About the Workshop

The Public Power Leadership Workshop will be held October 4-6, 2017, at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina:

Francis Marion Hotel
387 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina

Workshop Overview
Whether you are a seasoned, new or aspiring public power utility CEO or executive manager, these are trying times for your utility. Tight budgets, legislative and regulatory changes, and an aging workforce add an extra layer of complexity to your already challenging job.

By attending the Association’s Public Power Leadership Workshop, you will hear where our industry is heading and learn how your peers are handling tough issues such as planning for strategic resources, ensuring a utility’s financial health and performance, overcoming challenges to organizational change, and developing the most effective leadership style for the future.

Workshop Brochure
Click here to view a PDF of the workshop brochure. This event is being held in conjunction with the Fall Education Institute.

Who Should Attend

  • General managers and CEOs (particularly those new to their jobs)
  • Senior managers and those on track for executive leadership positions
  • Others who are interested in the issues and processes that face utility chief executives

Contact the Association’s Education Department at 202/467-2921 or EducationInfo@PublicPower.org.

Event Details

Hotel and Registration Information

PDF Brochures

APPA Academy

Be Our Guest for Lunch!
Please join us for a special event during the American Public Power Association’s Fall Education Institute—specifically for those in the accounting, cost of service and Public Power Leadership Workshop trainings. You’ll receive a free, buffet lunch (from Noon – 12:25 p.m.), followed by a presentation by Wortham Power Gen Insurance Group (20-25 minutes)—more details below.


Public Power Insurance Luncheon
Noon to 1:00 PM
Thursday, October 5
Gold Room (Francis Marion Hotel)

Please click HERE to make your luncheon reservation.

The luncheon is sponsored by Wortham Power Gen Insurance and Hometown Connections. The program includes a brief presentation on the Hometown Connections/Wortham Insurance Programs:

  • Exclusively for Members of the American Public Power Association
  • Lower Costs via National Group Purchasing
  • What’s Available Now
  • Feedback on Future Needs

For planning purposes, please RSVP HERE to make your luncheon reservation.


Wednesday, October 4

8–8:30 a.m.
Registration and Coffee

8:30–8:45 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions

Tim Blodgett, President/CEO, Hometown Connections, Golden, Colorado

8:45–10:15 a.m.
Leadership in a Time of Change
As our industry continues to evolve and the pressure for improved performance increases, utility CEOs and managers have to provide direction in many areas: power supply, human resources, meeting customer needs, and working in the political and environmental arenas. This session will explore what it takes to be an effective utility senior manager, including setting organizational direction, defining appropriate roles and responsibilities, directing and motivating staff, and working with the utility’s governing body.

Lonnie Carter, Retired President and CEO, Santee Cooper, Moncks Corner, South Carolina

10:15–10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.–Noon     
Understanding the Changing Business Environment: Our Industry’s Outlook for the Future
Setting the strategic direction for your utility requires an understanding of the external forces that affect the electric utility industry, including national energy policies, competitor strategies, customer expectations, new technology, environmental challenges and more. This session will examine the significant issues that will face public power in the future, including power supply, climate change regulation, energy efficiency, renewable resources, smart grid and others.

Girish Balachandran, General Manager, City of Riverside Public Utilities, California

Noon–1:30 p.m.     
Lunch (on your own)

1:30–4:30 p.m.     
Positioning Your Utility to be Competitive in the Future
Once the significant issues facing your utility are identified, it is the leader’s role to ensure the utility has a strategy to address these issues to help position the utility be competitive in the future.  This session will examine how to deal with the issues discussed in the morning session and develop a strategy to manage the issues, including laying out the strategy, deciding who should be involved, communicating the strategy, and how to make sure the strategy is implemented.

Girish Balachandran, Tim Blodgett, and Lonnie Carter


Thursday, October 5

8:30 a.m.–Noon
Financial Operations and Performance Planning for Management

A key area of executive responsibility is overseeing the financial health of the organization. This session will examine the financial and operational information and other data senior executives need to determine how the organization is performing, the application of enterprise risk management tools, processes for budgeting and long-term financial planning, determining revenue requirements and rates, and establishing measures and metrics to evaluate the financial condition of the utility.

