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RMEL Report
From the Desk of Richard Putnicki, Executive Director, RMEL

From March Madness to Opening Day – Welcome to Spring

Welcome to Spring! As you are aware, the season did not start out well for everyone. Unfortunately for those in our Midwest, Spring arrived with fury. Please continue your support for the folks in the Midwest that have been devastated by the floods. The silver lining drawn from events like this, as we have witnessed from recent years, is how refreshing it is to see the strength of the American public rally in times of need. Please continue that support. Their recovery will be a slow and arduous process. Please contact our member utilities in the region to find out more information about how you can help. 

Along with Spring comes the opening day of the baseball season. We at RMEL enjoyed our own doubleheader of sorts with two road trips in March. RMEL went "split squad” as we held the Distribution Conference in Salt Lake City and the Safety & Training Conference in Kansas City during the same week. Both events were home runs! The Distribution Conference featured a high quality program of content gathered by the Distribution Committee. Also, the outreach to those member and non-member utilities in the region by our host utility, PacifiCorp, resulted new Utah utility members. And thank you to our Safety Committee for relevant content and a quality program. Special thanks also goes out to Evergy for hosting the conference at their facility in Kansas City. Once again, our audience had representatives from many non-member and new member companies alike! RMEL will be looking at continuing this model at other RMEL member facilities. We are finding education and information sharing is paramount, and RMEL is an excellent resource to provide that for our industry. I would be remiss if I did not mention how we got the month off to a great start with a our Transmission Planning and Operations Conference in South Denver. That event also received high marks for the relevant content and speakers that the Transmission Committee brought together for the Conference. 

In April, we will be traveling to Arizona for RMEL’s most comprehensive security event yet April 17-18   

From Agency to Utility: Protecting the U.S. Grid Together 
2019 RMEL Security Symposium Features Government Agency and Utility Speakers – April 17-18

There is less than one week until the 2019 Security Symposium, and you won’t want to miss this! Register and check out the brochure and online conference grid to get full details. Day 1 will feature government agency officials providing an overview of the relationships between critical infrastructure sector specific agencies, the intelligence community, and the Electric Subsector Coordinating Council. Once this foundation is set, they will provide an unclassified threat briefing. There will also be presentations from other agencies covering the various critical infrastructure issues the agencies are dealing with, along with opportunities for collaboration, capped off with physical and cyber security roundtable discussions to dig deeper into the shared content. On Day 2, electric utilities will share their utility specific experiences, issues and best practices through a series of short presentations.   

Featured Government Agency Speakers:

  • Dr. Anthony Montoya, Senior Subject Matter Expert – Grid Operations, Integrity Applications Inc. Contractor for US Department of Energy
  • Christine Figueroa, Protective Security Advisor, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Michael Lettman, Cyber Security Advisor, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Joseph Hooper, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigations
  • Brian Keith, Protective Security Advisor (PSA) Los Angeles District, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

RMEL Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference
Making It Happen – Putting the Pieces Together
RMEL’s Spring Conference is Headed to Phoenix, Arizona, May 20-22 (New Monday-Wednesday Dates)

The 2019 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference theme is Making it Happen – Putting the Pieces Together. This is the event where we look at the engineering and operations from all facets of the industry and get into the details of how everything pieces together with an eye on the big picture.

Whether its large-scale changes or very small tweaks, RMEL members are sharing best practices and experiences that are making an impact on our industry’s future.

The Spring Conference program of 25 sessions is designed from the very start by RMEL members collectively discussing the biggest engineering and operations questions and struggles they are facing at all levels of their utility. The best ideas make the cut, and from there members find the people who have the answers. After the conference, attendees will have a playbook of new ideas to run with. We’re kicking off the Spring Conference with someone who knows about taking the ball and running with it…

Retired NFL Running Back Merril Hoge to Keynote Spring Conference

Find. A. Way. Three simple words, yet when composed in a sentence, Merril Hoge has proven that these can be the most powerful words in the English language. "Find. A. Way.” helped Merril beat cancer, overcome family tragedies, triumph childhood traumas and conquer his personal demons.

A retired NFL running back and former ESPN analyst, Merril inspires audiences with his story of prevailing over life''s hurdles through strength and determination while achieving success through hard work and perseverance. He began his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, eventually joining the Chicago Bears before retiring due to post-concussion syndrome. During his tenure as an ESPN analyst and host, he was well-known for his sharp insights and knowledge of the game.

In 2003, Merril was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin''s lymphoma, which he fought – and beat – using the same tenacity he demonstrated on the field. He shares his moving story in his memoir Find a Way: Three Words That Changed My Life.

Merril’s empowering message provides people with strategies to "find a way” as they pursue their own goals.

I hope to see you in Phoenix May 20-22!


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