Credit and Collections Seminar taking place next week: Every other year, MEUW holds a seminar to share information about the rules and regulations for utility collections and provide attendees with the most up-to-date details to make the process effective and efficient. This year’s seminar is planned for next Wednesday, March 29. The agenda includes a refresher from the Public Service Commission (PSC) about disconnections, deferred payment agreements, deposits, and foreclosures. Attendees also will have a chance to get the latest about energy-efficiency programs and resources available to help customers who qualify for energy assistance. The complete agenda and registration details are available here.
MEUW Staffing News: Sharon Wolf has joined MEUW as Manager of Communications and Events. She has more than 20 years of utility experience, including roles in human resources, corporate communications, and organizational change management, and most recently worked as a consultant to Madison Gas and Electric supporting communications and training efforts for an enterprise-wide technology project. Prior to that, Sharon performed a similar role at American Family Insurance and held a variety of management roles at Alliant Energy from 1996 to 2019. In this newly created role, Sharon is responsible for managing member communications and planning and executing professional development workshops and seminars, conferences, and other member-focused events. She reports directly to MEUW President and CEO Tim Heinrich. She can be reached at (608) 478-2528 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 31 is deadline to nominate individuals for MEUW awards: Throughout our nearly 95-year history, MEUW has proudly recognized individual contributions and achievements toward advancing public power through awards presented at the Annual Conference. We are currently accepting nominations in a number of categories. Full details are available at MEUW.org/awards. To nominate someone from your utility or community, please complete the nomination form and submit it by March 31. Awards will be presented during a ceremony at MEUW’s Annual Conference on May 11.
Member Inquiry: Tim Putz, Superintendent at Arcadia Electric Utility (AEU), is seeking insights from MEUW member utilities with experience pulling and rolling up a specific size of cable. AEU has a project that entails pulling out approximately 690 feet of .750 mcm jacketed primary conductor and rolling up on reels. Each of the three phases is in its own 3-inch conduit. Their goal is to then use it on another project. If you can share insights and experiences, please contact Tim directly by email.
Advanced Leadership Development Workshop registration now open: Leading people and projects — and being “in charge” — demands that individuals develop a set of essential skills. Three specific skills — communications, empathy, and attitude — are foundational to helping a leader inspire positive change and empower those around them to work to achieve common goals. Register for this interactive, one-day workshop on April 18 to gain insights from experienced leaders and practical ideas that can be immediately put into practice by both emerging and seasoned leaders.
This program will benefit municipal utility leaders of all experience levels, including those who may be new to their role, those in line to be the next leader, and those who already have extensive experience and simply want to learn from and interact with others responsible for similar work. Details and registration information are available here.
Stick and Ground testing update: As Don Harnish, Electric Utility Safety and Training Coordinator, is getting up-to-speed in his new position, he has completed Stick and Ground testing for municipalities. The total number utilities that needed sticks and grounds tested was greater than anticipated. If your municipality has been missed, please contact Mike Czuprynko.
Leadership training series kicks off April 5: MEUW is launching a new approach to its professional development programs this year. The first course in the new three-part “Municipal Utility Leadership Certificate” training series focuses on why collaboration is important to being an effective utility leader. Participants will take away practical ideas they can apply to becoming more collaborative and using persuasion with their teams and co-workers. The one-day training is scheduled for Wednesday, April 5, in Mauston, and is designed for municipal workers of all skill levels and backgrounds as a foundation for developing leadership competencies. The discussion will be especially helpful for those who aspire to expanded responsibilities. Full details are available here.
Data collection underway for annual Wage & Benefits Survey: Every year, MEUW collects information about the pay and perks provided to public power employees across the state. Based on member feedback, the timing of data collection has changed to allow for the results to be shared in time for municipal budgeting. Instructions for completing this year’s survey were recently shared with key contacts at each utility. Full details about this year’s Wage & Benefits Survey are available here. As a reminder, only those utilities that provide information for the survey are able to receive the results. The deadline to respond is April 7.
APPA Safety Manuals delayed due to high demand: The American Public Power Association (APPA) recently released a new edition of its Safety Manual, and MEUW is coordinating a bulk purchase. APPA says that processing and shipping — originally planned for “late February” — has been delayed due to high demand. Once MEUW receives its completed order, the manuals MEUW members have purchased will be delivered during regular on-site safety training visits later this year. If your utility has not yet ordered the new edition, please visit the MEUW Online Store. It is strongly recommended that all utility line personnel and management have their own copy.