2022 Annual Meeting

Monday, August 22nd - Wednesday, August 24th

Big Sky Resort
Summit - Upper Lobby
Talus Room
50 Big Sky Resort Road
Big Sky, MT 59716
800-548-4486
 
The Annual Meeting is a telecom policy conference attended by more than 100 senior execs from Montana’s telecom industry.  We offer sponsorship opportunities (registration coming soon!) and other ways for associate members to participate.  It’s a great venue for exposure to senior level telecom execs and the public policies that affect the industry.  


Vendors and Associate Members
Click here to register and view sponsorship opportunities!

Current Sponsors and Associate Members Attending

 
TELCO Members and all others - NOT VENDORS OR ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
If you do not have an account in our system and want to register - please email us.
GOLF is almost full as of 7/22/22. 
Please sign up if you are interested, but you might be put on a waiting list.  We will refund your money if you are not able to attend. 
Pay by Credit Card*
Mail in Payment

*3% charge added to all credit card transactions

$400 | $150 Government
$450 | $200 Government after August 9th

Room reservations can be made by clicking here or calling 800-548-4486, option 2, reference MT Telecommunications Association. Room rates start at: $163/night plus tax, and do require a deposit. Room block rates expire Friday, July 22, 2022. Rooms are filling fast so please book quickly!
Other hotels nearby: 
Buck's T-4 and The Wilson Hotel

Below are some helpful links for transportation to and from the airport, and around Big Sky:

Karst Stage Airport Shuttle
Big Sky Shuttle - Airport Shuttle
https://www.mountainandcanyoncab.com/
https://turo.com/
Mountain & Canyon Cab
Skyline Bus - Summer Schedule -
Big Sky Meadow Village to Mountain Village transportation


Agenda

Monday, August 22nd

9am Fly Fishing - meet in Shoshone/Huntley Lobby by Grizzly Bear at 9am
9:30am Golf - Cottonwood Hills Golf Club, Bozeman
Chartered bus transportation included - leaves the Shoshone/Huntley at 8am
5 - 7pm President's Welcome Reception - Huntley Dining Room

 

Tuesday, August 23rd - Talus Room, Summit

8:30am

Welcome
Geoff Feiss, General Manager, BroadbandMT (Montana Telecommunications Assn.)

8:40am Federal Overview
Mike Romano, Executive Vice President, NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association
9:30am FCC Priorities
Narda Jones, Chief of Staff, Office of Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel
9:55am

Joshua Sizemore, Policy Advisor Office of Senator Steve Daines

10am Break
10:15am Broadband Equity and Affordability Deployment (BEAD) Program
Courtney Dozier, BEAD Deputy Director, NTIA
11am

Tribal Telecommunications
Godfrey Enjady, President National Tribal Telecommunications Association

Misty Kuhl, Director,Governor's Office of Tribal Affairs

Noon

Lunch - in the Talus Room

1:00pm

USDA Rural Development Update
Kathleen Williams, USDA Rural Development State Director

1:15pm

Partnerships
Eric Bryson, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

Thomas Jodoin, Deputy Directory/General Counsel, Montana League of Cities & Towns

Jennie Stapp, State Librarian, Montana State Library

Rebecca Meyers, Executive Director, Montana Economic Developers Association

2:15pm

Olivia Oo: Telecom Advisor to Senator Jon Tester

2:30pm

Break

2:45pm

Workforce Recruitment, Retention, Training, Retirement - Part I
Tara Mastel, Community Development Program Leader, MSU Extension

Leif Ibsen, Co-Founder | Owner, Montana Opportunities for Veterans Everywhere, LLC

Brian Obert, Executive Director, Montana Business Assistance Connection

 

Wednesday, August 24th - Talus Room Summit

8:30am Open Forum with Montana’s Broadband Program Directors

Misty Ann Giles, Director, Montana Department of Administration
Anthony Curcio, Summit
Senator Jason Ellsworth (R) Hamilton

10am Break
10:15am

Workforce Recruitment, Retention, Training, Retirement Part II
Aimee Dietrich, General Manager, Northern Telephone Co-op

Rob Johnstone, CEO, Range

11am

State of the States
Kara Semmler, General Counsel and Executive Director, South Dakota Telecommunications Assn.

