MACTA Annual Conference 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

General Sessions:

Minnesota Communications Landscape 2013
Community, Collaboration, and the Search for Sustainability

Sessions in Two Tracks:

  • Policy/Legal:
    • Closed Captioning
    • The Current State of Community Fiber Network Development in MN
    • Franchise Renewal: Hot Topics and Current Developments
  • Content/Technical
    • Return Path Technology/Live Feeds
    • Technical Potpourri Panel
    • Taking The Mystery Out Of Online Content

Who Should Attend?

  • Broadband/Fiber Network Administrators
  • Cable Franchise Administrators
  • Cable Television Video Transmission Professionals
  • Communication Professionals
  • Data Communication Professionals
  • Institutional Network Administrators
  • Overall Administrators of Municipal and Non-profit Operations
  • Video Programming Professionals


  Register after October 26
Members $225
Non-Members $325

Multiple Registration Discount Incentives
If you register three or more people, you may deduct $20 per person from the fee. Multiple registrations must
be from the same organization and in one payment.

Registration fee includes: Educational sessions, handout materials, trade show with exhibitors, continental breakfast, luncheon, and refreshments


Park Plaza Hotel
4460 W 78th Street Circle
Bloomington, MN
Phone: 952-831-3131

Conference Schedule

7:00 – 8:20

Registration, continental breakfast visit with vendors

8:20 – 8:30

Welcome and introduction, MACTA President (Mike Reardon)

8:30 – 9:45

Opening Session: Minnesota Communications Landscape 2013

The election results are in!  Learn what this might mean in the state and federal legislative cable, broadband and telecommunications arenas as well as receive updates on current policy activities.

Joanne Hovis, President of NATOA and President of Columbia Telecommunications Corp. (CTC)
Joanne Hovis is President of Columbia Telecommunications Corp. (CTC), a national, public interest, communications engineering and consulting firm. She is an attorney with a background in communications and commercial litigation. Ms. Hovis is a recognized authority on the broadband market and community broadband topics—and on the evolving role of government in the provision of communications services to the public. At CTC, Ms. Hovis leads the company’s work for non-profit associations and oversees CTC’s educational offerings and training programs, which are offered by several universities. Ms. Hovis has authored extensive white papers on communications topics for government agencies and non-profit organizations (including the Free Press, Media Access Project, the Institute for Next Generation Internet at San Francisco State University, National Public Lightpath, the William Penn Foundation, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the American Civil Liberties Union). She also oversees all ongoing research and analysis for local government clients and frequently provides business planning and analysis for communications networking initiatives such as San Francisco’s planned fiber network and the regional, interoperable public safety communications network currently under development in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Ms. Hovis serves as President on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), which represents local governments and promotes community interests in communications matters.

Joe Bagnoli, McGrann Shea Anderson Carnival Straughn
Joseph T. Bagnoli is a shareholder at the McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb law firm in Minneapolis.  Mr. Bagnoli’s practice area includes representing clients interest before the Minnesota Legislature and local units of government.  Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Bagnoli served as the senior policy advisor to Governor Jesse Ventura working with five state agencies with respect to policy development and implementation.  Currently, he represents a variety of clients at the Legislature, including business leaders interested in transportation, taxes, telecommunications and commerce issues.  Mr. Bagnoli currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Saint Paul Library and is a past board member of Catholic Charities. 

Sarah Psick, McGrann Shea Anderson Carnival Straughn
Sarah J. Psick is the Director of Governmental Relations at the McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb law firm in Minneapolis.  Prior to joining the Firm, she was employed with the Minnesota House of Representatives for ten years working as a research policy consultant for House Republican legislators.  She also served as the chief staff for then Majority Leader and later Governor, Tim Pawlenty.  Ms. Psick represents the Firm’s clients’ interest before the Minnesota Legislature, administrative agencies, and before county and city governments.  She works in the areas of bonding, commerce, telecommunications, environment and taxes.  Ms. Psick serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Zoo and the Minnesota Governmental Relations Council. 

Moderator: Jodie Miller, Executive Director, Northern Dakota County Cable Communications Commission (NDC4)
Jodie Miller is the executive director at NDC4 Cable Commission and Town Square Television in Inver Grove Heights. She is co-chair of the MACTA legislative committee and has been a past board member and past President of MACTA. She is also co-chair of the NATOA policy & legal committee and a NATOA board member. She is proud mother of two graduate students and has been happily married almost every day for 26 years.

