RTIME 2017 Daily Recap - Day 2

Day 2 was jampacked with incredible energy and riveting information. Today, we:

  • Recognized Doug Boone's term as NTCA Board president.
  • Heard the latest business developments from Shirley Bloomfield, NTCA CEO.
  • Learned how to build bonding relationship with telco customers.
  • Tapped into how rural broadband providers can strengthen and change the perception of rural America.
  • Gained an understanding as to why it's important to induce a good company culture.
  • Brought thousands of customers to supplies to drive major business relationships.

NTCA Board President

We would like to thank Doug Boone, chief executive officer (CEO) of Premier Communications (Sioux Center, Iowa), for his incredible service to the rural broadband industry and the association as the NTCA Board president, and we welcome Bill Hegmann, of Southwest Arkansas Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Texarkana, Ark.), as the new Board president.

NTCA CEO Update

Shirley Bloomfield streamed live on Facebook a number of industry updates and introduced a new advocacy social media campaign—#BuildBroadbandWithUs. With a new administration in Washington, there's never been a more crucial time for the industry to band together and make Washington see why it's important to support rural broadband providers to enhance and expand the infratructure to their rural communities. More information on the Build Broadband With Us campaign is available online. View Shirley's full update on Facebook

Keynote Address: "Building Tattoo-Worthy Relationships"

Creating loyal customers is usually on the top of most company's agenda; however, how does one begin to building a loyal customer base like Harley-Davidson? Ken Schmidt, former Harley-Davidson director of communications, delivered a dynamic keynote address that provokes the audience to view relationships the community differently. The positive customer experience can be the drive to create proud loyal advocates, driving them to directly influence the buying decision of their personal networks. This can be acheived by selling the experience to a customer instead of a product. 

Panel Discussion: "Small Town America—A Hotbed for the Virtual Metropolis"

Dr. Norman Jacknis of Intelligent Community Forum, Dusty Johnson of Vantage Point Solutions (Mitchell, S.D.) and Michael Burke of Matanuska Telephone Association (Palmer, Alaska) led a panel discussion on how to strengthen and change the perception of rural America. Rural broadband providers give their communities the opportunity to help change the perception of small town America. Broadband services help diminish distance, encouraging young talent from leaving small towns to go to big cities in search of career opportunities and the comforts beleived not available in small towns. Broadband enables the "intellecutal return to rural" by bringing back talented young people to the community. 

Culture Change: The Role of Management and Directors

Vern Dosch of National Information Solutions Cooperative (Mandan, N.D.), Justin McClung of Nex-Tech (Lenora, Kan.) and Mike Teeples of TCA (Colorado Springs, Colo.) shared their experiences on how changing their company cultures helped to incentivize employee engagement. Employees are the greatest company advoates in the community, so it's important to build the company's reputation from the inside out. Open the lines of communications with your employees and be transparent on information that you are able to share with your employees. Give employees the tools to do their jobs efficiently, and communicate their value. When you encourage engagement, employee passion for the work they do will increase and transfer into the community and your customers.

Expo Open House

The doors to the expo opened this afternoon, bringing thousands of companies onto the show floor to match up with exhibitors. We followed Shirley on Facebook LIVE through the exhibit hall for a short tour. Members grabbed the opportunity to meet with their member relations managers in person and try their chance with the Lucky Duck drawing. The expo at RTIME 2017 also includes the Hot Technologies section.  Be sure to visit the show floor and connect tomorrow at the Expo Refreshment Reception at 3 p.m.

Looking Forward to Day 3

Don't miss the technology and services at the exhibitor presentations at 7 a.m. on the third floor and for another round of incredible concurrent sessions and roundtable discussions. Join us for the Second General Session in the Seaport Ballroom at 8:45 a.m. with Dorothy Spears-Dean, Ph.D. of Virginia Information Technology Agency, and get the regulatory outlook for 2017. 

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