Technical & Operations Conference

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Technical & Operations Conference

Technical & Operations Conference

Date: December 3-5, 2019
Time:
  • Day 1: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Day 2: 8:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Day 3: 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Best Western Plus Kelly Inn, 100 4th Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301
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Pricing: $465 before Nov 8, 2019
All fees increase $50 on or after Nov 8, 2019

The Technical & Operations Conference (or "T & O") is a not-to-be-missed event for Managers, Crew Leads, Lineworkers and others. This is the perfect venue to join fellow public power professionals to hear interesting speakers on timely topics, participate in discussions, share ideas and connect with friends old and new.

This year's Conference features dynamic presentations and thought provoking speakers, such as:

  • Jay Gubrud—who will challenge everyone to eliminate the everyday roadblocks to success, while honoring the differences that make us unique;
  • and Bruce Stumpe, along with his wife Darla, who will share his personal story of complacency which led to an unfortunate accident;
  • and more!

See the schedule of events below for a list of topics covered at this year's T & O Conference.

Schedule of Events *

Tuesday, December 3

8:30 am-1 pm  MMUA Board of Directors Meeting (State Room)

noon-4 pm  Conference Registration Open (Lobby)

1 pm  Welcome & Opening Remarks (Congress/Senate/Sunwood Ballroom)

1:15-2:45 pm  Jumping in the Driver's Seat!, Jay Gubrud, Jay Gubrud, Inc.
This presentation can help "steer" you into position to fully realize your outstanding contributions to your employer, family, and community. Having an innate sense of personal responsibility is required in all aspects of our lives.

Jumping in the Driver's Seat will motivate you to improve leadership skills and relationships in order to cultivate effective teams. It can help increase your personal effectiveness as you:

  • Gain tips for being a better leader & keys for creating a culture where employees don't want to leave;
  • Learn how to appreciate the unique contribution of each of your employees;
  • Discover practical communication skills for rewarding relationships and more!

3-4 pm  Dept. of Labor & Industry Adopts MMUA's Standards of Apprenticeship, Rick Martagon & Jeremy Parker, MN Dept. of Labor & Industry
Earlier this year MMUA worked in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to develop an updated Line Work Apprenticeship Standard. The Standard is the state program that an Apprentice must complete in order to obtain their Journeyman Lineman license.

Rick and Jeremy will offer information on the Apprenticeship Standard and we'll delve into the benefits of MMUA's On-Site Apprentice Lineworker Training Program and how it can help grow your utility's linework crew. 

5-8 pm  Optional Evening Activity — Taproom Tour at Pantown Brewing Company (limited to first 35 registrants)
Join us as we visit this local establishment with a unique name and history. Attendees will hear from Pantown's head brewer about their process, enjoy pizza and wings, two beverage tokens and for those interested, take part in a fun game of cornhole. (See registration details below.)

Wednesday, December 4

8:30-11:20 am  The Power of a Minute, Scott Meinecke, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives
In today's hectic world we often lose track of time. We are continually trying to multi-task just to keep our heads above water! This program will help you focus on the true value of a minute as it pertains to getting our brothers and sisters home.

11:30 am-Noon  Apprentice Lineworker & Rodeo Recognitions, Mike Willetts and James Monroe, MMUA; Don Harbuck, Northwest Lineman College

Noon-1 pm  Luncheon (poolside)

3 pm  Vendor Setup for Trade Show (Grand Ballroom)

The afternoon education program is divided into two tracks.

Manager Track

1-2:30 pm  How Safe Are You, Honestly?, Scott Meinecke, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives
When asked how safe your crews are we will always give the OSHA recordables as our gauge for performance. Honestly, does the lack of accidents really prove your crews follow all the safety rules? How do we gauge and reward performance?

This program will give you an opportunity to participate in identifying factors that affect safety in the workplace and guide you in addressing issues that could lead to a significant injury or fatality.

2:45-3:15 pm  Open Forum Discussion on Mutual Aid, Mike Willetts, MMUA
Learn about the deployment of crews from Minnesota to Florida at the end of August. The crews arrived at the pre-staging area in Florida, but ultimately—and fortunately for the requesting utility, Kissimmee Utility Authority—Hurricane Dorian didn't cause damage and our crews were released back to Minnesota.

Please plan to attend and share any comments you have to improve the process. Topics to be discussed include:

  • The process; what happens once we receive a request for mutual aid
  • Suggested packing checklist
  • Pre-staging

3:15-4 pm  Emergency Communications—It's Important!, Jim Stromberg, ARMER Radio System
Communication systems are critical for any utility. But during a mutual aid event, communications can take on new challenges. MMUA recently met with the Department of Public Safety on the use of their ARMER (Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response) radio system. Learn about the benefits of the ARMER Radio System and how it can help improve communications during a mutual aid event.

‚Äč4-4:45 pm  Vendor Product Showcase
This session will give you a rapid-fire look at the latest in goods and services for the utility industry. We give each participating vendor up to 5 minutes to present their information. This is a great opportunity to learn about new products and services. Vendors must be an Associate member of MMUA.

5-7 pm  Trade Show & Reception (Grand Ballroom)
Whether you're looking to connect with a current supplier or sourcing new equipment/services, the trade show is where it all happens!

