Event Profile

Northwest Communications & Energy Innovations Conference

September 16 — 18, 2019
Tulalip Resort



Who Should Attend:

Marketing, public relations, communications, energy services, and renewable energy employees, as well as any employee and board member with an interest in these areas.

Related Event:

Using Body Language and Improvisation to Get What You Need, September 18, 2019

Conference Overview:

The Northwest Communication and Energy Innovations Conference (NIC) is designed with communicators and energy efficiency professionals in mind. We have keynote speakers who will inspire you and challenge your thinking about how we should communicate and innovate in this transforming electric utility industry. Breakout sessions will allow us to dig deeper into key topic areas; roundtable sessions, by subjects and utility size, will provide a perfect opportunity to share ideas and innovative solutions. Vote for your favorite photo at the People’s Choice reception and celebrate Excellence in Communications winners at the award ceremony and banquet.

Conference Agenda:

    Monday, September 16

    10 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration desk open

    Noon-1 p.m. Networking lunch

    1-1:10 p.m. Welcome to the 2019 NIC

      Jeff Marshall, 2019 Conference Chair, Clearwater Power

    1:10-2:15 p.m. General session #1: Transformational Communication: Being Clear and Hearing Others in a Transformational World

      Hilary Blair, CEO, Articulate, Real and Clear

    2:20-3:15 p.m. Breakout sessions #1 (choose one)

      Communications: The Key to Communication Planning: Borrow Customers’ Shoes

        Speaker: Megan McKoy-Noe, Content Marketing & Development Manager, Pioneer Utility Resources

        Too often we push messages without measuring whether they are heard. Flip your communication planning around. Learn how to identify where customers listen and deliver messages that matter. Plan ahead to make meaningful connections.

      Energy Efficiency: Outstanding in the Field or Sitting at Your Desk: Use Your Energy Service Resources Wisely

        Panelists: Scott Mayfield, Energy Services Coordinator, Kootenai Electric Cooperative; Miranda Boutelle, Director of Operations and Customer Engagement, Efficiency Services Group; and Tom DuBos, Sales Manager, NISC

        Our panel will review energy audit practices and share success stories of ways to gather and really use data, and how to balance staff time with consumer satisfaction. Learn creative ways to tap other resources and technology to help in your goal of providing the best value for your customers, and how to measure your success.

    3:15-3:30 p.m. Break

    3:30-4:30 p.m. General session #2: Is Your Utility the Marketplace of the Future?

      Speakers: Mark Rehley, Senior Manager, Emerging Technology and Product Management, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance; and Ryan Braas, Product Manager, Energy Store, SMUD

      Hear how your utility can transform to keep pace with new consumer technology and the expectations that come with it.

    5:30-8 p.m. Welcome reception with the People’s Choice Award photo entries on display

      Mingle and vote on the Excellence in Communication People’s Choice Awards photography entries that will be on display. All are invited to attend and connect with colleagues.

      Sponsored by Gold Sponsor NISC

    Tuesday, September 17

    7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration desk open

    7:30-8:30 a.m. Breakfast buffet

    8:35-9:30 a.m. General session #3: Transformation of Electric Vehicles, Community Solar, and Battery Storage

      Speakers: John Morris, VP of Market Development, D+R International; Suzy Oversvee, Program Manager, New Energy Initiatives, Snohomish County PUD

      The wave of transformation that has washed over the electric vehicle industry, solar and battery storage options brings with it a tsunami of information. Get informed and excited about the next wave in our electric-powered world.

    9:40-10:40 a.m. Breakout sessions #2 (choose one)

      Communications: Collaborative Communication in Times of Crisis

        Speaker: Joette Storm, APR, Fellow PRSA

        Crisis communication planning can lead to crisis prevention. Receive hands-on tools to build your own utility crisis plan. Be ready to roll up your sleeves because this is a working session!

      Energy Efficiency: A Shift Back to Weatherization

        Speakers: Jess Kincaid, Residential Sector Lead, Energy Efficiency, Bonneville Power Administration; Mark Percy, Conservation Supervisor, Tacoma Public Utilities; and Carmen Proctor, EcoSave Program Coordinator, Nelson Hydro

        This session will highlight available programs, successful utilities (including their lessons learned), and partnerships in weatherization programs for single- family and multi-family housing.

    10:40-11a.m. Break

    11 a.m.-noon General session #4: Evolution of Expression: Humanizing Your Utility with Social Media

      Speakers: Ryan Hall, Communications Director, Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association; and Jeff Marshall, Communications Specialist, Clearwater Power

      Does your utility have one persona for the real world’ and a different one on social media? Humanize your utility through expression and get real with your followers.

    Noon-1 p.m. Lunch with tabletop topics

      Sponsored by Silver Sponsor Evergreen Consulting Group

    1-2 p.m. General session #5: Perception Is Reality

      Speaker: Stephen Bell, Director of Media and Public Relations, NRECA

      Help your utility determine when and how to engage with fake news, misunderstandings, and dissenting opinions.

