Apr

14-17

Operations Conference (Apr 14-17)

The WEI Operations Conference brings together over 600 electric and natural gas energy operations senior leaders, managers, supervisors, and front-line employees for three days of education and networking, with breakout discussions for specific operations functions, including: (1) Damage Prevention; (2) Operational Leadership; (3) Workforce Development; (4) Safety + Health; (5) Safety Management Systems; (6) Asset Management; (7) NG D&T Construction + Maintenance; (8) NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration; (9) NG D&T Integrity Management; (10) NG Green Future; (11) NG Operational Excellence; (12) Evolving Grid Operations; (13) Electric Distribution; (14) Electric Substation; (15) Electric Transmission; (16) Wildfire. The breakout sessions are complemented by thought-provoking general sessions by industry leaders and professional keynote speakers. This conference is a must for any professional in the energy business. Limited vendor display booth registrations and sponsorship opportunities are available.

Register Now

General Details

Program Chair
Lance Elroy, Director, Process Improvement and Operations Technology, MDU Utilities Group

Program Location
Boise Convention Center
850 W Front St
Boise, Idaho 83702

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
• Asset Management professionals
• Renewable Gas engineering and policy leaders
• Electric personnel responsible for wildfire mitigation, planning, and response

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

Registration prices increase $200 after March 23, 2020. Registration includes comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals. Guest tickets are available for $99 and are required for any guests attending a reception or other meals. A guest ticket is for a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

For Vendor registration options and details, please see the Vendor Display tab.

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

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

For more information contact Eric Christenson, Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics at (971) 303-2118.

Agenda

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Optional Networking Events
Please see the Networking tab for more details about each event.
Home Town Signage sponsored by:

3:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Registration Desk Open – Name Badge Pickup
For guests who wish to pick up their name badges prior to the Welcome Reception, we provide early registration check-in. After 4:45 PM name badges will be available at the Welcome Reception.
Lanyards sponsored by:

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Program Development Team and First-Time Attendee Meetup
If this is your first time attending a WEI event show up early to meet the Track Program Development Teams who make this conference possible. We want you to get the most out of your experience at the Operations Conference!

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

LED + Conference Signage sponsored by: 

Conference WiFi sponsored by:

Conference Coffee Services sponsored by:

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Continental Breakfast + Registration
Sponsored by:

8:00 AM – 8:30AM
Operations 2020 Opening
Speaker: Lance Elroy, Ops 2020 Conference Chair, Director, MDU Utilities Group

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Perspectives on Energy and Welcome to Boise
Speaker: Brad Little, Governor of Idaho (invited)

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

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session
Damage Prevention – Using Predictive Analytics to Identify High Risk Excavations and Prevent Damage
Operational Leadership – Flow to Become a Well Rounded Leader
Workforce Development – Digital Transformation
Safety + Health – New Employee Safety “Growing Safety”
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – Managing your Manager
Asset Management – Roadmap for AI-Enabled Asset Management Decision-Making
NG Green Future – Natural Gas is Key to Our Green Future
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Broken & Blowing
NG D&T Construction + Maintenance – “Brain Drain Crew Resources”
NG D&T Integrity Management – Aging Pipelines
NG Operational Excellence – GPS Referencing – Assets Traceability and Tracking
Wildfire – Data-Driven Fire Risk; Risky Data
Electric Distribution – Cool Tools
Evolving Grid Operations – Distribution System Operations
Electric Substation – Arc-Flash Mitigation and Safe Work Practices
Electric Transmission – Innovative Tools

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Lunch
Health and Wellness Movement sponsored by:

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Building a Safety Culture
Speaker: Brady Hansen, Lineman/Trainer, Electrical Workers Without Borders

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

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session
Damage Prevention – How GPS and Process Improvements are Improving Map Accuracy and Reducing Damages
Operational Leadership – Perceptions of Leadership
Workforce Development – Speed to Competency
Safety + Health – The Hidden Hazards
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – How to Build a Communication Strategy
Asset Management – Risk-Based Asset Management
NG Green Future – Hydrogen: a Carbon-Free Energy Source
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Ground Faults
NG D&T Construction + Maintenance – Gas Capture, Cross Compression, Flaring and Blowdowns
NG D&T Integrity Management – Modern NDE Methods
NG Operational Excellence – Progressive Recruiting/Development
Wildfire – Take Action! Proven Wildfire Mitigation Solutions
Electric Distribution – Resource Management
Evolving Grid Operations – Operational Situational Awareness
Electric Substation – Distributed Energy Resource Impacts on Substation Operations
Electric Transmission – How Utilities are Addressing Wildfires Proactively Through Transmission Line Des

