Public Power Leadership Virtual Summit

The Public Power Leadership Virtual Summit helps you develop the resilience, flexibility, and grit to run a respected 21st century utility.
August 11, 2020

The Public Power Leadership Virtual Summit (Aug. 11) will be a virtual/online meeting.

Explore, Experience, and Engage

New technologies and lifestyles, changing load patterns, legislative and regulatory changes, and changing customer and workforce demographics are introducing new challenges to your already demanding job as a public power leader. Get help tackling the tough issues. Join the thought leaders, outstanding industry executives, and your peers to envision the future of our industry and learn what you need to evolve your leadership strategies, skills, knowledge, and techniques to steer your utility to success in a time of change.

From setting strategy to transforming culture, and leading your utility into future, join us for an exploration of the key issues.

Register now!

Who Should Attend

  • General managers and CEOs (especially those new to the job)
  • Senior managers and those on track for executive leadership positions
  • Board members and others involved with senior leadership

Summit Brochure

Click here to view a sample summit brochure.

Code of Conduct

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.

More information

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

Hotel Information – Meeting Services team:
Phone: 202-467-2941; Email: [email protected]

Program/Content Information – Education team:
Phone: 202-467-2980; Email: [email protected]

Billing Information – Accounting and Finance team:
Phone: 202-467-2967; Fax: 202-495-7467; Email: [email protected]

Sponsorship Inquiries:
Phone: 202-467-2903; Email: [email protected]


The Public Power Leadership Virtual Summit (Aug. 11) 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]

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Welcome & Introductions
10:45 – 11 a.m. ET / 9:45 – 10 a.m. CT / 8:45 – 9 a.m. MT / 7:45 – 8 a.m. PT

Joy Ditto, President & CEO, American Public Power Association

Leadership in a Time of Change
11 – 11:45 a.m. ET / 10 – 10:45 a.m. CT / 9 – 9:45 a.m. MT / 8 – 8:45 a.m. PT

As the energy industry continues to evolve, public power leaders need to manage change in multiple areas — technology, customer preferences, workforce development, integrated resource planning, rate design, public communication, and more. In addition COVID-19 has added an additional layer of change. You need to navigate a changing economy and society and adapt your business model to be flexible and resilient, while getting buy-in from your staff, governance team, and community stakeholders. Learn how to juggle all these demands, lead with integrity, and adopt a community-first approach.

Tom Heller, President & CEO, Missouri River Energy Services, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Stay Ahead of the Competition: Setting Strategy
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. ET / 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. CT / 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. MT / 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. PT

Your utility’s success is contingent, in part, on a broad array of economic, political, and social trends. But too often, the strategic planning process fails to incorporate competitor strategies, customer expectations, new technologies, and environmental challenges. Learn how other public power leaders engineer their strategic plan to embrace change, counter competitive threats, and take advantage of future opportunities.

Bill Bottiggi, General Manager, Braintree Electric Light Department, Massachusetts

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

Leadership in a Mirror: Understanding your Leadership Strengths
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. ET / 12:15 – 1:45 p.m. CT / 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. MT / 10:15 – 11:45 a.m. PT

Take a look inward to reflect on how your leadership style might be helping or hindering your organization’s success. Complete the Birkman Method assessment online in advance of the summit to obtain insights about your strengths and understand the gap between how you think you come across versus how others experience you. While individual results from the assessment will be confidential, discuss the aggregate results from the group with a trained facilitator to discover motivators, behaviors and blind spots to increase your effectiveness in leading your teams.  

Patty Cruz, Executive Consultant, nFront Consulting, Austin, Texas

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

Motivating Excellence by Defining Purpose
3 – 4 p.m. ET / 2 – 3 p.m. CT / 1 – 2 p.m. MT / Noon – 1 p.m. PT

When employees actively recognize that they are serving the public interest, they contribute to organizational effectiveness. Although our surrounding culture can be dismissive of the public sector,   celebrating the value of our public service can bring meaning and purpose to employees. Drawing from his experience in leading both a federal entity, the Bonneville Power Administration, and a public power utility, Steve Wright will share his management philosophy about how to understand, utilize and teach the power and pride of public service to drive organizational success.

Steve Wright, General Manager, Chelan County PUD, Wenatchee, Washington

Building a Culture of Excellence
4 – 5 p.m. ET / 3 – 4 p.m. CT / 2 – 3 p.m. MT / 1 – 2 p.m. PT

A strong, positive culture is fundamental to your utility’s success. Learn why top-performing public power utilities are investing in cultural transformation and how this investment is reaping returns. Regardless of your utility’s size and resources, a focus on values and excellence can foster strong internal and external relations. Hear from two top leaders about how they define culture, their best practices for building and maintaining a great culture, and how to measure success.

Jackie Flowers, Director/CEO, Tacoma Public Utilities, Washington; and Debra Smith, General Manager/CEO, Seattle City Light, Washington  

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

Join your peers and the experts for open discussion and networking. Whether this is your virtual happy hour or afternoon coffee break, grab your drink of choice and unwind with your peers.

Summit Adjourns
6 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. MT / 3 p.m. PT


The Public Power Leadership Virtual Summit (Aug. 11) 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].

Summit Fees

  • Association Members: $450
  • Nonmembers: $900

Register 5+ people and save!

Contact [email protected] to learn how you can save an additional $50 discount on each registration when you register 5 or more people from your organization for the Public Power Leadership Virtual Summit.

Not an American Public Power Association member? Join today and save on your conference registration. Call 202-467-2903 or email [email protected] to learn more.

Registration Cancellation, Refund, and Substitution Policy

Registrants who cancel on or before Aug. 7, 2020 are entitled to a refund of the registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after Aug. 7 will not receive a refund, but may send a substitute to the event. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel on or before Aug. 7 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund.

Cancellations must be emailed to: [email protected].


Program Questions
Ursula Schryver
[email protected]

Registration Questions
[email protected]

Hotel Questions
[email protected]

Sponsorship Inquiries
Pam Cowen
[email protected]

Earn While You Learn!

Participate at the Leadership Summit to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs).

What educational credits are available?

Academy events include the following opportunities for educational credits:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) The American Public Power Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and. For information regarding certification status, attendance requirements and obtaining attendees transcripts, contact [email protected] or 202-467-2919.
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) The American Public Power Association’s educational practices are consistent with the criteria for awarding Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Course eligibility and number of PDHs may vary by state.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits The American Public Power Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: There are no prerequisites for the courses offered; no advance preparation is required for any courses. All courses are group-live offerings. Credit hours and areas of study for the courses are listed on the individual course pages. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as clarification of requirements, complaints, and refunds, please contact [email protected].