2019 FMEA Energy Connections Conference & Trade Show

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
8:00 AM (EDT)
to Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 12:00 PM (EDT)

Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista

4955 Kyngs Heath Road Kissimmee, FL 34746-5512 United States

Designed for a broad cross-section of employees, from public power technical personnel to safety managers, the Energy Connections Conference also has much to offer to utility directors and public power professionals involved in electric utility management and operations as well as information technology and communications specialists.

Who attends this event?

Call Center Managers & Representatives Collection Specialists Communications Managers & Specialists
Counter Clerks Customer Service Managers & Representatives Energy Auditors
Engineers Field Service Personnel IT Managers & Specialists
Key Account Managers & Representatives Lineworkers & Lineworker Foremen Mutual Aid Coordinators
Public Relations/Community Outreach Representatives Revenue Protection Analyst Safety & Training Coordinators
Safety Managers & Officers T&D Managers Training Managers & Specialists
Utility Directors & Managers Utility Safety Specialists & Directors Utility Supervisors

FMEA Continuing Education Program

There are 8.0 CEU’s (Continuing Education Credits/Professional Development Hours) available for attending this FMEA event.

Attendee Pricing Information

Attendee Registration Before Sept. 27, 2019
After Sept. 27, 2019
FMEA Municipal Member
FMEA Associate or Affiliate Member
Attendee registration includes the following meals:

Light breakfast, Building Strong Communities Luncheon, Networking Dinner

Thursday: Light breakfast only

Hotel Information

A third party claiming to represent FMEA may contact attendees of upcoming conferences and offer assistance with hotel reservations. No such third party is affiliated with FMEA or authorized to represent us — please do NOT make hotel reservations through any third party that may contact you by phone or email. FMEA maintains room blocks with specially negotiated rates at all our conference hotels and attendees are encouraged to only use the Online reservation links, phone numbers, and discount codes available on the FMEA web site.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista South
4955 Kyngs Heath Rd
Kissimmee, FL 34746

FMEA Group rate: $150 standard room. 
  • Online room reservation link

Sponsorship Opportunities

You do business with municipal electric utilities so you understand sustained relationships and continuous exposure to this market segment is essential for long-term success. The FMEA Energy Connections Conference and Trade Show brings together electric utility personnel from Florida’s municipal, cooperative and investor-owned utilities from across the state. Participating as a conference sponsor is easy. Take note of the benefits accompanying the different levels of sponsorship, to determine an appropriate level of support for your company.

Category Contribution amount Number of registrants included Number of tables included
Diamond $10,000 8* 2
Platinum $6,000 6 2
Gold $4,000 4 1
Silver $2,500 2 1
Bronze $1,000 0 0

*In addition, Diamond sponsors receive Gold level sponsor benefits for the 2020 Florida Lineman Competition and the 2020 FMEA Annual Conference!

Exhibitor Details

Exhibitor registration includes 6ft table, table cloth and 1 chair per representative for the Trade Show Wednesday evening and the Brief Business over Breakfast (reverse trade show) Thursday morning. To attend the General Sessions, Breakout Sessions, Building Strong Communities luncheon and the Florida Public Power Networking Dinner & Event please add (1) one additional conference function per representative.

Exhibitor Registration
FMEA Associate Member
1 table, 2 representatives
2 tables, 4 representatives
3 tables, 6 representatives
Additional table representatives
**Additional conference functions
** includes conference session badge and tickets to the Building Strong Communities Luncheon and the Florida Public Power Networking Dinner & Event

Exhibitor Shipping Information

Shipments should be addressed as follows:
Vendor company - On-site contact name
FMEA Energy Connections Conference - October 9-10
c/o Embassy Suites by Hilton
4955 Kyngs Heath Rd. Kissimmee, FL 34746