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

Thursday, April 16, 2020

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Operations Day 2 Welcome + the 2020 WEI Annual Theme
Speaker: Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President, Operations, Puget Sound Energy

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Safety Leadership in High-Risk Work Environments
Speaker: Jeremy Beal, Navy SEAL Chief Warrant Officer, United States Navy

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

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session
Damage Prevention – Partnering with Excavators to Reduce Damages
Operational Leadership – Building Bench Strength
Workforce Development – The Workforce of Tomorrow
Safety + Health – Human Performance
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – MOC Case Studies
Asset Management – Battle of the X’s
NG Green Future – Methane Emission Reduction
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Mutual Aid
NG D&T Construction + Maintenance – To Permit or Not to Permit
NG D&T Integrity Management – Public Policy & Perception Impacting Integrity
NG Operational Excellence – Innovative Gas Leak Investigation/Mitigation Approach
Wildfire – The Power of Being Prepared (Public Safety Power Shutoff)
Electric Distribution – Reliability and Aging Infrastructure
Evolving Grid Operations – Distributed Energy Resources and Management Systems
Electric Substation – Substation Security: Cyber and Physical Security Threats
Electric Transmission – What is EPC: A Panel on the Pros, the Cons, and Everything In-Between

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Lunch
Sponsored by:

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session
Damage Prevention – Navigating Behaviors
Operational Leadership – Breaking Down Silos – working across business lines
Workforce Development – Workforce Sharing
Safety + Health – The Silent Near Miss
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – KPIs/Metrics
Asset Management – Utilizing Innovation and Technology to Manage Infrastructure
NG Green Future – Design and Operation of the Renewable Natural Gas Environment
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Natural Disasters – Up the Creek Without a Paddle
NG D&T Construction + Maintenance – Don’t Feel the Pressure of Over Pressure
NG D&T Integrity Management – Corrosion Issues
NG Operational Excellence – Look Forward Technology – What is the new Gadget?
Wildfire – Wildfire Emergency Preparedness + Response
Electric Distribution – Managing Emerging Customer Connections
Evolving Grid Operations – System Operator Changes
Electric Substation – Cultivating the Growth of Substation Personnel
Electric Transmission – Mega-Projects Overview; Challenges and Lessons Learned

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Break

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Conference Leadership and Speaker Recognition
Speaker: Lance Elroy, Ops 2020 Conference Chair, Director, MDU Utilities Group
Health and Wellness Movement sponsored by:

3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Powered Productivity: Tech Tools to Get Stuff Done
Speaker: Beth Ziesenis, Author. Speaker. Nerd.
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.

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Vendor Scavenger Hunt Prize Giveaway

Friday, April 17, 2020

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Breakfast

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
CEO Panel – the Future of Operations in the Utility Industry

9:45 AM – 10:00 AM
Break

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Emergency Response and Restoration Keynote Speaker

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Conference Close

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Program Development Team Appreciation Lunch + Wrap Up (RSVP Required)

Hotel + Travel

Western Energy Institute has negotiated special rates at five area hotels for the 2020 Operations Conference. Details, rates, and contact information for each hotel are listed below.

Hotel 43 – Across S. 9th St.
981 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.342.4622

Make your reservation online or by contacting the hotel directly to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $169 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

Hyatt Place – 3.5 Blocks
1024 W. Bannock St
Boise, ID 83702

Make your reservation online and select “Book Now” then enter desired stay dates. You can also contact the hotel directly to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $164 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

Hampton Inn and Suites – 2 Blocks
495 S. Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.331.1900

Make your reservation online or by contacting the hotel directly to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $164 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

Residence Inn – 2 Blocks
400 S. Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.424.9999

Make your reservation online or by contacting the hotel directly at 844.802.9815 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $179 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

The Grove – Adjacent
245 S. Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.333.8000

The room block for the Grove is sold out. Please contact one of the hotels listed above to reserve a room.

