Talent Management (Oct 11-12)

Energy companies face core challenges to recruit, retain, develop and train their workforce. With changing demographics and a need to identify and develop talent from within, successful organizations are careful to invest in proven development programs for individual contributors and managers. This forum brings together employee development and training experts to share case studies and proven best practices.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Kathy Perry, Continuous Improvement Consultant, Arizona Public Service Company

    • Program Location
    • Arizona Public Service Company
    • 400 N 5th Street
      Phoenix, Arizona 85004
    • Who Should Attend
    • Leaders responsible for organizational development plans, corporate training initiatives and learning programs.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $399 USD

    Registration includes a networking dinner Wednesday night as well as catered breakfast, lunch, light snacks and beverages at the meeting. Guest tickets are available for $90 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.

  • 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 Kara Wolfe, Program Manager at (503) 688-2794.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Registration and Networking

Arrive early to network with other attendees. Light refreshments provided.

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Speaker(s): Kathy Perry, Corporate Training and Development Manager, Arizona Public Service Company

Our chair will welcome us to Phoenix and share insights into Arizona Public Service Company.

1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Facilitator(s): Kathy Perry, Corporate Training and Development Manager, Arizona Public Service Company

Come prepared to share a success or set-back you or your team has experienced in the last six months.

1:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Cognitive Bias: Thinking’s Hidden Dimension
Speaker(s): Mark Ellis, Chief Corporate Strategist, Sempra Energy

This session explores the impact of cognitive bias on individual and organizational decision-making. The session begins with several real-time exercises that reveal the surprising ways our thinking and decisions can be influenced by factors outside our conscious awareness. It then covers the science behind cognitive bias and a framework for identifying when various biases are likely to come into play. The session closes with a discussion of tools to manage and mitigate bias. Time will be allocated for Q&A and discussion of how to apply the ideas and tools covered in the presentation within your organization.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Knowledge Transfer: Can it be done faster?
Facilitator(s): Jeremy Jordan, Organizational & Employee Development Manager, Chelan County PUD

If it takes someone three years to learn a job, what do you do with a workforce that intends to stay for just two? Join this session to discuss ways utilities can increase the speed to competency and smooth the learning runway through mechanisms such as on-the-job learning.

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Networking Dinner

Join for a hosted dinner at Cucina, Cucina:

455 N 3rd St #108
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Thursday, October 12, 2017

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Networking Breakfast

Continental breakfast will be provided onsite.

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Training Governance
Speaker(s): Christy Innes, Sr. Manager, Enterprise Learning & Leadership Development, BC Hydro

Are you keeping tabs on what’s being trained and how? Join this session to gain insights into the structures used to stand up training governance initiatives, and share thoughts on how to apply a governance-minded approach within your organization. Discussion will address how much governance is best and how to train others to train effectively.   

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Talent Analytics
Facilitator(s): Krishna Khalsa, Manager, Corporate Learning & Development, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Join this session to review practical use cases in utilities leveraging training data analysis to improve their management of talent development.

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Special Guest Presentation
Facilitator(s): Janelle Edgemon, HR Professional, Idaho Power Company
Speaker(s): José Benitez Cong, Co-Founder & CEO, Plause

Jose Benitez Cong, former head of talent at Nest and chief recruiter for Apple's first iPod and iPhone engineering teams, joins us to explore the workforce of a changing world. We are now well into a digital revolution where the speed of progress and knowledge moves faster than ever before. This presents a challenge as workforce expectations change and the generational transition puts increasing pressure on employers to support employee growth. With our attentions spans are growing shorter and our interests are expanding faster, gone are the days of keeping an employee in a particular role. The future of work will experience rapid career pivots and successful organizations will need to:

  • Realize that FT and "permanent" roles will decrease due to a "nomadic" mindset espoused by employees.
  • Define roles in terms of the outcome of the position and agreed upon expectations (e.g. impact, support, skills growth, compensation, etc.).
  • Recognize needs and match requirements related to hiring, developing, retaining, and re-deploying our workforce

Today’s leaders must prepare for such radical but inevitable change. While the future workforce may still be on the horizon, who wins the talent market of tomorrow is being defined today.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Networking Lunch

Enjoy a catered lunch onsite.

