Public Power Connect: Virtual Summit & Business Meeting

Connect with public power leaders to share strategies and solutions and to celebrate the experience, innovation, and leadership of the national public power community.
June 8 - 10, 2020

Register now!

While we can’t bring you the National Conference in person this year, we are excited to offer this virtual event to allow you connect with your national public power community. Join public power leaders online to hear from keynote and breakout session speakers, share strategies and solutions and to celebrate the experience, innovation, and leadership of your national public power community at this virtual summit.

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].

Powering On: Connect and Celebrate 80 Years of Powering Strong Communities

Public power has powered America through numerous crises since the first utilities began lighting their communities 140 years ago — including the Great Depression in the 1930s and the Great Recession earlier this century; two world wars and the terrorist attacks of September 11th; and countless other times of national anxiety and uncertainty.

For 80 years, public power has grown stronger by joining our voices and interests as the American Public Power Association. We draw strength and resilience from the communities we serve and come through these trials stronger than before because we band together as an industry and as a community, and because we stay true to our core purpose: to put our communities first.

This year, we come together – despite the challenges that keep us apart – to mark 80 years of powering strong communities, to share strategies and solutions for future success, and to celebrate the experience, innovation, and leadership of your national public power community at an all-new virtual summit.

Because we are here for each other. We will get through this together. We are public power.

Connect with Our Community

Connect with public power’s leaders for ideas and insights. The Public Power Connect Virtual Summit is the online meeting for:

  • General managers and CEOs
  • Senior managers, rising stars and future leaders
  • Mayors
  • Governing board members
  • City council members
  • Policy and strategy makers
  • Industry partners and vendors
  • Consultants and subject matter experts

More Information

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

Phone: 202-467-2919; Email: [email protected]

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

Public Power Connect (June 8-10) will be a virtual/online meeting.

Register now!

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].

Public Power Connect will offer two days of keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities (Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9).

Several Association committees, task forces, and boards will meet in conjunction with Public Power Connect on Wednesday, June 10.  Please register separately for these meetings when you register for the virtual summit.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Opening General Session
11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. ET / 10 – 11:45 a.m. CT / 9 – 10:45 a.m. MT / 8 – 9:45 a.m. PT

  • Welcome
    Decosta Jenkins
    , President & CEO, Nashville Electric Service; and Chair, American Public Power Association

  • DOE Response to COVID-19
    The Honorable Mark Menezes, Under Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • State of Public Power Joy Ditto
    As we gather to celebrate and reflect on 80 years of being connected as a public power community, we also reflect on how we have endured the current crisis facing our country and other national 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
    Paul Begala
  • What Happens in DC Doesn’t Stay in DC
    Paul Begala has seen it all — government united and government divided, gridlock and clear sailing. He draws on his extensive experience to give audiences an understanding of the impact of today’s political landscape on such issues as the economy, budget deficit, healthcare, immigration, the future of social security and Medicare, U.S. foreign policy, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the unrest in the Middle East, and other critical issues facing the country at home and around the world.

    Paul Begala, Political Analyst and Commentator, CNN

Break and Online Networking
12:45 – 1:15 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT / 10:45 – 11:15 a.m. MT / 9:45 – 10:15 a.m. PT

Use your break time to meet your fellow attendees in one of our virtual discussion rooms for face-to-face conversation. Choose your room and join your peers for video chat. 

  • Coffee with Paul Begala
    Join keynote speaker Paul Begala for coffee, questions, and extended conversation.

  • Discussion Room: Mutual Aid
    Speak with your public power colleagues about mutual aid topics of interest to you.
  • Discussion Room: Renewables & Power Supply
    Meet your peers to discuss your issues, challenges, and solutions relating to renewable energy and power supply topics. 
  • Discussion Room: Community Engagement
    Connect with fellow attendees to talk about how you are engaging your communities and share ideas.

General Session
1:15 – 2:30 p.m. ET / 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. CT / 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. MT / 10:15 – 11:30 a.m. PT

  • Presentation of Utility Services Awards    
    Join us as we honor the recipients of the 2020 E.F. Scattergood System Achievement Award, the Sue Kelly Community Service Award, and the DEED Award of Excellence and Energy Innovator Awards.

