“TCT Country” was the theme of the 59th Annual Meeting of Members for Tri-County Telephone Association, Inc. (TCT). The meeting was held Tuesday, April 5th, 2022, at the Herington Community Building. 220 people attended the event. A meal, catered by Kathy’s Herb and Spice, was served to members prior to the meeting. Board President Shawn Tiffany gave the invocation.

Following the meal Vice-President Chad Tischhauser introduced the 2022 TCT Board Scholarship winners. Scholarships are given to graduating high school seniors, who maintain a 2.5 GPA and have a parent or legal guardian who are members of the cooperative. A $1,000 scholarship is awarded for each of the 5 TCT voting districts in addition to one “District At Large” scholarship drawn from all remaining applications. Scholarship winners were, District #1 – Ajay Brown- Son of Nathan and Cristie Brown. Ajay will be attending the Flint Hills Technical College, in Emporia, KS. District #2 – Calla Unruh Daughter of Mindy Unruh. Calla will be attending Wichita State University. District #3 – Carly Denies Daughter of Julie Deines. Carly will be attending Kansas State University. District #4 – Addison Hasenbank Daughter of Jennifer Andres. Addison will be attending Kansas State University. District #5 – Mija Carlson Daughter of Justin and Lauri Carlson. Mija will be attending Independence Community College. At Large- Lauren Brown Daughter of Heather Brown. Lauren will be attending the Emporia State University.

Following the presentation of scholarships President Tiffany opened the business meeting. TCT Board Attorney, Joe Knopp, affirmed that a quorum was present, in accordance with the by-laws. President Tiffany introduced TCT Controller, Jason Pettit, who gave the financial report. Mr. Pettit asked for questions from the membership, there were no questions. President Tiffany then asked for a motion to approve the financial report, the motion was approved. President Tiffany gave the President’s report. He stated that much in the world has changed since the membership met in person in 2019. President Tiffany also noted how TCT’s customers were prepared for the challenges of the pandemic, moving work, education, and health care to online applications, due to their access to fiber broadband. He then explained how the need for broadband will continue to play a critical role in rural communities and agriculture. President Tiffany also remarked that broadband has been essential to the emergence of many new businesses he has seen open in Council Grove and in other TCT service areas.

Following the President’s report C.E.O., Dale Jones, addressed the membership. In his presentation Mr. Jones reviewed the board reduction amendment to the by-laws that was adopted in 2019. He noted how the reduction of the board from 11 members to 7 members has been done through attrition. Mr. Jones then recognized Kenny Stroda for his 12 years of service on the Board of Directors for District #3. Mr. Stroda was presented with a print and commented on his time serving on the Board.

Mr. Jones continued with his presentation by updating members on TCT’s activities of the last 2 years. He presented a timeline and details of the Alta Vista, KS broadband grant and fiber to the home project, which was completed within a 90-day period. Mr. Jones then presented a timeline and details of the Hillsboro, KS fiber to the home project, which was completed in fall of 2021. Mr. Jones explained that both projects are part of a larger strategic goal to secure the future of the cooperative. Following the Alta Vista and Hillsboro project updates, Mr. Jones shared with the membership that TCT will continue to look for opportunities to expand the network through grant funding and other resources.

Mr. Jones gave the membership an update on the cooperative’s investment in NexTech Wireless. As of 2022 NexTech has 395 towers, 44 of which are in the TCT area. Another tower in the Dwight area is set to be completed in 90 days. Mr. Jones closed his presentation with a remembrance of former board member Anita Hummel. Mrs. Hummel served 12 years on the board between 2004-2011, representing District # 4. Mr. Jones commented that Anita had been a very good director and always had the best interest of the patrons and the company at heart.

The board election results were then announced by President Shawn Tiffany. District #1 was non-contested, approving Shawn Tiffany to serve another 3-year term. The Members elected Dan Reiff to represent the West at Large District. Following the announcement of the election results President Tiffany called for any unfinished business and new business, there was none.

TCT Marketing Director, Scott Bankes, announced the winners of the prize drawings. Cash prizes totaling $1,150.00 were awarded. The $20 cash prize winners were: John Seibel, Maynard Marts, Donna Berner, Dale Wingerd, Kay Hutchinson, Carol Glotzbach, Tom Slick, Eldon Wuthnow, Galla Sanford and Jen Stuchlik.  The $50 cash prize winners were: Connie McMahn, Ron Kramer, Don Hostetter, Kathryn Albrecht, Roger Diekmann, Clarence Perry, Richard Claypool, Paulette Holub, David Bachura, Dale Kleinschmidt, and Pam Diepenbrock. The $100 cash prize winners were: Randy Svitak and Brian Klein. The $200 cash winner was Carolyn Holm. Ralph Maddox won the big screen TV. Virginia Bentz won the decorative windmill planter and Jodie McNutt and Jan Gustason both won the decorative ferns.

President Tiffany thanked everyone for coming and asked for a motion to adjourn. The motion was approved.