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CPS Today
VOL. 1, ISSUE 4 July 12, 2018
We are pleased to share recent company and energy industry highlights with you!

 
Federal & State Delegation Visits EMC
On May 18, we hosted staff members of our Federal & State Delegation for a tour and briefing of our Energy Management Center (EMC).  Rick Maldonado, Senior Director of Customer Reliability, led the tour and provided insight about the facility and our operations to the group.
 
Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Karen Kirwan, Chief Information Officer (CIO), attended and provided opening remarks emphasizing the high priority our company places on electric reliability, physical & cyber security, and our partnerships with our elected delegation.  Attendees also received a Flexible Path briefing from Rudy Garza, Senior Vice President of Distribution Services & Operations; a Summer Outlook presentation from Frank Almaraz, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations; and a customer programs refresher from our Customer Response Unit.
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Pictured:
• Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer (COO), CPS Energy
• Karen Kirwan, Chief Information Officer (CIO), CPS Energy
• Staff members representing 10 of our elected delegation members
 
CRU Provides Valuable Information and Outreach at Community Events
Our Customer Response Unit (CRU) participates in community events throughout the year to assist customers, answer their questions, and equip them with valuable information about our programs, products, and resources available to them.  Many of our programs and products, including our Casa Verde Weatherization Program and other SaveNow initiatives, help our customers reduce their energy use, which in turn helps them save on their energy bills.
 
On May 19, CRU joined with staff from San Antonio District 2 Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw’s office, and other city entities, for the annual Pride of the East Side event.
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Pictured:
• Jarvis Soileau, Director of Constituent Services for District 2, City of San Antonio
• Priscilla Robledo, Community Field Service Representative with CRU, CPS Energy
• Firefighters with San Antonio Fire Department
 
Two Dozen Team Members Become Journeymen
We strive to ensure our employees are well-trained and have the skillsets to perform their jobs safely and effectively, so they can take advantage of opportunities to move up within our company.  After three years of hard work and dedication, 24 apprentices graduated on May 31 to become journeymen. These skilled workers successfully completed the official apprenticeship qualifications for their crafts: 15 became Distribution Journeymen, three are now Journeyman Cable Splicers, and six advanced to Substation Journeyman.  This team of new journeymen completed 6,000 hours of hands-on training in the field and in the classroom to become proficient in their respective fields. 

President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams and other senior leaders, training staff, managers, and the graduates' family members gathered to celebrate the occasion with them.

“This is a major milestone today and I’m proud to represent you…,” said Paula.  “Thank you for taking the time to push your careers forward.  It was a big commitment, lots of testing and an amazing effort.  Thanks for being the best experts in the field.”

Click here to read a blog post about our team and learn what a couple of these new journeymen and their spouses had to say about their responsibilities and roles.  Images of the graduation ceremony can be found on Flickr.
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Pictured:
• Ron Ramsey, IBEW Local 500 President, CPS Energy
• Rudy Garza, Senior Vice President of Distribution Services & Operations, CPS Energy
• Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer (COO), CPS Energy
• Shawn Bartlett, Journeyman Cable Splicer, CPS Energy
• Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy
 
We Received “Corporate Partner of the Year” Award for Volunteerism
For the second straight year, we were named “Corporate Partner of the Year” by Communities in Schools - San Antonio (CIS-SA).  The announcement was made June 5 at CIS-SA’s annual volunteer celebration.
 
The award recognizes the dedicated and unselfish spirit of our volunteers who donate their time and energy to helping others in our community, and it demonstrates how we put People First in action.  During the 2017-18 school year, 42 of our team members mentored students from Kennedy, Sam Houston, and South San high schools through the InspireU program to help ensure the students’ success in high school and as they venture out into the world.  
 
Additionally, our company hosts job shadowing events, offers summer internships, and participates in the annual Stuff the Bus drive for which our generous employees donated nearly 3,000 pounds of school supplies last summer.
 
