As the President of the Board, I am honored to address you, my fellow Chariton Valley Telephone Cooperative Members. I invite you to participate in our annual membership meeting on October 12, 2023. This event is open to members and will be live-streamed on Facebook. Important business will be conducted, including the election of three new board members. I am pleased to report that the change to electronic voting has made it convenient for more members to be involved than ever before. Before this change, about 6% of our membership actively participated in the election process. I am happy to report that 22.94% of our members voted last year.
We all know life can be busy. But with the ease of electronic voting, I encourage you to exercise your right to vote for the candidates you feel best represent your interests in our cooperative. Please take some time to read through the candidate profiles before casting your electronic ballot. You will be receiving a letter from Survey & Ballot Systems, our electronic voting system provider. The instructions will include your credentials (username and password) needed to vote during the two-week voting window. I would also encourage you to explore www.cvalley.net, Members Minute, where you can see frequently asked questions and a wealth of other information, such as the list of unclaimed capital credits.
This is a very exciting time for the communications industry and specifically for our company. We are experiencing unprecedented grant funding opportunities to deploy broadband to those with no service or poor-quality service. One thing everyone learned when the pandemic hit was that reliable broadband service is vital for everyone. This is not a luxury service anymore; it is an essential utility service. So, in much the same way as many years ago when cooperatives were formed across the country to provide wireline telephone service to all including Rural America, the legislators have banned together to provide funding for companies who can get this vital service out to all. We know that fiber is the most reliable way to provide high-speed broadband to our members and customers. But when it costs on average $25,000 per mile to deploy fiber, it is cost-prohibitive without outside funding. I am proud to inform you that due to the diligent work of our dedicated employees who successfully applied for grants and worked with local and state governments, Chariton Valley has placed 550 miles of fiber over the past year. Continuing our investment in fiber will provide long-term revenue and financial stability for the company.
At this time Chariton Valley Telephone Cooperative has one exchange remaining to fully complete the fiber build, which is Jacksonville in the rural areas. I want to assure you that your board holds this as a high priority and is committed to completing it very soon. I recognize that some of you have waited quite a long time for fiber. On behalf of your board, we want to express our appreciation for your patience. We understand that not having reliable broadband service can be a real challenge in your daily lives. Construction will begin soon and once completed, 100% of our members will have the best broadband service available anywhere in the industry, and we plan to celebrate that! Watch for additional details on that to come.
In January the board began an evaluation process and spent several months evaluating the needs of the company; our members, customers, and employees. In June we were excited to welcome Ryan Johnson as our new President and CEO. The board is very pleased to see that much has already been accomplished through his leadership, and we look forward to a bright future.
The board remains committed to Chariton Valley’s vision to “Provide Premier Services to Enhance Opportunities for Rural Communities” and being the premier broadband provider in our service area. The board recognizes and values all our great employees’ hard work and dedication. A company is only as good as the people who work there every day, which is precisely why Chariton Valley is the excellent company that it is. We stand out from other telecommunication companies and we are far more advanced than most rural providers. Chariton Valley has been recognized by many local, state, and federal legislators, and they use us as an example to others. That is something to be very proud of!
I also want to express my sincere appreciation to all the board members, past and present, with whom I have had the pleasure of serving. The telecommunications industry is a multifaceted business with many moving parts. Having served on other boards, I didn’t anticipate the work to be much different, but I am here to tell you that this board works very hard on your behalf. We take our responsibilities very seriously and are regularly tasked with making vital, sometimes difficult, decisions. We spend a great deal of time on education and training to help us do the best job we possibly can. I am honored and humbled to serve as President and pledge to always serve you to the best of my abilities.
Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation would not be an amazing community partner and provider without its members. Be sure to vote…. we are counting on you.
Melissa D. Cole
Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation
Dear Cooperative Members,
I hope this message finds you well. There are a lot of things people disagree about these days. But you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks more transparency isn’t good. A little honesty and open communication can go a long way. My commitment to you, the members, is to continue with consistent and educational communications with you and your Board of Directors.
I’m delighted to report that Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation had a wonderfully successful year in 2022. Our technicians were visible in your neighborhoods and communities, installing fiber broadband service for many of you. Chariton Valley employees were working to complete our fiber network upgrade in your communities. With more than 550 miles of fiber constructed and more than 145 connections added in 2022, we are making terrific progress toward our vision of providing premier services to enhance opportunities for rural communities. We have a portion of the rural Jacksonville exchange remaining to construct with Fiber-to-the-Home, and we are committed to starting fiber construction in the 4th quarter of 2023.
We have remained financially sound while investing in new services and technology to enhance our future growth. Ninety-nine percent of the businesses in our Cooperative area are small businesses. Our products, designed specifically for small businesses, deliver reliable broadband internet and voice services vital for success.
We supported our communities like never before in 2022 with more than $30,000 in donations, scholarships, and sponsorships to local, praiseworthy organizations benefiting our communities in numerous ways. Chariton Valley values its partnership with many economic development councils and local officials, and is honored to give back to the communities we serve.
Your Cooperative continues to work for you. As we continue to expand our product and service offerings, the number of Cooperative members continues to grow, ensuring Chariton Valley will be able to meet your communications needs, whatever the future may bring.
It is with your support that we become better every day. None of this would be possible without you. Your contributions, feedback, and participation are not just welcome but vital. We can continue to build a cooperative that meets our collective needs and aspirations. Thank you for your continued trust and support.
We look forward to making next year even more successful, nurturing a cooperative we can all be proud of. On behalf of your co-op employees and board, thank you for allowing us to serve all of you. Thank you for being a member-owner of Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation.
President & CEO
Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation
Unapproved Minutes of the 2022 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 6th, 2022 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 5182 outstanding voting shares to be represented by confirmed electronic vote to constitute a quorum, that 1189 voting shares were confirmed, that 1189 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 12th, 2022 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:
C.F. Pagliai, Jr. (Northeast Area) 1017
Mitch Peiffer (Northwest Area) 694 Jay Shepley (Northwest Area) 399
Chris Hayward (South Central Area) 721 Deborah Nanneman (South Central Area) 429
Mr. Johnson then declared C.F. Pagliai, Jr., Mitch Peiffer, and Chris Hayward 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 and one member would receive the grand prize of $7,000. 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 4:20 p.m.
Holly Wooldridge, Secretary of the Board