Thank you to all of our sponsors for their continued support of the Florida Public Power community!
Gold Sponsors
Altec Industries Beaches Energy Services
Burns & McDonnell Florida Renewable Partners, LLC
Florida Municpal Power Agency
Silver Sponsors
Kissimmee Utility Authority Olameter
POWER Engineers Stanley Consultants
Bronze Sponsor
Irby Utilities


2019 Conference Agenda Overview

Wednesday, October 9
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration Desk Open
8:00 – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast
General Session: Presider, Kinnzon Hutchinson, Customer Operations Director, Gainesville Regional Utilities
9:00 – 9:15 am Welcome to the Energy Connections Conference
9:15 – 9:45 am Florida Public Power Utilities Update, Amy Zubaly, Executive Director, FMEA
9:45 – 10:30 am KnowBe4: Cyber Safety for Employees, Brittany Calderon, Regional Account Manager, KnowBe4 USA, Clearwater, FL

Cyber security awareness is not just for your IT departments. Cyber safety is everyone’s responsibility - old-school awareness training does not hack it anymore. Learn about tools available to help your utility stay safe.
10:30 – 10:45 am Refreshment Break
10:45 – 11:30 am Situational Awareness: Rethinking Personal and Utility Security, James Willis, President, InDev Tactical, Manassas, VA  

Ensuring the security of employees and customers is paramount for public utilities. External influences combined with shifting societal attitudes and expectations are creating environments that are increasingly hostile towards utility workers.  Frontline employees that regularly deal with the public need to be provided with the skillsets to recognize and counter hostility. This includes the ability to recognize aggressive behavior, identify the warning signs of rising danger, and to de-escalate tense situations before they spiral out of control.
11:30 am – Noon Dynamic Leadership: Take Ownership and Influence Others Peter Brill, Assistant Director of Finance and Customer Service, City of Ocala

A dynamic leader does not need the word “leader” in their job title to take ownership of their area of influence. Leadership plays an essential part in the realization of an organization’s vision and mission. Teams should understand the concept of internal and external customers to whom they provide a product or service. One team, a cross-functional team, and/or a multi-department team must work together effectively towards a common goal. A dynamic leader needs to have the ability to properly analyze situations and make deliberate, calculated decisions to motivate and engage their team to move forward. Learn skills to become a more dynamic leader, which encompasses inspirational and imaginative leadership. Learn how an engaged employee team is a more productive team.
Noon – 1:30 pm Building Strong Communities Luncheon

Hurdling Adversity – Creating the New Normal, John Register, Paralympic Silver Medalist and Motivational Speaker, Inspired Communications International, Colorado Springs, CO
2:00 – 4:00 pm Concurrent Idea Exchange Forums

  • Customer Connections
  • IT, Operational Technology & Cybersecurity
  • Safety & Lineworker Training
  • Transmission & Distribution
Customer Connections Forum, Presider, Kinnzon Hutchinson, Customer Operations Director and Chair Customer Connections Committee, GRU
  A Journey of Professional and Personal Growth, Mia Browdy, Customer Operations Supervisor, City of Tallahassee

Often times, we discredit the personal growth that has taken place in our lives; we give all the credit to where we have arrived professionally. Professional development mirrors the growth that has taken place personally. The journey to personal growth will often lead to success in professional development.

GRU’s World Class Leadership Development Program (WCLDP), LaKisha Ellis, Billing and Customer Solutions Supervisor, GRU 

Come hear about GRU’s World Class Leadership Development Program. This is a mentorship program for Customer Operations employees that is developing them as future leaders of the organization.
Information Technology, Operational Technology & Cybersecurity Forum, Presider, Luis Cruz, Information Technology Manager, FMPA
  Top 20 Critical Security Controls, Luis Cruz, Corporate IT Manager, FMPA

Learn about the top 20 security controls from the Center for Internet Security, focusing on the first five controls that your organization must put in place to ensure a strong cybersecurity posture, whether in IT or OT.
Safety & Lineworkers Training Forum, Presider, Gary McKenzie, Electric Safety Specialist, and Chair Safety and Training Committee, GRU
  Deadline or Dead, Mike McCleary, Manager of Member Services Development, FMPA

Many priorities compete within the constraints of our daily schedule. We often say, “Safety First”. Do our actions support that? We will discuss how to align a “Safely Always” culture with the need to keep schedules and maintain first rate reliability.
Transmission & Distribution Session Forum, Presider, Steve Langley, Electric Utility Director, City of Mount Dora
  Creating an Electric Vehicle Blueprint for Your Community, Paul Zummo, Director, Policy Research and Analysis, APPA, Arlington, VA

The presentation will discuss the importance of identifying relevant state policies, laws, and regulations that can impact electric vehicle adoption. We will review options for how utilities can build their own electric vehicle program, such as deploying charging infrastructure, educating consumers, staff and auto dealers, electrifying fleets, evaluating rate design/payment options, piloting vehicle-grid integration technologies, providing incentives, and understanding electric vehicle adoption and grid impacts.
3:00 – 3:45 pm Exhibitor Setup
4:00 – 6:30 pm Energy Connections Trade Show
7:00 – 9:30 pm Florida Public Power Dinner & Networking Event
Thursday, October 10
8:00 am – Noon Registration Desk open
8:30 – 9:25 am Continental Breakfast (open to all conference attendees)
8:30 – 9:25 am Brief Business Over Breakfast (reverse trade show)
Invitation Only Breakfast - Open to Sponsors, Exhibitors and invited Municipal representatives
9:30 am – Noon Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  • Customer Connections
  • IT, Operational Technology & Cybersecurity
  • Safety & Lineworker Training
  • Transmission & Distribution
Customer Connections Breakout Session: Presider, Kinnzon Hutchinson, Customer Operations Director, Gainesville Regional Utilities
9:30 – 10:00 am Innovations & Ideas for Improving Call Center Efficiencies and Operations, Michael Trevett, Call Center Manager, Lakeland Electric

Using 2016 benchmarking data, Lakeland Electric is transforming their call center one measurement at a time. Learn what changes were implemented and where they are now in improving service to their customers. This discussion will include new aspects of call center management that are being implemented throughout the country that can save the utility time and money.
10:00 – 10:30 am Here We Go Again: The Journey to Selecting a New Customer Information System (CIS), Rhonda Reaves Smith, Business Project Manager, ERM Project, City of Tallahassee

When considering and selecting a new CIS, utilities undergo an extremely thorough process of assessing their needs, preparing an RFP, scrutinizing vendors and meeting internally with various stakeholders. Finally, after weeks, months or even years, a decision is made. This decision is made with an eye toward the future, but how far ahead should a utility look? With the average lifespan of a CIS being 15 to 20 years, utilities must select a CIS that will not just address what’s around the corner, but can also adapt to industry changes that are miles and miles ahead.
10:30 – 10:45 am Refreshment Break
10:45 – 11:30 am Journey Mapping: Understanding Customer and Employee Experiences, Michael Vigeant, CEO, GreatBlue Research Inc. Cromwell, CT

This Journey Mapping discussion will review strategic planning, connecting with employees of different generations, leadership skills, improving communications, and the future of the electric utility industry. Journey Mapping allows utilities to understand all aspects of the customer/employee experience (i.e. customer/employee interactions, communication processes, energy conservation programs) along with how each aspect correlates to customer engagement/satisfaction. Each touch point/interaction/process from beginning to end is uncovered in-depth to understand where areas of strength and weakness exist. Ultimately, this will drive initiatives for effective and strategic process improvements.
11:30 am – Noon Community Engagement: The SunCatcher, Victor Daboin, Senior Energy Conservation Specialist and Todd Wexler, Energy Conservation Specialist, Kissimmee Utility Authority

