Conference

Business & Financial Virtual Conference

Empower growth through new ideas and approaches to pricing, accounting, risk management, information technology, and human resources.
September 14 - 15, 2020
Sponsors

This conference will be a virtual (online) event

The Business & Financial Virtual Conference is the annual meeting for public power professionals in the areas of business and finance, offering 50 sessions bringing you the latest in:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Customer Accounting & Services
  • Human Resources & Training
  • Information Technology
  • Pricing & Market Analysis
  • Risk Management & Insurance 

Join the interest list to receive the latest information about this conference. Questions? Please contact us at 202-467-2919 or email [email protected].

Conference Program

View a PDF of the 2020 Business & Financial Virtual Conference Program. Earn up to 1 CEU, 10 PDHs, and 12 CPEs when you attend the live sessions.

Who Should Attend

Conference attendees get the latest information from experts in their fields, learn about the national issues and industry-wide activities and trends that are affecting their communities and utilities, and share experiences and strategies for dealing with key issues and challenges at more than 50 breakout sessions and roundtables. The conference is ideal for both industry veterans and those new to the electric utility industry who are interested in professional development and networking.

Conference sessions are designed for utility employees at both the professional and management levels, in the fields of accounting and finance; customer accounting and services; human resources and training; information technology; and pricing and market analysis. Attendees typically include specialists, coordinators, analysts, managers, directors, and vice presidents in their area of specialty. The conference is also recommended for utility employees with interests and responsibilities in conference topics and with cross-departmental responsibilities, as well as rising stars and future leaders those who would benefit from learning more about these strategic areas and making connections with the national public power community.

Serve as an Officer

Utility employees play a vital role in planning the conference to bring you the important topics. Incoming Vice Chairs for committees will be selected in July. Email [email protected] if you are interested in taking a leadership position in the conference by serving as an officer for one of the following tracks:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Customer Accounting & Services
  • Human Resources & Training
  • Information Technology and
  • Pricing & Market Analysis
  • Risk Management & Insurance

More Information

Registration 
Phone: 202-467-2978; Email: [email protected]

Program/Content
Phone: 202-467-2965; Email: [email protected]

Billing
Phone: 202-467-2967; Fax: 202-495-7467; Email: [email protected]

This conference will be a virtual

 

 

 

Customer & Accounting Services

cs

General Accounting & Finance

GAF

 

Human Resources & Training

HR

Information Technology

IT

Pricing & Market Analysis

PMA

Risk Management & Insurance

RM

Monday, September 14

 

 

11 – 11:45 a.m.

Opening General Session:
Chair’s Address
The State of Public Power

 

 

Noon – 1 p.m.

Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Customer Service

Cyber Risk Management for Finance Pros

Human Resources & Training Roundtable

Information Technology Roundtable

Pricing & Market Analysis Roundtable

Risk Management & Insurance Roundtable

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

The Financial Impact of COVID-19: Pivoting and Moving Forward

A Roadmap for Operational and Financial Health

Making Cybersecurity Policies Stick

 

Avoiding Shock: Communicating Rate Changes

Claims: Maximizing Your Recovery

2:45 – 3:45 p.m.

Implementing Customer Engagement Technologies (joint with IT)

Accounting for Non-Financial Staff

What if We Can’t Come In? Catastrophe Planning for HR

Implementing Customer Engagement Technologies
(joint with CAS)

Preparing the Way for Electric Vehicles

The State of the Market: Broker Roundtable

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Protecting Your Workplace from an Active Shooter

Public Power’s Ratings Outlook

Teleworking Policies and Technology

Understanding Low-Income Customer Usage

Go Green or Go Home: Paying for Renewables and Transferring Risk

5:15 – 6:15  p.m.

Online Networking

Tuesday, September 15

 

 

10 – 11 a.m.

Online Networking
Women in Public Power: Coffee & Conversation

11 a.m. – Noon.

General Session:
Datashock: Artificial Intelligence, Connectedness, and Readying for the Big Data Future

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. 

Data-Driven Disruption

Large Utility Roundtable

Small Utility Roundtable

Fiduciary Coverage: Don’t Let It Get Personal
(joint with HRT & RMI)

Fiduciary Coverage: Don’t Let It Get Personal (joint with GAFA & RMI)

Lessons Learned from COVID-19: IT

Rate Design for Energy Storage

Fiduciary Coverage: Don’t Let It Get Personal
(joint with GAFA & HRT)

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

AMI: Are Your Customers Telling Your Story?

GASB Update

HR Hackathon

Lessons Learned from Time-of-Use Rate Deployment

New Trends in Contractual Risk

3 – 4 p.m.

