National Conference

National Conference Virtual Program

Back to National Conference Virtual Event Agenda

Tuesday, July 13

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. CT / 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. MT / 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. PT
Opening General Session

  • President & CEO Address
    Joy Ditto, President & CEO, American Public Power Association
  • Creating Advantage in the Face of Energy Transition Uncertainty 
    Geoff Tuff, Principal, Deloitte Consulting 
    Hear about the new future of energy that is beginning to take shape as the world transitions towards lower emissions and more renewable sources of energy. Get insight on the underlying trends, possible scenarios, and what it means for the business models of both energy-producing and energy-consuming industries.

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

  1. What’s Happening in Washington
    Get an update on what’s on Congress’ agenda this year and what it means for public power. Learn what APPA is doing to advance public power’s policy priorities in Washington, D.C. and staying in the conversations on COVID relief, climate change, grid security, electric vehicles, and energy storage. Discover how you can add your voice to public power’s need for comparable incentives, reforming municipal bonds, and protecting the PMAs and TVA. 

    Desmarie Waterhouse, Vice President, Government Relations & Counsel, John Godfrey, Amy Thomas, and Corry Marshall, Senior Government Relations Directors, and Sarah Mathias, Government Relations Director, American Public Power Association 
  2. Strategic Planning: From the Board to the Community 
    Public power governing boards have the all-important responsibility of setting strategic direction for utility leadership and staff to carry out and ensuring long-term sustainability of the enterprise. Walk through how one utility board developed a comprehensive set of “Results Policies” that now serve as a foundation for goals, key performance indicators, and organizational performance monitoring. Learn how your board and management can work together to create similar policies for your community.

    Dave Koster, General Manager, Holland Board of Public Works, Michigan; and John Miner, Collaboration Unlimited/Collaborative Learning 
  3. The Polar Vortex: What Happened with Natural Gas 
    As the polar vortex hit Texas and the Midwest in February 2021, among other strains to the electric system, utilities and customers faced a natural gas shortage and price spikes for the fuel. Explore and discuss the factors that led to the shortage, what steps are being taken to prevent a repeat crisis in the future, and what utilities in other regions can learn from the event.

    Catherine Elder, Principal Associate, Energy Policy & Market Assessment, Aspen Environmental Group
  4. Planning for Electric Vehicles
    Electric vehicles are proliferating – and fast. From a widening array of passenger EVs to new development for medium- and heavy-duty electric options, the question of when EVs will move into the mainstream is inching closer to “now.” Learn how public power utilities have incorporated EVs into their operations, and how a DEED-funded toolkit can help your utility plan for and promote EV adoption in your community. 

    Matt Babbitts, Energy Resources Program Manager, Clark Public Utilities, Washington; Connor Herman, Program Manager, Forth; and David Roberts, Senior Consultant, VEIC
  5. The Future of Work Post-COVID
    Many “experts” have opined on how the workplace will change after COVID, with estimates ranging from a complete return to “normal” to continued remote work as the standard. Explore likely scenarios for public power, informed by literature reviews, interviews with utility leaders, and surveys of both utilities and the general public. Discuss how current expectations can match practical realities for essential service providers, and how various leaders plan to restructure their organizations – and change their thinking – as the workforce prepares for post-pandemic life.

    Michael Bell, Principal, Bell Burnett and Associates; and Barry Moline, Executive Director, California Municipal Utilities Association, Sacramento, California

  6. Squeezing Additional Benefits out of Your AMI Network       
    The business case for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) traditionally revolves around operational efficiency. But shouldn't there be more to AMI than reducing truck rolls and reading meters? In this lively panel discussion, hear how other utilities are using smart meters for energy efficiency programs, reading water meters, distribution automation and other value-added capabilities. At the end of this session, attendees will be able to define a path towards getting more value out of their AMI network.

    Brad Owens, Engineer, Dickson Electric, Tennessee; Ty Ross, General Manager, Loudon Utilities, Tennessee; Danny Lee, AMI Coordinator, City of Troy, Alabama; and Bryan Shang, Sr. Product Manager, Electric Solutions, Sensus

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
Roundtable Discussions
Join public power leaders from around the country to discuss the key issues and challenges you're facing. In these moderated roundtables, you'll have an opportunity to to turn on your camera and participate in small group discussions.  

