Summer Conference

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Summer Conference

Summer Conference

Date: August 20-22, 2018
  • Day 1: 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Day 2: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Day 3: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Arrowwood Resort, 2100 Arrowwood Lane NW, Alexandria, MN 56308
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This event is now closed for online registration

MMUA's Summer Conference is an opportunity for networking, educational and social time for municipal utility leaders from around the state. This year's program again provides concurrent sessions on Tuesday afternoon. During the registration process, attendees will need to choose between the Management Track or the Policymaker Track. 

For best rates, register before August 4. If you prefer, you can use this printable registration form. Arrowwood's reservation cutoff is July 27.

Tentative Schedule

Sunday, August 19

4 pm  Check-in for Main Lodge reservations
4:30 pm  Check-in for Townhouse & Cottage reservations
‚Äč7 – 9 pm  MMUA Board of Directors Meeting (Itasca Room)

Monday, August 20

8 am – noon  MMUA Board of Directors Meeting (continued)
noon – 6 pm  Conference Registration Open (Lake Alvin Room)
noon  Check-in for Golf Tournament (Atikwa Golf Course)
12:30 pm  Check-in for Bike Ride (MMUA Registration)
1 pm  Golf "Best Ball Scramble" Tournament (Atikwa Golf Course)
1 pm  Central Lakes Bike Trail Ride (meet at Ole the Viking in Alexandria)
4 pm  Check-in for Main Lodge reservations
4:30 pm  Check-in for Townhouse & Cottage reservations
6:30 pm  Welcome Reception (Front Lawn)
7:30 pm  Dinner (Front Lawn)

Tuesday, August 21

8 am  Welcome and Opening Remarks, John Crooks, Shakopee Public Utilities/MMUA President

8:15 am  Shifting Gears & Changing LanesJay Gubrud, A Catalyst for Performance Improvement
Whether an organization is growing or simply moving in a new direction, change is inevitable and happens at a dizzying pace. Shifting Gears & Changing Lanes will provide the tools to effectively navigate the road to change. This program will enable people to accept change, confront their fears and move forward in a positive direction. Change is inevitable. Why not embrace it?

9:30 am  Refreshment Break

10 am  A New Vision for CIPMark Kotschevar, Rochester Public Utilities and Jared Echternach, Beltrami Electric Cooperative

11 am  The Washington SceneMichael Nolan, MMUA Washington Rep.

12 pm  Luncheon

The afternoon will consist of two tracks—Management or Policymaker

‚ÄčManagement Track

1 pm  Looking Ahead – Large Scale Solar with StorageMike Fosse, Dakota Electric Association

2 pm  Electric Vehicles (EV's): Opportunity Now or Later?  Matthew Blackler, ZEF Energy and Tom Sagstetter, Elk River Municipal Utilities
Hear how the EV market is unfolding and how advances in public charging infrastructure are accelerating market forces. The program will also include a discussion of how one of our members leveraged their opportunities to create the framework for a robust utility program.

2 pm  Trade Show setup begins (Tennis Center)

3 pm  Refreshment Break

3:30 pm  Municipals Helping MunicipalsScott Hain, Worthington Public Utilities; Jim Maras, Madelia Municipal Light & Power; and MRES rep.
Our panel of MMUA Regular and Affiliate Members discuss how they are involved in working with other municipal organizations to strengthen Public Power in Minnesota.

Policymaker Track

1 pm  Board Policies that WorkJohn Miner, Collaborative Learning
Policy development and use is at the core of effective municipal utility governance. Because enabling legislation and by-laws on their own are seldom adequate for effective governance, a board’s documented policies provide the basic structure and processes through which it fulfills its responsibilities. 

In this seminar, participants will learn about the importance of documented policies in strengthening board leadership and decision-making. As a relevant and important example of policy leadership, participants will focus on the development of documented policy describing the Board’s role and responsibilities for performance planning and evaluation of the chief executive (general manager, utility director, superintendent, etc.).

Time permitting, seminar participants will also consider other selected governance issues that are common to municipal utility organizations, as well as alternative responses to those issues and the development of policy statements to address them.

3 pm  Refreshment Break

3:30 pm  Board Policies that Work (continued)

Evening Activities

5 pm  Trade Show and Reception (Tennis Center)

7 pm  Banquet and Awards (Lake Darling Ballroom)

Wednesday, August 22

(Meeting for Regular & Affiliate Members Only)
8 am  MMUA Business Meeting

8:30 am  Minnesota Public Power Forward PartnershipPatricia Keane, American Public Power Association
The electric industry is in a period of rapid transformation. New technologies have emerged, energy markets across the country have dramatically changed, and customers expect and demand 21st Century services. This creates opportunities and challenges for the electric utility industry – particularly smaller publicly owned electric utilities – where meeting customer expectations for new services while maintaining the current high standards in reliability and affordability may not be easily accomplished. With that in mind, the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA), Missouri River Energy Services (MRES), Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) and the American Public Power Association (APPA) have entered into the Minnesota Public Power Forward Partnership to assist Minnesota’s public power utilities as they plan for the future. Attend this session and learn about the toolkit that will walk you through topics including rate design, new technologies, and IT/OT.

