NTCA Fall Conference Starts With A Bang

Photos of Blue Thunder performing 

The NTCA 2011 Fall Conference officially began on Monday morning. The conference started with a bang as attendees were entertained by Blue Thunder, the heartbeat of Seattle Seahawks fans.

Photo: CEO Shirley BloomfieldThe Opening General Session began with NTCA's CEO report. CEO Shirley Bloomfield spoke on the importance of industry partnerships on issues such as advocacy, business opportunities and innovation. She emphasized the necessity of a united voice and called on members to be more engaged with Congress on policy and reform issues. Regarding the Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation reform, Bloomfield declared "I'm proud to lend my voice to this initiative, and you should be too." She also announced innovative resources from NTCA such as the new meeting app, the Live Learning Center and the developing electronic membership renewal process. The CEO's Report concluded with an explanation of NTCA's motto, "Every member, every time" and the promise that this will continue to be applied to each NTCA member.

Photo: John Rose

NTCA was pleased to welcome its partners in the Save Rural Broadband campaign. Kelly Worthington of WTA and John Rose of OPASTCO discussed the campaign's goals and tools and echoed Shirley Bloomfield's message to remain engaged and keep the pressure on the FCC.


Photo: Sen. Byron Dorgan After the CEO report, former United States Senator Byron Dorgan addressed attendees and stressed the importance of rural culture in America. He called on Congress to ensure that the Universal Service Fund includes advanced services and is available to Americans in every part of the country. Dorgan raised the important question "Do we have what we need to continue in Rural America?" He closed by reminding everyone that America is rooted in an idea; the idea of freedom, the idea of opportunity and that no place exemplifies that more than rural America.

Photo: Jeffrey HayzlettThe session concluded with speaker Jeffrey Hayzlett. Hayzlett, former Chief Marketing Officer for Eastman Kodak Co., explained the challenges Kodak faced when he came on board. Kodak's challenges were very similar to the ones rural telcos face today. "How do you last in a changing industry? What is your value to customers?" Hayzlett instructed attendees to ask themselves these tough questions. He encouraged attendees to learn, to take chances and to cause tension. Hayzlett concluded by explaining how he led a total shift in Kodak's business model and shared the tools he used to transform their business and stay on top in a changing industry.

After the conclusion of the General Session, attendees had a choice of five educational sessions to attend. The sessions were repeated in the afternoon and covered topics ranging from Smart Grid to revenue challenges to balanced marketing approaches. Qualified panelists discussed the topics and shared many ways for telcos to grow.

Session speaker
Photo: Session atendees

In addition to the education sessions, NTCA members discussed policy matters today when the industry, wireless and government affairs committees met together to discuss industry issues.

FRS Event Takes Off Photo of FRS event attendees

Attendees at the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) fundraising event enjoyed an evening at the Museum of Flight. Along with great food, the event offered the opportunity to test simulators, experience the winds of a hurricane and to take a seat in a fighter pilot jet. With a display of planes hanging from the ceiling, young and old alike were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of flight at the museum. Thank you to sponsors and attendees for supporting FRS.Photo of FRS event attendees Photo of FRS event attendeesPhoto of FRS event attendees

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