Tyler Campbell, Executive Director, Kentucky Telecom Association

Betty Buckley, Executive Director, Washington Independent Telecommunications Association


Speakers

Mike Romano - NTCA
Michael Romano is the Executive Vice President of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, overseeing NTCA’s public policy, government affairs, and business development initiatives, the educational and community-focused mission of the Foundation for Rural Service, and several areas of association operations including member engagement, information technology, and human resources. Before joining NTCA, Mike was of counsel with Bingham McCutchen, LLP (now Morgan Lewis), served as the founding vice president and general counsel of GTT Communications and held a variety of positions with America Online and Level 3 Communications. Mike has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American history from Middlebury College, and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Godfrey Enjady - NTTA & MATI

Mr. Enjady is the Founder and General Manager of the Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc. (MATI) established in 2000. Since opening its doors, MATI has increased clientele by 85% since opening our doors and we continue to grow state and nationwide.

Mr. Enjady has vast experience as a Technician/Analyst with CONTEL and GTE-Southwest in the installation and repair of residential phone systems, business systems, data transmission as well as other aspects of OSP, ISP and customer relations. As a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, Mr. Enjady has led the resurgence of utility services, economic and business development by bringing state of the art equipment to the Mescalero Reservation.

Godfrey holds leadership positions on a wide variety of national organizations
• President of the National Tribal Telecommunications Association (NTTA)
• Chair of NTCA’s Tribal Affairs Committee since 2014
• Member of the FCC Intergovernmental Advisory Committee since 2018.
• Former member of the FCC Native Nations Broadband Taskforce since 2015-2016.
• Former member of NTCA Board of Directors
• Former member of OPASTCO Board of Directors

Jennie Stapp - Montana State Library
Jennie Stapp is a Montana native.  She holds a BA in International Studies from Rocky Mountain College in Billings.  She earned her Masters in Library Science from the University of Arizona in 2002.  Jennie worked previously for the Montana Historical Society Research Center and joined the staff of the State Library in 2005.  She has been State Librarian since January, 2012.  In addition to her leadership in Montana, Jennie served on the Board of the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition where she served two years as Chair.  Jennie is currently  Chair of the Board of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies.

Kara Semmler - South Dakota Telecommunications Association
Kara Semmler serves as General Counsel and Executive Director of the South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA).  Kara represents SDTA membership before the SD Public Utilities Commission, other state agencies, the state legislature, and the FCC. 

Kara received a BA in business administration from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI and went on to obtain her law degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Kara then moved home to South Dakota to practice law.  In addition to nearly a decade of private practice legal experience, she served as an attorney at the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and as a Policy Advisor to Governor Kristi Noem. 

Kara and her husband Aaron have one son.  They enjoy outdoor adventures so readily available in Central South Dakota. 

Senator Janet Ellis currently represents Senate District 41, where she specializes in the state budget, election law, state pension plans, and energy issues. She currently serves on the following interim committees: Legislative Finance, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Communications Committee (broadband), State Administration & Veterans Affairs, and Energy & Telecommunications. Janet also served in the Montana House of Representatives from 2015 to 2018. Prior to retiring in 2018, Janet worked for Montana Audubon for 29 years to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat through public policy. She holds a degree in biology from the University of Montana. She lives in Helena with her husband; they have an adult son.
Eric Bryson, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

Eric Bryson attended Montana State University in 1994 and received undergraduate degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration.  Realizing what an undergraduate degree in Political Science qualified him to become, he continued in school and received Master of Public Administration Degree from MSU.  

He won a seat on the Bozeman School Board and served from 2003-2006.  He then won a seat on the Bozeman City Commission and served from 2008-2010 before jumping at the opportunity to return to Helena to become the Chief Administrative Officer for Lewis and Clark County. 

He loves local government, and the best form of local government is County government.  The wide range of issues placed before County Commissioners makes it exciting, and the work they do at MACo is intended to improve local government for the practitioners and their constituents.    

Misty Ann Giles: Giles currently serves as Montana’s Director of the Department of Administration (DOA) and de facto Chief Operating Officer.

In this role, Giles oversees enterprise-wide government operations that provide core business services to other state agencies. While serving as Director, Giles has worked to streamline agency operations and continues to lead renewed efforts to bring better and more efficient services to Montanans. She also serves as the state’s broadband manager overseeing the ConnectMT program and related broadband activities.

Prior to assuming the role at DOA, Giles served as Chief of Staff for Rural Development (RD) at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As Chief of Staff, she directed and oversaw all aspects of daily operations related to the $239 billion dollar loan portfolio delivered by 5000 employees and 477 offices nationwide. In this role, she directed 31 operational realignments and modernizations, lead the successful implementation of RD’s Farm Bill programs, and the deployment of ReConnect. Giles also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for RD and Senior Advisor to the Secretary while at USDA, where she focused on the development of regulatory and fiscal policy related to a wide range of national issues including broadband, utilities, and infrastructure.

Before joining USDA, Giles served in leadership roles under former governors Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal in the state of Georgia.

Giles serves as the Vice-Chair of the ARPA Communications Advisory Commission and as an At-Large Director on the Executive Committee for the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA).
Giles holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego and a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts from Georgia Southern University.

Misty Kuhl was born in Havre and is an A’aniiih member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community. As a first generation college graduate, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services (Cum Laude) from Montana State University-Billings. Misty spent several years working with tribal communities in New Mexico as a probation officer, and then nationally as a Director with the Native American Alliance Foundation where she worked with Indigenous communities from Alaska to Florida. Following her work with NAAF, she lived out her love for the outdoors and was an outdoor guide for several years, eventually taking over Outdoor Programs for Kirtland Air Force Base. She especially loves paddling whitewater and trail running. Entrepreneurship opportunities in the outdoor industry brought her “home” to Montana. Being back in Montana ignited a renewed passion for serving Indian Country. Misty was appointed to serve as Director of the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs in January 2021 and is halfway through her second year as a Cabinet member. She loves working to serve Montana's Native people, and Montana. She serves on Leadership Montana's Board of Governors and as a board member for Montana Conservation Corps and the American Indian Governance and Policy Institute. Misty lives in Helena with her husband Matt, a woodworker craftsman, and their little dog.

Narda Jones serves as FCC Chief of Staff having joined the Chairwoman’s leadership team from the White House where she was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to that, she was the Senior Technology Policy Advisor for the Democratic staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation and Science. Narda started working in the U.S. Senate for Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington in 2014, after spending over a decade in senior roles in the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline and International Bureaus. She also previously worked at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office. In addition, she was part of the inaugural class of the AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship program and spent her fellowship time aiding homeless families secure housing and public benefits in St. Paul, Minnesota. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jones is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Brooklyn Law School.

 

Betty Buckley has been an advocate for rural economic development and rural broadband for over two decades. Prior to her current position as Executive Director of the Washington Independent Telecommunications Company she was the Executive Director of Communities Connect, a coalition of public and private organizations which worked under the auspices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a state fund to support broadband adoption programs throughout Washington. Betty was also the co-founder and Executive Director of Stone Soup, a nonprofit organization that worked to improve the lives of women in rural communities through entrepreneurship and microenterprise. It was in this role that she first became a true believer in digital equity.

Throughout her career Betty has worked with the state legislature in a wide range of capacities including staff for the House of Representatives, special assistant to an agency director for legislative issues, and budget director for a state agency.

