As I sit here and write my last president message for my final term, I reflect on how fast the last 12 years have passed. I grew up on a farm right across the road from my Grandfather Scheiderer, and working by his side as a young man, he always told me not to wish my life away because the older you get, the faster life goes. Now that I am older, I completely understand what he meant.
There have been several changes at Chariton Valley since its beginning as a phone company to an industry leader in broadband. Cooperative members often view board members as their elected representatives and expect them to reflect their personal views on a decision. While the board is elected by the membership, their primary responsibility is to protect the viability of the cooperative. I feel in the past 12 years I have served on the board, the best decisions were made for the cooperative, given the information provided.
While Chariton Valley celebrates its 70th year, I would like to highlight a few stats. As of the first quarter of 2022, the company has more than 12,000 fiber customers, over 3,204 fiber miles deployed and is expanding its fiber network daily. The company is a Smart Rural Communities Showcase Award winner and has been recognized by NTCA as a Gig-Certified provider. It has also been a State and Federal Grant and Auction Award winner. I am happy to announce Chariton Valley received a Rus Reconnect grant to finish the fiber for the last of the 18 exchanges at Jacksonville, MO.
In closing, I would like to thank the executive team of Kirby Underberg, President and CEO; Ryan Johnson, Chief Operating Officer; and Tina Jordan, Chief Financial Officer; for your help and guidance while I served on the board, especially the past six years I served as president. I also want to thank all present and past employees for the help you provided me and for your dedication and hard work because you are why Chariton Valley is the premier company it is today. Finally, I need to thank all current and former board members I have served with on the Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation Board of Directors. It is because of your governance and vision that Chariton Valley is a leader in the broadband industry. Once again, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the help and guidance. Keep striving for more success and good luck in the future.
President of the Board
Members of Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation, I am pleased to report your company continues to be a strong, advanced leader in the industry. The Board of Directors holds steadfast in our vision to provide services to enhance opportunities for rural communities in Missouri.
The first step to enhance opportunities for our rural communities is to extend our network to those that need high-speed fiber connectivity. Balancing our commitment to bring fiber to all members with the need to grow our revenues has been our priority. The five-year copper replacement plan is going very well, with an anticipated $42.2 million investment in upgrading services for all members. We have also received a grant from the Department of Agriculture to be used in completing our last exchange of Jacksonville. Working with the government and completing this work will push us into the first half of 2023 to complete our final exchange.
The fiber expansion we have been undertaking has allowed us to reach a significant milestone by surpassing 12,000 connections on our network. This growth is important to the future of the company and its ability to provide services for many years to come for members and all customers of Chariton Valley.
This past year, we also completed the sale of our wireless operations. We are all very proud and honored to have provided an excellent experience and product for over 16,000 customers for over 25 years. The decision to sell this part of the company was very difficult and ultimately boiled down to the fact that we could not continue to compete with the large companies in the long run. We are now focused on expanding and providing next generation fiber connectivity to rural Missourians.
Reviewing our financials, you will see a net income for the year ending 2021. One highlight I would like to make is the increase in Net Plant. As you can see, we continue to invest in our fiber network that will provide continued growth and revenue for your company long into the future, adding nearly $7 million in new plant for 2021. We are looking at a bright future as we continue to increase revenues while managing expenses.
I look forward to sharing more information about the company at our upcoming Annual Business Meeting on October 6th. The meeting will be open to members, live streamed on Facebook, and as last year, we will have online voting. Please exercise your member right and vote during the two weeks prior to the meeting. Every member who votes will be automatically entered in a drawing for ten people to win $1000, and the 70th anniversary special grand prize of $7,000.
Kirby J. Underberg
President & CEO
Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation
Unapproved Minutes of the 2021 Annual Meeting
Minutes of Regular ANNUAL Meeting of Shareholders
Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation
The regular annual meeting of the Shareholders of Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation was held Thursday, October 7th, 2021 at the Chariton Valley Headquarters Office in Macon, Missouri. President and CEO, Kirby Underberg welcomed those in attendance and those viewing online. Mr. Underberg then led the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The current Board of Directors, Board Candidates, and Corporate Attorney were introduced by Mr. Underberg.
Mr. Gary Scheiderer, President of the Board, called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. Board President Scheiderer reported that the bylaws require 5% of the 5018 outstanding voting shares to be represented by confirmed electronic vote to constitute a quorum, that 1052 voting shares were confirmed, that 1052 exceeded 5% of the total outstanding shares, thus a quorum was represented, and the meeting would proceed.
Board President Scheiderer presented the meeting notice stating the place, day and hour of the meeting and the statement of the number of directors to be elected and the names and addresses of the candidates. He also presented the proof of mailing of the notice showing that the annual meeting notices were mailed or emailed on September 17th, 2021 to each of the members of Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation. A motion was made, seconded and carried by voice vote to waive the reading of the official notice of meeting and proof of mailing thereof. Board President Scheiderer then asked if there were any corrections or amendments to last year’s minutes. There being none, he asked for a motion to dispense with reading of last year’s minutes and approve the minutes as printed on the annual meeting web page. A motion was made, seconded and carried by voice vote to dispense with reading of the minutes and to approve them as presented.
Mr. Kirby Underberg presented the Chief Executive Officer’s report to the audience. The results of the elections were then announced by Attorney Craig Johnson:
Melissa Cole (Northeast Area) 678 James Burks (Southwest Area) 335
William Cosby (Northeast Area) 270 Kelly Linneman (South Central Area) 703
Charlotte Miller (Southwest Area) 613 Deborah Nanneman (South Central Area) 299
Mr. Johnson then declared Melissa Cole, Charlotte Miller, and Kelly Linneman elected to the Board of Directors of Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation.
President Gary Scheiderer announced that the balloting administrator, Survey & Ballot Systems, randomly selected the prize drawing winners and that 10 members would receive $1000. Members who voted were automatically entered in the drawing and did not have to be present at the meeting to win. Winners were announced and will also be posted on the Chariton Valley website, www.cvalley.net , and on the Chariton Valley Facebook page.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, a motion was made and seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 4:12 p.m.
Holly Wooldridge, Secretary of the Board