Alaska Power Association 2018 Annual Meeting

Fairbanks, Alaska
Wedgewood Resort
August 22-24, 2018
Welcome Reception, 7 p.m., August 21, at the UAF Museum of the North 
Alaska Power Association’s 67th Annual Meeting and ARECA Insurance Exchange Annual Meeting in beautiful Fairbanks, Alaska brings together APA’s statewide membership for three days of Associaiton business, General Sessions, speakers and networking.
Alaska Power Association Annual Meeting Host Utility

APA Awards Banquet Sponsor/Presenting Sponsor




ARECA Insurance Exchange Reception Sponsors


Lunch Sponsors



Breakfast Sponsors




Speaker Sponsor



APA General Session Sponsors


Law offices of  Kemppel, Huffman and Ellis       


Coffee Break Sponsors






Event Sponsors






Energy & Resource Economics

 Thomas A. Lovas   




Tuesday, August 21, 2018

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.             Utility Tour                                                                Provided by GVEA

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.              Welcome Reception                                                  UAF Museum of the North

Sponsored by Golden Valley Electric Association

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 – Wedgewood Resort

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.              Breakfast                                                                    Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by NC Power Systems

7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.              Registration desk open                                             Wedgewood Resort

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.             ARECA Educational Foundation Meeting                Wedgewood Resort

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.             NRECA Director Training                                         Wedgewood Resort

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.              AK 220 Shareholders Meeting                                 Wedgewood Resort

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.             Companion Tour                                                       Wedgewood Resort

9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.            Break                                                                         Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by Copper Valley Electric Association & Homer Electric Association

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.         APA Managers Forum                                               Wedgewood Resort

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.           Lunch                                                                         Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Keynote speakers:                  Speaker: Taylor Gunn, CoBank Knowledge Exchange Group

Speaker: John Andrew Leman, Counsel, Kemppel, Huffman & Ellis

“Electric Utility Legal and Regulatory Update”

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.              ARECA Training Council Meeting                            Wedgewood Resort

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.              Break                                                                          Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by McDowell Rackner and Gibson, PC & City of King Cove

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.              ARECA Insurance Exchange             Meeting                      Wedgewood Resort

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.              ARECA Insurance Exchange Reception                   Fountainhead Car Museum

                           Sponsored by Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange and Zurich North America  

*Agenda subject to change without notice

Thursday, August 23, 2018 – Wedgewood Resort

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.              Breakfast                                                                                Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by Kotzebue Electric Association

7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.              Registration desk open                                                         Wedgewood Resort

8:00 am – 10:00 am             APA General Session I                                                     Wedgewood Resort 

Sponsored by Denali Federal Credit Union

8:00 am                                  Introductory Remarks from APA President Ben Frantz,

General Manager of Barrow Utilities & Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Welcome remarks from Cory Borgeson, CEO

Golden Valley Electric Association

8:15 am – 9:00 a.m.               Kellie Donnelly, Senior Majority Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.           Clay Koplin, CEO, Cordova Electric Cooperative and Mayor of Cordova

                                                Janet Reiser, Executive Director, Alaska Energy Authority

10:00 am – 10:30 am             Break                                                                                      Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by Avista and Alaska Electric Light & Power

10:30 am – 12:00 pm          APA General Session II                                           Wedgewood Resort Hall

Sponsored by Kemppel, Huffman & Ellis, P.C.

10:30 am                                           Cory Borgeson, CEO, Golden Valley Electric Association

10:50 am                                           Trade Association Reports                                                                                 

APA President Report:  Ben Frantz, General Manager, Barrow Utilities

APA Treasurer Report: Jodi Mitchell, CEO, Inside Passage Electric Cooperative

AK CARE Report:  Henry Strub, Director, Nushagak Cooperative

NRECA Director Report: Meera Kohler, CEO, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative

APA Executive Director Report: Crystal Enkvist, Executive Director, APA

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm               Lunch                                                                                     Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by Barrow Utilities & Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Speaker:                                  Ingrid Hunsicker, Senior Program Manager, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

                                          NRECA’s International Program

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm                 APA Board of Directors meeting                                           Wedgewood Resort

5:30 pm – 8:30 pm                APA Awards Banquet                                                           Wedgewood Resort

Keynote speaker:                  Sheldon Petersen, CEO and Governor

National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation

                                                POWER PLANT LEVEL SPONSOR!