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Roundtable with Guest Presenter
Facilitator(s): Jennifer Healy, Workforce Development Manager, Seattle City Light
Speaker(s): José Benitez Cong, Co-Founder & CEO, Plause

This session builds on topics and themes discussed with our guest presenter.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Wrap-up and Spring Planning

Join for a discussion on spring 2018.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 325-3535 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $179/night. This rate is guaranteed until September 19, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

José Benitez Cong


Co-Founder & CEO
Learn More

José Benitez Cong is an Talent & People Operations veteran with more than 18 years of experience recruiting the teams behind some of the most recognized consumer electronics products in history. He spent the better part of the 2000’s at Apple, organizing the growth efforts behind the launch of the iPod, iPhone, iOS Acoustics and iOS cameras. In 2011, José joined Nest Labs to manage all aspects of Talent Operations during the launch of the critically acclaimed Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect. While at Nest, he developed Nestling, a highly sought after internship program. He transitioned the team through the acquisition by Google for $3.2B in early 2014. Currently, José is heading up Plause, a startup he co-founded to change the way employees and companies approach feedback and optimize data to better manage our most valuable resources, The People.

Christy Innes

BC Hydro

Sr. Manager, Enterprise Learning & Leadership Development

Jeremy Jordan

Chelan County PUD

Organizational & Employee Development Manager
Learn More

Jeremy Jordan is the Organizational & Employee Development Manager for Chelan County PUD, a three-dam hydroelectric utility in Washington State that is one of the largest such projects in the western U.S.Jeremy has led organizational change and learning initiatives for two Fortune 50 companies, and consulted for many more. He is currently completing his Master’s in Management with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. He lives with his wife and four children, ages 6 years to 6 months, in Wenatchee, Washington.

Krishna Khalsa

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Manager, Corporate Learning & Development
Learn More

Krishna Khalsa, Ed.D. has 25 years’ experience in designing and delivering workforce training programs and is an expert in assessment and adult learning. She is currently the Manager of Corporate Learning and Development at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). She also heads up the SMUD’s Corporate Learning Strategy project team that developed an organization-wide strategy to support workforce and employee development.

Previously, Krishna worked as Manager of Learning & Development for the City of Markham and as a Senior HR consultant for the City of Toronto. Krishna holds a doctorate degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto. Her past practice has been as a counseling and industrial-organizational psychologist. Krishna’s previous speaking engagements include ASTD International, ASTD Sacramento and Training magazine conferences. Krishna helped lead SMUD to become recognized as a Training Top 125 organization since 2009.

Jennifer Healy

Seattle City Light

Workforce Development Manager

Janelle Edgemon

Idaho Power Company

HR Professional

Mark Ellis

Sempra Energy

Chief Corporate Strategist
Learn More

Mark Ellis is Chief of Corporate Strategy for San Diego, California-based Sempra Energy. Sempra is a Fortune-500 energy services holding company active in utilities, power generation and natural gas infrastructure throughout North and South America.

In his current job, Mark oversees Sempra’s corporate strategy and economic research and analysis functions. His previous positions with Sempra included Chief Economist and Director of Business Planning. Mark has a particular interest in the psychology of decision-making and how organizations and individuals can apply social-science insights to improve how they analyze issues and make investment, personnel, risk-management, and other decisions.

Before joining Sempra, Mark worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company, in international gas and power project development for ExxonMobil, in utility demand-side management for Southern California Edison, and as a research engineer for Sanyo Electric in Osaka, Japan.

Mark has an M.S. from MIT’s Technology and Policy Program and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Harvard University.

Kathy Perry

Arizona Public Service Company

Corporate Training and Development Manager

Kathy Perry

Arizona Public Service Company

Corporate Training and Development Manager