Post

Top Voices in the Energy Central Community for 2020 – EnergyBiz® Network

Posted to Energy Central in the Utility Management Group
image credit: Energy Central
Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

  • Member since 2018
  • 10,090 items added with 1,291,365 views
  • Dec 14, 2020
  • 1625 views

A few years ago, Energy Central created a Community Platform with the idea of connecting every power industry professional in a collaborative environment.  Our goal was to give professionals in the industry a way to share, learn, and connect.  Since that time, our communities have grown, engagement is at an all-time high, and we are seeing more and more collaboration and sharing.  Making all this happen is you!

We know there are plenty of places and ways in which you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in the utility industry, but what makes Energy Central unparalleled is the true sense of Community created by every one of you.  Whether you engage by contributing posts, sharing links, asking questions, adding your events to the EC calendar, conversing and debating issues in the comments section, or even just reading, it is your voice and your involvement that make Energy Central Communities thrive. So, thank you for that!

As we look back on a noteworthy year, the Energy Central Team wanted to recognize the members on Energy Central who went above and beyond—frequently sharing news and content, reliably starting conversations across the site, and providing genuinely high-value contributions.

Each day this week, we’ll be publishing an article highlighting the Top Voice of 2020 for each of our 6 Networks. As part of this recognition, we asked each of them to answer some quick questions to highlight the past year in the industry and give us more of an insight into their lives—I hope you enjoy!

So, without further ado, thank you and congratulations to the following Top Voices in the EnergyBiz Network in 2020!

 

 

Patrick McGarry – Senior Director at PCI

Link to Patrick’s Profile

What has been the most interesting utility-focused story for you to follow this past year?

“I believe the impact of potential changes to long term load forecasts due to the Covid-19 crisis is the most fascinating. We know that teleworking will change load demand profiles in the retail and commercial sector, but we do not yet know to what degree. Crisis seem to accelerate existing trends and the growth of Distributed Energy Resources & Teleworking seem destined to an increasing way of life. I think the crisis is going to force a change in utility rate design at the end of the day.”

 

What’s something that your fellow community members might not know about you and would surprise them?

“I am a Leap Year baby who went back to school at 52 to finally get the MBA. It’s never too late to accomplish your goals & the future has yet to be written!”

 

If you could give one piece of advice to newly joined members of the Energy Central Community, what would it be?

“Take a dim view of posts that attack other people’s viewpoints. We live in divisive times that demand serious analysis to future challenges. I guess that I would recommend that it’s wise to listen first and never assume that somebody has the worst of attentions in an opinion. Listen to understand before being understood.”

 

John Egan – President at Egan Energy Communications

Link to John’s Profile

What topics do you hope to read/write about more in 2021?

“The creative ways utilities have come to the aid of their customers and communities that have suffered from COVID-19.”

 

What drives you to engage with your fellow Energy Central Community members on a regular basis?

“The communications end of the energy industry is, of course, a quintessentially "people" business. Speaking with others in our line of work energizes me and shows me that there's always another way to solve a problem.“

 

When you’re not espousing thought leadership in the utility sector, what are your favorite ways to unwind and pass the time?

“Reading suspense and action novels from Michael Connelly and Bob Mayer.” 

 

Marian McLemore – VP of Cooperative Communications, Flint Energies

Link to Marian’s Profile

What has been the most interesting utility-focused story for you to follow this past year?

“I know it’s cliché, but the most fascinating utility-focused story for me was how the energy industry was able to pivot many of its customer care capabilities in the midst of a global pandemic in short order while keeping business continuity. Overnight, utilities were forced to provide safer business environments for their customers by increasing sanitation measures or in extreme situations, shuttering drive thrus and offices. The pandemic coerced customers to exclusively use digital payment options through their utility’s website, phone, app, etc. In addition, utilities had to find innovative ways to assist customers to delay payment, as not to overly burden them while providing consistent power during these uncertain times. It’s quite remarkable the vast amount of change that took place in such a short amount of time.”

 

What drives you to engage with your fellow Energy Central Community members on a regular basis?

“Knowledge is power. We can learn so much from others. Engaging with other fellow Energy Central Community members expands my network of peers and my knowledge of energy related topics. For me, it’s the cooperative way. Whatever information we can share with others to help them succeed benefits us all.”

 

When you’re not espousing thought leadership in the utility sector, what are your favorite ways to unwind and pass the time?

“My favorite way to unwind is to be painting or crafting in my art studio. I find that I am able to relax the most when I am creating art. When I’m not in my studio, you can find me spending time with my family or in antique stores hunting for vintage treasures.”

 

 

Steve Ridley – Director of Consulting at CGI

Link to Steve’s Profile

What has been the most interesting utility-focused story for you to follow this past year?

“The pandemic has taken a lot of my own personal head space and focus for utilities.  The story that has attracted the most personal interest is on the FERC 2222 mandate.  I think the impact of opening up distributed generation is going to be a significant game changer for the utility and its customers.  I’m desperately keen to see how the market rules are implemented to encourage open participation.”

 

What drives you to engage with your fellow Energy Central Community members on a regular basis?

“The EC community provides great insight on key topics and I enjoy hearing from members whom often provide different perspectives that help drive my own understanding.”

 

When you’re not espousing thought leadership in the utility sector, what are your favorite ways to unwind and pass the time?

“I love to spend time with my family something that I have done a lot more of this year!  I’m also a big soccer fan and for once my team Aston Villa are actually doing quite well.”   

 

 

Florian Kolb – Chief Commercial Officer & General Manager, Energy at Intertrust Technologies Corporation

Link to Florian’s Profile

Is there a post or exchange on Energy Central that you’re most proud of?

“My post and contribution for the Cybersecurity Special Issue is a good example (Why do we need additional protection and security for utility data streams?). This is a very sensitive and technical area and raising awareness is very important. Especially in the light of the ongoing transformation of the energy system from central to more decentral.”

 

What topics do you hope to read/write about more in 2021?

“As the decentralization of the energy system continues, edge devices, data security and IoT will increasingly become relevant and these are good and relevant areas to read and write about. I also believe that the electrification of transportation will be a huge challenge and opportunity for utilities and it is worth to get covered.”

 

When you’re not espousing thought leadership in the utility sector, what are your favorite ways to unwind and pass the time?
“Next to family and sports add more knowledge and experience about US wines to my decent background on European wines.”

 


Congratulations once again to our Top Voices in the EnergyBiz Network, and thanks to all Energy Central Community Members for enabling the community and platform to thrive this year! And keep an eye out for the next Top Voices Articles to come later this week…

Discussions

Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.
Audra Drazga's picture
Audra Drazga on Dec 16, 2020

Thanks for all your incredible contributions over this past year! 

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »