2019 Speakers

Supply Chain Risk

When China was caught hiding microchips on Supermicro motherboards, supply chain risks were quickly brought to our consciousness. As an electric utility, there are supply chain risks you should be aware of that might threaten your cybersecurity posture.

Elizabeth Wharton
VP of Operations & Strategy, Prevailion

Elizabeth is a technology-focused business advisor and attorney specializing in the development, security, and scale of emerging technologies including drones, smart cities, and autonomous vehicles. As VP of Operations & Strategy for Prevailion, she leverages over 10 years in information security to oversee the development and implementation of legal, policy, and strategic partnerships. She has advised and worked with small startups, independent security researchers, and multi-national companies on a variety of corporate, financing, public policy, and security related matters.

Prior to Prevailion, Elizabeth was the Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Atlanta responsible for advising Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (the World’s Busiest Airport) on technology policy and projects, including the first of its kind airport UAS Safety Risk Assessment on the integration of drones into airfield operations and development of UAS standard operating procedures. Elizabeth also served on the immediate incident response team for the City of Atlanta’s 2018 ransomware incident.

A recognized cyber security and privacy expert, especially at the intersection of public policy and business practice, she served on numerous national technology and information security regulatory working groups and has spoken at conferences ranging from SXSW to BSides Las Vegas to Cyber Security Atlanta. For two years, Elizabeth hosted the weekly “Buzz Off with Lawyer Liz” podcast and radio show, interviewing noted experts on IoT, drones, and cybersecurity technology, trends, and regulations.

A mentor for CyberLaunch VC’s startup accelerator and the immediate past-president of the Atlanta Chapter for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Elizabeth is also a volunteer with various STEM and robotics student organizations and competitions.

Business Intelligence & Analytics

Business intelligence platforms are finding their way into your business. SEDC has Report IQ, NISC has Mosaic and Microsoft’s Power BI platform can integrate with most any data source. We’ll look at the ways cooperatives are gaining intelligence about their business operations.

Marquita Culross
Data Systems Analyst, Carroll White REMC

Marquita is a Data Systems Analyst for Carroll White REMC in Monticello, Indiana. She has worked for the coop for 21 years. She has experience with using Crystal Reports, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and some SQL to help her team achieve BI with different data applications.

DG Saturation

With an ever-increasing penetration of solar installations, how are cooperatives handling a saturation of DG on specific portions of the distribution system?

Tim Huber
Engineering Manager, Norris Electric Cooperative

Tim has been with Norris for 19 years, currently as the Engineering Manager. He holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Drones

Cooperatives are showing increasing interest in unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e. drones) for assessing storm damage and performing visual infrastructure inspections. It’s important that you understand what it takes for your business to legally fly a drone and whether you’ll be able to gain the benefits you hope to.

Dan Gerard
Chief Technology Officer, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives
Jeromy Miller
GIS/Mapping Technician, MJM Electric Cooperative
Will Platt
Engineering GIS Technician, Prairie Power, Inc.
Ryan Simmons
Electrical Engineer, Prairie Power, Inc.

Dan has served as Chief Technology Officer for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperative since June 2014. Prior to working at the AIEC, Dan held several positions at Springfield Clinic, such as Information Security Officer, Systems Administrator, and Systems Analyst, where he was employed for over 13 years. Dan has extensive knowledge in IT process management, server management, SAN architecture, networking design, and cyber security. As a CISSP, Dan is also focused on helping the members of the AIEC to increase their cyber security posture.

Jeromy began his career as a transmission and distribution lineman nearly 20 years ago. He transitioned to Engineering and GIS later. He currently manages MJM’s GIS systems as well as AMI, OMS, radio and microwave equipment, and still does some staking on special projects. He has been flying drones as a hobby for 3 or 4 years. He got licensed a little over a year ago and flies quite frequently, amassing well over 100 hours this year alone.

Will graduated from SIUC in 2004 with a BS in GIS/Cartography. He worked eight years for a small environmental company creating maps, diagrams, and 3D visualizations used as court exhibits. In 2012, he returned to the Midwest to work for Prairie Power as their GIS technician. Will operates PPI’s GIS system, performs draftsman duties, and acquires easements. Since 2018, Will has been a licensed UAS pilot.

Ryan graduated from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville in 2016 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He began working at Prairie Power in January of 2017 as a project engineer, managing design, procurement, and construction of new substations and transmission lines. He became interested in drones after seeing a consultant use them to generate 2D and 3D aerials of a substation site, and he purchased one for personal use in 2017. In 2018, he attended AIEC’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Certification course and received his remote pilot license. As one of PPI’s two licensed pilots, he spearheaded development of their new UAS program, researching the hardware and software options on the market and implementing the proper procedures to keep PPI compliant with all applicable regulations and industry best practices. He has been a pilot or copilot on over 25 flights for PPI in 2019, and he has over 100 hours of flight time on his personal drones.

