Public Power Leaders Attend LPPC’s Inaugural Members Conference

Public power leaders from across the country met in San Antonio for LPPC’s inaugural Members Conference. Over five days in April, more than 250 senior executives from 26 of LPPC’s 28 member utilities came together to network and engage in a series of thoughtful discussions on leadership and workforce development, as well as the current opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

Recognizing the significant transformation of the electric power sector, with the need to decarbonize while meeting a nationwide demand for power not seen in decades, LPPC’s 28-member board, comprised of utility CEOs, took a proactive step. They decided that it was crucial to host a forum that would invest in the future leaders of public power.

Across two days, conference attendees heard from industry experts and dialogued about the pressing issues impacting public power, including artificial intelligence, e-mobility, emerging generation technologies such as hydrogen and small modular reactors (SMRs), workforce development, and more.

Keynote speakers included Neil Jacobstein, Chair of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics from Singularity University, and Jeff DeGraff, Author and Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Jacobstein challenged the audience to envision how cutting-edge technologies could transform public power systems, while DeGraff provided leadership strategies for fostering creativity and innovation as the electric power sector rapidly evolves.

Also on the mainstage, CPS Energy CEO Rudy Garza led a fireside chat with Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Tony Gonzales (R-TX) on the critical role of collaboration between policymakers and industry to drive progress and support the continued delivery of reliable and affordable power to communities. Following this, Lesley Jantarasami, Managing Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Energy Program, dug into the latest federal energy policy developments and forecasted what may occur as a result of November’s election.

LPPC CEO members played an active role in the conference, leading various panel discussions and sharing their insights with attendees. These conversations covered a wide range of topics, including managing large utilities and building dynamic and diverse workforces. CEOs also shared personal stories about their journey to the C-suite and imparted practical lessons in leadership to conference attendees.

As the Members Conference came to an end, participants left invigorated to lead their utilities through the technological advancements and policy changes that lie ahead for public power. A pivotal gathering for the industry, the conference created new opportunities for partnerships among LPPC members and imparted important insights and strategies for the next generation of leaders who will ensure that public power continues to serve communities across the country with reliable, affordable, and clean energy.

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