October 18, 2013

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

>> MTA 2014 Convention Call for Presentations!

>> Five Join Blandin Foundation Broadband Strategy Board

>> OSHA’s Top Ten Violations for 2013

People and Companies

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Jaskowiak
Event Planners:
Julie Cygan
Carissa Wolf
Member Services:
Chris Swanson
Janey Duntley

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 4-5, 2013: 2013 Plant User Group Meeting

March 24-26, 2014: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show

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MTA Updates


MTA 2014 Convention Call for Presentations!

We are now planning for the Annual Convention and Trade Show, March 24-26, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our convention offers you an opportunity to talk with the (estimated 1,500) MTA attendees face-to-face.

Deadline for submission: November 15, 2013

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 2014 MTA Convention will have 20-23 breakout sessions of 50 minutes each and an Issues Update Luncheon. Sessions will be presented on Monday, March 24 and Tuesday, March 25, 2014. No sales pitches please.

Fill out the CFP online HERE.


Five Join Blandin Foundation Broadband Strategy Board

by Ann Treacy, Blandin Foundation

I wanted to share the following good news from the Blandin Foundation. I was just at a meeting with Strategy Board last week. They are a super sharp group. It's an honor to sit at the table with them!

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Five leaders in Minnesota’s technology sector have accepted invitations to the Blandin Foundation Broadband Initiative Strategy Board.

An experienced technology leader, Carolyn Parnell has been appointed by Governor Dayton to serve as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the State of Minnesota. Among her leadership roles as State CIO, she is the commissioner of MN.IT Services, the state agency that provides effective information technology to Minnesota’s government. Prior to joining the Governor’s Cabinet, Parnell was the Chief Operating Officer for Information Technology Services for the Minnesota System of Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), the fifth-largest system of two-and-four year colleges and universities in the nation. Parnell brings a wealth of IT management experience to the state, having also held leadership positions at MN Public Radio/America Public Media, Fidelity National Information Systems and the University of Minnesota.

Carrie Rice currently serves as regulatory affairs manager for Mankato-based HickoryTech, which owns Enventis and uniquely provides middle mile, LEC and CLEC services in rural Minnesota and the Twin Cities. She currently serves as Regulatory Affairs Manager for HickoryTech, a publicly-held, fiber-based, regional telecommunications provider headquartered in Mankato. Rice has been in the telecommunications industry for more than 20 years and chairs the Minnesota Telecom Alliance's legislative committee.

Matt Schmit of Red Wing serves as state Senator for Minnesota District 21. Elected in 2012, Sen. Schmit chairs the Fish and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Energy and Environment Committee; serves as vice chair of the Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development committee; and sits on the Capital Investment and Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Finance committees. Outside elected office, Matt runs a small public policy consulting firm, P3 Strategies, focusing primarily on economic development, telecommunications and transportation policy. Integration of 21st century infrastructure is a primary focus of his work – and his research.

Katie Clark Sieben was appointed DEED Commissioner in October 2012. Prior to that, she served as executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO), responsible for managing the overall strategic direction of the MTO which includes promoting the State of Minnesota and its companies in the global marketplace, introducing Minnesota companies to foreign buyers and investors, building diplomatic relationships with international delegations and managing a staff of international trade representatives. Katie has managed large-scale, multi-million dollar operations; built strategic partnerships at the highest levels of business and philanthropy; and created and implemented nationwide marketing campaigns. In addition to working for Target Corporation, Katie served as the director of community relations for a startup wind energy developer, National Wind, and as finance director for Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota.

She fills the strategy board seat vacated by former DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips.

Madonna Yawakie is president of Turtle Island Communications (TICOM) in Brooklyn Park, Minn. TICOM provides telecommunications and broadband planning, engineering and project consulting, primarily to American Indian tribes and federal agencies across the United States. TICOM provided services to the first tribal-owned commercial wireless company in the nation, and has designed and implemented numerous tribal-owned wireline and wireless systems. Madonna is co-chair of the Minnesota Indian Business Alliance, an organization that supports sustainable American Indian businesses. She is past chair of Minnesota Rural Partners, a public-private partnership that included state and federal agencies with nonprofits for better coordination of rural development. Her company was named the 2008 Minnesota Indian Business conference "Indian Entreprenur of the Year.” Madonna is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

About the Strategy Board and its work

The Broadband Strategy Board was formed in 2003. With 17 members representing public and private sectors, it charts the strategic direction and oversees progress of the Blandin Foundation’s Broadband Initiative.

"We are delighted that Carolyn, Carrie, Matt, Katie and Madonna have agreed to share their talents, expertise and perspectives with the Strategy Board,” says Bernadine Joselyn, director of Public Policy and Engagement for the Blandin Foundation. "They will be strong additions to the Board, given their focus on the growth and enhancement of Minnesota’s economy – an arena in which high-speed internet plays a key role in creating connected, economically vibrant rural communities.”

Joselyn emphasizes that communities without broadband accessibility are economically sidelined. Those rural communities that invest in ultra-high-speed communication networks, however, have the tools they need to attract and expand businesses, add jobs, strengthen health care capabilities, improve educational efficacy and increase the overall quality of life.

The Blandin Broadband Initiative vision, Joselyn says, is "to ensure a high quality of life and a globally competitive future for its citizens, business and communities, Minnesota is committed to making the necessary investment to become a world leader in the universal deployment and use of ultra-high-speed next generation broadband.”

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

Would you like to be added to a Peer Group listserv?
Email Jacquie at jacquiej@mnta.org to be added – please specify which listserv(s) you would like to join:

Customer Service (CSR)
Office Managers (OM)
Human Resource (HR)
Plant Superintendents (PM)
Telco Marketing (TMG)

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Safety Corner

OSHA’s Top Ten Violations for 2013

Once again, fall protection topped the list of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) most-cited workplace safety violations. The presentation of the Top 10 was held at the 2013 National Safety Council Congress & Expo.

The preliminary figures for the FY 2013 Top 10 are:

  1. Standard 1926.501 – Fall Protection
  2. Standard 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
  3. Standard 1926.451 – Scaffolding
  4. Standard 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
  5. Standard 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
  6. Standard 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
  7. Standard 1926.1053 – Ladders
  8. Standard1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
  9. Standard 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements
  10. Standard 1910.212 – Machine Guarding

Fall Protection

Why is fall protection important? Falls, as noted above, are among the most common OSHA violations and cause of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Employers must set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls.

What can be done to reduce falls? Employers must set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces and six feet in the construction industry. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance. To prevent employees from being injured from falls, employers must:

  • Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).
  • Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open-sided platform, floor or runway.
  • Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment, employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
  • Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety and harness and line, stair railings and hand rails.

OSHA requires employers to:

  • Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
  • Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.
  • Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
  • Train workers about job hazards.

If you have any questions about fall protection, please do not hesitate to contact the Minnesota Telecom Alliance Safety Program at dberg@mnta.org.

Take care,
Dan Berg, M.S.
Lead Safety Consultant

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People Companies

Do you have an announcement for People & Companies? Send an e-mail to MTA at info@mnta.org or fax to 651-290-2266.

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© Copyright 2013
Minnesota Telecom Alliance
1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252 | St. Paul, MN 55114-8679
www.mnta.org | Tel: 651-291-7311 | Fax: 651-290-2266 | Email: info@mnta.org