Celebrating how far women have come in the energy sector and addressing how far we’ve yet to go! Women are traditionally underrepresented in the energy industry. This program addresses some of the evolving opportunities and challenges that women face and advocates for workplace inclusion and teamwork across gender, racial, and generational demographics. Open to both women and men, Women in Energy Symposium participants join together to explore areas such as leadership, education, networking and mentorship. We strive to incorporate both professional development and industry evolution on the agenda. With a growing emphasis on cross-functional teams and diverse skill sets, this program supports utility directives to build a cohesive workforce.
Women and men in all facets of the utility industry, whether leadership, craft, technical, or professional, are encouraged to join us for this dynamic conversation. Women can gain knowledge and perspective on how to develop and get ahead in a traditionally male-influenced industry. Men can gain insight into the issues women face in the industry to improve team development and synergy. And everyone can learn where utilities are seeing successes in attracting and retaining their female workforce, while effectively leveraging the benefits of greater organizational diversity. If you have an interest in this for yourself or your employees, join us!
Conference Registration: $299 USD
Registration provides full access to conference sessions, meeting materials, and roster.
The Women in Leadership participant ticket is available to enrollees of the 2020 Women in Leadership Mentoring + Development program. This $100 discount off the regular conference rate is applied at registration. Includes full access to conference sessions, meeting materials, and roster.
3:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Virtual Social Hour
Join your fellow Women in Energy Symposium attendees for virtual social time in themed “rooms”. Room themes and relevant information along with allocations will be sent to each participant prior to the event.
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Virtual Coffee Hour (optional)
Grab your favorite morning pick-me-up and drop in to say “Good Morning!”. WEI staff will be on hand to help with technical questions, process late registrations, or just share a cup of joe as we get ready to begin the Women in Energy Symposium at 8:00 am Pacific.
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Welcome + Conference Overview
Speaker(s): Britt Bachtel-Browning, Chief of Privacy and Data Ethics/Senior Counsel, Avista Corp.
The Chair of the 2020 Women in Energy Symposium, Britt Bachtel-Browning, will welcome attendees, give an overview of what’s in store during the conference, and share important announcements.
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Spotlight in Resilience: Surviving and Thriving in a Post Pandemic World
Speaker(s): Regina Mayor, Global Head of Energy, KPMG LLP
Join Regina Mayor as she shares her own story of achieving career success while tackling challenges and turning obstacles into opportunity. She will also discuss the changes driven by industry disruptions that will be the most enduring and how the Energy industry can survive and thrive. Learn what you can take from the challenges of 2020 and make your career and your organization more resilient for the future.
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Women in Trades - Innovations in Inclusion
Moderator(s): Kacee Woods, Training & Apprenticeship Coordinator, Tacoma Power
Panelist(s): Kori Wormsbecker, Journeyman Gas Local Rep Ritzville, Avista Utilities, Lisa Bean, Pump & Reservoir Technician Trainee (retired), Eugene Water & Electric Board, Christian Paige, Education Outreach Manager, Tacoma Power, Reneé Nickles, Line Operations Supervisor, Portland General Electric, Jennifer Walker, Director of Gas Control and System Planning, Southern California Gas Company
With the number of women currently employed in a utility trade hovering at approximately 3%, it is understandable that the prospect of joining those ranks would be daunting for most women. In this year’s Women in Trades Panel we will have a conversation about increasing diversity and inclusion in trade career paths. We will also look across the industry at emerging models to educate, encourage and empower women to participate in skilled trades.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Leading a Team When You Are Not the Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Moderator(s): Kristin Cook, Field Operations Supervisor for Meter Services, Portland General Electric
Panelist(s): Laura Vickers, Director of Culture, Diversity and People Services, Avista Corp., Phillip Andrew, Vice President - Utilities, Jacobs, Tamara Bradley, AMI Program Manager, Avista Utilities, Mayra Santiago, Relay Technical Operations Manager, Portland General Electric
As you progress in your career it becomes more difficult as a leader to be the Subject Matter Expert (SME) in all areas, but do you need to be the SME to be a successful leader? This session includes a variety of scenarios in which the leader of a team is not a Subject Matter Expert (or not as educated on a subject as their team). The interactive panel discussion includes industry leaders sharing their own experiences and addressing situations like leading a team of technical experts when you yourself, are not a technical expert and also a woman leading a team of all males. You will have the opportunity to hear, to learn and then take back simple action items that will benefit you, your employees, and your company.
