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MEET THE SPEAKERS

Chris Norton

Keynote Speaker >

Chris Norton was a college football player. He mistimed his tackle by a split second and in an instant, lost all feeling and movement from the neck down. Chris was told he had a 3% chance to ever be able to move again. He could have let it define him, but our lives aren’t shaped by circumstance. They’re shaped by us. Perseverance isn’t about the physical act of standing: it’s about attitude, and the ability to shape yourself in the face of adversity.

Brad Jones

Interim President & CEO, ERCOT >

Brad Jones joined ERCOT in May 2021 as Interim President and CEO. He has over 30 years of experience in the competitive electric industry, including growing, developing, restructuring and optimizing competitive electricity businesses; designing electricity markets; and operating electricity grids across North America.

Travis Cleek

Chief Solutions Officer, SkyHelm >

Travis Cleek has over 15 years of IT experience and over 10 years of management experience. After leaving his IT Director role at a large manufacturing company, Travis joined an electric cooperative in Oklahoma working on improving their network and security infrastructure while focusing on SCADA communications and smart grid projects. While at the electric cooperative, Travis co-founded a fiber to the home (FTTH) ISP, working on its early business development and networking. With his cooperative background, he has a strong focus on cybersecurity and operational technology (SCADA). 

Kirk Watson

Hobby School of Public Affairs, UH >

Kirk Watson has been immersed in public policy in Texas for the past three decades, serving first as an appointee of Gov. Ann Richards before being elected mayor of Austin in 1997. First elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, he represented the Austin-area for 13 years. Watson has been selected to be the Founding Dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs and began his position on May 1, 2020. 

Mike Williams

TEC President and CEO >

Mike Williams has served as president and CEO of TEC for more than 20 years and will be providing us with a TEC and industry update.

Robert Nichols

State Senator >

First elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, Robert Nichols represents 19 counties including the greater part of East Texas and Montgomery County. In the Texas Senate, Nichols currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Senator Nichols also serves on the Finance, Business and Commerce, Criminal Justice, Local Government and the Select Redistricting Committees. He is a member of the Texas Judicial Selection Commission, the Legislative Audit Committee and a former Vice-Chair of the Sunset Advisory Commission.