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Nex-Tech Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients

LENORA, Kan., June 2, 2021 —Nex-Tech is proud to announce the 2021 recipients of the Nex-Tech Break the Rules scholarship.
 
“Unlike most scholarship programs, this one allows high school seniors to send us any type of entry that depicts what they are most passionate about and how that has led to their chosen career path,” stated Jacque Beckman, Nex-Tech’s Youth Services/Training Specialist. “We received essays, YouTube videos and PowerPoint presentations. Our area students are very talented, and this allows them a non-traditional way to showcase their strengths and passions.”
 
Jimmy Todd, CEO/General Manager added, “We received many creative and well-thought-out scholarship entries. We appreciate the effort and the passion behind each submission, and the entire Nex-Tech team wishes every student success as they embark on their future education and career path.”
 
The following 10 students will each receive a $1,000 award for excellence in showcasing their passion and describing how it led to their chosen career.
 
Alicia Feyerherm is the daughter of James and Teresa Feyerherm of Hays. Alicia graduated from Hays High School and plans to attend the University of Kansas majoring in Broadcast Journalism to pursue a video production career.
 
Annie Weishaar is the daughter of Jeff and Deb Weishaar of Phillipsburg. Annie graduated from Phillipsburg High School and plans to attend Concordia University in Seward, NE to pursue double majors in Fine Arts and Art Education.
 
Lauren Wagner is the daughter of Eric and Jennifer Wagner of Hays. Lauren graduated from Hays High School and will study Business Management and Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University as she works towards her goal of owning a dance studio and becoming a choreographer.
 
Kagan Keeten is the son of Greg and Tonya Keeten of Glade. Kagan graduated from Phillipsburg High School and will attend Kansas State University to study Agribusiness.
 
Nicholas Schemper is the son of Josh Schemper of Prairie View and Kelli Hueneke of Phillipsburg. Nicholas graduated from Phillipsburg High School and will attend the University of Kansas to study History and work toward earning a Masters or Doctoral degree in History.
 
Kalli Pfeifer is the daughter of Jason and Beth Pfeifer of Russell. Kalli graduated from Russell High School and plans to study Health and Human Performance with a pre-chiropractic emphasis at Fort Hays State University.
 
Gavin Plante is the son of Tim and Crystal Plante of Hill City. Gavin graduated from Hill City High School and will attend Wichita State University majoring in Media Arts with a focus in filmmaking.
 
Raini Hrabe is the daughter of Dan Hrabe and Trina Schrag, both of Kensington. Raini graduated from Thunder Ridge High School and will attend Fort Hays State University majoring in Diagnostic Medical Imaging with an ultrasound emphasis.
 
Kaitlyn Nichols is the daughter of Marc and Jessica Nichols of Russell. Kaitlyn graduated from Russell High School and plans to attend the University of Kansas majoring in Biology with a pre-medicine focus. She then hopes to further her education at the University of Kansas Medical School to study pediatric medicine.
 
Claire Shippy is the daughter of Darrell and Kay Shippy of Hays. Claire graduated from Hays High School and will attend Fort Hays State University majoring in Biology to pursue her career goal to become a dentist.
 

Nex-Tech Acquires Vic Innovations

LENORA, Kan., May 7, 2021 —Nex-Tech is pleased to announce it has reached an agreement to acquire Vic Innovations of Atwood effective June 1, 2021. Vic Innovations was founded in 2013 and began as a computer repair company. Today, the company provides Internet, voice services, web hosting services and computer repair to customers in Atwood, McDonald, Bird City and the surrounding rural areas.
 
“This acquisition is a perfect fit for Nex-Tech and strategically aligns with plans we have for the area after receiving the Broadband Access Grant (BAG) from the Kansas Department of Commerce in March,” stated Jimmy Todd, CEO and General Manager of Nex-Tech. The Nex-Tech BAG project will provide high-speed broadband for up to 429 underserved rural locations across 261 square miles in Bird City and along Highway 36 from Oberlin to Bird City in Decatur, Rawlins and Cheyenne counties. The project will have a combination of fiber and fixed wireless coverage areas. As Nex-Tech begins network upgrades in the area, customers will receive information on new Internet speeds and packages as well as other services that will be available.
 
“Serving the customers of Atwood, McDonald and Bird City has been a privilege and I am pleased to be joining a company with the expertise and professionalism of Nex-Tech,” said Simon Micek, Vice Chairman and CEO of Vic Innovations. As part of the acquisition, Simon will relocate to the Hays, Kansas, area with his family and will be employed as a Network Operations Engineer in Victoria.
 
