Fall Conference Closes With Insights and Ideas

Photo of session attendees.The Conference resumed on Tuesday with another set of educational concurrent sessions. Attendees chose from seminar topics that covered the digital revolution, the evolution of technology, organizational reviews and partnerships.

After the conclusion of the concurrent sessions, roundtables were held for attendees to share ideas and engage in free flowing conversation. They discussed topics such as mergers and acquisitions, stimulus recipients, leadership development, revenue challenges and other relevant telecommunications subjects. The roundtables were lead by NTCA staff and member volunteers and proved to be very beneficial for those who participated.
Photo: Roundtable attendees Photo: Roundtable attendees

Photo: state regulators speaking The closing session opened with a panel of state regulators including John Burke of the Vermont Public Service Board and Phillip Jones of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. Moderator Mike Romano, senior vice president of policy for NTCA, led them in an insightful discussion about the potential changes in the industry with the coming Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation reform. The discussion ranged from the role states may have in the Connect America Fund to the budget deficit.

Photo: FRS President Tom Contry

Following the panel, Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) President Tom Conry of Farmers Mutual Telephone Cooperative Co. (Harlan, Iowa), provided an update on FRS activities and encouragedPhoto: Presentation of award all companies to support the foundation. He noted that currently 30% of companies contribute to FRS, and the board has set a goal to increase that to 50% in the coming year.

Conry was joined on stage by Elizabeth Crocker, executive director of FRS, to present the Community Economic Development Award to Triangle Communications (Havre, Mont.). Triangle has contributed over $350,000 in economic support to the communities it serves.

  In a poignant moment, NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield presented longtime industry leader Chris Lehner with the Associate Member Outstanding Achievement Award.

Lehner stated that his career in telecommunications had enabled him to find something he loved and put all his energy into it.
Photos: Chris Lehner

Bruce Wilkinson
provided a high-energy message to the audience through storytelling to make the point that the future is about people-inspiring people, engaging people and understanding people. To be effective, every employee needs to be committed, and great leaders can inspire them.

Photos: Bruce Wilkinson