KUA’s SunCatcher is a mobile solar energy education and demonstration trailer which is assisting KUA in engaging their community in understanding rooftop solar, battery storage and energy conservation measures. Come learn about the various capabilities of the SunCatcher. This presentation will include an on-site demo in the hotel parking lot.
Information Technology, Operational Technology & Cybersecurity: Presider, Luis Cruz, Information Technology Manager, FMPA
9:30 – 10:00 am Grid Modernization Using Feeder Automation, Phil Smith, Smart Grid Solutions - Sales and Business Development, Eaton Energy Automation Solutions, Plymouth, MN

Energy Automation Solutions provides electric utilities with distribution and substation automation technology that improves reliability and productivity. FLISR (fault location, isolation, and system restoration), combined with modern communication methods helps electricity providers serve their customers better by reducing outage duration and frequency. This presentation will provide you with the tools to assess the need for feeder automation as well as valuable information about what to look for when evaluating feeder automation.
10:00 – 10:30 am Redefining Smart City Communications,Sean McCarty, Manager Technical Solutions, Sensus/Xylem, Indian Rocks, FL

Building smart cities takes technology and networking solutions with in-depth views and infrastructure control with communication networks that are long-range radio networks that provides scalable and reliable two-way infrastructure. These type of networks can improve operational efficiencies and quickly identify leaks, tampering, equipment issues, outages, or other abnormalities using collected customer data while integrating current systems and leveraging open standards and APIs. Another benefit is ensuring accurate billing data and helping customers better understand their usage behavior.
10:30 – 10:45 am Refreshment Break
10:45 – 11:30 am What Keeps IT Pros Like You Up at Night, Michael Hauch, Regional Account Manager, KnowBe4 USA, Clearwater, FL

Worries about data security, technology upgrades and staffing are the most common concerns keeping IT pros awake at night. Come hear what can help you sort out what should keep you up and what other IT pros like you really have a handle on as we discuss the results of KnowBe4’s 2019 “What Keeps You Up At Night Report.”
11:30 am – Noon Phishing and Social Engineering, Isaac Barbosa, IT Security Analyst, FMPA

Dive into the world of email phishing attacks and expose the most common tactics that attackers will use to gain access to your network. Share useful insights as to what your organization should be doing to help strengthen the weakest link in the cyber world, the human.
Safety & Lineworkers Training Breakout Session: Presider, Gary McKenzie, Electric Safety Specialist, and Chair Safety and Training Committee, GRU
9:30 – 10:00 am Get Ready- Get Set GO! Effective Job Briefing Strategies, Chris Henry, Transmission & Distribution Supervisor, Ocala Electric Utility

Performing an effective job briefing can significantly contribute to the prevention of accidents. A crew can eliminate or control recognized hazards before commencing a task. Come prepared to discuss processes that create a safer and healthier work environment. This discussion will provide effective ways to ensure lineworkers understand the scope of work to perform by reviewing the task involved to begin safe and finish strong in providing excellent customer service to our customers.
10:00 – 10:30 am Stop the Bleed-Rescue Essentials, Leslie Roberts, President, Altra Medical, and Michael Brooks, Retired Paramedic, EMT and Certified AHA & ASHI Instructor, Altra Medical, Pinellas Park, FL

Public awareness of what to do in the critical moments before the first responders arrive can be lifesaving in an emergency situation. Learn how to assess bleeding, apply a tourniquet to someone else or yourself and how to pack a wound. A retired EMT will provide a hands on demonstration. Learn how to use a Stop the Bleed kit to stop traumatic hemorrhaging.
10:30 – 10:45 am Refreshment Break
10:45 – 11:30 am Safety Awareness and De-Escalating Customer Conflict in the Field, James Willis, President, InDev Tactical, Manassas, VA  

The world is changing stressful situations and aggressive behavior is increasing in our communities. Ensuring the safety and security of employees and customers is paramount for our utilities. Learn how to deescalate confrontations and how to handle hostile or dangerous situation. Learn proactive strategies to keep you out of danger and more aware to your surroundings.
11:30 am – Noon Safety Culture and the Safety Pyramid, Sam Holt, Utility Training, Analyst, City of Tallahassee

