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What Is Next for the Smart Grid? A Special Lecture by Chris Hickman and Cheryl Linder
Monday, March 7, 2011 - 7:00pm

Please join us at Portland State University to hear a special lecture by Chris Hickman (President, Innovari Energy) and Cheryl Linder (Global Offering Leader, IBM Energy and Utilities Industry) on Monday, March 7th from 7 PM until 9:20 PM at the PSU Center for Urban and Public Administration (Parson's Gallery, Second Floor).  Admission is free, but advance registration is recommended. Register online now!

The PSU Smart Grid Winter Class has invited Chris and Cheryl to lecture on innovation in the Smart Grid including such topics as:

  • Where will innovation come from, and who will be the innovators?
  • Can vertical utilities innovate?
  • Will/can/should regulators force utility innovation?
  • Is regulatory and legislative innovation the gating factor in smart grid innovation?
  • Will any of this happen without State and Federal legislative support?
  • What will be the impact of third party participation – VCs and start-ups, new entrants, current 3rd parties?
  • What are the most successful models for smart grid innovation?
  • What are the appropriate roles for Utilities, Public Power, State legislatures and regulators, State executive branch, Federal agencies and regulators, system operators, vendors, aggregators, consumers?

Chris and Cheryl are uniquely qualified to address these topics.  Both Chris and Cheryl's bios are provided below along with a link to Chris' slides from the Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference held last fall.
Chris Hickman, President, Innovari Energy
With over 2 decades of utility industry experience, Chris Hickman has dedicated his career to finding ways to improve the electric energy enterprise from source fuel to consumer services by leveraging new technologies and ideas. Innovari Energy is focused on providing support to technology companies, policy makers, financiers, and utilities to better understand the complex electric energy space and create sound business models for successful incorporation of technology.

Prior to founding Innovari Energy, Hickman served as the Executive Vice President, Utility Solutions at Ice Energy where he brought to market the first utility scale storage model for distributed assets. Before that Hickman served as President of SureGrid where he developed the first automated demand response products, and at Cellnet Technology where he handled state and federal regulation while actively driving policies to enable smart grid technologies throughout the industry.

Previously, Hickman spent over 13 years at PNM Resources where he developed extensive experience in engineering, policy development, infrastructure planning, and the development of environmental management systems.

Hickman has served on the boards of the IEEE Power Engineering Society, the GridWise Alliance and Avistar, an unregulated subsidiary of PNM as well as several non-profit organizations.  He received a BSEE degree  and an MSEE degree in the Electric Utility Management Program from New Mexico State University, as well as an MBA from the University of New Mexico. Chris is a frequent speaker to regulatory organizations such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Congress and  we're very pleased to have him back again to present to our members in Portland.

View Chris's slides from the November 2010 Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference.

Cheryl Linder, Global Offering Leader, IBM Energy and Utilities Industry
Cheryl has over 16 years of experience in business and operational strategy consulting, marketing and corporate finance and for the past 6 years, she has focused on developing and marketing solutions for energy and utility companies.  She currently leads the development of Smart Grid, power generation and customer offerings for IBM’s Energy and Utilities industry.

Previously, Cheryl was the Global Strategy and Planning Marketing responsible for increasing brand awareness and market share through the development of industry marketing strategy and programs. She also led and managed marketing programs for the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition, a group of innovative utility companies from around the world. Prior to this, Cheryl was a Senior Financial Analyst for Intel Corporation.  

Cheryl has an MBA in Operational Strategy and Management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a BS in Finance from Western Washington University.