  • CEO Panel: Leading Through COVID-19
    Hear from a panel of public power CEOs on their experiences, challenges, and lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis from both a utility leadership and personal perspective. Learn from their experiences, gain insight from their leadership styles, and learn how you, your employees, and your utility can prepare for future challenges.
    • Troy Adams, General Manager, Elk River Municipal Utilities, Minnesota
    • Rob McGarrah, General Manager, City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida
    • Gil Quiniones, President & CEO, New York Power Authority, White Plains, New York
    • Debra Smith, General Manager/CEO, Seattle City Light, Washington
    • Joy Ditto, President & CEO, American Public Power Association (moderator)

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

Breakout Sessions 
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

  1. Congressional Action to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
    In an effort to address the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation, Congress has been singularly focused on enacting legislation to help Americans, state and local governments, and businesses. Get the latest update from APPA’s Government Relations staff and lobbyists on public power’s priorities in legislation related to COVID-19 and any new policies of interest to public power. Learn what legislation is expected to be addressed later this year and how the national emergency could impact the 2020 election.

    Desmarie Waterhouse, Vice President, Government Relations & Counsel, John Godfrey, Amy Thomas, and Corry Marshall, Senior Government Relations Directors, and Sarah Czufin, Government Relations Director, American Public Power Association
  2. Securing Your Supply Chain
    The array of vendors, suppliers, and third parties you work with exposes you and your customers to a broad array of risks. While we typically think of these risks in terms of cybersecurity, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate how economics and policy can also impact the supply chain. Whether purchasing cloud programs or transformers, review how to reduce vulnerabilities and manage risk in the procurement process from legal, information technology, and security perspectives. Get expert guidance on structuring a procurement process that addresses compliance and maintains overall supply chain security.

    Shari Gribbin, Managing Partner, CNK Solutions, Washington, D.C.

  3. Public Power’s Role in a Clean Energy Transformation
    The generation mix in the United States is undergoing a broad-sweeping evolution to be cleaner and more secure – and public power plays an often-overlooked role in shaping this transformation. Renewables are replacing traditional fuels at record levels—thanks to declining cost of technologies, state and local policies, and consumer demands. Explore public power’s role in spurring innovation and deploying carbon-free technologies including solar, wind, and storage. Learn about the economics, technology trends, and political measures underpinning the clean energy transition and how your organization can operate at its cutting edge.

    Cameron Bard, Senior Advisor, DSD Renewables, Los Angeles, California; and Darren Springer, General Manager, Burlington Electric Department, Vermont

  4. Best Practices to Update Your Rate Structures
    As technological changes in the electric industry continue to accelerate, utilities are modifying rate structures to meet customer needs and improve operational efficiencies. Get insight on how public power utilities are changing rate structures to promote growth, meet utility challenges and create saving opportunities. Understand how to overcome obstacles and reduce barriers when changing rate structures.   

    Mark Beauchamp, President, Utility Financial Solutions, Holland, Michigan

Break and Online Networking
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

Join your choice of online discussion groups to speak face-to-face with your peers on the issues that matter to you. Share your challenges and solutions. 

  • Fireside Chat with Jolene Thompson
    Join APPA’s incoming board chair – and the new CEO of American Municipal Power, Inc. – for questions and a lively conversation. Get her views on the Association and our industry, and share your challenges and concerns.
  • Discussion Room: HR Challenges with COVID-19
    Employers are facing profound human resource challenges in the wake of the pandemic, including questions on reopening facilities, managing remote workers, and maintaining staffing levels. Discuss these challenges with your peers, and get ideas on how others are tackling them. 
  • Discussion Room: Cyber & Physical Preparedness
    Meet your peers to discuss creating a more resilient and secure grid that is prepared for both cyber and physical threats. Share your challenges and solutions. 
  • Discussion Room: Utility Innovation
    Connect with fellow attendees to discuss innovative new ideas, programs and solutions being explored and implemented around the country. Share what you are doing to position yourself as a utility of the future. Get inspiration you can bring back to your community.

General Session
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

  • Joshua CrumbaughA Hacker’s Guide to Cyber Threats
    A career ethical hacker and social engineer, Joshua Crumbaugh hasn’t encountered a single network that could keep him or his teams out. He has talked his way into bank vaults, Fortune 500 data centers, corporate offices, restricted areas of casinos, and more. As one of the world's most accomplished social engineers and cybersecurity awareness experts, Crumbaugh will provide an entertaining yet realistic overview of threats to the power sector and explain how you can secure your systems against cyber crime.

    Joshua Crumbaugh, Co-Founder, Chief Hacker and CEO, PeopleSec

Online Networking
5:15 – 6:30 p.m. ET / 4:15 – 5:30 p.m. CT / 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. MT / 2:15 – 3:30 p.m. PT

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. 

