Executive Forums

Answers you need from people who know

Spring Executive Forum
March 2022 | In-Person & Virtual

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 regarding conference topics, best practices, and idea sharing with leaders in similar roles and help envision and prepare for a better future for the energy industry.

Check out the Fall 2021 event!

Fall 2021 Agenda

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM | [Optional] Coffee and Connect Time!
Pre-event access for connections and conversation with peers.

9:00 AM – 9:05 AM | Welcome & Introduction with John Webster, MEA Chair

9:05 AM – 9:50 AM | Welcome to the Blind Spot Zone | Kevin McCarthy
We all have them, hidden biases, implicit associations, and thinking errors. They cloud perception, drive destructive behaviors, and impair decision-making. Expose the invisible barriers that hobble your performance at work and at home.

In this program you will learn to:

  • Identify the blind spots that hinder you from living your best life
  • Learn to better communicate with others and reduce conflict
  • Enjoy improved relationships with co-workers, friends, and family
  • Make more ethical decisions, at work and at home
  • Expose invisible barriers that impact culture, operations, training, service, and leadership

In 2004, Kevin McCarthy’s boss was arrested for the largest stock fraud in Washington State history. As a result, Kevin spent 33 months in a federal prison for a crime he didn’t knowingly commit. Looking back at the experience, he recognized, – then deeply researched – the blind spots that lead to his predicament. The result was his bestselling book, Blind Spots – Why Good People Make Bad Choices.

9:50 AM – 10:15 AM | Networking Breakouts and Break

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM | The Gamechanger’s Playbook | Tisha Schuller
The disruptions of the last year have upended our lives and created unprecedented risks for the oil and gas industry — but they have also created an opening for oil and gas leaders to seize the energy future. In this keynote talk, Tisha address’s themes from her 2020 book The Gamechanger’s Playbook: How Oil & Gas Leaders Thrive in an Era of Continuous Disruption. She outlines the three disruptors that have changed the risk landscape for oil and gas companies; the three timeless values that oil and gas leaders have drawn from for generations; and the three gamechangers that will allow our industry to move away from being disrupted to being the disruptor. Learn how you, the game-changing leader, can turn the risks of this moment into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for leadership.

11:00 AM – 11:20 AM | Networking Breakouts and Break

11:20 AM – 12:00 PM | Every Employee is Responsible for DEI: Agency, Accountability, and Emotional Intelligence | Anne Phibbs
As our social landscape becomes increasingly diverse and open in terms of racial and gender identity, disability and mental health, religion and nationality, etc, we see our workplaces change as well. It’s not just demographic shifts that change how we work together. More and more employees are showing up in their workplaces as active allies in support of antiracism and social justice. In this interactive session, we’ll look at how increased agency on the part of our employees is requiring our managers and leaders to hold themselves, and others, accountable. Whether we’re educating ourselves and others about pronoun use, microaggressions, or unconscious bias, “managing” increasingly requires new knowledge and skills, such as emotional intelligence, in order to create inclusive teams and an inclusive workplace.

12:00 PM – 12:05 PM | Wrap Up with John Webster, MEA Chair

Thursday, September 23, 2021

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM | [Optional] Coffee and Connect Time!
Pre-event access for connections and conversation with peers.

9:00 AM – 9:05 AM | Welcome with Eric Kozak, MEA 1st Vice Chair

9:05 AM – 9:50 AM | It Starts With You: 3 Breakthrough Steps to Reimagining Leadership, Business, and Life | Justin Patton
Justin will prove, through relevant examples and interactive exercises, that to be a great leader of others you must first be a great leader of yourself. He will teach breakthrough lessons that learners can immediately apply in all parts of their lives to lead and communicate more effectively. Leaders will leave feeling empowered and understanding that “Leadership is not about you, but it starts with you!”

In this interactive session, leaders will. . .

  • Discuss the three factors that make up a leader’s credibility
  • Identify who they are at their best
  • Highlight the #1 trait that holds all leaders back and erodes their credibility

9:50 AM – 10:15 AM | Networking Breakouts and Break

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM | Your People and Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know | Dr. Massoud Amin
Recent high profile attacks have raised societal concerns to new levels regarding cyber security. MEA operations personnel interact with cyber security requirements daily. They are as common as a daily safety meeting. The sophistication of the threats is evolving and changing. Names, numbers, and personal details all make human beings the weakest link. Are your systems and devices updated and secure? Are you following the latest password protocol? Is your approach proactive or reactive?

Dr. Massoud Amin, Professor University of Minnesota will share insights and experiences to help minimize the threats to cybersecurity.

  • Black Swan Events
  • Proactive Security
  • Human Behavior
  • Managing Risk

11:00 AM – 11:20 AM | Networking Breakouts and Break

11:20 AM – 12:00 PM | Banish Burnout: Move from Stress to Success | Janice Litvin
Janice Litvin is on a mission to help leaders and teams banish burnout in their organizations, so their employees can come to work healthy, happy, and ready to work. Her “Banish Burnout: Move from Stress to Success” keynotes, workshops, and executive masterminds help leaders prevent burnout in their organizations and create a culture of well-being from the inside out. Her book Banish Burnout Toolkit further engages teams to create sustainable behavior change.

In this lively, interactive session Janice Litvin will show attendees how to change the way they react to stress from the inside out. The journey begins by learning how to interrupt negative thoughts. Then she shows how to identify your stress patterns and how to change them. Finally, she uncovers viable techniques for setting healthy boundaries at work and home. This session will be humorous, engaging, and impactful.

12:00 PM – 12:05 PM | Wrap Up with Eric Kozak, MEA 1st Vice Chair

Sponsors: 3P Utility Services, GROEBNER, Michels

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