The NTCA and SMC board of directors were in town this week for our big fall meeting where we review year-end activity, review the financial position of the association, approve the 2018 budgets and review strategic plans for the upcoming year. Both boards do a great deal of heavy lifting on behalf of the association and our membership and we certainly could not do our work without their service and support.
The NTCA board spent a great deal of time earlier this year crunching through our current strategic plan and updating it to reflect the mission and vision for the association….working on behalf of small broadband providers who are working on behalf of rural America as the reason we exist was a big start. Our vision? To build a better broadband future for rural America. That is why their time up here was so important as we worked through our plans for the year ahead and kept our eye on the future.
John Klatt, President and CEO of Lakeland Communications in Milltown, Wisconsin was elected board president and will help lead the association in the year ahead, along with Kevin Beyer, the GM of Federated and Acira in Chokio, Minnesota as our VP and Allen Hoopes, Chairman and CEO of Silver Star Communications in Thayne, Wyoming stepping up to the plate as our new Secretary-Treasurer. John already earned the love and respect of the board when he opened his suitcase to reveal his checked luggage had contained Spotted Cow beer from Wisconsin along with some amazing cheese curds that he was able to introduce to the NTCA staff (and yes, sometimes you really can make them squeak!). I can only imagine what TSA was thinking…but that love of all things Wisconsin is one of the many things that make John such a passionate leader.
The NTCA board also had Jannine Miller, Special Assistant to Secretary Perdue at USDA and her new RUS team join to talk about infrastructure initiatives and the critical role that broadband plays in economic development and precision agriculture.
My other favorite part of the week was having folks like new NTCA board members Rusty Moore from Big Bend in Texas and Barry Adair with Wabash in Illinois share some of their perspectives on what it takes to deploy broadband in their rural communities and what their consumers are looking for from them as their provider of advanced services.