Meet the Minnesota Telecom Alliance Staff

Brent Christensen

Brent Christensen
President/CEO
651-288-3723

Brent J. Christensen is the President/CEO of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance. He is responsible for administration and operation of a state trade association that represents over 40 independent telecommunications companies, over 20 affiliate telecommunications companies, and over 250 associate members. Christensen advocates on behalf of MTA members at the state and federal levels. He has testified before numerous state legislative committees, before Congress and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Prior to this position, Christensen served 6 years on the MTA Board of Directors, including 2 years on the Executive Committee. He also served as Chair of the Legislative committee and as a member of several other MTA policy committees.

Prior to his position with the MTA Christensen was the Vice President/General Manager of Christensen Communications Company, a family owned ILEC located in Madelia, MN. Christensen began his employment with Christensen Communications in 1979, as a summer intern. He returned in 1996 as a telephone technician. Prior to returning to the company, Christensen lived in Austin, Texas and was employed by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Personally, he is married to wife Anne. Together they have four children and five grandchildren.


Anne Christensen

Anne Christensen
Executive Assistant
651-288-3724

Anne joined the MTA in 2014. She provides a wide variety of administrative and business services to MTA President and MTA Staff. She is married to Brent and has four children and five grandchildren. 


Jason Acord

Jason Acord
Operations Manager
651-366-6088

Jason joined the MTA staff in 2017. He manages administrative tasks, facilitates board meetings, and assists with association happenings. Jason is married with three children, and is an avid runner.


Amanda Beneke

Amanda Beneke
Event Manager
651-290-6286

Amanda brings more than eight years of event planning experience to the Minnesota Telecom Alliance. She is the lead planner for MTA’s Annual Convention, and also helps plan Day on the Hill and the MTA Fall Conference.


Brianna Baker

Briana Baker — Convention Exhibitors & Golf
Event Manager
P: (651) 290-6287

Briana has 6 years of experience in the event industry and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Events from UW-Stout. She has travelled to over 50 cities and 15 countries operating corporate meetings, conferences, and incentive programs. She is passionate about creating a positive experience for all event attendees and staying organized and forward thinking to ensure a successful event. Briana assists in planning MTA's Annual Convention and the MTA Golf Day.


Jeanne DeMartino

Jeanne DeMartino
Member Services

651-290-7460

Jeanne joined the Ewald team in 2005. She oversees management of MTA’s database and supervises answering of phone calls.


Dominika Kuzlak-Swanson

Dominika Kuzlak-Swanson
Membership
651-366-6086

Dominika oversees membership and member renewals.


Amanda Ewald

Amanda Ewald
Finance & Accounting

651-290-7476

Amanda Ewald began working at Ewald Consulting (stuffing envelopes) at the age of 10. She graduated from St. Olaf College in 2007 with a BA in Economics. Amanda is responsible for preparing monthly financial statements and coordinating MTA’s other financial activities.


Tommy DeMartino

Tommy DeMartino
Client Accounting Specialist
651-290-6268

Tommy DeMartino began working at Ewald Consulting in summer 2008 as an intern in the finance department. He has since graduated from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota with a BSB in Finance, and soon after joined Ewald full-time in the Finance Department.


Kari Pumper

Kari Pumper
Client Accounting Specialist

P: (630) 369-3772

Kari joined Ewald Consulting in 2012 as a flex staff, and she’s worked onsite with MTA at the Convention mulitple times. She also worked behind the scenes updating Continuing Education credits. Prior to joining Ewald, she worked in Accounts Payable at Canterbury Park for 4 years. She has a B.S. from the University of St Catherine’s with double majors in Accounting and Financial Economics.


Anna Wrisky

Anna Wrisky
Website and Communications

651-290-6298

Anna joined Ewald Consulting in 2008. She has a B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota Duluth in Graphic Design, with minors in Arts in Media and Photography. Anna is responsible for MTA's website, newsletters, emails, event materials and communications.


Joe Flannigan

Joe Flannigan
Professional Development, Webinars & Videography

651-290-7497

Joe joined Ewald Consulting in 2005. He has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in Strategic Communication as well as Studies in Cinema and Media Culture. He has worked with design for nearly 20 years, and provides his photography and videography skills to Ewald Consulting. Joe also helps produce recorded webinars for the company and clients.


Rachel Dicks

Rachel Dicks
Professional Development

651-290-6297

Rachel joined Ewald Consulting in 2015. She brings five years of experience in event management, professional development, and government relations. She previously worked as the Events and Education Manager for NAIFA Minnesota, an association that Ewald now manages.


MTA Safety Program

Dan Berg

Dan Berg
Senior Safety Consultant

O: 651-288-3725
C: 612-219-4503

Dan Berg is the Senior Safety Consultant for the Minnesota Telecom Alliance’s Safety Program. He is responsible for the implementation of the program that provides complete loss control services; including safety training, development of safety policies and practices, consultation and assistance in the management of safety and health issues, and a wide range of other safety related services for over 40 independent telecommunications carriers and contractors in Minnesota and Iowa.

Mr. Berg has a Masters of Science degree in Safety Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He began his career as the first Safety Director for the MTA in 1983. Prior to returning to the MTA in 2007 he served in a supervisory position with a Minnesota based telecommunications company. Personally, he is married to wife Nancy. Together they have two children.


Jeff Ulmen

Jeff Ulmen
Senior Safety Consultant
O: 651-288-3726
C: 612-219-4500

Jeff Ulmen is one of five Safety Consultants currently working for the Minnesota Telecom Alliance. He is responsible for the implementation of the program that provides complete loss control services; including safety training, development of safety policies and practices, consultation and assistance in the management of safety and health issues, along with a wide range of other safety related services for 40 plus independent telecommunication carriers in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Jeff has a Masters of Management degree from the University of Phoenix. Prior to joining MTA Jeff served over 25 years in the military and as a military contractor where he gained a variety of safety certifications, developed and conducted training, and gained practical safety experience. Personally, Jeff and his wife Tammy live in Madelia, Minnesota and have two sons in college.


Chris Swanson

Chris Swanson
Safety Consultant
C: 612-219-4504

Chris Swanson is one of five Safety Consultants currently working for the Minnesota Telecom Alliance. She is responsible for the implementation of the program that provides complete loss control services; including safety training, development of safety policies and practices, consultation and assistance in the management of safety and health issues, along with a wide range of other safety related services for 40 plus independent telecommunication carriers in Minnesota, Iowa South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Chris has her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Concordia-St. Paul. Prior to joining MTA Chris has held several positions where she delivered training in formal and informal settings. She has a passion for education. Her past positions have included Director of Member Services and Director of Membership for Ewald Consulting. Chris has also held several positons at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota which included supervisor for administrative staff, lead trainer and technical support for an electronic patient tracking system in the Emergency Department and lead trainer for a computerized staffing and scheduling system.


Brent Trickel

Brent Trickel
Safety Consultant
C: 651-290-6265

Brent Trickel is one of five Safety Consultants currently working for the Minnesota Telecom Alliance. He is responsible for the implementation of the program that provides complete loss control services; including safety training, development of safety policies and practices, consultation and assistance in the management of safety and health issues, along with a wide range of other safety related services for 40 plus independent telecommunication carriers in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Prior to joining MTA Brent served over 20 years in the military and currently President of the St. James Ambulance Board where he leads and oversees the department’s training program to ensure the department adheres to Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board and National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, OSHA annual safety requirements providing briefings in: Hazardous Material Awareness, Right to Know, Confined Space, CPR/AED, Blood Borne Pathogens, and Lock Out/Tag Out.  Personally, Brent and his wife Abby live in St. James, Minnesota and have a daughter and a son.


Aaron Wilfahrt

Aaron Wilfahrt
Safety Consultant

Aaron Wilfahrt is one of five Safety Consultants currently working for the Minnesota Telecom Alliance. He is responsible for the implementation of the program that provides complete loss control services; including safety training, development of safety policies and practices, consultation and assistance in the management of safety and health issues, along with a wide range of other safety related services for 40 plus independent telecommunication carriers in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Aaron has completed the Occupational Safety and Health Professional certificate program through OSHAcademy. Prior to joining MTA Aaron served over 20 years in the military and currently Assistant Fire Chief for New Ulm Fire Department where he gained a variety of safety certifications, understanding of OSHA regulations, developed and conducted training, and gained safety experience. Personally, Aaron and his wife Jill live in New Ulm, Minnesota and have one son and two daughters.

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