R. John Miner, P.E.

President & Principal Consultant /
Course Instructor

John Miner is an accomplished executive manager, engineer, educator and consultant with over 45 years of experience in the utility industry. He is President and owner of Collaboration Unlimited and Collaborative Learning, Inc. since 1995 and has worked as a management consultant since 1987, providing services to clients in the electric, water, wastewater and communications utility industries.  He lives and works out of Austin, Texas and Cedar, Michigan.

John consults with utilities throughout the United States in a wide range of areas related to business strategy, governance, performance management, organizational development, and technical operations.  He is nationally known and respected for his subject area knowledge of utility enterprises and his skills as a consultant and facilitator.  John is often called on to organize and lead governing board and executive management retreats as well as guide management and employee work teams and interventions aimed at resolving specific performance problems.  John works with governing boards on policy and strategy development, executive recruitment and executive evaluation.  He has also conducted numerous organizational and management reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of and recommend changes to existing organizational structures, work processes and practices, and support facilities and equipment.  John has delivered management and technical education programs for organizations throughout the U.S. and in six overseas locations.

John has served as Chief Operating Officer for the Austin, Texas, Electric Utility Department, as General Manager of the Rochester, Minnesota Public Utilities, and as Senior Engineer/Project Manager for the Toledo Edison Company. His academic experience includes an appointment as Assistant Professor on the faculty of the University of Houston’s College of Technology.

John received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with honors and master’s degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toledo.  He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa NU honorary engineering societies, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Texas and Minnesota.  John is a Senior Life Member in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

M. Thomas Black, P.E.

Management Consultant / Course Instructor

Tom Black
is an accomplished executive manager, engineer, educator and consultant with over 30 years of experience in the utility industry.

Tom is an independent consultant and course instructor in the electric and gas utility industry.  His experience includes both municipal (Colorado Springs and City of Fountain, CO) and Investor owned (Progress Energy) utilities across multiple jurisdictions in Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.  His range of experience in the utility industry covers 30 years and includes planning and engineering, standards, Construction and Maintenance Manager, Energy Delivery General Manager and Chief Energy Officer responsible for all aspects of energy supply, electric transmission and distribution and gas distribution.

Tom has extensive executive level experience in managing electric and gas utility systems.  He managed system operations and distribution operations for several multi-utility providers including both gas and electric services.  System responsibilities include gas pipeline safety, energy management (EMS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), outage management (OMS), field-related outage response and the planning and implementation of a SMART Grid system. 

Tom has significant utility experience in the development of tracking and reporting electric and gas system performance metrics. Results were used in the development of targeted maintenance and replacement programs intended to improve system performance and manage overall costs. As the Energy Delivery General Manager, Mr. Black was responsible for the development of Colorado Springs Utilities first NERC compliance program. 

Tom has served on the boards of RMEL and the Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities CAMU and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis with honors and is a registered professional engineer in Colorado and Arizona.

Ted Dimberio, P.E.

Executive Consultant / Course Instructor

Ted Dimberio, P.E. has 40 years of experience in distribution line design and has worked for rural electric cooperatives and consulting firms. He is currently a private business owner,
President and CFO of Utility Line Design and President of Line Design University.

Ted has worked in all capacities of distribution line design that includes field staking, supervision, management, and consulting. Ted has a vision to enhance distribution line design by incorporating engineering software, best practice and engineering ethics.

Ted has been an industry leader in developing engineering software for electric distribution utilities that auto-generates profile drawings and required line design calculations to verify and document engineering decisions, and provide long-term engineering documentation. Ted keeps abreast with the engineering trends by maintaining close contact with numerous state engineering boards, the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Ted received his civil and structural engineering education from Mesabi State Junior College and the University of Minnesota, and is a licensed professional engineer in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Erich F. Schoennagel, P.E.

Executive Consultant / Course Instructor

Erich Schoennagel is an experienced engineer and manager with over 38 years in the electric utility industry.

Erich is a retired manager and engineer with CenterPoint Energy.  He managed the Transmission Project Engineering group, which served the company’s needs for transmission system design, substation and telecom site improvement, and civil engineering for transmission, substation, distribution, and telecom structures.

Erich began his utility career in 1977 as a co-op student with Houston Lighting & Power, where he gained exposure to power generation, fuel procurement, and civil engineering support.  Upon graduation in 1980 from Texas A&M University, he joined Houston Lighting & Power in the Civil Engineering group, where he designed structures and foundations for transmission, substation, distribution, and telecom projects.  In 1988, Erich joined the Fossil Plant Engineering group where he designed civil engineering projects for the generation assets of the company, while continuing to support the projects of the power delivery system.  He transferred to the Transmission Engineering group in 1996, where he designed upgrades and new lines for the overhead and underground transmission system.  The group was later included in the consolidation of the regulated assets to become CenterPoint Energy.

