get organized and finally get stuff done.
• Discover low-cost, high-value apps and tech tools that you can start using right away
• Learn great tech tips and app ideas from your colleagues
• Get new ideas to increase efficiency, improve relationships and get things done!

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

9:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Breakout Sessions
Damage Prevention – State Enforcement + Frequent Offenders
Grid of the Future – Practical Intergradation and Implementation of Renewable Resources
Grid Resilience – Wildfire Impact on Workforce Resources
Low Carbon Fuels – RNG Injection Projects – Lessons Learned
Natural Gas Emergency Response + Restoration – Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow!
Safety + Health – Training Advancements to Make Your Slip-Fall Injury Rate Hit the Ground
Workforce Development – Mentorship is the Toolbox for Leadership Development

10:45 AM – 11:15 AM
Break with Vendor Displays

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
Breakout Sessions
Asset Management – Evolve Asset Resiliency for a Cleaner Future
Electric Substation – Substation Design Innovation
Grid of the Future – Taking a Holistic Approach to Peak Load Management
Grid Resilience – The Future of Energy is Distributed
Natural Gas Emergency Response + Restoration – Large System Outage Management
Natural Gas Operational Excellence – Less is More … How to Reach Climate Objectives and the Race to Net Zero
Operational Leadership – Developing Future Leaders from The Workforce

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Lunch with Vendor Displays

1:45 PM – 3:00 PM
Breakout Sessions
Asset Management – The Risk-Informed Utility
Electric Distribution – Grid Modernization – Capital Investments, Trends and Strategies
Electric Transmission – Creating Modern Standards to Meet Industry Requirements
Natural Gas Integrity Management – Beyond Compliance – The Role of Risk Assessment in Asset Management
Natural Gas Operational Excellence – Mitigating the Jurisdictional Roadblocks to Construction
Operational Leadership – Beyond the Numbers: Speaking the Unspoken about DE&I
Safety Management Systems – Tool or No Tool – How Does an Operator Implement Management of Change

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

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Unpacking Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Speaker: Lou Radja, Speaker, Author, Coach, Lou Radja Enterprises
There is no doubt about it, we are living in unprecedented, changing and challenging times. A relentless and unforgiving global health pandemic that has claimed countless lives and completely turned the world upside down. The great steps we are all taking in response to the pandemic are not without side effects; isolation, stress, health challenges, virtual leadership, change fatigue, mental health issues… In addition to it, we are also facing an economic downturn that has amplified and exacerbated the already fragile situation. Well, as if that wasn’t enough, we also find ourselves in the middle of a racial/diversity tsunami across our country/world serving as a reminder of the systemic inequalities that continues to plague us and how far we still have to go. As members of WEI, it is critical to continue to support our customers, lead our people to adapt and thrive with increasingly diverse teams! When it comes to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Emerging Stronger means understanding and internalizing DEI fundamentals not only to help with our own cultural competency, but to help us add even more value to our peers, customers and partners in our respective communities. Let’s come together for the 2022 WEI Operations Conference, hold space and Unpack Diversity, Equity and Inclusion!

Friday, April 22, 2022

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
General Session #4

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Conference Close

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Wrap up and 2023 Planning

Hotel + Travel

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites
404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90071
Phone: 213-624-1000

Reservation Instructions
Please complete your reservation online or contact the hotel directly at (888) 236-2427 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) to receive a special rate of $249 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until April 3, 2022 or until the WEI room block is full.

Onsite Safety + Health Info

It is WEI’s policy that anyone attending a WEI-hosted program be vaccinated for COVID-19. This policy does allow for a negative COVID-19 test to be submitted in lieu of vaccination if the attendee is unable to receive the vaccine and if permitted by local host cities or venues. This policy applies to all WEI staff, as well as attendees, guests, speakers, and exhibitors.

Fully vaccinated is defined by the United States or Canadian governments. WEI accepts the following as proof of vaccination: (1) a CDC or Provincial-issued vaccination card, (2) a photo of a CDC or Provincial-issued vaccination card (front and back); (3) a document of vaccination from a licensed healthcare provider; or (4) a digital vaccine record issued by the State or Province in which the attendee resides.

Proof of a negative COVID-19 test means a printed document or image on a phone from a test provider, laboratory, or government agency-approved at-home test method that shows a negative result of a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test within 72 hours before first entry.

Attendees must show a picture or document with vaccine status or a negative test result upon arrival at the program. Attendees without the required proof will be denied entry. No refunds will be given if any attendee is denied entry due to vaccine and/or testing requirements.

Please refer to WEI’s Safety + Health Code of Conduct for other important considerations.

Vendor Displays

Registration Options
Vendor Display + Conference Attendee: $1,349 USD
Premium Vendor Display + Conference Attendee: $2,349 USD
Vendor Display Assistant: $599 USD
For membership inquiries, email Kris Taylor and reference the WEI Membership Brochure.