9:45 – 10:30

Break and Visit with Vendors

10:30 – 11:30

Policy/Legal track – “Closed Captioning”

The FCC has adopted new closed captioning rules for video programming shown on the Internet after being shown on television.  They also apply to any physical device capable of receiving or playing back video programming simultaneously with sound, sold or manufactured in the United States as of January 1, 2014.  This is an opportunity to learn about the new FCC closed captioning rules, how they may affect the PEG programming that you post on-line, as well as any other devices that they may be viewed on.

Stephen J. Guzzetta, Esq., Owner/Partner, Bradley & Guzzetta, LLC
Stephen J. Guzzetta is an Owner/Partner at Bradley & Guzzetta, LLC in Woodbury, MN. Steve represents a variety of local governments and media corporations around the country and assists them with franchise renewals and transfers, competitive franchising and right-of-way management, social media and intellectual property matters, software licensing, tower and antenna siting, rate regulation and litigation before the Federal Communications Commission and state and federal courts.

Moderator: Mark Moore, Apple Valley/Farmington/Rosemount Cable Commission
Mark has served as Coordinator for the Apple Valley, Farmington, & Rosemount Cable Commission (AFRCC) since 1999. The Joint Powers Department that Mark directs is responsible for cable franchise administration and oversight as well as the TV and video production and cable programming needs of the member cities. Before moving south of the river, he worked as a Video Production Specialist for the City of St. Paul for 11 years, and prior to that spent 25 years in the music business, performing on electric bass, keyboards, and vocals. Mark has won numerous local and national video production awards, and on Feb. 24, 2012, was inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame as a member of the Whitesidewalls Rock 'n' Roll Revue (1981-85).

10:30 – 11:30

Content/Technical track – “Return Path Technology/Live Feeds”

Find out how some community television facilities are using new digital technology to transport live programs back to Master Control.  Topics include Microwave, Sling Box, Live U and Point-to-Point WiFi Links. Also, learn how to share programs beyond just your system and collaborate on events.  And participate in a discussion of best practices for live presentations.

Joe Conlon, Engineering Manager, Town Square Television, Inver Grove Heights
Joe first got involved with NDCTV (now Town Square Television) back in 1988 while in high school. Over that time he has been a Town Square Television volunteer, producer, board member, cable commissioner and staff member. Joe went on to the College of St. Thomas after high school to study Communications with an emphasis in Telecommunications. In 1997, Joe was hired by Town Square Television as a full time technician, to perform the equipment maintenance, replacement and installation of studio, portable, city hall, master control and production truck. Aside from his equipment duties, he oversees the master control for 7 channels, including live program feeds. Annually, TST carries about 250 live city meetings, 50 live sports events and 50 other live programs, using fiber, coax, satellite, data networks and Internet feeds. To accommodate going live from more than 25 local venues on a limited budget, Joe has developed procedures to use low cost hardware and minimal staff time.

Eric Strouse, Production Manager - CTN Studios, Coon Rapids
Eric has more than 20 years of experience in television production, including 17 years at CTN Studios. His background is mostly in producing live on-location events and sports, but he also manages a progressive government access station. In April 2011 CTN Studios completed the upgrade of its 33' production truck to 5 camera HD 1080i/720p. The truck is primarily used for community events and sports, but also offers production services and rentals in the Twin Cities area. Currently programming airs in SD but is mastered and offered in full HD via BluRay discs. 2010 station awards include 2 regional Emmys, 3 national NATOA first place awards (including best government programming) and a first place national hometown award.

Patrick Cook, Senior Technician - CTV/North Suburban Access Corporation, Roseville
Pat Cook has more than 30 years of experience in community television, starting in Cloquet back in 1981. He joined Group W Cable-Roseville in 1984 before transferring to CTV North Suburbs in 1991. Pat has filled many technical and production roles along the way. Pat has been instrumental in developing the I-Net for video, data and voice transport for CTV's ten cities. Pat also helped develop the Prisma Connect network, a tool used by access facilities to share programming with each other. His work has helped CTV go live for a number of city and school events including high school and college sports.

Moderator: Dale Irving, CTV North Suburbs
Dale Irving began in community television back in 1989, first under the cable company, before transferring to CTV North Suburbs in 1991. Dale was the Production Coordinator until 1999, where he produced sporting events, sports interviews and special programming for CTV. He left for the corporate world in 1999, joining Best Buy's In-Store Media Team developing a number of media interactives and customer experiences. In 2011, Dale re-joined CTV in his current role overseeing production, training and to develop CTV's Sports Channel.

11:30 – 1:30

Luncheon Presentation and Keynote:

  • PEG Award Presentation & MACTA Website Update
  • Community, Collaboration and the Search for Sustainability

    The keys to sustainability for PEG Access are the evolution from PEG access television channels to community media services and collaboration with community organizations. Suzanne St. John-Crane and CreaTV San José are on the cutting edge of the community media field, thriving in spite of California’s state franchising legislation. Suzanne will talk, not only about funding options and expectations, but also about community partnerships and political realities in a world of rapidly changing technology and regulatory restructuring. It’s all about building partnerships and leveraging your resources with those of other public and private sector organizations to serve community communications needs.

    “Community, Collaboration and the Search for Sustainability”

    Fifteen Years of Experience in the video and computer industry. Working for Alpha Video and Apple Inc. Have in the past integrated and trained on various edit systems including Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Adobe Premiere. Have worked with many market segments including cable, government/community, corporate, broadcast, sports, post, and independent editors.

    Speaker: Suzanne St. John-Crane, Executive Director of CreaTV San José
    Suzanne St. John-Crane has worked in community television for the last twenty years as a volunteer, producer, manager and advocate. She earned her Masters in Non-Profit Arts Administration at San Francisco State, where she fell in love with video. Suzanne began her career as Operations Manager at Pacifica Community Television, and moved on to be Assistant Director of Community Television of Santa Cruz County. After nearly seven years of running a four-channel community television station for Gilroy, Suzanne decided to move on to CreaTV San Jose, opening the long anticipated media center for San Jose. Suzanne is the recipient of over a dozen regional and national awards for programs she has produced, and was honored to receive the 2001 Gail Rich Award in Santa Cruz County as an Interdisciplinary Artist. In 2012, Suzanne was named one of Silicon Valley's Women of Influence by the Business Journal. Suzanne has served on both the Regional and National Boards of the Alliance for Community Media. She lives with her husband and two daughters in San Jose, and regularly indulges her passion of singing in Pearl Alley, her blues band.

  • 1:30 – 2:00

    General Business Meeting of the MACTA Membership

    2:00 – 2:30

    Dessert and Visit with Vendors

    2:30 – 3:30

    Policy/Legal track – “The Current State of Community Fiber Network Development in MN”

    Minnesota Counties and Cities continue to move forward with the development and construction of fiber networks. Catch up on what is going on in the state from both the public and private perspective. 

    Brian Estrem, U-Reka Broadband
    Brian has a varied background in both the telecommunications and technology sectors working on both the service provider and equipment manufacturer sides of the business. Brian brings more than 25 years of operational background to the company, assuring that U-reka’s partner companies have the operational expertise to go with next-generation architectures. Brian has been deeply involved in both the fiber-to-the-premise and IPTV marketplace and understands the engineering and operational requirements of such cutting edge technologies. During his time with U-reka, Brian has helped implement technology solutions for its clients, delivering projects on-time and on-budget.

    Milda K. Hedblom, J.D., Ph.D., HBC Connectivity Consultant, Dain Int’l Services & Augsburg College
    Milda K. Hedblom is a consultant, lawyer and policy expert now working mainly with Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Inc., as a Communications Connectivity Consultant. She has a broad range of experience in broadband network development for both public and private clients and has expertise in triple play services and other beneficial community applications. She has expertise in regulation, multi-party agreements and entry of new services. As a consultant, she has worked on a number of FTTH projects in Minnesota and dozens of varied projects in fiber, cable services, wireless and broadband applications nationally. She has held positions in the Plans and Policy office of the FCC, as a Senior Fellow in International Telecommunications at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, and Executive Coordinator of the UN World Summit on Information project in Geneva. She organized the Telecommunications Policy and Information Society Forum at the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute and is Professor of politics and communications at Augsburg College, Minneapolis.

    Randy Olson, Executive Director, City of Red Wing
    Randy has a long history of working with technology entrepreneurs in a business development capacity, having served as Executive Director of Minnesota Project Innovation to assist businesses in accessing Small Business Innovation Research grants and as General Manager of the University Enterprise Laboratories, Inc., a bioscience incubator. He also led business financing efforts for the Initiative Foundation. Randy Is currently leading a project for the city of Red Wing called Red Wing Ignite, which will include the establishment of a business incubator and equity fund to attract and grow IT businesses in the area.

