2016 Grid Modernization Summit

Accelerating Transformation

Host Utility

Capital Hilton • Washington, DC

Countdown to sgip conference

2016 Speakers

Dave Velazquez

President & CEO, Pepco Holdings (Confirmed)

Dave Velazquez

Velazquez is responsible for leadership of Pepco Holdings overall performance associated with service reliability, customer satisfaction, financial management, and regulatory and external affairs. Based in Washington, D.C., Pepco Holdings employs more than 4,700 people, owns more than $16.1 billion in assets and generates approximately $4.8 billion in annual revenues. Pepco Holdings serves 2 million customers as the parent company of Pepco, an electric utility serving Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland; Delmarva Power, an electric and gas utility serving Delaware and the rest of the Delmarva Peninsula; and Atlantic City Electric, an electric utility serving southern New Jersey. Pepco Holdings is a recently acquired subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, one of the nation’s leading energy services companies. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.
Professional History

Velazquez previously served as executive vice president and leader of the power delivery business for Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI). He managed over 95 percent of the business and employee base, and was responsible for all utility operations in three states and the District of Columbia including customer care, asset management, operations, smart grid activities, all support services, including IT, and four local unions. Velazquez was also responsible for the development of and now leads the successful enterprise-wide strategic vision to improve reliability and customer service for Pepco Holdings.

From 2006 to 2009, Velazquez served as president and CEO of Conectiv Energy, PHI’s competitive merchant energy subsidiary, leading and directing the commercial and operational activities for the company. He served as vice president of strategic planning and chief risk officer of PHI from 2005 to 2006.
Civic Involvement

Mr. Velazquez serves on the boards of a number of educational and community organizations, such as Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, Trust for the National Mall, Smithsonian National Zoo Advisory Board, and United Way of the National Capital Area. He is also a board member of Southeastern Electric Exchange, Association of Edison Illuminating Companies and the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

Velazquez holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Widener University.

Gary Rackliffe

VP Smart Grids, North America, ABB (Confirmed)

Gary Rackliffe

Gary Rackliffe is the VP of Smart Grids at ABB. He leads ABB’s smart grid initiative in North America which includes business development, alliances and partnerships, strategy, sales, and marketing. Gary has 30 years of T&D experience, working for ABB in Raleigh the last 20 years.

Gary chairs the NEMA Smart Grid Council and is a member of the GridWise Alliance, the DistribuTECH Advisory Committee, and the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster Advisory Committee.

Chris Hickman

CEO, Innovari (Confirmed)

Chris Hickman

Chris Hickman provides the utility-centric vision for the company’s unique value proposition and strategy. Chris has over two decades of utility industry experience ranging from power generation to regulation to end-use customer services and technologies. His current role at Innovari furthers his efforts to improve the electric energy enterprise by leveraging new technologies and ideas.
Chris has been a frequent contributor at a variety of utility industry events and leadership conferences, as well as having spoken before Congress, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other influential policy groups. He has served on the boards of the IEEE Power Engineering Society, the GridWise Alliance, and Avistar (an unregulated subsidiary of PNM), along with several non-profit organizations and as a member of the DOE regulatory assistance project team, helping provide a utility industry perspective to state and federal regulators regarding current policy issues.
PNM Resources. Variety of positions over a 13 year period in engineering, federal and state policy development, infrastructure planning and budgeting, IT and billing systems, and environmental management systems for coal and natural gas generation plants and T&D assets. Was also responsible for the communications architecture, fiber, telecommunications, and SCADA deployment and systems. During his tenure at PNM, Chris (in partnership with two other PNM employees) received three patents for new technology and systems developed to help optimize utility grid performance.
Ice Energy. Executive Vice President of Utility Solutions. Created and brought to market the first utility-scale storage model for distributed assets, commercializing an innovative energy storage solution for peak load shifting.
SureGrid. President. Brought the first fully automated demand response products to market.
Cellnet Technology. EVP of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs. Led the alignment of corporate strategy with regulatory involvement at the state and federal level. Instrumental in driving policy to enable smart grid technologies throughout the industry.

Cheryl Mele

SVP & COO, ERCOT (Confirmed)

Cheryl Mele

Cheryl Mele became ERCOT’s senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO) in January 2016. She oversees Grid Operations and Planning, Commercial Operations, and Governance, Risk and Compliance.

