Oasis

 

Monday, April 30, 2018

 

According to Merriam-Webster, an oasis is “something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast.”

Anyone who’s anyone knows that the tag line for this year’s UTC’s Telecom & Technology Conference in Palm Springs is “The Oasis of Utility Education and Training.” Apropos to the desert, where oases were havens from thirst and hunger, the real meaning for our attendees is to get away from your everyday work lives to learn about the latest and greatest technologies in our utility ICT world, to establish or maintain friendships in the industry and to free up your minds to think more strategically on behalf of your utilities given the ongoing change in the industry. Our goal for the conference is to make it all of these things for you and more.

For me, the name and timing are fitting. Today, I celebrate my two-year anniversary as President and CEO of UTC. It has been better in many ways than I imagined it would be and more challenging in some. But UTC itself has been an oasis for me personally and professionally. It has provided a contrast to the work I did for 15 years representing one segment of the industry (public power) by giving me better insights and perspective on the investor-owned and cooperative utilities I now also represent – while exposing me to the gas and water utility segments that we are beginning to attract in larger numbers. The issues have been fascinating to better understand and wrap my arms around. Additionally, interacting with the vendor community involved at UTC has been a pleasant surprise in terms of their interest and support of our industry.

There has been a level of personal “relief” as well. When I took the job, my husband decided to begin consulting and working from home so that he could better help out with our two daughters. That decision has been great for our family dynamic. I’ve also had an incredibly rewarding experience getting to know the UTC members, staff and vendors on a personal level. What an amazing group of people! Hardworking, engaged, smart, fun and proponents of getting things right. Working for them and with them gives me an ongoing “shot in the arm” to up my game.

The bottom line is, thank you for two years in the oasis of UTC!