From the Desk of Richard Putnicki, Executive Director, RMEL

RMEL Report, October 2017

The Fall is upon us!  Footballs are in the air, baseball is starting their second-season. The leaves are dropping, the first winter snow has arrived (and melted), and we find ourselves realizing the holidays are just a short time away.  With a moment to come up for air, we stop to catch our breath and recognize 2017 will be coming quickly to an end. Read more...

RMEL Report, September 2017

I wish to start this month's eNews with my heartfelt wishes to all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  I feel certain that a large majority of you all know someone personally, or a company, that experienced the wrath of that storm. Some were fortunate, as my daughter, to escape any serious flooding or damage, and more importantly, injury. Unfortunately, others were not so lucky. I encourage you all to do your part, whatever your heart tells you, to aid in their assistance, as it will be a long recovery. Now the attention is shifted off Harvey, to prepare for Irma with hopes of minimal impact. The silver lining I see in these situations, which makes me especially proud to be a part of our industry, is how we all come together to serve and support our fellow utilities to restore service for their customers. With that, I applaud those utilities from around the country that are supporting the restoration efforts in Southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana. When devastation like Hurricane Harvey happens, it's really something to see how everyone lends a helping hand. Thank you for all you do!  Be safe, my friends!   Read more...

RMEL Report, August 2017

I first want to take a moment to acknowledge that our industry recently lost a great friend and champion. Ebi Kazemi, Black Hills Corporation, lost his quick battle to cancer this past July at 57 years young.  Ebi will forever be remembered by his RMEL family. For more than 10 years, Ebi actively served on RMEL's Education Committee and Distribution Committee. He served as Vice-Chair of RMEL's Distribution Committee since 2015. Ebi was always ready to volunteer, share ideas, discuss topics, recruit speakers and present when needed. He demonstrated a true passion for his profession. He promoted conversation and finding solutions with a great energy. Never afraid to address contentious issues, Ebi had a unique way of easing the tension and finding the right path to resolution. As one of our RMEL Board members described him, "He was an engineer's engineer. He was a good man." He was well respected, personally and professionally. His soft smile, witting humor and intense listening skills will be missed. Thank you, Ebi, for sharing part of your short time with us - we are better off because of it. Read more...

RMEL Report, July 2017

As we all get ready to celebrate our Nation's Independence tomorrow, even amongst the political strife we are facing today, let us all not forget the fundamental principles on which our country stands.  As we think about those solid principles, many of us will reflect on how fortunate we are to be involved in the American Power industry. You all ensure the reliability, affordability and safety of this country's electricity. Thank you for that! Read more...

RMEL Report, June 2017

Wow, the Spring Conference wrapped up on May 23rd, and we are still getting attendee feedback and emails acknowledging a great event, noting the quality of the speakers assembled along with the relevance and timeliness of the topics. The conference had record-breaking utility participation this year and more than 360 total attendees and a new Spring Conference RMEL Foundation Silent Auction raised more than $3,000 for scholarships. The success for this event started with the members who participated in the planning session back in September 2016. They were able to identify the pertinent topics for the tracks as well as prospective presenters on the topic.  All members are invited to participate in the 2018 Spring Conference Planning Session this October . I also want to thank the Board and our volunteer Section Committees for taking the baton from the planning event and assisting in filling session gaps and, most of all, promoting the event within their professional network.  Read more...

RMEL Report, May 2017

The Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference is less than 3 weeks away - May 21-23 in Omaha, Nebraska. We are really excited about the program of quality, relevant topics that RMEL members have put together. We are tracking to break attendance records across the board. Already, we've seen the highest number of electric utility registrations on record and more electric utilities represented at this conference than we've ever had in the past. See lists of electric utilities and services and supplier companies registered so far. You're not going to find this unique, diverse representation at any other event. Read more...

RMEL Report, April 2017

T he 2017 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference theme is Adjusting the Game Plan for Future Success. During the conference, May 21-23 in Omaha, NE, sessions and discussion will focus on strategies, best practices and solutions that electric utilities are using and adapting in this changing political climate. It's not always easy to "move the ball up and down the field" when the game is changing, but it's EASIER when you have your RMEL team around you, collectively working together to adjust the game plan.  At every event, I hear about those "game changing" experiences and the sharing of the experiences.  Members gathering nuggets, inquiring questions like, "Has anyone else tried this? Did it work? What are your lessons learned?" Members working together and building a solid network as a source for current and future challenges. Read more...

