August 24-25, 2023
Jennifer Curran is Senior Vice President, Planning & Operations and Chief Compliance Officer for MISO. In that role she oversees a broad array of functions including the company’s transmission and resource planning efforts, market operations and system operations, as well as the company’s work to comply with state and federal electricity standards.
Ms. Curran has spent the last twenty years focused on delivering reliability and economic value to customers through wholesale electricity markets, operations and infrastructure planning. Since joining MISO in 2004, she has served in various strategic, business planning and operational oversight roles. Notably, Ms. Curran was a leader in the development of the industry leading Multi-Value Project transmission planning approach. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Texas A&M Smart Grid Center as well as the Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG) Board of Directors.
Prior to joining MISO, Ms. Curran was Manager of Power Generation & Supply Strategy for MISO and PJM at Reliant Resources. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University.
Blake Kleaving, a native of Tell City, IN, graduated from the University of Evansville with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrations in Marketing & Finance and a minor in Political Science. Following his undergrad studies, Kleaving graduated with Master of Science in Communications with a focus on Public Relations & Energy Policy at Purdue University. After college, Kleaving built industry knowledge with employment at two distribution cooperatives, Corn Belt Energy in central Illinois and Daviess-Martin County REMC in southern Indiana, as well as time as an Energy Efficiency Coordinator - C&I Specialist at Hoosier Energy.
Currently, Blake is the Manager of Member Solutions at Hoosier Energy. In his current role, Kleaving manages the G&T's member relations, key account, member flexibility, distributed generation interconnection, demand side management, and Hoosier Energy's beneficial electrification program research.
Hoosier Energy is a generation and transmission electric cooperative based out of Bloomington, IN with 18-member cooperative owners. Hoosier Energy provides wholesale electricity to over 710,000 consumers in southern Indiana and southeast Illinois.
Craig Bleth is a 1988 graduate of the University of North Dakota, and is a registered civil engineer in the state of North Dakota. Craig has been with Minnkota Power Cooperative for 33 years, with most of that time spent in the environmental arena and plant management. Craig is now Minnkota’s Vice President of Project Development, and is also the Tundra Project Manager.
Roger Tutterow is Professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University where he holds the Henssler Financial Endowed Chair.
His analysis of the economic, business and political environments have been featured in a variety of media including Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Business Week, Forbes, USA Today, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Arizona Republic, Florida Times-Union, Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Wichita Eagle and on CNN, CNBC, NBC, Bloomberg Television, NPR’s “Marketplace” and “All Things Considered,” CNN-Radio as well as by regional electronic and print media.
In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Tutterow has served as a consultant on financial economics and statistical modeling for corporate clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to closely held businesses. He has provided expert testimony on economic, financial and statistical matters in state and federal court, before the Georgia General Assembly and before the Georgia Public Service Commission. Dr. Tutterow has given several hundred speeches to professional groups in over 40 states and Canada on topics in the economic, business and political arenas.
Dr. Tutterow served on the Council of Economic Advisors, under Georgia Governors Sonny Perdue, Nathan Deal and Brian Kemp. In 2010, he was named to the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians, which conducted a comprehensive review of Georgia’s Tax Code. In addition, Dr. Tutterow serves on the Georgia Child Support Commission, the Cobb County Public Employees’ Pension Board and the Board of Trustees of Berry College. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vinings Bank, on the Southern Region Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Blood Services and the Board of Directors for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Atlanta. He was selected by Georgia Trend magazine as a “notable Georgian” and as one of “Georgia’s Most Influential” by James magazine.
A Georgia native, Dr. Tutterow holds a B.S. in Decision Science from Berry College and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Georgia State University. Prior to joining Kennesaw State University, Dr. Tutterow held faculty and administrative appointments at West Virginia University, Georgia State University and Mercer University. He has also served as a visiting professor at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and at the Institute for Industrial Policy Studies in Seoul, South Korea.
Michael G. (Mike) McFarland is the Director of Enterprise Risk Management at Great River Energy in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In this position, Mike is responsible for oversight of Great River Energy’s risk management program, spanning strategic, large project, trading/marketing, operational, financial, and compliance risk. He also manages Great River Energy’s internal audit and insurance programs.