Phyllis Currie, Executive Consultant, Hometown Connections, Pasadena, California (Retired General Manager, Pasadena Water & Power)

Noon–1:30 p.m.
Lunch (on your own)

1:30–4:30 p.m.     
Working Effectively with Your Governing Body
Public power leadership involves developing and maintaining an effective working relationship with the utility governing body (city council or utility board). This interactive session will profile successful leadership characteristics for effective board management. Discussion points include: 1) distinct roles of the board and manager in building a productive and positive organizational culture; 2) effective planning and communication to create an environment of strategic thinking and action; 3) successful monitoring and reporting to ensure utility and community alignment.

Tim Blodgett and Phyllis Currie

Friday, October 6

8:30 a.m.–Noon
The Power of Collaboration

Collaborative efforts are often dreaded or fall short of the anticipated result. And yet, most professionals can recall at least one extraordinary collaborative experience. What made it great? Why isn’t it the norm?

The Henley Leadership Group’s Power of Collaboration Model focuses on five key elements that serve as a cornerstone for leaders to step up their level of leadership and provide a solid guideline for managing a group project or launching a largescale organizational change: 1) develop trust and respect, 2) hold a shared compelling purpose, 3) increase competencies, 4) build strength through breakdown and 5) engage the power of appreciation.

Designed to challenge and shift the way you think and work with others, this interactive session introduces the Power of Collaboration Model and engages you though a “Collaboration Grade Book,” to help you can assess your team or organization. Share perspectives and learn from your peers—everyone will leave with suggestions for quick, easy and practical ideas to start implementing the next day.

Carol Zizzo, Partner, Henley Leadership Group, Seattle, Wash.

Workshop Adjourns


Registration Fees
Beverage breaks are included in the registration fee. All meals are on your own.

Registration received on or before Sept. 11

  • APPA Members $745
  • Nonmembers $1,490

Registration received after Sept. 11

  • APPA Members $795
  • Nonmembers $1,540

Registrants who cancel in writing before Sept. 25, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after Sept. 25 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by Sept. 25 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund.

Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to: Registration@PublicPower.org

Confirmations will be sent via e-mail.

Name Badges
Name badges can be picked up at the APPA registration desk at the hotel starting at 7:30 a.m.

Additional Training
This event is being held in conjunction with the Fall Education Institute. Click here to see a list of other courses taking place the week of Oct. 2 in Charleston.


The Public Power Leadership Workshop and Fall Education Institute events will all take place at the:

Francis Marion Hotel
387 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403

  • Main telephone: 843/722-0600
  • Group Rate: $199 Single/Double (plus 13.5% tax)
  • Check in: 4 p.m. / Check out: Noon
  • Parking fee: $22 (plus tax); valet only parking


Travel Arrangements
Travel arrangements and costs associated with hotel parking are the responsibility of the participants. APPA will not reimburse for changes in travel expenditures regardless of the cause. Click here for information on hotel parking.

Beverage breaks are included in the registration fee. All meals are on your own.

Complimentary WiFi will only be available in hotel common areas (sleeping rooms and hotel lobby), though not in the meeting rooms. Please plan to use cellular data on your device, or bring a MiFi or Internet hotspot for personal use. APPA will not have a password for the conference room WiFi. 

The hotel is located 12 miles from the Charleston International Airport (CHS). Airport shuttles, taxis and rental cars are the most popular ways of getting to/from the airport. Please contact the hotel for transportation options.

Meticulously restored in 1996 with a $12 million National Trust for Historic Preservation award winning restoration, the Francis Marion Hotel now combines 1920’s style and grace with 21st Century comfort and convenience in the heart of historic Charleston on Marion Square. Rising 12 stories, many of the Hotel’s 235 guestrooms and suites offer spectacular views of Charleston’s historic harbor, church steeples and legendary King Street. The Francis Marion Hotel, with its central downtown location, is an easy walk to the antebellum homes, magnificent gardens, antique shops and boutiques, and world-class restaurants.

Need Assistance?
If you require assistance with hotel/travel arrangements, please contact Meeting Services at 202/467-2941 or Meetings@PublicPower.org.