Prior to joining ERCOT, Ms. Mele served as deputy general manager and COO for Austin Energy, where she led its power operations, compliance and planning activities.

Ms. Mele brings 30 years of experience in the power industry to ERCOT. Her management and executive roles included both power generation and energy delivery before becoming COO at Austin Energy. Ms. Mele worked for General Electric as both an engineer and system programmer before joining Austin Energy in 1991.

A registered professional engineer in Texas, Ms. Mele has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and completed The Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho.

While at Austin Energy, Ms. Mele served on the boards of the South Texas Nuclear Operating Company, the Texas Public Power Association and the RMEL, an electric industry education and networking trade group. She continues to serve as a board member and chair of the Austin Science Education Foundation, where she has been committed to preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Damir Novosel

IEEE PES President and President, Quanta Technology (Confirmed)

Damir Novosel

Dr. Damir Novosel, President, Quanta Technology Expert, has over 26 years of experience working with electric utilities and vendors. He has developed and consulted on a number of concepts and methods to improve power system planning, operation and maintenance.

Damir has created and managed several reputable and successful organizations that developed innovative technology and industry best practices in various areas of power systems. Prior to joining Quanta Technology, he was President of T&D Consulting at KEMA in the U.S. He has also held various positions in ABB including Vice President of global product management for automation products and Manager of the power systems consulting group.

Damir was elected into the National Academy of Engineers in 2014. He is President-Elect for the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) and his work earned him international recognition and reputation and was elected IEEE Fellow. He presently holds 16 U.S. and international patents. Damir published over 100 articles in Refereed Journals and Conference Proceedings in various areas of power system management, analysis, protection and automation. He co-authored a paper in IEEE Spectrum on "Getting a Grip on the Grid" and contributed to McGraw-Hill 2006 Yearbook of Science and Technology.

Dr. Novosel has contributed to a number of IEEE and CIGRE tutorials, guides, standards, reports and other publications. Among numerous IEEE PSRC activities, Damir chaired System Protection subcommittee and working groups on "Performance of Relaying during Wide-Area Stressed Conditions." He was the Lead Editor of the chapter on "Design and Deployment of a Well Coordinated Overall Defense Plan" for CIGRE Task Force 38.02.24 on "Defense Plan against Extreme Contingencies." He is presently the VP of IEEE Technical Council.

Damir has been a keynote speaker, invited presenter, and a panelist at a number of IEEE, CIGRE, and IEEE conferences and panels presenting topics on sustainable energy, power system automation, and power grid management, etc. One month after the August 2003 North-East blackout, he was invited to be a panelist at the T&D Show in Dallas on Power System Blackouts. The Washington Post interviewed Dr. Novosel on blackouts.

Damir is presently co-chairing Performance Requirement Task Team for the North American Synchro Phasor Initiative (NASPI), large-scale activity of the North American utilities on implementation of Synchronized Phasor Measurements. He is also a member of the NASPI leadership team.

Dr. Novosel can be reached at dnovosel@quanta-technology.com.

Suedeen Kelly

Chair, Energy Regulation, Markets and Enforcement Practice, AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP

Suedeen Kelly

Ms. Kelly is an internationally-recognized energy industry expert and former Commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She represents a variety of clients in the electric and natural gas industries on business, regulatory, litigation, enforcement and policy matters such as electricity and gas markets, renewable energy, electricity transmission, natural gas and oil infrastructure, LNG, electricity reliability standards, hydro licensing, carbon emissions, smart grid, energy efficiency and distributed generation. Ms. Kelly’s knowledge of the national electricity and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes and domestic/international market interrelations. She is an experienced litigator on energy and environmental matters in federal and state courts.

Nominated by Presidents Bush and Obama to three terms as FERC Commissioner, Ms. Kelly resolved 7,000 disputes with published Commission decisions and personally authored 100 separate statements during her tenure. She is credited with spearheading change in numerous regulatory policies, including transmission interconnection and planning reform, integration of renewables into the grid, deployment of smart grid technology to the transmission grid, the inclusion of smart grid demonstration grants in the stimulus effort, and natural gas quality standards. Ms. Kelly created a smart grid collaborative effort between FERC and the association of state regulators to promote technology deployment and helped to grow membership to 30 states. She also pioneered internal strategic planning efforts to enable market reforms to adapt to new Congressional proposals regarding carbon emissions; demand response and efficiency; smart grid and hydrokinetic resources; offshore turbine and photovoltaic technologies.

