for the week ending December 8, 2017

Commission Opens Customer Experience Department:  The Missouri Public Service Commission has established a new department that will monitor all customer-facing activities and experiences, including investigating and making recommendations to the Commission on issues related to customer experience.

The Customer Experience Department will be led by Contessa King, who previously served as the Commission’s outreach & diversity officer, consumer outreach coordinator, and consumer services specialist.  Among other activities, the department will provide testimony and recommendations on customer experience issues, monitor and respond to public comments, handle customer complaints and participate in developing or monitoring utility performance metrics proposals.  PSC Chairman Daniel Hall notes that this new effort is in response to a nationwide movement toward more customer-focused utility service.

Show-Me Expo to be Re-Tooled:  After a 17-year run in various venues in both Booneville and Columbia, the association will not host the MTIA Show-Me Expo in 2018.  With many MTIA member telcos pursuing major fiber deployment projects and other network upgrades , companies are finding it more difficult to send their outside-plant crews to the event.

The schedule change has prompted one MTIA member to step up and plan another event in Columbia that will focus on technology, education and legislative issues.  Details are still being worked out, but look for an announcement about this new opportunity early next year.

Weight Loss Challenge Announced:  In a move toward a healthier lifestyle, and to encourage charitable giving, a trio of MTIA board members has taken on a weight-loss challenge that is sure to be a hit at the MTIA 2018 Summer Conference.  Jim Lyon with Mark Twain, Ron Hinds with GRM, and Kirby Underberg with Chariton Valley started a weight-loss challenge on December 1, with a goal of losing 15 % of their body weight by July 31.  Whoever has lost the least percentage by then will introduce himself on stage at the member banquet during the summer conference, wearing a dress of his choice.

To make the effort more interesting, MTIA members are encouraged to make a per-pound pledge to one or all of the contestants based on their final weight loss.  All proceeds will be donated to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  Send all pledge promises to Renee Reeter at Be sure to specify if the pledge is for Jim, Ron, Kirby or all three.  Pledge amounts will be collected at the summer conference.

Industry Partner of the Week:  MTIA member-company Charles Industries, Ltd. manufactures indoor/outdoor cabinets, building terminals, distribution pedestals and below-grade enclosures for fiber accessories for wireless, fiber, copper and broadband applications for Missouri’s telecommunications carriers.  For more information, contact Brian Pinkstaff, sales representative, at 847-806-6300; or visit them online at

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