Power Matters 2018: Speakers

Click on a speaker’s name for more information.

Elaina L. Ball, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, oversees functional areas of the Company including Customer Care, Information Technology & Information Security, Sustainability including Safety & Environmental and Public & Local Government Affairs.

Ms. Ball joined El Paso Electric in 2018.  Prior to joining El Paso Electric, Ball worked at Austin Energy, the publicly owned electric utility serving 450,000 customers in the Austin, Texas area. At Austin Energy, she most recently held the position of Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for power generation, transmission and distribution, information technology and onsite energy resources. She also served on the board of the South Texas Nuclear Project electric generating station.

Prior to Austin Energy, Elaina was Vice President, Technical Services at CPS Energy, the municipally owned electric and gas utility serving the greater San Antonio area. At CPS, she was responsible for electric transmission, substation and distribution engineering, and operational technology, among other functions.

Ball has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and attended the University of Idaho Utility Executive course.

Hala N. Ballouz became CEO & President of Electric Power Engineers, Inc. in 2007. She has been a lead consultant in the electric power industry since 1991 with 20 years’ experience in renewable energy development and integration both on Transmission and Distribution levels, 30 years’ experience power systems engineer in energy and T&D as well as managing utility demand/resource plans. Additionally, she has 10 years’ experience working with utilities and stakeholders in developing countries including coordinating workshops and training. She is the author of GridNEXT (initiative furthering development of renewables through grid modernization). Hala is also the first woman to serve as president of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association, Board member of the Association of Women in Energy, and mentor in gender diversification in the energy sector.

Ms. Ballouz is the chair of GridNext, board member of the Texas Renewables Energy Association (TREIA), the Wind Coalition, and Association of Women in Energy. She has particularly contributed to the development of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) in the state of Texas, and the identification of the first major transmission re-enforcement needed to integrate the first 3,500 MW of Renewables into the grid.

An accomplished industry author and presenter, Ms. Ballouz backs her work with certifications in substation engineering and design as well as wind energy resources. Additionally, Ms. Ballouz served as expert witness on resource adequacy and transmission grid reliability in California and provides the same expertise in Texas. She is a registered Professional Engineer in several states as well as other countries.

Phyllis Bernard recently retired from her position as the Robert S. Kerr, Jr. distinguished professor of law and founding director of the Center on Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Oklahoma City University School of Law. She came to SPP with an extensive portfolio as a litigator, lobbyist, federal and state adjudicator, administrator and researcher focusing on the intersection between public and private interests. She transferred to the power industry years of experience earned in deregulation of the health-care industry, where she specialized in cost allocation, Wall Street capital financing, corporate reorganization, governance, business ethics and efficiency, competition and antitrust, conflicts of interest and regulatory compliance in the creation of innovative business and market structures. Phyllis mastered forensic accounting and fraud detection as an appellate administrative judge on the highest federal tribunal for big-ticket cost disputes involving institutional providers under Medicare Part A. Later, Phyllis contributed toward developing national policies on rural economic development, including telemedicine, as part of her service on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health for the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

On the SPP board, Phyllis served for several years as chairwoman of the Human Resources Committee, drawing upon her private-practice experience litigating for and advising corporations on personnel, labor, discrimination law and restructuring of employee benefits; her service as a commissioner for the Oklahoma Merit Protection System; and expertise in corporate cultures under transition. She assisted in developing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) standards for use by RTOs and ISOs. Phyllis is a governance fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Phyllis is a widely published and frequent speaker on national and international issues involving consensus-building, negotiation, mediation and arbitration; and coedited the first comprehensive book on ethics in ADR. She has been honored by the American Bar Association (ABA) for her contributions to Rule of Law Projects in Africa, developing culturally appropriate court-connected ADR programs in conflict zones of Nigeria, Rwanda and Liberia. The ABA also has honored her for assistance in developing guidelines for confidentiality in federal government ADR, including FERC. Phyllis has served on the governing councils of the ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice; the Section on Dispute Resolution; and ABA Africa.