    2:05-3:15 Round Table Discussions

      An opportunity to participate in in hot topic discussions with other NWPPA utility members of similar size.

    3:15-3:30 p.m. Break

    3:30-4:30 p.m. Breakout sessions #3 (choose one)

      Communications: Pre-Pay Win-Wins for Everyone

        Speakers: Amanda Amos, Customer Operations Manager, Cowlitz PUD Kristy Pierson, Member Accounts Supervisor, Umatilla Electric Cooperative; and Julie Stephens, Credit Manager, Lane Electric Cooperative

        While the benefits to the utility of pre-paid meter programs are well known, adoption by customers can be difficult. Part of achieving the Win-Win objective is communicating the consumer’s win to our target markets. Our panel of speakers have robust pre-paid meter programs and are prepared to discuss strategies for success!

      Energy Efficiency: Lessons Learned from the Field

        Speaker: Jim Maunder, Energy Services Professional (ret.)

        Maunder returns to the NIC to share stories, lessons, and sage advice from his decades of experience with customers and energy efficiency.

    6-9:30 p.m. Reception, banquet, and presentation of awards (Excellence in Communication, Lacy Peoples, and Jim Brands awards).

      Sponsored by Gold Sponsor Pioneer Utility Resources

    Wednesday, September 18

    8-8:55 a.m. Hot breakfast buffet

    9-9:50 a.m. General Session #6: Let’s Get Small: Modular Thinking in a Power-Hungry World

      Speakers: Mike Miller, Project Manager, NuScale Power; and Mike Squires, Government Affairs Director, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems

      Clean energy initiatives are gaining traction in several regions of the country. Challenges of this new era include balancing the need for reliable, always-on energy with intermittent wind and solar power. Enter the age of small, scalable nuclear power plants. NuScale, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Energy Northwest, and the U.S. Department of Energy are teaming up to build the first commercial small modular nuclear power plant in Idaho. Learn about the groundbreaking nuclear technology, which holds the promise of fast deployment and a scalable, safe power source.

    9:50-10:10 a.m. Break

    10:10-10:50 a.m. General Session #7: The Payoff of Community Connection – Setting the Bar on Community Involvement

      Speakers: Jodi Henderson, Manager, Communications and Governmental Relations, Benton PUD; and Heather Allmain, Communication Services Manager, Clark Public Utilities

      Is your participation in community events a tradition, or does it have a higher purpose? Learn why and how utilities strive to be a part of their community’s fabric. Get tips to prioritize your community outreach efforts, measure the benefits, and justify it to your management team.

    10:50-11:30 a.m. General session #8: Orcas and Sage Grouse: Catching up on Critters

      Speakers: Michael Milstein, Public Affairs Officer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA); and Joshua Uriarte, Terrestrial Species Manager and Policy Advisor, Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation

      The web of wildlife in the Pacific Northwest is intertwined with how we define ourselves as a region. Orcas and sage grouse are among the creatures that have focused our attention on how we present ourselves as stewards of the environment while ensuring critical energy services to our customers. Catch up with this Wildlife 101 session.

    11:30-11:45 a.m. Wrap-up and invitation to 2020 NIC

    Evaluations and grand-prize drawing (must be present to win)

Conference Schedule:

The conference begins on Monday, September 16, with a networking lunch at noon, and ends at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, September 18. An optional post-conference class (separate registration required) will be offered from 12:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, with lunch provided for post-conference class attendees at noon.

Conference Location & Hotel Information:

Tulalip Resort
10200 Quil Ceda Blvd.
Tulalip, WA 98271
(866) 716-7162 

Room rate: $159 for a deluxe king/deluxe queen

Please book your room as soon as possible, but no later than August 14, 2019, to secure this rate. Mention that you are coming in with the NWPPA group when booking your reservation.

Airport Options:

Paine Field, Everett, Wash. – just 20 minutes from the resort, this offers a closer option than SeaTac. Check the schedules of your preferred airline to see if they have service to Paine Field.

SeaTac – flights available from all areas daily

SeaTac Airport Transportation:

Express shuttle service from SeaTac airport to Tulalip Resort is available through Bell Air Charter which currently operates 11 times per day with direct service at the cost of $32.50 per adult one way or $60 round trip. Book online or call (866) 235-5247.

Conference Fees:

Member Early Bird (ends 8/16/2019): $795
Member Standard: $870

Non-member Early Bird (ends 8/16/2019): $2,385
Non-member Standard: $2,460

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations are accepted, with full refund, if request is made at least 30 days prior to the course. Within 30 days, fees are as follows: 15-29 days, $100; 1-14 days or "no show," 100 percent of registration fee. When possible, please send a substitute instead of canceling. NWPPA does not charge a fee for substitutions.

Continuing Hours:

This course qualifies for 12 continuing hours. Certificates are issued upon full completion of the course.

For More Information:

To find out more about this event, or to learn about other events, view the Training and Event Catalog.