Registration is open now until April 28 at 4pm.

Hotel accommodations

You can find information about WiscNet's room block at the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace as well as other hotel accommodations here


Monday, May 8, 2017

8:00 - 9:00am -- Registration and continental breakfast
9:00 - 10:00am -- State of WiscNet: David Lois
10:00 - 10:30am -- WiscNet Board of Directors candidate introduction
10:30 - 10:45am --Refreshment break
10:45am - 12:00pm -- Keynote speaker: Laura A. Albert
12:00 - 1:15pm -- Lunch
1:15 -2:30pm -- Concurrent session #1
2:30 - 2:45pm -- Refreshment break
2:45 - 4:00pm -- Concurrent session #2
4:00 - 5:30pm -- Reception

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

8:00 - 8:45am -- Coffee bar and light breakfast
8:45 - 9:15am -- Annual WiscNet Business Meeting
9:15 - 10:15am -- Keynote speaker: Diane Doersch
10:15 - 10:30am -- Refreshment break
10:30 - 11:45am -- Concurrent session #1
11:45 - 12:30pm -- Lunch
12:30 - 1:45pm -- Concurrent session #2

Keynote speakers

Laura A. Albert

Laura A. Albert, Ph.D., is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests are in the field of operations research, with a particular focus on discrete optimization with application to homeland security and emergency response problems. Dr. Albert’s research has been supported by NSF, DHS, and the Department of the Army, Sandia National Laboratory, and she has been awarded an NSF CAREER award. She has authored or co-authored 45 publications in archival journals and refereed proceedings. Her research has been awarded several honors, including four best paper awards.

Dr. Albert is the INFORMS Vice President for Marketing, Communication, and Outreach. She has also served as the President of Women in OR/MS (WORMS, a forum of INFORMS), the President of the INFORMS Section on Public Sector Operations Research, and a member of the INFORMS Strategic Planning Committee, Finance Committee, and IT committee. Dr. Laura Albert is a Department Editor for IIE Transactions and has been on the Editorial Boards for Risk Analysis, International Transactions on Operational Research, and OMEGA. Dr. Albert is a member of INFORMS, IIE, the Society for Risk Analysis, Tau Beta Pi, and Alpha Pi Mu.  She recently served on a National Research Council Committee. She is the author of the blogs “Punk Rock Operations Research” and “Badger Bracketology.”

Diane Doersch

Diane W. Doersch is Chief Technology and Information Officer for Green Bay Area Public Schools. As a former teacher, she has been involved in education for 30 years. Besides leading all things technology in the 4th largest school district in the state of Wisconsin, Diane holds a masters degree in educational technology from Lesley University and possesses her Certified Education Technology Leader national certificate. She is a board member for WIT (Women in Technology) Wisconsin and co-chair for WIT4Girls, a team devoted to attracting and educating young women about occupations and skills in IT. Diane is passionate about providing technology and opportunities to all students to be college, career, and community ready, inspired to succeed in our diverse world.

Session presentations

Monday, Session 1  

Hall of ideas e

Advisory to the Membership: Community Area Networks
Jill Hietpas, moderator
WiscNet Advisory to the Membership: CANs members

With approximately 30 established CANs state-wide and more communities interested in the CAN concept, WiscNet's CAN Advisory to the Membership addresses some of the many questions, challenges, and opportunities CANs deliberate. Focused around three CAN concepts—Membership, Governance, and Sustainability—the advisory delved deep into the what, when, why, and how around these CAN concepts for both new and established CANs. Through an interactive discussion, this Advisory will share their findings, connect you to resources, and provide insight through tools and strategies that will help in CAN development and sustainability.

Hall of ideas f

Strategic Technologies Update
Brian Remer and the WiscNet Strategic Technologies team

WiscNet's Chief Technology Officer and the rest of the Strategic Technology team will provide updates on initiatives and advancements in network engineering and new service development.

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Meat WiscNet
John Pederson, WiscNet
Kika Barr, WiscNet

That's not a typo. This is special session at the front end of WiscNet Connections to round up those new to (or curious about) WiscNet. We’ll share what WiscNet is about and have a nice conversation over some beef jerky. We’ll share everything. How does one unsubscribe from the newsletter? Where can members find 17% off whatever existing discount is available for VMware licensing? Tell me more about this relationship with America’s leader in telephony and telegraphy? What else does WiscNet do? Why am I penalized for using data on my iPhone and incentivized to use as much as possible on WiscNet? How do I explain this to my boss?

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Data Privacy Best Practices and Solutions
Brian Casey, Stevens Point Area Public School District
Diane Doersch, Green Bay Area Public School District
Sean Cottrell, DPI

This session will examine the challenges of implementing data privacy protections faced by many school districts. Representatives from the Stevens Point Area Public School District and Green Bay Area Public School District will present solutions to data privacy challenges including model policies, procedures, and technical resources. The Wisconsin DPI will also discuss state level resources available to help guide and inform Wisconsin school districts about best practices regarding data privacy. The session is intended to provide other WiscNet members with resources and existing models for planning and implementation of data privacy protections.

hall of ideas j

Building and Running a Paperless Business Office
Heidi Genthner and the WiscNet Business Operations team

During this session, we will discuss how we built and run a paperless business office. Topics covered will include file management, electronic signatures, electronic filing of IRS forms, and more. We’ll cover some success stories, lessons learned, and how a paperless office handles an audit.

Meeting room k

Modernize your Data Center with VMware vSAN
Sam Milella, Bader Rutter
Justin Stewart, VMware

AMI Communications, along with VMware and SuperMicro, will be presenting a 3-part segment illustrating why and how Bader Rutter uses VMware's vSAN on Supermicro hardware. Bader Rutter is a marketing and advertising company based in the Milwaukee area. Justin Stewart from VMware will lead off with an introduction to Hyper-Converged Infrastructure and how vSAN is helping customers evolve without risk while reducing TCO and preparing for tomorrow’s IT needs. Next, a speaker from Supermicro will highlight some new storage technologies available and the products they have that provide high-density storage solutions. Finally, Sam Milella, Bader Rutter's IT manager, will wrap up the session by describing his experiences with a recent vSAN implementation.

Meeting room M

Designing Experiences: Using Video Games, Field Work and Design to Enhance Learning
David J. Gagnon, University of Wisconsin-Madison

During this session we will go on a whirlwind tour of learning science and play, engaging in the three themes of the Field Day Lab: Games and Sims, Field Work, and Learning through Design. We will hear stories of teachers in Wisconsin creating engaging learning experiences in partnership with our team. For example,, a collection of 9 science games was made in collaboration with 9 WI science teachers and have been played 250,000 times nationally in just 6 months. We also have built new mobile tools like with teachers, that allow anyone to create their own mobile citizen science app in just a few minutes. Our fellowship program recruits cohorts of teachers to explore a common theme together, such as having youth design videogames as a way to learn history. The session will conclude with a call to action, an invitation to collaborate with us in 2017.

Monday, Session 2

Hall of ideas e

Advisory to the Membership: Advanced Networking
Brian Remer, WiscNet
WiscNet Advisory to the Membership: Advanced Networking members

The WiscNet Advisory to the Membership: Advanced Networking came together this year with the direction to “foster leadership and development for those passionate about networking.” The participants in the Advisory selected their own topics for discussion throughout the year, which ranged from managing and troubleshooting fiber optic systems to DDOS detection and mitigation to the authentication challenges of supporting a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) environment. Many of the group members shared brief presentations of their own networks and several took turns at the “I have a problem” segment of the meetings.

The breadth of topics covered during the year was extensive enough and the individual perspectives different enough that no common set of recommendations could be produced.  Instead, please join us to hear our panel share their own unique take-aways and hear their individual advice to the each of you as WiscNet members.

