2018 Fall Conference Day 2 Recap

September 18, 2018

(Seattle, Wash.) – Day two of the NTCA Fall Conference started strong with an opening address from NTCA Board Chairman John Klatt, who touched on the direction of the industry and what telcos need to do for rural communities to advance. NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield followed with a presentation on the future of technology and how stories from members strengthen communication with the FCC. Later, she and NTCA Vice President of Policy Josh Seidemann recognized 2018 Smart Rural Community Showcase Award recipients. 

Next, Jaime Clark’s "The Adventure of Business" session blended motivation with entertainment as he stressed that conquering your fears and exploring the unknown gets you the success level that you are seeking. Ted Schilowitz, futurist, Paramount Pictures, followed with his "The Augmented Human" session where he emphasized that to be competitive and successful, you have keep changing and evolving.

The opening general session concluded with Smart Rural Community panelists Keith Gabbard of Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative (McKee, Ky.) and Ron Hinds of GRM Networks (Princeton, Mo.), who discussed the importance of improving life in rural communities, and stated that if you live in a rural community, you have to get involved for the community to thrive.

Telco and director tracks, Legal Seminar and committee meetings continued throughout the day with highlights from the following sessions:

  • During the Legal Seminar session, "Triangle of Trust: Counsel, Board and Manager," presenter John Pietila of Davis Brown Law Firm stated how the three parties need to learn to work together to achieve the same goal, and said boards don't have to prove their independence by challenging the general manager.
  • "Ethical Decision Making: Governance Has Its Virtues" session speaker Edward Gray, Ph.D., graymattersolutions.net, shared his perspective that the time to start talking about ethics is before you must deal with ethics.
  • In the telco track session, "The Convergence of Wired and Wireless Networks," panelist Matt Larson, CEO, Vistabeam, suggested that fixed wireless is a way of getting broadband out into the community before fiber is available, and Rick Petersen, CEO, Peak Internet, stated wireless is a good medium for quick and easy deployment, but fiber is the best long-term strategy.
  • Legal Seminar attendees listened to an open and frank discussion in the "Rural Telcos in the #MeToo Era: Sexual Harassment, Your Employees, and the Law" session with presenter Bill Curphey, Managing Partner, Curphey & Badger, P.A., as he emphasized that companies need to have a policy in place to prevent sexual harassment, especially considering current public awareness of allegations in the media lately.

Day two concluded with a reception for Legal Seminar participants and the FRS fundraiser trip to Emerald City Trapeze.

Share your stories and experiences with us on social media by using hashtag #ntcafallconf



What’s in store for Day 3:

  • Telco Track: Fighting Robocalls and Spoofing
  • Director Track: Shifts in Culture and Technology
  • Legal Seminar: Cybersecurity for Attorneys
  • Networking Reception and Tabletop Showcase