Women are traditionally underrepresented in the energy industry, with an extreme disparity continuing into both leadership and trade positions. This program addresses some of the opportunities and challenges that women face working in the energy industry and advocates for workplace inclusion and teamwork. Open to both women and men, WEI members will join together for leadership training, education, networking and mentorship. Sessions include executive panels with both males and females, and roundtable discussions on internal support for inclusion. With a growing emphasis on cross-functional teams and diverse skill sets, this program will support utility directives to build a cohesive workforce.
Women and men in all facets of the utility are encouraged to join us for this dynamic conversation. If you have an interest in this capacity for yourself or your employees, we invite you to join us.
Member: $599 USD
Regular: $899 USD
Registration prices increase $100 after September 30, 2017. Registration includes meeting materials, two receptions, two breakfasts, and one lunch. Guest tickets are available for $150 and allow for a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event.
11:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Optional Networking Activities
Tour the SDG&E Escondido Lithium Ion Battery Storage Facility.
Tour the world's largest lithium ion battery storage facility in Escondido, CA. The 30 MW, 120 MWh facility is capable of serving 20,000 customers for 4 hours. Join us for a private tour of this leading edge facility.
Registration will open over the summer as the details are confirmed.
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Breakfast + Registration
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Welcome + Conference Overview
Speaker(s): Erin Boyd, Manager, Measurement, Data & Analytics, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Our chair will welcome attendees and share important announcements.
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Speaker(s): Sue Kelly, President and CEO, American Public Power Association
Where is the energy industry headed? How do we not only adapt, but remain one step ahead rather than two steps behind? How are the proposals and actions of the new administration likely to impact our efforts to move forward? Sue Kelly, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association and one of Washington’s “Most Powerful Women” in 2015, will share with us her perspective on these questions, the latest in Washington, DC, and how we can make a lasting impact on the industry and our careers.
9:30 AM - 9:40 AM
9:40 AM - 10:40 AM
Energy Policy Panel Discussion
Speaker(s): Dan Kirschner, Executive Director, Northwest Gas Association, Maura Brueger, Director, Government & Legislative Affairs, Seattle City Light, Nina Odell, Puget Sound Energy, Rosalie Barcinas, Principal Manager, Southern California Edison
10:40 AM - 11:00 AM
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Battery Basics: Banking on Benefits
Speaker(s): Jason Zyskowski, Interim Sr. Mgr. Substation, Metering & Telecom Services, Snohomish County PUD, Connie Mosier, Vice President, Project Management & Construction, E.ON
The panel will discuss the planning, installation, operation and use cases of several utility battery energy storage systems. Lessons learned from the projects will be shared as well as discussion about technology and standards.
Riding the Wave: Navigating the waters of innovations to meaningfully engage in the energy transition
Speaker(s): Curtis Kirkeby, Fellow Electrical Engineer, Avista Utilities
Smart Grid. Internet of Things. Distributive generation. Grid edge. If you work in the utility industry you've likely heard of these terms and initiatives but what does it all mean, and more importantly, what does it mean for you and your business? Join this roundtable to hear different perspectives on the varying hardware, software and business innovations that are increasingly enabling smarter, better connected infrastructure that will revolutionize the electric power grid.
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
1:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Working Across Generations
Speaker(s): Lillian Tsai, Diversity & Inclusion Trainer, Coach, Speaker & Consultant, TsaiComms, Alisa Blum, Corporate Trainer, Facilitator, Leadership Coach, Author & Speaker, TsaiComms
We currently have three generations of employees in the workplace, with a fourth generation beginning to enter the workplace. Each generational cohort has unique communication preferences. This two-hour workshop will help participants understand the communication preferences of each generation, learn strategies to bridge these differences and how to develop more productive relationships at work.
3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Sponsorship vs. Mentorship: Which one fits your career development?
Speaker(s): Tim Swanson, Director, Information Systems, FortisBC, Kristin Stathis, Vice President, Customer Service Operations, Portland General Electric, Nancy Arroyoavila, Manager, Gas Technical Curriculum Development, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Annette Gardiner, Vice President of Gas Strategic Development, Itron, Inc.
We’ve all heard about the benefits of mentorship while navigating our careers. However, what is sponsorship? In this session, senior leaders will discuss the differences between mentors and sponsors, how to organically create these relationships, and when to use them in your career development plan.
5:15 PM - 6:30 PM
Reception on the pool deck. Appetizers will be served.