 

Customer Satisfaction Pays

Issuing Bonds in an Evolving Market

Ask the Attorney

Cybersecurity: Is Your Utility Ready for the Inevitable? (joint with RMI)

Alternative Rates for Solar PV

Cybersecurity: Is Your Utility Ready for the Inevitable? (joint with IT)

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

The Show Must Go On: Customer Accounting and Services’ Role in a Crisis

Elevating Your Budgeting Process

 

Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Employees, Risks, and Accounting (joint with HRT & RMI)

Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Employees, Risks, and Accounting (joint with GAFA & RMI)

IT Closing Roundtable

Pricing and Market Analysis Roundtable

Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Employees, Risks, and Accounting (joint with GAFA & HRT)

Program

The Business & Financial Virtual Conference offers two days of keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities on September 14–15, 2020. Learn more about each of these offerings.

View a PDF of the 2020 Business & Financial Virtual Conference Program. Earn up to 1 CEU, 10 PDHs, and 12 CPEs when you attend the live sessions.

Breakout Sessions

Benefit from engaging breakout sessions led by industry experts and public power colleagues. Take home actionable ideas and tactics.

Several breakout sessions run concurrently in each time slot and you can go to any sessions you like. Browse sessions below or download the program PDF for a listing by date/time that you can share with colleagues and use to plan your itinerary.

Sessions cover the following tracks or topic areas:

  • Customer Accounting & Services
  • General Accounting, Finance & Audit
  • Human Resources & Training
  • Information Technology
  • Pricing & Market Analysis
  • Risk Management & Insurance

Agenda at a Glance

Monday, September 14

11 - 11:45 a.m. ET / 10 - 10:45 a.m. CT / 9 - 9:45 a.m. MT / 8 - 8:45 a.m. PT
Opening General Session

Chair’s Address

Well before APPA was founded, public power utilities set a strong foundation in their communities that allowed for resilience and innovation. Then as now, engaging with our communities and connecting with our customers reminds them of the value of community ownership.  

Jolene Thompson, President & CEO, American Municipal Power, Inc., Columbus, Ohio; and Chair, American Public Power Association

The State of Public Power

As we reflect on 80 years of being connected as a public power community, we also reflect on how we have endured the recent pandemic and other crises throughout our history. Get the latest update on how APPA is working to protect the interests of public power in Washington, D.C., and helping our members to navigate an increasingly complex industry.

Joy Ditto, President & CEO, American Public Power Association

11:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. ET / 10:45 - 11 a.m. CT / 9:45 - 10 a.m. MT / 8:45 - 9 a.m. PT
Break

12 - 1 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. CT / 10 - 11 a.m. MT / 9 - 10 a.m. PT
Breakout Sessions

  • Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Customer Service
  • Cyber Risk Management for Finance Pros
  • Human Resources & Training Roundtable
  • Information Technology Roundtable
  • Pricing and Market Analysis Roundtable
  • Risk Management & Insurance Roundtable
  • Industry Spotlight Session

1 - 1:30 p.m. ET / 12 - 12:30 p.m. CT / 11 - 11:30 a.m. MT / 10 - 10:30 a.m. PT
Break

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. CT / 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. MT / 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PT
Breakout Sessions

  • The Financial Impact of COVID-19: Pivoting and Moving Forward
  • A Roadmap for Operational and Financial Health
  • Making Cybersecurity Policies Stick
  • Avoiding Shock: Communicating Rate Changes
  • Claims: Maximizing your Recovery 
  • Industry Spotlight Session

2:30 - 2:45 p.m. ET / 1:30 - 1:45 p.m. CT / 12:30 - 12:45 p.m. MT / 11:30 - 11:45 a.m. PT
Break

2:45 - 3:45 p.m. ET / 1:45 - 2:45 p.m. CT / 12:45 - 1:45 p.m. MT / 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. PT
Breakout Sessions

  • Implementing Customer Engagement Technologies
  • Accounting for Non-Financial Staff
  • What if We Can't Come In? Catastrophe Planning for HR
  • Preparing the Way for Electric Vehicles
  • The State of the Market: Broker Roundtable
  • Industry Spotlight Session

3:45 - 4:15 p.m. ET / 2:45 - 3:15 p.m. CT / 1:45 - 2:15 p.m. MT / 12:45 - 1:15 p.m. PT
Break

4:15 - 5:15 p.m. ET / 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. CT / 2:15 - 3:15 p.m. MT / 1:15 - 2:15 p.m. PT
Breakout Sessions

  • Protecting Your Workplace from an Active Shooter
  • Public Power’s Ratings Outlook
  • Teleworking Policies and Technology
  • Understanding Low-income Customer Usage
  • Go Green or Go Home: Paying for Renewables and Transferring Risk
  • Industry Spotlight Session

5:15 - 6:15 p.m. ET / 4:15 - 5:15 p.m. CT / 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. MT / 2:15 - 3:15 p.m. PT
Online Networking

Reconnect with old friends, meet new people and network with other public power leaders. Whether this is your virtual happy hour or afternoon coffee break, grab your drink of choice and unwind with your peers.