In addition to her time at FERC, Ms. Kelly served as regulatory counsel for the California Independent System Operator and was a law professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law where she taught energy law, utility regulation, administrative law and legislative process. In 1999, Ms. Kelly worked as a legislative aide to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), then the ranking member of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. She also served as chairwoman and commissioner for the New Mexico Public Service Commission, in the private practice of law in New Mexico and Washington, D.C. law firms, and as an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Gary Stern

Director, Energy Policy, SCE (Confirmed)

Gary Stern

Gary Stern is the Director of Energy Policy for Southern California Edison Company (SCE). Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, he manages a division responsible for the development of policy in matters relating to the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission. He is responsible for policy relating to power procurement, customers products and services, the power grid of the future, emerging technologies and climate change. His organization is also responsible for case management associated with proceedings with these entities. Previously, Gary directed SCE’s resource planning, market design and analysis, and strategic project groups. Gary Stern holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at San Diego. He has an M.A. in Economics, and a B.A. in mathematics also from UC San Diego.

Robert Wilhite

Managing Director, Navigant, (Confirmed)

Robert Wilhite

In his role as a Managing Director in Navigant's Energy practice, Rob supports the firm's growth in utility client activities and senior-level client relationships. Since starting his career more than 30 years ago, Rob has worked exclusively in the energy industry and brings a unique combination of technical knowledge and business strategy experience.

On a global basis, Rob has often advised energy clients in achieving increased efficiency in utility operations, grid automation, and technology strategy and implementation. He also supports utility strategies seeking new revenue growth and business expansion. In addition to utilities, Rob has also developed growth and market entry strategies for competitive retail energy firms, equipment suppliers, private equity firms, and industry policy groups.

In external roles, Rob has served as an officer for the Global Smart Grid Federation, as a Board Director for the GridWise Alliance and for Utilimetrics. In 2011, he was invited to participate in a private session on the smart grid and energy, as part of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Rob was also recognized as one of the Top 25 Consultants in the U.S. by Consulting Magazine in 2009 and identified in 2012 as one of the Networked Grid 100 Movers and Shakers of the Smart Grid by Greentech Media.
- See more at: http://www.navigant.com/professionals/w/wilhite-robert/#sthash.xuVzcNU5.dpuf

Anne Pramaggiore

President & CEO, ComEd (Confirmed)

Anne Pramaggiore

Anne R. Pramaggiore

Anne Pramaggiore is president and CEO of ComEd, an electric utility company delivering electricity to 3.8 million customers in Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Pramaggiore joined ComEd in 1998 to work on the company’s transition to competitive energy markets under the Illinois Consumer Choice Law of 1997. In her role as ComEd’s lead lawyer and as head of Regulatory Policy, she led major policy work around the restructuring of the Illinois electric industry.

In 2009, Pramaggiore was appointed as ComEd’s COO and became responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations on the electric grid and in customer operations. In that role, she led the company’s effort to set the legislative framework for ComEd’s smart grid build-out, a leading model nationally for modernizing one of the largest utility systems in the country.

Pramaggiore was promoted to her current position in February 2012. She is the first female to hold the post of president and CEO at the electric utility.

Pramaggiore serves as a board member of Chicago Federal Reserve Board, Motorola Solutions, Inc., Babcock and Wilcox Enterprises and several civic and community organizations.

She is a 1989 graduate of DePaul University School of Law and served as editor-in-chief of the school’s Law Review. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Theater from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Michael J. Carlson

President, Siemens Digital Grid North America, Siemens Corp. (Confirmed)

Michael J. Carlson

Mike Carlson is a global management executive with more than 25 years of experience in finance, technology and operations management across industries. Currently, he is the Head of Siemens Digital Grid North America.

Mike’s initial background started in finance and systems and he has dedicated his nearly 20 years in the utility industry to harnessing technology to achieve value through business transformation and grid modernization. As the former CIO of Xcel Energy, Mike was a key player in designing and implementing the utility’s business transformation and smart grid strategy. In his current role at Siemens,

Mike is responsible for driving the business strategy and execution for the Digital Grid business and global software development.

Mike earned his B.S. in Accounting and Business Management from Union College and his M.B.A. in Finance and Operations from Pepperdine University.

