Women in Leadership (Jun 06-07)

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/June and once at the WEI Annual Meeting in September.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Karen Feltes, Senior Vice President and CHRO, Avista Utilities

    • Program Location
    • The Davenport Grand Autograph Collection
    • 333 West Spokane Falls Blvd
      Spokane, WA 99201
    • 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 westernenergy.org/WIES.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $1,399 USD

    Registration includes Mentoring materials, registration for the Kick-Off meeting and Annual Meeting (includes 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 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 Anna Sanger Reed, Executive Director of Programs at (503) 688-2795.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Registration + Check-In

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Welcome and Introduction
Speaker(s): Karen Feltes, Senior Vice President and CHRO, Avista Utilities

Get to know the other mentors and mentees of the 2019 Women in Leadership Program. 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 - 3:15 PM

Mentor + Mentee Kickoff Session
Facilitator(s): Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs, Western Energy Institute

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.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Networking Break

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Mentoring Success Case Study
Speaker(s): Anna Scarlett, Director, Shared Services, Avista Utilities, Karen Feltes, Senior Vice President and CHRO, Avista Utilities

A mentor and mentee who have already participated in the program will share insights about their experiences. 

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Strategies for Successful Mentoring
Speaker(s): Heather Rosentrater, Vice President, Energy Delivery, Avista Utilities

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

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

WEI Hosted Networking Reception + Dinner

Mizuna Restaurant and Wine Bar
214 N Howard St
SpokaneWA 99201

Friday, June 7, 2019

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Networking Breakfast

Breakfast provided

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Executive Panel: Experiential Learning + Career Journeys
Moderator(s): Karen Feltes, Senior Vice President and CHRO, Avista Utilities
Panelist(s): Scott Morris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Avista Corp., Jeanne Vold, Business Technology Officer, NorthWestern Energy, Wendy Straatmann, VP US Gas Operations, Technical & Operational Services, TC 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
Facilitator(s): Diane Quincy, Director of Leadership and Organization Development, Avista Corp., Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs, Western Energy Institute

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
Facilitator(s): Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs, Western Energy Institute, Diane Quincy, Director of Leadership and Organization Development, Avista Corp.

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
Facilitator(s): Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs, Western Energy Institute

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

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 228-9290 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) and use the discount code ‘WEI Women in Leadership Kickoff’ to receive a special rate of $139 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until May 6, 2018 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Karen Feltes

Avista Utilities

Senior Vice President and CHRO

Scott Morris

Avista Corp.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Learn More

Scott Morris is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avista Corp. He was elected President in 2006 and named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2008. Morris is an experienced utility executive who has served in a variety of leadership positions since joining the company in 1981.

He began his career in the company’s utility marketing division and has served in leadership positions throughout the company, including customer service, construction and as general manager for Avista’s Oregon and California utility business.

Morris is a graduate of Gonzaga University and received his master’s degree from Gonzaga in organizational leadership. He also attended the Stanford Business School Financial Management Program and the Kidder Peabody School of Financial Management.

Heather Rosentrater

Avista Utilities

Vice President, Energy Delivery
Learn More

Heather Rosentrater is Vice President of Energy Delivery at Avista, where she’s responsible for electric and natural gas engineering, operations, and shared services such as fleet, facilities and supply chain.

Rosentrater has led Avista’s Grid Innovation, Smart Grid and Smart City efforts. She also has broad experience on both the electric and natural gas side of Avista Utilities, having managed departments and projects in transmission, distribution, SCADA, as well as asset management.

Heather is a registered Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Gonzaga University.

Anna Scarlett

Avista Utilities

Director, Shared Services

Anna Sanger Reed

Western Energy Institute

Director of Customer + Corporate Programs

Diane Quincy

Avista Corp.

Director of Leadership and Organization Development

Wendy Straatmann

TC Energy

VP US Gas Operations, Technical & Operational Services

Jeanne Vold

NorthWestern Energy

Business Technology Officer