TechConnect Agenda

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TechConnect 2024 Agenda

Below is a general outline of key events at TechConnect. General session topics and presenters as well as the specific agendas for the breakout sessions are still being finalized. We’ll post them to the TechConnect website as soon as they’re available. We’re focused on topics of importance to our members based on feedback from past events and recent conversations. For now, this agenda offers a general flow of events for your planning purposes.

Tuesday, May 14
3:30 – 6:30 p.m. Registration
5:30 – 8 p.m. Opening Reception
Wednesday, May 15
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.


8:30 – 9 a.m.

Tim Bryan, CEO, NRTC

9 – 9:45 a.m.

Innovation by Design: Becoming the Disruptor vs. the Disrupted
We don’t have a choice on whether we digitally transform, the choice is how well we do it. Innovators are made—not born in the electric and telecom sectors. To ensure you are the disruptor, not the disrupted, you must understand societal shifts and instill a culture of creativity around them. Knowing that technology changes every second, but human nature never does, learn the habits that allow you to always be a year ahead of your competition but never a year ahead of your customers, employees, and partners. Leap over the pitfalls of incremental change and land on a foundation of progressive and practical innovation principles. Future forward.

Erik Qualman, best selling author and sought-out speaker on innovation and digital transformation

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Solutions-focused Breakouts

12 – 1 p.m. Lunch
5:30 – 8 p.m. Evening Event – dinner and socializing
Thurday, May 16
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Welcome Back
Tim Bryan, CEO, NRTC

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.

AI for Everyone: The challenges and potential in automation’s last mile
How will AI change the communities where we live and work? This question does not have a straightforward answer. It can be tempting to get swept up in AI hype or fall into AI gloom—celebrating or fearing a future that will be imminently rebuilt by technology. Yet, innovations are embedded into local worlds. We influence the direction and shape of new technologies almost as much as technologies influence our daily practices. This talk aims to offer introductory insights into the possibilities, and dangers of AI, building a sense of informed empowerment for sensible applications of AI at work.

Samantha Shorey, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Powering Transformation: Igniting a Revolution in Utility Employee Culture
An electrifying session where industry leaders share innovative strategies to spark a cultural revolution within utility companies. Explore groundbreaking methods to enhance the employee experience, cultivate a dynamic work environment, and drive transformative change in the industry’s workforce culture. Discover how to empower your teams, foster collaboration, and energize employees for a brighter, more resilient future in utilities.

Jeremy Graves, President, Pivot
Jasen Bronec, GM, Inland Power & Light

10:15 – 10:35 a.m.

The American Connection Corps: Closing the Digital Divide through National Service
The American Connection Corps (part of Lead for America) is an AmeriCorps program focused on building local capacity and advancing economic prosperity in rural communities and legacy cities nationwide. They’re building the next generation of civic leaders – and bridging the digital divide – in every corner of the country.

Eric Kotin and an ACC member

10:35 – 11:20 a.m.

Creating Superfans: How to Turn Customers into Enthusiastic Advocates
We’re living in an Experience Economy. Customer experience, or CX, is the new battlefield for winning — and keeping — customers. According to a recent study by Gartner, CX drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty. That’s more than brand and price combined. Customer apathy is one of the biggest threats to business today. Brittany shares her memorable, five-part framework that aligns audience members around the actionable steps businesses must take to turn customers into superfans. Go from commodity provider to category of one in the minds of your prospects in customers.

Brittany Hodak, author and keynote speaker

11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Excursions – golf, fishing, shooting range, Bronco experience, Fredericksburg tour, pontoon boat tour, etc.
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Casual get-together