We are currently planning  the 2019 symposium and will post updates as the schedule is formed!



OCTOBER 15, 2018

12:00 P.M.  Lunch & Registration

Enjoy lunch and get checked in as we kick off the 2018 Michigan Electric Cooperatives Symposium!

1:00 P.M.  Get Plugged In

  • Craig Borr, President & CEO, Michigan Electric Cooperative Association

Welcome to the 2018 Michigan Electric Cooperatives Symposium!

1:15 P.M.  Creating Co-op Ambassadors

  • Dean Adams, Emerging Leaders Program
  • Valarie Handy, Emerging Leaders Program
  • Rachel Johnson, Member Relations Manager, Cherryland Electric Cooperative
  • Terry Lautner, Director, Cherryland Electric Cooperative
  • Gabe Schneider, Director, Cherryland Electric Cooperative

Cherryland Electric Cooperative recently launched an Emerging Leaders Program to engage younger members. Learn about what younger members want from their co-ops and how one co-op is inspiring the next generation of cooperative leaders.

2:15 P.M.  Deja Vu—Co-ops Repeat Founding Mission with Broadband

  • Bob Hance, President & CEO, Midwest Energy & Communications
  • Mark Kappler, General Manager & CEO, HomeWorks Tri-County
  • Phil Mudge, Head of Broadband Deployment, Great Lakes Energy
  • Tom Sobeck, CEO, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op

Nearly 90 years ago, electric cooperatives brought power to rural communities across the country. True to their founding missions, they’re doing it all over again—this time, with broadband!

3:00 P.M.  Break
3:15 P.M.  Just a Second Ago

  • Brad Livingston

A combination of too much pride, improper perspectives, and “time-saving” shortcuts nearly cost Brad Livingston his life. Hear his inspiring story about workplace safety and the responsibilities we all have to foster a culture of safety.

5:15 P.M.  Associate Member Reception
Fifth Third Ballpark
Transportation from the JW to Fifth Third Ballpark will be provided. Attendees can board the bus at the JW’s International Ballroom Drop-off
at 5:15 p.m. for a 5:30 p.m. departure.

OCTOBER 16, 2018

8:00 A.M.  Breakfast
8:30 A.M.  Guardians of the Grid

  • Arell Chapman, Cooperative Director/VP of Information Technology, Gleaner Life Insurance
  • Damon Crozier, SCADA Programmer, Wolverine Power Cooperative
  • Doug Snitgen, Executive Vice President, MECA
  • Mike Youngs, Director of Business Security, Great Lakes Energy

Cyber-security is dominating conversations in the media, in Washington, D.C., and here at home. Learn what the State of Michigan,  cooperatives, and directors are doing to protect the grid from cyber threats.

9:30 A.M.  Planning for the Future: Michigan’s Economy and the New Regulatory Environment

  • Patrick L. Anderson, Principal & CEO, Anderson Economic Group

Take a look at how Michigan’s economy has changed in recent years and where it is going amidst a changing regulatory environment.

10:30 A.M.  Break
11:00 A.M.  The Rubber Hits the Road

  • Britta Gross, Director of Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy, General Motors
  • Sam Hogg, Director of Business Origination, Wolverine Power Cooperative
  • Robert Jackson, Manager, Michigan Energy Office
  • Brian Levin, Director, ChargePoint

Explore electric vehicles and charging adoption in Michigan and its impact on Michigan’s electric cooperatives.

12:00 P.M.  Lunch & Ballot Ballet

  • Bill Ballenger, Owner/Publisher of The Ballenger Report
  • Steve Mitchell, Chairman, Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc.

Fill up on lunch and the latest information on November’s ballot proposals and races impacting Michigan’s co-op footprint.

1:00 P.M.  NRECA  Update

  • Tony Anderson, General Manger, Cherryland Electric Cooperative; Michigan NRECA Board Representative

Tony Anderson, Michigan NRECA Board Representative, provides an update on key initiatives and news from NRECA.

1:30 P.M.  Peak Conditions

  •  Zach Anderson, Vice President of Power Supply, Wolverine Power Cooperative
  • Eric Baker, President & CEO, Wolverine Power Cooperative
  • Pat O’Loughlin, President & CEO, Buckeye Power
  • Mike Steffes, President & CEO, ACES

Look back at Michigan’s record-breaking summer and its impact on load, capacity, and market performance.

2:30 P.M.  MECA Update

  • Craig Borr, President & CEO, Michigan Electric Cooperative Association

Michigan’s cooperative and municipal electric utilities have a rich history of working together on operations to restore storm work, protect each other with safety training, and prepare the linemen of the future. Learn about MECA’s key collaborations over the past year and what it means for Michigan.

3:15 P.M.  Wolverine Strategic Update

Eric Baker, President and CEO of Wolverine Power Cooperative, will share an update on Wolverine’s strategic focus and direction.

5:00 P.M.  Reception

A reception will be hosted from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Anyone remaining in Grand Rapids for Wednesday trainings or sessions is invited to enjoy refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres in the JW Marriott’s Salon C/D.