National Conference

National Conference Sessions—Monday A.M.

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Monday, June 18

8:30 — 10:30 a.m.
Opening General Session

Recommended CEUs .2 / PDHs 2 / CPEs 2.4, Specialized Knowledge

State of Public Power
Sue Kelly delivers the annual public power state of the union. Learn about threats and opportunities on the advocacy, communications, economic, and technological fronts. Discover how other public power utilities are innovating and forging ahead. Explore the possibilities of the future for your community and for public power nationally.

Sue Kelly, President & CEO, American Public Power Association

Inside Washington: The Real Scoop
What’s really happening in the nation’s capital? Where is the Administration headed in year two? What does Congress have on its agenda? Take a behind the scenes tour of the corridors of power and monitor federal policy trends and issues impacting the economy and energy outlook. Get to know the real movers and shakers. See what the mid-term elections could bring. And understand what it all means for the country — and your community.

Jonathan Swan, National Political Reporter, Axios

11 a.m. — Noon

Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

Customer Service: Whose Job Is It Anyway? 
Outstanding customer service is what distinguishes a public power utility and sets it apart. In a time of unprecedented technology changes and changing lifestyles, customer relationships are more important than ever before. Define good customer service and see how your utility stacks up. Discuss how to identify and meet the needs of different types of customers. Get ideas for how to create a utility-wide culture of customer service.

Phyllis Currie, Executive Consultant, Hometown Connections, Los Angeles, California; and Ed Shikada, General Manager and Assistant City Manager, City of Palo Alto Utilities, California

Tooting the Public Power Horn: Three Easy Tunes
As competition evolves in new and different forms, it’s more important than ever before to communicate the value of your public power utility to multiple stakeholders. Whether in times of storm or calm, several easy, low-cost outreach initiatives can help you build community trust and goodwill. Learn how utilities like yours are engaging audiences through social media, community involvement, and awareness campaigns. Get branding and positioning tips and resources from the American Public Power Association’s year-long pilot program to raise awareness in ten public power communities across the country.

Meena Dayak, Vice President, Integrated Media and Communications, American Public Power Association; Erica L. Manuel, Manager - Community, Economic Development & Education, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, California; Erica Peden, Communications Specialist, Athens Utilities Board, Tennessee; and Michael Shepard, President and CEO, Ruralite Services, Inc., Hillsboro, Oregon

From Congress to Your Community: Federal Legislative Update 
Hear what’s happening in Congress and what issues will come up in 2018 that impact public power. Get the latest on federal legislative activity around infrastructure, tax-exempt municipal bonds, pole attachments, hydropower licensing reform, natural gas pipeline permitting, vegetation management, reform of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, ownership of the Power Marketing Administrations, wholesale electricity markets, drones, and grid security.

John Godfrey, Senior Government Relations Director, Amy Thomas, Government Relations Director, Desmarie Waterhouse, Vice President of Government Relations & Counsel, Andrew Wills, Government Relations Director and Counsel, and Bryson Wong, Government Relations Director, American Public Power Association

The High Cost of Low Wages
Competitive wages allow you to attract and retain qualified employees, but offering competitive salaries can be a challenge for public power utilities. Learn how compensation studies can help you benchmark salaries and benefits against competitors and educate policymakers on the critical importance of paying a competitive wage – even when utility executives are paid more than other city employees. Review factors that drive competitive pay in a variety of utility positions and discover tools to help determine a competitive pay scale for your utility. Discuss how to make the case for competitive wages based on the financial benefits that public power communities receive.

Alex Hofmann, Director, Energy & Environmental Services, American Public Power Association; Carl Mycoff, Managing Director, Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC, Conifer, Colorado; and Paul Zummo, Director, Policy Research and Analysis, American Public Power Association

Assess and Act: Build Your Cybersecurity Program
Cyber threats to your utility are evolving as more data and control information flows over communication networks. See how other utilities like yours are conducting vulnerability assessments, designing and deploying cybersecurity programs, and training staff and governance bodies. Learn how you can identify cyber and data privacy threats and develop a comprehensive and sustainable step-by-step process to secure your IT and OT systems.

Kevin R. Gertig, Karen St. Clair, IT Manager, Columbia Power and Water Systems, Tennessee

The Perfect Storm: Be Prepared with Mutual Aid
Take a quick tour through the new public power storm restoration guide. Explore all dimensions of disaster response and recovery — emergency planning, mitigation and preparedness, maintenance and engineering, damage assessment, crew staging and deployment, and customer/stakeholder communications. Understand how best you can mobilize mutual aid to supplement your restoration efforts. 

Clinton Hedrington, Chief Operating Officer, Electric System, Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Rick McKinley,Operations Manager, Kirkwood Electric Department, Missouri; and Amy Zubaly, Executive Director, Florida Municipal Electric Association, Tallahassee, Florida

Not Your Grandfather's Utility: Examine Your Business Model
The grid faces new challenges and pressures as load patterns continue to change. Customers are getting savvy about energy efficiency, smart energy management, behind-the-meter generation, and new technologies. Public power utilities can no longer afford to be in “business as usual” mode. See why and how you should rethink your business model and update services, rates, and operations to remain relevant in this changing market.

Steven E. Collier, Director, Smart Grid Strategies, Milsoft Utility Solutions, Austin, Texas

Electric Vehicles: Are You Ready for the New Load?
Electric vehicles promise significant growth in electricity demand but impose many new demands on distribution utilities. Long-term planning is critical to establish charging infrastructure and handle new load patterns. Explore market trends and see how you can prepare. Learn about residential, public and high-speed charging of up to 400kW. Get tips on how to meet customer needs while protecting reliability and recovering costs.

James Ellis, Senior Director, Utility Solutions, ChargePoint, Campbell, California