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Eleven Finalists Selected for the First Annual UAI Excellence Awards

UAI Awards Honor Individuals, Teams, and Organizations Leading the Way in Utility Analytics! 

UAI, the only organization dedicated to enabling utility transformation through analytics, in collaboration with the Founding Award Sponsor, Bidgely, announced finalists for its 2020 UAI Excellence Awards. UAI honors the best in the utility analytics profession, recognizing the individuals, teams, and organizations that have achieved and maintained excellence through innovation.

2020 UAI Excellence Awards winners will be announced during UA Week 2020, a virtual event experience, taking place November 18-20, 2020. Awards that will be announced during UA Week include: 

  • Best Innovative Utility Analytics Team 
  • Best Utility Analytics Leader 
  • Best Utility Analytics Professional 
  • Analytics Ambassador Award 
  • Community Engagement Awards  
  • Most Engaged Individual Member 
  • Most Engaged Utility Member 
  • UAI will also unveil Top 25 Thought Leaders in Utility Analytics 

Three prestigious awards that are presented at UA Week  Best Innovative Utility Analytics Team, Best Utility Analytics Leader, and Best Utility Analytics Professional  Include a multi-phase judging process. Other UAI awards – Analytics Ambassador, Community Engagement, and the Top 25 Thought Leaders in Utility Analytics – Include a committee selection process and/or engagement scoring. All UAI Excellence Awards are specifically dedicated to the analytics segment of utilities. For more information about the first annual UAI Excellence Awards, visit: 

Best Innovative Utility Analytics Team recognizes teams that have set and achieved the highest standards of excellence in utility analytics for problem solving in innovative ways and takes the time to instill that culture in their employees. The 2020 finalists are:  

  • CPS Energy, Advanced Analytics & Intelligence Team 
  • Exelon Utilities Analytics 
  • OUC (Orlando Utilities Commission), Meter Data Ops Team 
  • SoCalGas, Performance Mgmt & Org Strategy Team 

Best Utility Analytics Leader acknowledges and honors a utility analytics leader who has excelled at supporting any or all analytics work within their utility and who most clearly demonstrates the ability to serve and advance analytics within the utility industry. The 2020 finalists are: 

  • Brian Hurst, VP & Chief Analytics Officer – Exelon 
  • Joe Tellez, Chief Technology Officer – Tacoma Public Utilities 
  • Christine Wisniewski, Executive Director Analytics & Systems – Consumers Energy 

Best Utility Analytics Professional recognizes the utility analytics industry’s top professional who possess the knowledge, skills, experience, passion, and business acumen required to provide consistent, quality, and innovative effort that is directly relevant to the utility analytics industry. The 2020 finalists are: 

  • Ratanak Heng, Manager, Advanced Analytics – Exelon 
  • Ioannis Katsanos, Manager, Data Science – Exelon 
  • Gary Rector, Data Scientist – Salt River Project 
  • Rolando Vega-Avila, Senior Manager, Advanced Analytics & Intelligence – CPS Energy 

A blue-ribbon panel of judges engaged in a rigorous selection process to identify the most deserving finalists for the three aforementioned award categories. These award finalists are currently participating in phase two judging, which is a personal interview with our judges who will then select the winner in each award category. Comprised of utility analytics professionals and long-time industry experts, phase one and phase two judges are tasked with selecting leading individuals, teams, and organizations.

“We want to thank our judges for their time and support, as well as their commitment to this process,” says Leslie Cook, UAI’s Membership & Engagement Manager.

2020 UAI Excellence Award Volunteer Judges:  

  • Brent Baker, Associate General Manager, Customer Ops – City Utilities of Springfield 
  • Derin Bluhm, CTO – Grant PUD 
  • Robert Childs, VP, Digital Products and Innovation, Ameren 
  • Peggy Clippert, Analytics Program Strategist – WEC Energy Group 
  • Norv Clontz, Director, Data Science Innovation – Duke Energy 
  • Patrick Dever, Chief Data Strategist – Avista 
  • Jill Feblowitz, President, Feblowitz Energy Consulting 
  • Vitha Krishnamurthy, Lead, Business Intelligence – Enbridge Gas Inc. 
  • Joyce LePage, IT Manager, Enterprise Data & Analytics – DTE Energy 
  • Neelanjan Patri, Strategic Operation Solutions – TVA 

“We want to congratulate all of the UAI award finalists for their commitment to excellence through innovation and elevating the utility analytics profession,” says Gina Weber, UAI’s Managing Director. “The UAI awards provide the industry’s finest with a sense of prominence and accomplishment—and this year’s, our first annual UAI Excellence Awards, exemplary crop of finalists leaves our judges with much to deliberate before announcing the winners at our annual UA Week event.” 

“Each UAI finalist has demonstrated exceptional advancements in utility operations through sophisticated data analytics, and we congratulate them for their remarkable success,” said Abhay Gupta, CEO of Bidgely. “Utilities possess a treasure trove of valuable data, and it is exciting to see utility leaders supporting the integration of smart data across their organizations.”

More information about our Founding Award Sponsor: Bidgely
Bidgely is an AI-powered SaaS Company that enables utilities to create greater business value and accelerate our path towards zero carbon by delivering personalized customer experience. Powered by our unique patented technology, Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ Platform transforms multiple dimensions of customer data – such as energy consumption, demographic, and interactions – into deeply accurate and actionable consumer energy insights. We leverage these insights to empower each customer with personalized recommendations, tailored to their individual personality and lifestyle, usage attributes, behavioral patterns, purchase propensity, and beyond. From smart thermostats to EV chargers, solar PVs or personalized / ToU tariffs, UtilityAI™ recommends new value-added products and services to the right customer at the right time. With roots in Silicon Valley, Bidgely has over 15 energy patents, $50M+ in funding, retains 30+ data scientists, and brings a passion for AI to utilities serving residential customers around the world. For more information, please visit  or the Bidgely blog at 


About UAI 

UAI is the only community enabling utility transformation through analytics. UAI is a utility-led membership organization that provides support to the energy utilities industry to advance the analytics profession and utility organizations of all types and maturity levels, as well as analytics professionals throughout every phase of their career. UAI is poised at the cusp of digital transformation to lead this industry into the future. UAI is your conduit of connection and collaboration between utility analytics professionals and solution provider partners. UAI is the authority on utility analytics, providing you with the knowledge, resources, and guidance to improve your analytics capabilities through delivery of research and content. UAI offers unmatched member experiences – events, community meetings, and more – that deliver transformative education and insights into analytics through shared best practices, uses cases, and valuable lessons learned. Learn more at