Zandra Pulis, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Records Management Officer (CRMO), serves on the CIS-SA Board of Directors.
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Pictured:
• Lorenzo Alonzo, Journeyman Mechanic, CPS Energy
• Tyler Briner, Distribution Apprentice, CPS Energy
• Robert Webb, Distribution Apprentice, CPS Energy
• Max Macias, HRIS & Reporting Analyst, CPS Energy
• Unity Puente, Talent Advisor, CPS Energy
• Noel Balderaz, Web Developer, CPS Energy
• Zandra Pulis, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Records Management Officer (CRMO), CPS Energy
• Thomas Wilborn, Journeyman Cable Splicer, CPS Energy
• Cristina Duarte, Manager of Education & Mentoring Programs, CPS Energy
• Arthur Garcia, Customer Construction Crew Leader, CPS Energy
• Margaret Gonzales, GIS Technician, CPS Energy
• Michael Flick, Financial Services Analyst, CPS Energy
• Oralia Gomez, Data Control Clerk for Air Compliance, CPS Energy
• Summer Johnson, Environmental Analyst, CPS Energy
• Fernando DeHoyos, Downtown Network General Designer, CPS Energy
John Bonnin, Vice President of Energy Supply & Market Operations (ESMO), CPS Energy
• Beth Lettman, Environmental Analyst, CPS Energy

Pictured:
• Cristina Duarte, Manager of Education & Mentoring Programs, CPS Energy
• Jessica Weaver, Chief Executive Officer, CIS-SA
• Zandra Pulis, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Records Management Officer (CRMO), CPS Energy
 
Partnering to Help Students “R.I.S.E.” to Success
We joined San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and seven other founding corporations at a joint press conference on June 6 to unveil a new curriculum that will teach life skills to kids in our community.  It’s called Raising & Inspiring Successful Entrepreneurs (R.I.S.E.), and its primary purpose is to equip elementary-aged children with a 21st century mindset to help them recognize opportunities, solve problems, resolve conflict, and more. We are a founding supporter of R.I.S.E. along with other community leaders including H-E-B, Admiral Capital Group, Whataburger, Nationwide Insurance, Wells Fargo, VentureLab, and the John L. Santikos Foundation.

The free, bilingual workbook has activities that parents and educators can use to teach students 13 key concepts in entrepreneurial thinking, such as courage, problem-solving, and optimism.
 
Frank Almaraz, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations and a board member for the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, spoke at the press conference about our commitment to improving the community we serve and how this curriculum is vital to shaping the workforce of the future.
 
Photos of the press conference are posted on Flickr.  You can review a recording of the news conference on the chamber's Facebook page.
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Pictured:
• Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, City of San Antonio
• Erika Prosper Nirenberg, Chairwoman, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• Ramiro Cavazos, President & CEO, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• Frank Almaraz, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, CPS Energy
• Angie Mock, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio
• Representatives from various organizations, students, and others
 
President & CEO Receives Multiple Honors in June
Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, was recognized on three separate occasions during the month of June for her extraordinary leadership and forward-thinking approach.  She received the Keystone Leadership Award on June 6 for her ongoing work to inspire peers and others to reach common higher ground on challenging issues.  Presented by Keystone Policy Center, the award recognizes leaders whose work embraces the non-profit organization’s model, spirit, and mission.
 
On June 19, Paula was presented a certificate of recognition from Texas State Representative Ina Minjarez for her thought leadership and being named Zpryme’s 2018 Energy Thought Summit (ETS) Thought Leader of the Year, which honors an individual among the ETS community who has an inventive, brave vision to inspire the global energy ecosystem.

Two days later, she was presented the Executive Award for Large Business at the 2018 Tribute to Women Business Leaders Awards luncheon.  Presented by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the Ford Motor Company, this award honors individuals who embody leadership qualities that drive their and others’ success.

With more than 30 years of leadership experience, Paula is recognized as a pillar in our community for her service with various professional, civic, and educational organizations and institutions, and nationally for her thought leadership.
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Pictured:
• Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy
• Shelby Coffey III, Vice Chair, Newseum

Pictured:
• Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy
• State Rep. Ina Minjarez, District 124, Texas House

Pictured:
• Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy
 
Derrick Howard Honored for Decade of Service
Former Board Member, Derrick Howard, was recognized by Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the City of San Antonio for his decade of service to our company and the community.  He represented the southeast quadrant of our service territory and served two, five-year terms, during which time he provided guidance on numerous strategies, including expanding our renewable energy portfolio and launching our Smart Grid Initiative.
 
