Join us as we bring together the most forward-thinking utilities at the center of grid digitalization, and as our research team explores the latest advancements in distribution innovation across the East Coast.


As a spin-off of our flagship Grid Edge Innovation Summit in California, we're heading to North Carolina to focus on how innovation and decentralization can result in a more resilient energy system. Led by leading utilities, smart grid tech giants, and Wood Mackenzie's research experts, Grid Edge East will explore how frontier technologies such as AI, edge computing and power electronics are already impacting grid resiliency and customer experience, and how market leaders are innovating core systems at the edge of the grid.


Joe Woomer
Joe Woomer
Vice President, Grid & Technical Solutions, Power Delivery Group, Dominion

Joseph A. “Joe” Woomer is vice president–Grid and Technical Solutions, Power Delivery Group

He leads the company’s grid modernization efforts and is responsible for the technical and engineering aspects of Dominion Energy’s electric distribution business unit, including design, planning, reliability, strategic undergrounding, metering technologies, end-use technologies, renewable energy interconnections and federal energy solutions.

Woomer joined Dominion Energy in 1986 as an associate engineer in Northern Virginia and has held various engineering, operational, and management positions. In 2000, he was promoted to manager–Northwest Operations, responsible for local and regional operating groups and the management of distribution assets. In 2001, he was named director-Distribution Operations Centers, responsible for oversight of electric distribution system operations, gas dispatch, emergency preparedness and GIS. He was named director–Reliability, leading the reliability strategic planning effort, in 2006, and director–Electric Distribution Construction in April 2010. He assumed his current role in July 2018.

He is a member of the Gold Shovel Standard Board and SEE Engineering and Operating Committee and recently transitioned to represent Dominion Energy as an Executive Champion at Virginia State University. He is a former member of the Virginia 4H Foundation Board.

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Woomer earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University in 1986, and graduated from the Tuck Executive Program at the University of Dartmouth in 2003.

Melissa Dykes
Melissa Dykes
President & COO, JEA

Melissa Dykes serves as JEA’s President and Chief Operating Officer. She leads the operation of the utility, responsible for providing reliable, affordable, safe utility services to more than one million people across four counties. Her team of more than 1,900 employees includes electric, water, wastewater, customer experience, human resources, environmental services, compliance, technology, supply chain, and legal. She is responsible for nearly all of JEA’s $2 billion budget and management of assets of $8.8 billion.

Ms. Dykes served as JEA’s Chief Financial Officer for nearly six years prior to her current role. As CFO, she provided leadership to ensure the financial health of JEA, resulting in access to capital at low cost on behalf of JEA’s customers. Her efforts as CFO helped JEA deliver more than $1 billion in cost savings to the community, including savings from refundings, a rate restructuring, and savings from the shutdown of the St. Johns River Power Park earlier this year. She was responsible for all aspects of JEA’s finances, including treasury, financial reporting, budgeting, supply chain management, and shared services, and had lead responsibility for ensuring compliance with all reporting, regulatory and tax requirements for JEA.
Prior to joining JEA, Ms. Dykes was CFO at a portfolio company of a large energy private equity firm and a principal in a renewable energy development company, where she was responsible for origination, commercial structuring, development and capital raising for renewable energy projects. She also was Vice President of Investment Banking at JPMorgan, where she was responsible for providing capital solutions for clients, including more than $26 billion in financings for many municipal electric and water systems across the country, risk management product delivery, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining JPMorgan, Ms. Dykes worked for The World Bank Group, where she researched and published on private participation in infrastructure industries in developing countries. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a certificate in Advanced Management from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Jason Handley
Jason Handley
Director of Smart Grid Technology & Operations, Duke Energy

Jason Handley, P.E. is Director of Smart Grid Technology and Operations in the Emerging Technology Office at Duke Energy. Jason has over 18 years of electric utility experience specializing in the smart grid, distribution automation, and operations management. This role allows Jason to follow and define new technologies that may be impacting the electrical grid and oversee all of the ongoing operational aspects on new technology pilot projects in the Emerging Technology Office. Jason manages a group that develops, installs, tests, and evaluates new technologies for Duke’s electrical grid. He and his team are responsible for developing and updating the strategic roadmap for power grid devices at Duke Energy. Jason received his electrical engineering degree from Auburn University and is currently pursuing his MBA at Wake Forest University. He is a registered professional engineer and received his electrical contractors unlimited license in 2009.

