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It’s officially Spring! This time of year is inspiring to me for many reasons. It inspires change, progress, renewal, and rededication. The past two years have been full of challenges; COVID-19 and all its hardships, travel restrictions, economic restrictions, and hurdles; “The Great Resignation;” civil unrest, and the most devastating to me, emotional and mental health struggles all over the world. I know I’m preaching to the choir; utilities are prepared and resilient public servants that deal with challenges every day.  If we stop and think about what that means, we should shout THANK YOU!!! We’ve all heard the phrase “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, to many the last two years have felt like one big “April shower.” The many hardships that we’ve all had...

When I think about March, I think about Spring and the rebirth and renewal all over the world. The weather is getting warmer, COVID-19 cases are declining and restrictions are loosening, the recipe for opportunity is written. In my March 2021 blog post, “Rebirth,” I was filled with optimism. I was optimistic that the pandemic would soon come to an end, optimistic about UTC’s future, and optimistic about the world. Sadly, my thoughts are different this year. While I am still holding on to optimism, I can’t help but feel saddened when I listen to the news about the people in Ukraine Over the past few weeks, we have all witnessed the invasion of Ukraine unfold. Thousands of civilians and soldiers have lost their lives due to...

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the “Big Freeze” in Texas. Over a 5-day period, over 4 million Texans lost power in one of the coldest winter storms to hit the Lone Star State in decades. Hundreds lost their lives as a result of this storm; millions were left without water & electricity and the overall economic loss totaled in the billions of dollars. I extend my sympathy, heartfelt thoughts, and prayers to those that lost their lives a year ago during this tragic event and all the loved ones who are still grieving. This storm took everybody by surprise and most of us at UTC knew somebody in Texas who would be weathering this storm. Our Immediate Past Chair, Greg Angst, is from Houston and...

Last year is in the rearview mirror and we are buckling up for a new ride. As we drive ahead to 2022, it is still important to check that rearview one last time. 2021 taught us lessons that we need to carry forward. A lot of the goals and promises that we made in 2021 need to see action. As I reflect on all that UTC accomplished over the last year, I am also thinking about how to improve as an association and as an industry. Last Fall UTC hosted two virtual events on topics that are particularly important to me because they address the workforce crisis that our critical energy industry faces. The first event was a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) webinar that featured...

As I reflected on a blog post, I revisited my November 2020 post which was titled, “#Thankful.” I talked about the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest, economic hardship, physical & mental health, and many more unfortunate circumstances that we are still battling a year later. However, the light at the end of that dark tunnel was, and always has been, the anticipation that comes with every holiday season. The anticipation of being surrounded by loved ones and being thankful that you made it through another year together. Although it may seem like 2021 has not been much better than 2020, there is still so much that we need to be thankful for. There is always a “Praise Report.” Like every year, there are hurdles and obstacles that...

Resilience- Part 1 of 2 In 2020, the UTC motto was “pivot.” I never imagined the amount of pivoting we really had to do. All the pivoting we endured, made us all stronger and ultimately, resilient. 2020 was a roller coaster ride and just when we thought the ride was over, 2021 took us for a loop. COVID-19 is not letting up any time soon and I am so thankful that our members aren’t either. You have shown us that UTC is vital to the work that you do, and you are willing to stand behind the association through thick and thin. The 2021 Telecom & Technology conference is already a month behind us, and I am still feeling the adrenaline rush and positive atmosphere that Portland, Oregon...

As I write this, I am getting ready for UTC’s first step into in-person meetings since Spring 2020. This will be the first time as President and CEO that I will be meeting many of you and I couldn’t be more excited. Still, I assume a number of us are a bit tentative about travel right now, and although I’m excited, I can certainly understand and empathize with those of you who may not be ready to take this step yet. This is why our Meetings Department wanted to hold a virtual component to this meeting as well, so many of our members who hoped to join us in Reno but can not due to ongoing travel restrictions, or safety and/or budget concerns still participate. It's not...

Spring is here! UTC is once again in meetings mode—and I couldn’t be more excited.That’s right, we’ve just recently opened registration for the first in-person annual Telecom & Technology Conference since June 2019. This year’s T&T is scheduled for Aug. 23-27, 2021, in Portland, Oregon. Our agenda is still coming together, but you can get the latest info and updates from our website at www.utctelecom.org.Having just attended the Utilities Technology Forum (UTF) event last month in Reno, Nevada, I can tell you there’s an energy that I haven’t felt since COVID first hit last March year. Personally, I was apprehensive about traveling and I know a number of our attendees and staff were as well. But when we all got together and started connecting again,...

With the coronavirus pandemic still raging, so many families across the globe missing loved ones, civil unrest throughout our nation, families experiencing economic hardships, and so many other physical, mental, and emotional attacks there is no doubt that this year has been one of the most challenging in recent memory. As we reflect on the many unfortunate circumstances we faced in 2020, it makes this Thanksgiving season extremely special to me because I am an optimist.  My Great Grandmother, Nancy Wilson, was born in 1902 in Alabama and she shared many stories with me about facing difficult situations, but she always ended with what she called the “praise report.”  The praise report was simply her way to remind me that despite the challenges that she...

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