Erich served for fifteen years as a member advisor and later, chairman of the Underground Transmission Task Force for the Electric Power Research Institute until his retirement from CenterPoint Energy.  There he directed research related to underground transmission and superconductivity.  He was a board member of the annual TSDOS symposium, and a former member of the American Concrete Institute 336 committee related to foundation design and construction.

Erich received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.

Elizabeth L. (Betsy) Aylin,

Executive Management Consultant /
Course Instructor

Dr. Betsy Aylin
is an experienced executive and organization consultant with deep expertise in organization effectiveness and leadership development through experience in a broad array of industries, including more than 20 years work with utilities.

Betsy has over 25 years domestic and international experience working with organizations on strategic and business planning, organization change, leadership and management development, and building human resource capabilities.  She specializes in helping leaders set direction, build strong work teams, and drive results. Betsy provides coaching and consultation on such organizational issues as structure, culture change, succession planning, workforce planning, leadership and management development, and performance improvement.  She has designed and facilitated corporate strategic and business planning processes and a range of leadership and management development programs for domestic and international audiences.

Betsy has worked in the public utility and high tech industries as both an internal and as an external consultant. She has served as the senior HR executive at an international high tech company, as a Sr. OD specialist for a fortune 500 high tech company, as the Director of Organization and Management Development for an international utility consulting company, and as Organization Development and Training Manager for a public utility. 

Her client list includes a number of public utilities, such as those in Tuskegee (AL), Glendale (CA), Holland (MI), Muscatine (IO), and the Pedernales Electric Cooperative.  As a consultant with Resource Management International (now Navigant, Inc.), Betsy worked with utilities in the US, Egypt, Philippines, Russia, and Africa.  Other industries and clients include Zarllink Semi-conductor, Architectural Engineers Collaborative, Right Management International, Central Texas Highway Constructors, and Baker Hughes International.  Betsy has also worked with non-profit organizations such as Capital Area Food Bank and Salvation Army.  

Betsy holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin, an MA from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, and a BA from Randolph Macon Woman’s College (now Macon College).   She has
served as an adjunct faculty for a graduate program in the College of Business at the University of Texas-Austin, and in the Masters in Leadership and Ethics program at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas.  Betsy is a member of the Austin OD Network, Society for Human Resource Development, and other professional associations.  She has presentations, papers, and workshops on employee turnover, time to market, professional development, training design, and leadership.

Andrew (Andy) Boatright, P.E.
Management Consultant / Course Instructor

Andrew has been a passionate supporter of public power throughout his approximately 37 years of service in various leadership roles at small, medium, and large public power utilities.

Andy currently serves as the General Manager of the Zeeland (Michigan) Board of Public Works, a municipally-owned electric and water utility serving 6,600 electric and 2,800 water customers. His past experience includes serving as Deputy Director for the City of Independence (Missouri) Power & Light, a public power utility that serves 57,000 customers, and Electric Utility Manager for the City of Westerville (Ohio) Electric Division, a public power utility serving 16,000 customers. He has also held leadership positions at Richmond (Indiana) Power & Light and at the City of Rensselaer (Indiana).

He is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Otterbein University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer.

Andy has served on various American Public Power Association (APPA) committees as well as the Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Developments (DEED) Board of Directors. He served on the Executive Committee of the APPA Board of Directors from 2011 to 2018, and was APPA Board Chair in 2016-2017. Andrew has also served as President of the Ohio Energy Project Board of Directors, a not-for-profit organization specializing in energy education in school districts throughout Ohio, and as the utility representative on the Boards of Directors/Commissioners of Michigan Public Power Agency, American Municipal Power, Inc., and the Missouri Public Utility Alliance, all of which are joint action agencies for public power utilities in Michigan, Ohio (and other states), and Missouri, respectively.

He is married to Eileen, his wife of 35 years, and they have three children – Sarah (New York, NY), Karl (Chapel Hill, NC), and Leah (New York, NY).

Larry Koshire, P.E.,

Management Consultant / Course Instructor

Larry Koshire
is an accomplished executive manager, engineer, educator and consultant with over 40 years of experience in the utility industry.

Larry Koshire is a management consultant for Collaboration Unlimited principal of Koshire Consulting, LLC. He recently retired as General Manager of Rochester (MN) Public Utilities, a water and electric utility with revenues of $150 million. He has held various management positions for public and private electric utilities. Prior to coming to Rochester he served as General Manager of Muscatine Power and Water in Iowa.

