MARC Speakers 2019  

Monday August 12th 2019


 Mayor Cownie has a long history of service to Des Moines, serving on the Plan and Zoning Commission for many years before being elected to an at-large seat on the City Council.  He has served as Mayor of Des Moines since 2004 and has run three successful reelection campaigns.  He is the longest serving Mayor in Des Moines’ history.  During his tenure as Mayor, Des Moines has experienced a remarkable revitalization of the downtown core as well as the neighborhoods.  In recent years Des Moines has been consistently ranked as one of the top cities in the United States as a place to work, live and raise a family.

Lightning Round, General Session 

Adam L. Wright 

Adam L. Wright, 41, serves as MidAmerican Energy Company’s president and CEO.

MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric and natural gas service to nearly 1.6 million customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. The company owns and operates a diverse and growing portfolio of power generating assets, as well as an expanding transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Wright began his employment with the Berkshire Hathaway Energy family of businesses in 1996, and in 2003, Wright joined Northern Natural Gas. From 2003 to 2009, Wright served in various management roles within Northern Natural Gas’ operations group and was responsible for the development of the company’s integrity management program for high-consequence areas and the completion of major pipeline expansion projects.

From 2010 to 2011, Wright served as vice president of marketing, managing negotiation and execution of long-term service agreements and general customer satisfaction initiatives.

In 2012, he moved to Des Moines, Iowa, to lead expansion and operations of MidAmerican Energy Company’s wind generation fleet. In 2015, Wright assumed responsibility for gas delivery operations.

Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2002.

Wright serves the Des Moines area community as a member of the John R. Grubb YMCA advisory board, the Science Center of Iowa board of directors and the board of directors for the American Gas Association.

Arshia Javaherian

Arshia Javaherian is a regulatory attorney who started as an intern with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in 2002. From there he worked at the office of general counsel at the ICC before joining Alliant Energy where he regularly appeared before IUB, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. Arshia currently works for Enbridge in Duluth, Minnesota, where he has successfully permitted over $3 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the last seven years across eight states. Recently, Arshia has taken the role of lead attorney for Enbridge’s Tribal Engagement Team working with Native American Tribes across Enbridge’s footprint on easement renewals, Cultural surveys, and renewable projects. 

Asim Haque

Prior to joining PJM, Mr. Haque was the chairman and chief executive officer of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. He was appointed to the PUCO by Governor John R. Kasich in 2013 and was reappointed to a second term in 2016. 
As the state’s chief regulator, Mr. Haque led Ohio through some of the nation’s most pressing energy policy discussions. He guided Ohio’s Clean Power Plan compliance efforts, adjudicated cases pertaining to the future of baseload power plants in competitive markets, and successfully executed to completion Ohio’s grid modernization endeavor, PowerForward. 

Mr. Haque represented Ohio’s interests in energy and utility matters within the state, nationally and internationally. He has testified before members of the Ohio General Assembly, the FERC, and educated regulators abroad through formal partnerships with the U.S. AID. He also was a member of the Executive Committee of NARUC, a past president of the regional entity MACRUC, and was elected to serve on the Member Representative Committee of the NERC, representing state interests in maintaining electric grid reliability.

As an attorney, Mr. Haque began his career in a general practice law firm, Ice Miller LLP in Columbus, where he represented a broad spectrum of clients in energy and utility matters. He went on to join the in-house counsel team at Honda of America Mfg., Inc. until his appointment in 2013.   

As an attorney, Mr. Haque began his career in a general practice law firm, Ice Miller LLP in Columbus, where he represented a broad spectrum of clients in energy and utility matters. He went on to join the in-house counsel team at Honda of America Mfg., Inc. until his appointment in 2013. 

Mr. Haque is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and political science. He received his Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he was awarded the school’s Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award in 2015.

PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 65 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region’s transmission grid, which includes over 84,236 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion. PJM’s regional grid and market operations produce annual savings of $2.8 billion to $3.1 billion. For the latest news about PJM, visit PJM Inside Lines at

Bruce Hauk 

In May 2018, Bruce Hauk was promoted to Senior Vice President of American Water’s Midwest Division, which includes management oversight of the states of Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan and Iowa.

Hauk continues in his role as president of Illinois American Water, the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people.  In this role, Hauk reinforces and strengthens customer, regulatory and local government relationships, drives operational and financial results and is the principal external contact for American Water in Illinois.

Hauk, who lives in Edwardsville, is a champion of employee recognition and inclusion.  He often says the best asset of Illinois American Water is its employees. This is supported by his strong focus on employee safety and diversity.  His leadership and communication skills, coupled with his broad operations and business experience, have contributed to Illinois American Water’s success.

Before joining Illinois American Water, Hauk served as the vice president of Financial Analysis & Decision Support for American Water. Prior to that, he served as vice president of Operations for Indiana American Water, where he oversaw all operations within Indiana American Water's service districts. His responsibilities included leading operations at all of Indiana American Water's treatment and distribution facilities, as well as the company's employees in Indiana. 

Hauk previously worked for Indiana American Water from 1996 to 2002 as a supervisor at the Johnson County Operations and as a superintendent for the Noblesville District. He also served as director of public works, town manager and deputy mayor/chief administrative officer for the City of Westfield, Indiana.

Colette Honorable 

 Colette is a member of Reed Smith’s Energy and Natural Resources Group
resident in the Washington, D.C. office. Colette is a highly regarded thought
leader and practitioner in domestic and international energy sectors.
Colette recently served as Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC). She was nominated by President Barack Obama in
August 2014, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December
2014 for a term that expired in June 2017. At FERC, Honorable focused on
reliability oversight of the bulk power system, cyber and physical security,
oversight of wholesale markets, transmission planning and cost allocation
in regional transmission organizations, gas-electric coordination,
renewables integration, energy storage integration and valuation,
enforcement, ratemaking, infrastructure development, and enforcement
matters. Colette joined the FERC from the Arkansas Public Service
Commission (PSC), where she served since October 2007, and led as
Chairman from January 2011-January 2015.
As Chairman of the PSC, Colette was charged with ensuring safe, reliable
and affordable retail electric service. During her tenure, Arkansas led the
South and Southeast in comprehensive energy efficiency programs, and
electric rates were consistently among the lowest in the nation. Both state and federal regulatory appointments
culminated in nearly ten years of regulatory experience in key leadership roles.
Colette is past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, where she focused on
pipeline safety, reliability, resilience, fuel diversity, and workforce diversity. She has testified before Congress on
multiple occasions on a range of energy issues.
Prior to joining the Arkansas PSC, Colette served as chief of staff to the Arkansas Attorney General and as a
member of the governor’s cabinet as Executive Director of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. Her
previous employment includes service as a consumer protection and civil litigation attorney, and as a senior
assistant attorney general in Medicaid fraud before serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas
at Little Rock School of Law and Special Judge of the Pulaski County Circuit Court.
Colette is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution's Energy and Climate Initiative; a Senior
Fellow with the Bipartisan Policy Center, a member of the Global Advisory Board for the Energy Futures Initiative;
a member of the EPRI Board of Directors; an Ambassador for the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment
Initiative, an effort co-led by the U.S. Department of Energy and the MIT Energy Initiative formed under the
auspices of the International Clean Energy Ministerial. She has also held previous appointments to the National
Petroleum Council and served as Chair of the Department of Transportation’s Joint Technical Advisory Committee
for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. A native of Arkansas, she is a graduate of the
University of Memphis and received a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.

James H. Gallegos

Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Areas of responsibility: Responsible for Legal, Compliance, Regulatory, Public Affairs, Community Affairs and Corporate Secretary, Sourcing and Supply Chain, Real Estate Right of Way

2015 - Present    Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

2014 - 2015         Senior Vice President and General Counsel

2010 - 2014         Vice President and General Counsel

2003 - 2010         Vice President & Corporate General Counsel,

Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Corporation

1995 - 2003 Positions Held – Qwest Communications International Inc.

·   Vice President, Legal Affairs; Global Wholesale Markets, Consumer Mass Markets, Bankruptcy

·   Corporate Counsel

·   Interconnection Wholesale Advice and Transactions

·   Director, Public Policy

·   Senior Attorney, Regulatory Section

1991 - 1995 Trial Attorney, Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, Honors Program, U. S. Department of Justice

1990 - 1991 Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard M. Bilby,                U.S. Federal  District Court, District of Arizona

1986 - 1987 Market Analyst, SOO Line Railroad

1983 - 1986 Market Analyst, Burlington Northern Railroad

1990                    J.D., Cum Laude, University of Minnesota, Law Center

1983                    B.S. Business, University of Colorado

Current boards and committees

Urban League of Greater Madison

United Way Foundation

Edgewood College Board of Trustees

Clean Lakes Alliance

Chair, Madison Country Day School

Jim Huston 

Chairman Jim Huston was appointed by Governor Mike Pence on Sept. 3, 2014, and reappointed by Governor Eric Holcomb on March 31, 2017. He was named Chairman of the Commission by Governor Holcomb in March 2018.

Chairman Huston serves on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Gas, and is a NARUC representative on the Gas Technology Institute’s Public Interest Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining the Commission, Jim served the Pence administration as Chief of Staff at the Indiana State Department of Health. During Governor Mitch Daniels' administration he served as Executive Director of the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (2011-2013).

Jim has held a variety of leadership positions throughout his more than 30-year career at both the federal and state level, including service as Assistant Deputy Treasurer for the state of Indiana in 1989 and as Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from late 1986 to 1987. Jim was Governor Orr's traveling and aide and scheduler from 1983 to 1987. At the federal level, Jim served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Congressman David McIntosh (1995-2001), District Director to Congressman Steve Buyer (2003-2011), and as Deputy Chief of Staff to Congressman Todd Rokita (2011).

