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NATE Delivers Keynote at STAC 2016 Conference & Exhibition

Executive Director Todd Schlekeway Takes NATE’s Message North of the Border

(Toronto, Ontario – Canada) – The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) played a significant role this week at the inaugural Structure, Tower and Antenna Council (STAC) 2016 Conference & Exhibition in Toronto, Ontario. The STAC event is being held April 11-12, 2016 at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto.

STAC 2016 is the only national forum in Canada dedicated to discussing safety issues and best practices in the tower and antenna industry. The two-day STAC 2016 event brought together more than 200 industry participants, including wireless carriers, broadcasters, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, landowners, safety equipment suppliers and safety trainers.

During the STAC 2016 conference, NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway delivered an address at the Monday, April 11 Keynote Luncheon entitled: NATE – Transforming Global Wireless Through Safety, Standards and Education. Major topics that emerged from the keynote address included an overview of NATE’s 21-year history as an organization, a focus on the Association’s signature safety resources, highlighting NATE’s 2016 priority initiatives and updating attendees on the current wireless industry legislative and regulatory environment in the United States.

Schlekeway also devoted time during his remarks to discuss the prominent, global role that NATE and STAC members will play in deploying next generation technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G networks around the world.

“I would like to thank the STAC leadership for inviting NATE to participate in their inaugural conference,” said Executive Director Todd Schlekeway. “I was honored to speak at STAC 2016 and came away thoroughly impressed at the commitment to industry safety and quality that existed among the event attendees. NATE looks forward to continue to collaborate closely with the STAC organization in order to ensure that the North American wireless infrastructure industry continues to be the global leader in safety, quality and innovation,” Schlekeway added.

In addition to the NATE keynote address, the STAC 2016 Conference & Exhibition included informative sessions on topics such as Canadian fall protection standards, climbing in hostile environments, drones on the job, nationwide best practices, engineering tower and rooftop mounts and contractor pre-qualifications.

To learn more about NATE, visit www.natehome.com. To learn more about the STAC organization, visit www.stacouncil.ca.

NATE to Host South Regional Meeting

(Watertown, SD) – The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that they will be hosting a South Regional Meeting on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the Texas Star Golf Course Conference Center in Euless, Texas. The South Regional Meeting will be the second regional event hosted by the Association over the course of the last nine months and will offer tremendous networking and professional development opportunities for meeting attendees.

The agenda for the NATE South Regional Meeting will feature a National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) presentation by Phil Larsen (HAZON Solutions LLC); a Future of Mobility session by William Moten (TESSCO Technologies); a Tower Modifications and Inspections panel presented by Don Doty (FDH-Velocitel, Inc.), Gregg Fehrmann (American Tower Corporation), Gordon Lyman (eSystem Training Solutions), Pat Moore (FDH-Velocitel, Inc.) and James Ruedlinger (Crown Castle); and a keynote address entitled Protecting the Safety and Health of Communication Tower Workers by Stephen Boyd (Dallas Area Director, OSHA). Additionally, NATE will host a reception at the conclusion of the event to maximize networking opportunities for meeting attendees. The complete NATE South Regional Meeting event brochure is available for viewing on the Association’s website.

“Through the offering of our NATE Regional Meetings series, we are continuing our goal to support and build upon NATE within all the geographic regions in order to retain and recruit members,” stated Member Services Committee member Tommy Lewis from Hayden Tower Service, Inc. in Topeka, Kansas. “With the variety of hot-button topics to be presented by these industry professionals, I guarantee value for anyone who attends the NATE South Regional Meeting,” Lewis added.

As part of the announcement, NATE also unveiled premier sponsorship packages that are available for companies interested in sponsoring the NATE South Regional Meeting. Sponsorship packages ranging from $250 to $2,000 are available for companies interested in expanding their brand recognition and exposure. The sponsorship packages are expected to be in high demand and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities are encouraged to view the Regional Meeting Sponsorship Opportunities form.

The cost to attend the NATE South Regional Meeting is $50 per attendee. Interested attendees are encouraged to register for the NATE South Regional Meeting today by completing the registration form available on the Association’s website. All completed registration forms and payment should be emailed to nate@natehome.com or mailed to the NATE office (8 Second Street SE; Watertown, SD 57201) by the registration deadline of Friday, May 27, 2016.

For more information on NATE and the South Regional Meeting, visit www.natehome.com.

Hayden, Mueller Honored at NATE UNITE 2016 Awards Luncheon

(New Orleans, LA) – The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) honored Kevin Hayden, President of Hayden Tower Service, Inc. in Topeka, Kansas and Diane Mueller, Sales Representative for Primus Electronics in Shorewood, Illinois, during the Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, February 23 at NATE UNITE 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Kevin Hayden was honored as the recipient of the Bill Carlson Lifetime Service Award. This prestigious award recognizes an individual who has made a significant and long-term contribution to the success of the NATE mission and has served the Association continually for a minimum of 15 years.

As President of Hayden Tower Service, Inc., Kevin has spent over 36 years in the tower industry. Mr. Hayden has been an integral part of NATE from the inception. As a Founding Member of NATE, he has served the Association’s membership in many capacities, including the Founding Chairman of the Board of Directors, a Director on the Board of Directors, and many committee leadership roles, including the Industry Relations Committee, Financial Investment Committee, Legislative & Regulatory Committee, and Insurance Committee.

