Barbara Sugg joined Southwest Power Pool in 1997 and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since April 2020. Barbara leads SPP’s strategic efforts across a multi-state footprint to work together to responsibly and economically keep the lights on, today and in the future. Prior to this position, she served SPP as Senior Vice President of IT and Chief Security Officer, leading complex and strategic technology initiatives while protecting SPP from cyber risk.
Barbara participates in several industry organizations and serves on a number of community and philanthropic boards. She founded the Leadership Foundation for Women and is also a certified executive coach.
Barbara is a proud Ragin’ Cajun, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is an alumni of Harvard Business School, having completed the Advanced Management Program. Barbara is married with 2 children and 2 grandchildren and resides with her husband in Little Rock, Arkansas.
As director of Connected Analytics at The Energy Authority (TEA), Dr. Elizabeth Massey brings over 20 years of experience in research and development, including leading-edge technology innovation and full lifecycle project delivery.
Beth has broad-based experience managing diverse and complex teams. Her specialties include demand-side energy research, data science, machine learning algorithms, computer vision techniques, software development, project management, and technical proposal writing. She has also significant experience in strategic programs planning, having delivered on large-scale projects for the US Department of Defense and NASA.
Prior to Joining TEA, Beth served as the head of research at the International Energy Research Centre in Cork, Ireland, where she led a team of 28 research scientists and engineers. Along with her team, she performed energy research that translated business needs into research objectives, focusing on technology enablers that drive innovation for solving society’s grand challenges.
Beth holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Lincoln University in Lincolnshire, UK; a master’s degree in Software Engineering and Mathematics from the Florida Institute of Technology; and a bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems from Troy State University. She has also authored several publications in the areas of image processing, renewable energy communities, and blockchain, including a book chapter on citizen engagement.
Elaina Ball leads strategic planning for CPS Energy. In this role, she is responsible for the oversight and execution of CPS Energy’s Vision 2027. Elaina has over 17 years of experience working with both investor-owned and public power utility companies. She has provided effective leadership in power generation, transmission & distribution, market operations, technology, and business development functions.
She has previously served as CEO for Fayetteville PWC in Fayetteville, NC, as Chief Operating Officer for El Paso Electric and Austin Energy, as Senior Vice President of Power Delivery at Entergy, and is a CPS Energy alumnus serving as Vice President of Technical Services & Energy Solutions in 2012. She also has extensive leadership experience with the South Texas Project (STP), having served on their Board of Directors, Owners’ Committee, and Benefits Committee. Elaina has been actively engaged with multiple utility organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Electrical League and the Association of Women in Energy, in addition to community non-profits such as the Austin Science Education Foundation, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, and Fayetteville Tech Community College. Elaina holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a graduate of the University of Idaho Utility Energy Executive program and a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.
Drew leads all cybersecurity efforts for ERCOT. This includes a Security Operations Center (SOC), Security Architecture, and Security Administration teams. Drew has over 20 years of progressive cybersecurity experience, which includes working for NERC’s Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and implementing the NERC version 1 CIP regulatory standards for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). Drew also served over a decade in the Army, separating as a Warrant Officer responsible for a Joint Military Forces Command’s Cybersecurity. Drew has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Biology. He also is a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) since 2004 and is a Certified Ethical Hacker.
Certifications include: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP #69061), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and ITIL v3.
Specialties include: Security Program Planning and Maturation, Risk and Vulnerability Management, Cyber Incident Response, Network and Computer Forensics, Enterprise Policy Development, Payment Card Industry (PCI compliance), North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) compliance, FBI Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) compliance, project management, and cost effective delivery of appropriate security solutions within organizational risk tolerance.
Steve Bye is a subject matter expert in distribution engineering and power systems, specializing in distribution planning and Distributed Energy Resource (DER) analysis and integration. He has extensive expertise in DER integration, capacity and voltage planning, non-wire alternative analysis, time-series analysis, DER screening and system impact studies, and DER operational support. Steve has a strong grasp of various DER technologies such as solar PV, wind, energy storage synchronous generators, vehicle-to-grid applications, and microgrids. Steve has demonstrated proficiency with advanced modeling, simulation, and control techniques, enabling him to predict system behavior and proactively address potential challenges with any distribution powerflow project. He brings a holistic perspective to distribution engineering to navigate the dynamic regulatory and policy frameworks that are shaping distribution planning, DER integration, and electrification governance. Steve has developed a wide variety of experience working with industry stakeholders on several emerging energy technologies and analyses including ADMS, DERMS, microgrid planning, battery energy storage system (BESS) design and use-case due diligence, and electric vehicle (EV) load forecasting and planning.
