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Agenda for USMA 2017 Educational Conference

The conference fee includes:

  • Welcome Reception on Sunday (5:30-6:30PM)
  • Continental Breakfasts on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
  • General Sessions on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday (8:00AM start)
  • Concurrent Sessions on Monday & Tuesday
  • Supplier Networking Reception on Monday from 4:00-6:00PM
    (Display space is Sold Out.)
  • Attendee Luncheons on Monday & Tuesday
  • Dinner Event on Tuesday Evening

Click on the boxes below to display session details

Sunday, May 7, 2017
Prior registration is required. Contact phil@meetingtrack.com for more information. Bus space is limited to the first 52 riders.
Join us for a 5K through the downtown Fort Worth area on Sunday morning. Our run will be led by local running legend Ed Swiatocha.
Prior registration is required. No fee. Contact Phil@meetingtrack.com for more information or to register.
USMA will donate $20 to charity for each registered person finishing the 5K that morning.
This is an informal run and will not be supported by rest stops or medical personnel.
Sunday, May 7, 2017 – Golf Tournament
Pre Registration is Required. Separate fee applies

6:00 am
Transportation is available to the golf course from the main hotel entrance. Space is limited.

Need to rent clubs? Contact Phil@meetingtrack.com before May 2, 2017 (special right or left handed).

Driving to the course?
Texas Star Golf Course
1400 Texas Star Parkway, Euless, TX 76040
817-685-7888

7:00 am
Light Breakfast at the course

8:00 am
Shotgun Start
Lunch to follow play at the Golf Course

Proper golf club attire and shoes required.

Golfers may pick up their conference registration packets at the golf course following lunch.

Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 2nd floor at the top of the escalators.
If this is your first time at USMA or if you haven’t attended in recent years, please join us to meet the USMA Board of Directors. Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 2nd floor, Texas Ballroom Foyer. Business casual attire suggested.
All USMA Participants and registered spouses/guests are encouraged to meet for drinks and light hors d’oeuvres. Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 2nd floor, Texas Ballroom Foyer. Business casual attire suggested.
Monday, May 8, 2017
A light breakfast buffet will be served at 7:30 am for all registered USMA conference participants. Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 2nd floor in the Texas Foyer. Seating in Texas Ballroom E/F – this is a good time to find a seat in preparation for the general session kicking off at 8:00 am. Business casual attire suggested for all USMA sessions. We are expecting a full house.

The breakfast buffet will include the traditional breakfast foods and feature a “build your own breakfast taco station”.

Join us at 8:00 am for the opening session of USMA 2017. We suggest arriving early to secure a good seat. The room will be full. Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 2nd floor, Texas Ballroom E/F. Business casual attire suggested.

Featured Speakers:

The Honorable Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth, Texas
Betsy Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected in 2011 as the 44th mayor of the City of Fort Worth. Fort Worth is the 16th largest city in the United States and remains one of the fastest growing large cities in the country.

Bob Shapard, CEO, Oncor
Mr. Shapard has been the Chief Executive officer of Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC since April 2007. Under his leadership Oncor has built nearly 6,000 miles of transmission and distribution line, installed more than 300,000 electric delivery points, developed and implemented more than 3.3 million Advance Meter Systems and built 1,000 miles of Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission lines, while providing the lowest delivery rates of any investor owned utility in Texas.

Emmitt Smith

Emmitt James Smith III is a former college and professional athlete who played 15 seasons in the National Football League. He has appeared on Dancing with the Stars and runs several companies in real estate, construction and technology.

Carey Lohrenz, U.S. Navy Combat Pilot
As the first female F-14 Tomcat pilot, Carey is a pioneer in military aviation. She is the author of “Fearless Leadership – High-Performance Lessons from the Flight Deck.” Her topic will be “Lessons in Partnership”.

After the morning general session we’ll take a short break to refresh the room and then lunch buffets will open in the Texas Ballroom Foyer with seating back in the ballroom. The menu today will have a Mexican theme.

1:00 pm Breakout Sessions

Industry in Disruption – Future of the Utility Industry, Where will we be in 10 years?

The electric utility industry is defining its new role in an environment of technology push and customer pull. As disruptive technology evolves, utilities are framing new ‘ways to play’ in an industry that is shrinking and that will be very different than that of the last 100 years.

