The Hoffman Story
Our Collective Culture
These days, almost everyone knows someone affected by a natural disaster. We all have a connection to wildfires or extreme weather; it’s become part of our collective culture. For our firm’s president, it was his former brother-in-law’s family who barely escaped the Paradise, California fire with their lives – losing their home, horses, and all their possessions – with absolutely no warning.
Rewind to the one-year period beginning in the fall of 2012. Hurricane Sandy caused $70 billion in damage along the U.S. eastern seaboard, snipers attacked a California substation and knocked out most of the high-voltage transformers for months, and we passed through the solar maximum with its potential to impact the power system via geomagnetic disturbances. These events stimulated a flurry of resilience activity between utilities, nonprofit research, government, and private entities – in which Hoffman Power Consulting was intimately involved.
The Common Thread
The common thread is that our infrastructures are not adequately prepared to withstand or quickly recover from these events. And for a variety of reasons, the infrastructure that underpins everything – electric power – seems to be no better prepared than others. To harden power systems and improve post-event response and recovery, electric utilities complement their internal efforts with an army of expert product developers, system integrators, and consultants at scores of resilience product and service providers around the world. These providers also help electricity end users enhance their home and business resilience.
At Hoffman Power Consulting, we are committed to helping these solution providers do their jobs even better, by providing useful thought-leadership documents and compelling marketing materials. It’s our contribution to meeting the challenge that affects us all – enhancing electric power resilience.
Hoffman Senior Staff
Steve Hoffman is the founder and president of Hoffman Power Consulting. An author of over 500 thought leadership and marketing documents on electric power issues and solutions, he leads the field of power industry technical and marketing communications. In the last decade, industry decision makers have frequently hired Steve for his specific expertise in power industry resilience to wildfires, extreme weather, cybersecurity and physical security attacks, and other threats. Steve brings a technology-based background – including two engineering degrees from Stanford and utility engineering experience – to each project. Continuously serving the industry since 1982, Steve has provided thought leadership on most of the critical business issues and solutions that have defined the evolving industry. He ensures the high quality and on-time delivery that has defined his successful firm’s services since 1985.
Charles Carmichael Ph.D.
Charles Carmichael Ph.D. brings to electric utility communications a keen understanding of regulatory, financial, environmental, reliability, resilience, and customer relations issues. For more than 30 years, first as a utility employee and then as a consultant, he focused on executive communications, public policy, and government relations. Charles wrote speeches and shareholder communications for utility CEOs, energy-related white papers for Presidential candidates, rate case testimony and presentations, and utility business plans. He has worked for electric utilities such as Arizona Public Service, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Dominion, Entergy, and Exelon. He has managed employee communications, media relations, community relations, and public policy teams for an electric utility. Charles has a B.A and M.A. from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.
Charlotte Johnson Cavell
Charlotte Johnson Cavell brings more than 30 years of communications experience to Hoffman. A versatile writer and editor, she most recently served as senior communications specialist at Entergy, where she supported many aspects of the rapidly changing industry, including operations, customer service, regulatory and governmental affairs, products and services, renewables, growth and economic development, innovation, safety, reliability, grid modernization and more. In doing so, she developed and implemented communications strategies, provided writing and multi-media production services, managed media inquiries, served as spokesperson, and helped management and subject-matter experts inform various audiences. Charlotte holds a B.A from Louisiana State University.
Vanessa MacLaren-Wray, Ph.D.
Vanessa MacLaren-Wray, Ph.D. brings over 35 years of technical and writing experience in the electric power industry to Hoffman. An accomplished energy engineer, Vanessa has performed many technical analyses on energy storage systems; industrial cogeneration; power and ancillary services markets; regulatory proceedings; power flows in large networks; and power system simulation. She has authored or co-authored over 80 documents, including technical papers, multi-volume reports, training programs and workshops, support for regulatory testimony, and literature reviews. A lead consultant for 10 years at EDS & Energy Management Associates, she has shared her expertise with more than 50 entities, including utilities, industry consortia, state agencies, research groups, and technology innovators. An IEEE Senior Member, she holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and economic systems from Stanford.
Debbi Leibold, a senior technical writer/technical publications manager, has written technical documentation for more than 30 years. Her work has supported government contracts at NSA, DIA, and FEMA, worldwide initiatives, and large and small commercial companies. She has produced user documentation, training manuals, developer documentation, engineering process documentation, and others. Debbi has extensive experience adhering to a variety of commercial and military standards. She has the unique ability to understand the mind of software and hardware engineers and to translate that information into documentation for various users. Debbi works with the development team in many of the most common development environments (e.g., SDLC, Agile, Rapid Prototyping, PMI, and Waterfall).
Monica Baltz is the glue that holds us all together. She brings to Hoffman Power Consulting more than two decades of experience in project management and small business administration. For the last eight years, Monica has run the day-to-day business operations and implemented marketing campaigns. She plays a key role in client engagements by ensuring project and deliverable schedules and budgets are met. Monica coordinates all aspects of deliverable illustration and design, including managing a team of design and HTML5 programming contractors. The high quality look and feel, as well as on-time and on-budget delivery, of our client deliverables is due in large part to her excellence.