Hall of ideas f 

The WiscNet You Know On a New BadgerNet
Shaun Abshere, WiscNet

As of March 2017, most of our new and prospective WiscNet members are authorized to use the State of Wisconsin's new BadgerNet contract for WiscNet internet connectivity (depending on when the old-to-new-BadgerNet conversion comes to your town). This session will update you on the technical, business, and E-rate-related particulars of this new WiscNet on BadgerNet service.

hall of ideas g

Managing DDoS Attacks
Nathan Mielke, Hartford Union High School
Bill Moll, Westfield School District

With only a credit card, anyone across the world can DDoS your connection to the web for about $6 an hour. When this occurs in a digital learning environment, the work of the teachers and students reverts back to 1992. Both of our districts have experienced the pain of this issue in spades during the 2016-17 school year. We are both small districts and we worked tightly with WiscNet to mitigate these issues from a technological standpoint as best we could. In this session we'll share what we've found to be successful, and look forward to attendees responding with their own successes (and frustrations) in this area.

hall of ideas I

Connecting Funding and Support: Strategies for School Network Infrastructure
Sarah Lipke, CESA 10

Robust network infrastructure coupled with reliable network support are imperative for schools to engage and educate learners. Although there are both federal (E-Rate) and state (TEACH) funding programs to offset the significant costs of providing what is needed, it can be difficult for school districts to navigate the programs and utilize the funding. This session will detail the variety of network and support strategies that districts utilize, and the support CESA 10 provides in leveraging available funding opportunities.

hall of ideas j

It's Not Just About the Salary: Creating and Sustaining a Positive Work Culture
Stef Morrill, WiLS
Jeff Brunner, WiLS
Melissa Mclimans, WiLS

Having a positive work culture has a significant impact on employee loyalty, creativity, and productivity. In a time when most American workers report feeling disengaged, how can we make our organizations places where individuals can thrive? This session will present key findings from research about what helps to create and sustain a positive organizational culture. Illustrations of these findings in practice in Wisconsin and other organizations will also be explored.

Meeting room k

Exploring Last-Mile Wireless Delivery Technologies
John Feldman, PCS Technologies

PCS Technologies has deployed WIMAX, LTE, Microwave, MM Wave, and White Space Solutions in an effort to address last-mile wireless problems. Join us as we discuss and explore various solutions.

Tuesday, Session 1

Hall of ideas e

Advisory to the Membership: Security
Chris Liechty, moderator
WiscNet Advisory to the Membrership: Security members

Cybersecurity: in case you haven't noticed, it's kind of a big deal. Are you prepared? Looking for where to get started? WiscNet's Advisory to the Membership: Security group has been exploring and working on this topic for the past year. Join us as we present our "Basic Cybersecurity Recommendations," which are applicable to all WiscNet member organizations, followed by a panel and plenty of time for Q & A.

Hall of ideas f 

Next Level Web Filtering: 10G Connections and Cloud Based Platforms
Rich Turiel, WiscNet
Adam Lee, iboss

Each year content filtering faces new challenges. WiscNet tackles those challenges with very important updates to our Local Filtering Service. In partnership with iboss, WiscNet introduces our new NBC Chasis appliances which are expandable up to 14G so you no longer have to worry how to handle web security across your 10G connection. Of equal importance is the brand new WiscNet Cloud Filtering offering for Chromebooks and iOS devices. This feature allows you to filter these devices no matter where they are located. In this session we’ll walk you through all the details of these new updates and how they can improve your current filtering abilities.

hall of ideas g

Innovative Ways Organizations Reach the Last Mile with Wireless Solutions
Jill Hietpas, WiscNet
Brian Remer, WiscNet
John LeBrun, City of Eau Claire
Jake Schroeder, Fall Creek School District
Gavin Leach, Northern Michigan University
John Feldman, PCS Technologies
Cory Heigl, Packerland Broadband

Broadband is a necessary resource for schools, libraries, municipalities, government, and healthcare agencies, but the need for access reaches beyond the walls of these anchor institutions. To ensure digital equity and meet constituent needs, IT professionals look for innovative ways to reach the unserved, underserved, and remote needs of the people they serve to ensure adequate access and equal the playing field to accomplish their organization missions.

