MTA News Bytes

March 30, 2018

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

Action Items

>> Thanks for Attending the 2018 Annual Convention!

>> Register Today for MTA's Day on the Hill

>> MTA Political Action Committee Seeks At Large Board Member

Informational Items

>> Pai Responds to Peterson on More Funding for Rural Carriers

>> Trump Signs Omnibus Bill that Includes $600M for Broadband Loan Program, Map Updates, Reauthorizes FCC

Peer Group Bulletin

>> 2018 MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities!

>> Upcoming Peer Group Events

Safety Corner

>> Minnesota Telecom Alliance 2018 Safety Award Recipients

>> Safety Excellence Coin

MTA Staff

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

April 11-12, 2018: Plant Manager & Superintendent Peer Group Meeting
St. Cloud Holiday Inn & Suites

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

April 24-25, 2018: 2018 Day on the Hill
Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge, St. Paul

April 26-27, 2018: Office Managers & Human Resources Spring Conference
Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes

May 23-24, 2018: Administrative Assistants Peer Group 2018 Spring Conference

July 9, 2018: 2018 MTA Associate Member Golf Day
Crow River Golf Club, Hutchinson

October 10-11, 2018: 2018 MTA Fall Conference  
Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park

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

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MTA Updates


Thank You for Attending the MTA 2018 Annual Convention and Trade Show

The MTA Board of Directors, Brent and staff would like to thank the
sponsors, exhibitors and attendees for a successful Convention and Trade show!

Thanks For Attending!

Convention Details | Check out more photos on Facebook!

Save the date for 2019!

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

2018 MTA Day on the Hill

Join Us at MTA's Day on the Hill

As always, there is no registration fee for MTA members, but we need to know who will attend in order to schedule legislative visits. 

Let us know if you need an MTA metal name badge before April 4 so we can order it for you.

Register Here!

For more information, contact Anne Christensen at 651-288-3724 or

Day on the Hill Agenda

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

2:00 p.m. – Legislative Issues Briefing
4:30 p.m. – MTA PAC Annual Meeting
5:00 p.m. – Reception

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. – Legislative Visits

MTA Political Action Committee Seeks At Large Board Member

At their meeting during the MTA Convention & Trade Show, the Board accepted the resignation of Kevin Larson.  Kevin has served as an At Large Board member for longer than anyone could remember, even Kevin.  The Board all thanked Kevin for his years of service to the PAC.  Since Kevin was elected by the members, the Board has decided to seek applicants for his replacement.  If you have contributed to the MTA PAC you are automatically a member.  Members will vote in person at the PAC annual meeting, which will be held after the issues briefing session at MTA’s Day on the Hill on April 24th.  The meeting will be held at the Best Western Capitol Ridge (old Kelly Inn) in St. Paul.  If you are interested in running for this seat, please contact MTA PAC Secretary Brent Christensen at or 651-288-3723.

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Pai Responds to Peterson on More Funding for Rural Carriers

From NECA’s Washington Watch

Chairman Pai sent at letter to Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.) on March 14, 2018, in response to his letter of support for providing more than $500 million in funding to the High Cost USF fund. Pai said the USF Order will provide over $500 million in additional funding to cooperative and small rural carriers, including those participating in the A-CAM plan, and will seek public input on both further increasing support to current A-CAM recipients and on giving legacy RoR carriers a new chance to elect model-based support.

Trump Signs Omnibus Bill that Includes $600M for Broadband Loan Program, Map Updates, Reauthorizes FCC

From NECA’s Washington Watch

President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 on March 23, 2018, which is a $1.3 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through September 2018. The bill includes: $600 million for the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a new broadband loan and grant pilot program (pg. 126); $7.5 million for NTIA to update the national broadband availability map, in coordination with the FCC (pg. 137); streamlines broadband facility applications on federal lands (pg. 1902); and reauthorizes the FCC (pg. 1845), among other things. Chairman Pai issued a statement.

