2014 RTIME Concludes With a Country Concert and Awards Banquet


The Rural Telecom Industry Meeting & EXPO's final full day of events featured a speech on industry and business trends, important association business sessions and a Texas-appropriate country music concert and banquet.

The Closing General Session got underway with a touching presentation by Dale Merten, the newly elected president of the FRS Board of Directors, celebrating the organization's 20-year anniversary. A tribute video, which reflects upon the valuable programming and the much-appreciated engagement of the board, donors and sponsors, was shown.

Next, Marci Rossell, a former CNBC chief economist and co-host of "Squawk Box," took the stage to discuss everything from politics to the media. Rossell described how these issues relate to the lives, families and careers of NTCA members.

During the Business Session, attendees received an update from leaders on the association's strong financial status, growing education opportunities and upcoming 2015 board elections.

The meeting wrapped up with a banquet dinner, during which several NTCA members received awards. David Lewis, recently retired business development director of TCA in Colorado Springs, Colo., won the Associate Member Outstanding Achievement Award. Curt Thorn and Rod Fargo, who are both HVAC facilities technicians with Nemont Telephone Cooperative in Scobey, Mont., received the Heroism Award. Thorn and Fargo helped rescue a mother and her two young children from her vehicle after a crash. The 2014 Director Lifetime Achievement Award went to R.C. Mitchell, board member and president at Skyline Membership Corp. in West Jefferson, N.C., and the Manager Lifetime Achievement Award honored Paul Freude, consultant and cooperative development chief manager of Paul Bunyan Communications in Bemidji, Minn.

Award-winning country music singer and songwriter Phil Vassar got everyone on their feet with top hits. Planning for the 2015 RTIME in Phoenix is already underway. We'll see you there!