Meet the Board

The Itron Utility Week Advisory Board plays an integral role in shaping programming at Itron Utility Week and is a resource for attendees to share feedback about all events. The board is comprised of representatives who serve in a variety of roles across electricity, gas and water utilities. From the entire Itron organization, we thank the board for their service and dedication to moving our industry forward and creating a more resourceful world.
David De Yagher

David De Yagher

BC Hydro
Itron Utility Week Advisory Board Chairperson
Senior Manager | Field Device Operations
Track: Multi-Purpose Networks


David De Yagher, CPA, is the Senior Operations manager for BC Hydro's Smart Metering system. The operations team oversees metering, IPv6 RF mesh and ICS networks, and meter data management. David has overall responsibility for ensuring that the design, delivery and operations of BC Hydro's smart metering solution align with the business requirements. He also oversees the developments for new applications leveraging the recently deployed networks in support of BC Hydro's Smart Grid quest. He has been involved with BC Hydro's smart metering project since its inception in October 2005. As a member of various standards and technical committees David has engaged multiple stakeholder and interest groups to present the solution and help drive the project requirements forward.
Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas

Duke Energy
Itron Utility Week Advisory Board Co-Chairperson
Director | Technology Solutions Support
Track: Multi-Purpose Networks


Joe Thomas serves as the Director of Technology Solutions & Support for Duke Energy's Grid Solutions organization, overseeing AMI and meter data management (MDM) planning and operations. Joe’s organization provides business expertise for AMI-related systems, processes and operations for Duke Energy's nearly 2 million AMI meters. His additional responsibilities include directing efforts related to identifying AMI deployment opportunities, developing system improvements and scaling new solutions. Prior to this role, Joe headed up the Meter Data Management Project organization where he led the successful implementation of MDM programs. Joe is a graduate of Miami University and is an avid Cincinnati sports fan. Joe, his wife Trena and their two young children are located in the Charlotte, N.C. area.
David Meszaros

David Meszaros

FirstEnergy
Manager | Smart Meter Programs
Track: Analytics & Advanced Applications


David Meszaros is the Manager of Smart Meter Programs for FirstEnergy. FirstEnergy operates in five states (Ohio, Pa., N.J., Md. and W. Va.) and has about 6 million electric customers. Dave and his team are responsible for the implementation of smart meter systems and processes as well as providing support for regulatory filings. Smart meter deployment is currently active in Pa. as FirstEnergy is in the process of deploying smart meters to 2 million customers in compliance with Act 129 of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Dave has worked at FirstEnergy or its predecessors for over 30 years, with 20 years spent in IT and in various management roles either in IT, supply chain or energy efficiency. Dave is a lifetime resident of the Cleveland, Ohio area and received a Bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Cleveland State University. He is an avid Cleveland sports fan (yes—even the Browns!) and enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Natalie in his free time.
Dennis DeMera

Dennis DeMera

Las Vegas Water District
Field Services Supervisor
Track: Mobile & Measurement Solutions


Dennis DeMera has worked for the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) for the past 12 years. The LVVWD provides water to more than one million people via approximately 392,000 water meters. Currently, LVVWD collects hourly data from their AMI network and AMR system to provide world class customer service to their customer base. He currently supervises the field units responsible for meter reading, water conservation, customer service and field services support. Dennis has overseen deployments for the Itron Fixed Network solution, Mobile Interface, Field Collection System, Field Deployment Manager, Leak Sensors and Water Analytics.
Nick Miller

Nick Miller

Southwest Gas
Analyst II | Business Technology Support
Track: Mobile & Measurement Solutions


Nick Miller joined Southwest Gas Corporation in 2006. During his 13 years of service with the company, he has held the positions of Mapping Specialist, Engineering Technician and now Analyst II in Business Technology Support. In his current position, Nick provides training, Help Desk support, and facilitates business-focused direction as it relates to meter reading technology. Routing, rerouting, daily assignment creation, process assessment and the use of related technology are primary areas of focus. He is a graduate of Nevada State College with a bachelor's of science degree in Business Administration and currently completing coursework in Information Systems. He is also a graduate from Grand Canyon University with two master degrees: Master of Science in Leadership and an MBA.
Tracy Tinsley IUW Advisory Board