Bernard is a cum laude graduate of Bryn Mawr College, has a master’s degree in American History from Columbia University and received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School with studies at the Wharton School in health-care finance. She is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar and a fellow of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges.

Vice President, Finance, Risk Management, Rates, & Procurement,
Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer, Nebraska Public Power District

Ms. Bender graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and received a master’s degree in Business Administration-Finance & Accounting from Regis University in 2006. She has also completed the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) Reactor Technology Course for utility executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ms. Bender joined NPPD in September 1990 as Technical Accounting Supervisor. She has also held the positions of District Manager, Rate Supervisor, Finance & Accounting Manager, Assistant Treasurer, and Corporate Planning & Risk Manager. She was appointed a Vice President in March 2006.

Katie ColemanKatherine L. Coleman is a Partner in Thompson & Knight’s Austin office and serves as the Firm’s Government and Regulatory Practice Group Leader.  Katie focuses her practice on regulatory and administrative law, with emphasis on state and federal energy regulations, energy markets, energy litigation and appeals, and government affairs. Katie’s significant experience with rate regulation under the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and her familiarity with the competitive energy market within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), allow her to provide clients with practical solutions for managing their electric costs and participating the wholesale market.  In addition, Katie routinely assists companies with regulatory compliance and diligence in contracting and infrastructure projects, including structuring energy agreements, joint ownership agreements for privately owned electrical facilities, energy supply agreements, and cogeneration agreements.

Katie has been acknowledged for her energy regulatory work by The Legal 500 US2018, recognized as a leading state regulatory lawyer by Chambers USA2018, honored among The Best Lawyers in America®2018, selected as “Lawyer of the Year – Energy Regulatory” by The Best Lawyers in America®for 2019, and recognized as one of Texas Lawyer’s 2018 Lawyers on the Rise.  She received a J.D., with honors, from The University of Texas School of Law in 2007, and a B.A., with high honors, from The University of Texas at Austin in 2004.

Katie served as President of the State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section for the 2016-2017 term.  She is also on the Board of Directors for the Gulf Coast Power Association (GCPA) and is currently serving as Treasurer.

Tammy Cooper is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Texas RE. An accomplished attorney with extensive experience in the electric industry, Ms. Cooper leads the Legal and External Relations departments.

Before joining Texas RE, Ms. Cooper was Of Counsel at Andrews Kurth LLP, where she represented clients in state and federal electric regulatory proceedings and advised clients on a broad range of energy-related issues. While at Andrews Kurth, she was recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in electricity law, and for her work in energy law by The Best Lawyers in America. Ms. Cooper began her legal career at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, where she most recently served as a Director of Commission Advising, supervising a team of lawyers and policy analysts that counseled the Commissioners on electric and telecommunications matters.

Ms. Cooper received a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. She is a licensed attorney in Texas, and is a past Chair of the Public Utility Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. Ms. Cooper serves as a Mentor Circle Leader for the Gulf Coast Power Association emPOWERing Women network and as a mentor to first-year law students in the Texas Law Alumni Mentoring Program. She is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Ann Delenela is a security executive with expertise spanning across 20+ years in the realm of information technology, information security and cyber/physical security management. She is currently Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for Ameren Services where she is responsible for cybersecurity covering Ameren’s Electricity, Nuclear and Gas operations. Prior to joining Ameren, Ann was Chief Security Officer for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) responsible for cybersecurity, physical security and emergency management. Ameren is a Fortune 500 corporation and ranks as the largest electric power provider in Missouri and third largest natural gas distributor in Illinois. Her prior experience includes multiple technical, managerial and strategic roles within industries ranging from energy, telecommunication, software development and consulting.

Ann is active and influential in the industry serving as an appointed or elected leader in multiple electricity sector committees. In 2018 Ann was appointed by the Department of Energy’s Secretary of Energy into the Electricity Advisory Committee, a group of selected thought leaders in the electricity sector. She is also an appointed member of the NERC Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center Member Executive Committee and prior Chairman for its Operations, Tools and Technology Working Group. Ann was also an appointed member of the Texas Private Sector Advisory Council to advise the Governor’s office on homeland security issues. Ann was prior elected Chairman for the North American Independent System Operator/Regional Transmission Organization Security Working Group. Ann is a current Board Member for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. She has served on the Advisory Board for Gartner’s Security & Risk Management Summit. Ann holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of North Texas.

