MEUW Weekly :: Nov. 12, 2019

Registration now open for Electric Operations Conference & Expo: Make plans to be in Wisconsin Dells on Jan. 15, 16 and 17 to take part in the 2020 Electric Operations Conference & Expo (previously known as the “Joint Superintendents’ Conference”) put on by MEUW and the Wisconsin REC Superintendents Association. Online registration is available here. The fee is $275 per person for registrations received by Dec. 31. The fee increases to $295 on Jan. 1. The deadline to register is Friday, Jan. 10.

The conference will begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, with general session presentations for MEUW representatives. A Welcome Reception, sponsored by Wisconsin Utility Suppliers Association (WUSA), begins at 4:30 p.m. The program for Thursday, Jan. 16, brings together both the municipal and cooperative employees for a series of breakout sessions and a keynote presentation before the WUSA Expo, which features the industry’s top manufacturers and suppliers to showcase the latest products and innovations. After breakfast on Friday, Jan. 17, MEUW will hold a Board of Directors’ meeting, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The complete agenda is here.

Thursday afternoon’s Keynote will feature a presentation entitled, “Communicating Across the Generations at Work.” Kit Welchelin, a frequent presenter on leadership, citizenship and community service, will offer insights to help sort through the stereotypes of each generation and to identify the particular strengths and weaknesses and how to work with and motivate veterans, “Boomers,” “Xers,” “Millennials” and “Gen Z.” His presentation will offer useful information and practical strategies as multiple and diverse generations converge on the workplace.

Details about lodging options for this year’s conference are on MEUW’s Website. The room block rates offered are guaranteed only through Dec. 15.

State Senate confirms Public Service Commission Chair: Wisconsin State Senators voted unanimously Nov. 5 to confirm the appointment of Rebecca Cameron Valcq as a Commissioner to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC). The vote comes more than six months after confirmation hearings were held. Valcq has been serving as a Commissioner since her appointment by Gov. Tony Evers on Jan. 7, 2019, and as the PSC’s chairperson since March 2, 2019. As PSC Chair, Valcq is a member of Gov. Evers’ cabinet and is the first Latina to hold the post.

“I want to sincerely thank Governor Evers for appointing me to this position and for trusting me to make the proper decisions related to the regulation of Wisconsin’s utilities,” Valcq said.  “I’d also like to thank the State Senate for its vote.  I am looking forward to continuing to work on the issues critically important to Wisconsin.”

Before joining the PSC, Valcq was a partner at Quarles & Brady Law Firm in the energy, environment and natural resources practice group. She is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and serves on its Committee on Water, and the Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity.

Chainsaw Workshop nearly sold out: There are still a few seats available for MEUW’s Dec. 4 workshop focusing on the maintenance and safe operation of chainsaws as well the basics of safe tree trimming. The training will be held at the Wisconsin Rapids Water Works and Lighting Commission facility, and will offer hands-on opportunities to learn from certified experts. Cost is $225 per person. Space is limited to first 25 registrants, though a wait-list will be available. To learn more, click here.  

Apprentice Graduation Banquet to be held Jan. 15: Wisconsin’s electric-utility industry comes together each year to honor the newest members of the trade by recognizing apprentices graduating from line and metering school. This year’s banquet will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., followed by a brief program. The featured speaker is David Oelkers, a 32-year utility industry veteran who retired in 2013 after more than 22 years as general manager of Riverland Energy Cooperative in Arcadia. Additional details about the banquet and registration information are available here. Graduating apprentices are encouraged to invite family members to attend and join in celebrating this important career milestone.

The November edition of Live Lines was distributed last week. In case you missed it, you can find it online here. Be sure to check out page 4 and enter the “Annual Readers’ Contest” for a chance to win prizes.

Save the Date: The Customers First! Coalition will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the Madison Concourse Hotel. MEUW is a founding member of the CFC, and all members are welcome to attend this free event. To learn more and to register, click here.

For Sale: Algoma Utilities is currently accepting sealed bids for the sale of a bucket truck. Details are available here.

Start spreading the news: We’d like to share your utility’s news with other MEUW members. Please take time to let us know about new hires, promotions, retirements, honors and awards. Simply send an email to We will review and include it in our member communications.

Do you have ideas for a conference breakout? MEUW leadership and staff are looking ahead to MEUW’s 91st Annual Conference to be held May 13 to 15, 2020, in Manitowoc. We’re interested in suggestions for speakers and topics. Maybe you heard a really good presenter at a recent conference or maybe there’s a topic you think municipal electric utility members need to know more about. Send us your ideas! Simply drop an email to with your suggestion.