Women in Leadership (May 24-25)

The utility energy workforce is typically only about 25 percent women, as compared to the general population where women make up roughly half of the total workforce. Organizational efficiency is characterized by a balanced workforce both in terms of skill sets and perspectives. This mentorship program addresses some of the opportunities and challenges that women face working in the energy industry, advocates for workplace inclusion and teamwork, and discusses critical issues related to attracting and maintaining a diverse workforce. Formal opportunities for mentorship provide women in the industry with support for increased retention and satisfaction. Mentors and mentees are matched up across companies, and then connect over an eight month period with two in-person meetings, once at an executive forum in May and once at the WEI Annual Meeting in September.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Booga Gilbertson, Puget Sound Energy

    • Program Location
    • Puget Sound Energy
    • 355 110th Ave NE
      Bellevue, WA 98004
    • Who Should Attend
    • Mentors consist of female executives including utility company presidents, vice presidents, general managers and senior directors who have significant experience in the utility industry and an in-depth understanding of various utility functions.

      Mentees consist of female directors, managers, supervisors and front-line employees who want to develop their leadership skills, gain a broad perspective of the utility industry, and discuss workplace challenges for experiential learning.

      Space is limited. Participants will be invited to register after being accepted to the program via the application process. Service company mentors and mentees also encouraged to apply.

      WEI has several programs supporting diversity and inclusion in the utility industry. For more information about WEI’s Women in Energy Symposium, visit

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $1,299 USD
    Mentoring materials, registration for the Kickoff Forum and Annual Meeting, including all specified meals.

    Space is limited and applications must be submitted and accepted before participants are given access to registration. View more program information including a timeline for applications and program participation here.

    Mentor Application available here.
    Mentee Application available here.

  • 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 Diana Zoren, Director of Operations Programs at (971) 255-4965.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Registration + Check-In

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Welcome and Introduction
Speaker(s): Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President, Operations, Puget Sound Energy

Get to know the other mentors and mentees of the 2018 Women in Leadership Bellevue Cohort. Attendees are encouraged to share their background in the energy industry and individual goals for what they hope to get out of the program.

2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Insights on Expectations
Panelist(s): Jennifer Tada, Director C&P, Puget Sound Energy, Sarah Haroldsen, OMS Supervisor, Puget Sound Energy, Alpa Parikh, Director Internal Audit, Puget Sound Energy, Carrie Keating, Supervisor Gas System Design, Puget Sound Energy

Puget Sound Energy has an internal Mentor/Mentee program and we will their insights on getting the best value from your relationship as a Mentor and Mentee.

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM

Strategies for Successful Mentoring
Speaker(s): Kimberly Harris, President and Chief Executive Officer, Puget Sound Energy

Learn best practices for working with your mentor or mentee from an energy executive.

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM

Mentor + Mentee Kickoff Session

Mentors and mentees will have an opportunity meet one another face to face during this time. The session will end with a mentoring exercise in pairs.

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

WEI Hosted Networking Reception + Dinner

Friday, May 25, 2018

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Networking Breakfast

Catered at Puget Sound Energy

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Executive Panel: Experiential Learning + Promoting Diversity
Moderator(s): Gillian Wright, Chief HR & Administration Officer, Southern California Gas Company
Panelist(s): Chris Robinson, Superintendent, Tacoma Power, Karen Feltes, Senior Vice President and CHRO, Avista Utilities, Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President, Operations, Puget Sound Energy, Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President, Operations, Puget Sound Energy

A panel of male and female executives will join us for a discussion on navigating the traditionally male-dominated utility industry. Hear about their journey, lessons learned, and how they leveraged mentors, coaches, and sponsors along the way. There will be an opportunity for the panel members to respond to questions from the audience at the end of the facilitated portion.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Networking Break

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Mentorship Expectations Breakouts

During this session mentors and mentees will participate in breakout groups and engage in roundtable conversation. Mentors will discuss best practices around providing feedback, expectations of mentees, program specific goals, and leveraging the mentoring relationship for future growth. Mentees will discuss expectations for mentors, receiving feedback, and how to leverage the mentoring relationship for development.

