Power company executives from 100 of TVPPA’s 153 members gathered in Orange Beach, Ala., from May 16-18 for the association’s 76th Annual Conference. Attendees gained valuable insight from a spectrum of subject matter experts that included both peers from inside the Valley and leaders from organizations that included APPA, NRECA, General Motors, the Fiber Broadband Association and government relations experts Meguire Whitney.

TVPPA Chairman Wes Kelley kicked off the first full day of the event on Tuesday, May 17 with the Chairman’s Address. Kelley highlighted the foundational elements of the Tennessee Valley’s unique public power model including the mission of service, the business model, local control and a focus on meeting the needs of customers and communities. In his address, Kelley called on TVPPA members to continue working together to uphold the characteristics and structure that have made the relationship between TVA and LPCs in the Valley successful for over 80 years, while exploring opportunities to evolve to meet changing customer and industry expectations.

During his welcoming remarks, President and CEO Doug Peters shared the many ways TVPPA has expanded and reimagined the services offered to members, including a New Manager training program, Hot Topics webinar series that delivers vital learning opportunities on key issues, coordination of a Supply Chain Toolkit for communications, and expanded opportunities to access education and training programs.

Keynote speaker Matt Mayberry challenged leaders to transform their leadership style by learning to effectively communicate with their teams. He also stressed the importance of developing a company culture that instills a sense of purpose and drives fulfillment among employees.

Other day one highlights included guidance from Meguire Whitney’s managing principal Elizabeth Whitney and President of the Fiber Broadband Association, Kevin Morgan, on the types of federal funding available via infrastructure grants and tips on successful grant applications to receive such funding. A panel talk entitled Next Level Disaster Planning included first-hand accounts from TVPPA members Marty Ivy of Mayfield Electric & Water Systems (Ky.) and Keith Carnahan of Meriwether Lewis EMC (Waverly, Tenn.) along with an explanation of how federal disaster support is coordinated by NRECA’s Martha Duggan. TVPPA’s Manager of Education & Training, Caleb Hall, offered insight on mutual aid coordination in the Valley.

Day two of the conference included APPA President and CEO Joy Ditto outlining the challenges and opportunities facing the public power industry. Ditto broke down the differing business models of U.S. power companies and outlined challenges facing local power companies that included changing customer expectations and federal level regulatory issues such as environmental issues and grid infrastructure. Opportunities she listed included developing future leaders and thinking differently about workforce development, educating policymakers and using available platforms to tell the public power story.

Other highlights from the final day of the conference included Rose Schmidt of the Center for Energy Workforce Development sharing how the CEWD promotes energy industry careers and supports organizations in changing their cultures to attract and retain the skilled, diverse workforce of the future. Michael Ingram of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory walked attendees through a deep-dive on how expanded solar generation, battery storage and the growth of EVs will impact the energy industry. Ted Koupparas of General Motors spoke on the impact of supply chain issues on the automotive industry and shared what GM’s EV lineup will look like over the coming years; and TVA CEO Jeff Lyash closed out the conference with an update on TVA’s Valley Vision 2035 initiative.

Look for a more in-depth recap of conference events in the next issue of TVPPA Magazine, coming out in July.

TVPPA’s 2022 Annual Conference highlights are captured in the photos below.

  • TVPPA Golf Tournament