Sandy Simon

COO, US Grid Company (Confirmed)

Sandy Simon

Sandy has been involved in the energy industry for more than twenty years. At USGRDCO, Sandy is responsible for the Community Energy Infrastructure Development business, creating sustainable and resilient energy solutions for communities. Prior to joining USGRDCO, she consulted at GE to design, implement and deploy an advanced Project Management Office to govern and manage their AMI Solutions as a Service initiatives. Her consulting experience also includes delivery and integration of strategic smart grid solutions for HCL America and EnergyGrid Networks. Sandy also served as Executive Director and General Manager, West Division for Comverge, Inc., provider of intelligent energy management solutions, including demand response. In this role, Sandy was responsible for utility client programs and developing demand management strategies.

Prior to her consulting roles, Sandy was the director of Utility Innovations and Smart Grid Strategy for Xcel Energy, responsible for the integration of smart energy technologies to change how the utility produced and delivered power to consumers. Sandy was instrumental in the incubation, development, launch and oversight of the SmartGridCityTM initiative in Boulder, Colorado. She has also held project management and IT integration positions at AIMCO, KN Energy, Price Waterhouse and Deloitte & Touché.

Sandy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science from Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri as well as an MBA from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.

Erik Takayesu

Director of Electric System Planning and Grid Modernization, SCE (Confirmed)

Erik Takayesu

Director in charge of Distribution Engineering, Transmission Planning, and Generation Interconnections, each working to provide technical leadership and expertise that impact the long term safety, reliability, and affordability of the electric grid. Leading SCE's Grid Modernization efforts and the development of the Distribution Resource Plan, to be filed on July 1, 2015 with the CPUC, to prepare the distribution grid for higher penetration of distributed energy resources.

Julia Hamm

President & CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance (Confirmed)

Julia Hamm

Julia Hamm has more than 15 years of experience advising and collaborating with utilities, manufacturers and government agencies on renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies and programs.  The knowledge and experience she has gained as the President and CEO of SEPA since 2004 makes her one of the world’s foremost experts on the nexus between utilities and distributed energy resources.  Julia guides and oversees all of SEPA’s research, education, and collaboration activities for its 1,100 member companies.  She has expertise on the business models and programs of utilities throughout the U.S., as well as utilities in Europe and Asia.  Prior to joining SEPA, Julia worked for ICF International where she supported EPA’s implementation of the ENERGY STAR program.  Julia - a graduate of Cornell University - walks the talk, living in a PV powered energy efficient home in Northern Virginia.

Jon Previtali

VP Environmental Finance, Wells Fargo (Confirmed)

Jon Previtali

Jon Previtali leads technical due diligence for solar and wind projects at Wells Fargo, one of the largest financiers of renewable energy in the US. He also serves on the board of Wells Fargo's Innovation Incubator, a grant program for clean-tech starts-ups done in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Lab. Jon is an engineer with degrees from Stanford and the University of Colorado who has worked with Internet and renewable energy technologies for over twenty years. Like many of his peers, Jon is dedicated to achieving the goal of a sustainable balance between people and the environment through technical innovation, collaboration and other good ideas.

Allan Schurr

President, Edison Energy, LLC (Confirmed)

Allan Schurr

Allan Schurr is president of Edison Energy, a subsidiary of Edison International that provides solutions to the largest commercial, industrial, and institutional energy users. He is responsible for development and delivery of a portfolio of integrated energy service offerings including distributed generation, energy efficiency, power supply management, financing, and energy systems monitoring services.

Prior to joining Edison Energy, Schurr worked at IBM Corporation for more than 10 years, most recently serving as vice president and industry client leader. He also served as vice president strategy and development for the Global Energy and Utilities Industry.

Previously, Schurr held executive and leadership positions at Itron Corporation, Silicon Energy Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric. Schurr currently serves on the board of directors of GridWise Alliance, and previously served on the board of directors of Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative.

Schurr earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Davis and an M.B.A. from St. Mary’s College of California.
Updated January 2016

Edmund Schweitzer III

President, Chairman of the Board, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, (Confirmed)

Edmund Schweitzer III

Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, is recognized as a pioneer in digital protection and holds the grade of Fellow in the IEEE, a title bestowed on less than one percent of IEEE members. In 2002, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Schweitzer received the 2012 Medal in Power Engineering, the highest award given by IEEE, for his leadership in revolutionizing the performance of electrical power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment.

Dr. Schweitzer is the recipient of the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award and Graduate Alumni Achievement Award from Washington State University and the Purdue University Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from both the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, in Monterrey, Mexico, and the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, for his contributions to the development of electric power systems worldwide. He has written dozens of technical papers in the areas of digital relay design and reliability, and holds nearly 180 patents worldwide pertaining to electric power system protection, metering, monitoring, and control.

Dr. Schweitzer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University, and his doctorate from Washington State University. He served on the electrical engineering faculties of Ohio University and Washington State University, and in 1982, he founded Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL), to develop and manufacture digital protective relays and related products and services.

Ben Kroposki

Center Director, Power Systems Engineering, NREL (Confirmed)

Ben Kroposki

Dr. Ben Kroposki leads strategic research in the design, planning, and operations of electrical power systems. His expertise is in the design, testing, and integration of renewable and distributed power systems, and he has authored more than 100 publications in these areas.

Bill Parks

Senior Technical Advisor, DOE (Confirmed)

Bill Parks

Mr. William Parks is the Principal Technical Advisor in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) and is the Chair of the DOE Grid Modernization Initiative. Prior positions include Senior Energy Advisor to the Governor of Hawaii; Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Development within OE; and Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Power Technologies where he oversaw the DOE renewable energy portfolio. Mr. Parks has experience in technology and policy development for the electricity grid, distributed generation, microgrids, renewable energy, energy storage and natural gas systems. In 2006 he was awarded a lifetime achievement award by US Industry for contributions to the development of distributed energy systems. In 2008 He led the development of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, setting a target of 70% clean energy by 2030 for Hawaii and facilitated development of a comprehensive state-utility energy accord enabling Hawaii to significantly increase both renewable energy use and grid stability. For DOE, Mr Parks led the development of the electricity roadmap in 2003, the electricity chapter of the 2011 QTR and the Multi-year Program Plan for Grid Modernization in 2015. His contributions have been recognized by acts of the Hawaii and California Legislatures and by several members of the U. S. Congress.
Prior to joining DOE in 1990, Mr. Parks worked for Babcock and Wilcox and Dresser Industries developing new technologies and materials for energy systems. Other experience includes advising a public-private venture capital fund and three years in a new business venture on advanced ceramics. He holds a M.S. in Materials Engineering and a BS in Geological Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Steven Widergren

Principal Engineer, PNNL Confirmed)

Steven Widergren

Steve Widergren contributes to new solutions for reliable operation of electric power systems. Common throughout his career is the application of information technology to power engineering problems including, simulation, control, and system integration. He is a principal engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where he directs electric power projects and supports the U.S. Department of Energy. He is a member of the Board of Directors and past Plenary Chair for the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel and was also the founding administrator for the GridWise® Architecture Council – both groups formed with the mission to enable interoperability of automated systems related to the electric system. Prior to joining the Laboratory, Mr. Widergren worked in industry for an electricity control center supplier, and electric utility service providers. In these positions, he engineered and managed energy management systems products for electric power operations and supported power system computer applications, including information modeling, SCADA systems, and power system reliability assessment tools. He is an active member of IEEE.

Mark Burke

VP Energy and Utilities, Ericsson (Confirmed)

Mark Burke

Mark Burke is the VP, Energy & Utilities at Ericsson. In that role, he is responsible for business development, execution management and Energy & Utilities customer segment profit and loss for the North American Region.
Mark has over 25 years’ experience in utility communications design, engineering, installation and operations.
Previous to joining Ericsson Mr. Burke served as VP of Intelligent Networks and Communications at DNV GL (KEMA). In that role he led the global services for utility telecommunications and automation. His responsibilities included business development, solution architecture, execution management and service line profit and loss.
Mr. Burke holds a BS in Engineering, from USMMA, and Graduate Certificate in International Business Management from Georgetown University, Graduate Cert in International Marketing & Sales Management from the Institute of Management Development, Lausanne Switzerland.

Jason Handley

Director – Smart Grid Emerging Technology and Operations Emerging Technology, Duke Energy (Confirmed)

Jason Handley

Jason Handley is the Director of Smart Grid Emerging Technology and Operations at Duke Energy Corporation. He has over 19 years of electric utility experience specializing in the smart grid, distribution automation, and operations management. His role allows Jason to oversee all of the ongoing new technology pilot projects and all operational aspects of the Emerging Technology section. He is responsible for developing and updating the strategic roadmap for power grid devices at Duke Energy.

