FRS Announces 2018 Board of Directors

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Wismer,, 703-351-2015

Arlington, Va., (November 1, 2017)–The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) today announced the member representatives who have been appointed to serve on the foundation’s 2018 Board of Directors.

New board members will be seated and the board will elect officers, including president and vice president at the Rural Telecom Industry Meeting & EXPO February 25 in Austin, Texas.

“The foundation’s 2018 Board of Directors is a dedicated group of individuals whose leadership and expertise significantly benefit the telecom industry,” said FRS Executive Director Jessica Golden. “I appreciate their commitment to the foundation and look forward to working with each of them in the coming years.”

Northwest Region Director
Richard Swartz, Triangle Telephone Association (Havre, Mont.) *

Southeast Region Director
Ruth Conley, Foothills Communications (Staffordsville, Ky.) *

Central Region Director
Melvin Massey, Rainbow Telecommunications Association, Inc. (Denton, Kan.)

Northeast Region Director
David Redman, RTC Communications (Williams, Ind.)

 North Central Region Director
Carissa Swenson, Consolidated Telcom (Dickinson, N.D.)

Southwest Region Director
Mark Washington, Five Area Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Muleshoe, Texas)

 At-Large Directors:
David Adams, Green Hills Telephone Corporation (Breckenridge, Mo.)

Eric Cramer, Wilkes Telephone Membership Corporation (Wilkesboro, N.C.)
Keith Gabbard, PRTC (McKee, Ky.)*
Cheryl Rue, Tri-County Communications Co-op (Strum, Wis.)*
Stephen Milner, Planters Telephone Cooperative (Newington, Ga.)

Associate Directors:
Caressa Bennet, Bennet & Bennet, PLLC (Bethesda, Md.)

Lennie Blakeslee, CoBank (Greenwood Village, Colo.)*
Julie Gogel, Telcom Insurance Group (Greenbelt, Md.)
John Granger, Mapcom Systems (Richmond, Va.)
Steve Meltzer, JSI (Greenbelt, Md.)
David Mould, Ericsson, Inc. (Plano, Texas)
Robin Reed, Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative (Dulles, Va.)*

Industry Director:
Geoffrey Feiss, Montana Telecommunications Association (Helena, Mont.)

* Asterisks indicate a new director.


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 in America by advancing an understanding of rural issues. FRS is committed to advancing opportunities for economic development in communities through innovations in technology and telecommunications. Visit us at

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing more than 800 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at