Networking

All networking events are scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

WEI Annual Golf Tournament
9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Registration Fee: $80 USD
Capacity Limit: 70
Refund Policy: No refunds after March 14, 2020

Join us at the beautiful Banbury Golf Club for a fun day of golfing and networking. Fee covers cart and green fees as well as transportation to and from the course.

Golf clubs may be rented for $25 plus tax. If you need to rent clubs, please send your request for left or right-handed clubs to Eric Christenson.

Idaho Power Substations and Lines Training Yard Industry Tour
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration fee: $50 USD
Capacity Limit: 10
Idaho Power has a substation and lines training yard directly adjacent to each other. This is a great opportunity to learn what Idaho Power provides in training Apprentices and continued training of Journeymen Linemen, along with the different Stations Technicians as well. Registration includes transportation and lunch.

Northwest Lineman College Industry Tour
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration fee: $50 USD
Capacity Limit: 12

The Northwest Lineman college mission is to improve lives, an industry, and the country. Northwest Lineman College will be a dynamic, visionary, and international educational institution providing safety, training, and products that exceed the expectations of customers. During this tour we will have several hands-on activities like pole climb, long sticking, transformer lab activity, etc. Registration includes transportation and lunch.

Intermountain Gas Company Nampa Liquified Natural Gas Industry Tour
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration fee: $50 USD
Capacity Limit: 25

In August 2014 the nation’s First LNG Recapture System debuted in Idaho. The system captures boil-off gas from the LNG storage tank and returns it to the Intermountain gas pipeline to keep it from venting excess LNG into the atmosphere. Intermountain Gas Company will provide a guided tour with insight from the operators who run this plant. Registration includes transportation and lunch.

POWER Engineers, Inc. Advanced Technology Lab Industry Tour
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Registration fee: $50 USD
Capacity Limit: 15

We will visit the POWER Engineers Advanced Technology Lab in Meridian, ID for a review of the latest advances in utility power systems equipment, software, and systems. The lab is home to various Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) like those that would be found in modern power utility substations. The technology lab also provides a base platform for the study and testing of advanced distribution technologies including microgrid controllers, Distributed Energy Resource Management (DERMS) solutions, and other advanced distribution automation schemes. Registration includes lunch and transportation.

Vendor Displays

Registration Options
Member Attendee + Standard Vendor Display Table: $1,299 USD
Member Attendee + Premium Vendor Display Table: $2,299 USD
Regular Attendee + Standard Vendor Display Table: $2,249 USD

Registration prices for a Standard Vendor Display Table increase $200 after March 23, 2020. Registration includes one main Vendor Display representative, one (1) skirted Vendor Display Table for Wednesday and Thursday display events, plus comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals. A Standard Vendor Display Table registration can be upgraded to a Premium Vendor Display, space permitting.

Registration prices for a Premium Vendor Display Table increase $400 after March 23, 2020. Registration includes one Vendor Display representative, two (2) connected skirted Vendor Display Tables in premium locations in the exhibit hall for Wednesday and Thursday display events. This ticket also includes comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals. For more information on this option please contact Kris Taylor.

Vendor Display Assistant tickets are available for $599 and include all meals on Wednesday and Thursday, April 15-16, 2020. The Vendor Display Assistant pass does not provide access to the opening session, nor any General Sessions and breakout sessions. Participation in any of these events requires a full conference registration.

Guest tickets are available for $99 and are required for any guests attending a reception or other meals. A guest ticket is for a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

Vendor Display Schedule
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Set-up available

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Check-in and set-up
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM: Lunch with Vendor Displays
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Break with Vendor Displays
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Reception with Vendor Displays

Thursday, April 16, 2020
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: Breakfast with Vendor Displays
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch with Vendor Displays
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Break with Vendor Displays
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Tear Down

Vendor Display Map


Shipping Information
The Boise Center cannot accept freight shipments more than 72 hours before the event. Event management will be responsible for the consignment of all freight shipments.