If customers have questions about this transition, please contact Nex-Tech at 877-625-7872 or Vic Innovations at 844-842-9477.
 

Nex-Tech Awards Scholarships in Lieu of Youth Tour Sponsorship

 
LENORA, Kan., May 6, 2021 —Nex-Tech, a leader in business technology solutions and connectivity announced today that the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Youth Tour Scholarship recipients are: Livia Schultz, Matthew Bollig, and Shelby Alexander.
 
Each year, Nex-Tech, through its association with FRS, selects and sponsors students to attend a free Youth Tour trip to Washington D.C. in June. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the tour in 2020, and this year, the tour was again cancelled amidst safety concerns surrounding the ongoing pandemic and government and tourist locations in Washington D.C. being closed indefinitely.
 
To recognize the selected students for their achievements in lieu of a trip, Nex-Tech’s Board of Directors decided to award a $1,500 scholarship to be used for post-secondary education.
 
MEET OUR SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS:
 
Livia Schultz, a junior at Wheatland High School, is the daughter of Daniel and Joan Schultz of rural Grainfield. Livia’s college plans are undecided.
 
Matthew Bollig, a junior at Hays High School, is the son of Mark and Dominica Bollig of Hays. Matthew’s college plans are undecided.
 
Shelby Alexander, a junior at Hays High School, is the daughter of Todd Alexander, Hays, and Mendi Anschutz, Hays. Shelby plans to attend Kansas State University’s School of Business to obtain a Marketing degree.
 
Scholarship Winners
 
“While it is disappointing that the Youth Tour was cancelled two years in a row, we are excited to provide Livia, Matthew, and Shelby with a scholarship award to assist with their post-secondary education,” states Jimmy Todd, Nex-Tech CEO/General Manager.
 
The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), the philanthropic arm of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and its members, seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life in rural America by advancing an understanding of rural issues. Through scholarships, grants, and a variety of educational programs, FRS focuses on educating rural youth, encouraging community development and introducing policymakers to challenges unique to rural communities. Visit us at www.frs.org.
 
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. In an era of transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.
 

Nex-Tech Continues Long Tradition of Promoting From Within

Employee growth and opportunity integral to people-focused company culture.
 
LENORA, Kan., April 21, 2021 —Nex-Tech, a leader in business technology solutions and connectivity, announced today the internal promotions of Amber Chestnut, Jeremy Rumback, Joel Schneider, Shannon Wylie and Lindsay Brinker.
 
A key element of the Nex-Tech Way is growth. As a company, we grow to ensure delivery of the best and freshest technology to our customers. As an employer, we know employees are our greatest asset and providing opportunities for career growth within the organization not only increases productivity, it deepens the loyalty we share as a company toward serving our communities.
 
MEET OUR TEAM:
 
Amber Chestnut, Nex-Tech Help Desk Service and Provisioning Supervisor says, “Nex-Tech has given me the opportunity to work for an amazing local company. It’s a rewarding career to lead and collaborate with such an outstanding group of people.”
 
Amber started her career with Nex-Tech in 2002 as a Service Order Assistant, advancing in the department over the years. Amber and family reside in Phillipsburg. She enjoys supporting her boys in sports and other activities, loves cooking, kayaking, and time at the lake.
 
Jeremy Rumback, Engineering Supervisor Field Services says of his new position, “I am excited to take on the challenges and opportunities that this new role brings. The engineering department has a talented group of individuals and I look forward to leading them and being successful in the years to come.”
 
Jeremy and family live north of New Almelo, KS. He is a member of the Lenora Fire Department and the New Almelo Knights of Columbus, enjoys spending time with family, attending his children’s activities, and exploring the outdoors.
 
Joel Schneider, Network Operations Supervisor says, “Nex-Tech is a great place to work. I started with the company in 2005 as a Help Desk Technician while studying at Fort Hays State University. I stayed because over the years, new challenges and opportunities provided the career path to where I am now. It’s great to establish some roots and grow within the same company.”
 
Joel and his family live in Hays. He looks forward to time with family and friends.
 
Shannon Wylie, Advertising Solutions Supervisor says, “I was excited to have an opportunity to return to Nex-Tech in a leadership role on the team I had previously been a part of. Our Advertising Solutions Team, previously the Marketing Department, is a creative group that constantly is evolving and bringing new concepts to Nex-Tech and our clients.”
 