Mike has more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry, serving the last 13 years as Great River Energy’s risk manager. From 2002 to 2010, Mike operated a consulting company providing business strategy, project management, information technology, and risk consulting services to companies including Great River Energy. Prior to that, Mike was president of a small IT security services company and held executive positions with a global telecommunications firm. Mike began his career in 1982 as an IT professional working for Northern States Power Company (now Xcel Energy), in Minneapolis, MN, serving for 13 years in various staff and leadership positions. His risk management experience spans several of the positions and responsibilities held throughout his career, founded in the areas of operational risk, security, and emergency preparedness, and extending into market, financial and strategic risk.
Mike serves as a chairman of the board of the Minnesota Rural Electric Trust, a not-for-profit worker’s compensation insurer for Minnesota rural electric cooperatives, serves as chair of the Energy Insurance Mutual Insurance Advisory Committee, and participates as a member of FM Global’s Risk Management Executive Council. Mike co-chairs the Twin Cities ERM Roundtable, an association of practicing risk managers representing several leading Minnesota corporations, and recently served as president of the national G&T Accounting and Finance Association. Mike received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics in 1986 at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology, in Minneapolis, MN.
Lanny Nickell is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Southwest Power Pool, a FERC-approved Regional Transmission Organization. He leads engineering, operations, markets, and information technology teams and is responsible for overseeing reliable operation of the bulk electric power system, administration of wholesale energy markets, development of transmission expansion plans, and administration of resource adequacy policies within the SPP region.
Mr. Nickell has also served as Vice President of Engineering, Vice President of Operations and in various management and engineering roles since joining SPP in 1997. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tulsa and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
Shannon Thom has 27 years of cooperative experience working information technology, operations technology, and management. Thom served the members at Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative in North Baltimore, OH for nearly 17 years leaving his role of Vice President of Technology in 2013. He led significant change and modernization as the Chief Executive Officer at Henry County REMC in New Castle, Indiana from 2013-2021. In his current role as Senior Vice President of Member Engagement at Hoosier Energy, he strives to provide that key connection between member cooperative and their G&T. He holds undergraduate degrees in Electronics Technology and Information Technology as well as a Master’s in Business Administration.
Mo Saleh was appointed CFC’s Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer in 2021. Saleh has oversight of CFC’s Enterprise Risk Group, which includes enterprise risk management, credit risk management, credit standards and policy, counterparty credit risk, special situation management, asset-liability management, macroeconomic and financial market research, and pricing of CFC’s loan products.
Saleh rejoined CFC in 2016 after leaving the company in 2005 to pursue a career in commercial banking and international financial regulation. During his tenure at CFC, Saleh has held various positions across the Treasury and Finance Group including vice president of financial risk management. Previous roles included responsibility for CFC’s short-term funding and treasury operations, overseeing CFC’s investment portfolio and hedging interest rate risk.
Saleh holds a B.S. in corporate finance from the University of Maryland, College Park (magna cum laude) and an M.B.A. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Brett Bergeson was born and raised in Moses Lake, Washington. He grew up working on his father’s farm where he learned valuable life lessons of perseverance, problem solving, and hard work. Brett graduated from the University of Washington majoring in Finance and Accounting. He worked in agricultural related businesses for several years after graduation and in 2004 joined Grant County Public Utility District, a large generation, transmission, and distribution power company, located in Central Washington. At Grant PUD, Brett worked in accounting, directed Counterparty Credit and Energy Risk with contract negotiation and settlement responsibilities, managed the Strategic Planning Department which included the financial forecast, rates, budget, and cost of service analysis, and managed the Internal Audit Department. In March of 2019, Brett joined Arizona G&T Cooperatives where he manages the Internal Audit Department and is responsible for Enterprise Risk Management. Brett and his wife, Janet, now make their home near Tucson, Arizona. They have been married for 38 years and have five wonderful children and in-laws with sixteen beautiful grandchildren with more to come.
Jason Marshall recently became the Executive Vice President of Risk, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for Wabash Valley Power. He joined the generation and transmission cooperative in 2017 as the Executive Vice President of Transmission and Regulatory Affairs. Previously, Jason led the expansion of the transmission business unit which included significant reliability enhancements and the creation of a 24/7 operations center. He also represents Wabash Valley Power at organizations and regulatory bodies on regional, national and international levels.
