Cooperative members selected board of trustees and learned about upcoming fiber projects
Over 250 members of the Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative gathered in Missoula on April 29 to select a board of trustees, celebrate achievements from the previous year and learn about future fiber projects.
“Our annual meeting is a meaningful and important part of how we operate as a cooperative” said Tom Eggensperger, chair of the Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative board of trustees. “Each cooperative member has a stake in the success of our company and has an equal say in selecting the leadership of our co-op. We are accountable to our customers and the communities we serve.”
Established in 1954, the Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative includes more than 15,000 members across a 6,600 square mile service area in Western Montana. Cooperative members are represented by nine trustees, one per district, and are elected to three-year terms and meet regularly, providing a review of company operations, including financials and projects.
The following trustees were re-elected at the April 29 meeting:
- Jim Blush (St. Ignatius)
- Cindy Lewis (Seeley Lake)
- John Teague (Clinton)
Remaining trustees up for election at future annual meetings include:
- Tom Eggensperger (Thompson Falls)
- Butch Friede (Hall)
- Les Iverson (Potomac)
- Stuart Morton (Charlo)
- Candy Noland-Faroni (Dixon)
- Geoffery Wilson (Superior)
In addition to electing a board of trustees, CEO Jason Williams provided updates on upgrading Blackfoot’s network to fiber-based broadband. Since 2017, Blackfoot has invested nearly $50 million to bring fiber to communities in Western Montana. Blackfoot was recently awarded seven grants through the State of Montana’s ConnectMT program totaling over $60 million to accelerate the deployment of this cutting-edge technology in more areas.
“Blackfoot is a leader in bringing fiber-based broadband internet to rural communities in Western Montana, and our goal is to upgrade our entire network to fiber,” said Jason Williams, CEO. “Access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet is a must-have for businesses, education, and healthcare. Fiber technology helps connect our customers to more opportunities and closes the so-called digital divide between big cities and small towns.”
Blackfoot Communications delivers voice, broadband and fiber-based internet connectivity to homes and businesses in Western Montana and Eastern Idaho.