John Di Stasio became president of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC) in August 2014.

Di Stasio was formerly the General Manager and CEO of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) from June of 2008 through April of 2014.

Di Stasio is the past president of both the Northwest Public Power Association and the California Municipal Utility Association and the vice chair of the Large Public Power Council. He was also a board member of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the American Public Power Association. He was a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Members Representative Committee.

Di Stasio was also a gubernatorial appointee to the California Workforce Investment Board. He was the Electric Light and Power Large Utility CEO of the Year in 2013. Di Stasio was also active in international energy issues in other countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Botswana, India and Jordan. He was named Volunteer of the Year in 2013 by the United States Energy Association.

He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. Di Stasio is a native Californian and fourth generation farmer. He is the owner of Di Stasio Vineyards, a commercial vineyard in Amador County, California. Di Stasio enjoys foreign travel, golf, fishing and Amador Zinfandels.

Stacy Dochoda is the President and CEO of the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC). FRCC is the Regional Entity for peninsular Florida. FRCC is also a NERC registered Reliability Coordinator and Planning Authority. The mission of FRCC is to assure effective and efficient reduction of risks to the reliability and security of the peninsular Florida bulk power system.

Stacy serves on the boards of FRCC and the Eastern Interconnection Data Sharing Network. 

Stacy has over 30 years’ experience in the electric utility industry, including 25 years with Reliant Energy Inc. and its predecessor, Houston Lighting and Power Company. Her experience there was primarily in regulatory and electric market design, including serving as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Prior to FRCC, Stacy served as the General Manager of the Southwest Power Pool Regional Entity (SPP RE), an eight-state area that included all or parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. 

Stacy holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from the University of Houston. She is also a Certified Public Accountant registered in the state of Texas. 

As the COO and Principal of Energy Renewal Partners, Ms. Elizondo has over fifteen years of experience in managing and permitting complex environmental compliance projects for the energy sector.  Ms. Elizondo has led teams on the evaluation and development of over 5 GW of renewable energy.  Her experience has extended across the United States and includes work with various federal, state, and local agencies. Project scopes have included biological assessments, site investigation and remediation, environmental due diligence, NEPA and SEPA assessments, avian surveys, take-permits, wetland delineations and permitting, and regulatory negotiations.  Ms. Elizondo has developed a keen ability to anticipate project constraints early in the planning process and produce effective solutions to keep projects moving forward and meet critical deadlines.  Notable projects that Ms. Elizondo has participated include the Los Vientos portfolio in south Texas totaling 910MW of wind energy, evaluation of over 2 GW of solar developments in the southeast, permitting of the Panoche Valley Solar Project in the central valley of California, energy storage evaluation in California and Texas, repowering of natural gas plants in Corpus Christi and Laredo, permitting and oversight of development and construction of over 750MW of wind energy in northern Oklahoma, and due diligence support of numerous portfolios of renewable assets equaling over 3 GWs of projects.

Energy Renewal Partners’ experienced team provides the entire spectrum of environmental and consulting services to energy sector clients. At ERP, we pledge to provide distinctive, quality and unparalleled customer service as we strive to gain the respect and trust of our clients, suppliers, and partners.  Our team understands the needs of each of our clients and continuously delivers results and value on every project. The market demands cost-effective business solutions, and ERP delivers technical excellence in a responsive, reliable, reasonable, and transparent partnership with our clients.

Sheri Givens is President of Givens Energy, an Austin, Texas-based consulting, education, and advocacy firm advising on utility issues nationwide. Her professional experience includes nearly twenty years in legal, regulatory, legislative, and external affairs.

In 2017, Sheri was appointed as the Executive Director of Utilities United Against Scams, a consortium of 100-plus North American electric, gas, and water companies with a mission to combat scams by providing a forum for companies and associations to share data and best practices working together to implement initiatives to inform and protect customers. She also authored its utility consumer scam awareness and education guide supported by five utility trade associations. In 2018, she was appointed to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee and serves on the Smart Grid Subcommittee.

