What a difference a couple of weeks makes! In my last blog, I was admittedly a bit melancholy, and for good reason. But I can’t really sustain that kind of mood. My parents didn’t like us kids wallowing and I really don’t like it either. So here we are, and I feel…excited! ...

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been a bit out of sorts (as the Brits would say), but haven’t really been able to pinpoint why.  We’re in our new offices, the weather is gorgeous, we’re prepped and excited for our upcoming annual conference in Fort Worth (June 17th-21st), and we’re making headway on some of our priority advocacy issues. Before sitting down to write this blog, I forced myself to undertake a bit of introspection.  In so doing, I realized I feel unsettled because there are several things pending and I feel a bit “on the brink” of some actions or decisions.  For me, this is an uncomfortable place to be.  For example, my older dog, Lily, whom I have written about in this blog...

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that UTC’s D.C. staff has been in a holding pattern since mid-January in terms of our office space. For those not familiar with the situation, to sum up: UTC had office space in D.C. that we wanted to vacate (too expensive, not convenient for us, not the right configuration, etc.), but our lease isn’t up until 2021 We found a few good options for new space in an area called Crystal City, which is a neighborhood in Arlington County just across the bridge from Capitol Hill and adjacent to Reagan National Airport The best deal/right fit for us was at a newly refurbished building where we would be able to build out our own office ...

I have been at UTC almost three years – my official start-date was April 26, 2016, but I realized it was approaching when I started to get comments on LinkedIn about my work anniversary.  Not sure how it works on LinkedIn – maybe it’s your anniversary month?  Regardless, it has been incredibly gratifying and fun to read the comments as I realized this milestone was approaching. ...

It’s official; I am now a wearer of eyeglasses. En route from UTC’s Region 6 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma) to the UTC America Latina event in Rio de Janeiro, I popped into Duty Free and bought some “readers” so I could actually read on the plane. ...

As I sit in DFW airport and my flight keeps getting delayed by half hour increments, I am experiencing what many travelers do when faced with this rope-a-dope — initial mild annoyance that has turned into frustration and, then, finally, grudging acceptance that I have no control over the situation and might as well roll with the punches....

Having written this blog for more than two years, I realize that I might be covering the same topics more than once. I’m also learning what really gets attention in the “blogosphere” – pictures of dogs, particularly those of real cute ones like my dog Taylor. Therefore, for this blog, I will attempt to combine the two by focusing on the need for, and importance of, partnerships....

My name is Joy and I have never worked from home.  There, I said it.  Well, while I have worked from home on a random basis when snowed in or awaiting the delivery person or when one of my kids is sick, I’ve never really done it for real.  Until now, that is…...

Without taking a position on the reasoning behind the partial government shutdown, it is an unusual time in Washington (and I have been here 26 years so have experienced many unusual and some horrific events – several government shutdowns...

In looking through my past blogs, I noticed I have not yet written about the perennial issue of New Year’s resolutions. Alas…sometimes I think New Year’s Day should be dubbed Ground Hog’s Day instead because of the many years where my resolutions are identical to those of the year before. Lose 10 pounds, stop eating sugar, keep in better touch with my old friends, be more patient…with everyone....

12/8/18 This is a very busy time for all of us here at UTC – budgeting for 2019, developing our 2019 work plan to implement the first year of our new strategic plan, having our annual staff retreat, having our holiday party, going to other organizations’ holiday parties, planning for our spring set of meetings, focusing on two key advocacy efforts – 6 GHz and resilience/storm restoration issues, and moving offices! Yes, we’re moving from our D.C. office to an office in Crystal City (Arlington), Virginia. The new location is right next to Reagan National Airport and close to the Pentagon.  It also happens to be one of two new locations for Amazon’s expanded headquarters.  Luckily, our lease negotiations began before that announcement was made, which...

11/14/18 I am traveling this week – first to Orlando for the NASUCA (National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates) and NARUC (National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners) meetings then to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for UTC’s Industrial Internet of Things Workshop.  We’ve worked with the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) to dovetail our workshop with one of their meetings and look forward to this opportunity to work more closely with them. I do not look forward to the 60-degree temperature fluctuation from Orlando to Ottawa, but I’ll be inside most of the time, right? Just before I left on Veterans Day Sunday (thank you to all veterans – including our own Karnel Thomas of UTC, my dad and brother), I requested that my horse, Ginny, be moved to...

11/2/18 As I have been reading about the race to 5G and the push by the telecom carriers to access utility and other poles as expeditiously as possible to win the global race -- all supposedly for the greater good of the country while providing broadband to rural America and winning the “Infinity War” of all things that could ever relate to technology, I thought to myself…hmmm.  And then I remembered the song, “Things That Make You Go….Hmmm” by C+C Music Factory, released in 1991.  Apparently, this song was an homage to a skit from the Arsenio Hall Show.  But I digress, and I am dating myself… I guess what makes me go hmmm about the race to 5G (and all of its as yet unfulfilled promises)...

10/15/18 In the last couple of weeks, I’ve gone from spending a few days in the heartland of the country (Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where UTC’s Region 5 meeting was held) to being back in D.C. testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Two very different, seemingly disconnected, locations. But the Region 5 meeting couldn’t have been better preparation – and a literal and figurative shot in the arm (more on that in a bit) – for my testimony the following week. Region 5, which includes the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and with the expansion of the U.S. northern tier regions into Canada, the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, has long been an engaged group that holds a robust annual meeting. This year, the region's leadership...

I’m writing this blog on a plane to Malmö, Sweden, for the European UTC’s (EUTC) conference. It’s the first time I’ve been to a Scandinavian country and, I am ashamed to admit...