  • Happy Hour with Joshua Crumbaugh
    Continue the conversation face-to-face (but online!) with cybersecurity and social engineering expert Joshua Crumbaugh. Ask questions, get tips, and enjoy open dialogue with Josh and your peers.
  • 80th Anniversary Virtual Block Party
    Celebrate APPA’s 80th anniversary – and party like it’s the 1980s! Join your public power friends and colleagues for a virtual block party filled with pop culture, music and trivia. Dust off your Members Only jackets and stock up on the hairspray to dress up for the occasion, or share a photo of you looking “peak 80s” with the group. As a bonus, we’ll award prizes to the most totally awesome contributors.
  • Silver Linings Social Hour
    Whatever your lockdown libation of choice, the glass is always half full in this networking room. Share your shutdown stories, isolation interests, quarantine creations, and other positive developments from the past few months with your essential friends and colleagues. Show off your accomplishments, introduce your new “coworkers” in a virtual children & pet parade, and chat about the good news of the day. 
  • Virtual Summer Vacation Getaway
    The joy of traveling – without the planes, trains and automobiles! Join public power friends and colleagues to share your summer plans – what you had originally planned, what you’re doing now, or the big trip you’re planning when you can travel again. Share photos and stories from your favorite past vacations, get and share tips for visiting various destinations, and win prizes for guessing landmarks near and far.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

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

Kick off the second day of the Virtual Summit by connecting with your peers. Choose the conversation you want and join a targeted discussion group.  

  • Coffee with Joy Ditto
    Join the American Public Power Association’s new CEO for coffee, questions, and conversation. Get her view on issues impacting public power, and share your challenges and concerns.
  • Small Utility Roundtable
    Meet with other leaders from small public power utilities and share your ideas and experiences in an open discussion forum. Discuss your challenges and crowdsource solutions small public power utilities can employ.
  • Large Utility Roundtable
    Connect with your peers from other large public power utilities to share ideas, discuss common challenges and brainstorm solutions together in this open discussion. 
  • Wellness Roundtable
    Join national thought leader Manar Morales for a facilitated conversation on how you can stay resilient, build a positive mindset, and successfully lead in the midst of the pandemic. 

General Session
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET / 10 – 11:15 a.m. CT / 9 – 10:15 a.m. MT / 8 – 9:15 a.m. PT

  • Welcome and Announcements
    Jolene Thompson, President & CEO, American Municipal Power, Inc.; and Chair Elect, American Public Power Association
  • Presentation of Individual Leadership Awards
    Join us as we honor the recipients of the American Public Power Association’s 2020 awards for individual leadership

  • Peter SingerThe Future is Stranger than Sci-Fi
    Robots, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things are just the beginning. In this decade, the science fiction of today will be the reality of tomorrow. New technologies and possibilities will redefine our world, challenging us like never before. Described by the Wall Street Journal as “the premier futurist in the national security environment,” Peter Singer will get you revved up about the future he will help you envision. As the official "Mad Scientist" for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and consultant for the CIA, the Pentagon, and Hollywood, he is ideally positioned to discuss security challenges posed by emerging technologies.

    Peter Singer, Renowned Futurist and Bestselling Author

Break and Online Networking
12:15 – 12:45 p.m. ET / 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. CT / 10:15 – 10:45 a.m. MT / 9:15 – 9:45 a.m. PT

Talk to your peers from around the country in topic-oriented discussion forums.  

  • Coffee with Peter Singer
    Meet keynote speaker Peter Singer for coffee, questions, and extended conversation.
  • Discussion Room: Helping Customers through COVID-19
    Connect with your public power peers to discuss how you are helping your residential and business customers weather the pandemic. Share the challenges you are facing and get ideas on how others are tackling them. 
  • Discussion Room: Legislative & Regulatory Issues
    Join your peers and the experts to discuss the legislative and regulatory issues, challenges and opportunities facing public power. 
  • Discussion Room: Reliability Best Practices
    Discuss reliability best practices with friends and colleagues. Learn what other utilities are doing, compare notes and get tips to improve your reliability position. 

Breakout Sessions
12:45 – 1:45 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. CT / 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. MT / 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. PT

  1. What’s Driving Public Power’s Bond Ratings
    Hear representatives from the three largest credit rating companies discuss the latest on rating trends, public power’s strengths and opportunities, and how current issues and industry trends affect public power’s bond ratings. Learn what boards and managers can do to reinforce the financial strength of your organization.