Jim has both a B.S. and an M.A. from Ball State University. He also is a 1987 recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash Award and is a member of Brownsburg Kiwanis. Jim and his wife Christy have been married 32 years and are the proud parents of four boys, John (married to Lauren), Lt. Luke, David, and Joseph. The Hustons reside in Brownsburg and are members of Calvary United Methodist Church.

Katie Greenstein

Katie Greenstein is a trumpet player and singer happy to call Des Moines, IA home. Hailing from Sacramento, CA, she had a trumpet in her hands by the age of 6. She now plays with the Iowa City-based group, the Dandelion Stompers (, bringing tasty New Orleans jazz with all the trimmings to the masses. Katie has also played first trumpet in the Cal Poly Pride of the Pacific Mustang Marching Band, Cal Poly University Jazz Band, University of Iowa Pep Band, Smith Studio Jazz, and DMACC Jazz Ensemble.

Kerri Johansen 

Kerri Johannsen is Energy Program Director with the Iowa Environmental Council. She has over a decade of experience in energy policy, most recently serving as the Council’s Manager of Government Affairs, leading state-level legislative strategy. She previously developed energy policy with the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, administered the Iowa Power Fund for innovative clean energy projects, and worked as an analyst and Legislative Liaison with the Iowa Utilities Board before joining the Council in 2016. Johannsen has a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Kevin Elko

Dr. Elko is a nationally known Performance Consultant, Speaker and Author. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Education and Coaching from California University of Pennsylvania where he later received the Alumni Professional Achievement
Award in 2000. He then went on to West Virginia University where he received two Masters and a Doctorate and was later inducted into The West Virginia University Hall of Fame.

He went on to intern at the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. In Sports he has consulted for various Professional and Collegiate Teams and has earned 30 championship rings. Currently, he works with the University of Alabama Football Team,
the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Louisville Baseball Team among others.

His corporate clients have included The Hartford, Jackson National Life, Pioneer Investments, Lincoln Financial, Wells Fargo and Prudential just to mention a few. He has been the most requested speaker at State Farm for three straight years.

He has six books published: Nerves of Steel, The Pep Talk, True Greatness, Touchdown The Sender and The Sender Companion Journal.

Krista Tanner

Krista Tanner is Senior Vice President, ITC Holdings Corp. and President, ITC Midwest.  Krista is responsible for strategic direction, customer service, local government and community affairs and financial performance for ITC’s four operating subsidiaries:  ITC Midwest, ITC Great Plains, ITCTransmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Company (METC).

Krista joined ITC from Alliant Energy, where she served as director of regulatory policy. While at Alliant she directed the company’s regional and federal regulatory policy group and led the company’s legal strategy across regulatory jurisdictions.

Krista previously served as a board member of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) under appointment by Gov. Chet Culver. At the IUB she provided leadership in strategic planning, policy issues, and organizational performance.

Earlier in her career, Krista was an associate attorney and shareholder at Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C.

Krista is a member of the Board of Directors of Delta Dental of Iowa and a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest Reliability Organization.

Krista holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Tippie School of Management at the University of Iowa, a Juris Doctor from Drake University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern Iowa. 

Mark Schuling 

Mark R. Schuling was appointed Consumer Advocate for the State of Iowa in January 2011 by Attorney General Tom Miller.  The Office of Consumer Advocate is a division of the Iowa Department of Justice.
Mr. Schuling oversees a staff of attorneys and technical specialists, as well as support personnel.  The office is responsible for the investigation of the legality of rates and practices of all utility companies subject to the jurisdiction of the Iowa Utilities Board, and to represent consumers and the public generally before state and federal agencies concerning those matters.
Mr. Schuling received his law degree from Drake University in 1980.  Following graduation he was appointed an Assistant Attorney General and served for four years as the legal representative to the Iowa Department of Revenue.  Mr. Schuling was a practicing attorney for twenty-one years with the Brick, Gentry, Bowers, Swartz, Stoltze, Schuling & Levis law firm in Des Moines before being appointed as Director of the Iowa Department of Revenue in 2005.  He served as Director under Governors Vilsack and Culver before being appointed by Attorney General Miller as Consumer Advocate.  Mr. Schuling has experience and expertise in federal and state law, utility and telecommunications matters, and general civil law.
Mr. Schuling is also a Certified Public Accountant, a past president of the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA), and has spoken to numerous groups and associations on tax, utility and business matters. He is a member of several energy related groups including serving as President of the National Association of State Consumer Advocates, an Advisory Board Member to the Financial Research Institute located at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, an Advisory Council Member to the Center for Public Utilities, located in New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and as an Executive Committee Member to the Critical Consumer Issues Forum. Additionally, he is Treasurer for the Iowa State Bar Association Foundation.  

Michelle Bloodworth 

Michelle Bloodworth is President and Chief Executive Officer of America’s Power (ACCCE). In this role, Bloodworth represents the interests of the nation’s coal fleet before Congress, state and federal regulatory agencies, and the Administration and sets the association’s strategic agenda.

ACCCE is the only national trade association whose sole mission is to advocate at the federal and state level on behalf of coal-fueled electricity and the coal fleet, responsible for supplying one-third of U.S. electricity needs.

Before becoming President and CEO in 2018, Bloodworth served as Chief Operating Officer for ACCCE.  In the past, she served as Executive Director of External Affairs for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator; Vice President of Business Development and State Affairs for America’s Natural Gas Alliance; and Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Communications for Energen/Alabama Gas Corporation. She began her career as a power plant engineer after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University.

Over the last two decades, Bloodworth has worked with groups focused on utility, electricity markets, regulatory policies, and state affairs. Due to her expertise in the energy industry, she continues to serve as a resource for national groups, publications, state legislatures, and federal agencies on issues related to the coal fleet.

She was instrumental in the formation of two national trade organizations, and currently serves on the board of directors at the Keystone Policy Institute.


Pamela Hollick

Pamela Hollick is Associate General Counsel State Public Policy for CenturyLink Communications. Ms. Hollick has extensive legal and regulatory experience in the telecommunications industry. Before joining CenturyLink, Ms. Hollick served in a similar position at Level 3 and tw telecom for 17 years and before that she was an attorney in private practice for seven years focusing initially on general litigation and then developing a specialty in telecom issues, developing and managing a telecommunications practice group. In recent years, she has served as a witness in regulatory proceedings, given speeches on various telecommunications topics, including pole attachments and IP interconnection, and serves in leadership roles in industry coalitions, universal service industry task forces and committees. 

Ms. Hollick received a Judicial Doctorate degree from Indiana University School of Law in 1993, graduating Cum Laude, where she was a member of National Moot Court Team and Order of the Barristers. She received her BA from Purdue University, graduating With Highest Distinction, receiving recognition from the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, Phi Beta Phi National Honor Society, and the Golden Key National Honor Society. 

She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her two young sons and her husband.

Paul Suskie 

Paul Suskie is the Executive Vice-President of Regulatory Policy, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP). SPP is a non-profit Arkansas corporation designated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to serve as the Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) in eleven states. As an RTO, SPP is mandated by the FERC to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity in eight states. As a part of these mandates, SPP oversaw wholesale energy and transmission markets with transactions totaling $20 billion in 2018.
Prior to joining SPP, Suskie was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe, to the Arkansas Public Service Commission as Chairman and as member of the Governor’s cabinet. During Suskie’s tenure on the Commission, he served in several leadership roles as a state regulator and was named to Arkansas Business's Top 40 under 40 list of individuals influencing business in Arkansas.
When appointed to the Commission, Suskie was serving in his third elected term as North Little Rock’s City Attorney. While City Attorney, his office received numerous state and national awards for successfully addressing crime ridden neighborhoods through the use of civil nuisance abatement laws.
Before joining the North Little Rock City Attorney’s office, Suskie worked for former United States Senator David Pryor in Pryor’s Washington and Little Rock offices and was law clerk for Arkansas Attorney General Winston Bryant.
Suskie is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, and the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He is a retired Colonel who served over 20 years in the U.S. Army’s JAG Corp. During his military career he was appointed as a state military judge and is a veteran of both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2005, Suskie served a tour in Afghanistan and in 2008 he served a tour in Iraq with the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Susan Williams Sloan 

When Susan Williams Sloan joined the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in 2005, the US wind industry had 1800 turbines installed in 20 states.  Today’s industry has advanced to more than 57,000 turbines in the ground, in 41 states. 

As Vice President of State Affairs for AWEA, Susan helps state officials recognize the value the wind industry can and does bring to their states.  She works with industry members, her team, and regional partners to strategically engage in state legislative and regulatory affairs across the country to build market opportunities for wind energy.  Our collective work has led to numerous state and regional policy advancements that allow wind developers the ability to site projects, connect to the grid and sell power. 

As the industry has grown across the US, Susan’s leadership has strengthened the team of people on the ground who can get things done, helping build successful campaigns that benefit from AWEA’s growing capabilities as a trade organization.  Susan currently serves on the board of the Clean Grid Alliance, and on the Executive Committee of the Advanced Power Alliance.

Prior to joining AWEA, Susan represented the Wind Coalition at the Texas capitol in a successful campaign for expansion of the Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard and establishment of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ). 

Susan has worked for public officials at the Texas Capitol and also represented cable and broadcast media interests before government and media, at the local, state and federal levels, as well as internationally, in Hong Kong and Asia.

In her free time, she has a passion for music, Texas history, and has competed in tennis, soccer, and in outrigger canoe races off the shores of the Pacific Ocean.  Most recently, she has been mom to one daughter, as well as five foster children over a period of six years.

Ted Thomas 

Ted Thomas of Conway was appointed Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission by Governor Asa Hutchinson in January 2015.