Jason received his electrical engineering degree from Auburn University and his MBA at Wake Forest University. He is a registered professional engineer and received his electrical contractors unlimited license in 2009.

Dr. Shay Bahramirad

Director of Distribution System Planning and Smart Grid & Technology, ComEd (Confirmed)

Dr. Shay Bahramirad

Dr. Shay Bahramirad, IEEE Senior Member, the Director of Distribution System Planning and Smart Grid & Technology, serves as a strategic business leader in Commonwealth Edison, the electric Utility in Illinois, working on the transformation to the 21st century power grid and the new energy economy. Her major responsibilities include leading Smart Grid organization across ComEd to develop the vision, business models, and investment strategy of the grid of the future initiatives such as merging technologies, microgrids and smart city deployments as well as leading the design and architecture of distribution system planning and DER interconnection. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, teaching Microgrids, Elements of Sustainable Energy, and Smart Grid.
Dr. Bahramirad holds multiple advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is the Chair of the board of IEEE PES Women in Power, Editorial Board Member of Electricity Journal, Editor in Chief of P1854 Smart Distribution Application Guide.

Ralph LaRossa

President & COO, PSEG (Confirmed)

Ralph LaRossa

Ralph A. LaRossa was named president and chief operating officer of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) in October 2006. PSE&G is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving approximately 2.4 million customers, nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. Prior to this position he was vice president - electric delivery for PSE&G.

In addition, on January 1, 2014, Mr. LaRossa became Chairman of the Board of PSEG Long Island, a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), which manages the electric transmission and distribution systems on Long Island and in the Rockaways. PSEG Long Island serves 1.1 million customers.

Mr. LaRossa joined PSE&G in 1985 as an associate engineer and advanced through a variety of management positions in the utility’s gas and electric operations. In 1998, he received Gas Industry Magazine’s Outstanding Manager of the Year Award.

He is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology and has completed the Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development.

Mr. LaRossa is the Chairman of the American Gas Association (AGA) and currently serves on the board of directors. Mr. LaRossa also is Chairman of Choose New Jersey, Inc. and serves on its board of directors. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors for the New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA), New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Montclair State University, for which he is immediate past chair of the university.

Michael Bates

Global Energy Director, Intel Corp. (Confirmed)

Michael Bates

Michael Bates joined Intel in June of 2015 as the Global Energy Director reporting up through the worldwide sales and marketing organization. Michael works within the Energy Vertical team calling on the world's largest organizations in the Oil & Gas and Utility segments. His mission is to create business value through the effective adoption of leading solutions architectures designed to solve our customers' most pressing business challenges. His role is responsible for delivering leadership messaging and setting strategic direction for accounts across the Energy sector
Previous to Joining Intel Michael has spent the last decade leading within various companies in the energy sector. Recently he was the general manager of Utilities at Alarm.com, prior to that he founded a company called DSI energy Ventures where he led business development effort’s focused on implementation of consumer-facing smart grid applications and services for the mid-tier utility market. Earlier in his career he was with IBM as a member of their tiger team to lead business development efforts across key Smart Metering and beyond opportunities. Before his time at IBM he founded Power Grid Communications which was one of the first to offer a full suite of behind-the-meter solutions to the utility market. He merged two organizations to form one of the first broadband-over-power line (BPL) operating ventures in the U.S.

Michael holds a B.S. In Economics from Texas A&M University
Connect with Michael on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikebates35

Todd Gurela

Global Executive, Energy & Transportation, Digital Transformation, Internet of Things (IoT), Cisco (Confirmed)

Todd Gurela

Global Executive leading the Digital Transformation of customers in Energy & Transportation Industries. Responsible for leading a global team of consultative industry experts that are working with Energy and Transportation customers to roadmap, accelerate and measure the value of digitizing their business. Building an industry relevant ecosystem of partners to deliver holistic digital solutions and working with industry leaders on the evolving points of view on how technology is enabling better business outcomes. Executive Speaker on industry technology trends, Internet of things(IoT) and Digitization.