    Jennifer Chang, Vice President – Senior Analyst, Moody’s Investors Service, New York; Jeffrey Panger, Director, S&P Global Ratings, New York; and Dennis Pidherny, Managing Director, Public Finance, Fitch Ratings, New York

  2. Mutual Aid: What’s Changed and What’s the Same
    Storms and natural disasters don’t take breaks, and neither does the public power mutual aid network. Hear lessons learned from utilities that have conducted mutual aid operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and how utilities are preparing for what is expected to be a stronger than normal storm season on top of the ongoing pandemic response. Discuss how politics have continued to affect mutual aid response.

    Dan Beans, Electric Utility Director, Redding Electric Utility, California; and Sheryl Jenkins, Manager, Human Resources, and Neal Potter, Commercial Energy Analyst, EPB, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  3. Don’t Let Your AMI Go to Waste
    Explore the process efficiencies, tools, best practices and the critical value that AMI operations applications bring while managing and operating these systems at scale. By integrating seamlessly into business operations, learn how they are taking the necessary steps to ensure operational excellence, making their jobs easier. Also hear about how to most effectively leverage the data produced by AMI systems to gain better insight into your utility and customer behavior.

    Kyle Roadman, Power Manager, Emerald People’s Utility District, Eugene, Oregon; and Sarah Valovcin, Senior Quantitative Analyst, The Energy Authority, Bellevue, Washington

  4. Leveraging AMR Assets While Migrating to the Smart Grid
    Learn how public power utilities are working to extend the life of their current assets (communications, meter/modules, etc.) while deploying AMI solutions in a targeted, prioritized manner. In addition to the various migration alternatives, the speaker will address advanced applications that are available over AMI and how utilities can capture benefits in either an AMI ‘overlay’ or full deployment.

    Matt Haile, Director of Business Development & Commercial Marketing, Tantalus Systems Corp., Raleigh, North Carolina

  5. Oil’s Pain is Power’s Gain: Why Wholesale Power Prices Are Moving Higher
    The plunge in oil prices is causing the main contributor to U.S. natural gas supply growth — gas from oil wells — to fall rapidly. Gas prices, especially for winter and for 2021, are marching higher as a result, pulling wholesale power prices higher. Is this a permanent shift in power prices? Will this slow coal plant retirements and dampen renewables?

    Michael Zenker, Managing Director, NextEra Energy Resources, Houston, Texas

1:45 – 2 p.m. ET / 12:45 – 1 p.m. CT / 11:45 a.m. – Noon MT / 10:45 – 11 a.m. PT

Breakout sessions 
2 – 3 p.m. ET / 1 – 2 p.m. CT / Noon – 1 p.m. MT / 11 a.m. – Noon PT

  1. Demystifying Digital Transformation for Public Power Utilities
    Digital transformation is a hot topic in almost every business strategy conversation. However, many business leaders don’t truly understand the challenges or appreciate the opportunities that can come with embarking on a digital transformation journey. Explore some major trends impacting public power’s digital transformation, while demystifying what cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and intelligent automation can do for the sector.

    Claudio Garcia, Director, Enterprise Transformation Services Consulting Group, Baker Tilly, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Eric Keister, Director, Digital Consulting Group, Baker Tilly, Houston, Texas

  2. Electric Vehicle Project Showcase
    Many public power utilities are leading the way in understanding and supporting electric vehicle charging, thanks to funding from the Association’s Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Developments (DEED) program. Learn about DEED’s 40 years of co-funding support to members’ projects, including various completed and upcoming EV projects and resources. Hear from grant recipients and discover their innovative projects covering EV charging infrastructure deployment, fleet assessments, rate design, and charging data collection. Get ideas you can implement in your community.

    Jennifer Bangert, Energy Services Specialist, Lincoln Electric System, Nebraska; Tom Sagstetter, Conversation & Key Accounts Manager, Elk River Municipal Utilities, Minnesota; and Michele Fearnley Suddleson, Director, DEED Program, American Public Power Association

  3. Financial Stability 101: Assessing Your Financial Health
    A utility’s overall financial health can ensure its ability to provide reliable service to customers now and into the future. Assess your utility’s financial health against industry guidelines and key financial targets and learn how to put a plan in place to reach recommended targets.