He has served as Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 20th Judicial District, Administrative Law Judge at the Public Service Commission, Budget Director for Governor Mike Huckabee and in the Arkansas House of Representatives, where he served as Chairman of the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee during his final term.

Chairman Thomas received a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Political Science from the University of Arkansas in 1986 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1988.  He is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the Arkansas Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Eight Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.

Chairman Thomas is past president of the Organization of MISO States (OMS) and continues to serve on the Executive Committee.  He also serves on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Electricity.

Wes Ashton 

Wes Ashton is the Vice President of Operations for Black Hills Energy’s Iowa gas utility. He has served in this role since 2019.

Ashton and his team are charged with providing safe and reliable natural gas service to nearly 160,000 customers, spread across more than 130 Iowa communities. His organizational team includes overseeing the state’s 165 team members across eight district offices in the state of Iowa, and a statewide construction team. He works with various civic, economic development and government organizations on projects and issues that impact customers. All activities related to the corporation’s growth, damage prevention and community relations also fall under his scope of duties, as well as managing ServiceGuard, the company’s appliance repair business.

Wes joined Black Hills Energy (formerly Aquila) in 2006 as the Manager of Government Affairs for Colorado & Kansas, after lobbying and legal support for several other business organizations. Ashton successfully passed legislative initiatives in several Midwest states which improved the operating environment for Black Hills Energy.

Ashton became Sr. Manager of Public Affairs for Black Hills Energy in Colorado in 2011. His responsibilities included supporting all public activities for the electric and natural gas utilities, as well as Black Hills Energy’s renewable energy projects, its Wyoming coal mine and the company’s Exploration and Production division. He also managed the customer service team located in Pueblo, CO. Ashton was the Iowa Director of Operations from 2014-2019 before his current role.

Wes received his bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Political Science from Kansas State University. He earned Dean’s Honors while earning his Juris Doctorate from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, KS.  Ashton is a member of the Kansas and Missouri Bar Associations and is licensed to practice law in both states.

Wes is based in Grimes, IA and partners with Black Hills Energy’s other regulated electric and gas utilities in seven Midwest states.  He serves on the corporate PAC Board, and is the Chair of several internal committees dedicated to process improvement and strategic long-term planning.  Ashton is also on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Energy Association.

Ashton volunteers his time outside of work at several organizations including various legal education groups, numerous chamber of commerce, economic development groups and church activities. He has served on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement, Catholic Charities, and numerous Chamber of Commerce and economic development organizations. He coaches youth baseball, soccer, football and swimming.

Wes married Elizabeth, his law school sweetheart, in 2006. They have three children - Charles, Elliette and James.


Chris King

Chris King is Chief Policy Officer of Siemens Digital Grid, leading strategy and regulatory initiatives worldwide in advanced metering, transportation electrification, grid modernization, demand response, rate design, and DER integration. In the past, he has held executive roles at three energy start-ups as well as at PG&E. An internationally recognized expert, author, and frequently invited speaker, Chris serves on the Boards of Advanced Energy Economy, Smart Electric Power Association and Smart Energy Europe and is Chair of the Electric Vehicle Governmental Relations Committee for the National Electric Manufacturers Association.  He recently co-authored the article, “EV Charging Tariffs that Work for EV Owners, Utilities, and Society,” in The Electricity Journal. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, several U.S. states, and international regulatory bodies on advanced energy technologies, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Chris co-hosted the U.S. Congressional Delegation to the U.N. Climate Summit.

Chris holds bachelors and masters degrees in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, a masters from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and a doctorate from Concord Law School. He is recipient of three patents related to advanced metering and intelligent grids.

James Cade 

James Cade joined Ruan Transportation Management Systems in 2015 and currently serves as Vice President of Fleet Services. Mr. Cade strategically manages Ruan’s fleet of approximately 4,000 trucks and 8,200 trailers operating from more than two hundred and eighty sites throughout the USA. Responsibilities include asset acquisition and management, procurement, fuel purchasing and management, alternative fuel programs, maintenance management and asset disposal.

Cade has over thirty years managing fleet operations. Most of Cade’s experience is with Ryder Systems where during his twenty-five years he rose from a technician to the Vice President of Maintenance with direct responsibilities for North America and oversight of European maintenance operations. After leaving Ryder, Cade managed fleets as EVP of Maintenance and Purchasing for Arrow Trucking, Owner/ EVP of Fleet Services with USA Dry Van Logistics, VP of Maintenance and Purchasing with National Express and VP of Maintenance and Purchasing with USA Truck. During Cade’s career he has developed and managed various alternative fuel projects including; CNG, LNG, Propane and electric powered vehicles

Cade grew up in the Des Moines, IA area and holds a Business Administration degree from Nova/Southeastern University and an Associate of Science Degree in Diesel Technology from the Des Moines Area Community College. Joining Ruan was a coming home event for Cade.

Cade currently is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Technology and Maintenance Council and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). He actively participates in the development of industry recommendations and practices through these organizations.

John Halliwell 

John Halliwell is team member in the Electric Transportation Group of EPRI where his focus is smart charging and infrastructure development for plug-in electric vehicles.  He joined EPRI in 2007 and has been active in the electric transportation space since 2008.  John is the current chair of the SAE J1772 Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler Task Force and the SAE AE-7D Aircraft Energy Storage and Charging Committee.  He has broad experience in design and application of electronic circuits and electronic systems. His favorite pastimes are hiking, building and repairing tube guitar amplifiers and amateur radio.  Halliwell received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Katrina McMurrian 

A former Florida Public Service Commissioner (2006–2009), Katrina McMurrian draws upon extensive regulatory experience to organize and facilitate relevant policy forums and to advise an array of entities on key regulatory and policy issues in the energy arena. 

McMurrian currently serves as the Executive Director of the Critical Consumer Issues Forum (CCIF), a unique national forum in which state utility regulators, consumer advocates, and electric companies—via a series of facilitated, interactive dialogues—engage in productive debate and often develop consensus on key issues of importance to consumers and policymakers. CCIF has produced reports on a range of energy topics including grid modernization, distributed generation, consumer solutions, smart communities, and electric transportation.

McMurrian also serves as the Executive Director of the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition (NWSC), an ad hoc organization representing the collective interests of member state utility regulators, state consumer advocates, other state officials, tribal governments, local governments, electric companies with operating and shutdown nuclear reactors, and other public and private sector experts on nuclear waste policy matters. 

In these roles, McMurrian frequently interacts with Congress; Administration officials; state and federal utility regulators; state and national consumer organizations; industry representatives; and numerous other public and private stakeholders.

McMurrian serves on the Southwest Research Institute Board of Advisory Trustees, as an associate member of the Financial Research Institute (FRI), and as a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), and U.S. Women in Nuclear (U.S. WIN).

A Northwest Florida native, McMurrian received a Bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA from Florida State University. She and her husband currently reside near Nashville, Tennessee.

Kimberly Winslow 

With 25 years of utility experience, Ms. Winslow is currently the Director of Energy Solutions at Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L).  In Ms. Winslow’s role, she oversees the company’s product and services strategy as it relates to demand side management, electrification, and small scale renewables.  In addition, she is responsible for the management of non-regulated products.  She has led her team to implement successful demand side management programs under the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA).  The team has proven innovation through its thermostat program, demand response, and strategic energy management programs, and as well as built a well-rounded portfolio of renewable programs for both residential and business customers. She has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology and an MBA from Rockhurst University. 

Sally A. Talaberg

Sally A. Talberg was initially appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Michigan Public Service Commission on July 3, 2013, and was appointed chairman on January 4, 2016.
Her term ends July 2, 2021.

Prior to her appointment, Chairman Talberg worked in the public and private sectors with a focus on energy policy and utility regulation. Most recently, she served as a senior consultant at Public Sector Consultants focusing on energy policy issues. During her tenure at Public Sector Consultants, she also helped establish Michigan Saves, a financing organization to support energy waste reduction. Chairman Talberg previously served as an analyst at the Michigan Public Service Commission, managed enforcement and contested cases at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and advised commissioners at the Public Utility Commission of Texas. 

Chairman Talberg serves on the board of directors of the Organization of MISO States. Also, through her involvement with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, she serves on the Committee on Critical Infrastructure, Committee on Telecommunications, and the Federal-State Joint Boards on Jurisdictional Separations, and on Universal Service. In 2018, she became a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB), which is a federal advisory committee that provides input on the activities of the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. 

Ms. Talberg holds a bachelor's of science degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Policy Studies from Michigan State University and a master's degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas-Austin.

Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)

Daniel Hall 

Commissioner Daniel Yves Hall was appointed to the Missouri Public Service Commission on September 27, 2013 by Governor Jay Nixon, and unanimously confirmed by the Missouri State Senate in January 2014.  On August 10, 2015, he was appointed Chairman by Governor Nixon and served as Chairman until September 14, 2018.  He is the 101st PSC Commissioner in the 100-year history of the PSC – Missouri’s oldest state agency.

Commissioner Hall is an active member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), serving on its Board of Directors.  He also serves as Co-Vice Chair of the NARUC Committee on Water, member of the Washington Action Committee, Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Education and Research and member of the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI).  In addition, he serves as President of the Organization of MISO States.  He also serves on the Financial Research Institute’s Advisory Board and previously served as Chair, and is a member of the Symposium Planning Committee.  He is a board member on the Public Council for the Water Research Foundation.  He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law where he teaches a class on the legislative process.

From January of 2009 when Governor Nixon was sworn into office until his appointment to the Commission, Hall served as the Legislative Director to the Governor, overseeing efforts to advance the Nixon Administration’s legislative agenda and serving as lead liaison between the Governor and members of the Missouri General Assembly.