After spending almost 8 years away from Hays, Shannon and her husband and are glad to be back in a smaller town to raise their boys near family and friends. Shannon is currently a member of the Hays Young Professionals, a Leadership Hays participant, and enjoys keeping busy with her children’s sports and other activities.
 
Lindsay Brinker, Customer Sales Supervisor says, “I can proudly say that Nex-Tech really does provide the best customer service around. That can be attributed to the people we employ and our amazing customer sales staff. I'm humbled and excited for the opportunity to help lead this exceptional group of individuals.”
 
Lindsay joined Nex-Tech in 2018 as a Customer Solutions Specialist in Courtland and Graphic Designer for Ad Solutions. Beloit is home for Lindsay and family, where she enjoys family time, raising her children, spending time at the lake camping and partaking in watersports, and working on home improvement projects or remodels. She is an alumnus of Leadership Mitchell County, and a member of the Beloit Cassiopeia Club.
 

Nex-Tech Awarded Broadband Acceleration Grant

LENORA, Kan., March 12, 2021 —In a press conference on Thursday, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that Nex-Tech was awarded a Broadband Acceleration Grant (BAG) from the Kansas Department of Commerce.
 
The Lenora-based technology company will receive grant funding of almost $875,000 that will enable the development of broadband services in the town of Bird City, KS and approximately a five mile perimeter from the town in the rural areas. The total project cost is $1.75 million, with Nex-Tech funding the additional $875,000. Fiber-to-the-premise will be deployed to the Bird City businesses with symmetrical Internet connections up to Gigabit speeds. Fixed wireless will be deployed to the residential areas of Bird City, including the rural areas of Bird City, which will provide Internet speeds from 25 Mbps up to 100 Mbps.
 
The Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) was established to help ensure all Kansans have the opportunity to live, work, learn and compete in a global economy by improving universal access to quality, affordable and reliable broadband.
 
In 2020 Governor Laura Kelly enacted a bill to fund $85 million for broadband expansion over the next 10 years to be administered by the Department of Commerce through the Office of Broadband Development. This state-funded grant program will allot $5 million annually for the first three years and $10 million annually for the next seven years.
 
The Broadband Acceleration Grant program is designed to fund projects that facilitate access to high-quality Internet service to Kansas homes, businesses and communities. The need for access to critical broadband infrastructure has been significantly magnified in 2020. From consumer-facing connectivity needs, to digital and remote learning, telehealth services, online commerce transactions and e-government shifts, compelling need exists in many areas of Kansas.
 
Specific areas that lack broadband coverage (unserved); areas that lack quality, reliable access to fixed terrestrial broadband; and areas deemed economically distressed by the state are priorities to address through this initial round of Broadband Acceleration Grants.
 
“We are extremely pleased to have received this grant funding to expand and improve Internet connectivity to customers in Bird City”, stated Jimmy Todd, CEO and General Manager of Nex-Tech. “We want to thank the many individuals, businesses and community leaders including The Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation who wrote letters of support for these projects” continued Todd. “In addition, we want to give special thanks to the Bird City Century II Development Foundation for working with Nex-Tech on this project. Teryn Carmichael, Executive Director, and several board members met with Nex-Tech and also the Department of Commerce to express need for advanced broadband service in Bird City.”
 

Nex-Tech Employee Ron Ellis Recognized as Industry ‘Excellence Award’ Winner

ARLINGTON, Va., (March 9, 2021)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today recognized Ron Ellis of Nex-Tech as a winner of the NTCA Key Employee Excellence Award for going above and beyond during his thirty years at Nex-Tech, achieving ambitious fiber construction goals for the company.
 
Nex-Tech is a member of NTCA, the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies in rural communities across America. The NTCA Excellence Awards recognize those NTCA members who have shown exceptional commitment to their communities and the rural broadband industry. Winners are selected by the association’s Awards Committee, comprised of NTCA members.
 
“It is truly an honor to present these awards every year, and recognizing those individuals whose accomplishments have made such an impact on the rural broadband industry is one of my very favorite parts of my job,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield, who presented the awards. “I want to congratulate Ron Ellis and thank each and every one of our award winners for their contributions to our industry.”
 
“Ron Ellis is someone that I truly enjoyed working with because he was always ready to do what it takes to get things done, whether that meant rolling up your sleeves and getting busy or thinking of a new way or approach to get a task done better or safer,” said Jimmy Todd, Nex- Tech CEO/General Manager. “Ron’s work ethic and attitude set the example for many to follow, and we are a better organization because of his influence.”
 
