I have always appreciated the friendship and partnership that NISC has with NTCA—from their work with our members, to their wonderful support for our programs, especially Smart Rural Community and the Foundation for Rural Service—so it was an easy call to say yes to bopping out to their user group meeting in St. Louis earlier this week.
They mentioned that over 2,600 folks would be there, but I have to admit, I didn’t think that nearly that many would show up for the 8:30 a.m. start and CERTAINLY not after the Cardinals game the night before. Yet, there they all were in the auditorium and fully engaged with me as I shared how rural communities need their utilities to find the best ways of working together and how the challenges ahead are too great for our rural communities to look for ways to compete instead of collaborating. It was great fun and I appreciated the opportunity…and when someone sent along this picture, I was hard pressed to find myself as the little speck on the stage!
A few great takeaways from the meeting:
1) There is always room for more collaboration.
2) Sometimes you just need to start the conversation and I was delighted to have had a few with some electric folks as I was heading home.
3) Who doesn’t want to do a backstage selfie with NISC CEO Vern Dosch?