  1. Small Utility Roundtable
  2. Large Utility Roundtable
  3. Joint Action Agency Roundtable
  4. Governing Board & Elected Official Roundtable

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

  1. What’s Driving Public Power’s Bond Ratings
    Hear from the three largest credit rating companies on what’s behind the latest rating trends, what they see as public power’s strengths and opportunities, and how current issues and industry trends affect public power’s bond ratings – and how you can transform this intel to reinforce the financial strength of your organization. 

    Jennifer Chang, Vice President – Senior Analyst, Global Project & Infrastructure Finance, Moody’s Investors Service; Jeff Panger, Director, S&P Global Ratings; and Dennis Pidherny, Managing Director, Public Finance, Sector Head – U.S. Public Power, Fitch Ratings
  2. Prepare for the Worst: Planning for the Next Pandemic
    COVID-19 changed how many utilities think about business continuity. As the challenges from the pandemic remain fresh in our experiences, it is important to capture the lessons learned and update your response plans. Get an overview of how utilities of different sizes managed the COVID-19 response and what practices and preparations they have already detailed in the event of another pandemic. 

    Kristin Masteller, General Manager, Mason County PUD No. 1, Shelton, Washington; and Matthew Sinn, Manager Emergency Management, Tennessee Valley Authority
  3. Effective Integrated Resource Planning Practices 
    Learn how utilities and joint action agencies are connecting with customers throughout the integrated resource planning process to bring community voices to the forefront and to underscore the transparency of the process. Review how different public power entities took different approaches to addressing decarbonization while balancing the need to remain cost competitive, reliable and adaptable to technology changes. 

    Masood Ahmad, Resource Planning Manager, Platte River Power Authority, Fort Collins Colorado; Leslie McKiernan, Customer Insights and Programs Supervisor, and Christian Nelson, Public Affairs Lead, Colorado Springs Utilities; and Steve Roalstad, Communications and Marketing Manager, Platte River Power Authority, Fort Collins Colorado
  4. Leveraging Data to Drive Electric Vehicle Program Strategy 
    Walk through the strategic development of an electric vehicle program and strategic rate design utilizing the practical application and convergence of: AMI/customer load profiles, system loads, Federal Transportation Trip,  and dynamic rate design data to make informed decisions on program design and incentives to drive desired behaviors. Discover an approach that combines real-world utility experiences and considerations of present challenges to determine a path forward for supporting or incentivizing electric vehicles through the utility and in the community.  Get insight into understanding and operationalizing multiple data sets that drive the decision-making and learn what key data elements and analyses are needed to ensure an effective and strategic plan.  

    Tony Georgis, President, Energy Practice, and Max Bernt, Director, NewGen Strategies & Solutions, LLC

4 – 5:30 p.m. ET / 3 – 4:30 p.m. CT / 2 – 3:30 p.m. MT / 1 – 2:30 p.m. PT
General Session

  • Presentation of Utility Services Awards    
    Join us as we honor the recipients of the 2021 E.F. Scattergood System Achievement Award, the Sue Kelly Community Service Award, and the DEED Award of Excellence and Energy Innovator Awards.
  • 2020-21 Board Chair's Remarks 
    Jolene Thompson, President & CEO, American Municipal Power, Inc.; and 2020-21 Chair, American Public Power Association
  • Resilience and Response: A CEO Perspective
    Utility leaders faced multiple challenges in 2020 – a pandemic, civil unrest, extreme weather events, and cybersecurity incidents. Learn how a panel of industry leaders found new ways to manage simultaneous crises while still inspiring and motivating others. Each CEO will reflect on how their experiences from the past year reshaped their views on crisis response and what it means to be resilient. 

    Joy Ditto, President & CEO, American Public Power Association; Jim Matheson, CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; and Tom Kuhn, President, Edison Electric Institute

Wednesday, July 14

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

Choose from these online networking options:

  • Women in Public Power Hour: Our popular networking event for women working in public power takes on a virtual format this year. Join your peers for morning conversation to celebrate successes and share challenges.
  • Virtual Expo: Connect with industry suppliers.