Sarah Chatterjee is EPE's Director for Electrification Strategy and Programs, with 16+ years in the energy industry. She is an engineer and specializes in solutions for transportation electrification, building electrification, demand response, energy efficiency, distributed generation, energy storage, and smart grid integration. Sarah has designed and led large-scale electric utility customer programs, regulatory filings, and stakeholder engagements and her expertise includes electrification, demand flexibility, energy efficiency, energy storage, and renewable energy. Sarah worked on an award-winning demand response program that she integrated into the utility system processes to realize ancillary services benefits at the bulk level. Sarah was also responsible for the implementation of multiple utility electric vehicle (EV) customer programs and incentives including the process for EV incentive applications and the interconnection process. She was directly responsible for the implementation of the Nevada Electric Highway implementation leveraging the Volkswagen Settlement and utility regulatory funds in collaboration with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy. Sarah also managed several programs for EV supply equipment incentives for multiple use cases including workplace charging, multifamily charging, public charging, and electric school buses.
Tammy Cooper joined Austin Energy in June 2020 and serves as Deputy General Manager of Regulatory, Communications, Compliance and Legal Services. In this role, she oversees Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Communications, Corporate Compliance Programs, Legal Services, and Environmental, Health & Safety.
Cooper has extensive experience in the electric industry, most recently serving as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Texas Reliability Entity (Texas RE) where she led the Legal, Communications, and Training departments. She also worked in private law practice representing clients in state and federal electric regulatory proceedings and advising clients on a broad range of energy-related issues. She began her legal career at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, where she held several positions, including the Director of Commission Advising.
Cooper holds both a Bachelor of Science in radio-television-film and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Ann Delenela is a security strategist with expertise spanning across 25+ years in the realm of information technology, information security and cyber/physical security management. She is currently Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for Entergy where she is responsible for enterprise and operational cyber security, physical security systems, and compliance. Prior to Entergy, Ann was Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for Ameren Services where she was responsible for enterprise cybersecurity covering Ameren’s Corporate, Electric, Nuclear and Gas operations. Prior to joining Ameren, Ann was with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and served as their Chief Security Officer with overall responsibility for the company’s cyber security, physical security and emergency management programs. Her previous experience includes multiple technical, managerial, and strategic roles within industries ranging from energy, telecommunication, software development and consulting.
Ann is active and influential in the industry serving as an appointed or elected leader in multiple electricity sector committees. Ann was appointed by DOE’s Secretary of Energy served on the Electricity Advisory Committee, a group of selected thought leaders in the electricity sector. Ann was appointed by the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) and currently serves on the NERC Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EISAC) Executive Committee. Ann was also appointed by the Governor of Texas to the Texas Private Sector Advisory Council to advise the Governor’s office on homeland security issues. Ann was named one of the top 10 women Chief Information Security Officers to watch by Chief Security Officer magazine and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of North Texas.
Becky Diffen is a partner in the Austin office of Norton Rose Fulbright where her practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project development, and tax equity financing of renewable energy, energy storage, power generation and transmission projects - including wind, solar, battery storage, geothermal, waste-to-energy, renewable natural gas (RNG), and other technologies. She also has experience advising clients on Texas regulatory law.
Becky has over 20 years of experience in the renewable energy industry and previously worked as a utility-scale wind power developer. She has been recognized by Chambers Global and Chambers USA, was honored as a 2021 Law 360 Project Finance MVP, and in 2019 was named the C3E Law and Finance award winner by the U.S. Department of Energy. Becky also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law (where she teaches a class on renewable energy law). She is a co-author of Wind Law, the first wind law treatise, and Lexis Practice Advisor: Renewable Energy, and her new treatise, Wind & Solar Law, which was published in October 2021.
Ms. Elizondo is the CEO of Energy Renewal Partners (ERP). She has over 20 years of experience in supporting the development and permitting of energy projects across the county. Ms. Elizondo leads Advisory Services for ERP and supported the diligence of nearly 30 GW of renewable projects in 2023. She has also managed large-scale, multi-million dollar environmental projects in some of the most challenging technical and regulatory contexts. Ms. Elizondo has been involved in the decommissioning (and repowering) of gas and coal plants across the country.
As part of Schneider Electric’s North America Microgrid Hub, Wendy Gumb is focused on understanding and supporting the development of microgrid and distributed energy resource projects. Her scope spans from the customer side of the meter to the utility control center, along the dimensions of both the financial and technical solution, and ensuring customer expected outcomes are achieved.
Wendy began her career with the United States Navy serving in the Navigation Division aboard an Ammunition Ship. She now has over 20 years’ experience structuring and negotiating infrastructure improvement solutions for organizations including General Services Administration, Department of Defense, NASA, Municipalities, Education Institutions, Commercial Customers and Utilities.
Wendy is a doer that specializes in connecting concepts and people into seamless teams, while innovating and operating with a shared value mindset, pushing boundaries, and working to positively disrupt the status quo that results in lasting impact for customers, communities and organizations served.
