Our national affiliate, the American Public Power Association, is coming to Minneapolis for its National Conference in a few days.  This is the first time that APPA has come to Minneapolis for the National Conference in its seventy-five year history, so we’re very pleased to welcome our public power colleagues from around the country to our beautiful state. 

Our Local Arrangements Committee met last winter and had lots of suggestions for program topics.  A good number of the suggestions made it into the final program, and there are a lot of presenters on the program from Minnesota and our neighboring states.  The Local Arrangements Committee included Troy Adams of Elk River, John Crooks of Shakopee, Troy DeJoode of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, Mark Fritsch of Owatonna, Dave Geschwind of SMMPA, Leslie Hisken of Marshall, Wes Hompe, of Willmar, Mark Kotschevar of Rochester, Joni Livingston of MRES, Scott Magnuson of Brainerd, Mark Nibaur of Austin, Russell Olson of Heartland Consumers Power District, Vernell Roberts of Detroit Lakes, Steve Thompson of CMMPA, Darryl Tveitbakk of NMPA, and Rita Kelly and yours truly of MMUA. 

One of the responsibilities of the conference host is to line up gifts for the conference gift bag, and we had no problem with that.  Lots of members and neighbors stepped up and donated items for the gift bag.  The picture below shows all the items laid out together.  The gift bags were provided by Leidos and MMUA.  Items for the gift bag were provided by Austin Utilities, Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Chaska Electric Department, Elk River Municipal Utilities, Heartland Consumers Power District, MMUA, Missouri River Energy Services, Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin, Northern Municipal Power Agency, Rochester Public Utilities, Shakopee Public Utilities, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, and Willmar Municipal Utilities.

And then, once we had all the gift items down at the convention center, we had to get them all into the gift bags, which is a pretty big operation.  But many hands make light work, and with seventeen dedicated volunteers tackling the job we were finished in record time.  Joy Campbell, APPA’s Meetings Planner, stopped by to see how we were doing and couldn’t believe that we were already done.  Thanks to Sarah Douty of Austin, Toby Saxon and Andrew Romine of Chaska, Mark Erickson of Winthrop, Theresa Adrian and Sandy Boesche of Glencoe, Chuck Heins of Redwood Falls, Dirk Bierbaum, Patty Hanson, and Dru Larson of Rochester, Naomi Goll of SMMPA, Janell Johnson of Willmar, and Steve Downer, Amanda Duerr, Rita Kelly, and Theresa Neddermeyer of MMUA.  And thanks to the APPA staff for providing lunch for the crew.  Here’s a picture of the MMUA Bag Stuffing Platoon, happy with a job well done. 

Welcome to Minnesota, APPA!  We hope you like it here as much as we do.