From 2003 to 2009, Hall served as Senior Counsel and Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon. In this position, he litigated in state and federal courts, both trial and appellate, and provided counsel to the Attorney General concerning a wide range of topics including tobacco, sunshine law, education, elections, federal military base closure, and constitutional legislative procedures.

Between 2001 and 2003, Hall served in the Administration of Governor Bob Holden, first as Assistant Commissioner for Policy in the Office of Administration, then as a Senior Policy Adviser to the Governor.  In these positions, Hall worked in policy development and legislation in the areas of transportation, natural resources, conservation, labor, agriculture, economic development and the annual state operating budget.

From 1998 to 2001, Hall served as Chief of Staff to Missouri House Speaker Steve Gaw. His responsibilities included coordinating the formulation and passage of the legislative agenda of the Speaker and House majority caucus, supervision of the Speaker’s office staff and liaison with the Chief Clerk regarding House legal and personnel matters.

Prior to his state government service, between 1995 and 1998, Hall worked in private practice as an associate with Bryan Cave, LLP in Kansas City.  His litigation practice included labor and employment, class action defense and commercial disputes.

From 1993 to 1995, Hall served as a Law Clerk to United States District Court Judge Dean Whipple.  In this capacity, Hall conducted research and drafted opinions and orders in a broad range of civil and criminal cases, and provided counsel to the Judge concerning the court’s management of state and local entities under its supervision.

Hall was awarded a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1993. His law school honors include the Order of the Coif, Order of the Barristers and Board of Advocates. He was a member of the Law Review, serving as Note and Comment Editor.

In 1988, Hall graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, with a major in history and a minor in political economy.

Hall and his wife, Cindy, have three children – Elly, Kate and Keaton – and make their home in Columbia.

David Kelley 

David Kelley, P.E., is the Director of Seams and Market Design for Southwest Power Pool, a Regional Transmission Organization. He is responsible for directing the development and implementation of SPP’s transmission and energy markets and cultivating highly effective relationships between SPP, its members, and its neighbors.

David holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University, an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Arkansas.  A native Arkansan, he and his wife have three daughters.

Jeremiah Doner 

Jeremiah Doner has been with MISO for 12 years and currently is Director of Membership Services & Seams Coordination.  His current responsibilities include working with MISO’s seams neighbors to enhance coordination and demonstrating MISO’s value to existing and potential members.  In previous roles at MISO he has worked on development of MISO’s Multi-Value Project transmission cost allocation process, Order 1000 compliance, and real-time congestion management processes.   He has a B.S. and M.S. in Economics from Illinois State University.

Kim O'Guinn 

Kimberly A. O'Guinn of Little Rock was appointed to the Public Service Commission by Governor Asa Hutchinson in November of 2016.

Prior to her appointment, she served as the Director of Communications for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Commissioner O' Guinn also served as an Engineer in the Office of Air Quality for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for sixteen years.

Commissioner O'Guinn received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1999. She was an Engineering Fellowship Recipient with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's NASA Space Grant Consortium / NASA EPSCoR. She also served as an Engineering Intern with the Nelson Group, Inc.

Nicole Luckey 

Nicole Luckey is an energy attorney with a focus on administrative and regulatory litigation, specializing in electric utility regulation on both the state and federal level. Ms. Luckey currently holds the position of Director, Regulatory and Government Affairs for Invenergy, where manages a team covering MISO, PJM, ISO-NE, NYISO and ERCOT, state public utility commissions, local, state and federal legislative bodies in the East, Midwest and Texas, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to support the development and continued operation of Invenergy’s transmission, thermal, wind, solar and battery storage projects. Previous to joining Invenergy Ms. Luckey was a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Illinois Commerce Commission representing Staff in administrative proceedings and later served two years as Legal and Policy Advisor to the Hon. Chairman Doug Scott. 

Ms. Luckey is a member of the Illinois State Bar, Chair of the American Wind Energy Association Central State Policy Subcommittee and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Clean Grid Alliance. 

Sarah Freeman

Sarah Freeman was appointed by Governor Mike Pence as Commissioner on September 19, 2016, and reappointed by Governor Eric Holcomb on December 29, 2017, to a term ending December 31, 2021. She is a member of the NARUC Committee on Critical Infrastructure and Committee on Telecommunications. Commissioner Freeman serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Organization of MISO States (OMS) and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Universal Service Administrative Company and of the Advisory Board for the Financial Research Institute at the University of Missouri. She previously represented the Commission on the Board of Directors for the Organization of PJM States (OPSI).

Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Freeman served as a senior staff attorney with the nonpartisan Indiana Legislative Services Agency for 16 years, where she drafted utility and transportation legislation and served as counsel to numerous legislative committees. In addition, Commissioner Freeman was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the NCSL Task Force on Cybersecurity.

A native Hoosier, Commissioner Freeman earned her undergraduate degrees in psychology, French, and political science from Indiana University – Bloomington and her juris doctor degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.


Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson currently serves as the vice chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities
Commission. Chris was appointed Jan. 8, 2011, by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to fill a vacancy on
the commission and was elected by South Dakota voters in November 2012 to continue his
service for the remaining four years of the term. He was re-elected to a full term in November
2016, garnering the highest electoral percentage ever for a contested statewide race. Chris served
as the PUC's chairman in 2012, 2015 and 2016 and as vice chairman in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
He is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners serving on the
association's Board of Directors, co-chairing the Washington Action Program, is a member of its
Investment Committee and is a past chairman of its Committee on Telecommunications. He has
been appointed by the Federal Communications Commission to the Federal-State Joint Board on
Universal Service, representing the interests of NARUC as state chairman of the board. Chris is
on the board of directors for the National Regulatory Research Institute.
Previously, Chris served as South Dakota’s secretary of state, having been elected in the 2002
general election. Chris was unopposed for re-election in 2006, which was the first time the office
was unopposed in the history of South Dakota.
Prior to becoming secretary of state, Chris held the position of state election supervisor in the
secretary of state's office for 13 years and was uniform commercial code supervisor in the same
office for two years.
As secretary of state, Chris received the 2010 Excellent Service to South Dakota County
Officials award from the South Dakota County Officials Association, the 2004 Hazeltine/Taylor
award from South Dakota Kids Voting, and the 2003 Excellence in South Dakota Municipal
Government award from the South Dakota Municipal League. In 2005, Chris was appointed as a
National Governors Association representative on the United States Election Assistance
Commission Board of Advisors.
Under Chris’ leadership the secretary of state’s office was awarded the Election Center’s 2009
Professional Practices Program State Award. This annual award is given as recognition for the
most outstanding election administration professional practice in the nation. The award
recognizes the 2008 development and implementation of a new central election reporting system
for the state.
Following graduation from White Lake High School, Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in animal
science, with highest honors, from South Dakota State University in 1987.
Chris is involved in his church and counts agriculture and hunting as two areas of personal
interest. He maintains a part-time cattle operation. Chris and his wife, Penny, reside in Pierre.
Their daughter, Rebekah, is a nurse in Sioux Falls.

Heather Hendrickson

Heather Hendrickson is an Acting Deputy Division Chief in the Competition Policy Division of the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau where she primarily focuses on issues relating to numbering and call authentication to combat caller ID spoofing and the robocalling it enables.  Heather joined the FCC in 2006 as an attorney advisor in the Wireline Competition Bureau where she has worked on a variety of proceedings including rural call completion, privacy, technology transitions, and internet telecommunications relay service.  Prior to joining the FCC, Heather was in private practice representing communications clients before federal and state commissions in rulemaking, enforcement and arbitration proceedings.  Heather received her JD from George Mason University School of Law, Cum Laude and her BA from The George Washington University.

Linda Vandeloop

Linda Vandeloop has over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications
industry. Linda has held a variety of positions at AT&T, primarily in the
Regulatory and Financial Management organizations. She currently works in
AT&T’s Federal Regulatory organization in the Washington D.C. office. In her
current position she is responsible for consumer and accessibility federal
regulatory issues. Linda began her career in California at Pacific Bell in the
Financial Management organization responsible for revenue forecasting and
financial analysis of regulatory issues. She has a Masters of Administration
Degree and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of
California, Davis.


Mary Ridder 

Mary Ridder was elected to the Nebraska Public Service Commission in November 2016 for a six-year term. Currently serving as Commission Chair, she represents District 5, comprised of 47 counties in the western two-thirds of the state.

Commissioner Ridder has a background in communications, having worked as a communications director, magazine editor, reporter, author, workshop presenter, and owner of a public relations firm. She co-owns her family's purebred Hereford ranch where she has been active in breed and general agriculture organizations on a local, state and national level. Ridder has served on boards, committees and commissions such as school and religious education boards, long range strategic planning, community foundation, agriculture advisory, rural health advisory, and revolving loan boards. A detailed listing of Commissioner Ridders' involvement can be found here.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Creighton University and an EDGE certification in Entrepreneurism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Commissioner Ridder lives with her husband John on their ranch west of Callaway. They have four daughters, a son-in -law, two sons and daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Philip Linse

Philip Linse, Director of Public Policy represents CenturyLink in various industry standards forums. He
also Co-chairs the FCC’s North American Numbering Council’s Contract Oversight Subcommittee and
Reassigned Numbers Database technical requirements development in addition to providing CenturyLink
with policy consult on robocall mitigation and the technology transformation as the result of the ongoing
transition to IP technology. Mr. Linse’s background spans over 20 years in telecommunications
consisting of, intercarrier and vendor contract negotiations, economic analysis and modeling, OSP
engineering, and subject matter expert on network issues associated with interconnection, switching,
signaling, and signaling databases. Philip holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Northern Iowa.