Crew Leader/Foreman Track

1-1:45 pm  Hands-Free Law & How it Applies to Your City/Utility, Ryan Mihalak, MMUA
The attempt to curb distracted driving has now moved to the prohibition on hands-free cellphone use while driving. However, for municipalities and utilities, this poses a legitimate issue—how do we address compliance without compromising customer service? In this session, we'll take a brief look at the history, ways to comply and what this means for you and your utility!

1:45-2:30 pm  Infrared Inspection—Why it Should Be Part of Your Maintenance Program, Daryl Androli, Missouri River Energy Services
This session will cover:

  • Infrared use and benefits;
  • Costs associated with purchase, training and warranties;
  • Tips and tricks for taking a good image;
  • Arcing, Corona & Tracking
  • What is Partial Discharge Testing and how can it help determine a growing issue?

2:45-3:15 pm  LED Lighting Application and Performance, Carol Tigges, Border States Electric
Hear about the latest trends and improvement in LED lighting and the potential cost savings that your utility may achieve when you upgrade to LEDs.

3:15-4 pm  The Transformer Purchase—Understanding the Total Operating Cost, Ken Gunnufsen, Howard Industries
This session will cover:

  • Understanding Total Operating Cost (TOC)—What is it? How can I reach it?
  • Transformer specifications, standards, sizes
  • Copper vs. aluminum windings
  • How will tariffs affect the market?

4-4:45 pm  Vendor Product Showcase
This session will give you a rapid-fire look at the latest in goods and services for the utility industry. We give each participating vendor up to 5 minutes to present their information. This is a great opportunity to learn about new products and services. Vendors must be an Associate member of MMUA.

5-7 pm  Trade Show & Reception (Grand Ballroom)
Whether you're looking to connect with a current supplier or sourcing new equipment/services, the trade show is where it all happens!

Thursday, December 5

8:30-9:30 am  Complacency—One of Safety's Worst Enemies, Bruce Stumpe, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives & Darla Stumpe
It's easy to become comfortable in our day-to-day tasks. Becoming too comfortable, however, can lead to complacency which, in turn, could derail your career and your life.

After Bruce's electrical contact with 7200 volts in 2009, he realized he was that guy who had become too comfortable in his daily job duties.

Complacency not only affects you, but also your family and coworkers. Bruce will be presenting with his wife, Darla. They will share Bruce's unfortunate accident; how it changed their lives; and how it affected their family as well.

10-10:30 am  Mutual Aid & Communications Roundup, Mike Willetts, MMUA

10:45 am-noon  MMUA UpdateMMUA Staff
MMUA staff will cover a variety of pertinent "hot topic" issues.

Noon  Conference Adjourns

*Schedule/program subject to change without notice.

Optional Evening Activity

Taproom Tour at Pantown Brewing Company
Tuesday, December 3  |  5:00-8:00 PM

Register today to join us as we visit a local establishment with a unique name and history—Pantown Brewing Company. Attendees will hear from Pantown's head brewer about their process, enjoy pizza and wings, two beverage tokens and for those interested, take part in a fun game of cornhole.

Registrations accepted on a first come basis. Limited to first 35 people. Cost is $30 per person, includes bus transportation. Separate registration required here. You can also print out a registration form. Must also be registered for the T & O Conference to attend.

Hotel Information

Best Western Plus Kelly Inn, 100 4th Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301

MMUA has secured a room rate of $99 per night + tax. Use our special link for online reservations. You can also call the hotel directly at 320.253.0606 and ask for MMUA's room block. Cutoff date is November 15, 2019. After that date, reservations are accepted on a space available basis at prevailing rates.

Events for Associate Members

TRADE SHOW: Associate members can have a booth at the trade show to be held on December 4. Reserve your spot by clicking HERE. This one fills up fast so don't delay!

SPONSOR: We also have an opportunity for Associate members to sponsor events at the T & O Conference. We will post a sign at the event site with your company's logo and have you listed in the official conference program. To become a sponsor, click HERE and scroll down to the list of T & O Conference events.

HOSPITALITY: How about hosting a hospitality suite? Call Kelly Inn Sales Department at 320.258.8404 or email Lindsay Latterell for more information. Kelly Inn does not allow you to bring in food items from outside the hotel.

Registration Fees

Conference for Members: $465 per person if registered by November 7.
Registration fee includes tuition, materials, refreshment breaks, lunch on Wednesday and admission to the Reception and Trade Show. Registration fee will increase $50 on November 8. 
Deadline to register is November 15, 2019.

Taproom Tour at Pantown Brewing Company: $30 per person
Registration fee includes bus transportation, pizza and wings, two drink tokens, and cornhole toss (if interested in playing). This tour is reserved for attendees of the T & O Conference only. The brewery tour requires separate registration. You will find more details and can register on this pageLimited to 35 participants
Deadline to register is November 15, 2019, or until sold out.

Cancellations

MMUA will issue a refund, minus $30 per person processing fee, if notified of cancellation by 4:30 pm on November 15, 2019. No refunds issued after November 15.

Conference Brochures

printable copy of the conference brochure is available.
Associate members can print a copy of the brochure for the trade show, reception, sponsoring and hosting hospitality suites.

Photographs

By registering for this conference, I/we the registered attendee(s), authorize Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to photograph me at this event and use such photographs in MMUA marketing pieces (both electronic and print). I understand that I will not be paid for giving this consent.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact Theresa Neddermeyer at 763.551.1230 or tneddermeyer@mmua.org.

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