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
Women in Leadership Participant: $249 USD
Registration includes virtual access to all agenda items and digital program materials. The Women in Leadership participant ticket is available to enrollees of the 2021/2022 Women in Leadership Mentoring + Development program. This 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
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): Nada Siddik, Manager, TC Energy
The Chair of the 2021 Women in Energy Symposium, Nada Siddik, 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
2021 Winter Storms, a CEO’s Perspective
Speaker(s): Jackie Sargent, General Manager, Austin Energy
Austin Energy’s General Manager and CEO, Jackie Sargent, will discuss some of the unique conditions faced by her utility during the February 2021 winter storms. Sargent’s discussion will include planning and workforce challenges, operational hurdles, successes, and lessons learned in carrying out her team’s goal of serving the Austin community in the most difficult of circumstances.
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Shame as It Impacts our Work Life, Advancement, and our View of Ourselves
Speaker(s): Shawn Horn, Psychologist, Dr. Shawn Horn
Dr. Shawn Horn, licensed psychologist, author and speaker, will explore the differences between guilt and shame and how the latter can affect your professional life as well as your self esteem.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Your Voice Matters. Be the Influence that Leads to Change!
Moderator(s): Kat Shoa, Senior Advisor, Southern California Edison
Panelist(s): Anna Scarlett, Director of Business Transformation, Avista Utilities, Julie Davern, Managing Consultant, PA Consulting, Lorene Miller, Managing Director, Customer Service, Southern California Edison
Do you see opportunities for change within your team and/or organization? As decisions are being made, is your voice heard and your perspective valued? You can be influential from any position within the organization. Join us for an interactive panel discussion that will lay out the key components of influence and share strategies to increase impact and affect change throughout your professional career.
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
The Male Perspective on Diversity: Lessons and Challenges
Moderator(s): Megan Weismantel, Business Development Manager, Burns & McDonnell
Panelist(s): Chris Norquist, VP, People & Technology Operations, Burns & McDonnell, Phillip Andrew, Sr. Director, Utilities, Jacobs, Mike Miller, Vice President of Engineering and Technical Services, Bonneville Power Administration, Shane Hester, Field Planning & Scheduling Manager, Bonneville Power Administration
In this session, our panelists will share their perspectives of women in predominately male industries. The panel will dive into the benefits of diverse workplaces, how to be an ally to women, and what women can take more advantage of to be better leaders. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from our panelists’ experiences in shaping systemic changes to support women. We hope you are able to walk away with actionable steps to benefit yourself and the rest of your company.
2:00 PM - 3:30 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
Speaker(s): Nada Siddik, Manager, TC Energy
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Clean Energy: Reliability, Sustainability and Resiliency - Oh My!
Moderator(s): Heather Donaldson, Managing Director, Black & Veatch
Panelist(s): Janice Lin, Founder and CEO, Strategen, Mike Marsh, President and Chief Executive Officer, SaskPower, Sarah Sweet, Electric Vehicle Program Manager, Tacoma Power
A discussion about the utility disruption being driven by the transition to clean energy. Attendees will take away an understanding of both the disruptors and the emerging technologies, tools and approaches utilities are using to manage and mitigate the disruption.
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Understanding Our Own Implicit Bias
Speaker(s): Mia Navarro, Policy and Program Manager, Office of Equity and Human Rights, Tacoma Power
What is bias? This is a question individuals and companies struggle with every day. This presentation will explore the science and manifestations of bias as well as provide some practical tools to tackle bias.
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Find the topics that interest you most. The format is informal and conversational with each participant sharing their thoughts on the subject.
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
The Importance of Women in the Trades
Moderator(s): Danielle Schofield, Director Strategic Sales, Landis+Gyr
Panelist(s): DaVonna Johnson, Chief People & Culture Officer, Seattle City Light, Erika Rothenberger, Director of Performance Systems, Henkels & McCoy, Inc., Ivan Insua, Director, Hydro Generation, Salt River Project
Women have held an important place in the trades since well before Rosie the Riveter, but today the need and opportunities are greater than ever. This panel of executives in the utility industry will share their thoughts on why craft workers who identify as female have a vital role in the future of the energy industry.
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Speaker(s): Nada Siddik, Manager, TC Energy
Anna Scarlett is the Director of Business Transformation at Avista in Spokane, Wash. In this role she is leading Avista through a transformation effort aimed at creating break-through, lasting value for customers, shareholders, and employees.
After spending 10 years in journalism, public relations, strategic communications and brand management, she joined Avista in 2008 as a communications manager and has since held various leadership roles in energy delivery and customer solutions. She has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from Whitworth University and an MBA from the University of Idaho. Anna was born in Spokane and lives in Valleyford with her husband, Ty, their Vizsla, Bella, and their Chiweenie, Cap’n Jack.