RMEL Report, March 2017

"Work hard, stay focused and surround yourself with good people."
-Tom Osborne, Former Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, University of Nebraska
Keynote Speaker, RMEL's 2017 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference

What a quote, what a guy, what an exciting year for RMEL - we get to hear from this legendary coach at RMEL's upcoming Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference , May 21-23 in Omaha, Nebraska! That's right, Coach Osborne is keynoting at RMEL's Spring Conference, and you don't want to miss it! Read more...



RMEL Report, February 2017

 

We've had a great start to 2017, opening our calendar year with "an ol' reliable" program our membership continues to value. For 12 years, RMEL has partnered with Steve Sax, General Manager, Murfreesboro Electric Department, to present the Introduction to the Electric Utility Workshop .  This workshop promotes a better understanding of the overall electric system, from the generator to the meter. It is so valuable for employees to have a better comprehension of the system beyond their cubicle walls. Having a grasp of the system operations promotes a comprehension of how their respective work contributes to the big picture of the production, transmission and distribution of electric energy. A strong turnout by our membership once again!  Thank you, Steve! Next, we took RMEL on the road to San Antonio for the Physical and Cyber Security Conference. Read more...

 

RMEL Report, November 2016

Thank you RMEL members for all of your participation with RMEL in 2016! We closed out the 2016 event calendar with a productive October and early November full of conferences, roundtables and planning sessions. The final event of the year was the planning session for the 2017 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention (set for September 17-19 in Tucson). This is one of the most important sessions where we put all of your feedback and the Vital Issues Forum results from September to work. Combined with what we now know (or don't know) from the election, members are continuing to put customers first in any political or regulatory scenario. Read more...

RMEL Report, October 2016

Best Events to Close out 2016 and Prepare You for a Great Start in 2017 As you wrap up the year and put your remaining 2016 training budgets to great use, you'll definitely want to get these events on your calendar! The brand new UAS in the Electric Energy Industry Conference & Roundtable is set for November 2-3. This is a major opportunity to convene with RMEL members to collectively discuss unmanned aircraft system opportunities for our industry! On November 4, attend a free Safety Roundtable - November 2016 to discuss vehicle accident prevention best practices. The Practical Applications of the 2017 NESC Workshop on November 9-10, will feature everything you need to know about 2017 NESC Updates. Right after the 2016 election, join us to strategize, plan and tell us what you need at the 2017 Fall Convention Planning Session on November 14. This has been a great year, and we look forward to closing 2016 out with some great events! Read more...

RMEL Report, September 2016

It's September, and that means we've just wrapped up our 113TH Annual Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention September 11-13, 2016, in Summerlin, Nevada. This year's keynote speakers, Ross Shafer, Ross Shafer Consultants, Inc. and Jeffrey Birnbaum, President of BGR Public Relations and a Former Reporter, Editor and Fox News Political Analyst, absolutely knocked it out of the park. Ross got us future ready discussing how utilities can evolve to stay relevant in these changing times. Jeff provided his insight to help us navigate through the current political possibilities on the road to the presidency. The speaker line up this year was just incredible, and there were some great conversations and perspectives about American power! Read more... 

RMEL Report, August 2016

RMEL Sees Gold Medal Summer as the Torch is Carried into an Exciting Fall Lineup
4.7...4.5...5.0...4.8...4.7...5.0
The results are in...the 2016 summer RMEL events, individual presentations and content are going down in history as gold medal educational conferences and workshops. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the highest level of satisfaction, these scores don't disappoint. Thanks to the judging panel of RMEL event attendees for continued RMEL participation. Last week, we wrapped a successful Transmission Project Management Workshop and the month of July featured the 2016 Plant Management, Engineering and Operations Conference in El Paso, Texas, and the Field and Engineering Customer Service Conference here in Colorado. Closing out the summer, we have Rockies baseball and a Safety Roundtable leading us into RMEL's signature Fall Convention and an awesome lineup of events to round out 2016. Read more...

RMEL Report, July 2016

It's officially summer, and I hope the heat outside is keeping the meters running! Today, I want us all to think back to summers in high school and college and think about a group of 36 2016 RMEL Foundation Scholarship recipients who are right now taking summer classes, working summer internships and thinking about their future careers in the electric energy industry. You all and everyone who has supported the RMEL Foundation for the last 16 years have helped these kids learn about this great world of opportunity that we share in this industry.  It's exciting for them, and it's exciting for us - and there is so much more that we can all to do continue growing the talent of the electric energy workforce.  Read more...

RMEL Report, June 2016

Spring Conference: Great Jump Start to a Summer of RMEL We are still on a rocky mountain high from the fantastic Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference that was held in Denver May 15-17.  A special thank you to keynote speaker and former NBA great Mark Eaton for setting the tone for the event with an inspiring message!  Also, thanks go out to all of the great speakers, attendees, exhibitors, RMEL Champions, RMEL Section Committees, our volunteer moderators, and of course, our Board of Directors, who made this conference a record-breaking success through relevant topics and quality content.   An unprecedented  368 attendees participated in our conference this year with an increase in utility attendance specifically. Fantastic! Read more...

RMEL Report, May 2016

We are ready to get the 2016 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference off and running here in Denver, Colorado where it all began for RMEL back in 1903. We hope you will join us May 15-17th at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. There is still time to register!  I am so proud of the great work by our members to build such a thought-provoking Spring Conference program this year. It's always impressive to see what you all can accomplish at this conference with the solutions-driven program and networking functions. This is sure to be a productive time for all attending! Read more...

RMEL Report, April 2016

Happy Spring!
This is always an exciting and busy time for RMEL as we have just jumped right into the year with so many great events planned by RMEL's Section Education Committees. You've probably now seen the phrase "RMEL's March Madness" quite a bit. Regardless of how many of us had our NCAA brackets busted with our poor picks, the RMEL Section Committees made our March Madness a huge success. From generation to the delivery - it was all covered in March. The Power Supply Planning and Projects Conference was March 1-2; the Transmission Planning and Operations Conference was March 8-9; and the Distribution Overhead and Underground Operations and Maintenance Conference was March 15-16. Read more...

RMEL Report, March 2016

It's RMEL's March Madness!
Welcome to March and RMEL's March Madness of events for Generation, Transmission and Distribution, which starts today at RMEL's Power Supply Planning and Projects Conference.  The strategies being presented today are critical to navigating the volatile world of power generation, and tomorrow's Generation Vital Issues Roundtable will give everyone an opportunity put their worries and challenges out on the table for discussion. Next week, we'll be back here at the Denver Marriott South in Lone Tree, CO, March 8-9th for RMEL's Transmission Planning and Operations Conference, which will cover system reliability, asset management and protection strategies. The Distribution Overhead and Underground Operations and Maintenance Conference, March 15-16th , will explore the latest distribution best practices and technologies. Read more...

RMEL Report, February 2016

It's been almost five years since I became the Executive Director of RMEL and in that time I've had the pleasure to work with an outstanding group of industry leaders - the RMEL Board of Directors. Cheryl Mele has represented Austin Energy and Mike Morris has been the Board Director from Zachry Group. They joined the RMEL Board of Directors around the same time that I joined the staff. These are two people who have shown great contribution and are always engaged and passionate about this association.  They are both leaving the Board of Directors, and I just want to recognize their great work and thank them for everything. They have certainly worked RMEL's mission at their companies and throughout the industry. Read more...

RMEL Report, January 2016

I hope 2016 has started off well for you! We are looking forward to a great year as your association. We've got exciting new member offerings, like an Emerging Leader Forum at the Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference, which is coming up May 15-17th at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center in Denver, CO. This new forum stems from RMEL's Emerging Leader Award, which was launched two years ago. The program gives member organizations the opportunity to recognize individuals who are driving success for their company and the industry. The 2016 Emerging Leader Award nomination deadline is coming up March 4, 2016. Read more...

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