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News: NES to Host U2030 Annual SPARK Meeting with Brent Baker Delivering the Keynote



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Nashville, TN - March 22, 2024 - The Utility 2030 Collaborative (U2030) proudly announces that Nashville Electric Service (NES) will be the host utility for the highly anticipated U2030 Annual SPARK Meeting. The event is set for September 16-18, 2024, at The Thompson Hotel, a Hyatt property in Nashville's vibrant Gulch neighborhood. Situated between iconic Music Row and downtown Nashville, The Gulch epitomizes the city's dynamic spirit, offering attendees an easy walk to renowned honky-tonks along Lower Broadway.


In its third year, SPARK emerges as an important event in shaping the careers and success records of utility professionals leading innovation and transformation. This year's theme, "Transformational Leadership at the Intersection of Utility Customers & Operations," aligns with NES, which is renowned for its steadfast commitment to leading by example. Collaborating with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), NES spearheads renewable energy initiatives, exemplified by Nashville's inaugural community solar park that leverages nature's abundant resources. Moreover, NES is intensifying its dedication to environmental sustainability, which is evident in initiatives such as deploying ethanol and bio-diesel vehicles for field operations and transitioning to renewable transformer oil, along with robust efforts in equipment and supply recycling and repurposing.


SPARK Agenda

SPARK promises attendees an immersive journey into utility innovation and transformation, fostering strategic networking opportunities through unique hands-on learning experiences that have put the event and U2030 on the map.


In 2024, the event will be led by two distinguished Masters of Ceremonies, members of U2030’s Board of Directors, Chima Chijioke, Vice President of Customer Services for Georgia Power, and Chris Hilborn, Vice President of Customer Insights & Operations for Liberty Utilities. Attendees will gain insights into navigating the evolving landscape of the energy and water economies.


Transformative leadership discussions will focus on critical areas such as Customer Experience, Energy Transition, Beyond the Meter Solutions, Efficiency & Conservation, and Outage and Emergency Management and Communications.


Featuring an unconventional lineup of creative session formats, the SPARK agenda promises a blend of thought-provoking discussions, presentations, and networking opportunities.


Keynote Address

Gain inspiration from Brent Baker, NES Vice President – Chief Customer & Innovation who will be delivering a keynote on September 17. Mr. Baker will share how NES is embracing innovation to improve the customer experience with efforts to modernize across the utility and how engaging his coworkers and customers help develop a winning strategy.



About Brent Baker

Before joining NES in August 2023, Baker served as Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for City Utilities in Springfield, Missouri, where he led the creation of its first Community Investment Report, highlighting the environmental and sustainability efforts. Before that, he was the Vice President of National Customer Experience Operations for Liberty Utilities in Oakville, Ontario, and the Vice President of Regional Customer Experience Operations Central Region for Liberty in Joplin, Missouri. During his time in Missouri, Baker led the first innovation efforts for Liberty across 13 states, including Electric Vehicle projects, Microgrids, and resiliency efforts.


"We are excited to welcome everyone to Nashville for SPARK,” said Baker. “Partnering with U2030 to deliver this important event will further foster collaboration, drive innovation, and shape the utility industry's future.”


Media Contact

Marlene Rosenberry


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