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APPA offers two webinars next week on utility financial operations for boards; customer service leadership

From the May 7, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published May 7, 2014

By Heidi Lambert
Manager, Education
On, Tuesday, May 13, APPA (in conjunction with Hometown Connections) will hold a webinar, "Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members," from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. This is the fifth in a series of nine webinars designed to educate elected and appointed public power board and city council members on the responsibilities and processes of electric utility governance. 

Utilities are under pressure to minimize rate impacts on customers while maintaining the financial health of their organization. In this webinar, Mark Beauchamp, president of Utility Financial Solutions, will discuss key financial targets to help assure the long-term financial stability of the utility and ways to identify potential cost reductions or efficiency improvements. Participants will receive information on how to assess the current financial condition of their utility, ways to use financial targets to develop long-term rate projections, and how to minimize potential rate changes on customers. The following topics will also be covered:

•    Financial ratios that a utility board should review on a regular basis;
•    Policies used by other utilities to maintain long-term financial health and stability; and
•    Appropriate amount of cash reserves.

Upcoming webinars will address rate making, strategic planning, performance monitoring and accountability for boards and city councils, and achieving excellence in public power governance. These webinars can also be applied to APPA’s Public Power Governance Certificate Program.

Then on Wednesday, May 15, APPA will hold a webinar on the "Leadership Development Process,"  from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. This is the second in a series of four webinars designed for customer service representatives, managers and supervisors (as well as those interested in customer service issues). Future webinars will address the topics of technology (from meter reading to customer information systems) and utility collections. This webinar will cover management tools for motivating customer service employees to achieve successful day-to-day performance. Participants will learn the basic tenets of leadership that help create loyalty and improve communication of goals and objectives. Delegation also will be discussed, as a means of vertical coordination and employee development. 

Wallace Barron, president of Barron & Associates Corporate Solutions, will also cover topics such as: delegation, the change cycle and how leaders can guide their employees through the process; and the value of applying basic management principles in a consistent way, backed up with supporting policies.

Each webinar is worth 0.2 continuing education units, 1.5 professional development hours and 1.5 continuing professional education credits. Webinars can be taken individually or as a series for a discounted rate. For more information and to register, visit under Webinar Series or contact Meghan Riley at or 202/467-2919. 


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