The safety pyramid compares the frequency of different types of incidents, ranging in severity from generally unsafe behaviors and hazards, to incidents that end in serious injuries or fatalities. While you may not want to spend the time and effort to officially document minor incidents, it is these recurring near misses and unsafe behaviors that reveal the internal problems within the organization. If they go uncorrected, they will eventually lead to more serious incidents. Don’t neglect minor incidents or deem them as insignificant. Learn to observe, investigate, and document each incident thoroughly – no matter how minor. Learn how to use the safety pyramid as a tool that can help to encourage an effective safety culture within your organization and promote accountability throughout the workplace.
Transmission & Distribution Breakout Session: Presider, Steve Langley, Electric Utility Director, City of Mount Dora
9:30 – 10:00 am The Power to Shape the Future: Smart Cities Integration to the Grid, Marshall Howard, Executive Vice President, Waterleaf International, Fort Myers, FL

The creation of smart cities will use data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability crate economic development and enhance the quality of life for the communities. This discussion will review key issues and opportunities with integration to smart cities. What are the savings opportunities? What is the nexus for AMIR/AMI? What is the role and partnership opportunities for integration to off grid energy supply? Come prepared to address these questions and more.
10:00 – 10:30 am Using Drones, Infrared and Solar-Blind UV Cameras to Inspect 138 kV Utility Transmission Lines, James Brady, Level III Thermographer and President of Brady Infrared, Stuart, FL

Transmission lines are the critical backbone of the utility power-grid by linking electricity between power generation plants and substations that distribute power to the consumer. Power outages on these lines can be widespread affecting several hundred to several thousands. Typical thermal problems occurring on such lines include loose connectors and splices. Equally to blame are insulator failures that are damaged from corona discharge. This discussion is based on a recent project that used infrared and solar-blind UV cameras to inspect a 138kV transmission line with polymer insulators. The results of this study will look at the common factors these technologies share and point out their unique strengths for inspecting transmission lines. Also presented is how drones were used to document and classify severity of reported problems.
10:30 – 10:45 am Refreshment Break
10:45 – 11:30 am Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Interconnection Impact Studies, Magdalena Fernandez, Senior Engineer and Scott Grieves, Key Accounts, Kissimmee Utility Authority and Sridhar Chouhan, PhD, Senior Engineer, Leidos Engineering, Orlando, FL

This discussion is an overview of the challenges and interconnection best practices when integrating distributed energy resources (DER)s with distribution systems. An Interconnection Impact Study identifies technical impacts that would result from DER interconnection such as protective coordination, fault current, thermal, voltage, power quality, or equipment stress concerns. Also, the discussion will cover various standards and utility guidelines pertaining to interconnection studies. A case study for a 228 kW solar interconnection on a 13.2 kV distribution system will be presented to discuss analysis techniques and mitigation development.
11:30 am – Noon LED Street and Area Lighting Electrical System Options and Being Prepared for the Future of Network Lighting Controls. Nick Chintala, Business Development Manager Eaton Lighting, Peachtree City, GA

This session will explore the potential of intelligent street and area lighting systems. We’ll look at examples of utility lighting system needs and potential solutions taking shape through the deployment of LED lighting and the potential controls, networked sensors and energy management software that can be implemented to your municipal lighting system. Smart and Connected Outdoor LED lighting networks are recognized as a cost-effective installed platform for cities to build Smart City applications via sensors, controls and data sharing networks. Street and area lights are the ideal starting point in creating a potential Smart City infrastructure. This discussion will feature what technology and hardware options a municipal utility should consider when deploying LED street and area lighting products. Become informed on what future proofed means so that the LED lighting products installed have the capability of expanding in the future with technology and ensure the system is protected to achieve low maintenance over time.


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