Program & Agenda


September 16th

Evening – 5pm

Welcome Reception


September 17th

Morning- 8am

Welcome to Sweet Home Chicago from Marilynn Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Navy Pier.


Keynote: Be BOLD presented by Ana Dutra, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Executives’ Club of Chicago. She will apply her vision to the concept of being BOLD. Be Brave, Seize Opportunities, Lead Your Journey, and Drive Results.


Workshop: Difficult Dialogues presented by JT Strategic Communications. A skill-building workshop providing attendees with the tools they need to deliver tough messages in a constructive and productive manner.


Technical Presentation: The Utility of the Future presented by Michelle Blaise, Senior Vice President Technical Services, ComEd.

Afternoon- 2PM

Charity Introduction & Activity


September 18th

Morning- 8am

Keynote: POWERful Diversity and Inclusion presented by Suzanne Surface, VP of Transformation,  NiSource, and Jacqui Robertson, Global Head of Talent, Diversity & Inclusion, William Blair, who are championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Panel Discussion: POWERful Diversity and Inclusion. A panel of executives speak to various topics and questions with their lens on diversity and inclusion. Panelists include:  Karen Ashley, Director of HR, American Electric Power; Nicole Durham, Vice President Human Resources, ComEd; Erin Inman, Chief Executive Officer, Primera Engineers;  Mary Palkovich, Vice President Gas Engineering and Supply, Consumers Energy.

The panel will be moderated by Carrie Hightman, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, NiSource. 

Workshop: Making POWERful Requests presented by Elizabeth Ruske and Peg Rowe, Managing Partners, Tiara International LLC. A skill-building workshop providing attendees with practical advice for making clear requests, avoiding “weak speak,” and making clear promises.

Afternoon- 12pm

Past Presidents’ Luncheon:  Presented by Lena Morris, Training Manager, Indiana Electric Cooperatives. WiNUP International Past Presidents host a working lunch to lead an interactive core values exercise to improve work and personal relationships.

WiNUP International Annual Business Meeting

Keynote: Owning your Own POWER presented by Violet Sistovaris,

Executive Vice President and President, NIPSCO. She will share her journey and emPOWER attendees to write their own story.

Evening- 6PM

POWERful Celebration: WiNUP International Banquet and Recognition Ceremony in the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile Grand Ballroom.


September 19th

Morning- 8am

Technical Presentations: Conservation & Sustainability presented by Robert Wengel, Senior Vice President of Facilities, Shedd Aquarium.


Power Market Outlook presented by Kai Guo, Director of Power Market Research and Analysis, Kiewit Engineering Group. 


Workshop: Networking with POWER presented by Ben Gottlieb, Merrill Lynch. LinkedIn workshop to help attendees fully utilize and

optimize their profiles to create a better online networking presence. 


Panel Discussion: EmPOWERing Women: A variety of panelists from the energy industry will offer insight into adversity, everyday challenges, and opportunities. Panelists include:  Mitzi Beebe, Maintenance and Reliability Area Manager, BP; Samantha Koehler, Operations Manager, Midwestern Contractors; Jean Pedley, Water Director, Kiewit Engineering Group; and Michelle Trapp, Business Development Manager, Michels Corporation. The panel will be moderated by Benjamin Felton, Vice President Power Delivery, NIPSCO. 

2019 Annual Conference Preview

Charity Presentation: Girl Scouts of Greater Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana

Closing Remarks

The Women's International Network of Utility Professionals, Inc. (WiNUP) is not an organization described in section 170 (c) of the International Revenue Code, therefore donors may not deduct contributions made to WiNUP.