Presenter: Thomas J. Flaherty III, is an advisor to executives in the electric power and gas sectors for Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting group. Based in Dallas he has been involved in the majority of the power and gas mergers in the U.S. and a number of cross-border transactions involving the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Capital vs. O&M – What Procurement Needs to Know

Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) are continually challenged with making the most of every budget dollar.  The balance of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) budgets vs. Capital budgets are often top of mind.  This engaging session will explore how utility procurement and supplier partners can collaborate to add value to the bottom line by coming up with innovative ways to approach budgeting challenges.

Presenters: David Bonk, VP Industrial Affairs, Osmose Utility Services; Barbara Servatius, Regional Sales Manager, Lindsey Mfg Co; Robert Toner, ABB Inc.

The Local Impact of Supplier Diversity

What is the importance to the local economy to have a vibrant relationship between local MWBE’s and the home-town utility? How do these two come together to create a “win-win” relationship that creates opportunities for the supplier while providing quality services and materials. How does an Electrical Distributor fit into the relationship and what is their role in providing a 2nd tier relationship between the utility and suppliers. In this panel discussion Oncor, Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Council – Southwest, and Stuart C. Irby will discuss their roles in providing a successful collaboration between the utility and suppliers

Panelists: Graciela Hastings, Supplier Diversity Manager, Oncor; Margo Posey, Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council; Debbie Hurst, Women’s Business Coun

Why Should Someone Follow You – Eight Hard-Hitting Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Ability to Lead People

As the labor pool shrinks, employees will examine more carefully the organization for which they are willing to work and the people for whom they are willing to go the extra mile.  More and more the leaders (whether they have an official title or not) that exist within an organization will become the deciding factor for whether that organization will succeed or fail.  This presentation reveals the eight behaviors individuals must develop in order to become leaders in their own organization as well as create other leaders for that organization.  This information will revolutionize your thinking about leadership and the way relationships need to be managed for the future.

Presenter: Margaret Morford is the CEO for the HR Edge, Inc. an international management consulting and training company. She has a JD degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. She worked as an attorney, specializing in employment law and served as Vice President of Human Resources for three large companies.

2:30 pm Breakout Sessions

Renewables and the Micro Grid

You’ve heard about them, you might even want one. You’ve listened to people talk about them and now you’re just plain curious. Lets us help you out. It always helps to hear from the voice of experience when you’re about to dive into the deep end. We’re talking about Microgrids. The panelists we’ve assembled have all been responsible for the development of a Microgrid in their service territories. They have experience corralling switching and protection challenges, roping in energy storage use cases, and wrestling distributed generation into place. Prepare to ask people with experience what the fuss is all about.

Presenters: Dr. Manuel Avendano, Manager, Emerging Technologies, Commonwealth Edison;
David Chiesa, Senior Director, Global Business Development, S&C Electric Company;
Tamer Rousan, Supervising Engineer, Technology Application Center, Ameren;
Dr. David Treichler, Director Business Development & Financial Modeling, Oncor Electric Delivery

Industry in Disruption – Future of the Utility Industry – Where will we be in 10 years?

The electric utility industry is defining its new role in an environment of technology push and customer pull. As disruptive technology evolves, utilities are framing new ‘ways to play’ in an industry that is shrinking and that will be very different than that of the last 100 years.

Presenter: Thomas J. Flaherty III, is an advisor to executives in the electric power and gas sectors for Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting group. Based in Dallas he has been involved in the majority of the power and gas mergers in the U.S. and a number of cross-border transactions involving the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Courage at Work – Having the Heart of a Lion

Would you like to get out of bed every morning and make a significant contribution at work?  Do you want to kick your everyday performance up a level and be something remarkable in your career?  Margaret Morford presents five principles that will dramatically change how you do your work and how you think about work in the future.  Along with the five principles, participants are challenged with “unsettling questions” about anyone’s ability to be courageous at work.  All of this material is interspersed with lively stories about her courage…and lack of courage in her own work life.

Presenter: Margaret Morford is the CEO for the HR Edge, Inc. an international management consulting and training company. She has a JD degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. She worked as an attorney, specializing in employment law and served as Vice President of Human Resources for three large companies.