Jason came to Wabash Valley Power from ACES, a national energy risk management company, where he served as Vice President of Regulatory and Reliability Services. In the role, he was responsible for regulatory services, reliability compliance and training. He has extensive experience in the energy industry, including in bulk power operations, electric reliability organization (ERO) compliance, transmission planning, asset management, risk management, and strategic planning. Jason also serves on the ReliabilityFirst Board of Directors, previously served on the SERC Reliability Corporation Board of Directors and is a past chair of the NERC Members Representative Committee.
Jason has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a master’s in electrical engineering from Clemson University and an MBA from the University of Indianapolis.
Shari Heino joined Brazos Electric in 2011 and has served as its Chief Risk & Compliance Officer since 2016. Shari started her career in the electric industry in 1999, serving as an attorney for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (“ERCOT”) for eight years. She then spent another five years practicing utility law with Mathews & Freeland, a small Austin utility law firm. Shari graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Plan II/Philosophy cum laude at the University of Texas at Austin and received her J.D. from the UT School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. Shari’s hobbies include dog training, ballroom dancing and magic.
Bresler has been involved with bulk power system operations and the development and implementation of electricity markets for capacity, energy, transmission rights and ancillary services for over 25 years. Bresler spent the first seven years of his career at PJM in system operations, directly supporting dispatch through day-to-day transmission and generation analysis. He then was also responsible for the development and implementation of PJM’s demand response programs, as well as the systems and market design development necessary to support the expansion of the PJM markets. He led the
development of mechanisms by which PJM’s operations and markets are coordinated with those of surrounding balancing authorities and regional transmission organizations.
Bresler earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a Master of Management in business administration from The Pennsylvania State University. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania.
Bresler is chair of the board of PJM Connext Inc., a PJM subsidiary. Bresler is also chair of the board of APEx (the Association of Power Exchanges), an international organization of electricity and gas market operators, and is a member of the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity of Chester County.
He is also on the External Advisory Board for the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering in the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
Marc Klein is the Director of Corporate Security at ACES in Carmel, Indiana. Mr. Klein joined ACES in January 2017, having held a previous position as a Sergeant/Special Investigator with the Carmel Police Department in Carmel, Indiana. As a retired police officer, Mr. Klein brings more than 20 years of law enforcement and physical security experience to ACES. Mr. Klein led the Carmel Police Intelligence Unit and was responsible for VIP protection and intelligence operations, performed criminal investigations, conducted comprehensive threat and vulnerability assessments, and served on the SWAT team. Additionally, he served on multiple law enforcement task forces, including a four-year special assignment with the Indianapolis FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force with Top Secret Clearance.
Mr. Klein’s current responsibilities include the development and continuous refinement of security protections for ACES’ facilities and developing and maintaining policies, standards, preparedness guidelines, and procedures for all ACES offices. He provides security assessments and solutions to ACES’ Members and Customers. He also directs ACES’ Business Continuity Team to ensure improvement in critical staff emergency readiness, and provides physical security at ACES’ headquarters and company events. Mr. Klein holds an active Secret Clearance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Operations Captain Chris Burcham was born and raised in Boone County. After graduating from Lebanon High School in 1994, Burcham attended Franklin College for Secondary Education. He played Football and Baseball while there and transferred to IUPUI in 1997. Burcham was hired as a jailer at the Boone County Jail in 2001 where he spent 2.5 years. He eventually moved into Communications before being hired as a Merit Deputy for the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in 2004. He moved up the ranks becoming a Corporal, then Sergeant within the road division. He was also PIO for the department for 14 years, a field training officer, general instructor, and a graduate of Boone County Leadership. He has also attended Northwestern Center for Public Safety: Supervision of Police Personnel.
After almost 20 years with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Captain Burcham chose to make a change in his life and was hired by WMPD in April of 2021. He quickly moved up the ranks to Captain of Operations in August. He is also working on his 16th year as a member of the multi-jurisdictional Special Response Team, where he has been an Operator, Sniper Element Leader and Assistant Team Leader. Chris and his wife Carrie have 3 children and enjoy movies, traveling and spending time with friends and family.