Tuesday, September 15

10 - 11 a.m. ET / 9 - 10 a.m. CT / 8 - 9 a.m. MT / 7 - 8 a.m. PT
Women in Public Power: Coffee & Conversation

Our ever-popular networking event for women working in public power takes on a new format this year. Join your peers for coffee and conversation to celebrate successes and share challenges.

10 - 11 a.m. ET / 9 - 10 a.m. CT / 8 - 9 a.m. MT / 7 - 8 a.m. PT
Online Networking

Power up with coffee and connections. Visit with your peers and chat with sponsors.

11 a.m - 12 p.m. ET / 10 - 11 a.m. CT / 9 - 10 a.m. MT / 8 - 9 a.m. PT
Datashock: Artificial Intelligence, Connectedness, and Readying for the Big Data Future

As we hurtle toward a society and economy powered by artificial intelligence and big data, are we in for shock? Are AI, smart algorithms, big data, and the Internet of Things really taking over? See how increasingly trackable human behavior — from financial transactions to social interactions — could change the way we live, work, and do business. Explore whether AI can help the energy industry make better decisions and improve efficiencies. Learn how to recognize disruptive AI, assess its potential, and prepare for a data- and algorithm-driven future.

Jennifer Golbeck is an associate professor at the University of Maryland. Her work focuses on how to enhance the way that people interact with their information online. Her research explores the implications of our choices and actions with the internet tools we use daily.

12 - 12:15 p.m. ET / 11 - 11:15 a.m. CT / 10 - 10:15 a.m. MT / 9 - 9:15 a.m. PT
Break

12:15 - 1:15 p.m. ET / 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m CT / 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. MT / 9:15 - 10:15 a.m. PT
Breakout Sessions

  • Data-Driven Disruption
  • Large Utility Roundtable
  • Small Utility Roundtable
  • Lessons Learned from COVID-19: IT
  • Rate Design for Energy Storage
  • Fiduciary Coverage: Don’t Let It Get Personal

1:15 - 1:45 p.m. ET / 12:15 - 12:45 p.m. CT / 11:15 - 11:45 a.m. MT / 10:15 - 10:45 a.m. PT
Break

1:45 - 2:45 p.m. ET / 12:45 - 1:45 p.m. CT / 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. MT / 10:45 - 11:45 a.m. PT
Breakout Sessions

  • AMI: Are Your Customers Telling Your Story?
  • GASB Update
  • HR Hackathon
  • Lessons Learned from Time-of-Use Rate Deployment
  • New Trends in Contractual Risk
  • Industry Spotlight Session

2:45 - 3 p.m. ET / 1:45 - 2 p.m. CT / 12:45 - 1 p.m. MT / 11:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. PT
Break

3 - 4 p.m. ET / 2 - 3 p.m. CT / 1 - 2 p.m. MT / 12 - 1 p.m. PT
Breakout Sessions

  • Customer Satisfaction Pays
  • Issuing Bonds in an Evolving Market
  • Ask the Attorney
  • Cybersecurity: Is Your Utility Ready for the Inevitable?
  • Alternative Rates for Solar PV
  • Industry Spotlight Session

4 - 4:30 p.m. ET / 3 - 3:30 p.m. CT / 2 - 2:30 p.m. MT / 1 - 1:30 p.m. PT
Break

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. CT / 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. MT / 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. PT
Breakout Sessions

  • The Show Must Go On: Customer Accounting & Services’ Role in a Crisis
  • Elevating Your Budgeting Process
  • Lessons Learned From COVID-19: Employees, Risks, and Accounting
  • IT Closing Roundtable
  • Pricing and Market Analysis Roundtable
  • Industry Spotlight Session

5:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. CT / 3:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. PT
Conference Adjourns

Register Now

This conference will be a virtual (online) event

Registrants will receive information on joining remotely as we get nearer to the event. If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].

Registration Fees

  Register before August 14
Member $575
Nonmember $1,150

After August 14, all registration fees will increase by $50. 

Not yet an American Public Power Association member? Join today and save $575 on your conference registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2936 to learn more.

Group Discounts

Save an additional $50 on each registration for the Business & Financial Virtual Conference when your organization registers 5 or more people. Contact [email protected] for more information and to request the group registration form to receive this special discount.  

Cancellation, Refund, and Substitution Policy

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before ThursdaySeptember 10, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after September 10, 2020, will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for the 2020 Business & Financial Virtual Conference only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel on or before September 10 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund of their registration fee. 

