June 24, 2019

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T&T Coverage: UTC Members Elect CenterPoint Energy’s Greg Angst as New Board Chair

[Editor’s Note: More coverage from last week’s fantastic Telecom & Technology Annual Conference will be published in the July 1 issue of Industry Intelligence.]

Energy and water utility representatives across the U.S. approved a new slate of officers to lead UTC, effective immediately through May 2020.

At UTC’s Annual Telecom & Technology Membership Meeting last week in Fort Worth, TX, UTC’s core members elected Greg Angst, a consulting engineer in the Technology Strategic Planning, Innovation, and Delivery Group at CenterPoint Energy, as its new Chairman of the Board. Mr. Angst succeeds Immediate Past Chair Roger Bryant of Southern Company.

UTC members also elected Kevin Huff, Telecommunications Operations Manager at Salt River Project, as its Vice Chair, and Paul Lambert, SCADA, Radio, and LM Foreman at East River Electric Cooperative, as its Secretary/Treasurer.

Each officer will serve a one-year term.

UTC is the global association at the nexus of the energy, utility and telecommunications industries. Representing energy and water providers of all sizes and ownership structures, UTC advocates for the information and communications technology (ICT) needed for the safe and reliable delivery of these vital services.

“This past year has been humbling, fulfilling, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said UTC Immediate Past Chair Bryant. “We successfully raised the profile of the challenges utilities face in maintaining and sustaining their ICT networks that are absolutely essential for day-to-day reliability, grid modernization, safety, and security. My thanks to the UTC staff, particularly President and CEO Joy Ditto, for their support. I know Chairman Angst and his slate of capable officers will have a tremendous year.”

“I am honored to become the new UTC Chairman of the Board,” said Chairman Angst. “This is such an opportune time to be focused on energy and water providers’ ICT needs. Our members provide essential, lifesaving services. Our needs for strong, resilient, and reliable communications will only grow. I look forward to this opportunity. I also want to thank Immediate Past Chair Bryant for his steadfast leadership. We are all better because of his service.”

Chairman Angst is a consulting engineer in the Technology Strategic Planning, Innovation, and Delivery Group at CenterPoint Energy located in Houston. He has a strong background in network engineering of voice/data, synchronization, radio, microwave, fiber telecommunications, and telecom DC/AC power systems. Mr. Angst is a past UTC Region Director, past UTC Region 7 chair, and past chair of the UtiliSite Committee. In addition, he served on the UTC’s audit and research committees, and chaired the UTC Program Planning committee.

Mr. Angst holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas (P.E.), a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and a member of the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI), and a Project Management Professional (PMP) and is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). He has worked in power plant design both nuclear and fossil fueled.  He has worked in Telecommunications for over 30 years.

“Congratulations to Chairman Angst, Vice Chairman Huff, and Secretary/Treasurer Lambert,” said UTC President and CEO Joy Ditto. “I also want to salute Immediate Past Chair Bryant for his hard work and leadership this past year. We have made great strides during his tenure. His steadfast support and demeanor helped us achieve new heights this year. I look forward to working with Chairman Angst and our new slate of officers. Our future is bright!”

T&T Coverage: Core Members Pass Resolutions on 6 GHz, Right to Repair, US-Canadian Relations

[Editor’s Note: More coverage from last week’s fantastic Telecom & Technology Annual Conference will be published in the July 1 issue of Industry Intelligence.]

UTC’s core utility members approved three new policy resolutions last week at the Telecom & Technology Annual Conference in Fort Worth, TX.

Members passed the resolutions during the June 20, 2019, Membership Meeting.

UTC core voting members approved the following resolutions:

Last week’s vote marked the second time UTC core utility members approved policy resolutions. Through this process, UTC’s core utility members will shape the Association’s policy and advocacy priorities and provide UTC staff with appropriate guidance in Washington.

For more information, please contact the UTC Public Policy Team.

T&T Coverage: UTC Awards Recognize Importance of ICT Networks to Grid Reliability, Resilience

[Editor’s Note: More coverage from last week’s fantastic Telecom & Technology Annual Conference will be published in the July 1 issue of Industry Intelligence.]

UTC marked the conclusion of its annual Telecom & Technology conference in Fort Worth by presenting numerous awards to member companies and personnel who demonstrated initiative, perseverance, and innovative thinking throughout the past year.

