Executive Panel: Leading Foundational Change

As more utilities prioritize customer experience to meet rising expectations and pressures from regulators, stakeholders and potential competitors, executives recognize that achieving customer centricity requires more than simply updating the org chart. Understanding what matters most to customers is critical to success, followed by realigning processes, identifying metrics, and assigning responsibilities to achieve continuous improvement at every level. Panelists will share their strategies, successes and lessons learned. Potential questions for the panel to explore include:


  • What’s the most important thing customers are telling you?
  • What one thing must your company do to succeed?
  • What process, tool or technology is a top priority?


Sheila Pressley, Chief Customer Officer, JEA

Sheila is Chief Customer Officer for JEA, the nation’s eighth largest municipal utility serving nearly 500,000 customers.   As Chief Customer Officer, she is responsible for leading the organization to deliver a seamless, efficient and loyalty-inspiring customer service experience. Her responsibilities include the leadership of Business and Residential Client Relationships, Meter Operations & Maintenance and Credit & Collections.  During her nearly two decades at JEA, Sheila served as the leader of business operations in areas including Revenue Cycle, Business Client Relationships, Customer Assistance Programs, and Customer Information Systems.   Prior to JEA, Sheila served as Bank of America’s Vice President, Transaction Services in Miami and Jacksonville.

Wes Ashton, VP, Customer Experience, Black Hills Energy

Ashton has served in his current role since 2020 and is based primarily in Rapid City, SD. He and his team are charged with providing a world-class customer experience for more than 1.3 million electric and natural gas customers spread across more than 825 communities in eight Midwest states. His organization includes more than 300 team members across the company. The primary departments within the CX organization include two call centers, a field dispatch team, revenue assurance, billing, rates and compliance, community affairs, strategic communications and branding, customer data analytics, economic development and utility regulated and non-regulated products and services. All activities related to the corporation’s external programs fall within his scope of duties.

Louis M. DeBrino, Vice President, Customer Operations, PSEG Long Island 

Mr. DeBrino has worked for PSEG Long Island since its inception in January 2014, where he currently holds the position of Vice President, Customer Operations.  In this role, he oversees the Company’s Meter to Cash processes, Customer Contact, Utility Marketing and Sales, Key Accounts and Economic Development areas, driving the development and implementation of strategic initiatives to advance business objectives and enhance the overall customer experience. Lou provides leadership for strategic and business planning, monitoring/conducting industry research to understand emerging market trends and customer preferences to support the development of programs/services and adoption of new technologies to improve overall customer satisfaction. Lou is also responsible for Energy Efficiency/Renewables efforts, providing oversight and advocacy for the Company’s aggressive energy conservation and sustainability initiatives, including distributed energy resource and transportation strategies to align with the goals and objectives of the Long Island Power Authority and New York State. 

Moderator: Scott Johnson, Vice President, Chartwell, Inc. 


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