As a management consultant, Julie engages with organizations running transformational programs with a focus on Human Centric design that can improve employee experience. As a key component of her role, Julie coaches people at all organizational levels to examine personal values, purpose, principles and assumptions with the goals of raising individual levels of awareness and accountability to liberate people to make good authentic choices aligned with their best interests.
Megan is a Business Development Manager with Burns & McDonnell. She works with utilities across the country focusing on providing solutions and resources. She has been in the industry for 7 years. Megan enjoys traveling, golfing, and cooking new foods.
Chris Norquist is the Vice President of People & Technology Operations for the Transmission & Distribution Global Practice in Kansas City. In his role, he is focused on employee engagement, technical excellence, and forward-looking technology deployments for a team of more than 700 employee-owners. Chris has worked in the T&D industry for 19 years. His hobbies include going on adventures with his wife and 3 kids, golfing, and time at the lake.
Phil has more than 35 years’ experience in program management, quality, natural gas pipeline design, maintenance, installation and operation. Phil’s experience has focused on pipeline operations, management excellence, regulatory strategy and testimony, program management, metrics, project management, administration, emergency response and continuous improvement.
Phillip currently serves as the Division Vice President – Utilities for Jacobs’ Western Region. Jacobs is providing various services and acting as Program Management Office (PMO) in support of several western utilities.
Mike Miller is the Vice President of Engineering and Technical Services. Mike started at BPA in 1992 as an Electrical Engineer after graduating from Central Washington University. He has worked in many positions over his 28 years in the electric utility industry, gaining business knowledge and leadership experience. In 2018, Mike earned his Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership. Mike has been married for 26 years and has three children.
Shane began his journey in the electrical utility industry as a journeyman lineman apprentice in 1993, coming to work at BPA as a lineman in 1999. Prior to his current role as manager of Work Planning and Evaluation, he served as the specialty service manager for Transmission Field Services, managing multiple crews within the various crafts. As a work planner/scheduler for Transmission Field Services, Shane played a critical role in developing the demand and capacity models along with the reporting for the transmission business line at BPA. Shane volunteers as an ESF-12 emergency responder for the Department of Energy and has deployed multiple times to Saipan and Puerto Rico to help communities recover following natural disasters.
Janice Lin is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Strategen. Janice has over than two decades of experience in clean energy strategy, market development, and corporate strategy. Janice uses the Strategen platforms of consulting, association management, and events to achieve measurable global impact in growing the clean energy sector. Through Association Management, she has distinguished herself as a leading clean energy changemaker. Janice co-founded and for a decade served as Executive Director of the California Energy Storage Alliance, where she helped create the world’s most robust energy storage market. Janice is an internationally recognized thought leader in energy storage and grid decarbonization and won the 2019 Cleanie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2019 Janice launched the Green Hydrogen Coalition, an educational non-profit dedicated to facilitating policies and practices to advance the production and use of green hydrogen in all sectors where it will accelerate the transition to a carbon free energy system.
Ms. Donaldson is a Managing Director at Black & Veatch in Management Consulting. She focuses on energy industry transformation primarily related to grid modernization, transportation electrification, and distributed energy resource integration. Her 25 years of experience spans electricity industry domains including transportation electrification, distributed energy resource integration, grid modernization, wholesale markets, and distribution and transmission planning.
She is responsible for developing and delivering Black & Veatch strategy and planning solution offerings for our transportation electrification and DER integration solutions. For the last decade, Ms. Donaldson has been actively engaged in grid modernization. While working for the California ISO, she held the position of Director Smart Grid Technology and Strategy charged with developing roadmaps and strategy to promote grid modernization to benefit the transmission system. While at SCE she held a position in distribution planning responsible for leading company filing for grid modernization. At the California Public Utilities Commission, she acted as the interconnection ombudsman and special advisor on the distribution resource plan, electric vehicle, and interconnection related distribution and operations proceedings. She led several California roadmaps including Energy Storage, Demand Response, and Vehicle-Grid-Integration leading to actions in policy, planning, and grid operations. Her experience spans electricity industry domains including distributed energy resource integration (DR, EE, EV, Energy Storage, microgrids), grid modernization, wholesale markets, and distribution and transmission planning.
