Business & Finance Conference

B&F Conference Sessions—Monday P.M.

Back to Business and Financial Conference Agenda

Monday, September 16

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .2 / PDHs 1.5 / CPEs 1.8



casit Enabling Customer Engagement Through AMI
CPE Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
Advanced metering infrastructure provides comprehensive data that brings new opportunities for customer engagement and enhanced customer service. Come learn how AMI data can help you reach customers through customer portals, new bill presentment, and new payment options.

gafa Welcome to the Wonderful World of Leases
CPE Field of Study: Accounting (Governmental)
GASB standard #87 for leases significantly changes accounting for leases for governmental entities. Delve into the details of the standard and how it can affect your utility. Learn what you should be doing now and, in the future, to set up a proper system of controls and communication to your governing body. 

Bethany Ryers, Director, and Gwen Zech, Manager, Baker Tilly, Madison, Wisconsin


gafa Pay Now, Save Later: The Benefits of Tax-Exempt Prepayments
CPE Field of Study: Accounting
The Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations allow municipal utilities to issue tax-exempt municipal bonds to prepay for long-term natural gas and power contracts – which can save your customers from significant costs down the line. In 2018, almost $10 billion in prepaid contracts originated in twelve transactions, some involving innovative gas to power tolling or gas to power switching arrangements. Take an in-depth look at the history behind prepay legislation and regulations, new innovative prepay structures, and the savings potential of these structures for public power.

James Choukas-Bradley, Partner, McCarter & English, LLP, Washington, D.C.; and John Norman, Managing Director, Municipal Capital Markets Group, Inc., Greenwood Village, Colorado


hrt Doing More with Less: Adding HR Support Without Adding Head Count
HRCI: 1.5 / CPE Field of Study: Personnel/HR
Not enough time or resources to dedicate to addressing your workforce development challenges? As an HR practitioner, do you need ideas on how to build an effective talent pipeline, or want to know about resources specific to the public administration of retirement plans? Join this session to get the inside scoop on resources and strategies that can help you get more done with less time.

Beth Britt, Midwest Region Consultant, Center for Energy Workforce Development, Charlotte, North Carolina; and Matthew Petersen, Executive Board Advisor, National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky


pma The Right Rate at the Right Time: Lessons Learned from Time-Varying Rates
CPE Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
Look at what utilities that have implemented residential time-varying rates have learned about the process. Hear about the changes in customer behavior utilities have seen in moving from pilot rates to default rates and what the data show thus far about the effectiveness of time-varying rates.

Mark Brown, Utilities Rate Analyst, Fayetteville Public Works Commission, North Carolina; and Randy Reuscher, Utilities Rate Analyst, Fort Collins Utilities, Colorado


rmi Business Continuity 101: Readying for the Storm
CPE Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
If you are responsible for business continuity, then don’t miss this session to get a grounding on the basics of what you need to know and do to keep your utility running during catastrophic events. Learn how to create plans to enact before, during, and after a loss, and the importance of involving a network of subject matter experts when notice of an event is received. Hear from risk managers who have lived through large catastrophic events and the valuable lessons they learned.

Isaac Copeland, MS, ARM-P, Director of Legal, Risk and Procurement Services, Fayetteville Public Works Commission, North Carolina; and Dennis Snook, Emergency Preparation and Business Continuity Manager, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska


3:00-3:15 p.m.
Break with Sponsors

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1.25 / CPEs 1.5


cas Building an Effective Training Program
CPE Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
Your customer service is only as good as your customer service representatives. Having the right people – and equipping them to do their job well – is essential to your utility’s success. Learn how other utilities have developed effective in-house training programs at each progressive level for CSRs to ensure these critical employees put the best face forward for your customers.

gafa We Need Closure
CPE Field of Study: Accounting
This session is designed to help utilities large and small improve their financial closing process by providing useful tips and tools to make the approach smoother and more efficient.

Chris Linder, Partner, BKD CPAs & Advisors, Lincoln, Nebraska


gafa What's In Your Piggy Bank
CPE Field of Study: Finance
How do you determine how much cash reserves your utility should hold? Learn why having a formal cash policy is important and how it can relate to the overall health of the electric fund. Discuss key financial risk areas, steps to establishing minimum amount of reserves, and how a formal cash reserve policy can guide your debt issuances.

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


hrt The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion
HRCI: 1.5 / CPE Field of Study: Personnel/HR
Organizations that don’t understand how to leverage diversity are taking a loss in revenue, productivity, creativity and efficiency. Many organizations are touting the financial benefits of a focus on diversity and inclusion, and while you may be a not-for-profit entity, you are also not for loss. Increased revenues are a natural byproduct of the real benefits of a workforce that embraces diversity and inclusion. Join this session to learn how to leverage D&I for optimal workforce performance.

Dethra Giles, Consultant, Author and Speaker, ExecuPrep, Atlanta, Georgia


it Cyber Awareness: ISACs and Other Lifelines to Information
CPE Field of Study: Information Technology
It can be a challenge to stay current with emerging threats.  However, you are not alone, and there are groups who can help you with awareness and preparation – and can help if things do go wrong. Explore some of those different sources, and share your own in this session.

pma Rate Design: Don't Forget About Commercial and Industrial Customers
CPE Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
Despite often being the largest share of your load and revenue, commercial and industrial customers can get lost in the discussion of rate redesign. Hear from public power utilities that have implemented new rates for their C&I customers about what you need to do to get your rates right – from making sure your recover your costs to meeting customers’ expectations.

Dave Berg, Principal, Dave Berg Consulting, Rosemount, Minnesota


 rmi Balancing the Rewards and Risks of the Energy Markets
CPE Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
The energy markets can place additional stress on equipment and directly influence maintenance and operating decisions. Explore the financial implications of having an unexpected equipment failure and the alternative implications of avoiding a “trip” of a unit bid into the market. Hear from industry experts about what factors should be considered in this decision-making in this new operating norm.

Josh Fleischer, Vice President, Loss Control - Property Operations, AEGIS Insurance Services, San Francisco, California; P. Glen Justis, Senior Partner, Experience On Demand, Chesterfield, Missouri; and Jeff Parkison, CPA, CGMA, Director - Forecasting and Power Marketing, City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri