NRECA’s 2020 Safety Leadership Virtual Summit will be held online in June to protect participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was originally scheduled to run from April 15-17 in Orlando, Florida, but was canceled due to the pandemic. The retooled summit, now scheduled for June 24 and 25, will still include keynote speakers, breakout sessions and the popular Safety Improvement Talks. Recordings of sessions will be available afterwards.

A virtual networking session on June 24 will enable participants to meet sponsors. Organizers are urging participants to register by June 22.

While the format is different, “the mission is still the same: providing education and information that can lead to transformative safety improvement,” said Perron Nicholas, NRECA’s manager of executive and staff education. “That doesn’t go away simply because we have a pandemic going on. In fact, even more so this is a time to focus on individual safety and to think of all the other ways we keep safe at home and at work.”

Although the pandemic was the reason for the April cancellation, program content won’t focus on it. The safety summit will “acknowledge how members have needed to adapt quickly as the pandemic took hold,” said Nicholas.

Speaker Highlights

Author and inspirational speaker John O’Leary, who survived an explosion in his home as a child, will be the keynote speaker at the first general session on June 24. His speech, “Pivoting Into Adversity: How to Effectively Navigate Today’s Unknowns and Create Tomorrow's Possibilities,” is based on his memoir.

The keynote speaker for the closing session on June 25 will be consultant Richard Fagerlin, who will present “10 Solutions for Building High Trust Teams and Organizations.”

Breakout Sessions

The eight breakout sessions will cover a wide variety of topics, including 5G in rural America, team dysfunction, participating in the regulatory process and best practices in grounding equipment. Specific sessions include:

  • Measuring and mastering safety leadership traits: A deep dive into a five-year research project at Caterpillar Inc.
  • Wildfire and liability plans: Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange and its consultant will talk about developing a wildfire mitigation plan by relying on engineering and operations.
  • Safety and contractors: Carroll EMC’s Tommy Cook will address the issue of effective communication with contractors during outage restoration, line construction and maintenance.

View more information on this year’s Safety Leadership Virtual Summit and explore NRECA’s resources on safety.