Networking Reception / Exhibitor Display

Join your peers and 80 suppliers to the industry for a time of networking. For details on the companies displaying at this session go to http://usma-conference.com/suppliers-exhibiting/

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 2nd floor, Texas Ballroom Foyer. Our breakfast buffet will include Grits and Sweet Potato Pancakes to supplement a traditional breakfast.
Session Opening
Pat Gorman, WESCO, USMA Board Member and Former President

Gretchen Bakke, PhD, McGill University
Cultural Anthropologist & Author of “The Grid- The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future”. Her work focuses on the chaos and creativity that emerges during social, cultural, and technological transitions. For the past decade she has been researching and writing about the changing culture of electricity in the United States. In addition to her work on electric power systems, she has done research in the Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, and in Cuba. She is a former fellow in Wesleyan University’s Science in Society Program, a former Fulbright fellow, and is currently an assistant professor of anthropology at McGill University. Born in Portland, Oregon, Bakke lives in Montreal. Registered participants in this session will receive a copy of this book, through grant from NAAUD.

Philip D. Moeller, Senior VP of Energy Delivery, Edison Electric Institute
Mr. Moeller is Senior Vice President of Energy Delivery and Chief Customer Solutions Officer at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). EEI is the association that represents all of the nation’s investor-owned electric utilities. Prior to joining EEI, Mr. Moeller served as a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), ending his tenure as the second-longest serving member of the commission. He was the only Senate-confirmed member of the federal government appointed by Both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. During his tenure at FERC he championed policies promoting improved wholesale electricity markets, increasing investment in electric transmission, natural gas pipeline networks, and enhancing the coordination of the electric and natural gas industries. Previously he headed the Washington, D.C. office of Alliant Energy Corporation and served as a Senior Legislative Assistant for Energy Policy to a U.S. Senator.

10:15 am Breakout Sessions

The Future of Work is Changing
Advancements in technology are disrupting the way we work, but few companies are prepared for the changes that are rapidly affecting us all. This session will share how you can embrace the changes, increase competitiveness, attract top talent and strengthen your supply chain to be ready for what is on the horizon.

Presenter: Dawn Tiura is the President and CEO of Sourcing Industry Group (SIG), the world’s largest association representing Global 1,000 companies, with a combined spend of $17 trillion USD in sourcing and outsourcing. Dawn is also the President of SIG University, an online and in-person training and education organization that offers certifications in Sourcing, Governance and Risk, competency assessments and Vested Sourcing techniques. Dawn also heads the Sourcing International Group, Ltd, located in the UK, which is the parent company for Outsource Magazine and SIG Europe, Middle East and Africa.

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Dawn has over 25 years leadership experience, with the past 15 years focused on the sourcing and outsourcing industry. Prior to joining SIG, Dawn held leadership positions as founder and CEO of Denali Group and before that as a partner in a CPA firm, focused on early Silicon Valley enterprises and high wealth individuals.

How Universities are Developing Supply Chain Leaders of the Future
Professor Morgan Swink of Texas Christian University, will lead a discussion with a panel of TCU undergraduate and graduate students providing insights into how the university and graduate system is teaching supply chain as a discipline, evolving trends in the discipline, and what the utility industry should expect from professionals entering and leaving these programs.

Morgan Swink, Professor of Supply Chain, TCU
Helen Tannfhii, TCU Graduate Student
Sean Tyson, TCU Graduate Student

Understanding and Complying with Buy America: Strategic Partnership Between the Utility and the Department of Transportation

Buy American regulations are in flux. Utilities and state departments of transportation must partner together to work toward compliance and establish interim practices.

Lora Gunter & Paul Fierro, Texas Department of Transportation and Debora Churches, CenterPoint Energy

Grid Assurance
A reliable, resilient transmission grid is of vital importance to the economic, social well-being and security of the nation. Electric Utilities have historically planned for recovery from network disruptions, but recent events demonstrate that the grid faces a new set of threats, both natural and man-made. Grid Assurance was formed by various utilities to mitigate these known and unknown risks to our modern grid. This session will provide an overview of the threats utilities are facing and how Grid Assurance is pro-actively positioning itself to mitigate these emerging risks.

