About Us

Who We Are

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) was established in 1994 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and plays a unique role within the telecommunications industry by supporting rural telecom companies, consumers and policymakers with educational information, products and programming.

What Really Puts the Fire in Our Belly?

Rural telecom providers know that their customers are also their neighbors. These community-based businesses not only have a direct impact on the local economy, they are also proactively involved in making their communities better places to live, work and raise a family.

With every program, FRS calls attention to rural challenges, goals and achievements, and educates the public and lawmakers on exactly why rural America is so unique and worth fighting for. Similarly, FRS is committed to educational achievement in rural communities, recognizing that tomorrow’s economic and civic development depends on the involvement and success of today’s students.

Why Should you Care?

Every bit helps to keep rural America at the table as a key contributor to our nation’s prosperity. Today, our rural communities face many challenges. FRS relies on the generous donations of individuals, companies and partners to move our programs forward. Together, we can enhance quality of life in rural America. Donate today to help us accomplish our mission.

Our Team

We couldn’t make the #ruraliscool magic happen without our staff and board of directors. If you are interested in serving on the foundation board, or staff positions, please contact us.

Jessica Golden

Executive Director

Jessica hails from the Golden State of California and she asks that you neither hold it against her nor assume she knows how to surf (it’s harder than it looks!). She has traveled all around the country on behalf of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association and now the Foundation for Rural Service, since 2010, championing rural America and experiencing the diverse beauty of our nation’s rural communities.  She still has 12 states left on her list, so if you’re from AL, AR, HI, ID, IA, MI, NE, NH, NM, ND, OK, VT, and need a speaker who is extremely excited about rural issues—you can contact her at jgolden@frs.org.

Annette Peterson

Program OFFICER

Originally from a small town in Connecticut, Annette can relate when our members say "I'm from a place where everybody knows your name." She has been with the foundation for over 12 years working tirelessly to keep the FRS trains running on time. You can catch Annette entertaining her colleagues with stories about her two children, reading a good book or planning her family's next trip. If you have any questions about the FRS fundraisers, grants or Youth Tour (or, just about life in general), you can find her at apeterson@frs.org.

Keith Meyer

Program SPECIALIST

Dairy farmer turned champion for rural Americans, Keith gets jazzed up about both maintaining close ties to his own rural roots and helping FRS support rural communities all across the country. Have any burning questions about the Foundation’s programs? Feel free to give him a ring at 703-351-2026 or drop him an email at kmeyer@frs.org.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

2018 FRS Board of Directors

PRESIDENT
Stephen Millner
Planters Telephone Cooperative
VICE PRESIDENT
Eric Cramer
Wilkes Communications/ Riverstreet Networks
SECRETARY-TREASURER
Carri Bennet
Bennet & Bennet, PLLC
   
    
    
REGION DIRECTORS
NORTHWEST
Richard Swartz
Triangle Telephone
(Havre, Mont.)
SOUTHEAST
Ruth Conley
Foothills Communications
(Staffordsville, Ky.)
CENTRAL
Melvin Massey
Rainbow Telecommunications Association, Inc.
(Denton, Kan.)
NORTHEAST
David Redman
RTC Communications
(Williams, Ind.)
NORTH CENTRAL
Carissa Swenson
Consolidated Telcom
(Dickinson, N.D.)
SOUTHWEST
Mark Washington
Five Area Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
(Muleshoe, Texas)
    
    
AT-LARGE DIRECTORS
David Adams
Green Hills Telephone Corp.
(Breckenridge, Mo.)
Eric Cramer
Wilkes Telephone Membership Corp.
(Wilkesboro, N.C.)
Keith Gabbard
PRTC
(McKee, Ky.)
Cheryl Rue
Tri-County Communications Co-op
(Strum, Wis.)
Stephen Milner
Planters Telephone Cooperative
(Newington, Ga.)
    
     
ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS
Caressa Bennet
Bennet & Bennet, PLLC
(Bethesda, Md.)
Lennie Blakeslee
CoBank
(Greenwood Village, Colo.)
Julie Gogel
Telcom Insurance Group
(Greenbelt, Md.)
John Granger
Mapcom Systems
(Richmond, Va.)
Steve Meltzer
JSI
(Greenbelt, Md.)
David Mould
Ericsson, Inc.
(Plano, Texas)
Robin Reed
Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative
(Dulles, Va.)
   
    
    
INDUSTRY DIRECTOR
Geoffrey Feiss
Montana Telecommunications Association
(Helena, Mont.)