NRTC Readying Major Presence at Nashville PowerXchange/TechAdvantage

Randy Sukow


NRTC's guest speaker, Chris Fletcher, Director of Quality for the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, will then take the stage.

NRTC will be easy to find when NRECA opens its PowerXchange conference and TechAdvantage expo, March 6-9. The Music City Center in Nashville, TN, will be the center of all the activity, where NRTC will have speakers in several meeting rooms sharing technology details on smart grid, broadband and wireless network management. In the exhibit hall, NRTC will have one of the largest booths, located near the entrance.

The NRTC Annual Meeting session for electric members will be the top event for the opening day. Members will meet two new entrants to the NRTC Board of Directors, Gary Stooksbury, CEO of Aiken Electric Cooperative in South Carolina will represent Class A District 2 (Florida, Georgia and South Carolina), and Josh Shallenberger, president/CEO of Shelby Electric Cooperative in Illinois will serve District 5 (Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin). Both candidates are running unopposed for board seats in an online election prior to the March 6 meeting.

NRTC, however, did not receive a nomination for the currently vacant District 7 (Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming). The NRTC board will have the option of appointing a member to fill that seat following the elections.

Addresses by Board Chairman Tim Mergen of Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association in Minnesota, and CEO Tim Bryan will be the highlights of the meeting. A guest speaker, Chris Fletcher, Director of Quality for the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, will then take the stage.

Fletcher (pictured), one of the few in Jack Daniel’s history to achieve  the “master distiller” distinction, is part of a family that has worked at the distillery for generations, including his grandfather and fellow master distiller, Frank “Frog” Bobo. Fletcher plays a key role in helping Jack Daniel’s develop its new product offerings.

(It has been suggested that samples of the company’s output could be available at the close of the annual meeting.)

The annual meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. In the morning, NRTC speakers will be prominent at a pre-conference workshop, “The Broadband Journey from Planning to Deployment to Operations.” Among the speakers there will be:

  • Michael Brown, NRTC VP, Engineering, on network design in one session and supply chain management in a second session.
  • Teresa Ferguson, NRTC’s senior director, Broadband and Infrastructure Funding on broadband project funding.
  • Ted Solomon, NRTC VP, Strategy and Corporate Development on broadband network value to the community and electric operations.
  • Tom Whitaker, NRTC VP, Member Operations will moderate a session on “best practices in business operations, customer management and network management.”

Please note than a registration fee is required to attend the workshop. Also, the workshop is scheduled to overlap the time of the NRTC Annual Meeting.

On Tuesday morning, March 8, Chris Beatson, chief technology officer for NRTC Managed Services will participate in a TechAdvantage session, “Proactive, Action-based Network Management: Leveraging Multiple Time-Based Data Sources to Optimize Operations.” Later that day, NRTC’s Ted Solomon will lead a session titled, “Real World Smart Grid Results and Best Practices,” where he will share details from the joint NRTC/CFC Smart Grid Benchmark Report.

The TechAdvantage exhibit floor features focused, half-hour “TechTalk” sessions on technology products or concepts. On Tuesday afternoon, NRTC’s Joe Walsh, VP Smart Grid Advisory and Networks, and Joshua Pepple, director, Smart Grid Technology Planning, will lead a TechTalk on the benefits of private LTE wireless networks for electric cooperatives.

And to all NRTC members and others attending the Nashville gathering, please stop by NRTC booth #1500, March 7-9, where we look forward to discussing NRTC’s many technology solutions.

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