Day 1 Agenda

November 17, 2020


 12:00-12:45PM ET

Keynote Speaker


Dominique Dawes, Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time Olympian

Dominique Dawes knows first-hand that success hinges on how resilient we are in weathering storms. Don't miss her powerful keynote message of resilience, embracing the team mentality, leadership and personal drive is sure to inspire and motivate during these challenging times.

Breakout Sessions Round 1

1:00-1:30PM ET

2020 Power and Utilities Outlook and its Implications to the Supply Chain


Jim Thomson, Vice Chairman, US Power, Utilities & Renewables Leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP

Ian McCulloch, Managing Director at Deloitte Consulting LLP

The power and utilities industry started the new decade strong by identifying new growth opportunities and leading the economy-wide clean energy transition. However, the pandemic struck and tested the mettle of a crisis-resilient sector in new ways. COVID-19 has catalyzed the industry while lending urgency to strategic decisions about distributed energy resources and growth opportunities. This session will explore the latest industry trends focusing on supply chain and investments in digital transformations.

Attendees will gain a more in-depth understanding of trends around climate goals, DER, and growth opportunities amidst transition and its implications to supply chain. They will also learn about emerging opportunities and technologies for the power and utilities industry as it leads the economy-wide clean energy transition.

Breakout Sessions Round 1

 1:00-1:45PM ET

AI’s Insights: Illuminating Procurement’s Value in the Age of COVID


Richard Waugh, VP Corporate Development at Zycus

David Cosby Jr., Director Supply Chain at LG&E and KU Energy LLC (LKE)

Courtney Thompson, Supply Chain Process Analysis Leader at LG&E and KU Energy LLC

As many industries face challenging economic headwinds as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spotlight on procurement in the utilities is especially bright due to the impacts of the virus, simultaneous with weather and natural disaster challenges that threaten power generation and delivery.  AI has emerged as a powerful ally of utilities procurement teams to help them shine during this time in the spotlight, by increasing their agility to identify and quickly capitalize on savings opportunities, while simultaneously pinpointing and averting potential risks.

This session will examine case studies and use cases that illustrate opportunities for utilities procurement teams to illuminate their value by: driving maximum efficiency with 100% digital processes; applying AI’s Insights to prioritize savings projects and optimize returns; and deploying AI BOTs to uncover hidden value and lurking risk.

Breakout Sessions Round 1

 1:30-2:00PM ET

Southern Company SCM Storm Readiness Tool


DaShawn Baker, Data & Analytics Manager for Supply Chain Management at Southern Company

Inho Cho, Data Analytics Analyst at Southern Company

SCM Data Analytics team will demonstrate the Storm Readiness tool they developed to access Southern Company’s material readiness to support storm restoration efforts across the service territory.

From this session, you’ll learn how Southern Company plans to utilize the tool to prepare for storms and how data in an ERP System can be extracted to create a tool that shows overall at-a-glance readiness to support storm restoration efforts of an electric utility.


 1:00-2:00PM ET

Supplier Collaboration Starts with Financial Health Transparency


James Gellert, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at RapidRatings

Organizations worldwide are reacting to the current business uncertainties in a variety of ways. Given the complex and rapid nature of the changes impacting the global economy, it's with great urgency that organizations engage directly with suppliers to ensure operational resiliency through financial health. Having unbiased financial health transparency with suppliers will allow for collaboration on sound business decisions and help avoid disruptions.

Attendees will perform a deep dive into the financial health of a supplier. The session will include working in small teams to talk through a utility financial business case. Participants will then return to the larger group to walk through key learnings related to identifying early warning signals of deteriorating financial health. Key takeaways from this session will be best practices for collaborative discussions with suppliers and how to leverage forward-looking financial health models to mitigate supply chain risks before it’s too late.

Deep Dive Session

 2:15-3:15PM ET

The Energy Industry Update (EIU)


Cristin Lyons, Partner and Energy Practice Leader at ScottMadden

This in-depth session will explore how factors, such as the state-by-state advances in clean energy standards, proposed moratoria and restrictions on natural gas expansion, slow progress on resilience issues, and more, may take the utility industry to its limit of financial, regulatory, and operational wherewithal. The session will also uncover how new technologies, like hydrogen, may challenge the limits of what is possible.

Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of why resilience continues to be a focus for utilities and how some states, utilities, and corporations are committing to clean energy goals and how they may radically shift the energy mix in a few decades.

