Empowering Rural Communities: BEK Cooperative's Commitment to Progress and Inclusivity
Williams recounts the cooperative's history, which began as a telephone company stringing wires from poles more than seven decades ago. He proudly mentions that his father was one of the original members of BEK Communications, and that the early directors recognized the cooperative's importance. Today, BEK is proud to offer its customers state-of-the-art fiber broadband internet connections, a significant departure from its cable-stringing origins.
Williams credits the cooperative's successes to its member-owners and emphasizes the cooperative philosophy of enabling members to influence how the cooperative operates, a tradition that has continued for 71 years.
He discusses the addition of a new District 5, noting that when profits are generated, cooperatives aim to share them with their members and seek input to make decisions that align with members' preferences. This addition marks the first since 1996, providing an opportunity for new members in District 5. Williams encourages interested individuals to become members by following the instructions provided, which includes filling out a Cooperative Membership Form and receiving a complimentary t-shirt.
Williams also stresses the vital role that cooperatives play as lifelines for small communities and urges new members to actively participate in the cooperative's operations by reaching out to the Board of Directors with comments, ideas, concerns, and more. He emphasizes that representation is in place to address these concerns, ultimately inviting people to become part of the cooperative and contribute to its growth and success.
Additional Details on U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Cooperative Month:
Co-op Month, observed across the United States in October, is an annual celebration by cooperatives. This month-long event serves as a chance to highlight the effective and reliable business model of cooperatives, as well as their role in fostering resilient and inclusive communities.
BEK: CO-OP Strong
Community is the heart of our mission. We strive to be a dependable corporate citizen, lending a hand to neighbors, schools and civic organizations. Every year, we donate thousands of dollars in grants, community outreach and economic development, sponsor events, provide branded materials for fundraisers, award scholarships to college-bound students and deliver free services to local government entities.
BEK Communications Cooperative's Board of Directors is excited to share the broadening of our cooperative membership, providing our existing customers with opportunities to transition to cooperative members.
Person to Person. Neighbor to Neighbor. Cooperative to Member. BEK Communications is – and always has been – here to serve.
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.