    Dawn Lund, Vice President, Utility Financial Solutions, Leland, Michigan

  4. Industry Spotlight Session

Break and Online Networking
3 – 3:30 p.m. ET / 2 – 2:30 p.m. CT / 1 – 1:30 p.m. MT / Noon – 12:30 p.m. PT

Make the most of this final opportunity to speak face-to-face with your peers and industry experts in an online discussion group. Share your challenges and learn from the experiences of others.

  • Fireside Chat with Decosta Jenkins
    Join APPA’s outgoing board chair – and the President & CEO of Nashville Electric Service – for questions and conversation. Get his views on the Association and our industry, and share your challenges and concerns.
  • Discussion Room: Operational Challenges with COVID-19
    Discuss the operational challenges the pandemic is creating for you with peers from around the country in this open forum, and get ideas on how others are tackling them. 
  • Discussion Room: Financial Stability
    Meet your peers to discuss creating a more financially stable utility, and the obstacles you may be facing. Share your challenges and crowdsource possible solutions. 
  • Discussion Room: Workforce Challenges
    Connect with fellow attendees to discuss your workforce challenges, whether your concerns are with recruitment and retention, succession planning, updating your HR policies with the “new normal”, or something else entirely, Get inspiration from others and share your innovative ideas, programs and solutions.

Association Business Meeting & Closing General Session
3:30 – 5 p.m. ET / 2:30 – 4 p.m. CT / 1:30 – 3 p.m. MT / 12:30 – 2 p.m. PT

  • Association Business Meeting
    Each utility member must designate a voting delegate for this meeting, and then cast votes to elect members to the APPA Board of Directors and on policy resolutions that will guide the Association’s advocacy efforts for the coming year. Get reports from the board Treasurer on Association performance and financials. 
  • Presentation of Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award
  • Changing of the Guard: Remarks from the Outgoing and Incoming Board Chairs
    Decosta Jenkins, President & CEO, Nashville Electric Service, Tennessee, and Jolene Thompson, President & CEO, American Municipal Power, Inc., Columbus, Ohio

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The following Association committees, task forces and boards will meet in conjunction with the Public Power Connect: Virtual Summit and Business Meeting.

PowerPAC Board Meeting (Open to members of the PowerPAC Board of Directors Only)
11 a.m. – Noon ET / 10 – 11 a.m. CT / 9 – 10 a.m. MT / 8 – 9 a.m. PT

The PowerPAC Board of Directors will meet to receive a finance and operations update on PowerPAC’s activities, including how they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and vote on terms of board members.

Advisory Committee Meeting
12:15 – 1:45 p.m. ET / 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. CT / 10:15 – 11:45 a.m. MT / 9:15 – 10:45 a.m. PT

Advisory Committee members will meet to receive an update on legislative activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to discuss further reforming the APPA policy resolution process. 

Joint Action Agencies Meeting 
2 – 3 p.m. ET / 1 – 2 p.m. CT / Noon – 1 p.m. MT / 11 a.m. – Noon PT

Joint Action Agency CEOs, senior managers, board or commission members, and members of a joint action agency have an opportunity to discuss issues of common interest and concern. Topics will be solicited from members prior to the meeting. 

PMA Task Force Meeting
3:15 – 4:15 p.m. ET / 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. CT / 1:15 – 2:15 MT / 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. PT

The PMA Task Force is composed of APPA members that are customers of the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs). This meeting will consist of a legislative update and allow for PMA customers from across the country to share information with each other on what is going on in their regions. 

Membership Committee Meeting (Open to members of the APPA Membership Committee Only)
4:30 – 6 p.m. ET / 3:30 – 5 p.m. CT / 2:30 – 4 p.m. MT / 1:30 – 3 p.m. PT

The Membership Committee will meet to discuss membership outreach, strategies to grow the Association’s membership, and ongoing membership engagement campaigns.

Public Power Connect (June 8-10) will be a virtual/online meeting.

Register now!

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

Member $675
Nonmember $1,300

Not yet an American Public Power Association member? Join today and save $625 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 Public Power Connect Virtual Summit & Business Meeting when your organization registers 10 or more people. Contact [email protected] for more information and to request the group registration form to receive this special discount.   


Frequently Asked Questions

Public Power Connect (June 8-10) will be a virtual/online meeting.

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].


Is the Public Power Connect Virtual Summit & Business Meeting the same as the National Conference? 

They are not the same meeting, but we’ve designed the Public Power Connect Virtual Summit to help meet the needs of the public power leaders, policymakers and experts who would normally attend the National Conference. Importantly, we will also hold our Association Annual Business Meeting to vote in the new Board of Directors and consider policy resolutions.

