2019 Annual Conference & Vendor Showcase


Topic TBD

Derrick Bulawa, CEO of BEK Communications



Opening Session: 

Cultural/Environmental Resources

Jen Turnbow, KLJ


2018 Breakout Session Topics

(topics will be updated as the information becomes available)


Appsuite: The Gateway to Productivity & Efficiency in the Field

Chris Fries (NISC)

Implement a business process that improves an end result with higher efficiency user Appsuite. This class is structured to show how companies can use Appsuite to complete day-to-day tasks while reducing driving time, overall miles driven, and completing jobs with one resource instead of multiple resources.


Bring Your "A" Game to Work

Mary Beth Burns (Train ND; SE NDSCS)

The Bring You’re a Game to Work, is designed to instill foundational workplace behaviors and values in today’s workforce.  After completing the program, Bring you’re a Game to Work participants will understand the long-term benefits of work ethic and setting a foundation for personal and professional success.

This session will feature one of the "A"'s of Mary Beth's full session.


Chainging Dynamics of the Smart Home

Mark Worshek (Calix)

The changing dynamics of the smart home create opportunities for service providers, who possess distinct advantages in offering solutions to consumers. Service provider ambitions in the smart home space are not new, but traditionally they have been challenging, with many past efforts abandoned or producing costly and disappointing results. Providers today are rightly cautious when considering the smart home space; however, multiple factors have aligned to make now the optimal time for service providers to enter this service area.


Cybersecurity - Privacy and Data Protections

Shawn Nelson, Sr. (CNE)


Cybersecurity - Hacks, Tips, and Tools

Blake Griffin (CNE)


Enabling the IoT: A WLAN Security Wake-up Call

Andrew Walding (Cellstream)

In this two-hour session, Andrew Walding will demonstrate the WLAN security issues that most people overlook. This active demonstration will change the way telecom professionals use Wi-Fi.


Fiber Cleaning

Kelly Weissmann (Clearfield)

This 5o minute session will cover the industry standard connectors, both single fiber and multi-fiber.  We will learn about the entire connector, not just the endface, and also the importance of inspecting and cleaning not only the connector at hand but also the fiber you will be mating to as well. The discussion will cover a broad variety of cleaning products/processes and how to use them properly. This will include live inspection of connectors and demonstrating a precision cleaning process that Clearfield highly recommends for cleaning connectors thoroughly.


Fiber Optics from Installation to Troubleshooting (Includes Hands-On Stations)

Jody Frey (USA)

Jody will present a 50-minute session in the morning and a hands-on in the afternoon where you will have the chance to inspect fiber using different tools and test fiber using different OTDR platforms.  Jody will guide the inspection and testing and will address questions as they come up. In addition, he will be addressing different concerns that technicians face with inspecting and testing fiber optics. Plan on stopping by his hands-on demonstrations and spending anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour in the afternoon.


Fusion Splicing 101 - Maintenance & Common Errors

Jeff Fischer (AFL)

The focus of this session will be on standard splicing techniques, machine and cleaver maintenance and cleaning, hands on splicing of single and ribbon fiber. Common splice errors and solutions to each error will be discussed as well as different techniques helpful for core and clad splices.


Five Easy and Powerful Excel Features

Cindy Solberg (BSC)

Excel is packed with features, formulas, and charts, making it great for business analysis. Among the great secrets of Excel, there are several easy to use features which will add value to your work. We will take a look at these features, including Sparklines, Conditional Formatting, and a few simple formulas you may not have noticed.


GPS of Outside Plant Facilities

Terry Kassian (KLJ)

This session will cover the techniques, equipment, systems and value of GPS data of OSP facilities.


Life Planning For Your Financial Future

Michael Schaff (Schaff Planning Group) & Brandon Wagner (Wagner Financial Services)

During this session, Brandon and Mike will help you plan for your financial future, while also helping you prepare for the unexpected.  Brandon, a professional financial advisor, will cover different areas of financial planning, including understanding 401k options, Roth IRAs, Investment bucket strategies, and other tips on both retirement accumulation and distribution.  Mike, an experienced estate planning attorney, will discuss the importance of having a Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directive, as well as making sure your beneficiary designations are what you want.


Modern FTTx Transmission, Design, and ImplementationFrom the CO to the User (2 hr)

Rory Troff (Multilink)

A 10,000 foot view of current and emerging fiber installation practices, testing, and best installation practices.


Safe Social Networking

Cindy Solberg (BSC)

Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter seem to be in direct conflict with an important Internet principle: Protect yourself from identity theft. Should we continue to use these vital tools, or quit using social media altogether? No and no. We should take responsibility to protect ourselves. Learn 10 tips to help you practice safe social networking both personally and professionally.


One Call Law and Recent Changes

Ryan Schmaltz (ND One Call)

Ryan Schmaltz will discuss the new law, some unknown points in the old law, and what that means for the utility and excavation industries.


Preparing to Live Well in Retirement
Jane Wigen, Member Relations Manager, NTCA

Living well in retirement requires us to think more comprehensively about many things throughout our life. The various benefit plans offered by our employer, understanding what it means to save for retirement, and knowing the barriers that will impact our retirement help us plan better. Whether you are new to the workforce and any retirement program, or if your retirement is right around the corner, join me for a dialogue on what to consider to help you be strategic and more broadly consider the aspects that contribute the fullness of your retirement future.


Security Systems Installation & Security Camera Considerations (2 hr)

James Anderson (Core 4 Tech)

This two-hour session will begin with a discussion of modern video surveillance systems, including HD over coax and the various major technologies, IP video, video resolutions, form factors of cameras, WDR, and video analytics. The session move into building a video surveillance system--how to choose the right camera, calculating video storage, calculating pixels-per-foot, and putting the entire system together.


Wi-Fi Interference

Joe Puhalla (KLJ)


Wi-Fi Troubleshooting

Jody Frey (USA)

End Sessions:

North Dakota Highway Patrol



911 Responsibilities for Telcos

Jason Horning (NDACo)




Seth Arndorfer (Dakota Carrier Network)



updated 1-23-19