MTA News Bytes

January 5, 2018

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

From the President

>> Share Your Story

Action Items

>> MTA 2018 Annual Convention and Trade Show
Online Registration Now Open!

>> Annual Convention and Trade Show Exhibit and Sponsor Opportunities

Peer Group Bulletin

>> 2018 MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities!

>> Upcoming Peer Group Events

Safety Corner

>> Turn Up The Heat — It’s Cold Out

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent J. Christensen
Event Planners:
Ashley Crunstedt
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

February 21-23, 2018: Telco Marketing Peer Group Winter Conference
Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington

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

April 18-19, 2018: Customer Service Peer Group Spring Conference
Whitefish Lodge in Crosslake, MN

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

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MTA Updates


Share Your Story

More times than you would expect, I come across articles about folks that work in our industry. Many I know, some I don’t. Regardless, they all seem to have one thing in common…..customer service. True customer service isn’t just an 8 to 5 job or something you leave at the door when you are done at the end of the day, it is service to your community.  True customer/community service is something you carry through in everything you do (or at least try to). All you have to do is look in the mirror and look around at your co-workers to see what I mean. Whether you are an local elected official, volunteer first responder, coach youth sports, serve on your church council, local library and on and on and on, you are serving your community.

I just saw an article of an Arvig employee returning from a six-month deployment in the Air National Guard. Shaun Carlson is one of the leaders of the IT Peer Group and very active in providing IT content at the Convention and Fall Conference. He is a great example of someone from our industry serving their community and country. Here is his story. 

I would like to showcase examples of our members making the communities they serve better places. If you have a story or article to share, please send it to me at With all the bad things going on in the world, maybe we need to spend a little more time on the good that is happening right here at home.

Brent J. Christensen
MTA President/CEO

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MTA 2018 Annual Convention and Trade Show
Register Online Today!

MTA 2018 Annual Convention

The 2018 MTA Convention is fast approaching and it's time to get registered!

Register Today

March 26–28, 2018
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
1300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN

Attend the Convention and Trade Show

You have choices on what telecom events you attend and the 2018 MTA Convention and Trade Show needs to be at the top of that list! Our breakout sessions and trade show give you access to the latest information in our industry and vendors with the resources you need to do your job, regardless of your role in the telecom industry. You spoke and we listened; this is where you and your staff want to be.

>> Find out more here!

>> Register Now!


Issues Update Luncheon

Be sure to sign up for the Issues Update Luncheon on Tuesday. There's a new sheriff in town at USDA Rural Development. Come hear from State USDA Director Brad Finstad as he shares his vision of the future for his agency.

Finstad’s career has taken him on a whirlwind of rural government, policy, and legislative service spanning more than 20 years. From a brief role as area director with the Minnesota Farm Bureau, to agriculture staff for Congressman Mark Kennedy, to a three-term elected representative for District 21B in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and most recently serving as executive director of the Center for Rural Policy and Development, Finstad has indisputably served the interests of rural communities from the start.

Mike Veeckl

Keynote Presentation: Fun Is Good!
Be inspired, laugh and have FUN with author and St. Paul Saints Co-owner Mike Veeck. Mike will close out the event with humorous and inspirational lessons and stories on how to build a fun, engaged and creative environment, motivating individuals and leaders to re-discover their passion and bring it into their work and personal life.  

Vendor Demos

Don’t miss the Vendor Demos on the Exhibit Floor. Again this year, the convention will feature 30-minute demos from our vendors, center stage on the exhibit floor. Plan to make time to visit these demos to learn what is new in telecommunication products and services. Demos will run from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

>> Sign Me Up as a Sponsor or Exhibitor!

Be sure to register by going to and completing the online form. Don’t miss getting your early bird registration discount by signing up before March 2, 2018.

Don't miss the actionRegister Now!


Reservations can be made by calling 1-888-421-1442 or online at Please indicate whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee.  

