2022 Utility Management Certificate Program 

This leadership development offering is a certificated program, hosted through Willamette University's business school, the Atkinson School of Management.  it has been running since 2005 and is a unique university-level program designed for the utility industry's rising utility leaders.  Aether's managing partner is the program director and may be contacted for more information.  The fall 2022 two-week UMC Program will next be held the weeks of October 17 and November 14 in Portland OR.

Developing Your Department’s Strategic Plan

Organizations find that corporate level strategic plans are far more successful when supported by, and executed through, department strategic planning. Further, strong department strategic planning better aligns workgroups to the utility’s vision, mission, and strategic goals, as department leaders can provide a critical line of sight for employees.  


Ms. Ryan teaches department strategic planning through NWPPA in regional training classes. Attendees apply strategic planning principles to department strategic plans with peers from other companies.  Ms. Ryan also provides customized strategic planning to organizations through consulting and coaching services. Contact us for more information.  Click here for Aether's recent article "Add Department Strategic Planning to Your Utility's Strategy".

Risk Management Lessons Learned 

Take a fresh perspective on your risk management program, as we transition to a new normal. For more ideas on how to do this, read Aether's article, "ERM Planning in a New Normal".  Contact us if you want to explore how Aether can work with your organization with post-Covid 19 risk analysis and planning.  

NWPPA Board of Trustees


Julie Ryan serves on the Board of Trustees of the Northwest Public Power Association as an Associate Advisor (representing ~ 350 Associate members), effective September 2020. 











Workforce In Transition Series

Employers everywhere are trying to retain the talent they have and to attract new talent, in order to strategically position their organizations for success. Utilities are competing with all other sectors, at the same time they are preparing to meet carbon reduction goals, keep pace with technology advancements, balance cost and reliability, and meet evolving customer needs.


Aether Advisors and Jo Smith Associates are teaming to lead industry leaders in a strategic approach to workforce planning, called "Workforce In Transition".  This series will help utility leaders think about their key resource – the workforce.  


The series will discuss workforce strategies and offer practical approaches to prepare the utility workforce for the future.  The objective is to help utilities prepare for the future, with the right people, in the right spots, at the right time.  Offered through NWPPA, this hybrid program runs May 19 - August 25. Contact us for more information.


Electric Utility Business Fundamentals


This program is taught by Julie Ryan and held regularly by the Northwest Public Power Association as a regional  online and in-person class. The content covers emerging utility trends; generation, transmission and distribution; regulation and rates; utility finance; customer engagement, and workforce topics.  The next class will be offered March 31-April 1, 2022 through NWPPA.


Companies may also request a customized in-house training, focused on their organization's landscape.  For more information on regional classes or customized in-house programs, contact us.