What’s different:

  • The format, obviously. Public Power Connect is an entirely virtual summit; you won’t need to leave your home or office to fully participate in the meeting. 
  • It’s a more streamlined event. We’ve condensed the scheduled so most of the meeting happens over two days, and to make the agenda more accessible for members attending across multiple time zones. In the coming months, APPA will be looking for other ways to bring some of the sessions we had planned for the National Conference to our members, possibly as webinars or other virtual events.
  • We've added a new general session panel on managing through COVID-19 to the agenda.
  • Sadly, the Public Power Expo will not be part of the Public Power Connect Virtual Summit, but we will continue to offer ways to help you connect with our associate member and vendor partners via other virtual events and in-person events later in the year.  

What’s the same:

  • Public Power Connect features some of the same keynote speakers and breakout session topics that you were looking forward to on the National Conference program, including Paul Begala, Peter Singer, Joshua Crumbaugh, and the first State of Public Power address from APPA’s new CEO, Joy Ditto.
  • The opportunity to network with public power leaders remains the same. While the format is different, Public Power Connect will allow participants to have face-to-face discussions to talk about the issues and challenges they face.
  • Association Business Meeting and Changing of the Guard. As mentioned above, in addition to the networking and educational elements, the National Conference also includes an important governance component—the transition of our Board of Directors' leadership and consideration of our policy resolutions at the annual business meeting. These events will now take place at the Public Power Connect Virtual Summit. 
  • Recognition of national awards. We will present the winners of the Association’s utility services awards, individual leadership awards, and the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award at the virtual event.
  • Celebration of the American Public Power Association’s 80th anniversary. While we had hoped to celebrate this milestone together in Long Beach, we’re excited to be able to mark the occasion with you at this new virtual event. What better way to honor 80 years of public power utilities joining their voices and interests together, than for us to come together once again – despite circumstances that keep us apart – to share strategies and solutions to continue serving our communities and power on? 

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. We are working quickly to develop an informative and engaging virtual experience, allowing participants to easily access important topics and sessions, and to connect with other participants for face-to-face conversations using video chats. Specifics regarding the new virtual experience will be shared in the coming weeks.


How was the registration fee for the Public Power Connect Virtual Summit determined? 

We took a number of details into consideration in calculating the fee for Public Power Connect. We have reduced the member registration fee by $200 from the normal National Conference registration fee, to pass along the savings from holding the event virtually. The Public Power Connect registration fee reflects the costs and value of the meeting being held. 

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 National Conference.

We also looked at the benefits of attending the meeting for members. The program features the same 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.


Will the Virtual Summit be held on the original National Conference dates? 

Yes, the Public Power Connect Virtual Summit & Business Meeting will be held June 8-10, over the original National Conference dates.  

The virtual summit is a streamlined event: most attendees will only attend for two days (June 8-9). We will be hosting several committee and task force meetings on June 10, including the Advisory Committee Meeting, Joint Action Agencies Meeting, and PMA Task Force. 

Since many members already saved those dates on their calendars for the National Conference, we felt holding the virtual summit on the same dates would make it easier for more people to attend. 


How will voting take place at the business meeting?

APPA remains committed to the integrity of the voting process for our annual business meeting. 

Participants will designate themselves as their utility’s Voting Delegate or Alternate Voter for the Association Business Meeting when they register for the Public Power Connect Virtual Summit, the same as they would for the National Conference. 

The business meeting itself will be open for all virtual summit participants to view – part of APPA’s commitment to transparency. Voting will take place in a separate platform. Before the event, we will send out information to all business meeting voting delegates about the platform and any login credentials they need so they are prepared to cast their votes during the meeting.


What platform will the Public Power Connect Virtual Summit & Business Meeting 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 the Accounting & Finance Spring Roundtable and will be holding other programs on the Zoom platform in May. 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.
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 will be implementing all the recommended precautions and best practices recommended to minimize the possibility of security issues, such as pre-registration for events, utilizing virtual waiting rooms to ensure only registered attendees are admitted to sessions, requiring meeting passwords, and password protecting links to meetings sessions.



Registrants who cancel in writing on or before June 1, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after June 1, will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by June 1 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]


What educational credits are available?

Academy events include the following opportunities for educational credits:

  • 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)

Attendees can earn up to 10.8 continuing professional education credits (CPEs) in public accountancy, as well as .9 continuing education units (CEUs) or 9 professional development hours (PDHs).

More questions?

Contact us at [email protected] or call 202-467-2919.