William T, Maxson 

Will Maxson is an Assistant Director of the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices, where he previously served as Staff Attorney and Program Manager for Do Not Call Enforcement. Before joining the FTC, Mr. Maxson was a litigation associate at Jones Day and at Wiley Rein.  Mr. Maxson received a BA from Vanderbilt University and graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. 

Regulatory Issues Concerning Water Utilities

Brien J. Sheahan 

In 2015, Brien J. Sheahan was appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission by Governor Bruce Rauner for a five-year term. He served in the capacity of Chairman and CEO from January 20, 2015 through April 15, 2019.

Recognized internationally and nationally as a leader among state regulatory commissioners for his promotion of innovation and forward-looking regulatory policy, Commissioner Sheahan was asked to chair the Presidential Task Force on Innovation for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He also serves on the NARUC Board of Directors, and frequently speaks and publishes on the role of state utility commissioners in driving modernization of the nation’s utility infrastructure and regulatory paradigms.

During his Chairmanship, Commissioner Sheahan initiated the first rigorous strategic plan for the agency in a generation and established a first-of-its-kind Office of Cybersecurity and Risk Management and Office of Diversity and Community Affairs. He has also spearheaded Illinois’ exploration of the “utility of the future” with a study called NextGrid. Commissioner Sheahan also led a nationally recognized effort to diversify the ranks of ICC leadership, resulting in the ICC being named the most diverse public utilities commission in the United States.

Prior to being appointed to the Commission, Sheahan was a senior advisor to Governor Rauner’s successful 2014 campaign, Counsel to the Governor’s transition committee, and Director of Government Relations for an Illinois based Fortune 500 industrial manufacturer.

His extensive background in government includes serving three Illinois Governors in senior leadership roles, and as General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party. Sheahan was also an elected member of the DuPage County Board for ten years and served on the staffs of the Office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Illinois Commerce Commission. He was also Deputy Executive Director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, a $2 Billion quasi-public affordable housing lender, where he oversaw government relations, legal, human resources, and information technology.

Commissioner Sheahan received his Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning, with High Honors, from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law. He resides with his wife and son in Hinsdale, Illinois.

Chuck Rea

Chuck Rea is Director, Regulatory Services with American Water Company and has served in that role since January 2018.  Prior to his work with American Water, Chuck was with MidAmerican Energy Company for 27 years where he last served as Director, Energy Efficiency and Regulatory Analytics.

Chuck has extensive hands-on experience in cost of service and retail rate.  Chuck was responsible for developing MidAmerican’s current base rate tariffs for electric service in all three MidAmerican jurisdictions and has testified extensively on cost of service, rate design, and energy efficiency issues in Iowa, Illinois, and South Dakota, and has testified to water rate design issues in Indiana, Maryland, and Virginia.  

Chuck holds a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and a M.S. in Statistics and Operations Research from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

David Ober 

David Ober was appointed by Governor Eric Holcomb on April 2, 2018. He is a member of the NARUC Committee on Water and the Mid-America Regulatory Conference. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Organization of PJM States, Inc. (OPSI).

Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Ober served House District 82 in the Indiana House of Representatives representing Allen, Elkhart, LaGrange, Noble and Whitley counties (2012-2018).

Commissioner Ober has held a variety of leadership positions throughout his career in state government, including service as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, as Assistant Majority Whip for the House Republican Caucus (2014-2016), and as Chairman of the House Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications from 2016 to 2018.

Commissioner Ober is a 2009 graduate of Purdue University Northwest. He and his wife Maggie reside in Indianapolis, Indiana and attend Traders Point Christian Church.

Kathryn Kline 

Kathryn Kline is a Senior Research Associate at the National Regulatory Research Institute in Washington, DC where she focuses on key water policy challenges facing our nation. Kathryn believes that ensuring good governance begins with high-quality, unbiased policy research. She is an active member of the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment, and also serves as a member on her alma mater’s Alumnae Board. Kathryn earned a BA in Politics from Converse College, and completed her Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Kim Joyce 

Aqua America’s regulatory, government and external affairs department is led by Kimberly Joyce.  Joyce works closely with the operations team across the business to align and integrate the company's communication, regulatory, and legislative strategy. The various functions of the department include overseeing all regulatory filings, including, base rate cases, acquisition applications, and the implementation of state and federal legislative and regulatory policy at the public utility commissions for Aqua's regulated subsidiaries; maintaining awareness and providing advocacy on governmental and legislative issues that impact the company; responsibilities overseeing the marketing and communications department; and the company’s corporate giving and volunteer initiatives.

Joyce joined Aqua America as regulatory counsel in 2007 following five years with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). During her tenure at the PUC, she advised the commission on electric, gas and telecommunication matters and defended commission orders before state and federal courts. She previously clerked for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge James Gardner Colins and worked for Baker & Botts, LLP in their Washington, DC energy and natural resources office.

Joyce earned her B.A. in economics and M.B.A. at Villanova University and her J.D. at the University of Pittsburgh.  Joyce serves on the board of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.

Rob Powelson

Robert F. Powelson is the president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC).

Prior to joining NAWC, he served as a Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner. Powelson was nominated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Donald J. Trump in May 2017, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 4, 2017.

Commissioner Powelson came to FERC from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, where he served since June 2008, and led as Chairman from February 24, 2011-May 7, 2015. Under Commissioner Powelson's leadership, Pennsylvania ratepayers have had an active voice on issues such as retail electric choice, renewable investment, broadband deployment, infrastructure development and cybersecurity.

In 2011, Commissioner Powelson served on Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, which reviewed the Commonwealth’s existing statutes, regulations and policies and provided recommendations to develop a comprehensive proposal for the responsible and environmentally sound development of Marcellus Shale natural gas.

Powelson is a past President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, where he also was a member of the Board of Directors. He served as Chairman of the NARUC Committee on Water and represented the Water Committee on NARUC’s Task Force on Climate Policy. He was active in NARUC activities involving critical infrastructure and nuclear waste disposal. Commissioner Powelson worked very closely with NARUC leadership on aggressive pipeline safety standards with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Prior to joining the Pennsylvania PUC, Powelson served as president of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. In 2005, he was selected by the Eisenhower Presidential Fellows to be a U.S. fellow in Singapore and Australia. His previous employment includes service as the director of Government Relations for the Delaware County Chamber and staff assistant to former Congressman Curt Weldon.

A native of Pennsylvania, Powelson is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University and received a Master of Governmental Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania.


D. Ethan Kimbrel 

D. Ethan Kimbrel was appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission by Governor Bruce Rauner on January 19, 2018 to a five-year term.
Commissioner Kimbrel is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and sits on NARUC’s Committee on Gas, the Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety and the Committee on International Relations. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Organization of PJM States, Inc. (OPSI) and is a member of the NARUC-DOE (U.S. Department of Energy) Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership (NGIMP). Commissioner Kimbrel is on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies at Illinois State University as well.
Prior to being appointed as Commissioner, Kimbrel served as the Commission’s Chief Administrative Law Judge for nearly three years. In that role, he advised the Administrative Law Judges on questions of law and procedure and reviewed their decisions for legal and factual accuracy and clarity in various electric, natural gas, water, sewer and telecommunications cases initiated by the Commission, regulated public utilities, consumers and other stakeholders in Illinois. He also oversaw the Chief Clerk’s Office and administrative staff. Preceding his position as Chief Administrative Law, Kimbrel served as a Commission Administrative Law Judge for seven years.
Before joining the Commission, Kimbrel practiced in the area of personal injury, appellate, malpractice and commercial litigation. He also served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Leslie E. South in the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, Fourth Division.
Commissioner Kimbrel received his law degree from George Washington University and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago.

Joe Randazzo 

Joseph Randazzo is Director of Networks and Information Security for ITC Holdings Corp. He leads ITC’s Cyber Security team and is responsible for delivering best-in-class NERC CIP cyber security to ensure the safety and security of the bulk electric system.

Mr. Randazzo is recognized as a thought leader in both the utility industry and the cyber security world.  His experience in the convergence of information technology (IT) systems and operational technology (OT) systems (used to monitor events, processes and devices and make adjustments in enterprise and industrial operations) provides a unique perspective on the alignment of cyber security to bolster reliability and safety.

During his more than 20-year career, Mr. Randazzo has served in a variety of roles from Senior Cyber Security Engineer to Power Generation Instrumentation & Controls (I&C) Engineer, to Cyber Security Manager and, currently, Director of Networks and Information Security.

During his tenure at ITC, Mr. Randazzo has led the effort to reposition ITC’s NERC CIP program as one of the best in the region and has earned recognition for implementing several practices under his direction, including the Transient Device Program, Information Protection Program, and Security Factory Acceptance Testing of the Transmission Management System (TMS).

Prior to joining ITC, Mr. Randazzo led the effort to build policies and procedures for NextEra Energy’s NERC CIP program and secured the control system for more than 20 power plants while representing the company in several audits across multiple regions.

Mr. Randazzo has extensive network and security risk management experience in the automotive, health care, and energy industries. His credentials include CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional and GCIH GIAC Certified Incident Handler.  Mr. Randazzo earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Devry University.  He serves as the Energy Sector Chief for the State Of Michigan FBI Infraguard. 

Paul Hoffman

Paul Hofman is a recognized Cybersecurity leader in the electric cooperative
industry, serving on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s
(NRECA) Member Advisory Group for Cybersecurity, and in key IT leadership
roles working with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.
Paul began his career with Central Iowa Power Cooperative in 2012, leading a
team that develops, implements, supports and evaluates technology platforms,
security and business policies, and ensures compliance with laws and
regulations for both the organization as well as several of its member
With 30 years of experience in the IT field focused on partnering with the
business to meet business needs, he has accumulated diverse experience,
working within manufacturing, insurance, financial services, and investment
environments in addition to utilities. He has led a broad cross-section of global IT
teams with responsibility for solutions architecture, infrastructure management,
application development and customer technical support, regulatory compliance
and IT business protection governance, and vendor relationship management.
Paul graduated with high honors from Northwestern College in Orange City,
Iowa, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Computer Science.
Paul is actively involved in his community of Pella, Iowa, serving in several roles
within his church. He also is an avid runner, a veteran of 11 marathons.

