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Annual Convention Sessions & Speakers

Schedule subject to change.

View Schedule-at-a-Glance here.

General Session
Wednesday, May 22


NTCA Update

Shirley Bloomfield, NTCA

Unmasking the Dark Web: A Riveting Expedition into History, Legends, AI Breakthroughs, and the Menace to Service Providers
Jon Brown, ePlus Technology

This session will take you through the dark web's fascinating history, shedding light on its origins and evolution. Gain insights into the aspects of the dark web and explore the urban legends that have shaped public perception. Also delving into the security implications along with AI technologies, like ChatGPT.

Keynote Speaker

Vice Admiral Scott Van Buskirk

Vice Admiral (Ret) Scott Ray Van Buskirk, is a retired United States Navy officer who was the 56th Chief of Naval Personnel and the 47th Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet. A native of Petaluma, California, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979 and joined the submarine service.

At sea, he served on board USS Seawolf (SSN 575), USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716), USS Tunny (SSN 682), and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) GOLD, and commanded USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and Submarine Development Squadron 12.

Ashore he received his master’s degree at the Naval Postgraduate School and served tours in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, Bureau of Naval Personnel, and Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

As a flag officer, in addition to serving as Chief of Naval Personnel and Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, he served as Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Effects (MNF-Iraq); Commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine; Assistant Deputy, Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5B); and Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Following his retirement from the U.S. Navy, VADM (Ret) Van Buskirk served six years in the private sector as Vice President at Oceaneering International, a global energy and defense corporation. In 2019 he left Oceaneering and presently serves on corporate and non-profit advisory boards and supports the Naval War College as a Course Facilitator.

Breakout Sessions 
Wednesday, May 22

Breakouts 1: 1:30PM-2:20PM

2024 Broadband and Video Study Report

Track: Marketing

Scott Meyer, Innovative Systems

This presentation will include 2024 data that identifies key demographic, social, and preferential tendencies of your broadband and video customers. The study was conducted in rural marketplaces across the US with over 800 respondents and includes a benchmark report that covers 2021-2024. A free copy of the full report will be made available to conference attendees.

AI and its Potential Effect on Rural LECs
Track: Business Management
Teri Kessler, NECA

An overview of artificial intelligence – what it is, how it works and what it can do, as well as AI’s promise for growth opportunities in the telecommunications industry and potential operational disruptions.

Full House at the FCC: Navigating the New Regulatory Landscape with All Five Commissioners in Play

Track: Policy/Accounting

Steve Meltzer, JSI

From digital discrimination to NG911, broadband nutrition labels to outage reporting, ACP to the Future of USF, the FCC is running at full speed ahead with a fifth Commissioner. Get an update from the nation’s capital on the newest regulations, as well as possible new rules, and how your company can take action now to minimize any compliance risks.

Solving for Wi-Fi Coverage in Large Commercial and Rural Environments, and Providing Connectivity to School-Age Children

Track: Technology

Alan DiCiccio, Calix

Ninety-seven percent of the country's land mass is rural but only nineteen percent of the population lives there. So, what can a BSP offer to business and residential subscribers to connect them with broadband services?

In today's world, access to the internet is crucial for students to succeed academically. However, many students lack reliable access to the internet, leaving them at a disadvantage when it comes to completing assignments and participating in online classes. This talk will explore the ways in which community Wi-Fi networks can bridge the digital divide for school-age children, providing affordable and accessible internet access to those who need it most. We will also discuss the importance of community engagement, the need for partnerships with local businesses and government entities, and the potential for community Wi-Fi to drive economic development in underserved areas.

Breakouts 2: 2:30PM-3:20PM

Engage and Acquire New Subscribers with a Data-Driven Approach

Track: Marketing

Mitch Smith, Calix

Will new competition with deep pockets flood your market this year? Armed with more than $100 billion in funding, existing, and incumbent providers are targeting your pool of potential subscribers. What’s your new strategy to beat them to the punch?

Competing on speed and price will no longer cut it. Broadband providers are looking for new data-driven strategies to fuel growth and transform how they engage with their subscribers and prospects.

Economic Update and State of the Debt/Acquisition Market

Track: Business Management

Hunter Hook, CoBank

This presentation will provide an update on economic activity and also cover both the debt market (interest rates etc.) and the acquisition market. 

Nutritious and Informative: Regulatory and Compliance in 2024

Track: Policy/Accounting

Eric Pulvermacher, FORVIS

Whether it is Broadband labels, or the first round of BEAD grant applications many regulatory and compliance issues continue to shape your 2024 decision processes. Whether it is state or federal we will review many of the pressing regulatory and compliance issue affecting Wisconsin companies this year.

Connectivity Blueprint: Mapping Broadband Grant Applications for Telecom Providers

Track: Technology
Thomas Mattimiro, Millennium

Tailored for telecommunications leaders, this presentation delves into leveraging GIS technology to map, track, and analyze grant applications.

Breakouts 3: 3:30PM-4:20PM

Streaming Forward: Navigating the Streaming Revolution for Effective Advertising

Track: Marketing

Autumn Ricke, Pinnacle Marketing

Step into the future of advertising with streaming platforms. Explore the rising trend of cord-cutting and the golden opportunities it creates for businesses. With a myriad of streaming services and precise audience targeting, discover why this moment is opportune for businesses to make their mark in the streaming advertising landscape.

Accounting Roundtable
Track: Policy/Accounting
Facilitator: Laura Gullickson, NTec

Technology Roundtable
Track: Technology
: Shane McCann, Marquette-Adams Telephone Cooperative, Inc. 

General Session
Thursday, May 23


Transitioning from Traditional Voice to Cloud Solutions
Facilitator: PJ Louis, NECA
Panelists: John Barnhill, Bandwidth, Derek Ayd, Lakeland Communications, Justin Huebner

The panel will discuss the reasons for moving away from traditional voice to the cloud and will discuss the challenges facing carriers making the move to cloud solutions. 

Ransomware – A Christmas Miracle
Facilitator: Shane McCann, Marquette-Adams Telephone Cooperative, Inc. 
Panelists: Noah Williams, Marquette-Adams Telephone Cooperative, Inc. & Jacob Secor, WIN Technology

Closing General Session
Ed Sedar, Former Brewers Baseball Coach


Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association

1502 W Broadway, Suite 102

Monona, WI 53713

Phone: 608-256-8866

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