As CEO of Meridian Cooperative, Chris Haas is responsible for leading the Meridian Enterprise. Before joining the Meridian team, Mr. Haas held positions with ACES, International Paper, G.D. Searle, Profound Consulting, Wabash Valley Power Association, and Eli Lilly and Company.
Chris has a proven record of operational excellence, financial stewardship, risk management, customer service, leadership, and innovation. He has extensive knowledge of various energy markets, and the services the Meridian Enterprise provides to its Members. His technology expertise includes software development and integration, infrastructure, compliance, cybersecurity, data analytics and AI, and digital marketing. He also has experience leading large-scale system implementations including SAP enterprise integration projects, EMS/GMS/SCADA solutions, customer relationship management solutions, commodity trading and risk management systems, and ISO bid to-bill solutions.
Chris' focus on relational leadership is founded in his experience managing vendor relationships, building key industry partnerships, directing enterprise architecture design, managing Member integration and consulting efforts, and supporting the planning and establishment of unified technical visions for his previous companies.
Chris was a member of the NERC Member Representatives Committee (MRC) representing the energy-marketing sector. He participated in the Generation and Transmission (G&T) Manager’s Reliability Sub-Committee, the Energy-ISAC Mutual Assistance Group, the George Washington University Digital Marketing Advisory Council, the Evanta CIO/CISO Industry Governing Body, and the Purdue University Polytechnic Alumni Board. He is also proud to be a 20-year supporter of Hope Worldwide and their charitable efforts both locally and worldwide.
Melissa Fischer is Vice President of Risk Management Services at ACES in Carmel, Indiana. Melissa joined ACES in November 1998. In her current role, Melissa oversees various risk management services provided to ACES’ Members and Customers, including:
Trading Control Services, which include verifying transactions are captured in ACES’ risk management systems timely and accurately, monitoring trading activity for compliance with ACES’ and its Members’ and Customers’ trading authority policies, monitoring Member and Customer portfolios for compliance with their hedging policies, transaction reporting, and Dodd Frank recordkeeping, Portfolio Valuation Services, which include development and reporting of forward commodity curves and mark-to-market valuations Risk Services, which include various risk management services such as risk management policy development, risk management assessments, risk management gap analyses, risk management audits, risk management training, and ongoing risk management implementation support, including on-site energy risk management support Melissa plans, organizes, and hosts ACES’ annual Risk Managers Forum and also hosts quarterly Risk Managers Working Group meetings for the risk management personnel of ACES’ Members. She also serves on the internal risk management committee of one of ACES’ Members.
In addition to overseeing certain risk management services provided to ACES’ Members and Customers, Melissa also runs ACES’ internal risk management committee and oversees ACES’ internal enterprise risk management program.
Melissa is a CPA and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.
As Director of Risk Management and Strategy, Katie leads Meridian Cooperative's comprehensive risk management program and strategic plan. Prior to accepting the Director of Risk Management role, Katie led critical change initiatives at Meridian as the Director of Change Management. Prior to joining Meridian, Katie worked at ICF as a Senior Operations Business Partner. During her 9-year tenure at ICF, she provided strategic leadership for organizational change, service delivery, and critical projects while establishing infrastructure for a rapidly growing part of the business.
Katie is a relationship-focused, results-driven leader who excels at executing change strategies and implementing improved processes that enable growth. Katie has a proven track record of analyzing operations to identify opportunities that improve business operations while improving employee experiences. Katie conducts in-depth investigative research into workflows, resources, culture, and communication and leverages data gathered from employee feedback to develop employee-centric business solutions strategies that establish a strong foundation for sustainable growth.
Katie’s passion for resourcing teams and advocating for people moves beyond her day-to-day role in operational leadership. Katie’s drive to enrich lives is shown in her volunteer work at the Atlanta Community Food Bank and in her service as a Committee Member for the Midtown Atlanta Quality of Life Coalition.
Katie’s passion for combining people strategies with business solutions has enabled her to innovate solutions that drive revenue growth while minimizing risks and protecting company assets and interests.