“I’ve had the best of times working at Nex-Tech,” said Ron Ellis. “I’m honored to be part of a progressive company, and I know that doesn’t happen without the support of a progressive board and executive management team leading the way. Thank you!” After 30 years at Nex- Tech and in the telecommunications industry, Ron recently retired July 31, 2020. More here.
 
The 2020 NTCA Excellence Awards are sponsored by JSI, NECA and Womble Bond Dickinson.
 
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovative change in smart rural communities across America. In an era of transformative technological developments, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are advancing efforts to close the digital divide by delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks. Their commitment to building sustainable networks makes rural communities fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.
 

Nex-Tech Encourages Students to Apply for James L. Bass Legal Scholarship

LENORA, Kan., Feb 16, 2021—The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) today announced the James L. Bass Legal Scholarship, a new scholarship for students with an interest in rural communities entering their first year of law school. FRS is the philanthropic arm of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, of which Nex-Tech is a member.
 
With an active law career that spanned more than 70 years, James Bass helped secure funds for rural telephone systems to bring modern telephone service to rural areas. He was pivotal in the creation of NTCA, where he served as one of the organization’s earliest presidents. Bass continued his leadership with service for more than 50 years as legal counsel.
 
Recognizing Bass’s impact to the industry and his passion for the legal profession, the NTCA Board of Directors established a scholarship for students with an interest in rural communities to attend law school. The first James L. Bass Legal Scholarship will be awarded in spring 2021 and will be at least $5,000.
 
“Jim was not only a founding member of NTCA, he was a guiding light for our association through much of his lifetime,” said Shirley Bloomfield, chief executive officer of NTCA. “He spent his last years in service to the association as our general counsel where he helped guide our national board through growth and transformation. How fitting it is to honor him with a law school scholarship recognizing not only his passion for rural America but for the legal profession as well. My sincere thanks to all the NTCA members who so generously donated in Jim’s memory.”
 
Jacque Beckman, Nex-Tech Youth Services/Training Specialist said, “What an amazing opportunity for those entering as first-year law students this fall. It is our privilege to help share this opportunity with students in the rural communities we serve.”
 
The deadline to be considered for the spring 2021 James L. Bass Scholarship is April 16, 2021. Application materials and more information about the scholarship can be found here.
 

Nex-Tech Announces Cloud-based Network Monitoring Platform

LENORA, Kan., Jan 12, 2021—Nex-Tech, a leader in business technology solutions and connectivity, announced today the launch of Nex-Tech NOC Cloud, an easy-to-access and cost-effective network monitoring system that virtually eliminates the high cost of maintaining a network control center. Additionally, the utilization of a centralized maintenance system reduces personnel requirements by combining or eliminating multiple systems or terminals and placing all under a single control center with individual access.
 
TWO LEVELS OF NOC CLOUD
Nex-Tech NOC Cloud is a cloud-based automated alarm aggregation system with reporting and notification tools. Customer personnel logs in and monitors the system without incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in upfront equipment costs.
 
Nex-Tech NOC Cloud Pro is full-service, incorporating all the above with 24x7x365 staffing, data analytics and network intelligence.
 
FEATURES AT A GLANCE
 
“Nex-Tech NOC Cloud is a great opportunity for companies researching network monitoring products to gain access to a low-cost, yet highly effective entry-level system.” says Bill Mathews, Managing Director, Nex-Tech, Cordell Division. “Having utilized the system for several years, we know it is accurate, an easy install, and allows users the ability to reallocate personnel for better use of resources.”
 

Nex-Tech 2020 Football Donation Campaign Supports Area High Schools

HAYS, Kan, Dec 30, 2020 —Nex-Tech, a leader in technology and connectivity, and an avid supporter of community, education, and athletics, is giving back to service-area schools through a cumulative donation of over $10,000 amongst 26 area high schools. For the 2020 season, schools that signed up received $20 for each home game touchdown.
 
The Football Donation Campaign, instituted in 2005, expands Nex-Tech’s dedication to community involvement by championing athletic programs located in the communities in which we live. It also supports another of our core beliefs—having fun—because high school football is just plain fun for us!
 
Director of Customer Engagement Dustin Schlaefli says, “Here at Nex-Tech, our passion is to make life better for our friends, neighbors and our customers. Getting more involved in the communities we serve while being able to provide some booster support at the same time means a lot to us as a company.”
 