UTC’s awards recognize the importance of utility Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems and the employees who build, operate, and maintain these systems to support the reliability, resilience, and safety of the nation’s electric systems. From storm response to day-to-day reliability, ICT networks can also provide opportunities for communities to enhance economic prosperity, provide innovative new services, and support health, education and access to critical services.

The 2019 UTC Award Winners are:

APEX Award – Recognizes individual accomplishment and organizational commitment for outstanding projects undertaken by utility telecom workers.

WINNER: Okanogan County Public Utility District No. 1

Connie Durcsak Visionary Award – Recognizes an individual at a member utility who has personally exemplified and embodied the visionary spirit for our industry that Connie modeled herself.

  • WINNER: Kevin B. Huff, Salt River Project

Meehan Award – Established in 1998, the Meehan Award is named in honor of UTC’s first Exec. Director Charles M. (Mike) Meehan. It recognizes individuals for their extraordinary leadership in projects during the past year that greatly furthered the interests and objectives of UTC.

  • WINNER: Anthony Suppa, Jr., Public Service Electric & Gas Company

Dondanville Award – Established in 1989, named in honor of UTC’s first President & CEO, Russell V. Dondanville. It recognizes an individual’s extraordinary service and dedication to UTC over the years through active participation in numerous Association activities.

  • WINNER: Maynard (Matt) Schnell, Nebraska Public Power District

Emerging Leaders Awards – Established in 2019, these awards are given to rising stars within UTC member utilities who are dedicated to the critical work of telecom infrastructure, IT/OT, security, and policy.

  • WINNERS: Shaun Skidmore, Idaho Power; Mike Unser, Salt River Project; Matt Holthe, Nebraska Public Power District; Paul Zawada, American Electric Power; Lamont Hill, Oncor; Mitchell Crocker, CenterPoint Energy; Dawn Jurgensmeier, Salt River Project; Robert Mathews, Cleco

Chairman Awards – These awards are given in appreciation for service to UTC during the past calendar year.

  • WINNERS: Maynard (Matt) Schnell, Nebraska Public Power District; Michael Quinn of Oncor; Sheila Wells of Nashville Electric Service; Mike Lowe of Blue Ridge EMC; Dewey Day of Pacific Gas & Electric; Greg Angst of CenterPoint Energy

IMPACT Awards – These awards honor the UTC Associate Member Organizations making a great impact on our industry through an innovative and proven solution.

  • Winner, Software: Ciena, for their new Ciena Blue Planet Inventory System
  • Winner, Hardware: Hubbel Power Systems (for theireXmux 4500 Access & Transport System)

“Congratulations to all of our winners this year,” said Outgoing UTC Chairman of the Board Roger Bryant. “These awards go to the heart of what makes UTC so special—the people, the utilities, and the vendors who make up our membership. Every day our members work hard to support reliable, resilient, and affordable energy and water services to people and businesses. It is an honor to recognize a select few for their service.”

UTC’s Ditto Set to Testify on Utility Comms Issues at FERC Annual Conference

UTC President and CEO Joy Ditto this week will discuss the need for federal agencies overseeing the energy and telecommunications sectors to hold formal meetings and discuss the growing interdependencies between the two industries.

At the invitation of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Ms. Ditto will participate in the agency’s annual reliability technical conference, which will devote an entire segment to utility communications issues.

Other panelists on the session, according to an agenda released last week, include JP Drummond, Vice President of Business Planning at Alliant, Adrianne Collins, Vice President of Transmission at Southern Company, Mike Brozek, Senior Vice President of Technology and Engineering at pdvWireless, John W. Kuzin, Vice President and Regulatory Counsel at Qualcomm, Inc., and John Marinho, Vice President of Technology and Cybersecurity at CTIA.

FERC announced the conference in early May.

FERC holds a technical conference each year on electricity reliability issues. Technical conferences are typically led by commission staff on specific issues; however, the annual reliability workshop is always commissioner-led, bringing a higher level of importance and visibility to the event.

According to the agenda, the Commission will address 5G, the 6 GHz spectrum band, and much more (Industry Intelligence, May 20, 2019).

Please contact the UTC Public Policy Team with any questions.

Upcoming Events

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

  • Aug. 21-22, 2019: UTC Broadband Workshop, Kansas City
  • July 9: Knowledge & Learning Committee Call—for more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • July 16: Utilities Broadband Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne
  • July 17: IT/OT Committee Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • July 18: Telecom Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne
  • July 18: Public Policy Division Call—For more information, contact Sharla Artz