Larry teaches for the American Public Power Association in Washington DC, consults for the electric and water utilities, and serves on Utility and local Boards. During his career in the utility industry Mr. Koshire has had increasing management experience and served on national boards, committees and professional organizations including:

  • American Public Power Association Board of Directors, Communication and Control Committee, and Chairman of the Engineering and Operations Workshop
  • Member of the APPA DEED Board of Directors, APPA’s research program
  • Instructor for APPA Underground Distribution Course for 27 years
  • Past Board member and President of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities
  • Past Board Member and President of the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association
  • Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Association Board member
  • Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. Board of Directors
  • Current member of Rotary International and Board member
  • Current Board representative (elected municipal rep) for the Midwest Regional Reliability Organization (MRO)

 Larry has participated in numerous management training and seminars, including strategic planning on and for the various boards and utilities where has served. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and a registered Professional Engineer in Minnesota and Iowa. He is also a Senior Member of IEEE.

Mark D. Swan, P.E.

Management Consultant / Course Instructor

Mark Swan
is an accomplished executive manager, engineer, educator and consultant with over 40 years of experience in the utility industry.

Mark D. Swan, P.E., is an independent consultant and course instructor in the electric utility industry.  He retired in late 2003 from his position as General Manager of Operations in the Customer Operations Division following more than 30 years of service to Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU).  In that position, Mark was responsible for all major operational elements at CSU including Water Treatment Services (all Water & Waste Water treatment plants), Nixon Power Plant, Drake Power Plant, Front Range Power Plant, Field Operations, Control Centers, and Major Power Plant outage planning and work management.  The Operations Department at CSU employs approximately 500 personnel.

Mark is well known and respected in the electric utility industry.  He has been a technical course instructor for the American Public Power Association since 1988 and currently instructs APPA’s Underground Distribution Course. He also is an instructor for the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Engineering Professional Development. Mark has served as president of the Colorado Power Council and as a board member for the Rocky Mountain Electric League Foundation and the national T&D Maintenance Management Organization.

Mark spent 14 years in the wild land fire service, serving as a firefighter, engine boss, crew boss and a Type 4 Incident Commander.  He retired as the Deputy Chief (Assistant Superintendent) of the El Paso County Wildland Fire Crew.  During his fire service, Mark has led engine crews and fire crews on large and small wild land fires from initial attack to final mop up & containment.  Mark was responsible for equipment maintenance, including engines, pumps, hand tools, chain saws and other motorized equipment.  He also served as the Battalion Chief and Deputy Chief for Crew Operations.

Mark received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering (with honors) and master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (Power Option) from the University of Colorado.  He is a member of Tau Beta Pi honorary engineering society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and Professional Engineers of Colorado.  He is a recipient of the Colorado Power Council’s Distinguished Service Award.  Mark is also a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Colorado.

Jillian S. Wolfe

Education and Development Consultant

Jillian Wolfe
is an accomplished educator and human development professional with 15 years of diverse experience in management and public education. She is currently Executive Director of the Association for Utility Line Design Professionals

Jillian Wolfe brings 15 years of diverse experience to Collaborative Learning/Collaboration Unlimited. She graduated with her Masters Degree in Human Development with a California Teaching Credential from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena California, and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Learning and Development from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been an Educator, Trainer, and Recruiter working in the fields of public education and high-tech.

She began her career working as an Operations Manager and Recruiter for a consulting firm within the high-tech industry. Her primary focus was recruiting mid-level candidates for various opportunities within the personal computer, communications, semiconductor, software and capital equipment industries. She managed a team of recruiters and multiple retained-search projects, consistently meeting or exceeding her sales and business development goals. She facilitated the growth of the firm’s candidate database and assisted in acquiring new projects with start-up companies and the Venture Capital firms who funded them.

Jillian then shifted her career aspirations and began pursuing a teaching position within the field of public education. She taught in the inner city as a classroom teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District for 10 years. Her primary focus was on meeting student needs through the integration of technology and standards-based instruction framework, while implementing constructivist methodology. She utilized multi-lingual instructional strategies and focused on differentiation for gifted and special needs students. She completed training with the Buck Institute on Education for Project-Based Learning, and attended training and conferences for Gifted Learners. She became a Master Teacher, trained and mentored student teachers and teacher’s aides, and managed teams of volunteers. She was a member of the Technology Council, served as a member of the School-Site Council and held the position of grade-level Chair for multiple years. She also assisted her school in the accreditation process to attain exemplary status for the State of California. She helped adopt and write the school-wide homework policy after having completed her Master’s thesis on the subject of homework practices in elementary education.

Jillian is an accomplished manager, educational designer, teacher, trainer, and recruiter. At Collaborative Learning/Collaboration Unlimited she brings together her recruiting expertise and educational background to meet client needs in the areas of organization structure, staffing, and human development. Jillian also develops, organizes, and facilitates education/training events, including in-person and distance learning for utility industry employees and for public and private sector educators. In addition, she works with other Education Specialists who bring their diverse backgrounds, years of teaching experience and expertise to offer professional development courses, seminars, webinars and specialized client consulting services.

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