He was replaced on our Board of Trustees in May by Dr. Willis Mackey.  We thank Mr. Howard and deeply appreciate his valuable time serving our community.
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Pictured:
• Derrick Howard, former Member, CPS Energy Board of Trustees
• Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, City of San Antonio
 
Public Power Leaders Share Thoughts on Industry-Related Policies
The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) held its quarterly CEO meeting in Asheville, North Carolina, from June 9-11.  President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams attended this event, along with Carolyn Shellman, Chief Legal & Administrative Officer (CLAO); Kathy Garcia, Vice President of Government & Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy; and Cory Kuchinsky, Interim Vice President of Finance.
 
These meetings allow for robust dialogue among CEOs overseeing the 26 largest consumer-owned utilities in the country.
 
Policies related to cybersecurity, grid resiliency, and technology innovation were the primary areas of discussion.  The LPPC Governmental Relations Task Force, chaired by Kathy Garcia, met to discuss advocacy efforts on LPPC’s policy priorities.  Paula and Cory participated in a joint LPPC Chief Financial Officers Working Group and CEO meeting. 
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Pictured:
• Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy
• Other CEOs and meeting attendees
 
Gas Industry Leaders Convene in the Alamo City
Our company hosted the 2018 Texas Gas Association (TGA) Operations & Management Conference from June 10-13 in San Antonio.  Don Stanton, Senior Director of Gas Delivery and Chair of the TGA Executive Committee, and San Antonio District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez, welcomed guests to the event and to our city, and highlighted San Antonio’s Tricentennial anniversary.
 
Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer (COO), delivered the keynote, emphasizing that “safety and compliance are top (gas service) priorities for us.”
 
The nearly 250 attendees received a gas regulatory update, and learned about the latest advances in cybersecurity, leak survey techniques, and other key gas industry-related topics.

Click here to view photos from the event on Flickr.
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Pictured:
• Don Stanton, Senior Director of Gas Delivery, CPS Energy

Pictured:
• Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer (COO), CPS Energy
 
City Councilmembers Gain Insights During Visits
On June 12, District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse visited with our crews that were relocating electric infrastructure at the intersection of Grissom and Tezel roads as part of a drainage project for the City.  The councilman wanted to get a closer look at, and a greater perspective of, the civic improvement work taking place in his district. He personally met with and expressed his thanks to our team members.  Our Northwest Service District (NWSD) crew welcomed the councilman, suited him with personal protective equipment, and gave him a lift in a bucket truck. Click here to see photos of his visit.
 
Also on June 12, District 9 Councilman John Courage toured our Alamo 1 Solar Farm.   Chief Operating Officer (COO) Cris Eugster and Rico Zuniga, Facilities Manager of Alamo 1, led the tour and shared OCI Solar Power's insight about our solar farms and how solar power supports the electric grid.  Our utility is a state leader in solar generation capacity with nearly 500 megawatts (MW) that includes the 41-MW Alamo 1 site on our city’s south side.  Check out photos of the councilman’s tour on Flickr.

District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval visited with members of our leadership team on June 20 at our Main Office.  The visit began with an overview of our generation assets and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market with Cris Eugster; Frank Almaraz, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations; and John Bonnin, Vice President of Energy Supply & Market Operations (ESMO).  The Councilwoman then met our team members in Fuels, Gas Supply, and Real Time & Day Ahead Operations for a look at what they do each day to keep energy prices affordable for our community.

