From the Desk of Executive Director Richard Putnicki
We had this eNewsletter ready to go on schedule last Friday, and we decided to hold off until we could get our arms around the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and give members solid answers about our plans. Well…it seems like an understatement to say that a lot has changed in less than a week. We’ve made some hard decisions based on the information at hand and the trends we have been following. Though, none of us are any closer to "having our arms around” the long term impact, we are proceeding with caution. We closely monitored the quickly changing situation that unfolded around all of us, at work and at home. The Board of Directors shared an open dialogue regarding what was happening at their organizations. That communication has been invaluable, and I thank the Board members for their proactive communication with us. As things started to evolve and change daily, and sometimes hourly, it became more apparent that we were going to have to take action on RMEL’s upcoming events. The Board of Directors, after a recommendation from staff, endorsed the decision to postpone our remaining March events.
At this time, RMEL has postponed the Transmission Planning and Operations Conference, the Distribution Technologies for Engineering and Operations Workshop and the 2020 RMEL Safety Conference-Don’t Mess with Safety. This was not taken lightly, and we focused on key indicators to drive our decision, including recommendations from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, member organization travel restriction and attendee/speaker participation/cancellations. Each of those components demonstrated an adverse trend. Members have implemented travel restrictions eliminating most, if not all, domestic travel. Most importantly, the safety of our attendees is our number one priority, and we felt this was the right decision to make with that in mind.
I want to sincerely thank our RMEL Section Committees and speakers for all the hard work in preparation for these events. Most of the speakers have already expressed interest in participating when the session are rescheduled. The outpouring of support from speakers and committee members has been truly humbling, and a true testimony to our industry, our membership, and our Association. They’re offering to help however they can in the meantime, and they’re expressing their dedication to this member community. I think that’s a great sign for the resiliency of this industry and of members to continue collaborating, possibly in new ways, through this uncertain time.
As of today, we are moving forward with plans to host our Spring Conference in Austin, May 11-13; however, we are approaching the Spring Conference under the same set of considerations we used to evaluate our March events. We will continue to provide updates, maintain business continuity and serve the RMEL member community. As always, we welcome any feedback and considerations from your perspective and the perspective of your organization.
On behalf of the RMEL Board of Directors, thank you for your continued support. It goes without saying, safety is paramount in our industry, and we appreciate your understanding!
POSTPONED - Transmission Planning and Operations Conference --- TBD
POSTPONED - Distribution Technologies for Engineering and Operations Workshop --- TBD
POSTPONED - 2020 RMEL Safety Conference --- TBD
2020 Spring Management, Engineering & Operations Conference --- May 11-13, 2020 (Austin, TX)
Plant Cycling & Flexibility Symposium & Tour --- June 10-11, 2020 (Overland Park, KS)
Transmission Resiliency, Response & Restoration Symposium --- June 17-18, 2020 (Denver, CO)
2020 RMEL Foundation Golf Tournament --- June 24, 2020 (Littleton, CO)
Project Management Workshop --- July 8-9, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Grid-Scale Storage Workshop & Tour --- August 5-6, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Leadership Workshop --- August 12-13, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Safety Roundtable - August 2020 --- August 20, 2020 (Golden, CO)
2020 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention --- September 14-16, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Planning Session: 2021 Spring Conference --- October 1, 2020 (Lone Tree, CO)
Renewable Planning and Operations Conference --- October 21-22, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Transmission & Distribution Asset Management Workshop --- November 4-5, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Safety Roundtable - November 2020 --- November 5, 2020 (Fort Collins, CO)
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