Public power communities offer tremendous value, and they continue to do so in our rapidly changing markets. Meeting evolving customer expectations was the focus of the second annual ElectriCities Connections Summit (see the agenda here), which took place February 18-20 in Cary. ElectriCities Senior Government Affairs Liaison Drew Elliot sums up the excitement and success of the event; “Our cities are very focused on innovation, while maximizing the advantages of a community-owned utility that is reliable and affordable to their customers.”
Shared emphasis on both innovation and customer satisfaction were the core of the three-day summit. Sessions took place within five tracks: information technology, utility operations technology, finance and customer service, workforce, and management and coordination. Attendees listened to short talks by dozens of experts and executives from both national and local organizations. Topics ranged from cybersecurity to budgeting and cash reserve policies, smart grids to talent development strategies.
“The session topics change each year and are very relevant to today’s needs,” Elliot says. In fact, municipal leadership helps choose the topics. This year’s keynote speakers were Sacramento Municipal Utility District CEO and President Arlen Orchard, N.C. Sustainable Energy Association Chief of Strategy and Innovation Ivan Urlaub, and Cape Fear Partners Innovation Managing Partner Darsweil Rogers.
We were especially delighted to welcome more than 20% more attendees than last year. The many different industry stakeholders in attendance included finance directors, utility directors, technology and operations leaders, and city management. Without a doubt, the Connections Summit was a jam-packed, productive time — we hope to see you there next year!
Connection Summit 2020 was trending! Here’s what participants had to say about three days of inspiration.
“Smart cities are enabled by the use of technology and data to drive efficiencies, improve sustainability, and embrace quality of life. #SmartGrid #SmartCity” —Trilliant
“We look forward at the impact of technology and generational change and make the argument that maintaining the status quo is riskier than change. #agileculture #businessagility #successionplanning #workforcedevelopment #futureofwork” —Darsweil Rogers, Connections Summit keynote speaker
“@GigEast Exchange Manager Darren Smith praised #WilsonEnergy for being a catalyst in economic development in Wilson, and their continuous contribution to the community.” —City of Wilson
“Enjoyed being with Susan Sanford and David Warner as we discussed how communities collaborate with local utilities to support #entrepreneurship @CityofWilson.” —Darren Smith, City of Wilson Innovation Hub Manager and Connections Summit speaker
“Honored to co-present with Darsweil Rogers at the ElectriCities Connection Summit. And fortunate to work for a company like Greenville Utilities Commission that encourages and embraces innovation and learning!” —Richie R. Shreves, Director of Human Resources, Greenville Utilities Commission