“Kevin has served NATE members with complete integrity,” stated NATE Founding Father Bill Carlson of Tower Systems, Inc. “Mr. Hayden’s unparalleled leadership has helped mold NATE into the outstanding organization it is today, and his influence has left a lasting legacy on NATE since the day the Association was founded in 1995,” added Carlson.

Diane Mueller was honored as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award recognizes a past or present standing committee member who has demonstrated direct and individual contributions to the mission of NATE and whose performance has proven so exceptional that it profoundly affects the success of the Association.

As Sales Representative for Primus Electronics, Diane has spent 18 years volunteering on the NATE Member Services Committee. Ms. Mueller has served NATE’s membership in various other capacities, including playing an integral role in the formation of the first NATE Regional Meeting held in September 2015, as well as assisting the NATE Administrative Staff in coordinating and setting up the annual NATE UNITE Conference and Exposition.

“NATE has benefited immensely due to Diane’s enthusiastic ideas and tireless contributions,” stated NATE Member Services Committee Chairwoman Pat Miller. “Diane is a worthy recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and we are excited to be able to celebrate this honor with her,” added Miller.

The Bill Carlson Lifetime Service and Distinguished Service awards were made possible due to the contributions made by the NATE Member Services Committee and the awards are an annual fixture at the NATE UNITE event. For additional information on NATE, please visit www.natehome.com.

The Year of the Drone

2015 in Review

By J. Sharpe Smith —

A number of applications for drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the wireless industry came to light this year — everything from asset auditing, RF planning and line-of-sight testing between radio towers. And companies were formed to use them.

It all began in April when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began granting exceptions to its rules to allow the use of commercial drones.

One of the first companies to get an exception was Solusia Air,  which wanted to use UAS to perform asset audits and safety inspections for wireless and utility infrastructure firms.

Solusia Air attaches video, still and infrared cameras and other instruments on Leica Geosystems’ Aibot X6 multi-copters, which it then flies around the cell tower. The multi-copter has six rotors encased in a carbon fiber frame and a maximum payload of 4.4 pounds. The inspections produces high-definition photo and video inspection, asset audits, RF microwave path validation, intermodulation/interference identification and safety assessments.

In July, Nokia Networks employed drones carrying smartphones to analyze the wireless network at Dubai International Stadium. The drones gathered network data and provided key performance indicators at the stadium, which seats 25,000, and were also used for tower inspections, radio planning and line-of-sight testing between radio towers.

The INSPIRE1 drone was used for network optimization at the stadium, and Microdrones md4-1000 was used for tower inspection, LoS and radio site planning. With automated testing, drones can cover the desired area more quickly than a manual test. Additionally, the test data is sent to a server at Nokia Networks’ Global Delivery Center so that it can be processed and reported to the engineers in the field, who then improve network performance in a timely fashion.

In October, Sentera, a UAS designer and manufacturer, brought its knowledge in acquisition and management of image-based data to the wireless industry.

Sentera, which initially worked with military systems, launched a mobile app and desktop client that provide the ability to analyze image data and a record of the location, date, time, and asset type. Photos are then presented in a searchable map view. Sentera began developing the product after it was approached by a tower company that had an abundance of images of its towers but no way to organize them and fully utilize them.

In September 32 Advisors spun off a drone-as-a-service company, Measure, and then in December it hired Chris Moccia, former CEO for Solusia Air, to serve as vice president of infrastructure.

“Measure’s Drone as a Service model allows cellular tower owners and operators to use drones for inspections without making a heavy capital investment,” said Measure CEO Brandon Torres Declet. “Chris’s skill set combines his experience as a businessman and industry expert with a keen ability to navigate emerging technology markets. With his leadership, Measure will help companies with vertical infrastructure realize the benefit of incorporating drones into their operations.”

Government regulators and industry associations engaged with the drone industry. The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) established a UAS committee, which will monitor the trends and regulatory environment associated with UAS technologies. Additionally, it will make recommendations to NATE members on best practices concerning UAS integration. NATE has also participate in the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) meetings on Unmanned Aerial Systems that have been held in Washington, D.C.

NATE Elects 2016 Board of Directors

Jones, Lee, Miller and Train Re-Elected; Dougherty Assumes Board Seat

(Watertown, SD) – The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released the official results of the 2016 Board of Directors election. The Association announces that candidates John Paul Jones, President of Tower & Turbine Technologies LLC in Cedar Park, Texas; Bryan Lee, President of Lee Antenna & Line Service, Inc. in Springtown, Pennsylvania; Jimmy Miller, President of MillerCo, Inc. in Gulfport, Mississippi and Don Train, President of Train’s Towers, Inc. in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, were re-elected and will retain their seats on the NATE Board of Directors.

Candidate Kevin Dougherty, President of MILLENIA CONTRACTING, Inc. in New Castle, Delaware, also assumed a seat and will be serving as a new member of the Board of Directors.

The five candidates who were elected by their industry peers will officially begin their two-year terms on February 21, 2015 at the NATE UNITE 2016 Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“On behalf of the Association’s 715 member companies, I would like to congratulate the successful candidates in the recently concluded Board of Directors election,” said Executive Director Todd Schlekeway. “It is an exciting time in the Association’s history to serve on NATE’s Board of Directors and we look forward to collaborating with the elected members in order to continue to lead the organization to new heights,” added Schlekeway.

The 2016 election featured a slate of seven accomplished candidates from eligible voting member companies vying for five open seats on the NATE Board of Directors. “I would like to personally thank all of the candidates who placed their hat in the ring during this election. NATE is stronger due to the ideas and commitment displayed by these leaders,” Schlekeway stated.