Agenda 2021

Transforming the Electric Utility Supply Chain

The Road Ahead

Agenda for USMA 2021 Educational Conference

Much of the 2021 Agenda is now in place.  However, to make sure the content is up-to-date, we will continue to add new information.


The conference fee includes:

  • Welcome Celebration on Sunday (5:30-6:30 PM)
  • Dinner Event on Monday Evening
  • Continental Breakfasts on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
  • General Sessions on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday (8:00 AM start)
  • Concurrent Sessions on Monday & Tuesday
  • Supplier Networking Reception on Tuesday at 4:15 pm PM
  • Attendee Luncheons on Monday & Tuesday

Click on the boxes below to display session details

Sunday, May 16, 2021
Sunday, May 16, 2021 – Golf Tournament
Pre Registration is Required. Separate fee applies

“The Frank Bennett Challenge” – USMA’s annual charity golf tournament to benefit the ALS Foundation in memory of past board member, Frank Bennett.

6:30 am – bus departs from the J.W. Marriott, Nashville

7:30 am – Shotgun Start

Noon or following play – Lunch and awards presentation

Need to rent clubs? Contact before May 10, 2021 (special right or left handed).

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.

“The Two Bridges 5K” – the 5th edition of USMA’s run/walk to benefit the Susan Komen Foundation. Starts and ends at the J.W. Marriott, Tampa
6:45 am – check-in
7:00 am – start

Prior registration is required. No fee. Contact for more information or to register.
USMA will donate to the Susan Komen Foundation 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.

Look for the USMA Registration desk, in the foyer of the the J.W. Marriott
First Timers Happy Hour, USMA welcomes anyone who has never attended a USMA Conference.
5:00 pm – at the J.W. Marriott
Happy Hour Welcome Celebration – USMA celebrates the 26th Conference with a special Happy Hour for all registered conference participants

5:30 – 6:30 pm – at the J. W. Marriott

Monday, May 17, 2021
A light breakfast buffet will be served at 7:30 am for all registered USMA conference delegates. Spouses/guests are not included in this part of the program. Name badge Required.

The breakfast buffet will include the traditional breakfast foods.

If you have food allergies and did not include them in your registration record, please contact us with the information we need to give to the hotel. Email

Welcome to the 26th USMA – Opening Session

Opening by Julie Elliott, USMA President

Welcome from Utility Host

Keynote Speaker – Admiral McRaven
Featured speakers:

The Future of the Electric Utility
Vivek Wadhwa, Futurist, Author, Emerging Technologies Expert

Geopolitical Strategies for Global Supply Chain Security

Washington D.C.-based geopolitical strategist John Sitilides will deliver a dynamic presentation focused on U.S. management of real-time global disruption and geopolitical risk concerns, challenging the traditional analyst and media consensus on the world’s most powerful political leaders in Mexico, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the basis for their decision-making, and the long-term political and economic ambitions that ultimately shape the international security agenda. His presentation – using a visually-compelling slide deck of maps, graphs and world leader portraits – will detail the most disruptive flashpoints on the world stage that generate the most significant business risk issues facing the supply chain industry, including the centrality of ensuring navigational freedom to global trade and the safe passage of natural resources, finished goods and energy resources worldwide. These include:

  • China’s ambitious strategy to manage Asia’s commerce and dominate Pacific and Indian Ocean shipping lanes, potentially destabilizing the Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese economies;
  • Proxy wars in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran that directly threaten global energy supplies at three of world’s most critical strategic chokepoints;
  • European long-term political disarray that threatens the cohesion of the European Union and its status as a global economic power and major trading partner of the United States.

Mexico-U.S. trade status and the prospects for expansion or contraction against the uncertainty of the proposed three-way tra

After the morning general session we’ll take a short break to refresh the room and then lunch buffets will be served. Name badge required.

USMA has taken over a nearby entertainment venue.  Start your evening with drinks, dinner and a taste of Nashville’s music scene here and continue your night in the world-famous entertainment district.
Tuesday, May 21, 2020

A light breakfast buffet will be served at 7:30 am for all registered USMA conference delegates. Spouses/guests are not included in this part of the program. Name badge Required.