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET / 10 – 11 a.m. CT / 9 – 10 a.m. MT / 8 – 9 a.m. PT
General Sessions

  1. Leading Utility Transformation
    As the energy industry increasingly moves toward a clean and modern grid, public power utility leaders take different approaches to driving this transformation that fit their community goals and desires. Explore how a panel of public power leaders have motivated their organizations to shift away from the status quo and foster strategic change, from making progress on carbon reduction goals to deploying new grid technologies and engaging key stakeholders to keep the process transparent, accountable, and equitable.

    Julia Hamm, President & CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance; Paul Lau, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, SMUD, Sacramento, California; James Lavelle, Manager, Holyoke Gas & Electric, Massachusetts; and Debra Smith, General Manager/CEO, Seattle City Light, Washington
  2. What’s New in Nuclear
    Hear from a panel of executives on new advancements in nuclear energy and the future of nuclear. Get an overview of new nuclear in the DOE budget and the overall energy plan of the Biden Administration; then hear from two joint action agencies who will discuss the Advance Reactor Demonstration Project (ADRP) and Small Modular Reactors. Hear about new developments and the timeline the innovative projects. 

    Greg Cullen, Vice President, Energy Services and Development, Energy Northwest; Doug Hunter, CEO & General Manager, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems; and Maria Korsnick, President & CEO, Nuclear Energy Institute

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

  1. Keeping Up with Climate Policy in the Biden Administration
    The Biden administration has already taken several environmental policy actions with implications for public power. Discuss what opportunities and challenges might lie ahead, including potential regulatory pathways for future power plant emissions rules and how the administration could incorporate environmental justice in rulemakings, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse human health, environmental, climate-related impacts on disadvantaged communities.

    Carolyn Slaughter, Director, Environmental Services, American Public Power Association
  2. The Pros and Cons of ESG Assessments for Public Power
    Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) assessments are becoming a requirement for investor-owned utilities and other companies to present to boards, investors and other stakeholders. Discuss implications for public power utilities in reporting ESG scores and data, from customer expectations to credit agency ratings, and other trends in climate and carbon reporting. 

    Dan Aschenbach, President, AGVP Advisory; Kerry-Jane King, Director of Sustainability, New York Power Authority, White Plains, New York; Terence Smith, Chairman & CEO, Smith's Research and Gradings; and Nancy Sutley, Chief Sustainability Officer, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, California
  3. Post-Pandemic: How Public Power Changed and How it’s Changing
    Review what data reveals about trends in public power actions taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic and what is getting prioritized moving forward. From valuing strategic action to contingency planning and building and maintaining meaningful relationships, learn how the adjustments your utility made compare with your peers. Get input on how to address your specific goals and challenges so you can take strategic action, develop and implement plans, and make changes where necessary to improve your operations in the wake of COVID-19. 

    Michael Vigeant, CEO, GreatBlue Research, Inc. 
  4. Reaching Tomorrow’s Customers Through Energy Education
    Learning about energy at an early age nurtures responsible energy use and stewardship. Get and share ideas for unique educational experiences that engage the next generation of your customers. Learn what resources utilities are using to talk about electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and electrical safety and how to adapt them for while raising your utility’s profile among families and the community. Discover resources that you can adapt and cobrand for use in your school programs.

    Samantha Hart, Sr. Project Manager, Executive Leadership - Sales and Innovation, Milepost Consulting; Mark Nibaur, General Manager, Austin Utilities, Minnesota; and Gary Swan, Vice President – Development, National Energy Foundation 
  5. Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    Dive into what diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mean and how can your utility take the necessary steps to ensure it continually develops and supports a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Hear from a public power utility that is leading the way in these areas, and how DEI is both a personnel and business imperative.

    David Boyd, Director - BTBS Management Services, Angela Carter, Sr. D&I Consultant, Joyce Cooper, Director - Diversity & Inclusion, and Michelle Homme, Sr. D&I Consultant, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska
  6. Navigating Uncertainty Together
    Join The Energy Authority (TEA) for a deep-dive into market disruption across energy markets and why navigating uncertainty is done better together. Chief Client Officer Jamie Mahne walks attendees through TEA’s journey from inception to championing present-day market volatility for our clients. Come explore challenges unique to public power and learn how collaboration empowers municipal utilities to meet those challenges. In this session, see how utilities traverse uncertain waters to secure brighter energy futures for communities across the U.S.

