January 14, 2019

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Editor’s Note: We’ve Moved!

As reported in last week’s Industry Intelligence, UTC’s Washington staff has packed up its D.C. office and will be moving across the river to Crystal City, VA., in March. Please note our new address: 2511 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 960, Arlington, VA., 22202.

The Washington staff is working remotely until the new office is ready. Our email addresses and phone numbers remain the same. We look forward to working in our new digs in March!

Former FERC Chair McIntyre Passes Away

Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC, the Commission) Chairman Kevin McIntyre passed away earlier this month after battling brain cancer, the agency announced.

The former chairman was still serving as a commissioner at the agency when he passed on Jan. 2.

UTC President and CEO Joy Ditto offered the Association’s condolences to the Commissioner, his family, and the agency he served. “On behalf of UTC, we send our thoughts and prayers to former Chairman McIntyre’s family and loved ones, along with the greater FERC family as well,” Ms. Ditto said.

Commissioner McIntyre served as FERC Chairman from December 2017-October 2018, when he stepped down from the top post due to health issues (Industry Intelligence, Oct. 29, 2018).

“During his tenure at the Commission, Kevin exhibited strong leadership and an unmatched knowledge of energy policy and the rule of law,” FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said in a statement. “He exemplified what it means to be a true public servant each and every day, no matter the challenges that lie ahead of him.

“In the face of adversity, Kevin’s dedicated faith, devotion to family and sharp wit never faltered. His unwavering strength was – and will continue to be – an inspiration to us all. I will miss the wise guidance of my colleague, the dear camaraderie of my good friend and the frequent banter with my fellow sports fanatic, Kevin.”

UTC Welcomes Bender as VP of Engineering; Bids Best Wishes to Former Marketing Director Shafaie

Well-respected critical infrastructure engineer Klaus Bender was tapped as UTC’s new Vice President of Engineering, Training, and Standards, UTC President and CEO Joy Ditto announced last week.

Mr. Bender comes to UTC after serving as Principal Engineer at SiteSafe, LLC, a consulting and engineering firm for the wireless communications industry. He is a familiar face to UTC thanks to his past service as the Association’s Senior Director, Engineering and Standards, from 2007-2014.

Other highlights of Mr. Bender’s career include working as a project manager for Itron, Inc., as Director of Engineering Services at the Enterprise Wireless Association, and as a Staff Engineer at the Federal Communications Commission. He has a BS degree in electrical engineering from Penn State and a graduate certificate in telecommunications policy and national security from the George Washington University.

“Throughout his career, Klaus has focused on the telecommunications’ needs of critical infrastructure sectors,” Ms. Ditto said. “He is well-known by many in the UTC membership and will hit the ground running once he starts on Jan. 16. I am excited to welcome Klaus into the fold!”

Ms. Ditto also announced that Tom Perry, currently serving as UTC’s Regional Representative on a contractual basis, has formally joined the Association as an employee. “We are happy to have Tom on as a part-time UTC staff person, and look forward to continuing to work with him to create additional membership engagement and value,” she said.

At the same time, Ms. Ditto noted the departure of Atossa Shafaie, UTC’s former Director of Marketing. Ms. Shafaie’s last day at UTC was Jan. 7. She left to become Director of Communications and Marketing, University Life, at George Mason University.

“We will greatly miss Atossa’s work ethic, integrity, and passion here at UTC, but we are excited about her new opportunity,” Ms. Ditto said. “As an alumna of George Mason, this was an opportunity Atossa could not refuse, which we understand completely and wish her all the best with this new endeavor.”

Stalemate Grows Over Border Security As Federal Shutdown Continues 

Key federal agencies remain shut down as the impasse between Democrats and the White House over border security funding remains firmly in place.

According to media reports, negotiations last week to end the partial government shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, concluded without agreement, with both sides at a stalemate over how to use border security funds.

This means the partial shutdown could drift into its fourth week, shuttering numerous agencies and furloughing hundreds of thousands of federal workers (Industry Intelligence, Jan. 7, 2019).

The shutdown has temporarily closed several agencies of interest to UTC members, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Members of Congress have been quoted in several publications stating that they cannot anticipate how long the temporary closure will last. UTC will keep its members informed as things develop.

Please contact the UTC Public Policy Team with any questions.

REMINDER! Draft Policy Resolutions for June T&T Meeting Due Jan. 31

Core UTC members have until Jan. 31 to submit ideas or concepts for potential policy resolutions to be adopted at the association’s annual Telecom & Technology conference in June.

This will mark the second time UTC pursues policy positions through the resolution process as approved by the UTC Board in its December 2017 meeting.

As was the case in 2018, any UTC core utility member can submit a proposed resolution or ideas for a resolution by Jan. 31. Only UTC core utility members can submit a resolution; if a vendor member has an idea, it must be sponsored and submitted by a core utility member.

Once all the proposed resolutions are collected by UTC staff, the Public Policy Division (PPD) will formally accept and discuss the proposals during its regularly scheduled February meeting. PPD members will have the opportunity to edit and debate the proposed resolutions prior to its March call, at which point the division will vote on the resolutions. This call will be open to all UTC core utility members.

Any resolutions cleared by the PPD will be submitted for review and consideration by the entire UTC membership at the annual Telecom and Technology meeting in June 2019, being held in Ft. Worth, TX. Resolutions for consideration at the annual meeting must be distributed to the entire association membership no later than two weeks prior to the event. Additionally, the proposed resolutions will also be posted on the UTC Website.

UTC’s core utility members will vote on the proposed resolutions during the association’s business meeting at the annual conference. Each UTC core utility member company will have one vote during the meeting, meaning that core members must designate one person to cast the company’s vote.

Any resolutions approved at the annual Telecom and Technology meeting will be considered official UTC policy and will inform the association as it advocates for its members in Washington and elsewhere.

For more information, please contact UTC’s Public Policy Team. An FAQ about the resolutions process is available here.

Resolutions approved at the 2018 annual meeting are available here.

Upcoming Events

A snapshot of upcoming UTC webinars, events, and conference calls.

  • Jan. 15: Utilities Broadband Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne
  • Jan. 16: IT/OT Committee Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • Jan. 17: Telecom Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne
  • Jan. 17: Public Power Division Call—For more information, contact Sharla Artz
  • Jan. 18: Security, Risk, and Compliance Committee Call—For more information, contact Sharla Artz
  • Feb. 12-14: UTC Region 8,9,10
  • Feb. 28: UTC Region 7
  • March 6-8: UTC Region 3
  • March 25-27: UTC Mid-Central