BEK Board Director Holly Will: Championing Rural Broadband and Cooperative Values
Holly shared her personal journey with BEK, starting as a member of the Nominating Committee and later becoming more deeply involved with the cooperative. She emphasized that she and her family live in rural North Dakota within BEK's service area, making the cooperative's rural fiber broadband product of great importance to them.
One of the highlights of the conversation was BEK's substantial investment, exceeding $50 million, to deploy fiber optic broadband to homes in rural North Dakota. Holly stressed how vital this infrastructure is for rural families, particularly in times like the pandemic, where remote work and online learning became crucial. She shared her family's experience during the pandemic, highlighting how BEK's broadband allowed her daughter to continue her studies abroad and her husband to work from home effectively.
Holly also delved into BEK's history, noting that the cooperative was established 71 years ago when her family had trouble getting telephone service in Kidder County. This historical perspective underlined BEK's growth into the state's leading telecommunications provider and its ongoing commitment to rural communities.
The conversation shifted to BEK's recent expansion, encompassing District 5, which includes areas around Valley City, Bismarck, and Mandan. Holly explained the requirements for becoming a BEK member in this new district, emphasizing the importance of residing in the service area, subscribing to BEK's internet or phone services, and completing the Cooperative Membership Form.
Highlighting the benefits of BEK membership, Holly stressed that members have a voice in service decisions and can participate in the cooperative's governance by voting on leaders and bylaws. She also mentioned the potential for capital credits to be allocated to members if BEK performs well.
Holly emphasized the localized decision-making process within BEK, reflecting the cooperative's dedication to serving the same communities where its members reside. She highlighted the superior broadband services offered by BEK in rural areas, outperforming those available in larger cities.
In closing, Holly extended an invitation to anyone with ideas, concerns, or questions to reach out to her as a BEK Director for District 3, emphasizing her commitment to being accessible and responsive to the needs of BEK's members and communities.
More in CO-OP
In a recent segment of Dakota Cowboy featuring BEK Board Director Sanford Williams, he emphasizes the significance of National Cooperative Month as an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of providing rural cooperatives with advanced technology and services comparable to those in urban areas, if not better. Williams highlights the crucial role of having equal connectivity infrastructure in smaller, rural communities for conducting business and fostering connections similar to larger cities.
In a recent segment on "Ladies of Another View," BEK Communications Cooperative featured their newest Board Director, Holly Will. Holly discussed various aspects of BEK, its commitment to rural communities in North Dakota, and the significance of October as National Coop Month.
In a segment on Trent on the Loos, Kevin Bernhardt, the Vice President of the BEK Communications Cooperative Board of Directors, engages in a conversation with BEK's Chief Operations Officer, Jordan Hassler. They emphasize the significance of recognizing October as National Cooperative Month and underscore the cooperative's core principles of being "for the people and by the people."
In a special segment of the BEK TV program "Ladies of Another View," the focus is on October being National Coop Month, featuring an interview with Jordan Hassler, the Chief Operating Officer of BEK Communications Cooperative, and Brett Stroh, the President of BEK's Board of Directors. They discuss the significance of Coop Month and the role of cooperatives, particularly telecommunications cooperatives, in North Dakota. Plus, they announce the expansion of the BEK membership area!
BEK Communications Cooperative awarded the Linton Senior Citizens Club a $1,000 grant through the BEK Community Partnership Program to repair the facility’s leaking roof. Kevin Bernhardt, BEK District III Director, presented the award on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at the Linton Senior Citizens Club in Linton.