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Mentorship Expectations Debrief

Mentors and mentees will come back to the table and each group will share what they discussed and learned in the breakout session. We will conclude the session with a group dialogue around best practices and expectations of the mentoring relationship.

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Logistics Overview + next steps presentation

WEI will share logistics of the next steps for the remainder of the mentoring program, including a best practices discussion about networking.

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Working lunch +

Mentors and mentees will have a mentoring session around developing a mentoring agreement and plan for next steps over lunch. Program goals, follow up sessions, and topics for future meetings will be discussed.

Hotel + Travel

  • Immerse yourself in a stylish city escape at Courtyard Seattle Bellevue/Downtown. Just 15 minutes from exciting attractions in Downtown Seattle and a short drive from Lake Washington, our hotel in Bellevue, WA ensures travelers easy access to all the adventures they crave. Combine convenience with comfort in our modernly appointed accommodations, boasting chic sitting areas, luxury bedding, complimentary Wi-Fi and large work desks with ergonomic chairs for travelers wishing to stay productive in privacy. Fuel the day's activities with a made-to-order omelet and a specialty Starbucks® beverage from Table 8 in the mornings, or wind down with flavorful cuisine inspired by the surrounding area and cocktail in the evenings. During downtime, work up a sweat in our state-of-the-art fitness center, followed by a refreshing dip in our sparkling indoor pool. Whether traveling on business or leisure, treat yourself to all the amenities that make Courtyard one of the premier hotels in Bellevue, WA.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 329-0364 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $159 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until May 2, 2018 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Kimberly Harris

Puget Sound Energy

President and Chief Executive Officer

Booga Gilbertson

Puget Sound Energy

Senior Vice President, Operations
Learn More

As the senior vice president of Operations for Puget Sound Energy, Booga Gilbertson is responsible for electric and gas operations, including emergency response, maintenance and construction, electric and gas system operations and dispatch, system planning, and engineering. She also leads project management and engineering across operations.

Since joining PSE in 1985, Gilbertson has held a broad range of engineering, operations and management positions in planning, asset management, gas and electric design engineering, performance measurement, budgeting, project management, construction and maintenance, 24-hour control center operations, labor relations, technology and emergency response management. She has been vice president of Operations since 2011.

In addition to her responsibilities at PSE, Gilbertson serves as chair-elect of the board of directors of the Western Energy Institute and chair of the EEI National Response Executive Committee. She also serves on the University of Washington Electrical Engineering Advisory Board as well as the Washington State University Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Executive Council.

Gilbertson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and a Master of Business Administration degree from City University.

She enjoys skiing, hiking, running, kayaking and gardening.

Karen Feltes

Avista Utilities

Senior Vice President and CHRO

Chris Robinson

Tacoma Power


Gillian Wright

Southern California Gas Company

Chief HR & Administration Officer
Learn More

Gillian Wright is chief human resources and administrative officer of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy regulated California utility. She is responsible for the SoCalGas human resources, safety, fleet, facilities, environmental services, supply management and logistics organizations.

Previously, as vice president, customer services for SoCalGas, Wright oversaw the company’s interaction with customers, including the call centers, field activities, billing and payments, and was responsible for completing a $1 billion project to deploy nearly six million advanced meters.

She joined SoCalGas as a regulatory analyst in 1999 and has served in a variety of roles in regulatory affairs and customer service for Sempra since then.

Wright is a member of the board of the California State University Foundation, LA Family Housing, Western Energy Institute and Los Angeles Business Council. She is also past chair and a former member of the board for the Energy Solutions Center and a graduate of Leadership California. Wright holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Reed College.

Jannifer Tada

Puget Sound Energy

Director C&P

Sarah Haroldsen

Puget Sound Energy

OMS Supervisor

Alpa Parikh

Puget Sound Energy

Director Internal Audit

Carrie Keating

Puget Sound Energy

Supervisor Gas System Design