Strategic Planning (Nov 07-08)

WEI's Strategic Planning program provides a forum for members responsible for their companies strategic plan to come together to discuss opportunities and threats, alternate business models, and tools and techniques for getting leadership to engage in strategic issues. This semiannual forum provides a collaborative space for members to share best practices and current issues and to gain an enhanced perspective of strategic issues around the region.

General Details

  • Program Location
  • Day One:
    AC Hotel by Marriott
    888 SW 3rd Ave
    Portland, OR 97204
    Day Two:
    Western Energy Institute Facilities
    1001 SW 5th Ave, Suite 325
    Portland, Oregon 97204
  • Who Should Attend
  • Directors and Sr. Managers responsible for Strategic Planning.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $349 USD

    Registration includes materials, hosted dinner on Tuesday, breakfast and lunch on Wednesday, and refreshments throughout the program.

  • 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 Kevin Sullivan, Director of Member Engagement at (971) 255-4973.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Welcome and Introductions
Facilitator(s): Russell Ragsdale, Principal Manager – Strategic Planning, Southern California Edison

A welcome to the first Strategic Planning program. Attendees are encouraged to share:

•Name, title, company (type of service, territory served, number of customers)
•Where you assess your group on the maturity of the strategic planning process – why and what do you think you’re doing well?
•One thing you’d like to get out of the program

1:45 PM - 2:30 PM

Key Issues + Opportunities facing Natural Gas and Electricity
Facilitator(s): Stephanie McMichael, Director, Arizona Public Service Company
Speaker(s): Dan Kirschner, Executive Director, Northwest Gas Association, Russell Ragsdale, Principal Manager – Strategic Planning, Southern California Edison, Despina Niehaus, Strategic Planning Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Our panel starts the day with examples of key shifts in the energy industry.  Northwest Gas Association joins us to shed light on challenges and opportunities related to natural gas.  We then shift to two key issues for members with Southern California Edison discussing the Greenhouse Gas Objectives in California and the resulting impact to their strategy followed by San Diego Gas & Electric with an overview of Community Choice Aggregation and what it means in the landscape of the industry.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

External Strategic Issues Roundtable
Facilitator(s): Stephanie McMichael, Director, Arizona Public Service Company

The conversation opens up to explore other threats and opportunities around the region. Attendees are encouraged to bring up key external impacts in their territory and recent successes and/or challenges with addressing them in their strategy.

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Networking Break

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Strategic Alignment in Your Organization
Facilitator(s): Lauren Isaac, Director, Customer Experience, Portland General Electric
Speaker(s): Roy Barnes, President, Blue Space Consulting

Roy Barnes is an experienced, dynamic speaker who offers breakthrough insights that impact your bottom line.  Join Roy as we discuss how to cascade your strategy through your organization and the key attributes to be a successful leader during these times.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Hosted Networking Dinner

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse at 850 SW Broadway.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Hosted Breakfast at WEI

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Organizational Structure for Strategic Planning Function
Facilitator(s): David Randall, Director, Strategy & Corporate Development, Southwest Gas Corporation

The group discusses how strategic planning is organized at our different companies.  Attendees will address their basic organizational structure/chart depicting size and reporting structure of functions responsible for strategic planning.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Networking Break

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Internal Tools + Resources Roundtable
Facilitator(s): Dan Killoren, Manager, Strategy, Archives & Contracts, Salt River Project

The conversation now shifts to the tools and resources members are using internally to be successful with their initiatives.  Attendees are encouraged to bring topics to the table.  So far the list includes:

  • Corporate strategic planning – pros/cons of a centralized v. distributed planning model
  • The systems/tools used for modeling and tracking strategic issues
  • Best practices and lessons learned from internal strategy development processes
  • Marshalling internal support and advocacy for strategic initiatives

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Lunch and Closing Best Practices Roundtable
Facilitator(s): Dan Rausch, Treasurer, NorthWestern Energy

Enjoy a catered lunch while attendees get the chance to bring up specific questions that they brought with them for the group to answer. 

1:00 PM - 1:00 PM


A catered lunch will be provided and the group will discuss topics and dates for future meetings.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please call the hotel directly at 503-223-2100 and mention that you are with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $179 plus taxes.

Meet The Speakers

Roy Barnes

Blue Space Consulting


Stephanie McMichael

Arizona Public Service Company


Despina Niehaus

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Strategic Planning Manager

David Randall

Southwest Gas Corporation

Director, Strategy & Corporate Development

Dan Rausch

NorthWestern Energy


Lauren Isaac

Portland General Electric

Director, Customer Experience