Foundation for Rural Service and Foundation for Rural Education and Development to Merge

For Immediate Release
FRED Contact: Melissa Korzuch, 202-660-2899,
FRS Contact: Elizabeth Crocker, 703-351-2044, 

Arlington, Va. (July 21, 2014)—The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS)  and the Foundation for Rural Education and Development (FRED) are pleased to announce that the two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding indicating intent to merge. FRED is the foundation formerly associated with Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO). The merger is expected to be completed by December 31, 2014. 

Through this merger, FRS and FRED will retain the very best qualities of both foundations and will fulfill the mission of both organizations to serve the needs of rural Americans. More information on this merger is forthcoming but both organizations are excited about what this means for members of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and their communities: expanded resources and a unified approach to providing even more outstanding programs, events and services. 

“I am very pleased to see FRS and FRED combine forces and look forward to the synergies the new board of directors will bring,” said FRS President Dale Merten. “Our unified efforts will enable us to do more than we ever achieved separately.”

“FRED, through the merged entity, is thrilled to be able to carry on its programs, scholarships and grants and continue to make a difference in the education of rural students and the rural communities served by former OPASTCO members,” stated Ben Spearman, president of FRED. “FRED is especially pleased that the founding father of FRED, Everette Kneece, will continue to have a scholarship in his memory.”

“NTCA is excited to see what the combined efforts of these two outstanding foundations can do for rural America,” said Shirley Bloomfield, chief executive officer of NTCA. “Together we will continue to make a lasting impact on rural communities by offering innovative, constructive and positive solutions to the issues they face every day.” 


The Foundation for Rural Education and Development (FRED) is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in Washington, D.C. FRED's mission is to sponsor programs and activities that improve the educational, social and economic conditions of rural areas in the US and Canada. This mission is accomplished by raising funds to sponsor thousands of dollars in scholarships, grants, and programs that directly benefit rural communities.  More information on FRED can be found at  

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), in cooperation with
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and its members, seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues. FRS is committed to educational achievement in rural communities, recognizing that tomorrows economic and civic development depends on the involvement and commitment of todays youth. Visit us at