9:15 am  Getting Rates Ready for Competition – A Guide for PolicymakersDave Berg, Dave Berg Consulting
MMUA and Dave Berg Consulting are developing a publication entitled 'Getting Rates Ready for Competition – A Guide for Policymakers’. This guide is designed to assist policymakers and other non-technical utility personnel in their understanding of electric rates and the theories that support the design of rates. As the industry evolves toward greater reliance on renewables, distributed generation, storage and other new technologies, rate design must evolve with it. Dave Berg will present a summary of the guide to give participants an overview of the materials.

10 am  Refreshment Break

10:30 am  Electric Service Issues: Analysis and Developments, Steve Downer, MMUA and Mark Fritsch, Owatonna Public Utilities

11 am  State Legislative DevelopmentsKent Sulem and Bill Black, MMUA; and Doug Carnival, McGrann Shea

11:30 am  Issues Round-Up, Jack Kegel, Bob Jagusch and Mike Willetts, MMUA

noon  Conference adjourns

Lodging & Meals

Arrowwood has a special one or two-night package for lodging and meals for those attending MMUA's Summer Conference. You can make your reservations one of two ways:

  1. Online using our special link (do not enter dates at top; scroll down and fill in form)
  2. Printable form that you can mail, email or fax in (see instructions on the form)

Meals are included with the special packages noted above. If you are not staying at Arrowwood or have a guest and/or a child accompanying you, you will need to pre-order meal tickets. To order meal tickets, please use the same reservation links above. Tickets are to be ordered directly through Arrowwood and picked up at their registration desk upon arrival.

Golf Tournament

MMUA's golf tournament will be played on Arrowwood's Aitkwa golf course. The shotgun start will be at 1 pm, with check-in at the golf course beginning at noon.

You must pre-register as an individual or as a scramble team. Walk-ins will not be allowed. Participants do not need to attend the conference to play in the tournament, but you do need to be a member of MMUA.

Tournament Fees

Conference Attendees — $60 per person (You must register for the full 3-day event. Attending the trade show only does not qualify for discount.)
Golf Tournament Only — $110 per person

To golf with someone specific, please note his/her name on your registration. Please confirm with the group before registering to make sure they are golfing or they have room on their team for you. Individual players without a team designation will be assigned to a team.

You can register online at or use a printable registration form. When registering online, you will be directed to a site through Constant Contact (our website does not accommodate tournament registrations). MMUA will send an invoice for the fee or you can provide contact information to pay by credit card.

Deadline to register is August 3 or until course is filled, whichever comes first.

Bike Ride

Join us for MMUA's annual bike ride on the black-topped Central Lakes Trail. The ride will be out and back so you can turn around at your desired distance. Bikes and helmets will be available for rent or you can bring your own. The ride will start and end at Ole the Viking located in Alexandria next to the trail. It will be an afternoon of fun and beautiful Minnesota scenery.

You can register online at or use a printable registration form. We will also take registrations the day of the ride if you prefer to wait and see what the weather will do. When registering online, you will be directed to a site through Constant ContactThere is no charge for the bike ride (excludes bike rental if needed).

To rent a bike, call Jake's Bikes at 320-219-7433. You will pick up and pay for your bike rental at the bike shop prior to the start of the ride. The bike shop is only a block away from the trail.

Events for Associate Members

Trade Show

Associate members can have an exhibit space at the trade show. The show will be held on August 21, from 5-7 pm. Reserve your spot by clicking HERE. Space is limited so don't delay. This one fills up fast! For best rates, register before July 24.


We also have an opportunity for Associate members to sponsor events at the Summer Conference. We will post a sign at the event site with your company's logo and you will have a listing in the official conference program. To become a sponsor, click HERE and scroll down to the list of Summer Conference events. Have an idea that's not listed? Let us know! We are always looking for something new.

Hospitality Suites

Hospitality suites are also a popular event that Associate members can host. To host a hospitality suite, you will have two contacts. To reserve a room, call Kristie Chisholm at 320.759.5010 or email To order food and beverage, call Linda Kusmak at 320.762.5249 or email Arrowwood does not allow food or beverages from outside the resort.


MMUA will issue a refund, minus $30 per person processing fee, for registrations cancelled by August 3, 2018. MMUA must be notified by 4:30 pm on August 3 to qualify.


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


Contact Rita Kelly by email or phone 763.746.0707.


Thank You, Annual Sponsors

View all Annual Sponsors

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