Betty, her husband Gregg and their two McNabs operate a ranch in the remote mountains of Northeast Washington.

 

Rebecca Meyers has been a contract lobbyist for the better part of a decade and, in 2018, founded Northbound Public Affairs, a Government Relations and Strategic Consulting firm. Meyers’ demonstrated success in collation building, along with her expertise in environmental policy, local government, healthcare, agriculture, and state budgeting, has allowed her to pass legislation, develop and implement policy, and build strong relationships in communities across several states. 

In addition to direct lobbying services, Meyers works with organizations to conduct political feasibility studies, focus their policy priorities, and engage in general organization development, including strategic planning.  Meyers has experience in coordinating event planning and has developed and presented legislative and advocacy trainings for local elected officials and staff across the state of Colorado. Meyers is an expert in facilitation, networking, coalition building, and developing strategic roadmaps to ensure successful outcomes for her clients. 

Meyers is a member and past Chair of the Executive Board of the Helena Leaders Network (HLN), a program of the Helena Chamber of Commerce. Meyers is also a member of the ad hoc planning committee for a local networking group, Hometown Helena. Meyers lives in Helena, MT, with her daughter and husband, and loves outdoor recreation, world travel, and being an active member of her community. 

 

Tyler Campbell has served as Executive Director of the Kentucky Telecom Association since 2015. Over the past 7 years, he has represented Kentucky's rural broadband providers in Frankfort, serving as the chief lobbyist and spokesperson for KTA. Tyler manages the daily operations of the association, including advocacy, membership engagement, communications and events. Prior to leading KTA, Tyler served in government affairs and communications roles with the Kentucky League of Cities, Commerce Lexington Inc. and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. With more than 14 years of government affairs experience, Tyler is passionate about representing his members in front of lawmakers at the federal, state and local levels of government. He is a recent graduate of Leadership Kentucky and currently serves on the NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association Government Affairs Committee, NTCA PAC Board of Directors, President of the Kentucky Society of Association Executives and previously served as the Chairman of the National Council of State Telecom Association Executives.

Tyler received his Master of Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Georgetown College (KY). He resides in Georgetown, KY with his wife of 18 years, Amber, and their two children, Jackson and Annabelle. Tyler also enjoys playing golf and coaching youth basketball and soccer in his community. He has served as a long time deacon at Georgetown Baptist Church and is involved in several community organizations in his hometown.

 

Joshua Sizemore, Telecom Advisor to Senator Steve Daines

Joshua serves as an advisor to Senator Daines. Born and raised in Billings, Montana, his legislative portfolio includes Tech/Telecommunications, Commerce, Science, Energy and Natural Resources.

 

Olivia Oo serves as a legislative assistant for Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) where she advises the senator on Commerce issues, including technology, telecommunications, and consumer protection. She was previously Congressman Tony Cárdenas’ (D-CA) legislative director, managing his duties on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and overseeing the policy operation. Prior to the Hill, Olivia worked in CIT Group’s Government Affairs office where she monitored legislative and regulatory developments affecting the financial services industry and provided weekly policy analyses to the company’s executives. 

 

Tara Mastel is Program Lead for Community Development at MSU Extension where she works to support rural community vitality and local leaders.  Tara grew up in Wolf Point and began her career at a national marketing firm in Minneapolis.  She came back to Montana to use her skills to bring some of the prosperity of the city to rural Montana.  Tara works remotely from her home in Red Lodge.

 

Thomas Joidoin was the in the Helena City Attorney’s Office for 15 years with 7 years as City Attorney. In that capacity he brought trusted leadership, collaborative problem solving, and advice to local elected officials, city staff, and citizens in all aspects of Montana municipal operations.

Thomas now serves as the Montana League of Cities and Towns Deputy Director/General Counsel. Thomas is responsible for drafting legislation, providing research and advice fro member municipal officials, and representing the League on internal matters and before the state legislature, state agencies and the courts on various matters affecting municipalities.