Peter Grandgeorge 

Peter Grandgeorge, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, manages security and resiliency-related programs for MidAmerican Energy Company. 

Pete has led a multinational cybersecurity enhancement initiative, business continuity projects and led the company’s incident command adoption ahead of the 2011 Missouri River floods. Pete serves on numerous industry groups at both the state and national level, including co- chairing the Transformer Transportation Working Group, Prolonged Power Outage study group and participates in the Electric Sub-sector Coordinating Council’s Senior Executive Working Group. He has a dozen years in the utility industry. 

During his career, Pete has responded to more than a dozen federally-declared disasters in multiple U.S. states and served as company incident commander. He previously worked at Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management and three law enforcement agencies. Pete maintains certifications including the Certified Protection Professional, Certified Business Continuity Professional and Certified Information Systems Security Professional. 

Sam Ellis

Sam Ellis is Director, Cyber Security and Controls at Southwest Power Pool. Sam is responsible for the cyber security of SPP’s information and operational technologies as well as information technology controls. 

Prior to taking on these responsibilities in 2017, Sam has served as Director, System Operations and Director, Markets Administration. Sam was also responsible for all aspects of systems design, development, procurement, integration and deployment for the March 1, 2014 launch of SPP’s “Day 2” market known as Integrated Marketplace. 

Sam joined SPP in 2003. He has 25 years of industry experience, including transmission and generation operations, operations technology, and electricity and natural gas trading. He holds a BSBA in Accounting from Missouri Southern State University.

Gas Innovation 

Bill Liss

Bill has an over 32-year career at Gas Technology Institute, the nation’s leading independent natural gas R&D organization.  He leads a broad-based group of energy professionals focused on technology development and market adoption of new energy solutions for natural gas pipeline delivery and end use applications – residential, commercial, industrial, onsite power, and transportation. He has a Chemical Engineering degree and Masters in Business Administration

Bob Amdor

Bob Amdor is a utility regulatory specialist with almost twenty five years of experience.  Bob currently serves as the Director of Regulatory and Finance for Black Hills Energy.  In that role, he is responsible for all regulatory and financial planning matters for three of Black Hills Energy’s regulated natural gas utilities. Those state-regulated gas utilities are located in the states of Nebraska and Iowa.  His team handles regulatory compliance, internal support, external relations, Public Service Commission filings, budgets and strategic planning.  Bob graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Administration with a specialization in Finance. He also graduated from Creighton School of Law with a Juris Doctorate.  Prior to joining Black Hills Energy’s predecessor in 1995, Bob worked as an attorney and as an investment advisor.  In his various roles with Aquila and Black Hills Energy, Bob has focused on providing regulatory and other support of company-operations in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Colorado. Bob lives in Valley, NE with his wife Kathi. They have four adult children.

Brian Penington

Brian Penington is the manager of regulatory relations and policy at Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL). He advises senior leadership on regulatory strategy and policies and collaborates with regulatory staff and related stakeholders to address evolving industry initiatives. He has extensive experience managing electric and gas rate-making functions in retail and wholesale jurisdictions. Brian has been employed by Alliant Energy or its WPL subsidiary since 1999. Prior to Alliant Energy, Brian was employed for three years by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation as a market-side forecaster. He received a bachelor of science degree in economics from Northern Illinois University.

Erica Larson

Erica Larson is a regulatory analyst at CenterPoint Energy focusing on renewable natural gas (RNG). She has been very involved in the development of RNG related proposals such as the Minnesota RNG green-tariff and upcoming Minnesota RNG interconnection proposal. Before joining CenterPoint Energy, Erica was an associate attorney in the regulatory affairs group at the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Erica received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and political science from Saint Olaf College.

Gary Hanson

Gary Hanson is currently the chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. He was elected to the PUC in 2002 and re-elected in November 2008 and November 2014. He served as the commission's chairman in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Gary represents South Dakota on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Committee on Electricity. He served on the executive committee and as treasurer of the Organization of 
MISO States, is the vice president of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference, and represented the nation's NARUC commissioners on the steering committee of the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative and is a member of the Advisory Council for New Mexico State University's Center for Public Utilities.

Gary has served as chairman of the South Dakota Underground Pipeline Task Force, as member of Gov. Mike Rounds' Task Force on Wind Development, 
South Dakota's Energy Task Force, and Gov. George S. Mickelson's Cumulative Environmental Evaluation of Black Hills Mining Task Force. His service to the state also includes three terms in the South Dakota Senate where he was chairman of the committees of Bonding and of Government Audit and Operations, and vice chairman of the Taxation Committee.

A native of Sioux Falls, Gary was twice elected as mayor of that city and oversaw multiple departmental operations of more than 1,200 employees. Prior to serving as mayor, Gary was Sioux Falls' utilities commissioner for six years and was responsible for the development and day-to-day activities for three municipal utilities. He owned several businesses before elected office and was a licensed real estate auctioneer, appraiser, and broker.

As a regional and industry leader, Gary is co-founder, past president, chairman, and often referred to as the father of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System. He was chairman of the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance, and president of the Sioux Falls Board of Realtors. He has served on the boards of directors of Lutheran Social Services Credit Counseling Advisory Board, DAV Arthur H. Muchow Independent Living Center, Sioux Falls Jaycees, Northern State University Foundation, Minnehaha Metro Communications Systems, South Dakota Water Congress, and Sister Cities Association. Gary was instrumental in the founding of the Multicultural Center in Sioux Falls, the Great Plains Waicipi, Community Drug Concerns Task Force, as well as endowments for the Sioux Falls Pavilion and the Great Plains Zoo.

Awards and honors received by Gary include being named Distinguished Alumnus of Northern State University, Sioux Falls' City Father of the Year, YMCA Tri-State Hall of Fame, International Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellow, Outstanding Young Citizen of South Dakota, Habitat for Humanity's Hat's Off Award, Spirit of Downtown Sioux Falls Award, White Cane Safety Award, Multiple Sclerosis Society Chapter's Mayor of the Year, Children's Care Hospital Wings of Love Award, DAV's Outstanding Legislator Award, and Life Member of Lions Club Sight and Service Foundation.

He has regularly shared his passion for athletics as a volunteer coach for a variety of youth sports. Gary actively pursues a number of interests including astronomy, carpentry, car engines, birding, genealogy, hunting, fishing, skydiving, SCUBA diving, spelunking, camping, history and sports.

Gary and his wife, Sandy, make their home in Sioux Falls and Pierre. The couple has three children and seven grandchildren.

Joe Cooney 

Mr. Joe Cooney brings over 4 decades of energy related experience to EcoEngineers.  His background includes facility engineering, trading, business development, consulting, mentoring and management for both natural gas and power.

Most recently Joe has focused on energy consumption and management for his clients in the ethanol and renewable natural gas sectors.  He has successfully satisfied his client objectives related to minimization of energy spend while maximizing product revenue and credits.

Joe's clients have ranged in size from large publicly held corporations to small local businesses.  They have included higher education, municipal and State entities, as well.

Joe has degrees in both Experimental Biology (University of Michigan) and Civil Engineering (University of Nebraska.)

Tuesday, August 13th 2019

From the Consumer Perspective 

Amy Fredregill

Having worked in the public, private and non-profit sector, Fredregill has nearly 25 years of experience in policy and systemic approaches to energy, water and other sustainability efforts in both the Midwest and nationally. Since March 2018, Fredregill has been serving as the Managing Director of the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition at Environmental Initiative (EI). The Coalition primarily represents Fortune 500 Companies headquartered in Minnesota that are leaders in corporate sustainability. Prior to EI, Fredregill was Xcel Energy’s Manager of Resource Planning and Strategy for External and State Affairs at NSP-MN. Fredregill served since 2011 as Executive Director for the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS) and as the Vice President of the Cooperative Network, a business trade association working with cooperatives in the Upper Midwest. She has also held positions as a legislative aide for the US Senate and a researcher for the MN Public Utilities Commission.  Fredregill has consulted internationally on several USAID-funded partnerships, most recently in Mexico to assist with federal energy reform.   In 2016 she was recognized as a Clean Energy Leader for MN Women by the Clean Energy Resource Team and The Business Journal’s 25 Women to Watch Award in 2010.  In her free time, she enjoys Nordic skiing, wilderness backpacking, paddling and playing the fiddle.                                                       

Jeff Kaman

Jeff Kaman is Manager – Energy and Climate Strategy, for Deere & Company.  In this role, he advises the company on energy supply and sustainability issues globally.  Jeff has over 25 years in the energy field. He previously served at the Iowa Utilities Board, with the staff responsible for electric, gas, and water rates and other energy issues.  In particular, Jeff worked on multi-State issues related to electric markets in the Midcontinent ISO, electric generation and transmission planning efforts, and electric reliability while a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Planning Committee.  Jeff also was the power plant utilities manager for the John Deere factory in Dubuque, Iowa. He began his career serving as an officer in the Navy’s nuclear power program on an aircraft carrier.

Jeff has a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

He lives in the Des Moines area with his wife, Cindy, and two sons.

Jennifer Easler

Maida Coleman

Former Senator Maida Coleman was appointed to the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) in August 2015.