From 2009 to 2013, Sheri was twice appointed by the Texas Governor, and confirmed by the Texas Senate, to lead the Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel, the state’s consumer advocacy agency for residential and small business utility customers representing the state’s 20 million-plus consumers. Sheri was known for directing her state agency in active consumer education initiatives statewide through in-person outreach, publications, and social media during her tenure. In 2014, she received the Citation for Exceptional Service in Support of National Defense from the Association of the United States Army for founding her prior agency’s military outreach program. She served on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Texas Reliability Entity Inc. Boards of Directors and the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates. She currently serves on the Association of Women in Energy Board of Directors.

Sheri received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

Thais Grossi joined the Enchanted Rock team in 2016 and brings her management and execution expertise from manufacturing operations of critical service subsea equipment in the oil and gas industry. Before joining Enchanted Rock, Thais held program management and leadership positions at Oceaneering International at manufacturing locations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Houston, Texas. She brings over 16 years of execution and operations management experience to Enchanted Rock Electric. Thais received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rio de Janeiro State University.

Colette Honorable

Colette D. Honorable is a Partner in the global Energy and Resources Group of Reed Smith LLP, resident in the Washington, DC office. Colette is a highly regarded policy maker and thought leader in domestic and international energy sectors. Colette recently served as Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, nominated by President Barack Obama in August 2014 and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate for a term that ended in June 2017. She previously served as Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Colette is also a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution with the Cross- Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate and serves as a Global Advisory Board Member of the Energy Futures Initiative. Colette is a member of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Board of Directors and also serves as a C3E Ambassador with the MIT Energy Initiative.

Elin Swanson Katz has served as Connecticut’s Consumer Counsel since 2011. She heads the Office of Consumer Counsel, an independent state agency established in 1975, which advocates on behalf of consumers in matters relating to electricity, water, natural gas, and telecommunications. Her agency also includes the Connecticut State Broadband Office. As Consumer Counsel, Ms. Katz serves on the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board, the Commission for Education Technology, and the Water Planning Council Steering Committee, among other state boards. Ms. Katz is President of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (“NASUCA”). She is also NASUCA’s representative on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service. Ms. Katz also serves as Governor Malloy’s designee on the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Commission.  Ms. Katz is on the Executive Committee for the Critical Consumer Issues Forum, a joint initiative of NARUC, NASUCA and EEI, and the Advisory Board of the Financial Research Institute within the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri, which provides a neutral environment for stakeholders in the regulated public utility industry to come together to examine, understand, and debate current issues relating to public utility policy.

Ms. Katz was recently awarded the 2018 STEM/Environmental “Good Scout” Award from the Connecticut Yankee Council of the Boys Scouts of America.  She was also named the “2016 Local Internet Choice State Champion” by the Coalition for Local Internet Choice. In addition, she received the New England Women in Energy and Environment’s (NEWIEE) 2014 Achievement Award.

Prior to becoming Consumer Counsel, Ms. Katz practiced at law firms in Washington, D.C.; Boston; and Hartford.  She also served as Assistant Counsel at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, taught at Trinity College in Hartford, and served as a legal consultant.  Ms. Katz served on the West Hartford, Connecticut Board of Education from 2009 to 2013.  Ms. Katz holds degrees from Cornell University (B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations), Boston University School of Law (J.D. cum laude), and Trinity College (M.A. in English (Writing, Rhetoric, and Media Arts), with honors).

Debbie Kimberly joined Austin Energy in January 2013. Customer Energy Solutions is responsible for the utility’s energy efficiency and demand response programs, customer solar and renewable subscription offerings, green building program, advanced transportation, market analytics and key accounts, which serves Austin Energy’s largest customers. Kimberly also manages Corporate Communications for Austin Energy, including Public Information and Marketing Communications. These areas promote the utility’s promise of being customer driven and community focused while bringing visibility to all the services and programs offered to customers.