Thomas was born and raised in San Diego, California. He earned a BA in Environmental Studies from United States International University in San Diego and a JD, with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law, from the University of Montana School of Law.

Rob Johnstone is the CEO of Range headquartered in Forsyth, MT.  He has been in the telecommunications industry for 16 years. Rob received his education in business management and marketing from the University of Montana in Missoula.  Prior to becoming CEO, Rob was the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Range.  Rob serves on several national, state and local boards which include the SMC Board for NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, Vice President of the Board for Montana Telecommunications Association (MTA), and Board member for Rosebud Health Care Center.  Rob has 25+ years of experience in leadership, management, operations, sales, and marketing. 

 

Anthony Curcio is a Partner at Summit Consulting. He led Summit’s effort to stand up the USDA Rural Utilities Service ReConnect Grant and Loan Program, which provides broadband infrastructure investments to rural communities across rural America. His team led the financial review and underwriting process for all submitted applications during the first two funding rounds.  In total, Summit underwrote nearly 300 applications in the first two funding rounds, supporting RUS efforts in awarding over $1.5 billion in funding. Mr. Curcio’s team also assisted in the development of program guidance and the administration of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund, working with program leadership and stakeholders to structure the program in accordance with Federal requirements. He has an MBA from Georgetown University and an MA from Johns Hopkins University. He splits time between Washington, DC and Tennessee. 

 

Leif Ibsen is the Co-Founder of Montana Opportunities for Veterans Everywhere LLC (M.O.V.E.). Leif founded M.O.V.E. with his wife Mary as a result of the challenges Leif encountered in his own transition to Montana after serving for 21 years in the U.S. Army. Their goal is to create a path which does not currently exist, connecting employers with transitioning service members and military spouses to help solve the talent shortage. M.O.V.E provides consulting, management, and recruiting services for employers and specializes in the implementation, use, and management of the Department of Defense SkillBridge program as an authorized DOD SkillBridge Partner (June 2022). Leif created and built his own SkillBridge opportunity resulting in him becoming the first Hiring Our Heroes Fellow at Montana State University (Jan2022-Apr2022) and in the State of Montana.

Leif graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology, and he also holds a Master of Science in Administration Leadership from Central Michigan University. Leif holds numerous military service medals to include the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star.

Leif lives in Townsend with his wife Mary and their children Gabe, Gracey, and Tucker. Leif and Mary are both Montana natives with roots back 6 generations.

 

Brian Obert, Executive Director
Montana Business Assistance Connection (MBAC)
Gateway Economic Development District GEDD)

Brian joined MBAC in January of 2006 as the Community Development Specialist and was appointed Executive Director in January of 2015. In this role, Brian and the MBAC team lead economic development initiatives in Broadwater, Lewis and Clark and Meagher Counties.

Before joining MBAC, Brian was a Manufacturing Engineer at the Boeing Company in Seattle, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Montana State University. Brian has been the president of the Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) Board of Directors since August 2020. Three generations of the Obert family worked for the Vigilante Electric Cooperative including Brian’s grandfather, father, three uncles, brother and a couple cousins.

2021 Pictures - thank you Kathy Rea at Mid America Computer Corporation!


 SPONSORS

Gold

 

 

 Silver

Awards Luncheon

  

 

  

Rural Education Fund

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Other Sponsors

 

 

Associate Members in Attendance

Alexicon | CEC | Fatbeam Grizzly Broadband, LLC | KLJ Engineering | Michels Power, Inc. | Mid America Computer Corp. (MACC) | Northfork Strategies, LLC | | Ribbon Communications | Robinson Brothers Construction (Quanta Services)Rocky Mountain ContractorsRobinson Brothers Construction (Quanta Services) | Vision Net


 

Save the Date - Upcoming Annual Meetings

 

August 21 - 23, 2023
August 19 - 21, 2024

2 Fairway Dr.
Whitefish, MT 59937