The breakfast buffet will include the traditional breakfast foods.

If you have food allergies and did not include them in your registration record, please contact us with the information we need to give to the hotel. Email

Session opening by Julie Elliott, USMA Vice President

Featured Session – “The Road Ahead”.  This session will highlight the current state and future direction of the industry.
Featured speakers will include a utility and a supplier perspective.

We have something special in store for you.


Share your experiences and bring your questions about developing business relationships to this special session hosted by Kate Vitasek.
Creating Highly Collaborative Relationships

Kate Vitasek, Author, educator and architect of the Vested business

Kate Vitasek is an international authority for her award-winning research and Vested® business model for highly collaborative relationships. She is a Faculty member at the University of Tennessee and has been lauded by World Trade Magazine as one of the “Fabulous 50+1” most influential people impacting global commerce.

 Kate’s practical and research-based advice ignited a movement on how companies work together and five books, including Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing; Vested: How P&G, McDonald’s and Microsoft Are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships; Getting to We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships and The Vested Way: How a “What’s in it for We” Mindset Revolutionizes Business Relationships

 Passionate in her quest to help companies transform their business relationships, Kate inspires and motivates companies around the world through teaching, speaking and workshops on Vested’s five proven “rules” for achieving transformational results.



Town Hall Session – A Leadership Q&A session where you may submit questions anonymously.


Inspired Leadership and Practical Management

Margaret Morford, Author, Speaker and CEO of the HR Edge Inc.

Margaret Morford has proven her expertise as a workplace expert through her best-selling books, national seminars and television interviews. Her insight offers an edge over other workers and managers in the areas of workplace communication and the critical role human factors will play in the future. She has practical and real world experience as a manager, as the VP of Human Resources at several companies, and as a lawyer with a JD Degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. She has a perspective few people have and an ability to help people not just prepare for, but thrive, in the future.

Join your peers and suppliers to the industry for a time of networking. For details on the companies displaying at this session go to Suppliers Exhibiting

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Negotiation – the Swiss-Army Knife of Relationship Management

Alison Fragale, Professor, Speaker and Consultant

Negotiation – the process through which two or more people “give and take” in a relationship – is an unavoidable part of work and life, and thus negotiation skills are an essential part of any professional’s toolkit. This is particularly true for supply chain professionals who need to manage – and thus negotiate with – many stakeholders: from customers and vendors, to bosses and peers.

In this session, Alison discusses what the best (and worst) negotiators do, and the top strategies that enable successful leaders to solve everyday challenges, both big and small, through negotiation. Drawing on her expertise in psychology and organizational behavior research, Alison presents negotiation science from multiple domains, including real estate, professional athletics, law, and corporate boardrooms. Combining this research with stories from current events and politics, and interjecting humor, Alison delivers practical, actionable advice that will help supply chain leaders achieve their goals.

Alison Fragale is the Mary Farley Ames Lee Fellow and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. An award-winning teacher, Alison has served more than fifteen years as a speaker, instructor, and consultant on leadership, psychology and negotiation for executives in numerous organizations. Her clients include ExxonMobil, Eastman Chemical, AvalonBay, Water & Wastewater Industry Leadership Academy, Navy Federal Credit Union, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy.

 Her instruction on the psychology of power and leadership is part of the required general officer curriculum in both the U.S. Army and Air Force.

Alison received her B.A. in Mathematics and Economics, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College, where she recently concluded a nine-year term on the Board of Visitors of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. She also holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Alison worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, Inc.

Notice of Right to Cancel – The USMA has the right to cancel this event in the unforeseen situation that the USMA Conference could not be held due to the occurrence of any circumstance beyond its control – such as acts of God, war, government regulations, disaster, strikes, civil disorder, curtailment of transportation facilities or a widespread health or safety emergency. If the event were to be cancelled notice would be sent to all registered participants and noted on the USMA website. USMA would not be responsible for any penalties for canceling travel or conference related arrangements.