Subcommittee on Utility Marketplace Access

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Sunday, February 14

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Subcommittee on Utility Marketplace Access
Ballroom Central
9:00 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Comments
Hon. Nikki Hall - UMA Chairwoman and Chair, South Carolina PSC


9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.
Consideration of Resolution for Commissioner Emeritus Linda C. Taliaferro
The UMA Commissioners are honored to consider a Resolution honoring the life and work of Commissioner Emeritus Linda C. Taliaferro.
UMA Commissioners


9:10 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Update on UMA Toolkit Project
The Supplier Diversity Toolkit was formally launched at the NARUC Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Now, the UMA Committee members will receive a briefing from NUDC on the status of the Toolkit.

Moderator: Hon. Nikki Hall - UMA Chairwoman and Chair, South Carolina PSC
Panelist: Laurie Dowling - Executive Director, National Utilities Diversity Council


9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Emerging Energy Technologies and Minority Communities; Where Do We Stand?
The controversy surrounding net energy metering, rooftop solar, smart thermostats like Nest, battery storage and other emerging distributed clean technologies has raised the question of their impact on minority and underserved communities? How do they compare today in social responsibility to utilities as they compete for customers and subsidies? This panel will be a robust discussion on the issues and where minority and underserved communities stand with this evolving market.

Moderator: Hon. Ronald Brisé, Florida
Hon. Catherine J. K. Sandoval, California
Sam Jammal, Deputy Director, Policy & Electricity Markets and Regulatory Counsel, SolarCity
Mark Magaña, President, Green Latinos
Kwame Canty, Director, External Affairs, Edison Electric Institute, EEI


10:00 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
Community and Industry Engagement
Director Harris will discuss the tools and educational materials her office is developing on how communities and policymakers can use large-scale energy development to drive local community development.

Hon. LaDoris "Dot" Harris, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, U.S. Department of Energy
Karen Atkinson, Deputy Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, U.S. Department of Energy


10:35 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.
Quantifying the Value of Supplier Diversity: A Case Study from California General Order 156
In its first-ever study to quantify the value of diverse suppliers to the California Public Utilities Commission to General Order (GO) 156, specifically in the utility sector, the CPUC staff worked with Dr. Jake Beniflah, Executive Director, the Center of Multicultural Science, to seek his expertise. In the quant study, Dr. Jake Beniflah found that diverse suppliers add value to a slow economy, the community, and the supply chain within those communities. More importantly, in a strong economy, nearly all businesses enjoy greater prosperity. Disposable income is high, unemployment is low, and consumer confidence prompts people to pump their money back into the economy through the purchase of essential and nonessential goods and services. However, during a slow economy one would expect to see the opposite. Surprisingly, the study tells a different story about diverse suppliers’ value to the economic benefits of the community and the State’s economy. The study reinforces why the investor-owned utilities’ adaption of GO 156 is so critical.

Dr. Jake Beniflah, Co-Founder and Editor, Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy - Henry Stewart Publications
10:55 a.m. - 11:05 a.m.
Building a Sustainable Supplier Diversity Program - A Primer

Panelists: Leona Charles, CEO, SPC Business Consulting, LLC


11:05 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Service Disabled Veteran Success Story

Moderator: Hon. Nikki Hall, South Carolina
Panelists: Joseph Bessler, President/CEO ATO Power, Inc.


11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Organization Updates
Invited guests include:
  • Monica Martinez, President, Hispanics in Energy
  • Bob Mulz, COB, Elite Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Network
  • Laurie Dowling, Executive Director, National Utilities Diversity Council
  • Kim Keenan, President and CEO, Minority Media Telecom Council
  • Jimmy Rhee, Special Secretary, Maryland Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs
  • Paula R. Glover, President & CEO, American Association of Blacks in Energy

Moderator: Hon. Nikki Hall, South Carolina


11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Minority Investment Bank Report
A series of Roundtables with UMA Member Commissioners and utilities have been held around the country to support an increase in the utilization of minority, women and service disabled veteran banks in utility financial transactions. A national statistical report has been prepared by Loop Capital Markets and will be presented by the panel. Discussion will include the frequency and level of participation by diverse firm in recent transactions.

Timothy Alan Simon, Com. Emeritus, California Founder TAS STRATEGIES
David Finkelstein, Principal, Williams Capital Group, L.P.


11:45 a.m.
Closing Remarks

Moderator: Hon. Nikki Hall, South Carolina