  In addition to her service on the MPSC, Commissioner Coleman is Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest. She also serves on NARUC’s Board of Directors and on the Telecommunications and Supplier and Workforce Diversity Committees. Commissioner Coleman is a member of NARUC and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership.  In addition, Commissioner Coleman is a member of the Critical Consumer Issues Forum Advisory Committee and the Center for Public Utilities Advisory Council.Commissioner Coleman regularly moderates and speaks for numerous community and energy regulatory events. Commissioner Coleman also facilitated a workshop for the United States Agency for International Development Ethiopia Energy Regulatory Partnership in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and a Peer Review on Emergency Preparedness and Public Consultation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Commissioner Coleman is a guest columnist for the St. Louis County Community News.Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Coleman was the Director of the Missouri Office of Community Engagement.  She previously served as Executive Director of the Missouri Workforce Investment Board at the Department of Economic Development, and in a leadership role at the Missouri Department of Labor. From 2001 until 2009, Commissioner Coleman served as a State Representative and State Senator from St. Louis, becoming the first African-American woman in state history to serve as Senate Minority Leader. While in the Missouri Senate, Commissioner Coleman sponsored the Hot Weather Law which prevents utilities from disconnecting cooling-related service for residential customers during summer weather extremes.  She also sponsored legislation that became law to protect children from lead poisoning.

Marian Donovan 

Marina Donovan has more than 20 years of global technology marketing and public relations experience with a background in data security, networking and mobile. She joined Itron as vice president of global marketing & public affairs in January 2018. Prior to joining Itron, she was vice president of marketing for Silver Spring Networks, where Marina led all aspects of outbound marketing including branding and corporate positioning, demand creation, events, product marketing, public relations and web properties.

Prior to joining Silver Spring, she held executive marketing positions at IronKey by Imation, Syniverse, VeriSign and RSA Security. Marina holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from San Jose State University.

Micheal Luu 

Michael Luu is the CIO and VP of Customer Service at California Water Service Company (Cal Water) – the largest investor owned water and wastewater utility in the Western United States. His blend of information technology, customer service, and utility field operations experience offers a unique perspective on developing and applying innovations to enhance the customer experience and operational efficiency. Under Michael’s leadership, Cal Water developed an award winning customer service program and successfully implemented mission critical ERP, cloud, mobile, and cyber security solutions. Michael received his MBA and Bachelor's degree from San Jose State University and is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Information Security Manager (CISM). Michael currently serves on the Board of Directors at the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) - a 121 year old trade organization recognized for its leadership in the water and wastewater industry - and is the Chair of the NAWC Customer Satisfaction Committee. He is also on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bay Area InfraGard Chapter serving over 700 members. InfraGard is a public-private partnership among U.S. businesses, individuals involved in the protection and resilience of U.S. critical infrastructures, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

Steve Chris

Steve W. Chriss is Director, Energy Services for Walmart Inc. and is responsible for managing Walmart’s regulatory and legislative cost exposure from changes in electric and natural gas rates, interventions in utility proceedings, rate and pricing analyses, and developing strategic initiatives with regulated utilities.  Since 2007, he has managed interventions in over 400 regulatory dockets. Steve also serves as a witness on behalf of Walmart and in his career has testified in over 200 rate and policy dockets in 40 states and on legislative matters in four states.  

Prior to joining Walmart, Steve was an Economist and later Senior Utility Analyst for the Oregon Public Utility Commission from 2003 to 2007.  From 2001 to 2003, Steve worked as an Analyst on domestic and international energy regulatory projects for Econ One Research, Inc., an energy and economics consulting firm.

Steve received a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Louisiana State University in 2001 and a B.S. in Agricultural Development and a B.S. in Horticulture from Texas A&M University in 1997.  He also completed coursework in Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida.

Energy Infrastructure

Aram Shumavon

Mr. Shumavon is the founder and CEO of Kevala, a San Francisco based data and analytics company focused on the electricity sector.  An economist by training with an AB in economics and public policy from the University of Chicago, he studied the market implications of transitioning natural monopolies to competitive markets.  After academia Mr. Shumavon worked for over a decade at the California Public Utilities Commission where he was an advisor to Commissioner Geoffrey F. Brown and worked on market design and transition issues in the telecommunications and energy industries.  In addition to his work at Kevala Mr. Shumavon advises a broad spectrum of clients including governments, startups, and publicly traded companies, providing services related to market design, market and product analysis, and regulatory strategy.  

Brad Klein

Brad is a Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center, where he works on energy and environmental litigation and policy across the Midwest. Over the past fourteen years, Brad has worked to accelerate renewable energy development, protect clean water, and promote sustainable development through work at state legislatures, utility commissions and state and federal courts in eleven Midwest and Great Plains states. Brad previously served as a federal judicial law clerk in Washington, D.C., a law fellow at the Environmental Law Institute, and an environmental engineer at CH2M Hill, Inc. Brad received his law degree with honors from New York University School of Law and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

Dahvi Wilson 

Dahvi leads Apex’s public affairs team, a unique department of the core operations team that is focused on preserving and enhancing the company’s license to operate in statehouses and communities across the nation. Under Dahvi’s leadership, Apex’s public affairs team is working to rapidly innovate an approach to engagement that is relationship-based and politically savvy, rooted in a campaign mentality. In her nearly seven years at Apex, Dahvi has built a team from the ground up, led the development and implementation of a new approach to engagement, and overseen a successful effort to increase Apex’s influence with key legislators and strategic partners. Prior to joining Apex, Dahvi served in leadership roles with numerous community, government, and nonprofit organizations, specializing in strategic development, community relations, and communications. Dahvi holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University and a BA from Brown University.

Julie Fedorchak

Julie Fedorchak has served on the Commission since 2012. She heads the pipeline, electric transmission and energy conversion siting; railroad; and consumer affairs portfolios and is the agency’s lead for issues relating to the Midwest Independent System Operations.

Whether seeking a solution to mitigate red lights on wind farms that pollute North Dakota’s night sky, or pushing for innovative ways to connect rural areas to natural gas service, Julie is constantly seeking to make government more responsive to North Dakota citizens. She led efforts to enhance the Commission’s pipeline reclamation program; she developed and received legislative approval for a state rail safety program; and she is a tireless advocate for reliable, affordable utility services. She also reinstated the Commission’s consumer affairs portfolio to provide greater public awareness, participation and transparency in the work of the PSC.

Julie is a board member of the Organization of MISO States, vice-chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Gas Committee, vice chair of the NARUC Task Force on Natural Gas Expansion to Unserved Areas, and serves on the Gas Technology Institute’s advisory board. She is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Class of 2015.

Julie was appointed to the Public Service Commission in December 2012 by Gov. Jack Dalrymple. In 2016 she was elected to a full six-year term. Julie is married to Mike Fedorchak of Minot. They have three children and live in Bismarck where they are involved in a number of activities and organizations.

Scott Davis

Scott J. Davis was appointed Executive Director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission in April 2009 by Gov. John Hoeven. As Executive Director, he serves at a cabinet level between North Dakota's state and tribal governments to address issues regarding education systems, court systems, economic development, social services, gaming, oil-energy, law enforcement, transportation, healthcare systems, veterans and youth.

Prior to his appointment, Davis served in a number of capacities at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, including Development Officer, Wellness Activities Coordinator, Facilitator and Adjunct Instructor.

Davis also worked for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on environmental quality issues and as a teacher and coach at the Pierre Indian Learning Center and Turtle Mountain Community High School. In addition, he worked as a sales consultant for Northern Documents, a West Fargo company that produces products for private and public groups, including Indian Health Services, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal, state and local government agencies.

Davis holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Haskell Indian Nations University, and a Bachelor's degree in Business and Masters of Management Degree from the University of Mary, and is graduate of the Bush Foundation Native Nations Rebuilders Program and Executive Education at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a descendent of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Tom Petersen 

Tom Petersen, APR, is the Director-Public Affairs for ITC Midwest, an electric
transmission company serving the Midwest, with headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Tom joined ITC in 2007 as Director-Communications when ITC Holdings acquired the
electric transmission system from Alliant Energy’s Interstate Power and Light Co. and
created the ITC Midwest operating company. Prior to that, Tom was Director-Corporate
Communications with Alliant Energy, a vertically-integrated natural gas and electric
Tom has worked as a political campaign staffer, daily newspaper reporter, and public
relations agency account supervisor. Tom has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the
University of Iowa, as well as a master’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in
Urban and Regional Planning from the UI.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

FERC, NARUC and the Future: What's in Store

Mike Huebsch

Mike Huebsch was appointed to a six-year term at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin by Governor Scott Walker on March 1, 2015, and confirmed by the state Senate in April 2015.  
Commissioner Huebsch began state service in 1995 representing western Wisconsin’s 94th Assembly District for sixteen years as a Republican in the state Legislature.  He served two terms on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, including one as vice-chair.  In the following years, he was elected by his colleagues to serve first as Assembly Majority Leader and then as Assembly Speaker.  As Speaker, he led the negotiations on Wisconsin’s $60 billion budget and set the policy agenda for the state Assembly.  He was also responsible for managing the budget and personnel policies of the 99 member body and more than 200 staff.​ Upon his inauguration in 2011, Governor Walker appointed Commissioner Huebsch to the top cabinet position as Secretary of the Department of Administration.  In addition to advising Governor Walker on state policy and operations, he managed the Governor’s cabinet agencies as well as nearly 1000 staff and $1 billion annual budget in 13 different divisions, overseeing everything from state budget and finance to the Capitol Police.Commissioner Huebsch has always approached policymaking with the knowledge that when Wisconsin leads, much of the nation follows.  As he brings over 20 years of state government experience to the PSC today, he continues to believe that answers to many of the challenges facing Wisconsin and other states around the country will be found here at home.Commissioner Huebsch was born in Milwaukee and has been a resident of La Crosse County for the last 45 years.  He graduated from Onalaska High School and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He lives in West Salem with his wife, Valerie, and their two children, Ryan and Brett.