Kimberly has worked in the utility industry for more than 30 years and spent more than 22 years at the Salt River Project in Central Arizona. She served as SRP’s director of customer programs and marketing, where she was responsible for energy efficiency product design and implementation; marketing of all products, price plans, and services; measurement and evaluation; and market research. Previous roles included managing SRP’s financial services and involvement in public policy and strategic planning initiatives.

Bill Magness joined ERCOT in 2010, and became ERCOT’s president and chief executive officer in January 2016.  Before becoming CEO, Mr. Magness served as ERCOT’s general counsel.

Mr. Magness has been active in the utility business for over 25 years, working with electric and telecommunications companies nationwide. He has held executive management positions in the public and private sectors, and served as lead counsel in numerous state and federal regulatory matters. Early in his career, served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Mr. Magness represents the Independent System Operator/Regional Transmission Organization (ISO/RTO) sector on the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Member Representatives Committee, is a member of the Executive Committee of the ISO/RTO Council, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Smart Grid Center.

Mr. Magness grew up in Orange, Texas, received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters.

Lisa Martin is a Program Manager of Advanced Technology at Austin Energy (AE), the City of Austin’s municipally owned utility and one of the largest publicly owned utilities in the nation serving more than 490,000 customers.  Lisa is currently the project manager for Austin SHINES, a project funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).  Austin SHINES establishes an open standards-based Distributed Energy Resources (DER) management platform to integrate and optimize DER at several levels along the utility value chain.  Prior to working at AE, Lisa worked for Southern California Edison (SCE) in the field of energy markets and power and gas origination.  Lisa has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Christian Brothers University and an MBA in Operations Management from the University of Illinois.  Lisa is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.

Thomas McAndrew founded Enchanted Rock Ltd. in 2006 and currently serves as the President and CEO.  McAndrew brings over 34 years of experience in energy asset management ranging from large, complex nuclear plants to small distributed generation. Prior experiences include VP of Trading and Risk Management at Calpine, CEO at Progressive Power Solutions, VP of West Power Trading at Statoil, and Director at Enron. McAndrew has also served in U.S. Navy as Lieutenant. He holds B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, Masters Equivalent in Nuclear Power Operations from the US Navy, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Tom McKittrick

Tom is the President / founder of Forsite Development, Inc. a Charlotte, North Carolina development company that focuses exclusively on acquiring and redeveloping corporate surplus industrial facilities. Since 2004 Forsite has redeveloped in excess of 8 million SF on 3,000 + acres of land. Their projects have bolstered new investment into numerous shuttered sites and attracted or retained over 1200 jobs.

Through Forsite’s exclusive focus on acquiring heavy industrial sites, they’ve honed a unique skill set for managing sites with legacy environmental conditions. Their expertise has evolved to create an Environmental Liability Risk Transfer platform. This involves Forsite acquiring title to contaminated sites and assuming all liabilities and responsibilities for cleaning up the property.

Utilities are starting to embrace Risk Transfer as it provides a fixed cost divestment option for their shuttered coal fired power plants. Forsite has performed these transactions on a wide variety of heavy industrial sites including; chemical plants, dye manufacturing, metal plating facilities and power plants. Just last week, Forsite announced the acquisition of two Consumers Energy plants in Michigan (BC Cobb in Muskegon and JR Whiting in Luna Pier), and they’ve previously acquired 3 coal plants in North Carolina via Risk Transfer.

Prior to starting Forsite, Tom was a ten-year veteran and Senior Vice President of Development for Indianapolis based Lauth Property Group.

Cheryl Mele became ERCOT’s senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO) in January 2016. She oversees Grid Operations and Planning, Commercial Operations, and Governance, Risk and Compliance.

Prior to joining ERCOT, Cheryl served as deputy general manager and COO for Austin Energy, where she led its power operations, compliance and planning activities. Throughout her extensive career in the power industry, Ms. Mele’s management and executive roles have encompassed power generation and energy delivery.

A registered professional engineer in Texas, Ms. Mele has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, NY and completed The Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho. Cheryl has previously served on the boards of Texas Public Power Association, STP Nuclear Operating Company and the Rocky Mountain Electrical League and is a current member of the Austin Science Education Foundation Board.