Ms. Donaldson is a recognized thought leader serving as a former member and advisor in forums focused on business model and policy changes and enabling technical capabilities. Specifically, Ms. Donaldson served as a member of the DOE EAC appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy for two terms from 2014 – 2018. During this period, she served on peer review committees and contributed to several DOE efforts including the DSPx and other outputs of the Grid Modernization Lab Consortium (GMLC). She also served as an advisor for NIST on its Smart Grid Advisory Committee until its dissolution in 2019. In this role, she advised NIST and contributed to interoperability principles and standards. She served on the GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC) to help drive frameworks for interoperability and transactive energy.
Mike Marsh became President and Chief Executive Officer in April 2015. He joined SaskPower in 1991, following 12 years in the construction industry in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
At SaskPower, Mr. Marsh has held several management positions in engineering, maintenance, business planning and corporate planning. He joined the SaskPower Executive table as Vice-President of Transmission and Distribution in 2007. In 2012, he became Vice-President of Operations and Chief Operations Officer, responsible for all operational areas including Power Production, Transmission Services and Distribution Services.
Mr. Marsh attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He later studied at Queen’s School of Business and obtained a Master of Business Administration. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan.
Mr. Marsh received the 2016 Electricity Industry Leader of the Year Award from Electricity Human Resources Canada. In January 2018, he was named the University of Saskatchewan College of Engineering’s 42nd C.J. Mackenzie Distinguished Lecturer and was an inductee to the Alumni Wall of Distinction, College of Engineering.
Jackie Sargent rejoined the Austin Energy team as General Manager in August 2016. She brings over 33 years of utility experience, as well as the focus and passion to continue the utility’s emphasis on environmental leadership, innovation and customer value.
From 2010 to 2012, Sargent served as Senior Vice President of Power Supply and Market Operations at Austin Energy before joining Platte River Power Authority in Fort Collins, Colorado, as General Manager and CEO. Sargent also served as Vice President of Power Supply and Renewables Integration for Black Hills Corporation in South Dakota.
Throughout her career, Sargent has demonstrated leadership by working with teams to accomplish goals and plan for the future. Some notable accomplishments include managing major construction projects, developing resource plans, supporting acquisitions and mergers, leading utility rate cases, negotiating power purchase and sale agreements, developing and growing energy marketing departments, integrating renewable resources, and creating collaborative energy efficiency programs.
Sargent believes Austin Energy provides great benefit to its customers and community by offering programs and services to best meet their needs and values. This is accomplished by maintaining a strong financial base, providing safe and reliable service, fostering innovation, demonstrating environmental leadership, creating a positive employee experience, and actively engaging customers, stakeholders and the community.
Sargent is a licensed professional engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Technology Management from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. In 2017 she was recognized by RMEL with their Distinguished Leadership Award. Additionally, Sargent is the recipient of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Distinguished Alumni Award. She is the Vice Chair of LPPC, and serves on the board of directors for TPPA, AARO, and TxETRA. She previously served on the APPA, ERCOT and RMEL board of directors.
Dr Shawn Horn is a licensed psychologist, author and speaker. In addition to her private practice in Spokane, WA, she serves as faculty at the University of Washington’s Medical School (Spokane’s Psychiatric Residency Program), is columnist for TOI magazine, hosts Inspired Living Podcast, is a media consultant, founder of Instagram’s The Psychology Directory, and host of YouTube’s Digital Practice. With over two decades of experience in the mental health field she is now bringing the wisdom of the therapy room to larger audiences. Her mission is to bust through shame, ignite hope and inspire wholehearted living!
Mia Navarro (she/her) has served as A Policy and Program Manager for the City of Tacoma Office of Equity and Human Rights since 2018. Mia provides equity related training to City employees, and supports departments in designing and delivering equitable services. She also works closely with organizational leadership to increase equity in the workforce and improve workplace culture for underrepresented groups. Prior to joining the City of Tacoma, Mia served as the community Engagement Manager for the City of Tukwila, Associate Director of Community Services for the Tacoma Housing Authority, helped to implement the Systems Change Initiative to End Family Homelessness in Pierce County, and worked in several roles, including Executive Director, for the Washington State Coalition for the Homeless. Ms. Navarro holds a Bachelors Degree in Music from the University of Southern California, a Master in Business Administration from Western Governors University, and is currently working on a PhD in Leadership Studies at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.
Lorene serves as managing director of the Customer Service Re-Platform Program and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of a new Customer Information System to more effectively serve Southern California Edison’s customers. In over 30 years at SCE, Lorene has held several management and executive positions in Customer Service and IT, including five years as director of the company’s Customer Contact Center.
She has driven the integration of business processes and technology throughout her career, from the company’s early advancement of e-commerce to more recent expansion of Digital customer self-service interactions. Lorene established the “Women in IT” enrichment forum at SCE and has served on the board of the Asian American Professional Association, a mentoring organization that promotes career advancement of minority professionals.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from California State University at Los Angeles and a Master of Science degree in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne. She enjoys playing tennis, golf and spending time with her husband and two teenage sons.
