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Cornerstone Hydro Electric Concepts

CHEC Welcomes Jen Parkhill as GIS Technician

March 29, 2023

New GIS Technician position to support six member LDCs

March 29, 2023, Barrie, ON – Cornerstone Hydro Electric Concepts (CHEC) is pleased to announce Jen Parkhill as the new GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Technician for the organization as of April 3. As a shared service, Parkhill will be providing GIS support to six of the CHEC members.

“We are excited to be able to add Jen as part of the CHEC team,” said CHEC President, Bruno Pereira. “Her extensive knowledge and experience within the utility industry make her a perfect fit for the organization and for the needs of our members. We’re looking forward to the integrations she will help facilitate for our members.”

Parkhill has over 20 years of GIS experience, with her most recent position as a GIS Application Specialist with Esri Canada’s Utilities Team, where she provided Utility Network GIS solutions for utility clients, including knowledge transfers, data mapping and modeling workshops, and application development. Prior to her work at Esri, she held the position of GIS Technician at Waterloo North Hydro, Festival Hydro, Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro, and Brant County Power.

“GIS has become essential because people want information and they want to be able to access it now,” said Parkhill, who obtained her Geographic Information Systems Technologist degree from Algonquin College following a Bachelor of Science degree from Brock University. “I gravitated to the electrical industry because the energy it provides is critical to the way we live, and the decisions being made need to be based on accurate information.”

With the number of challenges facing the industry, including integrating renewable energy resources, improving outage management systems, and meeting increased regulatory requirements, Parkhill sees GIS systems as critical tools for utilities, particularly with the current technical advances that can change the way LDCs (Local Distribution Companies) meet these challenges. 

“I wanted to get back to working with the smaller utilities and start by determining their business requirements and how to bring those forward efficiently.”

As a collaborative organization of fifteen LDCs, CHEC is an ideal environment to bring solutions and efficiencies to those participating. “Ultimately, we want to have everyone as efficient as possible with the best solution in place. Once we’ve created a solution for one, we can tweak it for the others. There’s a huge potential for collaboration and I’m looking forward to being the one to facilitate that.”

She’s also aware of the challenges of change management and introducing employees to new ways of doing things.

“Change management is not easy, but if you provide someone with a simple solution, it is rewarding to see the empowerment of information. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love GIS, once they have it.”

CHEC is a collaborative association of 15 Local Distribution Companies in Ontario. By sharing experience, knowledge and resources CHEC helps its members remain as active members of their communities, deliver value to their shareholders, provide safe, efficient, and cost-effective electricity distribution to their customers, and prepare for the energy future. The current members of CHEC are Centre Wellington Hydro Ltd., ERTH Power Corp., Fort Frances Power Corp., Grimsby Power, InnPower Corp., Lakefront Utilities Inc., Lakeland Power Distribution Ltd., Niagara–on- the-Lake Hydro, Orangeville Hydro Ltd., Ottawa River Power Corp., Renfrew Hydro Inc., Rideau St. Lawrence Distribution Inc., Tillsonburg Hydro, Wasaga Distribution Inc., and Wellington North Power Inc.