NTCA Fall Conference Kicks Off in California
The 2014 Fall Conference in San Francisco got underway Monday, as attendees took part in educational sessions, committee meetings and tours of local sites.
More than 1,500 NTCA members registered at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel for a full day of activities, including a continental breakfast and tours of attractions like Alcatraz and Sonoma wine country. The meeting's first full day also featured a number of educational sessions and NTCA committee meetings. During concurrent sessions, participants heard about the ongoing net neutrality debate, creating a model smart home, a status update on the IP transition, and other telecom policy and revenue issues.
The Opening General Session got underway with a performance of a lion dance by traditional Chinese dancers. NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield then delivered her opening remarks that discussed the importance of storytelling when it comes to policy and industry success. She also announced the results of the 2015 Board of Directors election. The 12 cooperative and commercial representatives for our six regions will be seated at the 2015 Rural Telecom Industry Meeting & EXPO in Phoenix.
Bloomfield also announced the 2014 Smart Rural Community Showcase Award winners. Thirteen rural communities in Alaska, Canada, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Minnesota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Vermont were selected for their efforts to make rural hometowns vibrant places in which to live and do business.
Conference attendees then heard from keynote speaker Eric Garland, a strategic trends analyst for corporations and governments around the world. Garland discussed the current status of the economy. He charged the audience to be bold and take risks when it comes to innovating.
The day wrapped up with a harbor cruise aboard the California Hornblower. Hosted by the Foundation for Rural Service, the cruise featured the best views of San Francisco, including its unique skyline, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The conference will pick up Tuesday morning with a fun run/walk led by NTCA staff, more educational sessions, creative brainstorming and a #ruraliscool reception that will feature presentations by Smart Rural Community Showcase Award winners.