Summer Conference

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Summer Conference

Summer Conference

Date: August 22-24, 2022
  • Day 1: Aug 22, 2022 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Day 2: Aug 23, 2022 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Day 3: Aug 24, 2022 8:00 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Madden's Resort, 11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd, MN
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MMUA's Summer Conference is an opportunity for networking, educational programs and social time for municipal utility leaders from around the state. We continue to put final touches on our program, however, registration is open.

For best rates, register by July 22. If you prefer, you can use this printable registration form.

Tentative Schedule

Sunday, August 21

4:30 pm  Resort Check-in

​Monday, August 22

9:00 am  MMUA Board of Directors Meeting  (Golf Villa B)

12:00 to 6:00 pm  Conference Registration  (Town Hall Upper Lobby)

12:00 pm  Check-in for Golf Tournament  (The Classic at Madden's)

12:15 pm  Check-in for Bike Ride  (MMUA Registration)

1:00 pm  Golf "Best Ball Scramble" Tournament  (The Classic at Madden's)

1:00 pm  Paul Bunyan Bike Trail Ride  (meet at Up North Bike Rentals in Nisswa)

1:00 to 4:00 pm  Pre-Conference Workshop: Recent Utility Failure Events and Effective Mitigation StepsDave Krause, EPS Engineering and Design
A discussion on gas, electric and water system failures and recovery: how to get started, identification and prioritization of risks, selling the solutions, and the keys to better sleep. No extra charge, but separate registration is required. See options in registration area below.

4:30 pm  Resort Check-in

6:30 pm  Welcome Reception  (Outdoor Pavilion)

7:30 pm  Dinner  (Outdoor Pavilion)

Tuesday, August 23

8:00 am  Welcome and Opening Remarks, Karleen Kos, MMUA CEO and Jenny Palmer, MMUA Board President/City of Excelsior

8:15 am  Leading Utilities in a Time of Disruptive Innovation,  Jim Harris, author of "Blindsided!" and "The Learning Paradox"
What is disruptive innovation? How is it impacting utilities and utility leaders? And what are the implications? Futurist Jim Harris, international bestselling author of Blindsided! will discuss the things leaders must know and do to thrive in our ever-changing environment.

10:00 am  Supply Chain and Commodity UpdateCasey Schmidt and Tony Serati, Border States Electric
This session will provide a state of the utility address on the current situation of difficulties with Supply Chain and Commodities Markets and where it seems to be going due to changes after COVID-19 and with other global situations. This update will help utilities prepare and plan for future needs.

11:00 am  Roundtable Discussions
Join your peers and a facilitator to discuss issues that are important to your utility/city. You'll hear what others are doing and share what you know in these candid exchanges. Choose four tables from this list of diverse topics:

  • Learn How to Reduce CIP Costs up to 50%, Gary Swanson, Energy Management Solutions
  • System Planning Considerations for EV's, Doug Joens, Power System Engineering
  • Cash Reserve Strategies and Policies, Nick Dragisich, Baker Tilly
  • Managed SCADA Monitoring and On-Demand Dispatch, Mark Colton, Cooperative Response Center
  • Gas vs. Diesel Generation Technologies Evaluation, Clay Hardenburger, Interstate Energy Systems
  • Broadband Opportunities and Challenges, Mark Pohlmann, HDR
  • Railroad Crossing Permitting, Kent Sulem, MMUA
  • Mutual Aid and Supply Chain Concerns, Cody Raveling, MMUA
  • DER Issues, Bill Black, MMUA
  • Electric Vehicle Charging: Where are we at and where are we going? Sam Erickson, EvoCharge
  • Supply Chain Update and Concerns, Chad Backes, Irby
  • The Impact of Software Technology in Implementing Energy Efficiency Programs, Chris Trembley, Madelia Light & Power; Mike Hardin, City of Sleepy Eye with Tanuj Gulati and Margit Barot, Frontier Energy
  • Blockchain Business Development: Changes, Opportunities, and Lessons Learned, Chris Waltz, Otter Tail Power Co.
  • Detroit Lakes Community Solar Project, Vernell Roberts, Detroit Lakes Public Utilities

12:00 pm  Luncheon

1:00 pm  Roundtable Discussions (Continued—see list of options above)

2:15 to 3:15 pm  Breakout Sessions

  • Track I:  Utilities Management
    Building a Successful Case for Electrical Distribution Projects, Kevin Marquardt, Sentient Energy

    Attendees will learn: How to build a successful business case that can be used for funding opportunities to justify electric reliability, resilience and flexibility projects; Different funding programs from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021; How advancing reliability, resilience and flexibility projects can lead to O&M reduction and increasing DER/EV penetration.

