9/20/2021 1:00:00 PM | Virtual via CadmiumCD Platform, , TX

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GCPA Fall 2021 Conference

Online registration is now closed. On-site will be available at the event at on-site registration prices.


You can still register by contacting Penny Sullivan at 281-974-0624 or psullivan@gulfcoastpower.org. Recordings of all sessions and keynotes will be available post-conference to all registered attendees. 

VIRTUAL 36th Annual Fall
Conference & Exhibition

Monday, September 20th - Wednesday, September 22nd
via CadmiumCD Virtual Platform

Download the Fall 2021 Conference Brochure
Download the Fall 2021 Conference Sponsor Brochure

This Fall’s Largest “Must Attend” Power Industry Event

Gather Virtually over Three Afternoons
Twelve Dynamic Sessions & Keynoters
Participate in Q&A & Interact with Other Attendees via Chat
Visit with Sponsors & Exhibitors in the Virtual Exhibit Hall
Join Us at a Virtual Happy Hour

Thanks to our Fall 2021 Conference Planning Committee

Conference Co-Chairs:
Tammy Cooper
, Vice President Regulatory, Austin Energy
Cheryl Mele, Regional Vice President - Texas, El Paso Electric

Tom Anson, Clark Hill Strasburger 
Jim Barkley
, Baker Botts
Donna Benefield, NRG
Vijay Betanabhatla, Guidehouse
Katie Coleman, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Mark Dreyfus, MD Energy Consulting LLC
Mark Egan, Energy Evolution Advisors
Theresa Gage
Jolly Hayden
, GDS Associates
Jay Jayasuriya, Sendero Consulting
McCall Johnson, Innovant PR
Lori Simpson, Constellation Energy

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting? CLICK HERE


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1:00 PM    GCPA President’s Welcome    Katie Coleman, Partner, O'Melveny & Myers LLP
                  Recognition of Co-Chairs        Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA
                  Conference Introduction         Tammy Cooper, Sr. Vice President, Austin Energy
                                                                     Cheryl Mele, Regional VP - Texas, El Paso Electric Company

1:15 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Peter Lake, Chairman, Public Utility Commission of Texas

1:45 PM     Session I - Betting on Texas
An impressive number of companies are “betting on Texas” via headquarters relocation or choosing to grow their business in the Lone Star state. This dynamic panel will explore views on the people, power, infrastructure, and policy requirements essential for business success. Given the recent challenges on the ERCOT electric grid, why are these companies still betting Texas has what they need to achieve their goals? And what are they advocating for to make those business goals a reality?

Session Moderator: Jose Beceiro, Senior Director of Global Energy 2.0, Greater Houston Partnership

 John Hryhorchuk, Vice President of Policy, Texas 2036
 Virginia Martinez Schaefer, Director Governmental Relations, Texas Instruments
 Michael McNamara, CEO, Lancium
2:45 PM     BREAK

3:00 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Brad Jones, Interim CEO, ERCOT

3:30 PM     Session II - Upping the Ante with Renewables
ERCOT was the first market to truly integrate renewable resources and investors continue to be bullish on renewables in Texas. This panel will focus on the driving factors for renewable investment, what renewable resources mean for resource adequacy and reliability, and how the market needs to evolve to ensure further investment in generation.
Session Moderator: McCall Johnson, Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Govt. Relations, Innovant PR
Bob Helton, Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs, ENGIE North America Inc.
Laura Manz, Director - Energy, Sustainability & Infrastructure, Guidehouse
Shalin Parikh, Vice President, EIG
Randa Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, LCRA



1:00 PM     Opening Remarks: Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA

1:05 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Mark G. Lauby, Sr. Vice President & Chief Engineer, NERC

1:30 PM    Session III - Distribution Outage Management
During Winter Storm Uri, electric utilities across the state struggled to manage rotating outages on the distribution system. Electric service to circuits with identified critical facilities was not curtailed while many customers on circuits without critical facilities were without power for days. This panel will explore outage management issues and the potential to divide the grid into smaller operational segments to enable smaller, more granular outages with less customer impact. This panel will also discuss how smart meters and technology could potentially be leveraged to better manage future outages.

Session Moderator: Damir Novosel, President, Quanta Technology

Mark Carpenter, Sr. Vice President, T&D Operations, Oncor
Thomas Pierpoint, Vice President, Electric System Engineering & Technical Services, Austin Energy
Randy Pryor, Vice President of Distribution Operations, CenterPoint Energy
Jeff Stracener, Vice President, Distribution Region Operations, AEP Texas

2:30 PM   GCPA Pat Wood Power Star & emPOWERing Young Professionals Awards

2:45 PM   BREAK

3:00 PM   KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Jack Weixel, Sr. Director, Climate and Sustainability, IHS Markit

3:40 PM   Session IV - Natural Gas & Power Coordination
At the peak of Winter Storm Uri, it has been reported that more than 20,000 MW of natural gas-powered generation was offline due to an interruption of power supply to natural gas facilities and insufficient weatherization of natural gas and power generation facilities. The need for coordination between the two industries has never been more acute. This panel will explore the Texas Legislature’s directives and the industries’ need to identify critical natural gas infrastructure in the Texas Electricity Supply Chain, weatherization of natural gas and power facilities, curtailment, coordination, communication and other issues that need to be addressed.