Energy Storage

Battery storage is becoming more prevalent and financially feasible, both for the cooperative and its members. Jo- Carroll Energy will share experiences from the pilot project conducted by Dairyland Power cooperatives. Details of battery chemistry, charging & discharging styles, and residential installation will be shared. Plan to leave this session with the desire to learn more about energy storage and the opportunities.

Dean Skinner
Manager of Engineering Services, Jo-Carroll Energy

Dean is the Manger of Engineering Services with Jo-Carroll Energy. In this role, Dean leads a team in technology aspects of SCADA, AMI, OMS and distribution automation. Dean has more than 20 years of experience with industrial control systems with time spent in manufacturing and utility sectors. Dean earned his Bachelor’s in Engineering from Kettering University and MBA from Indiana University.

TeraWatt Sponsor Breakout - NRTC

The Importance of Wireless and Broadband Networks to a Cooperative

Mark Davis and Tim Smith of NRTC will examine how the latest wireless technologies can impact your Electric Cooperative. Incorporating the right wireless solution can have a positive affect on AMI , SCADA, DA and Broadband deployments in rural America.

Mark Davis
Sr. Regional Business Manager, NRTC

For over 20 years, Mark has helped Rural Electric Cooperatives navigate the vast technology changes in the Utility Industry. He has worked with cooperatives to evaluate and deploy solutions including PLC and RF AMI, SCADA, Demand Response and Distribution Automation. In addition, he has worked closely with numerous Satellite, Wireless, and Fiber Broadband deployments throughout the Great Lakes and Midwest. He is committed to helping Cooperatives find the right solution to meet their technology requirements.

Tim Smith
Wireless Business Manager, NRTC

Tim has over 35 years’ experience in wireless communications managing large scale projects and systems. Tim has worked with NRTC for the past six years on AMI projects, this includes site certifications, propagation studies, and all technical aspects of the systems. Tim also works as product manager for Fixed Wireless which includes system design and project management for Microwave and SCADA solutions as well as overseeing the 220MHz spectrum assets held by NRTC.

TeraWatt Sponsor Breakout - New Cyber Source

Empowering Electric Cooperatives with Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Join Frank Seal from Scale Computing in discussing IT infrastructure. Electric cooperatives are challenged to provide quality services at low costs for their customers and technology plays a big role in meeting that challenge. In this presentation, sponsored by New CyberSource and Scale Computing, you will learn how hyperconverged infrastructure can:

  • Make IT infrastructure easier to manage
  • Provide greater high availability and uptime
  • Lower IT total cost of ownership
  • Ease deployment of technologies for Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Fiber to the Home (FTTH)
  • and more!
Frank Seal
Senior System Engineer, Scale Computing

Frank is a Senior Systems Engineer for Scale Computing, where he guides clients on hyperconverged platforms. An IT industry veteran with over 20 years of experience and roots back to early x86 virtualization, he remains active on current strategies while also influencing emerging technologies. Recognized as a multiple year VMware vExpert, he maintains an active role within technical communities both locally and globally.

Microsoft Licensing: "You might be doing it wrong"

The initial contact looks a bit sketchy, but when a representative from Microsoft is asking you to perform a licensing self-assessment, it’s not a great idea to ignore the call. We’ll hear first-hand experience and lessons learned from those who’ve performed licensing self-assessments.

Curt Barkey
Manager of Information Technology, Kosciusko REMC

Curt joined Kosciusko REMC in 2008. When he started working at KREMC, he was hired to begin the implementation of an aggressive five-year technology plan that included implementing a Geographic Information System, Outage Management, and Automated Metering Infrastructure as core technologies to Engineering and Operations.

Matt Ohmes
IT Manager, SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative

Matt is a 2003 graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a Bachelor’s in Information Systems. He began his career in banking before moving on to public health. He has been in the cooperative utility sector since 2011.

Distribution Automation

Has your organization discussed or implemented distribution automation (DA)? Is it a technology pipe-dream or a practical problem-solver? You’ll hear more about the communication infrastructure necessary to support DA, the safety concerns and lessons you can we learn from those who have been implementing it.

