Executive Forums

Answers you need from people who know


Fall Executive Forum | October 5-7, 2022 | St. Paul, MN

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.


The Saint Paul Hotel
350 Market Street
St. Paul, MN 55102

(866) 238-4218

Reserve your sleeping room online. Enter your desired dates and under the drop down for ‘Rate Type’, please select ‘I HAVE A CODE’ and then ‘Group/Block’ and enter the code 10422MEA to receive the negotiated group rate of $154/night by September 20, 2022. Guests can also call (800) 292-9292 and ask for the MEA Fall Executive Forum.

Air Travel

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is an estimated 20 minutes SW of the hotel.


There are bus and metro transit routes to the hotel, but a taxi is the most direct route.

  • Taxi $30-$40


Utilize one of the many parking ramps in Downtown Saint Paul within walking distance to the hotel. Valet parking at The Saint Paul Hotel offers an effortless option, based on availability.


Wednesday, October 5, 2022

12:15 PM – 3:00 PM | Optional Green Hydrogen Pilot Project Tour at CenterPoint Energy

The tour will consist of a description of the green hydrogen plant, goals of the pilot, plant operation and a walk through of the equipment and process. We will also receive a primer on peak-shaving and view their propane-air site that is on the same premises.

12:15 PM – 3:00 PM | Optional MISO North Operations Center Tour

This tour will highlight MISO grid operations monitoring and planning.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Board Orientation

  • Private event for board members.

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

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

Thursday, October 6, 2022

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

  • Connections and conversation with peers.

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM | Welcome

  • Eric Kozak, MEA Board Chair

8:15 AM – 9:00 AM | Future Grid Performance Challenges and Opportunities | MISO Representative

  • A representative of Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) will share with the audience the challenges and opportunities within the MISO grid. What were the success, challenges, and opportunities? Current status of the on-going transition to increased renewable energy sources, natural gas to hydrogen, small scale nuclear and much more.

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM | Leadership and Attacking Adversity | Eric Kapitulik

  • Eric will discuss his experiences as a US Marine Corps Infantry and Special Operations Officer, his survival of a tragic helicopter crash that killed 6 of his Marines and his efforts to raise money for a college scholarship fund for the children of his deceased teammates.
    • Individuals win games, great teams win games and compete for championships
    • Great teammates consistently meet and exceed two standards, “set the example” and “hold their teammates accountable”
    • Great leaders consistently meet and exceed two additional standards “accomplish the mission” and “take care of their people”

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM | Networking Break

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM | Future Impact of Hydrogen

11:00 AM – 11:50 AM | What is Net Zero, Really? | Project Canary Presenter

  • The term “Net Zero” has invaded the vocabulary of utility executives, stakeholders and activists. It is part of the core criteria for ESG Investing plans. It permeates the industries 2040-2050 plans focused on carbon emission reductions to achieve climate related goals. But what is it really? What are the rewards for achieving net zero? What are the consequences if society does not get to net zero? What is the difference between carbon neutral and net zero? How will technology innovation and adoption impact net zero?

12:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Networking Lunch

  • Connections and conversation with peers.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | The Future of the Workplace | Moderator: Jim Lorenz, MGE | Panel: Mark Johnson, DTE Energy; Eric Martuscelli, MDU Utilities Group; and Christe Singleton, CenterPoint Energy

  • Our workplace environments are changing rapidly. More flexible hours, at home, at the office, remote, and on the road. Productivity and effectiveness measures are different now. Discussion topics:
    • How do companies manage employees whose jobs do not accommodate flexible hours or locations?
    • What communication strategies can proactively address the us vs. them attitudes and misconceptions?
    • What new tools are companies using to measure productivity?
    • Is the great turnover here to stay?
    • Remote office ergonomics and safety
    • How are we assessing performance differently?
    • What major changes are being made to employee policies?

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | The Current State of Energy Delivery Operations | Moderator: Wes Ashton, Black Hills Energy | Panel: Nancy Conder, CenterPoint Energy; Sal Arana, WEC Energy – Peoples Gas; and Jamie Kiely, Evergy

  • The ways we are constructing, maintaining, and operating energy delivery systems continues to evolve. Our companies are emerging from the pandemic to a changed environment. More technology, less human interaction, competition for diverse talent and customers with great expectations. Join us for a panel conversation with operating executives on these topics more. Audience questions will be encouraged.Discussion topics:
    • Innovative approaches to safety and health
    • Operational workforce flexibility
    • Technology advancements (data, mobile, real time)
    • Mental health awareness
    • Standardization of materials and procedures

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
  • Electrification
  • Climate Activism
  • New Technology

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Dinner

Friday, October 7, 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

9:15 AM – 9:30 AM | Networking Break

9:30 AM – 11:30 AM | Board Meeting

11:30 AM | Wrap-Up and Adjourn



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


View Cancellation & Event Policies

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