John Miri oversees information technology, safety, employee services, support services, cybersecurity, enterprise risk management, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) compliance and natural resource management. Prior to joining LCRA, John was chief executive officer of Bluewater Technology Services, a strategic consulting company. He has served on the Texas Online Authority’s Board of Directors and in several senior executive positions for the Texas Department of Information Resources. John built Texas’ first integrated network and security operations center and co-authored the first statewide cybersecurity strategic plan. Early in his career, John was chief architect of a number of innovative software products and was awarded a patent for an energy risk software system that was successfully deployed to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Williams, Dynegy, ConocoPhillips and others. John graduated from Harvard University with a degree in physics. He also graduated from the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

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Rebecca Motal is the President of Motal and Eby LLC.  Motal and Eby provides energy, water and environmental consulting services. Rebecca is also the President and Chairman of the Association of Women in Energy.  AWE provides opportunities for women to meet other energy industry professionals and to enhance their knowledge of energy issues.

Rebecca retired from the Lower Colorado River Authority as General Manager, after 27 years at the organization. She was General Manager during a challenging period for LCRA.  She led the organization through a severe drought and devastating wildfires.   She streamlined the organization, reduced costs by eliminating more than 20% of the work force (over 500 positions) to better position LCRA for the competitive electric market. She led the development of more than 100,000 acre-feet of new supplies of water for the lower Colorado River basin.   She also held positions that included the General Manager of LCRA, Chief Executive Officer of the LCRA Transmission Services Corporation and the GenTex Power Corporation. Previous professional experience at LCRA included executive responsibilities in finance, regulatory and external affairs.

Prior to LCRA, she held positions as a water and environmental attorney.  She holds three degrees from the University of Texas at Austin:  Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics; Doctor of Jurisprudence and a Masters of Business Administration from the University’s Executive MBA program.

Lawanda Parnell is the Chief Information Officer for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative. She is responsible for the cooperative’s information technology infrastructure, including application development and support, hardware, network, telecommunications, technical support, records management and cybersecurity.

Before coming on at PEC, Parnell was a senior director and then interim CIO at CPS Energy in San Antonio. She also worked as an IT consultant and in several management and executive positions at IBM.

Parnell holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Florida in Gainesville and earned a Master of Science in management of technology from the National Technological University in Fort Collins, Colo. She resides in Horseshoe Bay and in her free time enjoys fishing, parasailing, reading, scrapbooking and traveling.

Julie Caruthers Parsley brings a wealth of industry knowledge, a commitment to member service and an enthusiasm for the cooperative difference to our top management position.

Before coming to PEC, Parsley was a founding partner of Parsley Coffin Renner LLP, a law firm specializing in utility regulations, and focused her practice on energy-related legal services in Texas and the Southwest. A top-rated utility attorney in Austin, Parsley gained distinct honor when selected for inclusion by Thomson Reuters in Texas Super Lawyers in 2004 and 2014-2017, a publication that recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in the state.

A former commissioner of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), Parsley also served on the Regional State Committee in the Southwest Power Pool, where she served terms as president, vice president and secretary-treasurer. She was also a member of the Texas Energy Planning Council, whose recommendations resulted in the ultimate creation and passage of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones, or CREZ. Parsley is also a founding board member of the Association of Women in Energy, and a member of the Gulf Coast Power Association and enjoys mentoring individuals in energy, policy and regulatory matters.

Dan Smith

Dan joined Austin Energy in 2003 and is currently the Vice President of Electric Service Delivery (ESD). He is responsible for leading Austin Energy’s Transmission & Distribution organization. Dan has held various management positions at Austin Energy, including Director of Smart Grid and System Operations, Interim Vice President of Electric Service Delivery, Director of Transmission and Substation Engineering and Construction, and Engineering Manager of Substation and Relay Engineering. Dan is passionate about company transformation that starts with and is rooted in safety, and has been instrumental in leading and supporting several safety initiatives currently underway at the utility. Prior to joining Austin Energy, Dan spent 10 years with Advanced Micro Devices, where he focused on improving reliability and power quality of their electric supply in the United States, Germany, and Japan.

Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University in College Station. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, a Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and has presented and authored numerous papers at technical conferences and educational venues.

Annette Sobel

Dr. Annette Sobel is a former Major General in the Arizona Air National Guard, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Education, and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the former Executive Director for Critical infrastructure Protection and Health Security Initiatives, TTU. She is residency trained in Family and Community Medicine and Aerospace Medicine and is a Hyperbaric Medicine Specialist, certified by the U.S. Navy. As a physician-human factors engineer, she worked at Sandia National Laboratories as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff and was a guest scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She was a senior advisor to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Dr. Sobel also served as Senior Advisor for Biosecurity Engagement in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense/Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Program. She served as the Chair of the Permanent Monitoring Panel for mitigation of acts of terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists.

Dr. Sobel served as a Major General in the Arizona Air National Guard, and retired in 2008 after over twenty years of military service and served as the first Director of Intelligence for the National Guard Bureau, immediately post 9/11 and during the Hurricane Katrina response. Trained as a military and civilian flight surgeon, she was an Army Astronaut Candidate in 1989. Dr. Sobel served in combat in Operation Just Cause and supported Space Shuttle Operations at NASA Dryden Test Flight Facility during Operation Desert Storm. While Senior Flight Surgeon for the 57th MEDEVAC Detachment, Fort Bragg, N.C., Dr. Sobel was responsible for all pre-hospital medical care and training. She also served as the Assistant to the Chief, National Guard Bureau, as well as the Chief’s Advisor for Civil-Military Support during 9/11. Dr. Sobel served as Homeland Security Director and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Public Safety for the State of New Mexico from 2003-2005.

Dr. Sobel served a triennium of service on the National Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of the Usain, is a Board Member of the South Plains Council of BSA, and the Vice President Elect of Komen Foundation, Lubbock. She received the New Mexico Anti-Defamation League’s Distinguished Public Service Award, as well as a NATO award for career service devoted to understanding the science of weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Sobel’s research focuses on integration of human factors principles into a wide range of systems engineering platforms to include synthetic aperture radar systems for advanced tactical fighters, virtual reality and robotic training platforms, unmanned aircraft systems, decision assisting algorithms for emerging infectious disease response and medical diagnostics for prehospital care.

Brian is currently responsible for utilities, resiliency, and sustainability for the Texas National Guard facility portfolio of over 5.8 million square feet at 70 sites and campuses throughout the State of Texas. During his 25 year military career, he served in a variety of unique units and assignments including inter-agency operations, strategic planning, and civil-military operations. He became involved in the energy field during a deployment to Iraq in 2005. As a civil affairs officer, he worked directly with coalition units and the Iraqi government to restore essential services including electricity (generation, transmission, and distribution) to increase the capacity of the Iraqi government. He attended the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Energy Executives Program in 2010 in preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan. In 2010-11, he commanded a 75 person specialized unit in Afghanistan, focused on the development of distributed energy production to increase the capacity of the Afghan government. He is currently focused on increasing the sustainability, security, and resiliency of the Texas National Guard, through innovative energy programs. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Wayland Baptist University and a Master of Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) through the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).

Aundrea Williams is president of Lone Star Transmission, LLC and NEET Southwest. In this role, Aundrea is responsible for the continued profitability and overall success of our existing 330-mile high-voltage transmission line and associated facilities in Texas, as well as advancing new opportunities to expand and grow.

Aundrea joined NextEra Energy in 2013 as director of regulatory and legislative strategy at Gexa, where she was responsible for all regulatory and legislative advocacy and compliance for Gexa’s retail business in 14 states. More recently, Aundrea was responsible for representing NextEra Energy Resources’ interests before various regulatory commissions, stakeholder processes and regional organizations throughout the Southwest Power Pool and Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Aundrea recently served as a representative for the independent generator segment on the SPP Members Committee. Aundrea holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Stephen F. Austin University and a master’s degree in business from the University of Houston.