  • Track II:  Water
    Water System Disinfection Methods: Free Chlorine vs. Chloramines in a Municipal with Groundwater SupplyChristian Fenstermacher, Owatonna Public Utilities, with Brian LeMon and Ali Ling, Barr Engineering

    Understand the importance to know how raw water chemistry can affect the level of disinfectant in the water distribution system. Review the case study in Owatonna where raw water was tested at each well to determine the optimal chlorine dosing levels for the use of chloramines in the system.

  • Track III:  Electric Vehicles

    Big Dreams and Tiny Budgets: How to Plan for the EV TransitionChris White, Frontier Energy
    Planning for EVs is a new process for fleet and facilities managers. Learn strategies and tools to collect data about vehicles, determine an EV replacement schedule, estimate the charging  needs and electrical load, and devise an implementation plan.

3:30 to 4:30 pm  Breakout Sessions

  • Track I:  Utilities Management
    How to Build and Resource an Operational Technology/Industrial Controls Cybersecurity ProgramDavid Brearley, HDR
    This presentation will cover examples of how a cybersecurity program must address defense in depth including people, processes and technologies while aligning with industry best practices framework that includes the ability to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. America's Water Infrastructure Act common findings will be coupled with the recent recommendations from US EPA and AWWA to discuss the components and challenges of a cybersecurity program and considerations for prioritization of activities to address risks.
  • Track II:  Water
    Solutions for Control: Water distribution maintenance and repair techniques to avoid system shutdownRyan Fugler, Hydra-Stop
    Valve insertion technology helps prevent major shutdowns and disruptions especially in critical infrastructure areas that include hospitals, retirement homes, schools, businesses and factories. Traditional methods of maintaining water systems, such as shutdowns, cause unforeseen problems down the line, including boil orders and future breaks. The information learned can be considered to avoid such problems and give operators peace of mind. These efficient processes allow utilities to make repairs or additions without the disruption of service to their customers.
  • Track III:  Electric Vehicles
    Rate Structures in an EV Environment, Dave Berg, Dave Berg Consulting
    There are many different applications of specific electric rates for electric vehicles. These depend on location, ownership, and purpose of the charging unit. This presentation will discuss real utility world examples and the cost of service and policy considerations in their development and application.

5:00 to 7:00 pm  Trade Show and Reception  (Town Hall Lower Level)

7:00 pm  Banquet and Awards  (Town Hall Governor's Ballroom)
The Habits of Highly Effective Utility LeadersJim Harris, author of "Blindsided!" and "The Learning Paradox"
What are the characteristics, behaviors, attitudes and habits of the most effective leaders? Municipal utilities are experiencing significant challenges and will require leaders to guide their organizations through change. How can they best do it? Jim Harris will explore this topic in entertaining after-dinner remarks.

Wednesday, August 24

7:00 to 7:45 am  Member breakfast with the Board
Join us for an informal breakfast with the MMUA Board of Directors. This is your chance to give the board your feedback.

8:00 am  MMUA: Where we've been and where we're going
A look at the association's accomplishments, strategic plan, and operating priorities for 2022-23. The annual business meeting will also occur during this session.

9:00 am  The Municipal Utilities Legislative SceneKent Sulem, MMUA; Doug Carnival, McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb; and Michael Nolan, MMUA Washington Representative

10:30 am  Reliability, Capacity and the GridEric Thoms, MISO
As an RTO, one of MISO’s key functions is to facilitate the availability of adequate resources to reliably meet the peak demand in the MISO region. Eric will breakdown MISO’s Resource Adequacy construct so you will be better equipped to understand what may be driving recent sensationalized headlines.

