Technical & Operations Conference

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Technical & Operations Conference

Technical & Operations Conference

Date: December 8-10, 2020
  • 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 13, 2020
All fees increase $50 on or after Nov 13, 2020

The annual Technical & Operations Conference (or T&O) will be held in person, with some changes to the format to ensure proper social distancing.

Especially with the uncertainty we've experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps now, more than ever, we need to maintain our relationships and continue to learn from one another to stay on top of our game!

Due to COVID-19, this year's program will follow one track for all attendees. The topics and content can benefit all attendees!

Program Details*

Tuesday, December 8

Noon-4 pm  Conference Registration Open (Lobby)

1:00 pm  Welcome & Opening Remarks, Mike Willetts, MMUA (Grand Ballroom)

1:15-4:00 pm  6 Strategies to Overcome Leadership Obstacles in the Virtual WorldLisa Haen, Culture Inside Out, LLC
None of us were prepared for the impact of 2020. Leadership demands shifted overnight. Tough decisions were made. And we learned that adapting to rapid-fire change is essential for future success.

With the landscape of business changed forever, leaders need new adaptive tools to overcome these challenges and be successful in a virtual climate. Learn these 6 strategies that bridge the virtual gap and create a stronger connection with your workforce. You will leave empowered to lead your team into 2021 with confidence.

Wednesday, December 9

8:30-9:45 am  Lessons Learned by COVID-19: The Good, The Bad, and The UglyKit Welchlin, Welchlin Communication Strategies
The pandemic has touched everyone personally, professionally, emotionally, and socially. It certainly has affected the way we go about our daily lives. It probably has caused us to recalibrate our work and life balance, too. However, it may also have inspired us to think differently about our work and how we interact with our coworkers and our fellow citizens. It has compelled us to recognize and develop new methods.

Attendees will:

  • Recognize and discuss ways to adapt to sudden change
  • Learn how to recover and build resilience
  • Recognize the value of perspective-taking, empathy, and contingency plans
  • Learn strategies for staying engaged, connected, and productive during disruption.

10:00-11:15 am  COVID-19 Lessons LearnedRoundtable Discussion, Moderated by Mike Willetts, MMUA
The pandemic has brought about many new challenges for public power leadership. In particular, the way teams and crews work together and communicate with one another and with customers—to keep everyone safe and to ensure services operate smoothly. This roundtable will focus on lessons learned and offers strategies you can implement as you battle this on-going crisis.

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

Noon-1 pm  Luncheon

1:00-1:45 pm  FirstNet — Built with AT&T, Rus Poser and Brian Rolph, AT&T Public Safety Solutions
FirstNet is an independent government authority established by Congress to build and deploy a nationwide broadband network dedicated to First Responders. Because it is not subject to network congestion during time of emergency, calls receive priority and preemptive service on a secure network. Learn how this 24/7/365 solution for voice, text and data can benefit your utility.

2:00-3:00 pm  Tick and Lyme Disease PreventionBrian Anderson (aka The Tick Terminator)
Approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported annually by health professionals to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Several statesincluding Minnesota and Wisconsin—fall into the CDC’s “High Incidence” category.

Whether you’re working or enjoying the outdoors, it’s important to understand the facts about ticks and how to avoid or even prevent bites, to help minimize your risk of Lyme disease.

3:00-3:45 pm  Technical Specifications Manual UpdateBob Jagusch, MMUA
Learn about the TSM, what the municipal version will look like, and the steps required to adopt your TSM.

‚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
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 10

8:30-9:30 am  The True Cost of Distractions - A Traumatic Event Detailed From an Incident Survivor, Lee Shelby
Lee will share his personal story because he hopes that by raising awareness and educating employees, we can mitigate distractions and reduce injuries. Safety on the job and fewer injuries means employees and families DO NOT suffer.

It's important that workers develop a questioning attitude about safety in order to recognize the consequences of shortcuts, complacency and distractions. We all must have a "Brother's Keeper" mentality and approach to the job so that everyone gets home safely.

10:00 am-noon  Issues Round-UpMMUA Staff
MMUA Staff will cover a variety of “hot topic” issues. This is your opportunity to hear about the work MMUA is involved in on behalf of you and all of our members.

Hear an update from our Government Relations team, learn about upcoming educational opportunities planned for 2021, and more!

Noon  Conference Adjourns

*Schedule/program subject to change without notice.

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, 2020. 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 9. This year's show has been moved to the River's Edge Convention Center (next to the hotel). With a larger exhibit hall, each space will be 12' wide by 8' deep giving vendors plenty of room for distancing. We will also have extra wide aisles and seating for food and beverage consumption.

For more information or to register, see our Trade Show page. 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 sponsor an event, go to the Become a Sponsor page and scroll down to the item you wish to purchase.

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 Fee

Conference for Members: $465 per person if registered by November 13.
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 14. 
Deadline to register is November 24, 2020.


MMUA will issue a refund, minus $30 per person processing fee, if notified of cancellation by 4:30 pm on November 24, 2020. No refunds issued after November 24.

Conference Brochures

A 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.


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.


Contact Theresa Neddermeyer by calling 763.551.1230 or email


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