Requests must be made in writing to: [email protected]

Questions?

Email [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I get more information about how to participate in the virtual conference?

Registrants will receive information on how to join the virtual conference a few days before the event. If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].

What is a virtual event?

A virtual event simulates an in-person event, but involves people interacting online, rather than in a physical environment. 

APPA is committed to delivering an engaging, accessible, and inclusive platform to convene the national public power community to connect, learn, and share knowledge and solutions. Our virtual conferences allow participants to easily learn about important topics, attend informative presentations, and connect with other participants for face-to-face conversations using video chats. Registrants will receive additional information about this virtual experience as the event gets closer.

How was the registration fee for the Business & Financial Virtual Conference determined? 

The registration fee reflects the costs and value of the meeting being held. We took a number of details into consideration in calculating the fee for the virtual conference.

Some of the meeting expenses include speaker fees for the keynote speakers, the cost of the platform to deliver the event, and the costs (and staff time) of program development, as well as costs and risks associated with cancelling the in-person Business & Financial Conference.

We also looked at the benefits of attending the meeting for members. The program features keynote speakers, several breakout sessions (which will be recorded so participants can view the breakout sessions they missed after the fact), and most importantly an opportunity to connect with other public power utilities, learn from their experiences and come together in this unique time.

Finally, we evaluated the fees being charged by other organizations that have converted in-person meetings to virtual meetings. As we have, many of them have reduced fees to account for saved costs, but are still charging fees to cover costs and reflect the value of the meeting being held.

What platform will the Business & Financial Virtual Conference be held on? 

APPA will be using Zoom for the virtual summit.

Zoom was chosen for its ease of use, great handling of video, and accessibility. Attending a Zoom meeting doesn’t require any additional software installed on the attendee’s computer – it can run completely out of a web browser. We know that many organizations limit the installation of desktop clients, so using a service that can run using a web browser makes the meeting more accessible to our members. Zoom’s ability to support multiple video feeds will also enable online networking beyond the capabilities of many other platforms.

To ensure the best experience for attendees, it is also important that our staff have experience using the platform. APPA staff have such experience with Zoom, both as attendees and administrators. Zoom has been successfully deployed for Public Power Connect Virtual Summit & Business Meeting (our largest event of the year); in addition to several other summits, classes and meetings.  Staff have also participated in a number of other virtual conferences using Zoom, including events held by the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE); Dragos; the Energy Bar Association; among others.

We are aware some organizations have cybersecurity concerns regarding this platform.
Zoom had several high-profile problems at the start of its recent rise to prominence. The company was responsive to these issues and addressed many of them. While it still may not be appropriate for hosting sensitive discussions, we do not feel Zoom presents any problems for hosting general interest discussions, like the sessions we have planned for the virtual summit.

APPA has implemented all the recommended precautions and best practices recommended to minimize the possibility of security issues, such as authenticating all participants are registered for the event, utilizing virtual waiting rooms, requiring meeting passwords, and creating unique URLs for all attendees to participate in the meeting.

What is the policy on refunds, cancellations and attendee substitutions?

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Thursday, September 10, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after September 10, will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by September 10 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund. Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to [email protected].

Can I earn educational credits for attending this virtual conference?

Yes, you can earn up to 1 CEU, 10 PDHs, and 12 CPEs. Here are explanations of the various educational credits that you can earn for attending live sessions during the conference:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
  • Human resources credits from the Human Resources Certification Institute (qualifying HR sessions only)

Please note that you will only be able to earn educational credits for the sessions you attend live during the virtual conference. We are not able to offer educational credits for any session recordings you watch later.

Is there international registration?

Online meeting registration is for U.S. and Canadian residents only. International registrants must provide a signed registration form — signed by the authorized cardholder — if paying with a credit card. Email the completed registration form to [email protected].  

Alternatively, you could send a check from a U.S. bank payable to American Public Power Association. Please mail completed form with full payment to our bank lock box:

American Public Power Association
P.O. Box 418617
Boston, MA  02241-8617

Where and when is the next Business & Financial Conference?

September 19-22, 2021
Hilton Denver City Center
Denver, Colorado

How can I present at the conference?

We welcome your topic and speaker ideas for future conferences and events. To submit your idea for consideration, complete this form. Conference topics are generally determined 6-8 months before the event is held. Ideas will be kept on file for a full year, so if the agenda for the conference has already been determined, your ideas will be considered for the next year’s event, or in case any space opens up in the current year’s program. You will be contacted only if your idea is selected for an upcoming conference.

What is the APPA Code of Conduct for meeting attendees?

Attendees of American Public Power Association meetings agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If attendees engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.