Here at NTCA, we host a number of key industry meetings a year – and all of them have a huge value (I hope!) for our membership and the various sectors of their staff, governing bodies and leadership. However, the meeting that is near and dear to my heart is our Telecom Executive Conference which is where I am at this week. This meeting is always well attended but this year we actually had to cut off attendance to our meeting…could it be that we outgrew our rooms here in Clearwater due to the 70 degree weather swing from most of the country? Could it be the PreRetirement Planning Seminar that our terrific benefits team hosted at the end of the conference for executives to ponder the value of the benefits we offer and what it means for their future plan and quality of life? Or maybe it was the terrific agenda that covered issues key to rural broadband executives – getting smarter about your growth IQ (highly recommend Tiffani Bova’s book), growth by acquisitions in the IT arena, CAFII – lessons learned, state broadband plans, what 5G really means for rural, recruiting strategies and economic development – and then my favorite time when the executives simply shared with one another their challenges and opportunities. A lot of work accomplished in and out of the conference room.
As soon as the meeting concluded, we moved right into our PRPS. Given that NTCA administers both a defined benefit and defined contribution plans, we take the ability of our members and their staffs to retire well very seriously. Our rock star team of Member Relations Managers and our Asheville experts did a wonderful job walking through how to plan, maximize social security, how to manage withdrawal strategies, the value of deferred compensation for executives, and other key topics.
The crowd in the room is really focused and I love that a number of our participants brought their spouses so that couples could make some joint decisions as they pondered their next steps. I still believe that executives in this industry are simply having too much fun to retire but it’s never too soon to plan!