8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.             ARECA Educational Foundation Auction                            Wedgewood Resort

*Agenda subject to change without notice

Friday, August 24, 2018 – Wedgewood Resort

7:00 am – 9:00 am                 Breakfast                                                                    Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by Naknek Electric Association

8:30 am – 10:30 am                        APA General Session III                             Wedgewood Resort 

Sponsored by American Transmission Company

8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.              Grassroots action by Co-ops

Laura Vogel, NRECA Senior Political Advisor

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.           The Power Landscape in Alaska

Isaac Vanderburg, Managing Director, Launch Alaska

Dave Messier, Rural Energy Coordinator, Tanana Chiefs Conference

Gwen Holdmann, Director, Alaska Center for Energy and Power

  10:15am – 10:30 am             Break                                                                          Wedgewood Resort

Sponsored by National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative and BDO USA LLP

10:30 am – 11:30 am          APA General Session IV                                          Wedgewood Resort 

Sponsored by Professional Computer Systems & TerraSpatial Technologies

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.              The Commitment to Zero Contacts Program

Mel (Hutch) Hutchison, Director of Loss Control, ARECA Insurance Exchange

Phil Irwin, Chief Executive Officer, Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange


11:30 am – 1:00 pm              Membership Networking Lunch (grab and go or stay!)    Wedgewood Resort

                                                Sponsored by ARECA Insurance Exchange


*Agenda subject to change without notice

If you have any questions or need assistance before or during the APA Annual Meeting, please contact one of the staff members listed below:

Michael Rovito – Director of Member and Public Relations –

Toni Mancini – Executive Coordinator –

Our venue for the Annual Meeting is the Wedgewood Resort, site of the famous Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Since we know our members like to book early, we’ve set up a group code for booking rooms. The code for the 2018 Annual Meeting is AKPOW18. This code will only work by calling the Wedgewood (1-800-528-4916) or by booking on the official Wedgewood website. Third party booking sites will not accept the code.

There are two locations to stay within the resort: The Bear Lodge and the Wedgewood Resort itself. Rates are as follows:

  • Bear Lodge – $149.00 single/double occupancy, plus bed tax
  • Two-bedroom suites – $195.00 single/double occupancy, plus bed tax
  • One-bedroom suites – $ 159.00 single/double occupancy, plus bed tax

APA will not be providing general transportation to and from the Wedgewood Resort. There are many car rental businesses in Fairbanks and a robust taxi service. Transportation may be provided to special events, if they are located away from the resort

Clay Koplin, CEO, Cordova Electric Cooperative, and Mayor of the City of Cordova

Clay Koplin is the Chief Executive Officer of Cordova Electric Cooperative, Inc.  Clay served at Kodiak Electric Association as a Professional Electrical Engineer before moving to Cordova with his wife to work as Manager of Engineering and Operations and later as CEO.  His professional specialties include project management, underground electric design and installation best practices, various aspects of static and dynamic hydroelectric and hydrokinetic disciplines, electric utility business management, strategic planning and execution.  He received his master’s degree in business administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University to augment his industry experience and has participated in recent US State Department Sponsored outreach to Greenland and Northern Canada around arctic, off-grid, renewable energy policies and practices.  Clay currently represents CEC as a key partner with the Department of Energy in the RADIANCE Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium project applied to the CEC grid in Cordova, Alaska.  Clay enjoys community service, writing, hunting, fishing, and gardening.


Laura Vogel, Senior Advisor, Political Affairs, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

Laura Vogel is the Senior Advisor for NRECA Political Affairs.  As a member of the Political Affairs team, she is responsible for developing programs to encourage Co-op member and staff engagement in political issues that matter to the Co-op family, and is currently the program lead for their voter initiative, Co-ops Vote.  She is involved in NRECA’s political training programs, serving as an instructor for the Grassroots Course for co-op Directors.  Laura also provides strategic input for annual Youth Tour activities.

Laura has worked on a number of successful advocacy programs for various organizations during her 15 years in Washington, DC.  A Chicago native, she definitely believes 2016 is the year for her beloved Cubs, and takes every chance possible to eat deep dish pizza.  She has a Master’s Degree in Political Management from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  She currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

Taylor Gunn, Lead Economist, CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange research division

Taylor Gunn is a lead economist in CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange research division, where he focuses on the power, energy and water industries.  Taylor’s work revolves around identifying emerging risks and opportunities within these industries, and providing strategic analyses to stakeholders both internal and external to CoBank.  Prior to joining CoBank in 2013, Taylor held various engineering roles and provided consulting services to electric and water utilities.  Taylor holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in mineral and energy economics from Colorado School of Mines.

Ingrid Hunsicker, Senior Program Manager, NRECA International

Ingrid Hunsicker is the NRECA International’s Senior Program Manager. She has worked for NRECA International Programs for 21 years, both in the Guatemala Regional Office and at headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. She manages the recruitment of volunteer professionals from electrical co-ops throughout the United States for voluntary assignments in developing countries to train line workers and other staff as well as to encourage on-going working relationships among US and foreign cooperatives.


In addition, her portfolio includes the stewardship of hundreds of donors throughout the country whose contributions assist NRECA International in its international initiatives. Her previous professional experience includes 10 years with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Guatemala working with internally displaced, returnees and refugees of Guatemala’s civil war that ended in 1996. 


