November 13, 2015

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

Action Items

>> Deadline Today for 2016 MTA Annual Convention Proposals

>> 2016 Annual Convention Exhibit and Sponsor Registration Now Open!

Safety Corner

>> Winter Driving

People and Companies

>> Kris Radermacher to Retire After 32 Years of Service

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Durant
Event Planners:
Julie Cygan
Carissa Wolf
Member Services:
Chris Swanson
Joe Flannigan
Administrative Assistant:
Anne Christensen

Stay up-to-date on daily happenings at the MTA offices by following us on Facebook. From peer group meetings to annual conferences and everything in between, get the scoop on what’s happening at our offices!




Meetings and Events

December 2–3, 2015: 2015 Plant Manager & Superintendant Peer Group Winter Meeting

March 21–23, 2016: MTA Annual Convention and Trade Show

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MTA Updates


Deadline Today for 2016 MTA Annual Convention Proposals

We are planning for the Annual Convention and Trade Show, March 21-23, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. Our convention offers you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to an estimated 1,100 MTA attendees face-to-face. We are now requesting submissions of speakers and presenters for our breakout sessions and luncheons. Topic ideas for presentations identified by the MTA Event Planning Committee are listed in the Call for Proposals.

Submit a Proposal.

The deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, November 13, 2015.

2016 Annual Convention Exhibit and Sponsor Registration Now Open!

MTA Annual Convention and Trade Show

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet and network with more than 1,100 professionals from throughout the Upper Midwest. Register to exhibit at the 2016 Annual Convention today! It is a "do-not-miss" opportunity to showcase your company, products and services.

Download the Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus | Register Online to Sponsor or Exhibit

Plan to join us on March 21–23, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. The MTA Annual Convention has continued to be the largest state telecommunications association Convention in the nation. It represents the interests of more than 80 small, medium and large telecommunications providers that provide advanced telecommunications services like voice, data, wireless video, and high-speed Internet access to Minnesota’s metropolitan and rural communities.

Register for your booth space today!

The Convention is a great way to get your message out to this group and the support of our exhibitors and sponsors is what makes this convention possible. Consider becoming a keystone of our pinnacle event! Multiple levels of conference sponsorship opportunities are available. By popular demand, Vendor Demos are back and will be located in the middle of the exhibit hall this year.

If you have questions about the exhibitor or sponsorship information, please contact Carissa Wolf at the MTA Office at or (651) 265-7849.

Safety Corner

Winter Driving

I was in a café the other day and listening to the table of gentlemen next to me discussing techniques for winter driving. Now I am not entirely looking forward to the coming cold that the winter will bring, but the discussion did get me thinking whether the points that were being discussed had any value.

Joe, the most talkative of the gentlemen, sounded like a past mayor of the town, and brought up a number of points. Joe talked about everything from letting air out of your tires, to not needing to let your vehicle warm up in cold weather, to how to handle a skid. A person can learn a lot in a café; I’m just not sure if you can use what you learn anywhere other than in another café. So here are some tips we can all use.

To reduce the risk of skids

Adjust your speed to the conditions and increase following distances to the vehicles in front of you. Listen to the weather reports so you are aware of the driving conditions for the next day and leave earlier if needed; remember, you won’t be the only vehicle on the road.

Remember that bridges and overpasses do become slippery sooner than other parts of the road. If you begin to skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the gas and turn the wheel in the direction you want the car to go. Target the empty lane that you're trying to get to. Don't look at whatever pulled out or stepped out in front of you. Aim at the empty lane.

Be gentle on steering and brakes. Never pump anti-lock brakes. Apply a steady firm pressure to the brake pedal.

If you can see you're going to be hit from the rear, let off the brake to diminish impact, and move your head back into the head rest.

Survival Tips

In addition to the basic safe driving habits we practice all year long — buckling up, remaining alert, and driving at a safe and legal speed — there are special precautions that need to be followed during the winter months.

Make sure your car is ready for the season. Have it serviced by a qualified mechanic and be sure that the brakes, battery, exhaust and cooling systems, headlights, fluids, windshield wipers and washers are all in proper working order. Throughout the winter, keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze.

Stock your car with basic winter driving equipment: a scraper and brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain and even a bag of sand or cat litter for traction. Include an emergency survival kit in the car.

Remember, if you park your vehicle outside at night, give yourself a little extra time to let your vehicle warm up and clean the snow off the vehicle.

If even after following all precautions you find yourself stranded, stay calm and stay put. Your chances of being rescued are greater if you remain in one place. Staying in your car will decrease your risk of frostbite or hypothermia. Run your engine for heat about once an hour and use that blanket you have in the vehicle.


As for Joe’s comments on tire pressure, it’s true that reducing tire pressure gives you more surface contact with the road. However, it also reduces your control of the vehicle and under-inflated tires heat up and wear out faster on dry pavement. It’s true that today’s vehicles do not need to warm up as long as vehicles in the past — but they do run better when warmed up, and the windows stay clearer.

Hope you get the weather you’re wishing for this winter, but if you don’t, just remember we live in the Midwest and as always, we get what we get.

Take Care
Dan Berg M.S.
Lead Safety Consultant

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People Companies

Kris Radermacher to Retire After 32 Years of Service

Kris Radermacher, Office Manager/Regulatory Manager for Farmers Mutual Telephone Company and Federated Telephone Cooperative, will retire soon. Kris’ last day in the office will be Monday, November 30, 2015. Kris began her employment with Farmers Mutual in 1983. An Open House Retirement Celebration will be held in her honor on Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Bellingham City Hall located at 207 Main Ave. in Bellingham, MN. Congratulations to Kris on 32 years of dedicated service.

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