Kat Shoa is a Senior Advisor, OCM Lead at Southern California Edison. Prior to SCE, Kat was a management consultant working with CEOs, board members, executives, technology/IT and operations teams of public and private companies from middle-market businesses to multi-national corporations. She helped with strategic planning, business transformation, revenue growth, and served interim executive positions, including as Interim CEO of a boutique IT company with a national clientele. Kat has a degree in Computer Science & Engineering, and is also an award winning artist.
Danielle Schofield is currently the Director of Strategic Development for Landis+Gyr technology – a leading utility global provider of Grid Modernization, Smart Grid technology and energy management solutions. Danielle is responsible for providing leadership, strategic planning, and customer solutions for the Landis+Gyr portfolio of smart grid solutions including communication field area networks, smart metering infrastructure, advanced grid analytics, distribution automation, advanced load management and Smart City and streetlighting solutions.
Before Landis+Gyr Danielle worked as the Regional Director for Henkels & McCoy Construction- a leading Transmission and Distribution construction and engineering firm leading the development of major capital T&D and Substation projects in addition to Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) utility projects all over the Western US. Danielle also worked for 18 years at Southern California Edison as a Manager in the Business Customer Division responsible for the Customer Programs and Services, and Account Management of the largest Industrial C&I customers. Danielle started her career at Enron Energy Services and Access Energy as a Marketing Manager in the Natural Gas division of Southern California. She is very active in the Western Energy Institute (WEI) currently serving as the WEI Supplier Committee Vice Chairman for 2020 and Board of Directors member.
Danielle graduated from Chapman University with a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Long Beach State University.
Sarah Sweet considers herself a pragmatic environmentalist and has focused her expertise in transportation electrification, greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy. She has provided outreach and education around electric vehicles since 2017, developed and launched the second multifamily EV charging pilot in WA State, and also works on the City of Tacoma’s Climate Action Plan. Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College.
DaVonna Johnson is responsible for development of Utility-wide Workforce strategy, policy and programs designed to attract, develop, train and support a highly skilled diverse workforce to meet the Utility’s needs now and in the future. Provides leadership in transforming the Utility into a safe, high performance organization through excellence in talent management, organizational development, apprenticeship, technical training, employee services, employee relations, labor relations, safety and health and wellness. DaVonna has been with Seattle City Light since 2004.
DaVonna has more than 15 years managing and leading teams in both the public and private sector. A background in leading customer experience improvement initiatives and managing strategic partnerships, and expertise in working with programs that serve diverse multicultural communities.
DaVonna is a native of Seattle. She has three teenagers with her husband Del. True to her Seattle roots she enjoys reading, coffee and a good weekend rain storm.
Erika Rothenberger is the Director of Performance Systems for the East Region of Henkels & McCoy, Inc. (H&M). In this capacity she is responsible for overseeing the East Region’s continuous improvement/LEAN roll out initiatives working with the Quality and Operator Qualification groups, as well as leadership training across the Region to ultimately create increased flow across the business organization and provide value added support to Operations. She provides leadership and guidance and ensures adherence to the highest safety and quality standards. Ms. Rothenberger is highly skilled in client relations, contract negotiation, project site management, strategic planning, budgeting, and staff supervision.
Ms. Rothenberger has more than 19 years of experience in project management and implementing strategies to maximize performance in equipment, manpower, and estimating. She joined H&M in 2012 as a Senior Project Manager, was promoted to Operations Manager, progressing to Director of Gas Distribution, and then accepted the leadership position she holds today. Prior to joining H&M, Ms. Rothenberger held leadership positions at The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Opus East, LLC, Pusey Electric, and Uni-Solar/ECD.
Ms. Rothenberger holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Villanova University and a Masters in Business Administration.
Ms. Rothenberger is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), LEED Accredited Professional, a member of Montgomery County Drug & Alcohol Board, POWER committee Executive Roundtable member and chair, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, Women in Construction, ENSPIRE chair, and was named the Top Under 40 to watch by CREW.
Ivan Insua serves as the Director of Hydro Generation at Salt River Project (SRP), a not-for-profit provider of water and power in central Arizona. Working with internal and external partners, Ivan is responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of dams and hydroelectric facilities under the care of SRP, on behalf of the Bureau of Reclamation. Ivan has nearly two decades of experience in the utility industry which includes plant engineering and operations, outage planning and scheduling, resource analysis and strategy. Ivan is also a member of the SRP Power System DE&I Committee, a cross-departmental team currently delving into gender equity matters within the organization.