2015 Accounting & Marketing/Customer Service Conference


We’re back with yet another great conference line-up – and what a line-up we have for you. As you might have noticed, we have gotten in the groove of coloring just a little outside the lines when putting these programs together. And what we see is you like coloring outside the lines too! So let’s color.

We are still working to confirm some of the speakers but we have a lot of the meat on the bone and wanted to get this preliminary outline to you as it is time to open registration.. July is really just around the corner.

We have put an educational, fun and powerful program together. We have focused the agenda toward three disciplines within our telecommunications industry (accounting, marketing, customer service) but also some focus on each of you as individuals — and the program will make each of you push your own envelop just a tad. We don’t want you too comfortable – we want you engaged. And with this program, a powerhouse line-up of speakers/presenters – we are going to be engaged!

We begin our adventure together at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio with registration opening at noon. The Conference will kick off with a Welcome from Weldon then two relevant and riveting – business and personal growth General Sessions. It is never too early to learn how to “Transform Social Security into Winning Strategies.” Not pointing any fingers or anything, but life is an ageable process and we might have that element happening in our membership too. Then we move from ageable to educational with an update on E-Rate Modernization by Ashlea Kenalty-GVNW.

After that, we will return from Break into Concurrent Sessions. For our Customer Service/Marketing attendees, Toni Rivas-Valley Telephone Cooperative, Chairman of TSTCI Marketing Committee, is going to facilitate an in-person and open strategic planning committee meeting. This will be an opportunity for the participants to help formulate the Marketing Committees strategic and branding plan for TSTCI and its members. It will also be an opportunity for networking with others that hold the same position and responsibility in other companies and it will be an opportunity for the front-line employees (CSRs) to provide their valuable input into customer approach. Marketing and Customer Service are team sports so we’re going to have a bigger than usual team huddle.

While the Customer Service/Marketing group are doing their thing, the Accounting group will have two break-outs of their own. Tax-Woman, Debbie Broyles-Curtis Blakely & Co., will give us the Tax Update we all need but don’t quite love. Debbie will include any changes that may have taken place during the Texas legislative session that will have just ended in June. Following Debbie, Wade Wilson-Bolinger, Segars, Gilbert & Moss, will update, refresh and preach the Time Recording/Coding Labor sermon. Remember, time recording is the foundation of plant accounting.

With your heads full of information, it will then be time to feed your stomach with food, your spirit with spirits and your soul with friends as we gather for our Welcome Reception Wednesday evening 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. And to continue the tradition of some fun food -- what will we have this year?

Thursday morning, we begin again. After a full breakfast buffet, TSTCI President Steven Steele and TSTCI CEO Weldon Gray will re-welcome you and kick off the day’s program. Our Opening General Session speaker, Sarita Maybin, will get the ball rolling with “Communicating for Success: How to Maintain High-Touch Relationships on High-Tech Times.” And how appropriate will this information be for all of us.

Continuing the morning together, we have put together a panel discussion on billing. Now before you roll your eyes – this ain’t your mama’s billing panel – this is “To Bill and How To Bill – That is the Questions” a panel discussion on creative billing best practices – and by creative billing we mean unique (and legal). Some of our companies and several of our Associate Members are already engaged and they will share some secrets and creative approaches. Eleanor Johnson-Etex will be Moderator of the panel including invited reps from NISC, UDP, MACC and CDG. We are awaiting final confirmation from a couple of panelist before we publish that group – but trust me, it will be a great panel.

For some personal growth and direction, Dirk Coleman-Curtis Blakely & Co. will present “Estate Planning – What you Need to Know.” As we recently reported, Dirk recently received certification as an estate planner and will give all of us some valuable personal direction for planning for our future and/or our children’s future.

We will then break bread together (lunch) followed by an exciting panel discussion –“ Marketing Today – Who To - How To - When To - Where To” Toni Rivas in her capacity not only as Marketing Committee Chair but also as Marketing Manager for Valley Telephone will act as Moderator of a panel of names and talent you are already familiar with: Russell Kacer-YK Communications who has shared and dazzled with us before; Betse Esparza-Big Bend Telephone who brings new depth and fresh thoughts and ideas to the marketing approach, and Susan Madden –Above the Fog Marketing, the marketing arm for TSTCI who can look at our industry and Association with outside eyes and bring her professional guidance to our journey.

If anyone can follow that act it is Todd McElmurry-Curtis Blakely & Co. who is back by popular demand to click you through “Computer Skills – Pivot Tables and Other Geeky Stuff.”

Following a break, we will break into our Concurrent Sessions to focus more closely on each discipline’s area of expertise. The Accounting Break-out will meet to discuss “NECA – Tariff Pricing and Pool Decision-making” lead by representative from Moss Adams and someone from JSI will lead the Commercial Break-out on a yet to be determined journey. The final Break-outs of the day will be “Best Practices – Budgeting & Forecasting” for the Accounting discipline and for the Commercial Break-out Tim Owens-Cronin “Beating the Competition.”

After an evening of enjoying the Riverwalk, we will return Friday morning to General Session for Tim Owens-Cronin with Technology Trends -- “Gigabits, Gadgets & Gizmos.” Weldon will give you a State of the Association and an overview of other legislation that passed during the recent session. And that will conclude our coloring outside the lines project for this meeting – we hope we have helped you create a masterpiece. Before we adjourn, we will draw for the winner of the Grand Prize drawing and the winner of the PAC raffle drawing.

As we adjourn this meeting for another year, we hope that you will have enjoyed the meeting and learned lessons to share back with others in your offices, heard information that helps you better understand our industry, your companies and maybe yourself, networked with old friends and new acquaintances and got a gentle but true reminder that you and Rural Matters. We will adjourn this meeting for another year and look forward to seeing each and every one of you throughout the days ahead. We, TSTCI and the TSTCI Program Planning Committee, want to give special thanks to those Members who give their time, energy and talents to share their expertise with us through their participation as speakers, presenters and facilitators of this program. Our Association is very lucky to have as members like: Big Bend Telephone; Bolinger, Segars, Gilbert & Moss; CDG; Cronin; Curtis Blakely & Co.; , GVNW Consulting; JSI; MACC; Moss Adams, NISC; UDP; Valley Telephone Cooperative; & YK Communications; These TSTCI Members help make this conference possible and successful. They are joined by others that help support our efforts with financial support also.




If you have any questions or need any additional assistance, please contact Weldon Gray at 903-658-0055 or [email protected] or Pat Holder, TSTCI Event Planner at 512-349-7470 or [email protected]



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