Spring is right around the corner! Vaccines are rolling out, COVID-19 numbers are dropping, cities are opening up, and I just completed several meetings for my girls about school gradually reopening in April! And UTC is hoping (fingers crossed) to hold an in-person annual Telecom & Technology conference in June!
Perhaps it is appropriate that we see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel get a little brighter and closer during the season of spring. After all, spring to me means renewal. It means rebirth. It means more sunshine and daylight hours, the weather gets warmer, and we see friends and neighbors a bit more often in the yard, the park, and the neighborhood.
Now the pandemic is still with us. I know this personally, as far too many of us know people who were tragically impacted by this deadly disease. We need to continue to be careful, trust our judgment, and be as safe as possible. We are not out of this yet.
But I feel like we are on the cusp of our own renewal and rebirth, coinciding with the onset of spring and the warmer weather that comes with it. And at UTC, this means we are doing some internal house cleaning as well, making sure our outstanding staff has the resources they need to serve our members in new and innovative ways. You’ll be hearing more about some of the new staff we are bringing on and a slight reorganization in the near future.
As for our members, I hope you will also take stock of this rebirth and renewal and consider how you can contribute to UTC as well. UTC is member-driven—we exist to serve our members who provide our nation and world with essential services that power and sustain our lives. In order for us to be member-driven, we need our members to think about how they can get involved.
There are so many ways for UTC members to participate in our work. Our meetings, of course, are the most obvious way. The agenda for our Annual Telecom & Technology Conference is coming together, and I encourage those members who will be able to travel in June to consider joining us in person when we gather in Portland, Oregon. We will also have a virtual option for those who are unable to physically be with us. Check out the agenda here: www.utctelecom.org
I also encourage our members to consider joining our several committees. Our committees give you the most direct opportunity to engage with your peer utility members and our fantastic staff. You can learn about best practices, advocacy, collocation, broadband, pole attachments, and so much more. Our committees provide our members a way to shape our policy priorities in Congress, the states, and elsewhere. A complete list of our committees is available here: https://utc.org/committees-divisions/
And of course, members can get involved at the regional level as well. Our regions are a great place to get started with UTC; you will meet colleagues in neighboring utilities and states, providing you with connections who will support you during your UTC journey. Find out more about our regions here: https://utc.org/regions-2021/
So as spring sets upon us, and a return to normalcy appears in the distance, I want all our members to be thinking about how to engage and grow with UTC. And I urge everyone to continue being vigilant. The pandemic is still with us. Be safe. Your work is essential to us and the country. And I can’t wait to see as many of you again or for the first time. It has been so long since our last in-person meeting, I am excited to reimagine, reinvigorate, and refocus UTC’s goals together.