MEUW’s Executive Committee held a planning workshop on July 12 to discuss short-term priorities and identify key deliverables from the Executive Director and staff for the remainder of 2018.
Continued focus on member engagement through improved communications is key. Beginning in mid-August, MEUW plans to distribute a weekly update to members. The e-mail “newsletter” will include highlights from Tim Heinrich, MEUW’s Executive Director, as well as updates and reminders regarding MEUW events and services. The plan is to send the e-mail each Tuesday in order to establish a regular communications tool and reduce the number of “one-off” emails that come from the MEUW office. The existing Live Lines newsletter will continue to be published and distributed on the first Monday of each month. Over time, the editorial focus on Live Lines may shift to include regular articles about industry issues, emerging trends and additional human-interest stories relevant to MEUW members.
We continue to receive sporadic reports that e-mails from MEUW are not making it to their intended recipient. MEUW uses its association management software program (known as Timberlake) to send mass communications, such as Live Lines, legislative advocacy action alerts and members updates/reminders. The software is also used for event registrations and is the “system of record” for member utilities’ contact information. E-mails sent from Timberlake arrive in users’ in-boxes with a “From” line that looks similar to this:
We encourage you to check you Spam folder and ensure that mail from the e-mail address shown above is considered safe. It’s obviously difficult to know that you didn’t receive an e-mail you weren’t aware was being sent, so that’s one of the reasons we’re focusing on consolidating emails into a “Weekly Update” that will be regularly distributed every Tuesday (beginning Aug. 14).
In addition to the delivery challenges, we know that MEUW’s contact listings have become out of date. We’re not confident that we have the most accurate information or complete e-mail addresses for key individuals at each of your utilities. So, we’re going to tackle the manual process of updating our database the old-fashioned way. Within the next few weeks, the “primary contact” at each MEUW member utility will receive instructions to help us clean up our contact information. We will then institute a process to regularly cleanse the contacts in MEUW’s database to help maintain more accurate information on an ongoing basis. We appreciate your assistance to help “re-set” our e-mail listings and other contact information.
Annual Wage and Benefits Survey: Many member utilities rely on MEUW’s Annual Wage and Benefit Survey to evaluate their employees’ compensation and benefit packages. The Survey is only as useful as the information members provide, and this year’s overall response rate was lower than in the past. Ongoing challenges with MEUW’s e-mails getting to members may help to explain the lower response rate. As such, we are re-opening the survey so those who have not yet provided data may now do so. The new deadline is July 31. For more information, please contact Jamie Keough, Office Coordinator. Thank you for your support in helping to make this survey tool even more valuable.
JT&S Program Update: As you are aware, MEUW’s Job Training and Safety Program has been re-named as Electric Safety and Training, though we know old habits take a while to break. The Safety and Education Committee recently conducted interviews to fill two vacant Electric Utility Safety and Training Coordinator positions. We expect to be able to announce the new hires shortly and greatly appreciate the feedback so many members have provided regarding the future of the EST program. If you have specific questions, please contact Mike Czuprynko, Manager of Safety Services.
Advocacy Action Alert: New federal legislation impacting oversight of pole attachments is expected to be reviewed by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee later this month. MEUW opposes certain provisions of the proposed legislation because it strips the authority of municipal utilities to regulate our electric utility poles and hands the authority to the federal government. Both of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators, Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, serve on the Senate Commerce Committee.
MEUW is encouraging member utilities to send letters to Sens. Baldwin and Johnson to explain our position on the proposed legislation. Additional information, including letter templates, is available at http://www.meuw.org/advocacy.
Board of Directors’ Meeting: MEUW’s Board will meet on Thursday, Sept. 20 at Marshfield Utilities. As a membership organization, the Board Meeting is open for any member utility to attend, however, only Board members (or their alternates) will be able to vote on any items brought for action. The complete agenda will be available one week prior to the meeting. A listing of the current MEUW Board of Directors is available here.
APPA Board Meeting: If you’re interested in reading a summary of the American Public Power Association’s recent Board Meeting, please click here.
Share Your Thoughts: This “Blog” format is something new for MEUW and a tool that we hope will help to streamline and make our communications more accessible. At the bottom of the page, there’s space to share comments — and we hope you will. Thank you — and please continue to work safely.