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Virtual Table Topics
Open and informal discussions on topics relevant to our communities, personal and professional lives today. Each group will have a facilitator to aid in leading the discussion. Share your feelings, thoughts, hear from others, be part of a solution or just gain a different perspective. “All things that matter to you”.
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Northwest Electric Power Landscape Exploration, 2020 – 2035
Speaker(s): Joshua Binus, Policy Strategist and Industry Foresight Lead, Bonneville Power Administration
This lecture will explore a range of trends shaping the future of the Pacific Northwest’s power industry landscape through 2035 and potential impacts to the rest of North America. Trend areas covered include environmental changes, clean energy, distributed energy, end-use loads, market/regulatory structures, and the competitiveness of various utility-scale electric power generation types.
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Social Hour Open House
Members of the Program Development Team will host “rooms” exploring a variety of topics and interests ranging from practical to just plain fun. Stay with one theme or move from room to room to investigate different topics and encounter more people.
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Welcome to Day 2
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Fires and COVID and Storms, Oh My!
Moderator(s): Darlene Fawcett, Business Resilience Manager, Jacobs
Panelist(s): Renita Mollman, Chief Administrative Officer, Burns & McDonnell, Robin Furrer, Chief Administrative Officer, Bonneville Power Administration, Mona Freels, Emergency Operations Services Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. Between wildfires, tropical storms, hurricanes, droughts, flash floods, heat waves, and a pandemic, how does one navigate through a crisis that can’t be controlled or anticipated? Our panel of industry leaders who have not only faced some of these events, but have guided their companies through some of these emergencies first hand, are here to share how they prepared, planned, and got through these unprecedented times in 2020.
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Unlocking the Secret to Influence
Speaker(s): Brandon Towle, Chief Performance Officer, Yielded Consulting Services
In this interactive session you’ll learn what influence is, the four components needed to gain trust, and about the secret to unlocking influence that leads to long term relational impact. You’ll walk away from this session with some practical tools that will immediately improve your ability to influence and lead others. Come ready to learn about your own personal style of influence!
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Gender Gap – What Do We Need to Do Differently?
Speaker(s): Martha Feeback, Senior Director, Account Services, Catalyst
Over the last several years, we have seen women achieving more representation in leadership and at the top levels of companies. However, women still continue to be underrepresented across all levels of the organization. The recent renewed interest and focus on diversity and inclusion raise questions on understanding where historical efforts have been challenged in their effectiveness and what we can do differently this time around. Navigating the lived experience of inclusion and exclusion is far more complicated than any framework can tell us. Join this session to build on our learnings of implicit associations as we uncover tangible “unconscious bias hacks,” i.e. small actions we can take to help us build connections in our everyday lives. We’ll explore how you can expand your lens for yourself and others through tangible small steps with big impact.
• Understand unconscious bias and its impact on underrepresented talent in the workplace
• Understand the impact of Covering and Emotional Tax on the feeling of “other” in the workplace
• Become aware of microaggressions and begin to address internal, interpersonal and organizational biases
• Identify and commit to actions to create a more inclusive culture
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Navigating Career Advancement in Male Influenced Industries
Moderator(s): Nada Siddik, Manager, TC Energy
Panelist(s): Eric Dillinger, Vice President, Managing Director Strategic Consulting, Woolpert, Leslie Kass, Executive Vice-President, Technical Centre, TC Energy
The panel will discuss strategies for career progression in industries that have traditionally been male-influenced. Panelists will talk about navigating workplace mentorship and sponsorship with leaders, especially across genders, and how to position themselves with hiring and promoting managers. The panel will discuss the increasing number of women progressing through industries where men are generally in influential positions and adjustments they are making to support more women in management. Participants will learn what techniques they can use when entering and progressing in these environments, and walk away with fresh insights on how to advance their careers.
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Work-Life Balance – An Unending Quest
Moderator(s): Deepa Poduval, Associate Vice President, Senior Managing Director Advisory & Planning, Black & Veatch
Panelist(s): Tiffany Callaway-Ferrell, VP Operations, Southern Company Gas, Latisha Hill, Vice President, Community & Economic Vitality, Avista Utilities, Nina Godiwalla, US Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Norton Rose Fulbright, John Kundly, Gas Operations Portfolio Manager, Southern California Gas Company
Finding a balance between demanding careers and our personal lives has always been a challenge, especially for women in the workforce. The current pandemic has potentially exacerbated feelings of imbalance with less separation between work and family life, and increased child-care and other family responsibilities. On the other hand, the ability to work from home may have opened avenues to achieve more time for our personal lives than typically possible. This panel will examine the continued quest for work-life balance faced by most women with focus on the changes that the current global pandemic has created in our historical work practices. We’ll explore ways to support a healthier balance, ways to achieve satisfaction from accepting being off-balance as needed and how to achieve improved well-being.
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Speaker(s): Britt Bachtel-Browning, Chief of Privacy and Data Ethics/Senior Counsel, Avista Corp.
Take Action – Feed Hungry Communities
Millions of people are getting help from food banks for the first time and we can all help. Join us in donating food and/or funds to a local food bank and let’s support our communities collectively!
To make donations easier we’ve identified a food bank in each person’s area that is currently open for food as well as cash donations. Click here to view the list.
How to Participate
• Collect donations for your local foodbank
• Weigh the food prior to delivering it to the foodbank
• Take a picture of your donation. The picture can be of the food, you writing a check or the smile on your face after pushing the Venmo button!
• Post a picture of your donation along with the weight or amount on the Symposium app prior to the beginning of Day 2, Friday, November 6.
• One (1) point is awarded for each pound of food or dollar donated.
• If a company makes a group donation those points will be divided by the number of Women in Energy Symposium full registrations from that company.
• In case of a tie the reward will be divided equally among the winning foodbanks.
• A picture of the donation must be posted on the Symposium app’s Social Wall.
Please contact Beverly Woolf if you have any questions.
Renita is the chief administrative officer for Burns & McDonnell, a $4.3 billion global engineering and construction firm. In her role, Renita oversees corporate services including human resources, marketing, communications, security, travel, fleet and facilities. Additionly, she leads the COVID-19 Response Team.
Renita joined Burns & McDonnell in 1988, beginning her career as a civil engineer, providing design and construction services across the U.S. Throughout the next two decades, she supported more than 100 projects for multiple aviation and military clients. In 2009, she was promoted to general manager for the California region and in 2011 was promoted to vice president. Under her leadership, this regional team grew from just a few employees to more than 250. The firm was named a best place to work seven times in southern California and revenue nearly quadrupled.
Her influence extends into mentoring, with an emphasis on promoting women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Renita helped form the Professional Women’s Exchange at Burns & McDonnell, which allows women to meet monthly to discuss challenges and learn from and engage with professionals. Additionally, Renita serves on the board for the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council, the Professional Advisory Board at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and volunteers with Girls Inc.
Renita was named a Women of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal, Woman of the Year in 2017 by the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Long Beach and the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS)-San Diego Woman of the Year in 2015.
Renita earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. While her home is in Kansas City, Missouri, she is a frequent traveler enjoying unique destinations from Antarctica to the Galapagos Islands.
Britt Bachtel-Browning is the Chief of Privacy and Data Ethics/Senior Counsel at Avista Corporation in Spokane, Washington, where she provides legal advice to variety of business segments on topics such as intellectual property, data privacy, data governance, policy and employment matters. Britt received her law degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and both during, and after law school, she worked for large law firms, the Copyright Office, Trademark Office and the Recording Industry Association of America, and also served as judicial clerk to the Honorable George Hastings, Jr. of the United States Court of Federal Claims. She is licensed to practice law in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. Britt moved back west in 2005 and lived in Oregon for several years working as an Assistant Attorney General for the state, then moved to Coeur d’Alene in 2011 to work for Avista. She adores Coeur d’Alene and lives on the lake with her husband and three Labrador Retrievers and is very active in the community.
Regina Mayor serves as KPMG’s Global and U.S. Head of Energy and Natural Resources. She is a recognized thought leader on the disruptive trends facing the various segments of the energy value chain – from the impact of millennial and baby boomers on gasoline consumption to the rapidly changing demands in the power generation segment. Regina brings over 25 years of experience delivering largescale business and technology changes to major energy companies around the world.
Regina is an expert on energy trends and oil prices, frequently appearing on major TV news networks like Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox Business, and in top-tier business press including Reuters, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.
She is also a strong voice for women and inclusion and has been recognized for her advocacy. In 2018, she was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Hall of Fame and named by Oil & Gas Investor as one of the 25 most influential women in Energy. In 2016 she was named one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women. She has been recognized by the Houston Business Journal as a “Who’s Who in Energy” every year since 2014 and “Women Who Mean Business” in 2017. She was also featured in cover stories in both SHALE magazine and Oil & Gas Financial Journal in July 2016.
Regina is the host of KPMG’s annual Global Energy Conference and is a sought-after speaker and participant for major industry forums such as Privcap’s Energy Game Change, Gastech, Platt’s LNG Conference, the World Energy Conference, Women’s Energy Network events, among others. She attended the World Economic Forum in Davos as a delegate representing KPMG, participating in key sessions that support the meeting’s annual agenda.
Regina served as an adjunct professor at Rice University’s Jones School of Business teaching energy strategy to professional MBA candidates and spoke at the Rice Energy Finance Summit in 2019. She also serves on the boards of the Cornell Energy Institute and the Petroleum Club of Houston.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University. She was an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and interned at the Pentagon as part of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) liaison office. Regina was born and raised in Pearl City, Hawaii, and currently resides in Houston, TX.
Kristin is currently the Field Operations Supervisor for Meter Services at Portland General Electric, responsible for the Service Inspection and Energy Recovery teams. She has been with PGE for nearly 30 years, with a wide variety of roles within the Utility Operations. She has managed groups including street lighting, warehouse operations, new construction design, and first responders in Response & Restoration within Line Operations. She serves as Vice President a to the Pleasant Home Water District Board of Commissioners. She enjoys camping, water sports, & ATV trips with her husband and two children.
Laura Vickers is the Director of Culture, Diversity and People Services at Avista Corp. in Spokane, Washington. Her areas of emphasis includes developing and implementing strategies that enhance the Company culture, increase employee experience and advance diversity, equity and inclusion including workforce diversity. Laura has been with Avista for twenty years in various roles in Human Resources, Energy Delivery, Accounting, and Finance, most recently as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Gonzaga University. Laura has also completed various coursework in leadership including the Energy Executive Course at the University of Idaho and the Leadership Development Program from the Center for Creative Leadership.
As a refugee from Vietnam and a proud Board member of the Spokane YWCA, Laura is passionate about helping young women build confidence to be strong advocates for themselves while promoting racial and social justice.
Laura serves on the Boards of the Spokane YWCA as Board Treasurer and the Avista Corp Credit Union recently completed her three-year term as Board President. In her spare time, Laura enjoys fishing and spending weekends at the lake. She stays active with her four children, ages 9 to 20 years old.
Tamara Bradley has been employed at Avista Utilities since 2011, and currently holds dual roles as the Advance Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Program Manager, as well as the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Manager. In her AMI role, Tamara is overseeing the deployment and implementation of 420,000 smart meters across Avista’s Washington Territory. The program is the largest capital project in the Company’s history. In her EAM role, Tamara leads a team of business analysts who support Maximo and Designer production software systems that integrate with various departments throughout the organization enabling them to schedule work, design jobs, meet gas compliance, and store Avista’s assets. Tamara received her Master’s in Leadership in 2019, and recently completed Women in Leadership Certificate program through Gonzaga University. Tamara enjoys white water rafting, camping, and all things sports related. She says if she didn’t work at Avista, she would give being a stand-up comedian a go.
At 16-years old Brandon Towle knew at the core of his being he was supposed to be a leader of leaders. But, he was largely for himself. He knew it, and so did everyone else around him, which greatly limited his ability to function to his fullest.
Instead of working to realize what it was truly like to be on the other side of him, his approach was to work harder and gain enough professional credibility to earn a seat at the table. Buried by the “hustle” fallacy, the bottom fell out. This desire for personal achievement negatively impacted some of his key relationships. As painful as this part of his journey was it really helped to clarify his personal purpose.
His military experience in the U.S. Coast Guard and vast professional experience working within marine operations and the energy sector exposed Brandon to various types of leaders, leadership styles and cultures. It also provided necessary experience and grittiness from within organizations to accompany his book knowledge Organizational Development.
Brandon has global experience in talent optimization and transformational leadership across many sectors and various cultures. He is currently the Owner and Chief Performance Officer of Yielded Consulting Services “Yielded”.
Brandon has never been clearer on his personal purpose. He is healthy, secure and for OTHERS.
Personal Purpose Statement – “Help leaders clarify and begin living in their unique Purpose, proactively combat the need to prove their worth, challenge them to love and engage with their families and lead teams/organizations where people holistically thrive.“
Previous clients include: Chick-fil-A, Forcepoint (a Raytheon company), Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (24th largest school district in US), Cyfair Federal Credit Union, Baker Hughes, Jordan Foster Construction, BP, Gulf Coast Long Term Care, BHP Billiton, Woodforest National Bank, and the Cyfair Volunteer Fire Department.
Martha Feeback is the Senior Director, Account Services, for Catalyst. Catalyst helps business leaders leverage all talent in their workforce to produce stronger results. Today, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit research organization working globally to expand opportunities for women and business. The Catalyst Annual Award recognizes organizations outstanding achievements in the areas of diversity and inclusion.
Martha is responsible for helping member organizations engage in diversity initiatives to drive innovation and employee engagement. She helps raise the awareness of unconscious biases in the workplace through research, actionable programs, and workshops. As a public speaker, Martha’s area of expertise at Catalyst involves unconscious bias, barriers to advancement of women in the workplace, engaging men in gender initiatives, and inclusive leadership.
Martha’s prior work experience includes a strong background in Consumer Products and Corporate Marketing with The Coca-Cola Company, Tele-Communications Inc., and Procter and Gamble. Martha earned her B.S. in Business from Miami University in Ohio and her MBA from the University of Washington.
Mr. Dillinger’s career spans 35 years with experience in public and private sector organizations and roles ranging from leadership of a 450-management consulting practice to decision support and operations research for the Petrochemical market. He has implemented innovative mentoring and intern programs that embedded the effort at Universities, created an internal career acceleration program focused on reducing time to position by 25 percent.
Mr. Dillinger is currently responsible for all strategic consulting and advisory service offerings across Woolpert, one of the nation’s premier architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firms with operations domestically and internationally.
Professionally, Mr. Dillinger is a noted subject matter expert in operations research, asset management, resiliency, condition assessment and life-cycle performance with multiple publications with the National Academy of Sciences, professional organizations and public agencies.
Darlene is the Business Resilience Manager at Jacobs and is responsible for the global program of Emergency Management, Crisis Management and Business Continuity. Prior to Jacobs, Darlene was the Houston Security Manager for Baker Hughes, an oilfield services company. Darlene is an Associate Member with the Business Continuity Institute and currently serving as the Women in Security Committee Chair for the ASIS Houston Chapter.
Joshua Binus is a policy strategist within BPA’s Enterprise Risk Management group, where he serves as the agency’s Industry Foresight lead. He has worked at BPA for twelve years, working in energy efficiency, load management, technology innovation, non-wires transmission planning, corporate strategy, and risk management. He has a B.S. in American environmental history, an M.A. in environmental history and history of science and is currently working on earning a Ph.D. in technology management.
As Executive Vice-President, Technical Centre reporting to Francois Poirier,
Ms. Kass has responsibility for all central technical functions including
engineering, construction management systems and processes, safety, quality
and compliance, security, supply chain, emergency management and resource
Prior to joining TC Energy, Ms. Kass has served as President and Chief Executive
Officer of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. (B&W). She has also held progressively
senior positions with B&W and in the energy sector for over 25 years.
Ms. Kass is a results-oriented leader with extensive experience that includes
engineering, finance, operations, project management, business development
and regulatory affairs. Having led significant acquisition integrations, divestitures
and enterprise initiatives, Leslie brings a wealth of knowledge that spans North
American and international markets.
Ms. Kass holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University
Fuqua School of Business in Durham, North Carolina and a Bachelor of Science
degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Robin Furrer was named BPA’s chief administrative officer in October 2019. She is responsible for BPA’s Human Resources Service Center; Information Technology; Safety; Security and Continuity of Operations; Supply Chain Services; Workplace Services; and the Diversity and Inclusion Office.
