Summer Pre-Conference

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Summer Pre-Conference

Date: August 21, 2023
  • Aug 21, 2023 8:30 am - 11:30 am
Location: Holiday Inn & Suites Downtown, 200 West 1st Street, Duluth, MN 55802
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This event is now closed for online registration

We are hosting two pre-conference workshops on Monday morning, August 21. Mark Fritsch of Current Compass will host a session on Utility Negotiation Skills, and MMUA's Karleen Kos and Mike Siebenaler will host a session on Successful Grant Strategies for Utilities. The sessions are scheduled so you can also participate in the afternoon golf tournament or trail hike.

Tentative Schedule

​Monday, August 21

LOCATION: Holiday Inn & Suites Downtown200 West First Street, Duluth

8:00 am to 5:30 pm  Registration  (hotel lobby)

8:30 to 11:30 am  Utility Negotiation Skills, Mark Fritsch, Current Compass
Some of the most frequently asked questions of MMUA is, “How do I know if the deal I am being offered is fair? How can we be sure we are doing right by our ratepayers when we negotiate on issues that will have a long-term impact on our utility?" This session will help you gain the skills and information you need to better understand how to approach and evaluate the success of negotiations on behalf of your municipal utility.

Session leader Mark Fritsch has decades of experience leading and advising utilities including both IOUs and municipals. He is the founder of Current Compass, a professional energy industry and business consulting company. He often advises municipal utilities on successful negotiation tactics, from showing up prepared to gaining confidence you aren’t leaving money on the table.


8:30 to 11:30 am  Successful Grant Strategies for Utilities, Karleen Kos, MMUA
It takes more than a great idea and good sentence structure to write a successful grant – and if you get the money, the fun has only just begun! Even with the unusually large amount of grant dollars currently available for municipal utilities, many leaders wonder, “Is this worth my time?”

This course will help you with all phases of the granting process. We want you to walk away from this equipped to:

  • find the funding sources to match your utility’s needs
  • evaluate the benefits versus time/compliance costs of pursuing a funding opportunity
  • write successful grant proposals
  • manage relationships with funders
  • stay in compliance while managing your grant after you have received funding

MMUA’s CEO Karleen Kos has a wide range of experience in successfully receiving and administering grants both small and large from public and private funders. Learn about mistakes made so you don’t make them too. This will not be just a “sit and listen” session – you’ll engage, practice, and work with real case studies.

NOTE: Bring your laptop or tablet to follow along as you draft a grant.

Registration Fee

Members:  $120 per person
Registration fee will increase $50 on July 22, 2023

Deadline:  August 4, 2023

Conference requires separate registration. Click here for more information.


Holiday Inn & Suites Downtown
200 West 1st Street
Duluth, MN 55802
​Phone: 218.722.1202

Reservations can be made online using our special link. Enter your arrival and departure dates and hit search to see room options. Rooms range from $149 to $179 per night. Use group code MNM. We recommend making your hotel reservation as soon as possible, as availability cannot be guaranteed.

Cut-off date: July 21, 2023

Check-in: 3:00 pm          Check-out: 11:00 am

Full hotel information can be found at


Contact Rita Kelly by email or phone 763.746.0707.

Printable registration form for the pre-conference is also available.

Registering here is to attend the pre-conference on Monday only.
To register for the trade show, click here.
​To register for the full 3-day conference, click here.