This session reflects on recent research conducted by the Quello Center at Michigan State University, which includes a regulatory analysis of wireless technologies, business strategies and case studies. Learn from this research and gain an understanding of how higher education and K12 are bridging the homework gap, Community Anchor Institutions use wireless to expand their services, and private providers use wireless technologies to improve rural and urban access. You'll hear stories local to Wisconsin as well as other states striving for similar wireless reach.

hall of ideas i

Innovation and Bringing Out Your Inner Steve Jobs
John Ottow, Green Bay Area Public School District

There are big things in our lives that are asking for our innovation and action. Do we have what it takes to make these changes a reality? Using resources at hand, hear how others have "stacked the blocks" in different ways to become innovators. You too can innovate like Steve Jobs.

hall of ideas j

Public Library and Public Library System Discussion Forum
Vicki Teal-Lovely, South Central Library System
Robert Nitsch, Eastern Shores Library System
Josh Klingbeil, Wisconsin Valley Library System

Join fellow "techies" from Wisconsin Public Libraries and Library Systems for a guided discussion on two topics. Discussions will include the E-rate application process (following some brief information sharing) and perspectives on the PLSR Technology Work Group.

Meeting room k

CANs Made Simple: Start Small
Joel Mikulsky, MC&E
Dan Becker, MC&E

Building Community Area Networks may appear to be a daunting task, but it does not have to be. Most CANs start small and grow throughout the community. A small connection can foster a network that serves the entire community over time. Planning in the early stages is key for future endeavors. Rely on MC&E to simplify the process for you.

Tuesday, Session 2

Hall of ideas e

Advisory to the Membership: Cloud Services
Rich Turiel, moderator
WiscNet Advisory to the Membership: Cloud Services members

Deciding to move a service to the Cloud can be a major organizational decision. How do you go about choosing the right Cloud Service company? A group of WiscNet members have been working on this topic for the past year. At this session we will offer their Cloud Services Guidelines to make these decisions easier. We will walk you through these guidelines and take you through some case scenarios so you don't suffer any "gotchas" along the way in your move to the Cloud.

Hall of ideas f 

Live Video: When and Why
Melissa Emler, CESA 3

Live Video is all the rage right now, and it matters to organizations. Algorithms favor live video and feed it to your fans which allows you to tell your story in a new and interesting way. We'll talk about the tech set up and planning content for Live Video. Social media is part of the fabric of our lives. Soon, live video will be too!

hall of ideas g

Fighting Badness on the Internet thru DMARC and DNS
Adnan Baykal, Global Cyber Alliance

Global Cyber Alliance is a strategic action-oriented not-for-profit entity dedicated to improving cyber security for the greater good of the public. GCA tackles the top cyber risks that are negatively impacting the world’s cyber security posture by acting as a solution farm and using a cross-disciplinary approach to attack cyber risks. GCA collaborates with the community to identify top cyber risks, collects data on the risks, develops or identifies solutions to confront the risks, builds teams to execute the solutions, and then measures success. Join this session to learn more about the current initiatives GCA has underway for bettering the Internet for everyone around the globe and how you can take advantage of these solutions to significantly improve your security posture without spending a dime.

hall of ideas i

Addressing the Homework Gap with the Use of Mobile Hotspots
Jim Young, moderator
Randy Dricken, Elkhorn Area School District
John Ottow, Green Bay Area School District
Kerri Hilbelink, South Central Library System
Dan Jacobson, South Central Library System

Representatives from both schools and libraries making mobile hot spots available for students and patrons discuss why an organization might do this, how to fund it, how to get started, their experience with hardware and mobile plans, and outcomes.

hall of ideas j

Beyond the Network: Application Sharing to Serve and Save
Tom Lange, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Dave Hayden, Eau Claire County

As more and more communities share a data network, innovative opportunities evolve around application sharing. Whether it's the purchasing power of a consortium, hosting applications at a data center, sharing GIS or document imaging systems, establishing a data recovery location, sharing a VOIP phone services, or sharing networks and applications for healthcare and public safety, communities are innovative with cost-effective ways to use their community network to solve real life problems. It has been said, "the strength of a community network is its ability to collaborate and share resources and applications;" and this panel of experts will provide the real-life examples that prove benefit to their communities and the constituents they serve.

Meeting Room K

Changing Minds, Changing Posture, and Reducing Risk
Tim Wagner, f5

In this session, we will look at how f5 is approaching information security today, why it needs to change, and where we can have more impact reducing risk. This presentation will not be focused on a vendor’s solution or marketing, but rather an approach based on facts.

Code of Conduct 

Our code of conduct for WiscNet Connections can be found here. If you need to contact us in regards to a violation, email