Jay Olearain

Director Connected Solutions - IOT, Verizon (Confirmed)

Jay Olearain is Director of Internet of Things for the Energy and Utility verticals working in Verizon’s Product and New Business Innovation organization. Jay has worked in the wireless industry for 28 years and is a 24 year veteran of Verizon Wireless. During his career with Verizon he has worked with in various groups including: Network Operations, RF Engineering, Sales Engineering, Sales Management and Enterprise Data Solutions. Jay managed sales for nPhase, a Verizon Wireless and Qualcomm joint venture focused on M2M platform services. Jay earned a Master of Science in Wireless Telecommunications from the University of Denver.

Chandu Visweswariah

IBM Fellow, IBM (Confirmed)

Chandu Visweswariah

Chandu Visweswariah is the Director of the Smarter Energy Research Institute at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. He was named an IBM Fellow in 2013, the highest technical honor conferred by IBM. He leads Smarter Energy and Environmental Science worldwide for IBM Research. His team applies analytics and big data techniques to help energy utilities run their operations more efficiently -- from predicting and preparing for outages to managing assets to integrating renewable sources of energy. Prior to this position, Chandu was a Distinguished Engineer in Electronic Design Automation in IBM's Systems and Technology Group, where he led a team responsible for correct signal timing in all IBM chips, and drove the invention and deployment of such innovations as statistical timing and automatic circuit tuning.

Chandu joined IBM Research in 1989 after obtaining a PhD in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2002, he was a visiting faculty member at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. He won an "Innovator of the Year" award from EDN Magazine in 2006 for his work on statistical timing. He has won numerous IBM Corporate Awards, Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards, Outstanding Innovation Awards and Best Paper Awards. Chandu is an IBM Fellow, Fellow of the IEEE, Member of the IBM Academy of Technology, IBM Master Inventor, and has over 100 publications and 96 granted patents to his name. He recently won the ACM/IEEE A. Richard Newton Technical Impact Award and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT, Madras.

Chris Greer

Dir. Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office and National Coord. for Smart Grid interoperability, NIST (Confirmed)

Chris Greer

Chris Greer is Director of the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office and National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability. Dr. Greer previously served as Associate Director for Programs in the NIST Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) and Acting Senior Advisor for Cloud Computing. In these positions, he was responsible for strategic planning for information technology initiatives across ITL, including its data and cloud computing efforts. Prior to joining NIST, Chris served as Assistant Director for Information Technology R&D in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Cybersecurity Liaison to the National Security Staff. His responsibilities there included networking and information technology research and development, cybersecurity, and digital scientific data access. He has also served as Director of the National Coordination Office for the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program. This program coordinates IT R&D investments across the Federal government, including the cyber-physical systems research portfolio. Prior to undertaking government service, Chris was a member of the tenured faculty at the University of California, Irvine, where his research focused on gene expression.

Pat Hoffman

Assistant Secretary, DOE (Confirmed)

Pat Hoffman

Patricia A. Hoffman was named Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) in June 2010 after serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary since November 2007. The focus of her responsibility is to provide leadership on a national level to modernize the electric grid, enhance the security and reliability of the energy infrastructure and facilitate recovery from disruptions to the energy supply both domestically and internationally. This is critical to meeting the Nation’s growing demand for reliable electricity by overcoming the challenges of our Nation’s aging electricity transmission and distribution system and addressing the vulnerabilities in our energy supply chain.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Hoffman served in a dual capacity as Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Research and Development (R&D) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) within OE. During her tenure as the DAS for R&D, she developed the long-term research strategy and improved the management portfolio of research programs for modernizing and improving the resiliency of the electric grid. This included developing and implementing sensors and operational tools for wide-area monitoring, energy storage research and demonstration and the development of advanced conductors to increase the capacity and flexibility of the grid. She also initiated a new research effort focused on integrating and distributing renewable energy through the electric grid, such as promoting plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and implementing smart grid technologies to maintain system reliability. As COO, she managed the OE business operations, including human resources, budget development, financial execution, and performance management.

Prior to joining OE, she was the Program Manager for the Federal Energy Management Program within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE. This program guides the Federal government to “lead by example” promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart energy management. Complementing her building energy efficiency experience, she also was the Program Manager for the Distributed Energy Program, which conducted research on advanced natural gas power generation and combined heat and power systems. Her accomplishments included the successful completion of the Advanced Turbine System program resulting in a high-efficiency industrial gas turbine power generation product.

