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Category: Management & Leadership

It’s Iowa State Fair Season…and Rural America is in the Spotlight

It’s Iowa State Fair Season…and Rural America is in the Spotlight

Having grown up in the Midwest, I know very well that many of the states in that region are a mix of urban, suburbs, college towns, rural communities, state parks and farm land.  The first time I really had a sense of anything different was when I was dating my now husband, Don, and driving up to visit his home in New Jersey.  As he announced the towns and cities we were passing through, I was taken aback by the…

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NTCA Rural Broadband Women Hit The Policy Trail

NTCA Rural Broadband Women Hit The Policy Trail

It was so fun hosting our (now) third annual Women in Telecommunications fly-in to Washington DC this past week with 28 women from NTCA member providers coming to Washington DC to talk policy with women policymakers in our nation’s capital.  I was impressed at how many of our female executives were game to come out to DC during the hottest and most humid month of the year but I do think that “big hair” aside, everyone found the trip to…

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A New Generation of American Heroes Under Title IX

A New Generation of American Heroes Under Title IX

Title IX, of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 was a revolutionary federal law that declared that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” As a school girl in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin at that time, I was an early beneficiary from this law and always had the opportunity to…

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The Partnership Drumbeat Continues

The Partnership Drumbeat Continues

I’m sitting in New York City’s frantic and lively Penn Station two days before the city’s landmark Independence Day celebration watching travelers looking to make a “great escape” after spending the day with CFC at their annual Forum up here in the Big Apple. I am forever grateful to CFC/RTFC CEO Sheldon Petersen and his continued efforts to find collaboration and lines of commonality between his telco and electric utility borrowers and giving me a slot on this year’s Forum…

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The Customer is King…and Other Growth IQ Words of Wisdom

The Customer is King…and Other Growth IQ Words of Wisdom

At NTCA’s recent Telecom Executive Forum, we had Tiffani Bova, the growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce, come share some thoughts and wisdom from her book, Growth IQ.  In the association world, we hear a lot of speakers – at our conference as well as at other industry meetings we attend.  I’m usually good for about 15 minutes before I start to fidget but with Tiffani – I was 100 percent engaged and committed during her entire presentation and found…

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CTC Shares Partnership Philosophy

CTC Shares Partnership Philosophy

NRECA  – the national association for rural electric cooperatives –  recently invited Kristi Westbrock, CEO and general manager of Consolidated Telephone Co. (CTC) in Brainerd, MN, to tell her story of innovation and creative thinking.  CTC has been engaged in broadband partnerships with Minnesota electric cooperatives for a decade and it has been a good experience for CTC, their employees and the people the serve.  If you ask Kristi, she would love to do it again and again. Kristi noted…

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Broadband Executives Gather

Broadband Executives Gather

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…

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Let’s Hear a Cheer for International Women’s Day!

Let’s Hear a Cheer for International Women’s Day!

As I turned on the news this morning and watched the wonderful array of women who were profiled for breaking barriers as part of the media’s International Women’s Day celebration, I’ll admit it, I got a little teary hearing the stories of amazing women and what they do to follow their passion and their dreams.  Especially as the mother of two amazing young professional women myself, I am reminded daily of the barriers and challenges that still exist for women–…

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I Like Puppies, Chocolate…and Partnerships!

I Like Puppies, Chocolate…and Partnerships!

The dictionary defines partnership as “an association of two or more people as partners”.  The legal notation is that a partnership is an arrangement where parties, know as partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.  The partners in a partnership may be individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments etc.”  What makes it special in my book?  When it’s an NTCA community broadband provider partnering with another NTCA member, community entity or even another local utility to find ways…

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Small Business Administration Delves into Regulatory Obstacles

Small Business Administration Delves into Regulatory Obstacles

On a plane, trying out a new airline wifi system (competition on the ground AND in the air seems to be the order of the day).  As I was flipping through my emails, my eye was caught by a notice from the Small Business Administration (SBA) that they are looking to hear from individual small businesses on the regulatory barriers that are impacting their business. In the broadband space, the FCC took a credible crack at this with their BDAC…

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