Nick Wagner

Nick Wagner began serving as a member of the Iowa Utilities Board on May 24, 2013, appointed by Governor Branstad to fill a term ending on April 30, 2019. In April 2019 Governor Kim Reynolds reappointed Wagner to another six-year term ending April 30, 2025.Board member Wagner was installed as the new president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) at its Annual Meeting in November 2018. As NARUC President, Wagner will focus on ensuring NARUC is meeting the needs of its members, and is providing the leadership necessary in an evolving utility industry. Wagner also serves on the NARUC Committee on Gas, the Washington Action Program, and the Committee on Critical Infrastructure. In addition, Wagner is treasurer of the National Council on Electric Policy, an advisory council member of the Critical Consumer Issues Forum, and an advisory council member of New Mexico State University Center for Public Utilities. He previously held several leadership positions with the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC).Prior to joining the Board, Wagner was the Director of Quality Management for the ESCO Group in Marion, Iowa. His professional and management duties at ESCO Group included project execution in industrial automation including standby and emergency diesel generator control, facility energy and efficiency audits, and building control.Wagner served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2008 to 2012 as ranking member and chair of the Local Government Committee and as vice chair of the Appropriations Committee. Wagner also sat on the Administration and Regulation Budget Sub-Committee, Commerce, Transportation, and Ways and Means Committees.Wagner previously served four years as an at-large elected member of the Marion City Council.Wagner received his Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering in 1996 and a Master’s of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1998, both from the University of Iowa. He and his wife, Mandie, reside in Marion and have a daughter and son.

Tony Clark 

Tony Clark is a Senior Advisor at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP.  He has extensive experience in energy and utility policy at the federal and state level.  He provides clients with analysis and strategic advice on a variety regulatory and public policy matters affecting their businesses.  He specializes in working with clients in the energy and telecommunications industries and at the nexus of state and federal jurisdictional issues. 

Having been appointed by President Obama, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Mr. Clark served from 2012 to 2016 as a Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. While at the FERC, Mr. Clark worked on matters that are at the forefront of energy policy, such as: electricity reliability, wholesale energy market regulation, grid security and infrastructure permitting.  From 2001 to 2012 he was a Commissioner of the North Dakota Public Service Commission, including over 5 years as its Chairman. During his tenure at the North Dakota Commission, Mr. Clark oversaw numerous proceedings related to the state’s historic emergence as a leader in American energy production. In 2010, he was elected to serve a term as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He also served a three-year term as Chairman of the NARUC Telecommunications Committee.  Through his various positions, he has testified multiple times before Committees of both the US House and US Senate on matters related to energy and telecommunications.

From 1999 to 2000, Mr. Clark was Labor Commissioner of the State of North Dakota and a member of the Cabinet of Gov. Ed Schafer. In 1994 he was elected to the North Dakota legislature, representing a portion of the City of Fargo for two terms in the State House of Representatives. He is a graduate, with honor, from North Dakota State University and holds a master’s degree from the University of North Dakota. In addition to his work at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, Mr. Clark serves as a member of the Board of Directors of NorthWestern Energy Corporation.

Closing Session: Future of the Utility Industry 

Ellen Nowak

Ellen Nowak was first appointed to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in July 2011 by Governor Scott Walker. She was reconfirmed for a new, six-year term beginning on March 1, 2013. Commissioner Nowak was named Chairperson of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in March of 2015. In March of 2018 Governor Walker appointed her as Secretary of the Department of Administration. She served in that role until the end of the Governor’s term and was then reappointed as chairperson of​ the PSC in January 2019.

Ellen currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). She currently is a member of NARUC’s Committee on Gas and the Smart Electric Power Association’s Renovate Initiative. She previously served on the Executive Committee for NARUC and served as its First Vice President. Her duties at NARUC also included serving on the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment and the Task Force on Environmental Regulation and Generation. Commissioner Nowak also served on the Advisory Council to the Board of Directors for the Electric Power Research Institute, the Advisory Council for the Center for Public Utilities and the Advisory Committee for the Critical Consumers Issues Forum. 

Previously, Ellen served as the chief of staff to Waukesha County Executive, Dan Vrakas. From 2002-2006, she served as legal counsel and subsequent chief of staff to the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly. She also later worked as the deputy director of School Choice Wisconsin. From 1998-2002, Ellen practiced business litigation at Mallery & Zimmerman SC in Milwaukee. 

Ellen has a law degree from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Katie Seiben

Katie Sieben has served as a Minnesota Public Utility Commissioner since January of 2017. In April, she was appointed to serve as Chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. Commissioner Sieben is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) where she serves on the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment, the Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues: Waste Disposal; and the Washington Action Committee. Sieben also serves as the Secretary of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC), and as the Commission’s representative to the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition.

Sieben previously served as a Minnesota legislator, representing a district southeast of the Twin Cities and along the Mississippi River. In her fourteen years in the House and Senate, Sieben championed causes related to the environment, public education and infrastructure. She served as the Assistant Majority Leader and chaired the Election committee.

Commissioner Sieben has taught as a community faculty member and adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University’s Masters in Advocacy and Public Leadership Program. She earned her B.A. from Colorado College, was a Policy Fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and earned a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. She and her husband, Josh Straka have three children.

Libby Jacobs

Elizabeth “Libby” Jacobs is president of The Jacobs Group, LLC, a West Des Moines-based consulting firm specializing in the energy and regulated utilities industries. Company focus is on business development, strategic communications, and public and regulatory policy. Jacobs formerly served on the Iowa Utilities Board, including four years as chair. Previously she had a 20-year career with the Principal Financial Group serving as Community Relations Director for the last 14 years of that career. In addition, Jacobs served seven terms in the Iowa House of Representatives. She was elected by her peers to serve seven years as Majority Whip. Jacobs earned her B.A. “With Distinction” in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Master of Public Administration from Drake University.

Sadzi Oliva 

In 2017, Sadzi Martha Oliva was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner and confirmed by the Illinois Senate to the Illinois Commerce Commission. She is the first Latina to serve as an ICC Commissioner in the State of Illinois.

Commissioner Oliva is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committees on Water and Critical Infrastructure and Chair of the Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity. She serves on the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Advisory Council, Financial Research Institute (FRI) Advisory Board, Gas Technology Institute (GTI) Public Interest Advisory Committee, National Utilities Diversity Council (NUDC) Board of Directors, as Treasurer for the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) and as Illinois’ representative on the Organization of MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) States (OMS) Board of Directors.

In June 2018, Commissioner Oliva participated on a Peer Review on Renewable Energy Integration and Smart Grids in Panama with other Central American regulators sponsored by the Power Sector Program, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State and organized by NARUC. In October of 2018, she participated in a Partnership Exchange with the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission on Stakeholder Engagement and Public Communications in Jakarta, Indonesia. Commissioner Oliva co-authored an article published in Utility Dive on October 19, 2018 titled, “Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers: A Surge in Consumer Protection Standards in Illinois.”

Prior to joining the Illinois Commerce Commission, Oliva was General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Her previous positions within IDFPR include Ethics Officer, Administrative Law Judge and Chief of Medical Prosecutions. She also worked at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as the Chief Administrative Law Judge. Early in her career Oliva served as an Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Special Prosecutions Bureau, where she prosecuted financial crimes. She was Chair of the Illinois Governor’s Office Administrative Hearings Review Committee that organized and presented the Chicago Bar Association’s Annual Administrative Law Conference and continuing legal education seminars related to Administrative Hearings. Oliva was also the co-chair of the Rules Subcommittee for the Illinois Department of Central Management Systems’ Bureau of Administrative Hearings Pilot Program and helped draft the Model Rules of Practice in Administrative Hearings. Commissioner Oliva is a member of the Cuban American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois. She has volunteered for the Chicago Coalition for Law Related Education, Lawyers in a Classroom and is currently participating as a mentor for the International Confederation of Energy Regulators Mentoring Program.

Commissioner Oliva was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University, School of Law, her B.A. from DePaul University, and is a graduate of the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She is a proud hockey mom.

Tanuj Deora

Tanuj Deora is Vice President, Market Development and Regulatory Affairs at Uplight, the product of the recent merger of Simple Energy, Tendril, FirstFuel, EnergySavvy, and eeme, and the leading solutions provider for delivering energy consumer centric innovation.  In addition to leading Uplight’s regulatory affairs squad, he engages utility executives, investors, and other thought leaders to explore how to best align industry incentives and deploy cutting edge technology to deliver a cleaner, more resilient, consumer-centric energy system.

Prior to joining Uplight, Tanuj served as Chief Strategy Officer of the Smart Electric Power Alliance, ran the commercial portfolio of IHS Markit’s North American Power, Gas, and Renewables business, was a wind energy project developer for EDPR, and served as an energy industry strategy consultant with McKinsey.  From 2011 to 2012 he served in the cabinet of Governor John Hickenlooper as director of the Colorado Energy Office, expanding the mission of the office and working with the state’s utilities to take leadership of renewable energy expansion and transportation electrification.    

Tanuj co-founded the Colorado Renewable Energy Conservation Collaborative, held board positions with Renewable Energy New England and the Interwest Energy Alliance, and helped lead the education committee for Solar Power International / Energy Storage International.  He was an advisor to the Rational Middle Energy Series and NREL’s solar deployment program, and currently serves as an advisor to Hygge Power, a residential energy storage company.

Tanuj served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica working on community and environmental health projects. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  When not working to help transform the energy industry he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters in the mountains, fixing up his 90 year old house, or being grumpy about the Washington Nationals.