Executive Forums

Answers you need from people who know


Spring Executive Forum | March 23-25, 2022 | Plano, TX

Fall Executive Forum | September 20-22, 2022 | Minnesota

The MEA Executive Forums are industry events for leaders and executives from natural gas and electric delivery companies, supplier companies, and contractors. Participate in structured discussions on conference topics, discover successful practices, and share ideas with leaders in similar roles to help envision and prepare for a better future for the energy industry.

Location for Spring Forum

Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center
7121 Bishop Rd
Plano, TX 75024

Hotel Reservations

Reserve your room online by Tuesday, March 8 to receive the $189 plus taxes nightly rate. This rate is offered three days pre- and post-conference based on availability. To extend your stay at this rate, please make your reservation online and then contact Ellen Beck, Group Housing Coordinator at the Marriott at (972) 473-4295 to confirm.

Air Travel

Dallas Love Field (DAL) is an estimated 20 miles S of the hotel.
Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport (DFW) is an estimated 23 miles SW of the hotel.


The hotel does not provide shuttle service to/from either airport. Super Shuttle is available (reservation required), or estimated one-way taxi fare is $50-$60.


The hotel offers valet parking for $24/day, or a discounted rate of $10/day self-parking for hotel guests. Self-parking is complimentary on Friday and Saturday nights.

Agenda for Spring Forum

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

8:00 AM | Optional Golf Outing (tee times beginning at 10:00 AM)

  • Pre-registration is closed.
  • Transportation provided (meet in hotel lobby at 9:15 AM)
  • Twin Creeks Golf Club [501 Twin Creeks Drive, Allen, TX]
  • $60 golf, $40 club rental, boxed lunch and three drink tickets provided

10:00 AM | Optional JFK Assassination and Museum Tour with Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House (limited space available)

The circumstances of JFK’s assassination are controversial. During this guided tour, a historian helps you separate the facts, stories, and theories behind that pivotal day in 1963. Visit both the Grassy Knoll in Dealey Plaza and the John F. Kennedy Memorial during this tour.

  • Pre-registration is closed.
  • Transportation provided (meet in hotel lobby at 9:30 AM)
  • Duration| 3 hours + travel
  • Complimentary

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM | Welcome Reception 

  • Gather and greet over beverages and hors d’oeuvres.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM | Networking Breakfast

  • Connections and conversation with peers.

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM | Welcome

  • John Webster, MEA Board Chair

8:15 AM – 9:00 AM | Apology Free Leadership in the Midst of Change | Kathi Kulesza

  • The leaders and organizations who will emerge from the pandemic successfully will have found harmony between the best laid plans and the ability to adapt as we continue to navigate uncharted territory. The pandemic has caused a Great Reset and, if leveraged properly, it’s an opportunity to drive your business forward, redefine your vision, and improve performance. Imagine being prepared for an uncertain future and having the confidence to overcome any challenge or obstacle in your path. You will learn three leadership traits that will equip you to lead with confidence, courage, and decisiveness – no apology needed. Be the leader who is resilient, adapts, and thrives in the face of change and uncertainty.

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM | Hydrogen’s Possible Impacts on our Energy Future | Brian Weeks

  • Hydrogen is generating a lot of conversation and research as both a transition and sustainable energy source. Most often thought of as replacement for natural gas or blended solution with natural gas. What are possible applications for hydrogen across the broad energy delivery systems? What are some of the impediments to adoption of hydrogen? Is hydrogen safe?

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM | Networking Break

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM | Workforce 2030 – Are You Ready? | Val Grubb

  • More so than any group before it, the workforce over the next decade will be shaped by demographic shifts, technological innovation, the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (both mentally and physically), and ever-changing societal demands. To achieve success, companies must adapt now for current and continued workforce disrupters; those that fail to do so jeopardize their very existence. In this highly interactive discussion, speaker Valerie Grubb reviews critical population and employment data, unpacks looming technology trends, and examines other issues that will shape the 2030 workforce. More importantly, she’ll take us beyond the numbers to map out how executives can adapt their leadership to engage the current workforce to up their game.

11:00 AM – 11:50 AM | Neurodiversity: The Untapped Talent Pool That Fuels Your Success | Susan Fitzell

  • Do you wonder what the buzz about neurodiversity is and why it matters to your industry? Are you curious about the benefits of divergent thinking in the energy sector? Would you like tools and strategies for tapping into the power of your people? This session addresses these questions and more.

12:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Networking Lunch

  • Connections and conversation with peers.

Guest Program:

12:30 PM | Dallas Food and Culture Tour

Pre-registration required; limited space available.
Meet in hotel lobby at 11:45 AM for group departure

On this 2 hour walking food tour, you will be able to sample some of the best Tex-Mex food stops that the Historic West End of Downtown Dallas has to offer! Not only will you learn the back story on a unique Texas food culture, but you will hear the amazing history that brought Dallas to life!

  • Transportation provided (meet in hotel lobby at 11:45 AM) to starting location; tour is a walking tour
  • The duration of the tour is 2 hours (plus travel time)



1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Mental Health Awareness | Frank King

  • Many workplace mental health and wellness programs exist. Sometimes, due to internal stigma within these programs, the topic of suicide prevention, along with intervention and crisis response, is neglected. When we do not talk about it, we cannot address it. Construction professionals are at the greatest risk for suicide according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Occupational Suicide List. This has led state departments of health to recommend or require these workers to receive suicide prevention training. Bottom line, you can make a difference, you can save a life, and often you can do it by simply starting a conversation.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Supply Chain Future State Conversation | Mark Bridgers

  • The supply chain continues to be impacted by the global pandemic. Lead times, availability of materials/components, and costs are changing daily. This disruption has presented opportunities to seek new solutions for supply chain challenges. At the same time, the energy delivery infrastructure is undergoing significant long-term change to adapt to environmental and social sustainability. How will supply chains adjust to a future with all electric vehicles and the transition of the natural gas delivery system to a hydrogen delivery system? The conversation will focus on the evolution of energy delivery supply chains to a future state.

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Networking Break

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Energy Industry Roundtable

The roundtable provides attendees the opportunity to discuss with peers some issues that are impacting our industry. Topics include:

  • Regulatory Changes/Updates
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Industry Disruptors
  • Future Workforce
  • Climate Activism
  • New Technology

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM | Dinner & Entertainment

  • Frank King, Comedian | He was a writer for Jay Leno, and The Tonight Show, for 20 years, and has been a speaker and corporate comedian for 30 years. He’s had two aortic valve replacements, a double bypass, a massive heart attack, and three stents, and lived to joke about it all, so he is truly funny at heart. He began his standup comedy career in 1985 catching the comedy club wave, and holds the record for the longest, non-stop comedy club road trip 2,629 nights in row, with no home, just a PO Box, and an answering service.

Friday, March 25, 2022

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM | Networking Breakfast

  • Connections and conversation with peers.

8:00 AM – 9:15 AM | Board Committee Meetings

  • Board Development Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Strategic Development Committee

9:30 AM – 11:30 AM | Board Meeting

11:30 AM | Wrap-Up and Adjourn



  • Member Rate | $500/person
  • Non-Member Rate | $700/person


Executive Forums occur twice a year in conjunction with the MEA Board Meetings. The spring event is typically hosted in March/April in a warm destination and the fall event is typically hosted in September/October in the Midwest. Regardless of the location or if it is online, the purpose of the roundtables is to connect with and learn from your peers.

Topics include:

  • Technology trends
  • Utility case studies/successful practices
  • Industry initiatives and changes
  • Regulatory updates
  • Professional/leadership development
  • Other areas of interest to upper level personnel