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I'm feeling a little more politically savvy these days

Let me start out by saying that I am not a political animal. At all. I am less than fully versed in the many aspects of our political system and the political process. And I am OK with that. It is a choice I make/made. I had/have opportunities to get more educated on this topic.

I also, as a rule, do not enjoy discussing politics. I care very little about an individual person’s political views. When I see a friend making a post on Facebook that is clearly intended to rile up people who don’t think the same way politically, I calmly keep on scrolling. No response necessary.

I say all of this so you can better understand me and also to help set the stage for the exciting news that is about to come: We have three high-level political figures slated to speak at HydroVision International 2013 in Denver, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

In fact, at this year’s HydroVision International, which is being held the week of July 22 in Denver, Colorado, U.S., our speakers include a state governor, a U.S. representative and a former U.S. Senator (and presidential hopeful). Even I, a non-follower when it comes to politics, am excited about this situation. Let me tell you more.

Let’s start with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who will be speaking during the opening keynote session on Wednesday, July 24. Hickenlooper calls himself a recovering geologist who once owned a brewpub and was goaded into running for mayor of Denver in 2003. From there, he became governor of Colorado, in 2011, where he and his team are working to promote an all-of-the-above energy policy. I am excited to hear what Hickenlooper has to say to this unique audience at HydroVision International.

Next up is U.S. Representative Diana DeGette, whose name many of you will recognize as the co-sponsor of The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013, along with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. DeGette cannot leave Washington, D.C., because of her legislative calendar, so she will be presenting a video address during the opening keynote session at HydroVision International. This particularly thrills me, as it proves that legislators in Washington, D.C., are optimistic about hydropower and its future in the U.S. energy mix! They want to come talk to you as the people who keep this industry moving forward every day.

And the third speaker I alluded to earlier is Gary Hart. Now, whether or not you recognize this name depends almost entirely on your age, but also a bit on your familiarity with American history. Hart is a former U.S. Senator from Colorado and was a presidential hopeful in 1984 and 1988 before a little “monkey business” derailed that aspiration. Hart is now a consultant, author and speaker. His most recent book is a fictionalized account of the controversy surrounding development of the Animas-La Plata water project in Colorado. Hart will be speaking during the closing awards luncheon on Friday, July 26, so make sure you don’t fly home too early that day!

In the process of identifying and inviting these speakers, I became a bit more politically savvy. Admittedly, there is still much I do not know. But this I do know: These three speakers -- along with more than 400 other expert panelists and presenters -- are going to make this year’s HydroVision International one to remember.

But, we never rest on our laurels. We’re already thinking about ways to make the 2014 event bigger and better. You can do your part in 2013 by registering to attend this important industry event at www.hydroevent.com. And if you have ideas of speakers we should invite or topics we should cover, or even a fun networking opportunity or technical tour for 2014, let me know in the comment box below. Nobody knows better than you what you want to see in a hydropower industry event, and we want to make this event work for you!

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