So Much To Be Grateful For…

So Much To Be Grateful For…

Holiday season means wonderful chaos, family, food, doggies, leftovers and walks through the autumn leaves…and we had that in spades this weekend as Leah and her friend Brett drove from Chicago with Sawyer (another golden pup) to spend the week with Don and I. Given that Brett has never been to Washington DC, the two of them spent a great deal of time seeing every museum and every site special to our nation’s capital….I would get tired just hearing their daily routine over the course of the past week and tried to keep up with them for some of the touring but was quickly left in the dust. I always do enjoy seeing the city again through the eyes of those seeing these locations for the first time and enjoy its splendor all over again.

This time of year is also cause for reflection as we start to think about the year that has passed and what is coming in the days ahead. It has been a year of great opportunity for NTCA and our membership…

We saw more long-term certainty and support for our member companies coming from the FCC’s USF Order issued last October. While there is more to do, it is so gratifying to see rural broadband companies making long term plans and investments. Rate floor relief, new USDA broadband grants and loans, some possible wireless opportunities and the announcement of the creation of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund all feel like momentum and opportunities as NTCA members look to be part of the solution for closing the rural/rural divide in rural America.

Here at NTCA, when we weren’t in the thick of advocacy, we were spending a lot of time thinking about other ways we can support our members’ efforts. We transitioned away from our long-held tradition of Regional Meetings and moved to a new series of Summer Symposiums with a governance and leadership focus. We rolled out our national branding effort with our Smart Rural Community initiative – a fabulous tool for community based providers to use as part of the package to tell their story of innovation and service – and concluded a successful pilot project offering cyber support for NTCA membership (soon to be rolled out as a full time new program – we’re really excited to be ahead of the threats with national cyber tools for our membership!) I’m really excited to see how we can build on all of these programs in the year ahead. I am grateful for a national board, membership and talented staff who see the value in staying fresh and thinking “ahead of the curve” and trying new ideas. Not everything will work all the time but you never know what works unless you try!

Just a portion of the best association staff in the country!

As I reflect, there is much to be grateful for…but I do miss my youngest daughter, Kelsey, who is working overseas right now. Kelsey is our biggest fan of holidays and celebrations and was greatly missed around the Thanksgiving table this year. However, we did our best to let her know that we are thinking of her and that in our hearts, she is always a key part of the celebration…

With a little help from FatHead Company!

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