11:30 am  Driving Successful Change, Jim Reid, former flight pilot, business leader, and author of "Leading to Greatness"
The Utilities industry is undergoing significant change as  customers demand more innovation and better value. Industry leaders are having to draw on even stronger leadership skills to navigate through a period of growth, change and disruption. Jim Reid, Executive Coach to CEO’s and Author of "Leading to Greatness" will discuss the 5 principles that the most effective leaders understand and live every day, and present a playbook for leading change that the most accomplished leaders use to drive success in their businesses. 

12:30 pm  Wrap up

Registration Fee

Members:  $465 per person
Registration fee will increase $75 on July 23, 2022
Deadline:  August 5, 2022

Lodging & Meals

Our room block at Madden's has SOLD OUT. We are working with other properties in the area to be used for backup. Options will be added below as we get them worked out.

Cragun's Resort - call 866.988.0562 for reservations
We were unable to obtain a special package at Cragun's due to a large event being held there the same week. If you wish to stay at Cragun's, please call as soon as possible as availability is going to become limited.

Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes - call 218.822.5561 for reservations
6967 Lake Forest Road, Baxter, MN
$149 per night per room for single/double occupancy. Additional persons in the room are $15 per person per night. Includes Grab and Go breakfast. Be sure to ask for MMUA's room block.

NOTE: If you are not staying at Madden's or have a guest and/or child accompanying you, you will need to pre-order meal tickets. Please use the reservation link to order meals. Madden's has also provided a printable form for meal ticket purchases. Tickets are to be ordered directly through Madden's and picked up at MMUA's Registration Desk upon arrival.

Resort check-in is 4:30 pm on the day of your arrival. Check-out is 11:00 am.

Golf Tournament

MMUA's golf tournament will be played on The Classic at Madden's. The shotgun start will be at 1:00 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. Prizes awarded to registered players only.

Tournament Fees

$125 per person
Includes green fee and cart.

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). Make sure you watch for confirmation that your registration went through. If form blinks and comes back with blank boxes, you need to redo it. (Seems to be a glitch in CC's system.)

Deadline:  August 5 or until course is filled (whichever comes first)

Bike Ride

Join us for MMUA's annual bike ride on the black-topped Paul Bunyan Trail. The ride will start and end at Up North Bike Rentals, located in Nisswa near the trail. The ride will be out and back so you can turn around at your desired distance. 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, but you are responsible for the bike rental if needed.

Bike rentals can be reserved online with Up North Bike Rentals or call 218-821-5399. You will pay for the rental when making reservation online. If you call, you will pay when you pick up your rental. The bike shop is located near the trail at 5476 City Hall Street in Nisswa.

Events for Associate Members

Trade Show

MMUA Associate members can have an exhibit space at the conference trade show. This show will be held on August 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Reserve your spot by using our online registration. Space is limited so don't delay. This one fills up fast! For best rates, register by July 22.


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. See our list of sponsor items on our website. Have an idea that's not listed? Let us know! We are always looking for something new.

Hospitality Suites

Hospitality suites are a very popular event that MMUA Associate members can host. Contact Kelly Flahave at Madden's to arrange. Her number is 218-855-5939. Madden's does not allow food or beverages from outside the resort.

Annual Sponsors

Companies who are annual sponsors are eligible for:

  • One trade show table with electricity (if needed) and two attendees at either the Summer Conference or the Technical & Operations Conference
  • Two meeting registrations at either the Summer Conference or the Technical & Operations Conference

When registering on-line, select the Bill Utility or Company in payment options and we will adjust the fee for you. Credit card payments will be refunded with $20 processing fee. Not sure if you're an annual sponsor? Check our website for listings.

Refund Policy

MMUA will issue a refund, minus a $50 per person processing fee, for registrations cancelled by 4:30 pm on August 5, 2022. Sorry, no refunds issued for cancellations after August 5.


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.


A printable conference registration form can be downloaded here.