Jeff Fleeman, VP/COO, Grid Assurance


Mike Rayburn, Guitar Virtuoso
Mike uses his talent to humor and teach three simple principles that can help anyone achieve more. He has performed around the globe include Carnegie Hall and at TedX events.

1:30pm Breakout Sessions

Learn from Outside Your Comfort Zone
Join us for a session that will explore how a consumer products company—with a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes 22 brands that generated more than $1 billion each in estimated annual 2016 retail sales—creates a competitive edge through their IT and outsourcing global procurement organization. We will explore how they compete in differing markets and govern under such diverse circumstances. Although cost savings is a key driver, it  is not at the crux of every conversation. Attend this session to see how success is truly measured at PepsiCo.

Russ Damron, Senior Director, Global Procurement, PepsiCo & Dawn Tiura, CEO, SIG

Disruptive Technologies – Energy Rush, Storage Explosion, Grid of the Future
Tired of incremental improvement? Ready to leap forward? Then come learn how disruptive technologies are advancing our industry beyond 2x the market rate while saving millions of dollars at the same time. From innovative coating solutions to groundbreaking energy storage applications to the digital substation, you’ll walk away with plenty of ideas on how disruptive technologies will accelerate your business forward.

Gary Rackliffe, VP Smart Grids North America, ABB Inc.; Srini Siripurapu, VP of Global Technology, General Cable

What truly is an “Integrated Supply Chain?” A View from Academia

Morgan Swink, Jeff Stratman, Tyson Browning, Joe Roh & Laura Meade, Supply Chain Management, Texas Christian University

Product Quality Promotes Safety and Long Term Cost Savings
Recently a single product failure cost a utility over $5 billion. Could your company survive that? PG&E and other utilities are actdively sharing quality processes and procedures with any manufacturer who wants to help move the industry along.

Randy Roberts, Supplier Quality Manager, Electric for Pacific Gas and Electric Company

3:00pm Breakout Sessions

Distributed Generation – The Impact on Supply Chain

Zach Fryer, Arizona Public Service

Exposing the Secrets of Building a Data Center
Experience the process of CenterPoint Energy’s journey of building a second data center for the future and one that will last the company 30 years and longer. Hear what it takes to start building and commissioning a data center in today’s digital world. Additionally you will hear how partners worked with CenterPoint Energy in providing solutions to take the company into the future by reducing operating and maintenance expenses.

Tom Tanous, Senior Manager, Business Resilience & Data Center Management, CenterPoint

Unmanned Aerial Systems in a Part 107 World

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have been used by the military for decades. Only recently have they become a new tool for the utility industry. Rapid advancements in UAS technology, the explosion of renewable generation, and the easing of the FAA regulatory environment have begun to change the business case for these tools to be integrated into utility operations. As UAS technology continues to advance, the way utilities perform core parts of their operations are likely to change. The processes for collecting, processing, reviewing, and reacting to data are all impacted by this technology and can radically change the operations of a utility.

Dan Schoepke is Business Performance Metrics Manager for Alliant Energy. His previous roles have included Generation Maintenance Manager, and service at Intel in Operations Management in both T&D and high-volume manufacturing. He is a Senior Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the American Society for Quality.


Night at Billy Bob’s
Meet in the main lobby for a short ride to Billy Bob’s. Casual attire and comfortable dancing shoes recommended. (Cattle Drive, Hors D’Oeuvres, Open Bar, Dinner, Music, Dancing).
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Breakfast Buffet. Omni Fort Worth Hotel, 2nd Floor, Texas Ballroom E/F
Session Opening
Steve Coleman, PG&E, USMA Second Vice President

Cyber Security, Big Data and the Internet of Threats

Theresa Payton is the first female to serve as White House Chief Information Officer. She oversaw IT operations for the President and his staff from 2006 to 2008. Previously, she held executive roles in banking technology at Bank of America and Wells Fargo. She is the founder and CEO of Fortalice Solutions a leading security, risk and fraud consulting company. She collaborated with IT expert and attorney, Ted Claypoole to author two books focused on helping other learn how to protect their privacy online.

Registration for 2018 will open in late July 2017. See you next year at the Omni Champions Gate (Orlando, Florida), May 20 – 23, 2018