In like a lion…out like a small lion?

April 3, 5:04 pm

 

I’m writing this blog on March 30, in overcast, chilly D.C., as I prepare to head to Salvador, Brazil on April 1, to participate in the UTC America Latina (UTCAL) annual summit. I’m hoping that, when I return on April 8, the lamb will have made its appearance because I’ll be used to sunshine and warmth after a week in Brazil! As for the “lion” that can be said to symbolize the extremely active legislative and regulatory environment at the federal level, I think that lion will be roaring for a while…

In my next blog, I’ll review the UTCAL summit, but for this one, I wanted to touch on my time at the Region 6 conference held in IMG_1478mid-March. Region 6 includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma and I would characterize the meeting as evincing a family feel – the utility participants and vendor partners in some cases have long-standing relationships and are clearly comfortable with and trust each other. The regional officers also did a good job in balancing utility case study presentations with vendor perspectives in the conference program. There was also a good balance between higher level, strategic, presentations and technical discussions.

 

 

What I found unique to Region 6 is that, for both evenings of the conference, the group hosted all conference attendees at an off-site dinner. Given that we were in Kansas CityB4C91E66, amazing barbeque was had on one of the evenings (the burnt ends were delicious!) and family style Italian on the other. This more casual time together fostered interesting conversations and helped spur essential relationships with other utility staff as well as with vendors. The bottom line is that breaking bread together could just help foster a family feel, which in turn perhaps opens up opportunities for collaboration and trust.

 

I will also mention that Region 6 decided to use some of the excess funds raised from its conference to go to the UTC Foundation. This is wonderful news and an idea that I hope other regions will consider. As I have discussed in previous blogs, the UTCF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was formed in 2016 to encourage students to pursue careers in the utility telecom and technology fields. At our upcoming UTC Telecom & Technology Conference in Charlotte, we will have a UTCF reception, a booth on the expo floor and will announce our first donation. Thank you to Region 6 for supporting the Foundation!

Until we meet again (hopefully either in Charlotte or at the Region 5 conference in Bismarck, North Dakota)…