Tracy Tinsley

Duke Energy
Project Director | AMI
Track: Analytics & Advanced Applications


Tracy Tinsley is the Duke Energy AMI Project Director responsible for the AMI Meter Deployment Programs in Ind., Ohio, Ky. and Fla. She has 33 years of experience at Duke Energy and held a variety of positions in fossil, nuclear, IT and corporate services before joining the smart grid organization 10 years ago as it was formed. Tracy initially managed the implementation and growth of the AMI head-end systems as well as the initial AMI deployment projects. Tracy has helped shape Duke Energy's AMI deployment methodology with her practical operational management experiences, by living through and leveraging many lessons learned, and by managing the many variables that affect Duke's scaled deployment efforts. Tracy is a Virginia Tech graduate (Go Hokies!), married for 30 years to her Hokie husband, and has two amazing daughters who are also Hokie graduates.
Tal Centers

Tal Centers

CenterPoint Energy
Vice President | Safety & Gas System Integrity
Track: Mobile & Measurement Solutions


Tal Centers works for CenterPoint Energy, Inc. headquartered in Houston, Texas. CenterPoint Energy is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electricity transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services. He is the vice president of Safety & Gas System Integrity, with responsibilities for gas LDC engineering, system integrity, gas control, measurement, safety, technical training and environmental oversight. Tal has been with CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies for over 30 years. Tal is a 1985 graduate of Texas A&M with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a 2006 Executive MBA graduate, also from Texas A&M. He is incoming chair for the Operations Managing Committee for the American Gas Association. Tal is married with a son and daughter.
Julie Matteson

Julie Matteson

Western Area Power Administration
Manager | Settlements and Power Billing
Track: Data Management


Julie Matteson is the Settlements and Power Billing Manager at Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), Upper Great Plains Region (UGPR). WAPA is one of four power marketing administrations within the U.S. Department of Energy whose role is to market and transmit wholesale electricity from multi-use water projects. WAPA's service area encompasses a 15-state region of the central and western U.S. where WAPA’s more than 17,000 circuit mile transmission system carries electricity from 56 hydropower plants. For the past 27 years, Julie has specialized in supporting WAPA's MV-90 xi system. She worked in the Power Billing Division for 14 years as a Public Utilities Specialist before transferring to the Information Technology (IT) Division as System Administrator. She continued to support the Itron products from an IT perspective for 10 years. She then moved back to the Power Billing Division as a Supervisor for three years and is currently the Settlements & Power Billing Manager. Julie has a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has three children and resides in Watertown, S.D.
Derek LeBoeuf

Derek LeBoeuf

City of Ottawa
Business Consultant | Revenue Systems
Track: Data Management


Derek LeBoeuf has worked for the City of Ottawa for the past 20 years, serving as team lead for multiple projects. As a municipal-owned water utility, the City has 237,000 accounts that are read hourly through Itron's Fixed Network collection engine; information collected is then preserved in Itron's meter data management system. Derek's current project is to roll-out a new water utility billing system that features self-serve on-line services for residents and provides a number of internal-facing improvements for staff such as the automation of processes and interfacing with many of the applications that are used on a day-to-day basis. Derek's role specifically targets real-time integration with Maximo (meter assets and work order integration), Vailtech (property taxation system) and Itron software solutions.
Dean Martin IUW Advisory Board

Dean Martin

Consumers Energy
Smart Energy Supervisor
Track: Analytics & Advanced Applications


After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Western Michigan University, Dean Martin began his career at ANCO Engineers, performing a commercial and industrial rebate program for Consumers Energy. He held a variety of roles before beginning his career at Consumers Energy in Smart Energy. Dean is currently the Smart Energy Operations Supervisor, with a team who performs device management of various smart electric meters and gas communication modules deployed across the state of Michigan. Consumers Energy has deployed cellular-based smart electric meters to 1.8 million electric customers, has over 660,000 gas communication modules communicating through the AMI technology and is currently deploying an AMR solution to 1.2 million gas-only customers.
Peter Chow