Narmada Nanjundan is currently Director of Risk for East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC). Ms. Nanjundan joined EKPC in November 2011. In her current capacity she is responsible for EKPC’s Enterprise Risk Program (ERP), market risk, credit risk, business insurance and business continuity.
Ms. Nanjundan has over twenty five years of experience in the energy industry, with investor owned utilities, federal government as well as cooperatives. Prior to working at EKPC, Ms. Nanjundan worked for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., where she was a Branch Chief for Surveillance, Energy Market Oversight at the Office of Enforcement. Ms. Nanjundan also worked for NextEra Energy Resources, Duke Energy and Exelon.
Her industry experience includes enterprise risk management, business insurance, rates & regulatory policy, asset acquisition & optimization, wholesale & retail structuring, marketing & trading, business development, portfolio modeling, renewable energy logistics & financial statement analysis.
Ms. Nanjundan holds a Master of Science degree in Economics from Illinois State University, a graduate degree in cost accounting from the Institute of Cost Accountants of India in Calcutta, India, and a Bachelor of commerce degree in Taxation from Bangalore University in Bangalore, India. Ms. Nanjundan also earned her Energy Risk Professional (ERP) certification in 2013 from Global Association of Risk Professional (GARP). Ms. Nanjundan is a chartered accountant, the equivalent in India of a certified public accountant.
As Executive Vice President of Power Supply, Matt plans and implements WVPA’s power supply strategy and portfolio development while overseeing the risk management process. He also supports and implements our wholesale market operations and purchased power agreements to meet the long-term needs of our member co-ops. Before joining us in September 2020, Matt worked for ACES Power Marketing in Carmel as Vice President of Regulatory and Reliability Services. He also held the position of Executive Director of Portfolio Strategy to develop and implement hedging policies for ACES members based on each organization’s distinct risk tolerance.
Andrew Englert has over twenty years of experience in the security field. Andrew started his career in higher education security. During his time in higher education, including working for Missouri State University as the Associate Director, Department of Safety and Transportation, Andrew became familiar with access control systems, video management systems, and compliance with government regulations. Andrew transitioned to the electrical sector a year ago and is currently the Security Specialist with Associated Electric Cooperative. During his time in the electrical sector, Andrew has developed a monthly threat briefing about threats to the electrical grid, trained on Design Basis Threat, and assisted in security system designs. Andrew received an MBA, Business, from Missouri State University and has a POST certification from Drury University.
Dave Viar is Managing Director of Enterprise Risk Management at Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative in Southern Maryland. In this position, Dave is responsible for oversight of Southern Maryland’s risk management program, spanning strategic, large project, business, operational, financial, and compliance risks. He also manages Southern Maryland’s Compliance, Cyber-Security, Safety, Physical Security, facilities and insurance programs.
Dave has more than 37 years of experience in the utility industry, serving the last 8 years as Southern Maryland ’s Compliance, Security and Risk Manager. From 2009 to 2015, Dave focused on Crisis Management, and Physical and Cyber-Security. Prior to that, Dave worked in IT as a Senior Business Analyst with focus on managing projects and managing Cyber Security. Dave began his career in 1986 working as a Meter Technician for Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative and has worked in various management and leadership positions spanning from Energy Analyst to Public Relations. His risk management and security experience spans several of the positions and responsibilities held throughout his career.
Dave has served as Board President for St. Mary’s Nursing Center for the past 10 years. Dave received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Management from the University of Maryland.
Tara W. Givins currently serves as Vice President of Risk Management for Oglethorpe Power. Tara received a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance, from the University of Georgia. In addition, she graduated from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
Tara is a Certified Public Accountant who began her career with Deloitte & Touché where she performed and supervised financial audits of companies in various industries. Prior to joining Oglethorpe, Tara worked for Detroit Edison where she was instrumental in developing the middle office and accounting functions for their non-regulated trading subsidiary.
In her current position, Tara manages the overall enterprise-wide risk management program and the strategic planning process. She provides leadership in the development of risk management strategies, policies, procedures, monitoring controls, and risk reports. Tara also manages Oglethorpe’s Business Continuity Program, assisting in the development, maintenance, and exercising of business continuity plans.