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Editor: Christian Hamaker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy Editor: Ashley Spinks
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Rural Telecom, established in 1981, is the quarterly magazine
published by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, a
nonprofit, cooperative corporation formed in 1954 under the
laws of the District of Columbia.
NTCA’s Mission: NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
works on behalf of small broadband providers who are working
on behalf of rural America.
NTCA represents more than 800 small, rural, locally owned and
operated broadband companies in the United States and
abroad, as well as state and regional telephone associations
and companies that are the suppliers of products and services
to the small and rural broadband industry. Our readers are the
managers, directors, attorneys and key employees of these
broadband companies as well as consultants, government
officials and telecommunications experts.
NTCA Board of Directors, General Counsel
and Chief Executive Officer
President: John Klatt
Vice President: Kevin Beyer
Secretary/Treasurer: Allen R. Hoopes
Central Region Commercial: Doug Boone
Cooperative: Ron Hinds
North Central Region Commercial: John Klatt
Cooperative: Kevin Beyer
Northeast Region Commercial: Mike Grisham
Cooperative: Barry Adair
Northwest Region Commercial: Allen R. Hoopes
Cooperative: Don Bitz
Southeast Region Commercial: H. Keith Oliver
General Counsel: Don Richards
Cooperative: J. Frederick Johnson
Southwest Region Commercial: Russell Moore
Cooperative: William P. Hegmann
Chief Executive Officer: Shirley Bloomfield
Statements of Opinion and Fact are the individual views of the
authors and not necessarily the positions of NTCA, its officers,
directors, members or staff.
© 2018 NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
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By Christian Hamaker, Editor
How are you feeling? I’m doing well—for a variety of reasons.
Here at NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, we’re in
the fourth year of our Wellness Connections program, and after a
few years of dancing around the issue, I’m finally participating.
I had tried to participate in the program last year, signing up for wellness-related
missions through the program’s Rally app but then not completing them. Nor did I get
a biometric screening during my annual check-up—a way to earn $75 in gift cards.
I didn’t repeat that mistake this year. I had time to prepare for my check-up, had
my physician complete the biometric screening form and am now $75 richer. And if I
can remember to follow through on those Rally missions, I’ll earn a bit more money.
I recently looked over my gift card choices—several options are available to me,
and I can select more than one retailer—and am looking forward to treating myself to
On top of that, after some encouragement from my doctor, I’m eating better and, yes,
losing weight. (By the time you read this, that may have changed!) It’s all part of my
own commitment to living a healthier life—and the hope that, this time, the changes
Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve been in the same boat. In this issue, Ashley Spinks
covers rural telcos that are focusing on wellness at their companies. Find out on p. 18
how their initiatives are going (“How Wellness Works at Local Telcos”), and be sure to
check out p. 36 to learn about walking-related wellness challenges at two additional
rural broadband companies.
While wellness helps individuals and work forces thrive, economic development
benefits entire communities. On p. 26, Tara Young covers companies that are engaging in do-it-yourself (DIY) economic development initiatives, from partnerships with
Clemson University to filmmaking in Mayfield, Ky.
Also in this HR- and operations-focused issue of Rural Telecom, you’ll find Masha
Zager’s feature on video (“The Video Conundrum: To Offer or Not to Offer?” p. 22)—a
service rural broadband companies continue to offer despite a lack of profitability and
declining take rates. Hear from industry figures who have gone in different directions
on the subject.
In what ways are you and your co-workers working toward wellness? Maybe, like
me, you’ve had some hitches along the way. If so, don’t be discouraged! Wellness,
once actively pursued, can be contagious, benefiting not only you but those around
you—at work and at home. And if you participate in the Group Health Program’s
Wellness Connections, you might even get some monetary awards.
Wellness in My Home