Session Moderator: Jolly Hayden, Managing Director, GDS Associates

Natalie Dubiel, Attorney, Office of General Counsel, Railroad Commission of Texas
Peter Esposito, Principal, Crested Butte Catalysts, LLC
Thomas Gleeson, Executive Director, PUCT
Dan Hudson, Owner & President, Woodlands Energy Management, LLC



1:00 PM   Opening Remarks: Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA

1:05 PM   KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Evan Smith, CEO, Texas Tribune

1:45 PM   Session V - How the Recent Legislation Will Impact the Power Industry
Following Winter Storm Uri, the 87th session of the Texas Legislature was laser focused on issues affecting the reliable delivery of electricity to consumers. After hours of hearings and a prolific number of proposed bills, more than 20 pieces of legislation affecting the electric power industry were eventually passed. In this panel discussion, we will hear how this new legislation will affect the future of the ERCOT power market from the perspective of a power generator, a retail electricity provider, an electric cooperative and a transmission and distribution utility. 

Session Moderator: Michael Jewell, Principal, Jewell & Associates PLLC

Amanda Frazier, Sr. Vice President Regulatory Policy, Vistra Corp.
Jay Harpole, CEO, AP Gas & Electric
Julia Harvey, Vice President, Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs, Texas Electric Cooperatives
Jason Ryan, Sr. Vice President, Regulatory Services & Government Affairs, CenterPoint Energy

2:45 PM   BREAK

3:00 PM   Session VI - Distributed Generation, Energy Storage & Demand Response: Valuable Resources for the Future
ERCOT’s Roadmap to Improving Reliability includes a plan to eliminate barriers to distributed generation, energy storage, and demand response/flexibility to allow more resources to participate in the ERCOT market. These valuable resources can be utilized to meet future peak demand, renewable intermittency, ancillary services and provide relief during periods of high stress on the electric grid. This panel will discuss the tools and systems necessary for deployment, current challenges/barriers and success stories in ERCOT as well as other markets.

Session Moderator: Suzanne L. Bertin, Managing Director, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance

Paul Choi, Executive Vice President, Broad Reach Power
James McPhail, CEO, Enersponse
Sam Scuilli, General Manager, CashGen, a Voltus affiliate
Alison Silverstein, Consultant, Alison Silverstein Consulting

3:45 PM   Session VII - Outlook for the Retail Electricity Market in ERCOT
ERCOT has been described as the most successful retail electricity market in the world. This panel will explore how the fallout from Winter Storm Uri has affected the status of the Texas competitive retail market today and how future changes can create new challenges/opportunities for customers to benefit from retail competition in the future. 

Session Moderator: Cathy Webking, Attorney, Scott Douglass & McConnico, LLP

David Kinchen, Sr. Vice President, Energy Ogre
Mark Parsons, Vice President & General Manager, Green Mountain Energy and Partner Brands, NRG
Jennifer Schmitt, Sr. Director of Operations and Customer Care, Rhythm



CONFERENCE PRICING -  *Non-Member rate includes 2021 Individual Membership good through 1/31/22.


Early Bird Reg. through 9/7/21

Regular Registration after 9/7/21

GCPA Members $495 $695  
Non-Members* $720 $920  
State Govt. / Agency $225 $225  
GCPA Members in Job Search Mode $225 $225  
Non-Members in Job Search Mode $450 $450  
Full-Time Students $50 $50  

Registering more than 6 attendees? Save $100 off the GCPA Member or Non-Member rate beginning with your company’s 7th registration. Send more and save more! To receive this discount, please contact Penny Sullivan at 281-974-0624 or

REFUND POLICY - Cancellations must be received by 5 PM on Friday, September 10 in order to receive a refund. A 10% service fee (minimum fee of $10) will be charged against all refunds. Please direct all cancellation requests to Mary Armstrong at marmstrong@gulfcoastpower.org.


PEs: As part of the Continuing Education Program requirements for Professional Engineers in Texas, each licensed engineer is required to earn 15 hours per year of Professional Development Hours (PDH). Attendees will receive 9.25 hours of credit if all conference sessions are attended. Please login to the conference website, complete the questionnaires for each session or keynote you attended and print your certificate.

CPAs: GCPA is a Board Registered CPE Sponsor with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. This registration does not constitute an endorsement by the Board as to the quality of our CPE program. The learning objectives for CPAs are: to obtain an in-depth understanding of business climate and growth in Texas; investment in renewables; distribution outage coordination; natural gas and power coordination; how recent legislation will impact the power industry; distributed generation, energy storage and demand response as resources; and the outlook for the retail market in Texas. There are no prerequisites. Attendees will receive 10.0 hours of credit if all conference sessions are attended. Please login to the conference website, complete the questionnaires for each session or keynote you attended and print your certificate.

The Texas State Bar has approved 6.5 hours of credit comprised of the following: Session I - 1 Hour, Session II - 1 Hour, Session III - 1 Hour, Session IV - 1 Hour, Session V - 1 Hour, Session VI - .75 Hour, Session VII - .75 Hour. Attorneys can self report their hours using Sponsor No. 2661 and Course No. 174133395.