Breakout Sessions Round 2

 2:15-3:00PM ET

Risk 2.0: Recognizing the Interconnectivity of Risk and How to Make Risk a Part of Your Past


Chonchol Gupta, Founder and CEO at Rebirth Analytics

The interconnectivity of risk has been well documented, but modern risk assessment technologies neglect to account for correlations between diverse risk areas and their impacts on one another. The difficulty in obtaining data, running complex calculations, and delivering actionable advice led to specialized service providers offering isolated ratings and siloed information.

This presentation will focus on insights, best practices and actionable steps utilities can take to assess their true overall supply chain risk. Learn how to: spot interconnected risk and define which risk metrics are most important to your company; correlate different types of risk data; tear down risk silos; where to find data (hint: you already have got it!); and make the right decisions based on predictive risk insight.

Breakout Sessions Round 2

 2:45-3:15PM ET

Hurricane Laura Preparedness and Lessons Learned


John Lindley, Vice President, Chief Supply Officer, Entergy Corporation

This breakout session will explore how Entergy prepared for Hurricane Laura's arrival in their service area and what they anticipated happening versus the storm's actual impacts. Attendees will also hear about the crucial lessons that Entergy learned during this natural disaster and business impact.



Day 2 Agenda

November 18, 2020


Breakout Sessions Round 1

 12:00-12:30PM ET

Economic Impact of a Diverse and Resilient Supply Chain


Heather Herndon Wright, Director, Supply Chain Diversity at Vistra Corp.

This session will define supply chain diversity, the components and drivers. It will also cover how to utilize economic impact studies to highlight the importance of diverse and small businesses, including their impact on job creation, wages and the tax base.  Finally, it will demonstrate the resiliency and flexibility of diverse and small businesses in an unprecedented time.

Breakout Sessions Round 1

 12:00-12:45PM ET

Is Your Supply Chain Safe from Hackers? How to Harden Your Supply Chain Using NIST/NICE Cybersecurity Risk Management Framework

Rob ChubbuckHead of Academic Program at Mission Critical Institute for Cybersecurity

Networks are not the only point of vulnerability. Supply chains are another key point. From the procurement policies you create to the component parts that make up your product, hackers can place malware, trojan horses, etc. to create vulnerabilities without you knowing. During this session, you’ll get an overview of how to protect and defend your supply chain using the NIST/NICE cybersecurity risk management framework and identify vulnerabilities so that you can harden your supply chain from hackers.


 12:00-1:00PM ET

Why Does Procurement Fail in The Utility Sector? A Solution-Building Workshop

Jason Allukian, Senior Director at GEP
Micah Sze, Director at GEP

As a heavily regulated industry, utility procurement departments and their supply chains haven’t evolved at the pace of Corporate America. But in the time of COVID, is this still the case? In this workshop, we will walk through the history of the utility procurement organization and typical business models and then discuss opportunities for evolving and modernizing procurement. In the workshop, attendees will break into smaller groups to join in a discussion over lessons learned and outline opportunities for evolution within their own organizations.

Breakout Sessions Round 1

 12:30-1:00PM ET

Moving Up the Maturity Curve – A Talent-based Challenge

Bryan Fuller, Executive Director at CAPS Research
Geoff Zwemke, Director of Benchmarking at CAPS Research

As supply management organizations transform into more strategic units, talent plays an essential role. Your team’s capabilities can hold you back or propel you forward. Join CAPS Research Executive Director Bryan Fuller and Director of Benchmarking Geoff Zwemke in a conversation on the current state of today’s workforce, the skills gap in supply management, and what is needed in future talent, backed by CAPS data plus insights Bryan brings from his most recent role as CPO of Mastercard.

Networking Roundtables

 1:00-1:30PM ET

Join a 30-minute networking where you can meet old friends and new to share your challenges and lessons learned in an interactive discussion. To join, select a topic below. There is a max of 10 people per session to make for great discussion. 


    • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation
      • Join this discussion group to share your personal experience, questions and lessons learned around AI and/or RPA. A list of possible discussion questions will be provided to help you kick off the conversation.
    • Automation of E-Commerce/Payables
      • Join this discussion group to share your personal experience, questions and lessons learned around automating your e-commerce and payables systems. Discuss ideas around platform selection, process updates and plans to engage and increase utilization. A list of possible discussion questions will be provided to help you kick off the conversation.
    • COVID – What’s Your New Normal
      • Join this discussion group to share your questions and perspectives on your “new normal”. Laugh… cry… join others and share your experiences. A list of possible discussion questions will be provided to help kick off the conversation.
    • Cybersecurity  and NERC CIP-13
      • Join this discussion group to share your personal experience, questions and lessons learned around the NERC CIP-13 implementation and ongoing management and compliance. A list of possible discussion questions will be provided to help you kick off the conversation.
    • Get to Know Each Other (Introduce Yourself & Chat About What Interests You)
      • Just looking to connect? This is the roundtable for you. You decide on the topic or topics. Tell a joke, catch up or make new connections with your industry peers.
    • Impact to Supply Materials and Approaches
      • Join this discussion group to share your personal experience, questions and lessons learned on current environment impact to supply materials and your approaches. A list of possible discussion questions will be provided to help you kick off the conversation.
    • Remote Workforce Pros and Cons
      • Join this discussion group to share your personal experience, questions and lessons learned on managing, motivating and maximizing performance with a remote workforce. A list of possible discussion questions will be provided to help you kick off the conversation.
    • Storm Response During COVID
      • Join this discussion group to share your personal experience, questions and lessons learned on storm response policies and procedures during COVID. A list of possible discussion questions will be provided to help you kick off the conversation.
    • What Keeps You Up at Night (Share Your Thoughts, Exchange Your Ideas and Solutions)
      • Join this discussion group to share your thoughts on what keeps you up at night. Exchange perspectives and possible solutions that might help you get a better sleep tonight. A list of possible discussion questions will be provided to help you kick off the conversation.

Student Perspectives

 1:30-2:00PM ET

Learn from the incoming generation of supply management professionals about their perspectives on supply management and this changing profession. During this session, students from Southern University and A&M College and The University of Texas El Paso will share the challenges they face moving from an academic setting to a professional one. They will also share what attracts them to a specific industry. Attendees will learn how to adapt recruit and engage talent during challenging times.  

Breakout Sessions Round 2

 2:15-3:00PM ET

Utility Supplier Panel Discussion

Ray Fields, Director of National Accounts at Wolseley Industrial Group

David Cottenden, General Manager and Co-founder at Ardmore Power Logistics, LLC
Conrad Snover, President of ProcureAbility
Markely Ward, Director, Contract Services at AMS-PAR

Join a panel of suppliers from UPMG’s supplier advisory committee as they discuss lessons learned during the COVID-19 and the impacts the pandemic has had on business and supply chains. Attendees will gain a knowledge of best practices used to navigate unforeseen challenges and the skills needed to build resilience into their business.

Breakout Sessions Round 2

 2:15-3:00PM ET

Talent and COVID: The New Rules of Resilience in Talent Management

Amber Clayton, Knowledge Center Director at Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Almost without warning, the pandemic shifted the workforce to a new office: home. Leaders and their teams have had to navigate new issues, platforms and challenges. In this session, Amber Clayton, Knowledge Center Director for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), will discuss trends, tips and best practices around topics like handling vacation policies, managing and engaging a remote workforce and preparing the return to the workplace. Attendees will walk away with pages of notes to help them navigate the new talent normal.

Executive Session

 2:15-3:15PM ET

Executive Perspectives from Southern Company

Jeff Franklin, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain at Southern Company

Johnny Howze, Vice President of Supply Chain at Southern Company

Scott Moore, Senior Vice President of Power Delivery at Alabama Power

Leonard Smith, Director of Shared Services at Southern Company

Senior leadership at Southern Company will share how they are navigating the challenges of 2020, including NERC CIP-013, COVID-19 and a push for more sustainable energy. Attendees will learn the ways in which they have successfully tackled each challenge and the lessons learned.

Closing Keynote Speaker

 3:15-4:00PM ET

Return of the Economist: COVID-19 Economic Update

Anirban BasuChairman & Chief Executive Officer at Sage Policy Group, Inc

COVID-19 has rocked what had appeared to be a nearly invincible economy; one associated with substantial job growth, multi-decade lows in unemployment, sturdy compensation increases, robust retail sales, low inflation, and strong financial market performance. Underneath that strong performance, however, was a set of fragilities that have been exposed by the pandemic. This session speaks to our current economic circumstances, how difficult things are likely to become over the foreseeable future, and the contours of the brisk recovery to come thereafter.