June 28, 2012

West River Telecom details successful year and growth

West River Telecom details successful year and growth

By Chris Gessele

The words of former West River Telecom manager Dale Albers 40 years ago still ring true today for WRT: “We’re optimistic as heck.”
WRT held its 60th annual meeting Friday at the Hazen High School gym in Hazen. Hazen mayor Mark Nygard provided opening comment, and congratulated the cooperative on surviving 60 years.
“I was only 2 years old when you guys were formed,” he said.
He stated that WRT has not only served the technological needs of rural America, but the community needs of rural America as well. He noted that technology found in rural America is the same that is found anywhere else in the world.
“I believe West River has done an admirable job of keeping up with technology,” Nygard said.
Bonnie Krause gave her first speech as WRT’s CEO after spending many years as the cooperative’s chief financial officer. Krause recalled the cooperative’s beginnings 60 years ago, when potential members were asked to provide $5 as a show of support for the formation of a telephone cooperative.
“From a $5.00 show of support to a $13.5-million bottom line, it’s been quite a ride,” Krause said.
 


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