    Jeff O’Neil, City Administrator, City of Monticello, Minnesota
    Jeff O’Neill is the City Administrator for the City of Monticello, Minnesota. O’Neill has assisted the community in development and operation of a triple play telecommunication service known as FiberNet Monticello. Conceived by a citizen group in 2005, and authorized by a citizen vote in 2007, the service has been in operation since July 2010. O’Neill has been with the City for more than 20 years, previously serving as Community Development Director, Deputy City Administrator and Assistant Administrator. He also was City Administrator for the City of Watertown, MN and worked as an Assistant Administrator for the City of Coon Rapids, MN. His background includes service as a member of the MACTA Board of Directors since 2010. O’Neill has a MA in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato, as well as a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with a major in Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.

    Moderator: Tom Garrison, Communications Director, City of Eagan
    Tom Garrison is Communications Director for the City of Eagan, and served on the Minnesota Ultra High Speed Broadband Task Force in 2008-’09. He is liaison to the Eagan Technology Working Group, a local advisory panel on broadband issues, made up of high tech industry representatives, Chamber and home-based business people. Mr. Garrison is currently leading efforts to attract a carrier neutral data center to Eagan and deploy a wholesale (open access) fiber network in Eagan’s business districts open to any carrier or provider. He is the founding editor of Minnesota Technology magazine, and a former reporter for KSTP-TV.

    2:30 – 3:30

    Content/Technical track – “Technical Potpourri Panel”

    In this session, you’ll hear 3 quick presentations on 3 technical topics:

    • 16:9 Conversion & Transition
    • Hear ideas to help smooth the transition into the digital world.
    • Life After Final Cut Pro
    • Learn about new options for non-linear editing.
    • Digital Media Formats: Transcoding, Compression, Multiplexing, and More!
    • Learn how to move seamlessly through the variety of video formats.

    Josh Udvig
    Josh Udvig is an Emmy award winning editor & producer, as well as an EIC for 30’ 5 cam HD production truck. In Josh’s 10 years with CT, he has acted in many roles such as Director, Replay operator, Technical Director, Camera operator, audio operator and station engineer.

    Ryan Lundebrek, Digital Video Specialist, Alpha Video
    Ryan Lundebrek works for Alpha Video and Apple Inc., and has fifteen years of experience in the video and computer industry. He has integrated and trained on various edit systems including Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Adobe Premiere. Ryan has worked with many market segments including cable, government/community, corporate, broadcast, sports, post, and independent editors. Ryan is a Final Cut Professional; an Avid Certified Support Representative; and holds ACMT, CTS, and MCP certifications.

    Moderator: Carmen Hauck, Government Associate Producer, NDC4
    Carmen Hauck has worked for the Northern Dakota County Cable Communications Commission in Inver Grove Heights, MN, as the Government Associate Producer, since 2003. During that time, she has helped produce Government programming, including City Government meetings, Election coverage, and many other shows with elected officials, from School Board members to State Legislators. She also produces the Community Parks Connection show, and is a reporter and photographer for the news magazine, Insight 7. In addition to production work, Carmen also helps manage social media applications and the station’s website at

    3:45 – 4:45

    Policy/Legal track – “Franchise Renewal: Hot Topics and Current Developments”

    This session will feature a round table discussion of the latest issues and developments in cable franchise renewal.  Bring your questions about HD channels and VOD, the formal vs. the informal renewal process, needs ascertainment and PEG support, I-Nets vs. managed services, and more for our panel of experts.

    Robert J.V. Vose, Esq., Kennedy & Graven
    Bob Vose is a shareholder with Kennedy & Graven. He practices in the areas of municipal law, administrative law, and cable, telecommunications and utility law. Bob serves as city attorney for 4 cities, represents several metro-area cable commissions, and has assisted cities throughout Minnesota in cable, telecom and utility matters. Bob received his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1994 and joined Kennedy & Graven in 1999.

    Holly Hansen, Hansen Consulting
    Holly Hansen brings more than 20 years of franchise/PEG and I-Net management experience to her consulting practice and clients. In her role as a consultant to cities and cable commissions in Minnesota and other states, she has conducted Needs Assessments, Focus Groups, and Organizational Planning for communities involved in franchise renewal, strategic planning, and other franchise-related issues. She is experienced in qualitative research methods and was the co-chair of the Minnesota chapter of QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association). She also served on the MACTA board for nine years. Ms. Hansen has a B.A. cum laude in Organizational Management and Communications from Concordia University, St. Paul, MN.