Raiford Smith
Raiford Smith
Vice President, Energy Technology and Analytics, Entergy

Raiford Smith and his team lead Entergy’s pursuit of new, enabling technologies such as Distributed Energy Resources, big data analytics, and the development of customer-facing products and services. Mr. Smith is based out of Entergy’s offices in The Woodlands, TX. Entergy is an integrated energy company that owns and operates approximately 30GW of electric generating capacity and delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Mr. Smith has 26 years of experience in the energy industry, including various roles in legal, planning and analytics, smart grid, customer management, demand-side management, pricing and rates, product development, wholesale deal structuring, mergers and acquisitions, and technology.

Michael Quinn
Michael Quinn
Vice President Portfolio Strategy & Risk Management, Oncor Electric Delivery

Michael Quinn is Vice President Portfolio Strategy and Risk Management for Oncor Electric Delivery.  He has been charged with setting the company’s course in transforming the value of the electric grid through innovative, technology-driven and customer focused solutions that meet the growing and changing needs of the market. His work impacts system performance and capital spending, legislative and regulatory efforts, customer engagement, and future business model evolutions.

He joined Texas Utilities, Oncor’s predecessor company, in 1988 and has had assignments in Nuclear Generation, Fossil Generation, System Protection, Asset Management, Grid Operations, Business Development, Federal Advocacy and Corporate Strategy. Over the last twenty-two years, he has held numerous management and leadership positions within these organizations.

Michael is a 1988 graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.  He is active on numerous trade associations and industry boards including energy storage, environmental science institute, communications, transmission development and NERC compliance.  He is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Dallas.

Michael and his wife Stephanie live in Flower Mound, Texas with their three children, Lexi, McKenna and Hunter.

Lee Ragsdale
Lee Ragsdale
Senior Vice President Grid Infrastructure & Compliance, North Carolina's Electric Cooperatives

Leads the Power Supply team responsible for NCEMC’s Asset Management & Compliance (Environmental and Regulatory), Grid Infrastructure (Transmission, Engineering, and Grid Modernization), and Portfolio & Resource Optimization. Member of the NCEMC CyberSecurity steering group and manages our EPRI involvement.

Gary Rackliffe
Gary Rackliffe
Vice President Smart Grids and Grid Modernization, ABB

Gary Rackliffe is the ABB Vice President for Smart Grids and Grid Modernization. He has been in this position since 2009 and leads ABB’s smart grid initiatives in North America. He also is the General Manager for the Smart Grid Center of Excellence located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

With 30+ years of electric grid transmission and distribution experience, Gary has been recognized as an industry leader on smart grid technologies. He is the past chair of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s Smart Grid Council and is the Technical Advisor for the IEC US national Committee’s advisory group.

Gary holds BS and ME degrees in Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and an IEEE Senior Member. He has co-authored a T&D planning book, and has written numerous technical papers and articles.

Elta Kolo, Ph.D
Elta Kolo, Ph.D
Research Manager, Grid Edge, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (Formerly GTM Research)

Elta is a Research Manager for the Grid Edge team at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (formerly GTM Research), working on demand-side management in U.S. electricity markets. Prior to joining GTM, Elta pursued a joint Ph.D. funded by the European Commission on Sustainable Energy Technologies and Strategies at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. During her doctoral studies, she researched demand response policies for the implementation of smart grids and has presented her work at both U.S. and European conferences in addition to publishing in international scholarly journals. Elta holds a Master of Science degree in economics and management of network industries and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Union College.

agenda 2019 Conference Themes
  • Becoming an Energy Innovation Company: How utilities are transforming their business models by innovating at the core
  • Sensorization of T&D Lines: Predictive Maintenance, sensor ecosystems, and weather event simulation
  • Enhancing Resiliency Through Microgrids: How digital technologies are strengthening energy systems
  • The EV Future: The impact of EV mass adoption and charging infrastructure on the grid
  • Customer Centricity: Making the most of available data to personalize customer experience
  • Securing the Edge of the Grid: Overcoming cyber vulnerabilities in an increasingly connected energy system
view full agenda


Duke Fuqua School of Business
Duke Fuqua School of Business
100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708
RESERVATIONS 844-490-7100

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