Join us in Lincoln!

Join us in Lincoln!

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The conference is a great opportunity to join your peers and colleagues from the region to learn about today's issues facing municipalities in the areas of energy, economic development and much more.

Click here to register online

Click here to sponsor the conference

Click here to see the conference agenda


Rulon GardnerRulon Gardner photo

U.S. Olympic wrestling champion
and former Univ. of Nebraska wrestler

"Seven Steps to Success"

Rulon will share his personal experiences to illustrate how persistence leads to success. His presentation will focus on several real-world and useful tactics such as:

  • Going Back to the Basics
  • Turning Negatives into Positives
  • Aim High When You’re Feeling Low
  • Train Hard and
  • Don’t Rest on your Laurels

Rulon, a former University of Nebraska wrestler, earned a gold medal in wrestling in the 2000 Sydney, Australia Olympics. His performance was dubbed “Miracle on the Mat” as he rose from relative obscurity to defeat Russia’s three-time Olympic gold medalist Alexander Karelin, who had been undefeated since 1985. He also earned a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

For his Olympic efforts Gardner was named the 2000 Sportsman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee and was also the recipient of the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award. He is also the 2001 ESPY Award recipient of the U.S. Male Olympic Athlete of the Year and a Jesse Owens Award recipient for sportsmanship.

Since his Olympic wrestling career came to an end, Gardner has displayed the same sense of determination and fighting spirit in his endeavors.

He wrote the 2005 motivational autobiography “Never Stop Pushing: My Life from a Wyoming Farm to the Olympic Medals Stand”, served as an inspiration on the NBC television show “The Biggest Loser” and was honored with the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award, which is given to the nation's top amateur athlete for athletic excellence, leadership, sportsmanship, and character.

Danette Scudder

Executive Vice President and CSO, TVPPA
Vice President, Distributors Insurance

"Is it the Jetsons or Gen Z? Creating an ‘Out of this World’ Workplace for the Future"Danette Scudder photo

There are five generations in the workplace today – each with differing value systems and priorities. That means there is potential for miscommunication, conflict and confusion. At the same time, the diversity of thought, capabilities and expertise that a cross-generational team can bring to the table can take creativity, innovation and problem solving to a new level. In this session we will explore what drives – and divides – the different generations with a goal of creating a better understanding of how we can bridge the generation gap to create resilient organizations in the rapidly-changing utility industry.

Danette Scudder is executive vice president and chief strategy officer for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, which serves 153 consumer-owned electric utilities that purchase wholesale electric power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and distribute it in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Conference Session Topics and Presenters

“Powering Forward” to Meet Challenges Facing Public Power UtilitiesScott Corwin, APPA

Scott Corwin, President/CEO of American Public Power Association

There is a seemingly non-stop stream of challenges today facing community-owned electric utilities from big picture grid stability threats to cyber security, workforce, and supply chain issues at home. Scott Corwin will address the value of public power, the importance of working together, and some of the ways public power is strategizing and advocating to turn daunting challenges into opportunities that benefit local communities.



“What's in Your Community Drinking Water?”Tom Goulette

Tom Goulette, City Administrator, West Point, Neb.,
President and National Director of Nebraska Rural Water Association
National Rural Water Executive Board Member

Municipalities face numerous challenges regarding community drinking water. This session will discuss community drinking water preparedness, including the upcoming Lead Service Line Inventories and options for dealing with nitrate contamination.

Tom will share information regarding the National Rural Water Association’s portfolio of federally funded programs to support small and rural water and wastewater systems across the U.S.

“What's Happening in Federal Grant Funding?”Aury Kangelos

Aury Kangelos, Infrastructure Funding Strategist, Olsson

This session highlights opportunities in federal grant funding and what it takes to be successful in securing funding. Aury will address the different funding programs, what qualifies for these programs, and what elements make an application more attractive to federal agencies.


Grant Writing Resources Panel

Jeff Cook-Coyle, Chief Product Engineer, Premier Energy
Kevin Hopper, Senior Project Engineer, Toth & Associates
Dino Lelic, Executive Advisor, Director of Applied R&D, Quanta Technology
Al Vacanti, Owner, Vacanti Municipal Consulting Services

This panel session will focus on grant writing assistance and resources for municipalities. Federal and state grants are available – but how do small municipalities with limited staff tackle the challenge of grant writing to earn funding to benefit their community?

Lightning ProtectionSean Carpenter

Sean Carpenter, Solutions Analyst, Lightning Eliminators & Consultants, Inc.

This session focuses on the principles of a lightning discharge and its effects on electrical systems. Learn how to mitigate downtime and prevent product loss using the proper lightning protection system for the application. Discussion will also include the advantages and disadvantages of different types of lightning protection systems.



"What's Shaping the Future of Natural Gas Prices?"

Alex Wong, Senior Structure and Pricing Analyst, The Energy Authority

This session will provide an overview of the natural gas market, how it’s becoming more global in nature and why it matters to electric utilities. It will also touch upon the impact of the growing renewable energy markets.

State Issues Panel Discussion

Dan Hodges, Executive Director, Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities
Joe Kohout, Managing Partner and Lobbyist at Kissel, Kohout, ES Associates LLC.
Julie Smith, Of Counsel, Government Affairs Consultant and Lobbyist, BrownWinick Law Firm

The three panelists will provide a current overview of the energy and legislative landscape in Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska and share what to expect in the 2024 Legislative sessions.

“Keep Calm and Call a Vendor” Luncheon

The conference luncheon will feature vendor sponsors and what they can provide to communities in regard to services and expertise. Along with a nice meal with colleagues, participants will learn about many services available through our sponsorship vendors.

Elected Officials Breakfast Forum

This is the second year of holding the Elected Officials Breakfast Forum. It's a terrific opportunity to connect with other elected municipal leaders from across Nebraska and surrounding states. NMPP Energy Executive Director Bob Poehling will lead the discussion as elected municipal officials share current challenges, solutions and ideas. Possible topics include: 

  • Workforce and budgeting challenges
  • Maintaining your electric system 
  • Cybersecurity issues
  • Community revitalization projects

The conference also includes:
  • NMPP Annual Board Meeting
  • Awards Banquet
  • Sponsor Exhibits
  • Social Opportunities

Lodging/Hotel Reservation

A special group rate has been secured for $102 per night at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel.

Event Summary:
Start date: March 19, 2024
End date: March 21, 2024
Last day to book: March 5, 2024

Click here to book your group rate for the NMPP Energy Annual Conference.

Annual Conference 2024 Call for Awards

The 2024 NMPP Energy Annual Conference will recognize annual Project of the Year Awards and individual awards. This is a great time to nominate your community projects and highlight deserving individuals to be recognized by their peers. Click on each link to download an award nomination form and consider nominating a community project or individual to be honored during the 2024 NMPP Energy Annual Conference:

Project of the Year Awards - awarded to energy/utility-related projects implemented within the last three years for the overall benefit of the community. Click here to download a nomination form.

Bob Arraj Innovative Service Award - presented to an individual of an NMPP member utility who has excelled in the area of service and/or used innovative technological changes in the utility industry. Click here to download a nomination form.

Rudy Hultgren Dedication Service Award - presented by the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska to an individual who displays commendable efforts in promoting public power and its ideals and in exemplifying devotion, dedication to public power and working together for the benefit of the community. Click here to download a nomination form.

Nomination deadline for the awards is Feb. 9, 2024. Email Amber Degner, with any questions.