Amy Grice | Angela Song | Ben Kujala | Brian Tyson | Cam LeHouillier | Chris Robinson | Debra Smith | Glenn Blackmon | Heide Caswell | Jeff Kensok | Jeremy Twitchell | John Haarlow | Len Anderson | Matt Von Ruden
PacificNorthwest Power & Conservation Council
Ben Kujala is the Director of Power Planning at the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. He leads a dedicated team of experts planning for an affordable, reliable, and productive electric grid that serves the needs of the citizens of the Pacific Northwest. He spent too much time in college playing with numbers and ended up with a MS in statistics. Away from work, he enjoys exploring outdoors with his wife and two children.
Heide (Heidemarie) C. Caswell P.E. (M) received a B. Sc. (1987) in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Ms. Caswell worked for Puget Sound Energy and its predecessor Washington Natural Gas where she held numerous positions, including managing, engineering, planning and special assignments. Currently, she is the Director of Transmission & Distribution Asset Performance/Wildfire Mitigation for PacifiCorp, which is a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, based in Portland, OR 97232. She is a member of IEEE and a member of the WG on System Design, for which she is vice chair. She chairs the Data Analysis & Benchmarking Task Force. She participated in the development of the Major Event definition for IEEE 1366. She is also a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Performance Analysis Subcommittee.
Puget Sound Energy
With over 10 years of utility experience, Brian is leading the team to develop PSE’s clean energy implementation plan. This is his fourth year at Puget Sound Energy, and his experience includes managing transmission contracts, transmission planning and substation relay engineer.
Puget Sound Energy
Jeff has worked in the electric power industry for 15 years, the majority of that time with Puget Sound Energy. He has worked as a planning engineer and a smart grid engineer in addition to his current role as a reliability strategist.
Amy Grice has been with Peninsula Light since 2011 focusing on new operational technologies to improve distribution system efficiencies, data visualization and outage response. She has a Master of Engineering and Technology Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, both from Washington State University. She is a registered PE in Washington State and recently completed the NRECA Management Internship Program (MIP.)
Douglas County PUD
Twenty-One years’ experience in the electrical power Transmission and Distribution as Distribution Systems Engineer for Douglas County PUD. Twenty-One years’ experience in the US Navy Submarine Service as Polaris & Trident Electronics Technician and Nuclear Propulsion Engineering Officer.
Cam LeHouillier is the Manager of Energy Research and Development at Tacoma Power. Cam and his team manage and support over a dozen project teams that investigate new technologies and develop new utility programs, including transportation electrification. Cam has 25 years of experience working in power and natural gas utilities in many different roles including; Finance, Regulatory, Wholesale Energy Trading, Energy Risk Management, and Strategic Resource Planning. He has worked for Union Gas (now Enbridge), Enron Corporation, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, and for the last 13 years at Tacoma Power.
Seattle City Light
Debra Smith is the General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light, one of the nation’s largest community-owned electric utilities. Debra believes strongly in the value of teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration. As a long-term public employee, she prioritizes customer needs while acknowledging that great customer service starts with engaged and committed employees. Under her leadership, City Light is focused on electrification, equity and creating customer value. Previously, Debra served as Central Lincoln PUD’s General Manager from July 2013 to October 2018. She brought 17 years of experience to that role from the Eugene Water and Electric Board, where she held a variety of positions, including Assistant General Manager. She served as the first Chairwoman of the Public Power Council and is currently the Vice Chair of Long-Range Planning. Debra also currently serves on the board of the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee, the American Public Power’s Association’s Climate Change Task Force, the Large Public Power Council’s Steering Committee, Puget Sound Energy’s Beyond Net Zero Advisory Committee, and the Columbia Basin Collaborative. Debra earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Arizona State University and is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum of Oregon. Debra will speak about challenges and the future of Seattle City Light.
John Haarlow was appointed to serve as Snohomish County PUD’s CEO/General Manager on October 8, 2018. He joined the PUD in February 2017 as Assistant General Manager of Distribution & Engineering Services, bringing over 30 years of experience in the electric utility industry. In that role, he was responsible for construction, engineering, operations and maintenance of the utility’s transmission, substation, and distribution assets. He also oversaw fleet, real estate and environmental functions. Before joining the PUD, John worked for the Public Service Company of New Mexico, serving as both Director of Safety and Transmission and Distribution Engineering and Operations. He began his career at the Central Illinois Light Company where he was an IBEW journeyman for 10 years. John also worked as Vice President of Power Delivery for the Indianapolis Power and Light Company. He attended the University of Illinois and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting.
Chris Robinson became general manager and superintendent of Tacoma Power in 2015 after service as manager of Power Management and assistant power section manager of Energy Resource Planning. Prior to Tacoma Public Utilities, Chris worked as a consultant with multiple electrical utilities. Chris has over 25 years of experience in the power industry and serves on multiple industry boards, including the Public Power Council, River Partners, and Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee.
Washington Dept. of Commerce
Glenn Blackmon is manager of the Energy Policy Office at the Washington Department of Commerce. He is an economist, with an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University. He has worked as nonpartisan staff for the Washington State Senate and as regulatory director of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. Dr. Blackmon led the development of Washington’s 2021 State Energy Strategy.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Jeremy Twitchell is a senior energy analyst at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he leads PNNL’s work on the Equitable Regulatory Environment thrust area of the Department of Energy – Office of Electricity’s Energy Storage Program. His research focuses on identifying the regulatory barriers that impede the deployment of energy storage technologies and best practices for reducing or eliminating those barriers, as well as providing technical assistance to states on energy storage-related topics. He also supports other efforts at the lab in areas related to grid planning, utility regulation, rate design, and energy system equity. Prior to joining PNNL, Jeremy spent five years at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
Seattle City Light
Angela is the Transportation Electrification Portfolio Manager at Seattle City Light. She is designing, implementing, and managing transportation electrification projects. Before Seattle City Light, Angela was an Air Quality Specialist at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. She also managed the Western Washington Clean Cities Coalition to implement strategies and programs to reduce transportation emissions through alternative fuels.
Matt Von Ruden
Matthew von Ruden is a maritime professional with 35 years’ experience, including 23 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, retiring as a Captain in 2009. Matt worked in the shipbuilding industry, and served as the Associate Dean and Director of Seattle’s Maritime Academy. In 2015, Matt became the Director of Vessel Maintenance at WSDOT’s Ferries Division. In 2021, he took the helm of the Ferries’ System Electrification Program. Matt holds degrees from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the U.S. Naval War College.