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
No-host Dinner (optional)
No-host dinners where conference attendees are welcome to join pre-arranged groups walking to nearby restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter or Seaport Village. More details to come on restaurant choices and how to join groups for additional conversation and networking over dinner.
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Keeping the Energy Industry Relevant
Speaker(s): Sheri Givens, President, Givens Consulting, Robin Lunt, OF Councel, Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer, LLP
In today's increasingly tech-focused era, how can an uber-traditional and heavily regulated industry keep up with technology demands in a way that appeases the increasingly engaged consumer, attracts top talent who may otherwise consider employment with the Googles and Facebooks of the world, and continue to attract the investment that is needed to further transform the industry – all while keeping the lights on.
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Energy – The New Lifestyle
Speaker(s): Uzma Siddiqi, Principal Electric Power Systems Engineer, Seattle City Light, Suzanne Figy, Products and Services Manager, Avista Utilities, Kate Doll, Director of Customer Success, Enervee, Lisa Weiss, Senior Experience Design Advisor, Slalom Consulting
You’ve heard it a million times by now – the utility industry is being disrupted, our business model has been turned on its head, utilities are a dinosaur waiting to die. While not to be entirely disputed, the industry has stepped up to the challenge that customers are no longer interested in buying just electrons, but rather a lifestyle. This panel will discuss how the industry is responding to these new demands, provide insights and strategies on creating new products and services that offer customers the lifestyle they’d like, and enable attendees to more easily navigate the path from concept to reality.
Cyber Threats are Real: Coping with the Hacking Future
Speaker(s): Jessica Matlock, Director of Government Relations, Snohomish County PUD, Bryce Hilsmann, Supervisor, Operations Technology and Security, FortisBC, Kristen Worosz, Senior Advisor, Products and Services, Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center
The next decade will see enormous growth in cyberspace. More people, more devices, more connectivity, more data. This will offer opportunities and risks, especially related to cyber security. This session will examine the future of cyber security and the challenges utilities face trying to balance privacy with open access to information.
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Negotiation Tactics and Alternate Methods to Handle Difficult Situations
Speaker(s): Leslie Duke P.E., Group President, Burns & McDonnell
11:30 AM - 11:45 AM
11:45 AM - 12:15 PM
Join the Program Development Team to share feedback and brainstorm ideas for next year’s symposium.
Please contact the hotel directly at (619) 230-8955 to reserve your room, or click the link below to reserve online. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $239/night. This rate is guaranteed until September 30, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.
Sheri Givens is President of Givens Consulting LLC, an Austin, Texas-based energy consulting firm. Her clients include consumer advocate and non-profit organizations, trade associations, investors, and U.S. and international government agencies and utilities. Sheri’s focus is on utility consumer engagement, education, protection, advocacy, and regulatory policy. Her professional experience includes nearly twenty years in legal, regulatory, legislative, and external affairs. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Women in Energy.
From 2009 to 2013, Sheri was twice appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry, and confirmed by the Texas Senate, to lead the Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel, the state’s consumer advocacy agency representing residential and small business utility customers before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), regulatory agencies, and courts. Sheri served as a Director on the Boards of both the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s independent system operator, and the Texas Reliability Entity Inc., the state’s Regional Entity for the ERCOT region. She was elected, by fellow nationwide advocates, to the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA). Her prior positions have included senior advising attorney at the PUCT, assistant general counsel at the Texas Workforce Commission, and various roles in the Texas Legislature.
Sheri obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Energy Bar Association, Association of Women in Energy, and Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment.
Robin Lunt is an attorney at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP (WBK) her practice focuses on state and federal energy regulation, policy and strategic guidance for utilities and emerging companies in the energy vertical. She brings a pragmatic and strategic problem solving approach to clients that draws on her combination of experience as a policy maker and in the private sector. Her work crosses the spectrum of issues faced by utilities and technology companies in the energy vertical. She advises clients on a variety of issues including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state utility commission regulatory filings, other state and federal administrative agency actions, the deployment of new technologies into a utility system and commercial contracts and corporate transactional matters.
Prior to joining WBK, Robin worked as the general counsel of a venture backed energy technology company, and before that as a legal and policy advisor to WBK’s Tony Clark when he served as a Commissioner at FERC where she covered western electricity matters, oil and gas pipeline orders and contributed to significant policy making matters. Prior to that, she worked closely with state public utility commissions as the assistant general counsel to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). She started her legal career at a boutique Washington D.C. law firm working on redevelopment efforts for US Air Force BRAC and other contaminated sites and in shaping the US Department of Interior regulations for off-shore wind development.