Thank you GTA members for supporting this year’s 92nd Annual Meeting, June 14-17, 2014, at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Buena Vista Palace has served our group well over the years and didn't miss a step this year. It's location and long-time staff helped to make this annual event a success.
This year’s theme, “Connecting Communities,” highlighted several areas designed to assist companies in positioning themselves and their communities to succeed.
Monday’s General Session began with Opening Keynote Speaker Mike Balhoff, Partner, Charlesmead Advisors, LLC. Mr. Balhoff shared his assessment of the telecommunications industry and his thoughts on how GTA's members can enhance their strategic value and be successful. Mike was followed by Kathy Wallman, President, Wallman Consulting LLC and Harold Furchtgott-Roth, President, Furchtgott-Roth Economics Enterprise, who have worked collaboratively to develop a framework for assessing the FCC's 2011 Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation Order. Kathy and Harold provided their insights and assessment of the FCC's 2011 Order and subsequent initiatives. Following their comments, Steve Kraskin moderated a panel discussion with Mike, Kathy and Harold giving attendees an opportunity to ask questions and offer their comments.
On Tuesday, there were two roundtable discussions. Roundtable I, "Digital Learning in Georgia," focused on the impact of the recommendations of the Governor's Digital Learning Task Force and education initiatives included in the budget adopted by the General Assembly this year. Mr. Bill Price, Digital Georgia Programs Director, Georgia Technology Authority, moderated the roundtable. Presenters were Sam Rauschenberg, Deputy Director, Governor's Office of Student Achievement; Gary Rawson, President, State E-Rate Coordinators Association; John Scoville, CTO, Board of Regents; and Bob Swiggum, CIO, Department of Education. Steve Kraskin moderated Roundtable II, "Collaborative Opportunities," which focused on collaborative activities involving GTA's members and activities in other states. Presenters were Lionel Austin, CFO, Trenton Telephone Company; Gerry Grayson, Vice President, Network Engineering and Operations, Alma Telephone Company; and Chuck Harris, Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer, NetAmerica Alliance, LLC.
Monday and Tuesday programs were intense, but rest assured there was ample time to enjoy some Disney magic and GTA’s receptions and banquets, etc. We’ve posted our SPECIAL SPONSORS that greatly impacted our fun and fellowship moments! GTA’s Annual Charity GOLF TOURNAMENT WINNERS are also posted. Tournament participation and sponsorships enabled GTA to make a donation to the American Red Cross in the amount of $1,245.
GTA Associates hosted a Cornhole Tournament Tuesday evening. Lans Chase and Eddie Swing did a great job coordinating the tournament. Super cash prizes went to the winners:
First Place Team - Darrin Strickland and Avery Strickland Second Place Team - Emma Richardson and Thomas Milner
GTA attendance support, generous sponsors and fun and informative programs are all key ingredients for a memorable meeting. We appreciate all of you and are looking forward to seeing you at the 2015 Annual Meeting.