Peter Chow

Georgia Power
Metering Principal Engineer
Track: Data Management


Peter Chow is currently the Metering Services Principal Engineer with responsibility over the strategic direction of MDM at Georgia Power. He has more than 36 years of experience in software development, metering, and managing various MDM systems across Southern Company. Southern Company (Georgia Power, Alabama Power, and Mississippi Power) processes data from over 4 million AMI electric meter points using ItronEE and MV90xi. Peter was on the Southern Company design team that partnered with Itron on the development of ItronEE. He is currently an active member of the Southern Company MDM Technical Advisory Team. Peter grew up in Georgia and attended Southern Polytechnic and Georgia Tech in Atlanta obtaining a degree in Electrical Engineering. He and his wife Lisa have been married for 31 years.
George Hughes

George Hughes

Union Gas Limited
Manager | Meter Reading Logistics
Track: Mobile & Measurement Solutions


George Hughes provides business unit leadership and support for Itron's Field Collection System application, FC300 Handheld, MC3 and MC Lite AMR data collection and related processes. His role is an organizational resource for meter reading technologies and holds field accountability for 475,000 of Union Gas' 1.5 million customers. George joined the organization in 1978 and has held many roles in customer service, planning and dispatch, marketing, and utility services. Projects have involved the delivery of technical and soft skills training, support for in-truck data terminal deployment, and implementation and upgrade of Itron solutions. In addition to business management, George has completed continuing education studies in human resources, finance and project management. He holds certificates of qualification related to gas and HVAC industries. Outside of work, he enjoys furniture building, renovation projects and playing golf. His most rewarding role, joined by his wife, is father and mother to their children and as Papa and Nana to two granddaughters.
Melanie Popovich IUW Advisory Board

Melanie Popovich

Peoples Gas
Project Manager | IT
Track: Mobile & Measurement Solutions


Melanie Popovich has been an independent consultant since 2003, providing project management and evaluation services to gas and electric utility distribution companies. Melanie's clients include Peoples Gas (Pittsburgh), Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Equitable Gas, Dominion-Peoples Gas, National Fuel Gas, UGI, and the Indiana State Gas and Electric Association. She is currently Project Manager of Peoples' 438,000 Customer AMR Smart Meter initiative in partnership with Itron. Prior to consulting, Melanie spent most of her 30-year career in the natural gas industry holding various executive management positions including Corporate Vice President Customer Service, NiSource, Inc.; Vice President Customer Relations and Marketing, Columbia Gas of Pa. and Md.; and Director Customer Relations, Columbia Gas of Pa. Melanie holds a BS in Applied Science degree from Youngstown State University and is an alumna of Carnegie Mellon's John H. Heinz Graduate School of Public Policy.
Shachella James IUW Advisory Board

Shachella James

CenterPoint Energy
Vice President | Technology Operations
Track: Analytics & Advanced Applications


Shachella James is an accomplished technology professional approaching three decades interfacing with senior business executives, technical teams, and operational end-users, making sure no one strays from "due North". As the Vice President of Technology Operations, she provides leadership to a technology organization that enables and supports the corporate technology enterprise, including end user support, business applications, portfolio value and delivery, and data center operations. She engages the enterprise to identify innovation and solutions to meet the capabilities and industry demands. Shachella drives organizational development plans leading to the transformation of the organization to achieve greater efficiencies, effectiveness, security, continuity and resilience via technology and resources. Her span of control includes managing the fiduciary, strategic, and operational accountabilities commensurate to this position. Shachella is a certified technology professional, having earned her undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems from Texas A&M University and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson

Peoples Gas / North Shore Gas
Director | Meter to Bill
Track: Multi-Purpose Networks