Jim Glass
Manager of Smart Grid Development, EPB

Jim is the Manager of Smart Grid Development at EPB in Chattanooga, TN. His responsibilities include Distribution Automation, the rollout of EPB’s Automated Metering Infrastructure and Meter Data Management System, SCADA and Distribution Management Systems as well as Demand Management Technology. He is also responsible for EPB’s System Planning and Protection & Controls Engineering functions. Prior to joining EPB, Jim worked for Florida Power & Light Company for over 20 years, where he held various positions related to smart grid technology, control center management, and emergency preparedness. Jim received a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee. Jim is a Member of DOE’s Microgrid Steering Committee. He is a member of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s (UTC) Electrical Engineering Advisory Board and an adjunct instructor at UTC.

Joey Greer
Account Manager, EPB Broadband Solutions

Joey with EPB Broadband Solutions helps to bridge the resources and expertise at EPB (Electric Power Board of Chattanooga) with communities and utilities that are working to deploy fiber optics and smart grid technologies. A native of Gainesville, Georgia, Joey graduated from Toccoa Falls College with a B.S. in Business Administration. Prior to his time at EPB, Joey worked with both state and federal elected official’s in a variety of different roles ranging from campaign management to constituent services.

Through his role in Tennessee U.S. Senator Bob Corker’s office in 2014, Joey was able to see the impact that EPB was having in the Chattanooga region and took a position as a Businesses Sales Executive working to support and provide service to the local businesses. Earlier this year with EPB’s focus to providing support and resources to other utilities, Joey joined the Broadband Solutions team to help maintain the high level of services EPB is known for with the communities it supports.

Joey is an active community member both in Chattanooga and nationally. He currently serves on the Public Policy Committee for both the Fiber Broadband Association and Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

Joey’s wife Danna is enjoying her role as COO of their home. They are proud parents of their son Ian.

Mapping Your Fiber Plant

Several cooperatives are utilizing and/or constructing fiber plant for field communications. It’s one thing to map the fiber route in your GIS, but how are organizations also mapping fiber splices and connectivity down to the port. Are there systems that provide operational benefits similar to those we’ve come to expect for our electric plant?

To Come

Electric Vehicles

With the push towards electric vehicles in the US, what kind of systems/programs are cooperatives putting in place to further incentivize the adoption of electric vehicles and how are cooperatives going to be able to handle the ever-increasing demand being placed on their systems?

Andrew Horstman
Manager of Load Response,
Wabash Valley Power Alliance

Andrew is the Manager of Load Response at Wabash Valley Power Association.  Andrew has both an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s in Electronic Engineering Technology from ITT Technical Institute. Andrew has been with Wabash Valley Power since 2001 and has worked extensively with the SCADA system there as an Electronic Field Engineer.  As Manager of Load Response, Andrew oversees all Smart Grid, Demand Response, Distributed Generation, and Electric Vehicle initiatives for Wabash Valley Power. Andrew has updated Wabash Valley Power’s direct load control program called PowerShift, developed and implemented a Distributed Energy Management System (DEMS) to manage all the demand response event triggers and settlements.  Andrew also leads Wabash Valley Power’s CO-OP Solar program, a community solar program that provides Co-op Members access to solar energy.

Will Wireless Kill the Need for Fiber?

Fifth-generation (“5G”) wireless is a hot topic right now. Will wireless technologies like 5G and other P2P/P2MP solutions resolve our need for low-latency, high-speed communications in the field? Will cooperatives regret their stranded investments in fiber optics?

Tom Asp
TBD,
Power Systems Engineering
To Come

Industry Trends/Growth

The utility industry is currently in the middle of one of the most transformative times in its history. 

Kevin Suhanic
Executive Director of Portfolio Strategy, ACES

To Come

Leveraging Your SCADA System

How many co-ops have a SCADA system and are leveraging it? We’ll review the purpose of SCADA and what information we should be monitoring and responding to about our distribution system.

Christopher Stokes-Pham
Sr. SCADA/EMS Administrator,
Wabash Valley Power Alliance
To Come

Power Quality Analysis

Power quality has always been an issue for utilities. However, with more and more Distributed Energy Resources coming online and effecting voltage and frequency, the need for solving these power quality issues is more apparent. How are some cooperatives currently addressing these issues?

Chris Mullins
Executive Vice President, Power Monitors, Inc.

Chris is Executive Vice President at Power Monitors, Inc. in Mt. Crawford, VA. Chris leads a company devoted to leading-edge product development to meet the needs of electric utilities and electricity end-users. His twenty-six years at Power Monitors have given him a deep background in electric power quality, power line communications, and electronic instrumentation design, and his work has resulted in patents in power line communications techniques, power quality instrumentation, and energy monitoring. Chris has been an active member of several IEEE standards groups and power line communication trade associations, and has authored over 70 whitepapers on many power quality topics. He holds a BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia.