MTA News Bytes

September 1, 2017

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

Action Items

>> 2017 MTA Fall Conference
Register by September 13 to Save!

>> MTA Fall Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

>> 2018 MTA Annual Convention Call for Proposals!

Peer Group Bulletin

>> Don't Miss These 2017 MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities!

>> Upcoming Peer Group Events

Safety Corner

>> Back to School Means Sharing the Road

People and Companies

>> CNS's Jean Edhlund Receives MCCA Distinguished Service Award

>> Neutral Path Communications Extends Network Reach to
Netrality’s 1102 Grand Data Center in Kansas City

>> Arvig Named One of Prairie Business Magazine’s 50 Best Places to Work

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Durant
Event Planners:
Julie Cygan Diamond
Carissa Wolf
Member Services:
Jeanne DeMartino

Anna Wrisky
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

September 13-15, 2017: TMG Peer Group Conference
Whitefish Lodge, Crosslake

October 3-4, 2017: CSR Fall Conference
The Inn on Lake Superior, Duluth

October 5-6, 2017: MTA Fall Conference
Minneapolis Marriott Northwest

November 20, 2017: Administrative Assistant Peer Group Fall Conference
AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Wahpeton, ND

March 26-28, 2018: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

March 18-20, 2019: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

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MTA Updates


2017 MTA Fall Conference
Register by September 13 to save!

2017 MTA Fall Conference

October 5-6, 2017 | Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park, MN

>> View Details and Register Online

Many kids are already back to school, the Vikings have started preseason play, cooler temperatures have been with us a bit prematurely, leaves are starting to change color, and most importantly ... the MTA FALL CONFERENCE is only a month away!

This year’s event will open with an exciting lineup on Thursday. The afternoon kicks off with a MTA Update from Board Chairman Dave Wolf. Dave’s update will be followed by a DC panel consisting of Mike Romano from NTCA and Derrick Owens from WTA. They will tell us what is going on in DC in a new fun format. Next up will be a presentation from Danna MacKenzie from the MN Office of Broadband Development. That will be followed by a Telecom Regulatory Panel moderated by MTA’s Regulatory Committee Chairman, Monty Morrow. Panelists will include staff from the MN Public Utilities Commission and the MN Department of Commerce. Fritz Hendricks from Inteliquent will give a presentation entitled: “Next Stage in the Evolution of Cloud Communications and Managed Services”. Thursday afternoon’s sessions will conclude with a panel discussion on FirstNet. MTA Board member Jim Walter will moderate a panel represented by AT&T and MN Department of Public Safety.

The MTA Event Planning Committee and staff have been working with the Video Peer Group and Office Managers/HR Peer Group for more opportunities to learn. Friday morning continues with separate tracks giving attendees the most current, up-to-date, information on Video and HR. Know you want to attend, but don’t know which sessions you want to attend? It doesn’t matter — you can mix and match sessions to meet your individual needs. Don’t wait! The event will conclude with keynote speaker Jesse Sullivan from CenturyLink. Jesse is heavily involved in planning for Super Bowl LII in 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium. CenturyLink is the telecommunications provider for Super Bowl LII and has a unique industry perspective on this once-in-a-lifetime event.

>> Register for the conference today!

Lodging Information

Note: The hotel reservation cut-off is September 14

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
7025 Northland Dr. N
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

$144.00 single/double per night
Reservation cut off is September 14, 2017
Book your reservation online or call 1-877-303-1681 or 763-536-8300.

MTA Fall Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

October 5-6, 2017 | Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
7025 Northland Drive North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

Maximize your company's exposure to the MTA membership at the 2017 Fall Conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, October 5 and Friday, October 6 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

MTA members will come to Minneapolis from all over the state to learn more about the important issues facing our industry — and this is your opportunity to get your company’s message in front of them.

>> View complete Sponsorship details and register online.


If you have any questions about the sponsorship information, please contact Julie Cygan Diamond at

2018 MTA Annual Convention Call for Proposals!

2018 MTA Convention Call for Proposals

We are now planning for the Annual Convention and Trade Show, March 26-28, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. Our convention offers you an opportunity to talk with the (estimated 1,100) MTA attendees face-to-face.

Request for Proposals

There are additional opportunities for you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to all attendees. We are requesting submissions of speakers and presenters for our breakout sessions and luncheons.

Breakout Session Requirements

The 2018 MTA Convention will have 14 breakout sessions of 50 minutes each and an Issues Update Luncheon. Sessions will be presented on Monday, March 26 and Tuesday, March 27, 2018. No sales pitches, please.

Deadline for submission: October 13, 2017

>> Submit a Proposal

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Peer Group Bulletin
All MTA members are welcome to join a Peer Group

Don't Miss These 2017 MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities!

MTA’s core purpose is to enhance the success and viability of its telecommunications industry members. You are an important part of helping us fulfill this mission. Here is your opportunity to maximize the impact of your event sponsorships for 2017.

Download the 2017 Peer Group Investment Opportunities for full details

Sponsor a Peer Group: Sign Up Online!

Upcoming Peer Group Events

2017 TMG Peer Group Conference, Little Things: Big Impact

September 13-15, 2017 | Whitefish Lodge, Crosslake, Minnesota
Big things start small — at TMG 2017 we’ll dig into some of the little things that will help you reinforce your brand. From new service offering ideas and industry updates to web, SEO, video marketing, PR and more — there's plenty to learn, and great folks to network with.

Rates: Members/NonMembers: $165 | Students: $82.50

Whitefish Lodge
14150 Swann Drive | Crosslake, MN 56442 | 218-692-2246
Rate: $99/night | Room block code: TMG17
Room block deadline: September 1, 2017

>> Full Details and Registration

2017 CSR Fall Conference

Tuesday, October 3-4, 2017
The Inn on Lake Superior | 350 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, MN 55802

Administrative Assistant Peer Group 2017 Fall Conference

November 20, 2017 | AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Wahpeton, North Dakota

Rates: $99 per person

AmericInn Lodge & Suites
2029 210 Drive | Wahpeton, North Dakota  58075
Call 701-642-8365; ask for Allison. Room block name: MN Administrative Assistants Peer Group

>> Full Details and Registration


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Safety Corner

Back to School Means Sharing the Road

crossing in front of the bus

Summer vacation has already drawn to a close for many Minnesota kids. Keeping children safe is the top priority, especially for younger children and those heading to school for the first time.

School days bring congestion: Yellow school buses are picking up, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, and hurried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work. It's never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present — especially before and after school.

If You're Dropping off

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. According to the National Safe Routes to School program, more children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location.

school speed limit sign
  • Don't double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles.
  • Don't load or unload children across the street from the school.
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

Most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they're walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.  
crossing guard
  • Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic.
  • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.
  • Don't honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way.

Sharing the Road with School Buses

Allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped with red flashing light and stop arm out to load or unload children. The lights on a school bus are just like traffic lights; yellow is yield and red is stop.

flashing lights on bus
  • Never pass a bus from behind — or from either direction if you're on an undivided road — if it is stopped to load or unload children.
  • If the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see.

kids biking
  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist.
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this.
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods.
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars.
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door.

By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can get where they’re going safely.

Drive cool; let the kids stay in school.

Aaron Wilfahrt
Safety Consultant

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People Companies

CNS's Jean Edhlund Receives MCCA Distinguished Service Award

CNS's Jean Edhlund was recently awarded the MCCA's (Minnesota Cable Communications Association) Distinguished Service Award at their recent Annual Conference. Congratulations, Jean!

Neutral Path Communications Extends Network Reach to
Netrality’s 1102 Grand Data Center in Kansas City

MANKATO, MN (August 25, 2017) – Neutral Path Communications, the Midwest’s premier carrier neutral fiber transport facilities provider, announced it is now offering lit services to Kansas City, MO. The new link runs from Neutral Path’s main line at 1623 Farnam in Omaha, NE, to the highly-coveted Netrality Properties data center at 1102 Grand in Kansas City.

Netrality’s 1102 Grand data center is well positioned in the geographical center of the U.S. and offers connectivity to 42+ network operators. It’s also home to the Kansas City Internet Exchange (KCIX), which is at 29 members and growing. It has been a busy summer for Mankato-based Neutral Path. At the end of July, the company announced that it had extended its network reach from Neutral Path’s mainline at the 511 Building in Minneapolis to 350 Cermak in Chicago.

“We are excited to add KCIX, and other interconnection opportunities available at the Netrality Properties Kansas City data center, to the long list of endpoints our customers can reach,” commented Tony Frentz, Neutral Path’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We are thrilled we can now provide customers in the Kansas City market with the unique transport benefits that Neutral Path delivers.”

With the addition of the Omaha to Kansas City link, Neutral Path climbs to over 40 points of presence along its backbone network, which spans over 2,000 route miles and runs between the key cities of Minneapolis, Omaha, Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago. 

Arvig Named One of Prairie Business Magazine’s 50 Best Places to Work

PERHAM, MINN., AUG. 31, 2017— Arvig is excited to announce it has been named one of Prairie Business magazine’s 50 Best Places to Work in the Northern Plains. Arvig will be featured in the September issue of the magazine.

Earlier this year, employees nominated their companies by submitting an anonymous employee-satisfaction survey, and Prairie Business used the survey results in selecting the 50 Best.

“This recognition is an honor because it comes directly from our employees, who took the time and effort to nominate our company for this award,” said David Arvig, Chief Operating Officer/Vice President at Arvig. “Our employees — in my opinion — are the best around, and this recognition is a reflection of their hard work and commitment to our company and our customers. Thanks to all who made it happen.”

The survey sought input on each employer’s benefits, workplace culture and employee morale, among other factors. And employees responded. Prairie Business received more than 1,000 nominations from employees from around the region, said Tom Dennis, Prairie Business editor.

“The 50 Best companies clearly recognize employee satisfaction as one of the keys to productivity and profitability,” Dennis said. “That comes through in the surveys over and over again. We all know how hard we’ll work to satisfy a good manager. Turns out people feel the same way about the companies they work for — and when an employer goes the extra mile for its workforce, the workers go all out to return the favor.”

Prairie Business is proud to present the results of the contest, which now is in its fourth year. “We congratulate all of the winning companies, and we thank the employees who responded so enthusiastically to our survey,” Dennis said.

The 50 Best winners will be honored in the magazine, which also will be available on the web at

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