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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 Plant Manager & Superintendent Peer Group Meeting

April 11-12, 2018 | St. Cloud Holiday Inn & Suites, St. Cloud, MN

>> Full Details and Registration

Rate: $150 members or nonmembers

MTA Spring 2018 Customer Service Peer Group Conference

April 18-19, 2018 | Whitefish Lodge located in Crosslake, MN

>> Full Details and Registration | Download the Flyer

MTA is excited for the upcoming Customer Service Peer Group Conference. This event will be held April 18-19 at Whitefish Lodge in Crosslake, MN. This event is for any and all individuals who deal with customers in the telecommunications industry. This is a great opportunity to attend (or send your staff) for very little cost. 

Rates: $150 Members/NonMembers

2018 Office Managers & Human Resources Spring Conference

April 26-27, 2018 | Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, Baxter

>> Full Details and Registration

Rates: $195 Members/NonMembers

Administrative Assistants Peer Group 2018 Spring Conference

May 23-24, 2018 | More details to come!

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Safety Corner

Minnesota Telecom Alliance 2018 Safety Award Recipients

The Minnesota Telecom Alliance Safety program awarded four different Safety Awards at this year’s MTA Annual Convention.

Company Safety Awards

We awarded three “Company Safety Awards” to companies that demonstrated dedication, commitment, consistency, direction and involvement, not only to their employees, but to the MTA Safety Program, the Industry and their Communities.

This year’s Large Company Award was presented to:
         NU Telecom, New Ulm, MN and was received by Calvin Lee
The Medium Company Award was presented to:
         Federated Telephone Cooperative, Chokio, MN and was received by Kevin Beyer
The Small Company Award was presented to:
         Alpine Communications, Elkader, IA, and will be presented at their Board Meeting

2018 Safety Leadership Award

Brent Christensen was awarded the “2018 Safety Leadership Award.” We understand that safety is a team effort and requires help from everyone in the organization. However, we recognized Brent for his leadership, effort and commitment in supporting the MTA Safety Program for the Industry and staff along with his contributions to the MTA Safety Committee and many years of service.

Congratulations to everyone for their effort and service! We are very proud to have presented this year’s Safety Awards.

Safety Excellence Coin  

The goal of the Safety Excellence Coin is to recognize individuals who are making significant contributions to safety compliance. This award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond his/her scope of work or responsibility to demonstrate his/her commitment to the organization's safety culture. This individual promotes a safety culture and uses techniques that strive to prevent accidents that may cause serious injuries or fatalities. Individuals will have maintained high standards of occupational safety.

Bryce Torgerson of Garden Valley Technologies, Erskine, MN

Bryce was awarded a Safety Excellence Coin for providing quick action in a potentially hazardous environment. While at a customer's home doing an installation in the basement, Bryce noticed his eyes were burning and saw the PVC exhaust pipe from furnace had separated, so instead of blowing the exhaust outside it was releasing the furnace exhaust into the home. Bryce checked with the customers who reported feeling headaches and nausea and then contacted a city maintenance worker to get the carbon monoxide levels checked, levels found to be hazardous. The furnace was repaired and everyone was fine. Customers contacted Garden Valley several times to express their appreciation of Bryce's efforts and taking the necessary action that prevented loss of life.

Ryan Larson of Santel Communications, Woonsocket, SD

Ryan was awarded a Safety Excellence Coin in January 2018, when he was working with a fellow employee and that employee fell down a customer basement stairwell and a 36" drill bit which he was carrying in his tool pouch, entered into his back 4.5 inches and 1/4 inch from the spinal cord. Ryan, staying calm and collected during the incident, utilized his training by providing basic first aid until advanced care arrived. Ryan's poise and knowledge of what to do in a first aid situation reflected greatly upon himself and his company.

Again, we wish to thank all of our member companies for their effort and commitment to providing a safe and healthful environment for their employees and their communities.

Take Care,
Dan Berg, M.S.
Senior Safety Consultant

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