The hotel cut-off date is March 2, 2018 or until the block is filled. Please be sure to book your rooms early!

Hotel Room Rates: $162 plus tax for single and double occupancy; $172 plus tax for triple occupancy; $182 plus tax for quadruple occupancy

Convention Sponsorship and Exhibitor Opportunities

>> Register as an Exhibitor or Sponsor

>> Download the 2018 Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus

Join us for our 108th Annual Convention! Be present when telecommunications providers from all across the Upper Midwest and Canada gather for what is recognized by many as the biggest and best state telecom trade show.

This is your opportunity to network with industry leaders and decision-makers, and show them how your business can help them succeed. The MTA Convention provides opportunities for you to showcase your products, highlight your services and develop profitable relationships with new and existing clients. The theme for this year’s convention is “Innovation, Opportunity, Challenge — It’s What We Do.” MTA's Annual Convention and Trade Show is one of the best opportunities around to enhance your marketing and broaden your company’s exposure — and it’s very cost effective.


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

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

2018 MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities Are Available!

Get tons of visibility and have engaging conversations with members, build relationships with small, but highly-focused groups, and support our core cause.

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 2018!

>> Sign Up Online Today! or

>> Download the 2018 Peer Group Investment Opportunities as a PDF.

Upcoming Peer Group Events

2018 Telco Marketing Peer Group Winter Conference

February 21–23, 2018 | Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington

>> Registration

This two-day marketing conference brings together speakers from the telco industry, creative agencies, and more.

Rates: $165 Members/NonMembers | $82.50 Students

Lodging: Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington
3900 American Boulevard West | Bloomington, MN 55437

A room block is being held for $139.00 single/double per night until January 22, 2018 or until the block is exhausted, whichever comes first.

Make reservations online | By Phone: 844-856-8554 using group code “TELE”

2018 Customer Service Peer Group Spring Conference

April 18–19, 2018 | Whitefish Lodge located in Crosslake, MN | Watch for more details!

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Safety Corner

Turn Up The Heat — It’s Cold Out

Description: PictureWhen the weather turns cold, we reach for our household thermostats and turn that temperature up. Most of us give little thought to whether the furnace exhaust system is ready to provide safe and effective service. There are around 10,000 cases of carbon monoxide-related injuries that are reported each year, but annual inspections and maintenance can help prevent these incidents.

What is carbon monoxide?

It is an invisible, odorless poisonous gas which can kill you, but also low-level exposure to this gas can endanger your health. Some effects from low-level exposure can include permanent organ and brain damage. The symptoms of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning are easily mistaken for those of the common cold, flu or exhaustion often delaying proper diagnosis. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

What can you do?

  • Have your heating system checked annually; a well-tuned furnace or boiler will operate efficiently and produce a warm and comfortable home. An overlooked heating system can produce death and heartbreak. The benefits of a well-maintained heating system outweigh the risks of neglect.
  • Install battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home. Be sure to check your CO detectors regularly to ensure they are functioning properly. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to sounding an alarm. Replace your CO detector every five years.

When in doubt have it checked: Lessons from the field.

Bryce Torgerson from Garden Valley Telephone Company helps us all remember the importance of safety in the winter. During one of Bryce’s installations he found himself in the basement of a customer’s home where he experienced a burning sensation in his eyes. In the basement he discovered that that the PVC pipe from the furnace had separated so instead of blowing the exhaust outside it was releasing the furnace exhaust into the home. Speaking with the customers he found that both of them had been experiencing headaches and nausea, both signs of possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Bryce contacted a city maintenance worker to have the carbon monoxide levels checked. This test confirmed carbon monoxide in the home at dangerous levels. The customers were able to get the furnace repaired and the situation was resolved.

If it was not for Bryce’s willingness to take quick additional action to assist these customers, this situation may have ended differently. These individuals could have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Remember it is important to have your heating system inspected regularly and install CO detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer.

Stay safe and warm this winter,
Chris Swanson
Safety Consultant

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