Previously, Furrer served as the vice president of Transmission Field Services for 14 years. In that role she was responsible for managing field operations, maintenance and construction of BPA’s high-voltage transmission system, and providing safe, reliable and cost-effective service to more than 500 customers. Transmission Field Services is BPA’s largest, most geographically diverse organization, with more than 900 employees spread across the agency’s 300,000 square-mile service area. BPA’s transmission system includes 15,000 circuit miles of transmission lines and more than 240 substations.
With over 30 years of experience in the electric utility industry, Furrer’s career has included all facets of transmission, from safety, security and reliability, to project siting, project management, design and engineering. She served on the Board of Directors for the Western Energy Institute in 2010 and served multiple terms on the Board of Directors for the North American Transmission Forum, influencing reliability and education across North America.
Furrer holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Portland State University and completed the University of Idaho’s Energy Executive Course.
A Northwest native, Furrer lives in Washington with her husband, daughter and beloved Bernese mountain dogs.
Kori Wormsbecker is the Journeyman Gas Serviceman Local Rep in Ritzville, Washington for Avista Utilities. She has been with Avista for almost 10 years and has been a Gas Serviceman Journeyman for 7 years. Kori enjoys camping and hiking with her wife and 2 Great Danes and is involved with the local chamber of commerce in Ritzville
Kacee Woods provides a lead role in coordinating and assisting in the development and implementation of Tacoma Power’s Training & Apprenticeship programs to enhance employee skills, abilities, knowledge and career opportunities.
Outside of her regular work duties, she is involved in many of Tacoma Power’s people programs including mentorship, and internship programs, diversity, outreach and recruitment initiatives, and Tacoma Power’s efforts in workforce development.
She gets to positively impact the people she works with, while also reaching those in the communities Tacoma Power serves. She is energized by experiencing the joy that comes from connecting people to opportunities, and helping others realize their potential!
Christian Paige serves as the Education Outreach Manager at Tacoma Public Utilities. He serves the utility through education based programming and helping with workforce development as it relates to youth. He has spent majority of his career in and around education. Paige has passion for equity, access and creating opportunities for historically underrepresented groups.
Renee’ Nickles is the Operations General Foreman at Portland General Electric, responsible for distribution and transmission electric Operations in the Portland area. Prior to her current role she led the Line, Substation, Meter, and Scada department for the City of Albany in GA . She volunteers at the Portland Rescue Mission here in Portland as she has a passion for people that are recovering and getting on their feet. She also provides job coaching in schools and various events.
Jennifer Walker is a director with Southern California Gas Company. She has been in the energy industry for over 20 years all at SoCalGas. Jennifer is an avid dirt bike rider and enjoys adventures in the deserts and mountains as often as she can. She is also passionate dog foster parent who has helped to re-home over 500 dogs in the last 20 years.
Deepa Poduval is a Vice President, leading the Global Strategic Advisory Practice within Black & Veatch Management Consulting. In this role, she provides executive management for transaction advisory, regulatory, financial advisory and energy market planning services. Deepa additionally leads Black & Veatch’s strategic solutions related to Decarbonization. Deepa brings substantial finance, utility and energy industry knowledge and has advised various clients on strategic responses to key issues impacting their business including executable pathways to achieve net zero objectives incorporating project viability, risk and future growth. She holds a Masters in Engineering Management from Dartmouth College and a Master of Science in Economics and B.E., Mechanical Engineering from B.I.T.S., Pilani in India.
Tiffany Callaway Ferrell serves as vice president of operations for Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas Companies where she is responsible for day-to-day operations, including safety, compliance, operational excellence and financial performance, for more than 700,000 customers. Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas are subsidiaries of Southern Company Gas which serves more than 4.5 million utility customers in seven states.
Most recently she was the General Manager of Shared Services, Georgia Power Company where she was responsible for leading several statewide organizations under the shared services umbrella, including Cable Locating, Geographical Solutions and Services, Land Engineering, Metering Services, and the Repair Shop.
Previous roles held by Ferrell in the energy industry at Southern Company Gas and Atlanta Gas Light, include director of regional operations; Metro Atlanta, regional manager, Central Georgia and automated meter reading; asset protection manager; operations manager of liquid natural gas facilities; and senior Federal Energy Regulatory Commission advisor.
