Announcing Midwest ENERGY Association's 10th Annual Electric Operations Conference

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The Midwest's premier conference for electric operations personnel -- the MEA Electric Operations Conference - will move to Springfield, Illinois from its current site in Ames, Iowa, where it has been held since its inception 10 years ago, MEA announced today.

There were a few key drivers that prompted the move

The premier conference for electric operations personnel -- the MEA Electric Operations Conference -- will move to Springfield, Illinois from its current site in Ames, Iowa, where it has been held since its inception 10 years ago, Midwest ENERGY Association (MEA) announced today.

"There were a few key drivers that prompted the move," said Cindy Norlin, Director of Renewable Energy Construction for DTE Energy and 2009 Chair of the MEA Electric Operations Steering Committee. "With the growth of the conference, we were outgrowing the facilities at Ames. Plus, we wanted a location that was more centrally located to MEA's membership."

"We researched quite a few locations," said Steve Gilkey, Director of T&D Engineering for Kansas City Power & Light and 2008 Chair of the MEA Electric Operations Steering Committee, "and Springfield was a clear winner. There are many advantages to our new site and holding the conference there in May will make it better to have our folks participate."

MEA's Annual Electric Operations Conference brings together utility and contractor officers, directors, managers, crew leaders, and field personnel. Overhead, underground, safety/training, substation, codes/standards, metering, and distribution reliability groups each plan a series of classroom tracks which feature industry-expert presentations and sharing of successful practices. Many suppliers also attend and exhibit their products and services to the folks who buy and use them.

"Springfield has a great deal to offer," said John Gann, Vice President of Electric Services for MEA. "It is large enough for us to continue to grow, but compact enough to keep all of our sleeping rooms, exhibits, and classroom sessions close together."

"Our electric membership continues to grow," explained Patrick Van Beek, President of MEA, "It is a tribute to our electric members that they can create such useful conferences. The challenges of productivity, building tomorrow's workforce, keeping all workers safe, and serving our customers reliably make rich content for the learning and sharing sessions. MEA is proud to organize this event and to offer both Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and our http://www.energyu.org online university. Soon we will have a complete lineman curriculum to add to our existing safety and OSHA courses."

The 10th Annual Electric Operations Conference (EOC) will be held May 6-8, 2009 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Springfield.

MEA, Midwest ENERGY Association, serves the people that bring electricity and natural gas to American homes. MEA was founded as a training association over 100 years ago by visionary distribution utilities in the Midwest to improve safety and efficiency. Utility companies nationwide now benefit from MEA's industry roundtables, operations conferences, and other events. Members collaborated to develop EnergyU, the world's premier online training and testing system for the gas and electric utility distribution industry. Our not-for-profit fee structure delivers to members and subscribers the best possible training at the lowest possible cost in the areas of natural gas, liquids, OSHA, electric, and leadership training.

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