Our Government Relations team routinely coordinates site visits such as these to give our local, state, and federal elected officials greater awareness of our work and accomplishments and updates on our company’s latest initiatives.
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Pictured:
• Gilbert Brown, Manager of Customer Construction at NWSD, CPS Energy
• Ryan Whitehair, Journeyman Lineman at NWSD, CPS Energy
• Greg Brockhouse, District 6 Councilman, City of San Antonio

Pictured:
• Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer (COO), CPS Energy
• Kara Hill, Manager of External Relations, CPS Energy
• David Miller, Manager of Customer Construction at NWSD, CPS Energy
• Gilbert Brown, Manager of Customer Construction at NWSD, CPS Energy
• Greg Brockhouse, District 6 Councilman, City of San Antonio
• Richard Lujan, Director of Construction & Maintenance at NWSD, CPS Energy

Pictured:
• Wayne Callender, Zero Emission Resource Manager, CPS Energy
• Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer (COO), CPS Energy
• John Courage, District 9 Councilman, City of San Antonio

Pictured:
• John Bonnin, Vice President of Energy Supply & Market Operations (ESMO), CPS Energy
• Ana Sandoval, District 7 Councilwoman, City of San Antonio
• Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer (COO), CPS Energy
• Frank Almaraz, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, CPS Energy
 
Board Public Input Session on Flexible Path Drew 40-Plus Speakers
More than 100 guests attended the Board of Trustees Public Input Session on June 13, with about 40 choosing to address our Board of Trustees to share their thoughts on our Flexible Path.  Our Board Chair, John Steen, led the meeting and thanked the participants for their feedback, “We realize that we manage your community’s assets and in doing so, feedback from you is vital to the success of our organization and our community’s future.”

President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams presented the key details about our Flexible Path and what we plan to achieve by 2040, which includes:
  • More renewable energy sources such as solar and wind with a decrease in fossil fuel generation
  • More programs and services focused on energy efficiency and demand response
  • Integrating new technologies as they become available and feasible, such as energy and battery storage 
“Please know this is a path forward,” she told attendees.  “We are not locked in and will keep our Flexible Path flexible.”  Paula emphasized that we will continue to focus on providing our community with reliable, affordable, appealing programs, and great service to help our customers save energy and money.  She also encouraged those present to think about conservation this summer and signing up for our programs as temperatures and demand for energy go up.
 
The slides from Paula’s presentation and comments from those who addressed the Board are available on our website, and we'll soon post responses to questions posed at the session.

Click here to view images from the Public Input Session.
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Pictured:
• Dr. Willis Mackey, Member, CPS Energy Board of Trustees
• Ed Kelley, Member, CPS Energy Board of Trustees
• Dr. Homer Guevara Jr., Vice Chair, CPS Energy Board of Trustees
• John Steen, Chair, CPS Energy Board of Trustees
• Carolyn Shellman, Chief Legal & Administrative Officer (CLAO), CPS Energy
 
New Energy Economy Summit Sets Path for the Future
Our company’s leaders met with our New Energy Economy (NEE) partners on June 18 to discuss how these partnerships have benefited our community in the past year, and looked at new opportunities on the horizon.
 
Our NEE partners have been, and will continue to be, an important part of making our vision for clean energy, innovation, and energy efficiency a reality in our community.   These partners have created an average of 600-plus jobs annually with an overall economic impact of more than $5 billion.  Some of our efforts and initiatives they’ve participated in are the expansion of solar energy, our implementation and installation of Smart Grid technology, and energy-efficient LED streetlights.
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Pictured:
• David Jungman, Senior Director of Business & Economic Development, CPS Energy
• New Energy Economy partners
 
Our Energy Savings Programs Win APPA “Energy Innovator Award”
Our utility was recognized with an Energy Innovator Award on June 19 from the American Public Power Association (APPA) at its national conference in New Orleans.   This prestigious award is presented to utilities that develop or institute creative, energy-efficient techniques or technologies, improve the customer service experience, or increase utility efficiencies.
 
We were honored for our SaveNow energy-saving program, which is a component of our Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP) and includes initiatives such as free home energy assessments, home energy kits, in-store rebates with major retailers throughout the community, and a multi-family energy efficiency program.
 
Also at the APPA Conference, Director & Senior Counsel Gabriel Garcia participated as a panelist for one of the breakout sessions that focused on pole attachment standards.

Rick Luna, Interim Director of Technology & Product Innovation; Kari Torres, Director of Federal & State Relations; David Kee, Energy Market Policy Manager; and Robert Nathan, General Business Analyst, attended the conference as well.
 
Learn more about our participation at the APPA National Conference by reading a blog post by our Government Relations team member, Robert Nathan.
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Pictured:
• Coleman Smoak, Chair-Elect, APPA
• Rick Luna, Interim Director of Technology & Product Innovation, CPS Energy
• Wally Haase, Chair, APPA

Pictured:
• Gabriel Garcia, Director & Senior Counsel, CPS Energy
Pictured:
• Rick Luna, Interim Director of Technology & Product Innovation, CPS Energy
• Kari Torres, Director of Federal & State Relations, CPS Energy
• Gabriel Garcia, Director & Senior Counsel, CPS Energy
• David Kee, Energy Market Policy Manager, CPS Energy
• Robert Nathan, General Business Analyst, CPS Energy
 
President & CEO Delivers State of Energy to West San Antonio Chamber
At the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce State of Energy event on June 20, President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams took the opportunity to update local business leaders about our work for our customers and community.  She highlighted our commitment to providing reliable and affordable energy to our customers and stressed that each of our employees is an ambassador to serve our customers.

"Service trumps everything,” said Paula.  “We’re one of the best companies in the community, and one of the best energy companies in the nation.”  Even with the national recognitions we receive, she noted “we’re always looking for ways to be better.” 
 
Paula also updated guests about the public input session on our Flexible Path, and spoke of our strategies to increase levels of renewables and incorporate new technologies as they become available.  She ended the presentation by stressing our commitment to being the city’s energy experts and always listening to our customers and partners like the West San Antonio Chamber.
 
Our Community Programs Director, Jesse Hernandez, is a board member of the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and served as chair for the event. 

Photos from the event can be viewed on our Flickr account.
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Pictured:
• Paul Schueller, Founder & CEO, Franklin Energy
• Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy
• Kristi Villanueva, President, West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
• Jesse Hernandez, Community Programs Director, CPS Energy
 
New Park & Ride Features EV Charging Stations
Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, spoke at the June 23 VIA Metropolitan Transit ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of VIA’s Stone Oak Park & Ride.  
 
Paula spoke of our collaboration with VIA including installing four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at the facility that can charge a total of eight EVs and our alignment with VIA to help meet the goals of our community.  We’ll continue to work with our transit partner and others in our constant pursuit of additional ways to drive value for our customers. 
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Pictured:
• Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy
• Patricia Rodriguez, Board of Trustees, VIA Metropolitan Transit
• Kevin Wolff, Commissioner, Bexar County
• Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, City of San Antonio
• Viki Melton, Board of Directors, Stone Oak Property Owners Association
Pictured:
• Melissa Sorola, Director of Corporate Communications, CPS Energy
• Jonathan Tijerina, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Marketing & Smart City Outreach, CPS Energy
• Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy
• Rick Luna, Interim Director of Technology & Product Innovation, CPS Energy
• Jaro Nummikoski, Strategic Research & Innovation Manager, CPS Energy
• Valerie von Schramm, Strategic Research & Innovation Manager, CPS Energy
• CPS Energy Ford F-150 electric hybrid vehicle delivers 50% better fuel economy
 
We’ve Earned Back-to-Back Recognition as Most Trusted Utility Brand
In late June, Market Strategies International (MSI) announced our company ranked first as the Most Trusted Utility Brand in the U.S. Southern Region in 2018 for a combined electric & gas utility, making it the second consecutive year we've earned this recognition.

According to MSI, top-rated utilities that have earned the trust of their customers are perceived to be industry leaders in innovation and are more successful in having customers adopt their new programs or services.  CPS Energy focuses on enhanced customer experience and places significant effort on meeting customer expectations now and in the future.  Forward thinking, especially in the areas of future generation and new technology on the grid, allows the utility to have one of the most cost-efficient and reliable systems, while constantly reducing emissions and developing new solutions to help customers.

Click here to read the News Release.
 
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See our latest blogs and news releases highlighting our services and accomplishments in the NEWSROOM.
145 Navarro Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205 / cpsenergy.com 

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