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Key accounts topics to be featured at Customer Connections Conference, Oct. 26-29

From the August 8, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published August 8, 2014

By Heidi Lambert
Manager, Education
The 2014 Customer Connections Conference, Oct. 26-29, at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, will feature several sessions for public power key accounts professionals. 

In the Key Account Land Mines to Avoid session, Erick Rheam, sales manager for Automated Energy, Inc. and Tiana Smith, customer accounts manager with Fort Collins Utilities in Colorado, will discuss how to avoid problems when interacting with your customers and how to set up your key account program successfully. This session is based on the new APPA Key Accounts Field Manual: A Guide for Public Power Professionals, coming out this fall.

Another session, Comprehensive Communication with Key Accounts, will explore new tools and platforms to communicate with your key customers—every day and in a crisis. Kathleen Malone, business relationship manager for Questline Services, and John Worrell, electric engineering planner for Greenville Utilities Commission in North Carolina, will discuss how text messaging, social media, and other methods fit into your key accounts communication toolbox. 

Rich Bachmeier, electric system planning director for Gainesville Regional Utilities in Florida, and Jose Morales, senior marketing specialist for CPS Energy in San Antonio, will lead a session on How Outside Influences on the Electric Utility Will Impact Your Key Accounts. The speakers will discuss how legislative and regulatory activities influence rates and utility operations in the short and long term. Participants will also learn about other industry issues and outside influences, such as alternate fuel sources and impending regulations.

In addition to these sessions, the Customer Connections Conference offers tracks for customer service, economic development, energy services, marketing and public communications personnel, as well as roundtable discussions, networking breakfasts, receptions, and other opportunities to share ideas and information. 

Conference fees are $645 for APPA members and $1,290 for nonmembers who register before Oct. 6. There are also three preconference seminars on: managing change, customer engagement for advanced grid technologies, and developing and marketing web and social media content. 

For complete program information and to register, visit or contact Heidi Lambert (202/467-2921;


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