Registration price for the Vendor Display + Conference Attendee increases $150 after April 3, 2022. This registration includes the registrant as the main vendor display representative, one (1) skirted 6-foot Vendor Display Table for Wednesday and Thursday display events, plus comprehensive conference materials and all food events. Arrangements for power, audiovisual equipment, or other supplies may be made by calling the hotel directly. This registration also includes complimentary access to the virtual event on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

There are 6 Premium Vendor Display Tables available. To secure a Premium table, register for a Standard Vendor Display and email Kris Taylor that you are interested in upgrading to a Premium table. She will be arranging that separately.

The Vendor Display Assistant registration is for companies who have already purchased a full vendor registration and would like to add an additional vendor representative for their display table. This registration ONLY includes vendor display access and does not include full conference or virtual event access. It does include all meals on Wednesday and Thursday, April 20 and 21. The Vendor Display Assistant pass does not provide access to General Sessions nor breakout sessions.

Vendor Display Schedule
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Set-up available

Wednesday, April 20, 2022
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Check-in and set-up
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
11:15 AM – 1:15 PM: Lunch with Vendor Displays
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Break with Vendor Displays
4:15 PM – 6:30 PM: Reception with Vendor Displays

Thursday, April 21, 2022
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: Breakfast with Vendor Displays
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
10:45 AM – 11:15 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM: Lunch with Vendor Displays
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Break with Vendor Displays
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Tear Down

Vendor Display Map

Click on the map or vendor listing to enlarge.

Additional Information
Encore will be the onsite provider for all vendor power/AV needs. Please email Kris Taylor for the request form. Forms will be submitted directly to Candace Liou, Convention Services Manager. Please call Candace with additional questions at 213.612.4865.

Shipping Information + Address
Please send all packages to the following address:
c/o Candace Liou, Convention Services Manager
Group Contact: Meryl Collins, Western Energy Institute
Name of Group: Western Energy Institute Operations Conference
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites
404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Hold for: “Exhibitor Company Name, Table Number X”

Multiple packages within a single shipment should be numbered in sequence.

Shipments must be scheduled to arrive no more than 3 days prior to the conference as the Hotel has very limited storage space. Shipments arriving more than 3 days prior will be refused or a storage fee may apply.

Vendor displays can be no taller than 9’6″ tall including the base. Please note the ceiling height in the ballroom is different from side to side. The ceiling height on the right for tables 16-35 and 50-61 is approximately 10′ tall, whereas the ceiling for the other tables is approximately 18′ tall.

Program Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Black + Veatch-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01 HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01KPMG-01 Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01

Gold Sponsors
ActiveTelesource-01Acros-01 Barnard-01
     TDW-03-01vertexone logo w-tagline NEWWilson Construction-01

Meet The Speakers

Beth Ziesenis

Your Nerdy Best Friend

Author, Speaker, Nerd
Learn More

Since her first Motorola RAZR flip phone, Beth has made a verb out of the word “nerd.” She’s here to help you filter through thousands of apps, gadgets, widgets and doodads to find the perfect free and bargain technology tools for work and home. Although the only real trophy she ever won was for making perfect French fries at McDonald’s in high school, Beth Z has been featured on Best Speaker lists by several organizations that write best speaker lists. She has written a whole shelf of books on apps and has spoken to more than 100 thousand audience members just like you. And if
you’re puzzling over why she goes by “Beth Z”… it’s because she only finds about three people a year who can pronounce her last name.

Dr. Moogega Cooper

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Planetary Protection Engineer
Learn More

A real life “Guardian of the Galaxy,” Dr. Moogega “Moo” Cooper holds the awesome responsibility of keeping the red planet safe from any of the Earth’s contaminants. Moo is the planetary protection lead of the famed NASA 2020 Mars mission—with it’s highly viewed landing on February 18, 2021. Her work with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is integral to the ongoing mission to discern whether Mars could be habitable for humans and that we don’t harm what’s already there—a job she has been working up to for most of her life.

After graduating from high school at 16, Cooper studied physics as an undergraduate, received a master’s degree and went on to earn her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at 24 years old with a dissertation on spacecraft materials.

Moo is passionate about empowering organizations and others to achieve their dreams and overcome obstacles that she articulately conveys through her life story and love of her work. A role model for women in science and technology, she is also passionate about introducing more people to the wonders of the STEAM world, including by talking about her work to boys and girls from underrepresented communities and appearing on shows like “Because Space” and “Bill Nye Saves the World”.

Moo is a recipient of several awards, including the NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, the Charles Elachi Award for Exceptional Early Career Achievement, and JPL Voyager Awards for Technical Leadership.

Lou Radja

Lou Radja Enterprises

Speaker, Author, Coach
Learn More

A Social Entrepreneur, Lou Radja continues to work tirelessly to improve the lives of many across the globe. A recognized and award-winning Inspirational Speaker and founder of Lou Radja Enterprises, Mr. Radja has addressed and engaged global citizens all over the world on Leadership, Diversity, Service and Personal Development. As Co-founder and Executive Director of EduCongo, a U.S. based nonprofit organization; Lou’s energy is devoted to generating awareness and support to provide quality education for over 2,000 underprivileged children in the Congo. Lou is a member and Past President of the Portland Pearl Rotary Club, an active member of the World Oregon and serves on various nonprofit boards in the community. Lou and his wife Stacy are proud parents of two boys, Yenga and Senda.