Commissioner Eric Skrmetta’s enthusiasm in promoting our city to the conference planners of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, as well as his agreement to enlist his staff’s support in the planning process of a NARUC major event, has certainly paid off! New Orleans was awarded the 2022 NARUC Annual Convention & Symposium, a meeting which hasn’t taken place in our city since 2008!
Q: Would you tell us about the work you’ve done to help bring the 2022 NARUC Annual Conference to New Orleans? How has being a local member been helpful?
A: The NARUC Annual Meeting and Education Conference convenes state and national utility regulators, federal and state policymakers, industry representatives, consumer advocates, informed experts, and other engaged stakeholders in a four-day conference to address national issues that require regulatory oversight. As a lifelong New Orleanian, I know first-hand just how impressive our city would be to visiting guests of this major event. I met with conference organizers and promoted my pro-New Orleans agenda which consisted of our ability to host major events, our unique culture and lifestyle, and our lure toward those who are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The conference organizers were familiar with our city’s ability to serve as a terrific conference host, and they asked if I would allow my office, staff and extended outreach to assist in the planning of this major event. I agreed to do so and they agreed to select New Orleans in 2022.
Q: Please tell us about your personal involvement with NARUC.
A: During my 10 years on the Public Service Commission, I have served as a member of NARUC and have been a member of the organization’s Natural Gas Committee. I currently serve on the Electricity Committee plus a variety of subcommittees. Each year, I attend several NARUC meetings as part of my continuing education on issues in our regulated industries. The conference gives me the opportunity to share ideas and discuss pertinent topics with commissioners across the globe.
Q: What are some of the reasons that New Orleans was selected for the 2022 Annual Meeting?
A: Our city’s food, hospitality, architecture, open-armed embrace, willingness to attract new businesses and on and on are reasons why New Orleans is the perfect host for any conference. We also are an older city with aging infrastructure and that could be an interesting side-bar for these regulators to review and consider potential applications for major upgrades.
Q: What are some of the reasons that you think New Orleans is a great place to hold meetings?
A: Our people make us proud. I have attended conferences across the globe. But the hospitality and friendly demeanor of the people of New Orleans is like no other, and that is especially welcoming.
Q: What do you like most about the city of New Orleans?
A: People, services, amenities, history and culture. Those are the driving forces why someone should enjoy New Orleans when here for a conference. I also know that our government and business leaders will also work closely with the organizers of this major event to plan a conference that is memorable and informative.