2017 Agenda

(2018 agenda coming this summer)


 November 8, 2017




12:00 pm Registration Opens
1:00 pm – 1:15 pm PLC Kick-Off
Bernie Krzys, CEO, Benjamin
Media Inc.
1:15 pm – 1:30 pm Welcome Message
Thomas D. Hutchins, Vice President, EH&S; Kinder
Morgan Natural Gas Pipelines; Chairman, INGAA Foundation; Donnie Clary, President & CEO, CoServ
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm Pipeline and Distribution Market Overview
A look at the driving forces in the oil and gas pipeline and distribution market in North America.
Mark Bridgers, Principal, Continuum Capital
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Keynote Address Laura Speake, Regional Chief Economist for Energy & Transportation, Caterpillar Inc.
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Executive Roundtable
A panel of experts comprised of pipeline operators, distribution companies, manufacturing and regulatory leaders will discuss “a New Era of Pipeline Construction.”
Moderator: Mark Bridgers, Principal, Continuum Capital
Panelists: Laura Speake, Regional Chief Economist for Energy & Transportation, Caterpillar Inc.; Thomas D. Hutchins, Vice President, EH&S, Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipelines; Jason Stechschulte, Commercial Development Manager, Marathon Pipe Line LLC;  Minh Tran, Managing Director of Operations (Retired), Piedmont Natural Gas; Greg Ward, SVP – Field Operations, CoServ
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Networking Coffee Break
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Distribution and Integrity Management 
During a large project, Piedmont’s QA/QC function identified a potential issue with a material and/or installation technique that required root cause analysis and attention. The parties involved (utility, contractor and material manufacturer) formed a cross functional team to rapidly define the source of the issue, determine a reasonable and timely resolution, and rebuild confidence in the material and installation techniques. The panel will focuses on how the cross-functional and collective team quickly came together, thoroughly and jointly investigated the root causes, developed joint solutions, and coordinated the seamless implementation of them. 
Jeremy Koster, General Manager, Gas Operations Support, Piedmont Natural Gas; Joe O’Donnell, Director – Southeast Operations, Mears Group (A Quanta Services Company)
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Networking Reception and Pipeline Leadership Award Banquet


 November 9 , 2017

7:30 am Registration Opens
7:30 am – 8:30 am Networking Continental Breakfast
8:30 am – 9:00 am Stakeholder Relations in the
Post-DAPL Era
Despite “playing it by the book” and efforts to engage Standing Rock Sioux Tribe during the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners ended up exactly where it did not want to find itself — embroiled in litigation and arguably on the losing end of the public relations battle. So what it is to be done? This presentation will discuss the emerging strategy now being pursued by natural resources industry opponents; the need to be proactive in the public relations battle to counteract the strategy of the opposition; and a discussion as to the high likelihood of Vietnam War type civil disobedience in light of the current political environment.
Ralph Cantafio, Owner, Cantafio Hammond
9:00 am – 10:00 am How Tribes and Pipeline Companies Can Work Together – Panel Discussion
Tribal groups are increasingly playing a role in pipeline development. This panel will explore the benefits of developing relationships tribal and pipeline stakeholder groups. Discussion will explain the role that the federal government plays in that process, as well as why and how to avoid tribal protests on pipeline projects.
Moderator: Lou Thompson, Chief Operations Officer, Tribal Energy Resource
Panelists: Bobby Gonzalez, President, Tribal Energy Resource; J.C. Thomas, Director of External Affairs, Sempra International LLC; Robert Williamson, Representative, Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma; Doug Kennedy, Senior Director of Environmental Permitting and Remediation, Plains All-American
10:00 am – 10:30 am Establishing an Industry Standard for Pipeline Safety Leadership
Safety has always been an important topic but now, more than ever before, the pipeline industry recognizes that a change in attitude is needed in the way we address important safety issues. For years, the path to cultural excellence was elusive. Now, with a new approach to training that focuses on affecting attitudes and behaviors, leaders have a road map for engaging employees in a system of accountability that results in safe operations. The Pipeline Safety Leadership Training program provides leaders at all levels insight into their role in influencing the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that drive safety culture.
Doug Giesinger, Senior Safety Consultant, Caterpillar Safety Services
10:30 am – 11:00 am Networking Coffee Break
11:00 am – 12:00 pm New Innovations for Pipeline Excellence Panel
Exploring how new technology and practices improve processes related to pipeline operation, construction and maintenance.
Moderator: Brad Kramer, Managing Editor, North American Oil & Gas Pipelines
Panelists: Mark Smith, CEO, Geospatial Corp.; Wayne King, P.Eng, President, HEBNA; John Capodice, Executive Vice President, Sterling Lumber; Dr. Mickey Frish, Manager, Industrial Sensors, PSI Corp.
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch  
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm Improving Decision Making About Exposure and Risk
Every day employees are faced with thousands of decisions. Some of them can have serious, even life-altering, consequences. This presentation examines an approach to strengthen individual and team decision making around exposure and risk control.
Jim Spigener, Senior Vice President, DEKRA
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm Insights From a Younger Generation of Pipeliners
Younger pipeline professionals are forming a coalition to build their ranks and fill the vacancies of industry veterans nearing retirement.
Kiona Meade, Global Midstream Technical Sales Engineer, Schlumberger & Community of Practice Work Group Lead, Young Pipeline Professionals USA (YPP USA)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Workforce Development Panel
Pipeline and utility stakeholders discuss efforts to recruit, train and retain the next generation of pipeliners. Concurrent efforts from the pipeline industry, the four major trade unions and industry associations are leading the effort to solve the challenges of workforce shortages.
Moderator: Mark Bridgers, Principal, Continuum Capital Panelists: Marion “Bubba” Davis, Director of Construction, International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Tom Gross, Director of Pipeline and Gas Distribution, United Association; Neil Lane, Executive Director, Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada; Robert Wilds, Director of Pipeline, International Union of Operating Engineers