Ferrell also served as fleet operations manager for Southern Company Gas, which led to her gubernatorial appointment to the Commission for a New Georgia Fleet Task Force.
Prior to joining Southern Company Gas, Ferrell held roles in logistics and engineering with General Mills Inc.
Ferrell was a member of the 2005 inaugural L.E.A.D Atlanta class and Leadership Macon 2010 and Leadership DeKalb 2013. She currently serves on the Atlanta Business League Board of Directors, Chair and is an officer on The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Incorporated, Metropolitan Atlanta Board of Directors.
She is an active member of the community and was honored in the 2012 issue of “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta for Corporate Brass.” She was honored as one of the 100 Most Influential African-American Women in Atlanta in 2017 by the Atlanta Business League and received the prestigious League Leadership Award in 2016.
Ferrell received her chemical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and was awarded the Gertrude Vanderbilt Scholarship. She earned a Master of Business Administration at Robinson School of Business, Georgia State University, where she was selected as a Nita Robinson Scholar and served as an adjunct professor.
Tiffany and her family live in Atlanta. She spends her free time with her family and is actively engaged in her community through her church and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.
Mona currently works for San Diego Gas & Electric as the Emergency Operations Services Manager where she oversees emergency planning, EOC Operations, and regulatory compliance for the utility. Mona came from the City of San Diego Office of Homeland Security Senior Homeland Security Coordinator where her projects included EOC Manager, Emergency Planning, Training & Exercise Program, Access and Functional Needs Program, Care & Shelter Program, and Disaster Recovery. Prior to joining the City, she worked for Heartland Fire & Rescue as the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Her responsibilities included development of emergency plans (COOP, EOP, and Evacuation Plans) for a tri-City area. Additionally, Mona was responsible for the Community Emergency Preparedness and Outreach programs.
Previous to working the government sector, Mona’s experience also includes non-profit organizations. She was on the steering committee to develop the 211 system and eventually work for 211 San Diego as the Chief Operating Officer as well as the American Red Cross where she held several key management positions, including Director of Disaster Response and Preparedness.
Mona has been involved in disaster preparedness training, planning, response and recovery efforts for over 25 years. She was involved in major disaster responses, both locally and out of area, most notably the Northridge earthquake, Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike, the 2004 Tsunami in Thailand and the 2003 and 2007 San Diego wildfires.
Mona Freels has a dual bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security & Emergency Management from National University, is certified by the California Office of Emergency Services with the Advanced Professional Series certification and has a Type III credential in 6 EOC positions from the California State Training Institute.
Latisha Hill is Vice President, Community & Economic Vitality. She assumed these responsibilities on Jan. 1, 2020. Hill is a Spokane native and has a Bachelors in Communications from Washington State University and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Eastern Washington University. She has worked in a number of roles since joining Avista in 2005, including operational and business policy support for multiple areas of the Avista service territory.
Most recently, Hill has led the redevelopment of the University District South Landing development that resulted in the Catalyst building that is currently under construction. Hill completed the Willamette Executive Utility Management Program and the Finance for Non-Finance Executives Program at Wharton Business School.
Over the past decade, Hill has served on several community boards and committees, including the Group Health Foundation, Visit Spokane, University District Public Development Authority, Northeast Public Development Authority, the Washington State Transportation Commission and Greater Spokane Incorporated, to participate in efforts to move the community and region forward and foster economic development and vitality.
Mayra is the Manager of Relay Technical Operations at Portland General Electric (PGE), responsible for all the maintenance and commissioning of protective relays and apparatus testing for PGE’s 200+ substations and generation plants. Mayra joined PGE in 2009 and has worked in various engineering roles before taking on a managerial role in 2019. Mayra enjoys spending time outdoors and playing sports with her husband and her two kids.
John has been with SoCalGas for the past 15 years. He has had various roles in Engineering, Project Management, Operations, and Supply Chain. Currently he is the Portfolio Manager for SoCalGas’ Gas Operations Portfolio, which manages service and material contracts with a yearly spend of $1 billion. John has recently completed his MBA at the University of Southern California. John moved out to Los Angeles from Ohio in 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo and is a licensed Professional Engineer in California. John has been married for 10 years to his wife, Christine and has three children.