Ms. Hoffman holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Ceramic Science and Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

David Owens

EVP Business Operations and Regulatory Affairs, EEI (Confirmed)

David Owens

David K. Owens is Executive Vice President, Business Operations Group and Regulatory Affairs, of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Its members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and directly employ more than 500,000 workers. With $100 billion in annual capital expenditures, the electric power industry is responsible for millions of additional jobs. Safe, reliable, affordable, and clean electricity powers the economy, and enhances the lives of all Americans.

In his capacity as the first African American to hold an officer title at EEI, Mr. Owens has significant responsibility over a broad range of issues that affect the future structure of the electric industry and new rules in evolving competitive markets. He has responsibility over the strategic areas of energy supply and finance, environment, energy delivery, energy services, state regulatory issues, and international affairs. He also spearheads efforts to enhance the public policy climate for investments in America’s electric infrastructure with emphasis on the role of new technologies to address climate change, and to enhance energy efficiency through smart buildings, smart appliances, smart meters, and smart electric grids.

Mr. Owens has frequently appeared before U.S. Congressional Committees, testified in more than 50 proceedings on energy issues before state bodies, lectured at universities across the nation, made hundreds of presentations in business forums, and frequently appears on television and radio. He is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on electric utility issues and industry restructuring. He has been at EEI for more than 29 years, starting his EEI career as Director, Rates and Regulation.

He is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor and Masters of Engineering degrees. He also has a Masters in Engineering Administration from George Washington University, and has attended executive courses at Howard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Michigan State University.

Mr. Owens has distinction in Who’s Who Among Black Americans, Who’s Who In The Government, and has been honored as Outstanding Leader in the Utility Industry. He is the recipient of the James E. Stewart Award, the highest distinction for an American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) member, and he was awarded the President’s Cup by AABE for his leadership on public policy matters.

Mr. Owens sits on the Boards of the National Academy of Sciences, serves as Chair of the IDEA Public Charter School Board of Trustees, Chairman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Smart Grid Advisory Committee, and is an active member of a number of professional and community-based organizations.

Chair: Ed Eckert

, Itron

Chair: Suzanne Lightman


Vice Chair: David Narang


Chair: Dr. Allen Hefner


Vice Chair: Jim Reilly

, Reilly Associates

Vice Chair: Dr. Robby Simpson

, GE Grid Solutions

Chair: Steve Widergren


Chair: Andres Carvallo


Vice Chair: Nick Wagner


Chair: Bruce Nordman


Chair: Chris Villarreal


Co-Chair: Stuart Laval

, Duke Energy

Co-Chair: Stuart McCafferty

, Hitachi America Ltd

Chair: Ron Cunningham


Chair: Dr. Kenneth Wacks

, Home, Building & Utility Systems

Chair: Ben Kroposki


Vice Chair: Cuong Nguyen


David Forfia

Chairman, SGIP

Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Sisley

, Calm Sunrise Consulting, LLC

Chair: Aaron Smallwood


Vice Chair: Dave Hardin

, Upper Bay Systems

Chair: Ron Melton


Chair: K. Dixon Wright

, Wells Fargo Insurance Services

Consumer Research Panel

SmartGrid Canada has conducted its third annual survey of Canadian consumers on smart grid. At this panel, our research firm will unveil the results to the industry and Terry Young of the IESO will moderate a discussion with industry leaders on their reactions. The panel will provide insights into what Canadians think about smart grids and smart meters and provide recommendations to the industry on how they can engage consumers in the coming year.

View from the Top Panel

This marque panel of senior utility executives from across the country will discuss their vision for smart grids in Canada. This panel is an excellent opportunity for the industry to hear firsthand from some of its key leaders. This moderated discussion will explore the business and strategic issues that utilities face in making their smart grid transformation. These leaders will also discuss the opportunities that smart grid can provide the modern utility, be it new revenue streams from enhanced services or increased load from the propagation of electric vehicles.

Mega Session A Utility of the Future

In industry and financial media, there is a growing chorus of pundits that are predicting the "death of the electric utility". The combined disruptive technologies of solar photo voltaic generation at grid-parity, along with demand response aggregation and energy storage, will force electric utilities to change their business model. Technology and telecommunications firms, with deep balance sheets, are exploring how to leverage these disruptive technologies to steal some of the revenue that typically flowed to the utility. How can utilities navigate this change in the coming years and what will the utility of the future look like? This panel will discuss the validity of these challenges and the role of innovation and smart grid in managing this evolution.

Mega Session B: Utility Killers

A session of companies from outside the industry that are looking to enter/disrupt the normal utility paradigm.

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