April 2019

The Season of Renewal

by Bonnie Biocchi, Executive Director

Last week, I heard the first spring peepers. The earliest harbingers of spring, their cheerful chirping always reassures me that spring is indeed coming. As the sun rises higher in the sky and the earth begins to warm, the first small crocuses burst into bloom and before you know it “spring has sprung” and the earth renews itself. Spring is the optimal time to sow the seeds for new growth.

As Executive Director, it is critical to learn what is important to our members if we are to create the best possible programming. So, last week, I spent the week travelling throughout Vermont, visiting systems in Hyde Park, Morrisville, Hardwick and Johnson. I also had the pleasure of attending a VPPSA meeting to discuss the value of NEPPA membership.  From there, I traveled across Lake Champlain to visit systems in Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Plattsburg where we do a great deal of at-your-site training. Although the calendar indicates it is spring, in this part of the world, spring still seems a long way off. Here are some chief observations:

  • Mud season in Vermont has officially begun.
  • Lake Champlain, while very beautiful, has ice flows that make it very choppy in early April.
  • I did not see Champy, but he was probably overcome by the large whitecaps on the lake.
  • There is both a City and Town of Plattsburg but there was no forsythia blooming in either.
  • Ice out on Lake Placid doesn’t occur until May and snow squalls blotted out the view.
  • Even with a 40 mph wind blowing, Lake Placid’s Kimball Daby was as sunny as a spring day.
  • It was 18 degrees in Tupper Lake, which the new GM, Mike Dominie assured me was mild!

At NEPPA we are also in the season of renewal. We are continually revitalizing our training and programming to ensure that each new season we deliver the best technical and safety training in the Northeast. In fact, this week, in addition to hosting our lineworker apprentice program, thirty new students will be on site to kick off our newly redesigned PUMP program. It will be a very full house here at Headquarters. 

On the advocacy front, we are developing our strategy for in-district visits across our region while our Congressional delegation is in recess over the summer months. Our idea to form a Blue Ribbon Commission to study the Capacity Market continues to gain traction.  Mutual Aid outreach is progressing to gather great information as we prepare to revise the Mutual Aid Playbook. Preparations are well underway for our terrific E & O Conference in Manchester, NH in May and our Customer Service Conference in Beverly, MA in June. Don’t forget to submit your nomination for the Carol A. Tracey Customer Service Award which will be handed out during that conference. 

The seeds are sprouting for some new initiatives as well. We are launching the Talent Pipeline Working Group to explore the development of internships and career paths for the next generation of workers and address the skills gap. Be on the lookout for the formation of a new Young Professionals group to help promote knowledge sharing and increase networking opportunities for our future leaders. And we are in the nascent stages of creating a group purchasing model for our members.

So, get out and enjoy the beauty of spring, resting in the knowledge that here at NEPPA, the growing season is in full swing and we are carefully tending the garden.
Upcoming Training & Events
Year I: Aug. 27 - 30;
Oct. 29 - Nov. 1
Year II: April 9 - 12; Sept. 17 - 20; Nov. 5 - 8
Year III: April 23 - 26;
Sept. 24 - 27; Nov. 19 - 22
Year IV: May 7 - 10;
Oct. 8 - 11; Dec. 10 - 13

Apprentice Rodeo:
June 5 - 6
Apprentice Graduation: Dec. 12
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 29; June 3; June 24
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 30 - May 3; May 20 - 23; June 11 - 14
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 9 - 11, 2019; October 29 - 31, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 30 - May 2, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

May 13 - 14, 2019
DoubleTree Hotel
Manchester, NH

June 19, 2019
Wylie Inn & Conference Center at Endicott College
Beverly, MA

Aug. 5 & 26; Sept. 9 & 30; Oct. 21; Nov. 4 & 18; Dec. 9
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Aug. 6 - 9; Aug. 27 - 30; Sept. 24 - 27; Oct. 8 - 11
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

August 18 - 21, 2019
Omni Mount Washington Hotel
Bretton Woods, NH

Sept. 10 - 13; Oct. 1 - 4; Oct. 22 - 25; Nov. 19 - 22
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

September 11, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

September 12, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Lineworkers Rodeo *
September 26-27, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Outage Management & Emergency Communications Roundtable *
October 23, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

November 6 - 7, 2019 NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Annual Membership Meeting *
December 6, 2019 (Date subject to change)
Location TBA

www.neppa.org for more information.
NEPPA @ Your-Site Training CPR
Abdominal Thrust: Marshal Simpson, “Patient”: John Maihos both from Peabody
Light Plant

Pictured here is Will Moreau from North Attleboro Electric Department practicing Infant CPR with NEPPA’s newly acquired training aid, an infant mannikin, part of the new CPR mannikin family!

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we invite you to become a “Shine Your Light” sponsor.
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Member Spotlight

HUDSON - April 1, 2019 — Hudson Light and Power has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® Platinum designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service.


IPSWICH - April 1, 2019 — Ipswich Municipal Light Department has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® Gold designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service.

Sterling Municipal Light Department awarded APPA's Safety Award of Excellence
One hundred thirteen utilities have earned the American Public Power Association’s Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2018.. .

Washington Electric Co-op Earns Gold Level Governor’s Award
for Workplace Wellness
Third consecutive year electric co-op has been recognized for healthy practices
East Montpelier, Vt: Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC) was recognized for its commitment to health and wellness with a Gold level Governor’s Award on March 21.

Above - Left to Right: Mark Levine, Vermont Health Commissioner; WEC General Manager Patty Richards; WEC Administrative Assistant Dawn Johnson; Vermont Governor Phil Scott
In the News
ENE is moving!

Foxboro, MA — March 25, 2019 ‐ Energy New England, LLC (ENE), a leader in Power Supply, Risk Management and Energy Efficiency services is pleased to announce that our

Controversial $1B Canada-US transmission line gets nod from Maine PUC staff
Maine Public Utility Commission (PUC) staff  on Friday  recommended approval of a 145-mile transmission corridor through western Maine for the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) — a project...

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