Jim Robinson is the Director of Meter to Bill for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas in Illinois, both WEC Energy Group subsidiaries. As an engineer and MBA graduate, located in Chicago, he also brings 35 years of experience in the gas utility industry to the Itron Utility Board. Over his career, Jim has been responsible for construction, fleet and materials management, strategic sourcing, gas supply planning, credit and collections, meter testing and repair, meter reading and billing. Recently, a key focus for Jim has been managing AMR and AMI teams and strategy for approximately 1 million gas meters across WEC Energy Group's Illinois companies. This includes managing the deployment of OpenWay® Riva gas modules and integrating OpenWay with existing systems. Jim's wealth of experience, knowledge and relationships across the utility industry make him an outstanding addition to the IUW Board.
Steve Miller

Steve Miller

Charlotte Water
Chief of Customer Services
Track: Multi-Purpose Networks


Steve Miller has over 25 years of utility experience and is the Chief of Customer Service at Charlotte Water. Charlotte Water services a population of over 1M people through 300k meters. Before coming to Charlotte Water, Steve was an Engineer for the Salisbury-Rowan Utility Department. Steve began his at Charlotte Water 20 years ago in Engineering and has managed Customer Service team for the past 10 years. In his current role, he is responsible Charlotte Water’s meter reading system, account management activities, new service connections, field services, revenue recovery, and backflow program. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership. Steve serves on the N.C. AWWA Utility Management Committee and is currently the Chair of the AWWA Customer Service Committee. Outside of work he enjoys fishing, mountain biking and music. Steve is married with three fabulous children, a dog and a turtle.
Bill Westrick

Bill Westrick

Exelon
Manager | IT Field Area Network Operations
Track: Advanced Applications and Outcomes


Bill Westrick has worked in the technology field for almost 35 years. He joined Exelon in 2012 where he initially worked on ComEd’s distribution automation deployment project, and soon moved into an operations role where he managed ComEd’s Itron (SSN) AMI and DA networks. He is now in Exelon’s Utility Communications group as IT Manager, Field Area Network Operations, where he’s responsible for the Itron AMI and DA networks at five Exelon utilities. Bill is also responsible for the Land Mobile Radio systems across all six Exelon utilities. Prior to joining Exelon, Bill was IT Director at Pennant Foods Company where he was responsible for technology deployed across its 12 manufacturing facilities in North America. His background also includes systems engineering at IBM and consulting experience at McKinsey & Company and Accenture. Bill resides in the Chicago area with his wife Liz and has 4 children (two in college and two in high school). In his spare time, he plays the piano, works as a volunteer at a social service agency on Chicago’s west side, and enjoys spending time with his children.
Bill Westrick

Rick Teigland

Florida Power & Light
Manager | Reliability Grid Automation
Track: Multi-Purpose Networks


Rick Teigland is the manager of the reliability grid automation team at Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). In this role, he is responsible for the overall strategy and deployment of grid automation devices across FPL’s 35 county service territory. Rick previously served as a technical manager for the distribution portion of the Energy Smart Florida program overseeing the installation and integration of over 8,000 devices, sensors, and monitors in Miami-Dade County. He was also responsible for the distribution Storm Secure Program during the program’s early years. Prior to that, Rick was a distribution planning supervisor where his group was responsible for analyzing the distribution grid, developing capacity and system improvement projects, and ensuring protective coordination between feeder relays and distribution devices. Rick is a registered Professional Engineer, received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida and received his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Florida.
Lorie-Schellender

Lorie Schellender

Pepco Holdings
Manager | Energy Efficient Programs
Track: Advanced Applications and Outcomes


Lorie Shellender is manager of Energy Efficiency Programs at Pepco Holdings and currently manages Energy Wise Rewards, the direct load control program offered by Pepco, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric. She has over 19 years of experience with various utility customer segments and she has led PHI’s pioneering work with data, specifically moving the utility into a leadership position regarding data access and analytics. She led Pepco’s innovative work on benchmarking and whole building data analysis as well as helped Pepco become the first utility in the country to implement the Green Button Connect data service for C&I customers. Her award-winning DLC program, Energy Wise Rewards, is one of the first Exelon programs to coordinate targeted demand response capabilities, and her team recently launched a bring your own device (BYOD) participation option to their existing portfolio. Combined, the PHI utility companies have more than 350,000 active participants in the direct load control programs and nearly 400MW under control.