Scott Simms, Executive Director
Scott Simms joined the Public Power Council (PPC) as the Executive Director in the summer of 2019. With two decades of energy industry experience, Scott provides strategic leadership for the collective interests of the region’s consumer-owned utilities that are preference customers of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Scott’s broad knowledge of the issues facing Northwest public power and focus on finding collaborative solutions are critical to ensuring that PPC members can continue to deliver reliable, affordable, and carbon-free power to thousands of businesses and millions of residents every day.
Prior to joining PPC, Scott spent 13 years at BPA, most recently as the Communications Director. He also held other leadership positions within BPA, including Manager of Long-Term Power Planning and Secretary to the U.S. Entity for the Columbia River Treaty negotiation process. Prior to joining BPA, Simms held senior communications positions at Portland General Electric and worked for Pacific Northwest-based public affairs firms, providing strategic communications and policy counsel to large commercial clients.
A Northwest native, Simms hails from Snoqualmie, Washington. He studied Public Relations and Political Science at Washington State University in Pullman, graduating with distinction. When he’s not at PPC, Simms and his wife and daughter spend their free time exploring the Pacific Northwest and traveling internationally.
Michael Deen, Policy Director
Michael Deen joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in 2013 as a Senior Policy Analyst and is the current Policy Director. His work at PPC takes an analytical focus towards a variety of power supply and transmission issues at BPA and throughout the region. Most recently prior to joining PPC, he was a consultant with Regulatory and Cogeneration Services (RCS) and worked primarily as an expert witness on a variety of power supply, rate design, and regulatory policy issues on behalf of large industrial customers. Before RCS, Deen held energy-related positions in Portland that included time as a Policy Analyst with PPC as well as an associate position at the consulting firm of McCullough Research. Deen holds an MBA in Business Analytics from Oregon State University is a graduate from Reed College with a BA in Psychology.
Karen Heim, Office Administrator
Karen Heim joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in the spring of 2016 as an Administrative Specialist. Karen manages all office accounts for PPC, helps the office run smoothly on a day-to-day basis, and provides support to the Executive Director and Staff. Prior to joining PPC, Karen worked as a Project Manager at a large-scale event production company where she oversaw all levels of planning from inception to execution. Karen graduated from Gonzaga University and has an MA in History from the University of San Diego.
Michael Linn, Director, Market Analytics
Michael Linn joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in summer of 2019. He specializes in the advanced economic analysis of wholesale power products, markets, and costs. Prior to joining PPC Michael worked in the Commercial Business Assessment group within Bonneville Power Administration’s Transmission organization. While at BPA, he worked on policy issues related to wholesale power and transmission and developed quantitative models for financial analysis and forecasting. During his eight-year tenure at BPA, he served as an expert witness for the agency and provided expertise on a range of complex qualitative and quantitative topics related to BPA rate design, policy development, and Pacific Northwest energy markets. Michael has a degree from Washington State University in Economics and a M.S. in Economics from Portland State University.
Irene Scruggs, General Counsel
Irene Scruggs joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in 2011. In her role, Irene represents the interests of PPC’s member utilities in all administrative, regulatory, and judicial proceedings, and advises the Executive Committee, the Executive Director and PPC staff on legal and policy issues. She provides critical advice on a broad range of legal issues pertaining to PPC members’ wholesale power supply and transmission arrangements with the Bonneville Power Administration. Irene also advises PPC on corporate governance, employment, and contracts issues.
Prior to joining PPC, Irene was in private practice with a large firm in Portland, where she focused on commercial litigation. She guided her clients through resolution of complex cases, either through litigation or otherwise. Irene is experienced in all litigation arenas, including trials, mediations and arbitrations, and appears frequently in administrative proceedings and in federal trial and appellate courts. She has been selected twice as a Rising Star in litigation by the Oregon Super Lawyers. In addition, Irene works closely with PPC’s public utility districts, cooperatives, and municipalities outside the courtroom, monitoring legislation, advising on emerging opportunities and risks, and counseling on the application of existing laws.
Irene graduated magna cum laude from Gonzaga University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in analytical finance, and from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2006 as a Juris Doctor. She is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Washington State Bar.
Lauren Tenney Denison,
Director, Market Policy and Grid Strategy
Lauren Tenney Denison joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in the spring of 2018 and specializes in the advancement of regional policy pertaining to power system planning and grid operations, including issues related to transmission access, rates, and organized markets. In that capacity, Lauren represents the interests of PPC member utilities in the development of complex operational and regulatory issues, technical analysis, and overall policy positions. She frequently facilitates diverse groups on consumer-owned utilities to define common interests and works with the Bonneville Power Administration, regional stakeholders, and regulatory agencies to develop solutions that meet those interests.
Prior to joining PPC Lauren spent ten years working in Bonneville Power Administration’s Transmission organization. There she worked on a wide range of transmission policies, including those related to rates, planning, and provision of service. In that role, Lauren worked with internal and external stakeholders on complex technical issues and served as an expert witness for the agency.
Lauren is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College with a B.A. in Economics and a Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management from Portland State University.
Blake Weathers, Director of Power Supply
Blake Weathers joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in fall of 2021 after spending more than two decades working on regional energy industry matters. Weathers is known by public power utilities both large and small as a problem-solver with deep expertise in the regional energy landscape. He has extensive experience working on both federal and non-federal power and transmission contract matters and has close working relationships with a span of industry stakeholders across the West.
Weathers’ primary focus is to assess the future post-2028 competitive environment on behalf of the PPC membership, and help determine a path forward for reliable, clean supplies of power and efficient and reliable transmission services – whether from BPA, other providers, or a combination thereof.
Weathers has a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in International Public Policy from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Marty Kanner, D.C. Representative
Kanner & Associates, LLC
400 North Capitol St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001