    Dick Nielsen, Senior Engineer, CBG Communications, Inc.
    Richard R. (Dick) Nielsen is CBG Communications, Inc.’s Senior Engineer, based out of the Saint Paul, MN, office. Mr. Nielsen works as lead technical staff for CBG. His work includes cable television system community and PEG needs assessments, performance audits; video system facilities and equipment evaluation, construction planning, review and analysis; telecommunications and data communication system design and equipment planning; institutional network design and performance review. Prior to joining CBG, Mr. Nielsen spent 19 years in the Twin Cities area with AT&T Broadband and its predecessor companies, with the final four years spent as the Institutional Network Manager. He was involved in a wide range of activities, including maintenance of institutional networks (“I-Net”) with more than 1000 miles of coaxial, HFC and fiber optic plant representing more than 20 franchise areas. Mr Nielsen provided supervision of construction activities, planning, designing, budgeting and activation for new and upgrading existing I-Nets, power supplies, amplifiers, and status monitoring systems. Mr. Nielsen regularly represented AT&T Broadband at various regulatory meetings relating to I-Net issues. Prior to being I-Net Manager, Mr. Nielsen was the Technical Supervisor. He supervised 35 Maintenance and Service Technicians. Mr. Nielsen implemented a plan to bring service levels up to NCTA and FCC standards, and was responsible for reporting all engineering and technical data, FCC Proof of Performance testing and reporting and CLI testing and documentation. Additionally Mr. Nielsen spent 4 years as a Headend Technician and was involved in designing, wiring and maintaining headends, hubs and antennas.

    Brian Grogan, Esq., Moss & Barnett, P.A.
    Brian T. Grogan is a shareholder with the Minneapolis law firm of Moss & Barnett practicing in the firm's communications and business law practice groups. Since 1988 Brian has worked with entities throughout the country on a variety of cable, telecom, wireless and broadband communications issues. In his business law practice, Brian focuses on contract matters in the technology industry as well as fiber and conduit lease agreements.

    Moderator: Cor Wilson, Executive Director, NSCC/NSAC (CTV)
    Coralie Wilson has been the executive director of the North Suburban Communications Commission and CTV15 in Roseville, MN, since 1991. Current responsibilities include cable franchise administration, management of the Institutional Network connecting 10 cities, 3 school districts, Ramsey County, and several private educational institutions, and management of the 10-city public access facility. She previously served as the executive director of the Miami Valley Cable Council, Kettering, OH, 1983-1991, where she was responsible for cable franchise administration, the public, educational and government access operations, and administration of the Tactical Crime Suppression Unit. Prior to that, she worked in the City Manager’s Office in Dayton, OH, in public information and cable administration from 1977 to 1983. Throughout her career, she has been active in the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors and the Alliance for Community Media, as well as their state and regional chapters. She most recently served as President of the NATOA Board of Directors, 2003-2005

    3:45 – 4:45

    Content/Technical track – “Taking the Mystery Out of Online Content”

    PEG producers and stations can grow their audience with powerful social media tools such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  Are they right for your organization?  How do you start using them if you are “socially-media challenged”, and are there legal issues that you need to consider and comply with?  This gentle “Boot Camp” may be just the basic training needed to demystify how to conquer the cyber-world of social media, and to gain an important ally that can help create that larger audience.

    Dave Kiser, Northwest Suburbs Communications Commission
    Dave Kiser has worked with Channel 12/Northwest Community Television since 1986 in a variety of production, on-air, and management roles. He is currently working closely with city staff in the system service area and in house staff to take programming and content delivery to new arenas. This work has introduced the station’s productions to new audiences and expanded the viewership of the content by current audiences.

    Bruce Chaffee, Quad Cities Community Television
    Bruce Chaffee is sports director for QCTV, an organization that serves the cities of Anoka, Andover, Ramsey and Champlin. Bruce has been in his present position for 22 years. More specifically, he follows the sporting activities of Anoka, Andover and Champlin Park High Schools. QCTV Sports has been very active in the social media and web-streaming world for three years now and has seen a tremendous, favorable response from our community. In addition, QCTV has partnered with a few other online organizations (Grand Stadium TV, Minnesota-Scores.Net) to help grow and reach our customers.

    Moderator: Nick Nelson, City of St. Paul
    Nick Nelson creates and produces videos for the City of Saint Paul, MN. He is one of four production technicians for the city, all of whom write, produce, shoot, edit and distribute their own work. Nick has worked for Saint Paul for 13 years, has produced hundreds of videos relating to city topics, and along with being a resident of the city, is known around town as “Mr. Saint Paul Video”.


    Conference Concludes

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