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