    Jamie Mahne, Vice President, Client Services & CCO, The Energy Authority, Jacksonville, Florida

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
Roundtable Discussions

  1. Western Utility Roundtable
  2. Midwest Utility Roundtable
  3. Southeastern Utility Roundtable
  4. Northeastern Utility Roundtable

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

  1. Municipal Financing Strategies 
    Get an update on trends, policies, and the latest strategies in municipal finance. Review how other utilities mitigate budget short falls, current new money structures and refunding approaches, and learn what’s happening in the green bond market. 

    Greg Dawley, Managing Director, Christopher Mauro, Director, Municipal Products, and Christine Pihl, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets, LLC
  2. Practices from the Pandemic
    The pandemic created challenges that the industry, individual utilities, and people had not previously faced. From keeping utility operations running to keeping staff safe and engaged, a panel of CEOs will share how they faced challenges and crises throughout the year and what they’ve changed to ensure safe and smooth operations in the future.

    John Di Stasio, President, Large Public Power Council; and Tim Maier, General Manager, McPherson Board of Public Utilities, Kansas 
  3. Carbon Capture and Storage: What’s Feasible 
    As additional tax credits are approved for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide, and with timeline extensions on applicable projects, many coal-fired and natural gas-fired facilities have a stronger financial case to implement carbon capture technologies. Learn what projects are underway, the types of technologies being explored, and potential and interested end-users. Review integration considerations and project structures for large and industrial facilities.

    Emily Kunkel, Project Associate, Sargent & Lundy; and Kevin C. O'Brien, Ph.D., Director, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) and Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, Illinois
  4. A Personal Approach: Targeting Customer Communications
    Being connected to customers and the community is important for public power – and as opportunities for making these connections have changed, so must utility tactics. Learn some unique ways that utilities are making personal connections with customers – and using data to provide actionable insights on the needs of each customer segment, what programs to develop, and ways to improve customer satisfaction. 

    Andy Fusco, Vice President, Member Services and Corporate Planning, ElectriCities of North Carolina; and DeAnna Hardwick, Vice President of Customer Success, CPS Energy, San Antonio, Texas 
  5. FERC Order No. 2222: DER Aggregation Participation in Organized Wholesale Markets
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order No. 2222 in September 2020, its long-awaited final rule addressing the participation of aggregated distributed energy resources in markets administered by RTOs and ISOs. The policies adopted in Order No. 2222 could have significant impacts on distribution utilities and other market participants in RTO/ISO regions. Presenters will provide a detailed overview of the Order, how each of the RTOs have addressed or plan to address the order to date, and focus on key challenges and gaps to ensure both the bulk system and distribution system can be reliably operated with efficient use of these resources to provide wholesale and retail services. Hear results from a collaborative research project that includes all North American ISOs/RTOs and dozens of distribution utilities across the country on potential solutions and additional research needs to integrate larger levels of DERs participating through aggregators in the wholesale market.

    Erik Ela, Principal, and Nick Heine, Senior Engineer, Electric Power Research Institute
  6. Getting Ahead of Distribution Problems with Grid Reliability Analytics
    Without analytics, public power utilities are blind to much of what’s happening on their distribution networks. Even with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), a team of data scientists is needed to turn power-quality data into actionable insights for improving grid reliability or business operations. Learn how utilities like yours are using insights from data analytics software to improve overall reliability, increase customer satisfaction, save on equipment and operating costs, gain true operational awareness and reduce regulatory and hazard risks. 

    Sarah Clark, AMI Coordinator, Estes Park Power and Communications, Colorado; and Andrew Mitchell, Director, Utility Solutions, Tantalus

4 – 5:30 p.m. ET / 3 – 4:30 p.m. CT / 2 – 3:30 p.m. MT / 1 – 2:30 p.m. PT
Closing General Session

  • Presentation of Individual Leadership Awards
    Join us as we honor the recipients of the American Public Power Association’s 2021 awards for individual leadership and the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award 
  • 2021-22 Board Chair’s Address
    Colin Hansen, Executive Director, Kansas Municipal Utilities; and 2021-22 Chair, American Public Power Association
  • Keynote
    Rep. Diana DeGette, U.S. House of Representatives 
  • Closing Keynote
    The Honorable Jennifer Granholm
    , Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

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