Isaac Vanderburg, Managing Director, Launch Alaska

Isaac leads Launch Alaska, a startup accelerator that supports scalable startups in the energy sector. He is the fund manager for Launch Alaska Fund II – a $3m private investment fund that takes equity positions in the accelerators’ cohort companies. Isaac previously served as Executive Director of the Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC), where he worked with hundreds of early stage companies, and pushed the organization to support entrepreneurs responding to Alaska’s energy challenges. Before joining the SBDC Isaac was part of the founding team of Chispa Group (now Afina Holdings) an import-export firm in Philadelphia that specializes in trade between the Delaware Valley and Chile. He completed the Energy Executive Leadership Program at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, CO in 2016, as well the Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies program at Stanford. He sits on Governor Bill Walker’s Climate Action Leadership Team and is a Board Member of Commonwealth North. Vanderburg played four years of NCAA Division I soccer and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador (’02).

Sheldon Petersen, Governor and Chief Executive Officer, National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC)

Sheldon Petersen has been Chief Executive Officer of National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) since March 1995. He began his career in the rural electrification program in 1976 with Nishnabotna Valley REC in Harlan, Iowa. In November 1980, he became General Manager of Rock County ECA, Janesville, Wisconsin. He joined CFC in August 1983 as an Area Representative and provided financial management and consulting services to the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana and the Dakotas. In 1990, Petersen moved to CFC headquarters where he held various management positions. Petersen serves as a director on the board of the Homestead Funds. A native of western Iowa, he received his B.A. degree in marketing from the University of Northern Iowa in 1975.

Andy Leman, Attorney, Kemppel Huffman and Ellis, P.C.

Mr. Leman’s practice areas include labor and employment law, corporate law, business law, real estate, construction, and civil litigation. Mr. Leman serves as general counsel for a number of Alaska electric and telephone cooperatives.   Mr. Leman serves as a parliamentarian at utility annual meetings and has assisted clients with drafting board policies, Bylaw amendments, employment policies and employment contracts. Prior to joining the firm in 1997, Mr. Leman served as a law clerk for Judge Andrew Kleinfeld of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Daniel Moore and Justice Dana Fabe of the Alaska Supreme Court. Mr. Leman has been admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Alaska since 1997. Mr. Leman received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1992 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his law degree in 1995 from the University of California, Davis, School of Law. During law school he served as a Senior Articles Editor on the U.C. Davis Law Review. He was the highest-ranking graduate in his class, and was admitted to the Order of the Coif.

Dave Messier, Rural Energy Coordinator, Tanana Chiefs Conference

Dave Messier works as the Rural Energy Coordinator for Tanana Chiefs Conference, a non-profit inter-tribal consortium serving the needs of 37 communities in interior Alaska. Dave has been working on rural energy needs in bush communities since 2009. Past projects have included experience developing, managing and financing village scale biomass, solar PV, solar thermal, energy efficiency and powerhouse rebuild projects in various interior communities. Collectively these projects have saved rural communities tens of thousands of gallons of imported diesel fuel and kept hundreds of thousands of dollars in rural communities.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in Natural Resource management with a minor in business and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He also holds a “Certified Energy Manager” (CEM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate, is a board member on the Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) Board of Directors representing district 1, holds a seat on the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) board and serves as the TCC representative to the UAF ACEP advisory committee and the US Dept of Energy, Office of Indian Energy sponsored Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG). Dave is an avid hunter and traveler and has designed and built a personal home in Fairbanks, AK where he lives with his wife, Heidi Wood and their daughter Maddie.

Janet Reiser, Executive Director, Alaska Energy Authority

Janet Reiser joined the Alaska Energy Authority as it’s Executive Director in January of this year.  Prior to that she served on the Chugach Electric Board of Directors for 9 ½ years serving as Board Chair for 6 ½ of those years.  Janet served as a Director on the Alaska Railbelt Cooperative Transmission & Electric Company (ARCTEC) since its inception in 2011. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Cooperative Leadership Network, an organization dedicated to helping rural electric cooperative directors explore and share successes in the consumer – centric utility model for cooperatives.

Janet has been in Alaska for over thirty years, serving in technical and executive management roles in the telecom, construction, and engineering industries.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Mariko Shirazi, President’s Professor of Energy, Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP)

Mariko Shirazi received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, in 1996 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

From 1996 to 2004, she was an Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) National Wind Technology Center, where she was involved in the design and deployment of wind-diesel hybrid power systems for village power applications.  From 2009 to 2017, she was with the Power Systems Engineering Center, NREL, where she was involved in the design and construction of power electronics for microgrid as well as grid-following applications, including development of a power electronic platform for a PV-battery-diesel microgrid for tactical military applications.  During this time, she also assisted with the design and commissioning of NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility.  Mariko currently serves as the President’s Professor for Energy at the University of Alaska Fairbank’s Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP), where she is exploring ways to collaborate with utilities, industry, government including national labs, and the communities themselves to increase the penetration of variable renewable energy in remote areas as well as on the Railbelt.