• United States Navy, Honorable Discharge
• MBA Global Management, University of Phoenix
• B.S. Paralegal Studies, Suffolk University
• OSHA 10 Certification
As the Chief Customer Strategy Officer at CPS Energy, DeAnna Hardwick leads a diverse and dynamic team of professionals who are dedicated to delivering exceptional customer experiences and positive community impact. She has over 20 years of experience in customer service, customer value optimization, and customer strategy, with a focus on manufacturing process improvement and employee benefits.
DeAnna joined CPS Energy in 2015 and quickly rose through the ranks, demonstrating her analytical skills, compassion, and innovation. She has developed and implemented customer-centric solutions that address the challenges and opportunities of the energy industry, such as the Customer Outreach Resource Effort (CORE) team, which provides support and relief to customers affected by the pandemic. DeAnna is passionate about serving the customers and stakeholders of CPS Energy, the largest municipally owned, vertically integrated electric and gas utility in the nation.
Cheryl Mele is the Vice President of Customer and Employee Services at El Paso Electric. She leads the teams focused on transforming our customer and employee engagement, including customer operations and technology, human resources, organizational development, and corporate communications where we are focused on building our brand and mission internally and externally. Cheryl joined El Paso Electric in 2021, her career in energy also includes Austin Energy where she was the Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer and ERCOT where she was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
She currently is a member of the boards of The United Way of El Paso County, The Better Business Bureau Paso Del Norte, the Association of Women in Energy and TEPRI where she is the outgoing board chair.
Cheryl has a BS in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York, is a registered professional engineer, and completed the utility executive program at the University of Idaho.
John Miri is President of the Electric Grid Cybersecurity Alliance (EGCA), a global network of utility leaders, industry executives, and government officials dedicated to protecting the world’s electric grids from cyberattack.
Miri is a 25-year technology and cybersecurity veteran who most recently served as Chief Administrative Officer for LCRA, a $1.1 billion-dollar public utility in Texas. Miri led the successful turnaround of 22 divisions at LCRA and pioneered the utility's approach to cybersecurity. He created LCRA's first CISO role and grew the team from one person to 28. Miri expanded the annual cybersecurity budget 16-fold without raising electric rates, successfully repelled billions of cyber-attacks, implemented three AI systems for cyberdefense and resilience, and earned recognition from NIST as a global success story. In the words of EGCA Fellow Bob Greenberg, Miri's leadership took LCRA's cybersecurity team “from worst to first."
Before LCRA, Miri worked in digital transformation and cybersecurity consulting and in several high-tech startups. He co-authored the first statewide cybersecurity strategic plan for the State of Texas and established the state’s first integrated Network and Security Operations Center. Miri graduated from Harvard College with an honors degree in Physics.
Jeff serves as a director of development for Deriva Energy, formerly Duke Energy Renewables, a Brookfield portfolio company, and helps manage the Deriva team's efforts in developing wind, solar and storage assets across the United States. Jeff has helped originate and develop over 3,200 MWs of operating renewable projects in 16 years in the energy industry. Jeff received a degree in Government and Business from the University of Texas and is based in Texas.
Tejaswi Potluri is a power system professional with 12+ years of Electric Grid and Energy Market industry experience. In her current role as Supervisor of Grid Technology Development at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Teja leads a team responsible for the design, software development, and delivery of quality technical solutions to modern day challenges that the energy industry is facing. Teja joined ERCOT in January 2012 as a Market Operations Engineer and has since served in various roles across the organization. Teja has proficiency in Energy and Market Management Systems, grid frequency control, Intermittent Renewable Resources and Load Forecasting. She holds a Master of Science degree in Power Systems Engineering from Arizona State University.
Kristen Senechal is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA TSC) in Texas. She oversees capital plan execution and maintenance activities for LCRA TSC. Prior to this role, she was Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy for LCRA, working across all business units to continue operational and process improvements and develop forward-looking strategies that help LCRA accomplish its business goals. Before joining LCRA, Kristen was director of Strategic Planning at CenterPoint Energy. In this role, she led the strategic planning process at the corporate, business unit and functional levels. Kristen also held additional roles at CenterPoint Energy in its Regulated Operations Strategy and Treasury departments. Kristen earned her Master of Business Administration from the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. She also holds a doctorate in molecular biology and, prior to turning her attention to the energy industry, spent 10 years conducting research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, and MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is currently a board member for the Association of Women in Energy.
Dax Streater is currently the Chief Information Security Officer at LCRA where he provides strategic and operational leadership for the organization’s cybersecurity program. Dax joined LCRA in 2008, has held both Cyber Operations Manager and Director roles, and has been foundational in development of LCRA’s cybersecurity risk management and cyber defense capabilities. During his 25+ year career in technology, Dax has held various positions leading infrastructure, operations, engineering, and support teams. In addition to his 16 years at LCRA, Dax has worked in public safety, telecommunications, and technology organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Texas State University and multiple cybersecurity certifications including CISSP, CISM, CCSP, and GIAC GRID. He is also an active member in various cybersecurity and critical infrastructure organizations.