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.

Pam Becker

Executive Director

I was excited to join FRS as executive director in early May. I grew up in Indiana, graduated from Georgetown University, and then started my career doing advocacy and communications work for an association in Washington, D.C. After 22 years raising private support for higher education, science research and health care non-profit organizations in Southern California, my husband and I recently returned to the Washington D.C. area. My husband is in the data center field and our daughter is a college student. I am looking forward to meeting all the people and organizations that support FRS and make our programs—scholarships, the Youth Tour, community grants, and more—possible. You can contact Pam at pbecker@frs.org.

Brock Streauslin

Program Specialist

After growing up and attending school in Iowa, Brock moved to the Washington, D.C. area to explore career opportunities. Having grown up in one of the oldest cities in Iowa, Brock is actually a "city guy" by Midwestern standards. However, his family ties to farming drive his interest in advocacy for rural communities. On the weekends, you can find Brock exploring the city of D.C., looking for new restaurants to try or watching sports. If you have any questions about the foundation's grants or Youth Tour, you can find  him at bstreauslin@frs.org.

Elise Panko

Development and Event Planner

Elise recently moved to Washington from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where she spent nearly six years with a real estate development and property management company specializing in downtown projects. She managed a wide variety of events and initiatives, including charitable fundraisers, awareness events, block parties, community and private events, ribbon cuttings and more. She enjoyed being active in the Central Pennsylvania community, serving on the board of an arts nonprofit and chairing the local young professionals’ economic development committee. Elise loves exploring all that DC has to offer in her free time, especially happy hours, brunches and performances! If you are interested in sponsorships, FRS events or fundraising you can contact Elise at epanko@frs.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

FRS Board

Our work would not be possible without the continued guidance of the FRS Board of Directors. But we need your help! The foundation seeks to fill an at-large director position and an associate director position on the board for at least one three-year term to start in 2020. If you are interested in submitting an application to serve on the FRS Board and joining other NTCA members who are making a difference through philanthropy, please complete the application no later than September 6, 2019.

Serving on the FRS board is a great way to become more involved with the foundation and work with other NTCA members. If you would like to learn more about the open positions and the role of the board, contact pbecker@frs.org or 703-351-2044.

2019 FRS Board of Directors

CHAIR
Carri Bennet
Womble Bond Dickinson
(Washington, D.C.)
VICE CHAIR
David Adams
Green Hills Telephone Corp.
(Breckenridge, Mo.)
SECRETARY-TREASURER
Keith Gabbard
PRTC
(McKee, Ky.)
   
    
    
REGION DIRECTORS
NORTHWEST
Richard Swartz
Triangle Telephone
(Havre, Mont.)
SOUTHEAST
Ruth Conley
Foothills Communications
(Staffordsville, Ky.)
CENTRAL
Stacy Simmer
Rainbow Communications
(Hiawatha, Kan.)
NORTHEAST
Kurt Gruendling
Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom
(Hinesburg, Vt.)
NORTH CENTRAL
Carissa Swenson
Consolidated Telcom
(Dickinson, N.D.)
SOUTHWEST
Jim Haynie
Hill Country Telephone Cooperative
(Mountain Home, Texas)
    
    
AT-LARGE DIRECTORS
David Adams
Green Hills Telephone Corp.
(Breckenridge, Mo.)
Greg Coltrain
RiverStreet Networks
(Belhaven, 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
Carri Bennet
Womble Bond Dickinson
(Washington, D.C.)
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.)