All shipments must be clearly marked with the following information on each package:
Boise Center
250 S 9th Street
Boise, ID 83702
WEI Operations Conference
Booth #___ YourCompanyName
April 15, 2020

Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Booz-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01 HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01Landis+Gyr-01   Potelco-01Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01Siemens-01

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

Meet The Speakers

Booga Gilbertson

Puget Sound Energy

Senior Vice President, Operations
Learn More

As the senior vice president of Operations for Puget Sound Energy, Booga Gilbertson is responsible for electric and gas operations, including emergency response, maintenance and construction, electric and gas system operations and dispatch, system planning, and engineering. She also leads project management and engineering across operations.

Since joining PSE in 1985, Gilbertson has held a broad range of engineering, operations and management positions in planning, asset management, gas and electric design engineering, performance measurement, budgeting, project management, construction and maintenance, 24-hour control center operations, labor relations, technology and emergency response management. She has been vice president of Operations since 2011.

In addition to her responsibilities at PSE, Gilbertson serves as chair-elect of the board of directors of the Western Energy Institute and chair of the EEI National Response Executive Committee. She also serves on the University of Washington Electrical Engineering Advisory Board as well as the Washington State University Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Executive Council.

Gilbertson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and a Master of Business Administration degree from City University.

She enjoys skiing, hiking, running, kayaking and gardening.

Brady Hansen

Electrical Workers Without Borders North America

Lineman/Trainer
Learn More

Brady Hansen was born and raised in South Dakota. He worked his way west doing telecommunications work, eventually moving to Seattle where he joined the IBEW in Local 89. Soon he joined the Northwest JATC Outside Electrical Apprenticeship and achieved Journeyman Lineman status in 2006. As a Journeyman Lineman he worked for Potelco, Wilson Construction, and Bonneville Power Administration before accepting a position as a Journeyman Lineman with Avista Utilities. Brady worked in various lineman roles, including teaching in the lineman training program. After 8 years he moved from Avista to start a training business, Written In Red Inc., as well as working for Safeguard Equipment.

One of Brady’s proudest achievements is being a founder of Electrical Workers Without Borders and performing a variety of training and work across the industry. In 2018 he was awarded the IBEW Journeyman Mentor of the Year.

Beth Ziesenis

Your Nerdy Best Friend

Author, Speaker, Nerd
Learn More

Beth is a technology expert who speaks to 60-plus groups a year all over the country about the best free and bargain apps and online resources that will help you Release YOUR Inner Nerd to become more organized, efficient and awesome at work and home. Her books, including the latest title, Release Your Inner Nerd, are available on Amazon.com.

Since her first Commodore 64 computer, Beth has made a verb out of the word “nerd,” and is almost as obsessed with gadgets and doodads as she is with cupcakes.

Lance Elroy

MDU Utilities Group

Director, Operations Systems and Continuous Improvement
Learn More

Lance Elroy is the Director of Process Improvement and Operations Technology for MDU Utilities Group. His 23+ years of experience includes leadership and management roles in corporate operations, consulting, marketing, industrial services, district management and utility technology. Lance has an MBA from Idaho State University and BA in Business from the College of Idaho. He currently resides in Boise, Idaho with his wife Beth and two sons, Jared and Lucas.

Jeremy Beal

US Navy

Navy SEAL Chief Warrant Officer
Learn More

Jeremy is currently on active duty as a Navy SEAL Chief Warrant Officer with over 20 years of Naval service. He currently is assigned to Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command Head Quarters as the Force Training & Readiness Officer. His duties include the development, implementation, and execution of safe training protocols for all Naval Special Warfare forces.

Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Jeremy joined the United States Navy in August of 1999. He commissioned as a Warrant Officer in May 2014. He has completed eight combat deployments and spent over nine years administering high-risk training for both deploying SEAL Teams and Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL candidates.

Jeremy is a highly decorated and qualified member of the Navy SEAL community. His awards include the Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and the Army Commendation Medal. He is qualified as a Master Training Specialist and a High-Risk Instructor. He has run the most dangerous training in NSW including Military Free Fall, Demolitions and Explosive Breaching, Close Quarters Combat and Dynamic Live Fire and Movement.

He resides in San Diego with his wife and two sons.