AMP conference explores trends, innovations impacting industry , public power

COLUMBUS — The 2022 American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) Annual Conference, which took place in Columbus, Sept. 26-28, provided attendees (in person and virtually) with a full schedule of sessions led by industry experts and leaders, the continued celebration of public power lineworkers in AMP’s member communities and the announcement of the 2022 AMP Seven Hats Award winner.

Following AMP President/CEO Jolene Thompson’s opening remarks, which focused on the challenges, disruptors and opportunities facing the industry, AMP welcomed national public power organization leaders — Tony Cannon, chair of the American Public Power Association Board of Directors; Jane Cirrincione, chair of the Transmission Access Policy Study Group Board of Directors; and Jacqueline Sargent, chair of the Large Public Power Council Board of Directors, for a panel discussion of the value of joint action and key issues facing public power.

Conference participants also heard a panel discussion with Manu Asthana, president and CEO of PJM Interconnection; Kent Chandler, a commissioner with the Kentucky Public Service Commission; and Tim Gallagher, president and CEO of ReliabilityFirst. The discussion focused on current power industry challenges.

The conference covered timely topics and trends in the power industry, including updates on power markets presented by Mike Zenker, NextEra Energy; a session on human resources trends with a presentation from Kristina Dietrick, HR Partners; a session on managing peak demand featuring Sanjay Pai, Energy Hub; an overview of the federal grants landscape from Kristi More, The Ferguson Group; an economic outlook from Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum; and an update on federal legislative activity from Marty Kanner and Samantha McDonald, Kanner & Associates. The AMP Awards Banquet featured inspirational keynote speaker Sean Swarner — a cancer survivor, climber, Ironman competitor and author of Keep Climbing. Swarner’s comments provided an inspiring perspective on overcoming obstacles in your life. AMP thanks the speakers who participated in this year’s conference.

In addition to the many sessions and events, AMP held its General Membership Meeting on Sept. 27.

During the AMP General Membership Meeting, elections were held for 13 Service Group seats expiring in 2022 on the AMP Board of Trustees and one unexpired at-large AMP Board of Trustees seat that expires in 2023. The AMP member communities of Bedford, Bowling Green , Cleveland, Clyde, Coldwater, DEMEC, Ephrata, Hamilton, Paducah, Philippi, Piqua, Wadsworth and Westerville, were elected to three-year terms and Grafton was elected to complete the one year remaining on the unexpired at-large seat.

Following the General Membership Meeting, the AMP Board of Trustees met to elect officers for the coming year. Re-elected to leadership positions were Chair Jeff Brediger, city of Orrville; Vice Chair Robert Patrick, city of Wadsworth; Secretary Dave Carroll, city of Paducah; and Treasurer Chris Monacelli, city of Westerville.

Kyle Francis, assistant village administrator for the village of Versailles, received the prestigious AMP Seven Hats Award during the Awards Banquet on Sept. 27.

Awards were also given to individuals and communities in the categories of electric system sustainability, innovation, public power promotion, safety, system improvement and service distinction.

Marty Kanner, founder and president of Kanner & Associates was announced as the honoree for the 2023 AMP Wall of Fame during the Annual Awards Banquet on Sept. 27.

Kanner has been involved in national energy policy issues for more than 35 years and currently serves as the Ohio Municipal Electric Association’s (OMEA) federal legislative representative. He has provided a great deal of advocacy work to OMEA and AMP’s member communities over the years.

A formal induction ceremony will be held for Kanner at a later date.

In addition, the conference provided video highlights of a yearlong campaign focusing on the public power lineworkers in AMP’s member communities, who were collectively named as the 2022 honorees to the AMP Wall of Fame.

The AMP Wall of Fame was launched in 2010 to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to AMP, the OMEA and to public power in AMP’s member communities. The AMP Wall of Fame includes the names of individuals who have left an indelible mark on the organization.