To area high school coaches, teachers, and students, thank you for letting us be a part of your 2020 football season. It matters when a coach says to us, “Awesome program! Thanks for including us. The money really does help little schools.”
 

Nex-Tech Awarded SPARK Grant Funding

LENORA, Kan, Oct 8, 2020 —Nex-Tech received notification that it was awarded SPARK relief funding from the Kansas Department of Commerce. Earlier this year the state of Kansas realized that every corner of the state had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of Kansas made emergency financial relief available from federal CARES Act funding. The Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Task Force approved more than $130 million in relief funding for economic development and connectivity in the state. These dollars are being awarded in the form of grants to eligible businesses through the Kansas Department of Commerce.
 
The Lenora-based technology company will receive grant funding of almost $800,000 that will enable the development of broadband services in unserved and underserved areas of central and western Kansas. These projects will impact almost 450 business and residential customers in eight counties, including Barton, Decatur, Norton, Phillips, Republic, Rooks, Sheridan, and Smith. The SPARK committee created ten grant opportunities and Nex-Tech applied for funding in two of these categories: Broadband Partnership Adoption Grant and Connectivity Emergency Response Grant.
 
Broadband Partnership Adoption Grant
The Broadband Partnership Adoption Grant provides support for low-income households by partnering with providers and school districts to ensure connectivity to as many Kansans as possible. Expanded connectivity should result in improved opportunities for remote learning, remote working and accessing telehealth/telemedicine services. Nex-Tech was awarded funding of $33,936 to supplement its Continuous Learning Initiative. With the Continuous Learning Initiative program Nex‐Tech can provide free Internet access to eligible students for remote learning from home.
 
Connectivity Emergency Response Grant (CERG)
The Connectivity Emergency Response Grant (CERG) was created to address the increased need for Internet connectivity in Kansas in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Proposed projects should improve connectivity to unserved and underserved areas of Kansas to address the needs of telework, telehealth, distance learning and other remote business services. Nex-Tech was awarded $761,111 for five projects.
 
  • Fixed Wireless Upgrades—This project focuses on six rural areas located in Decatur, Norton, Phillips, Rooks, Sheridan, and Smith Counties. This grant will allow Nex-Tech to upgrade equipment, and approximately 250 customers in these areas can be upgraded to a 25/3 Mbps Internet connection.
  • Plainville Lake—This project focuses on rural Plainville located in Rooks County Kansas. Fiber to the premise infrastructure will be deployed allowing one business and three residential customers access to a fiber Internet connection of 25 Mbps up to a Gig connection. This will also provide Wi-Fi connectivity at the recreational area and shelter house at Plainville Lake.
  • Rural Republic County—This project will serve six underserved large farms and rural businesses in the Republic County area. These customers will have access to a fiber Internet connection of 25 Mbps up to a Gig connection.
  • Prairie Dog State Park—The community of Norton recognized the lack of broadband access at Prairie Dog State Park, but the onslaught of Covid-19 made it much more apparent. Several organizations, including The Norton County Community Foundation, and Norton City/County Economic Development shared the need to add Internet connectivity at the state office and campgrounds. These entities worked with Nex-Tech to submit this grant application, which will result in bringing high-speed Internet to the State Park office and Wi-Fi connectivity to the campground areas. The Norton community and the Kansas State Director of Parks each pledged to support 5% of the cost for the project. 
  • Rural Great Bend—This project will serve several underserved farms and rural businesses south of Great Bend, including the Barton County Historical Society. These customers will have access to a fiber Internet connection of 25 Mbps up to a Gig connection.
 
“We are extremely pleased to have received this grant funding to expand and improve Internet connectivity to customers in Central and Western Kansas,” stated Jimmy Todd, CEO and General Manager of Nex-Tech. “We want to thank the many individuals, businesses and community leaders who wrote letters of support for these projects.”
 
Since receiving word about the grant funding Nex-Tech has already started working on the Courtland and Scandia fiber project, and they are putting plans in place to begin work on other projects in order to meet the project deadline of December 30, 2020.
 

Nex-Tech Acquires Inland Computer Systems

LENORA Kan, Oct 1, 2020 —Nex-Tech is pleased to announce it has reached an agreement today to acquire Inland Computer Systems of Topeka. Inland provides computer repair, network installation, hardware, and managed services. Inland opened in Topeka in 1983 and has been co-owned by Bob Raymer and Pam Gies. Inland is located at 17th and Fairlawn and Nex-Tech will have an office in this same location. Inland also provides printer and typewriter maintenance, but that portion of the business is not being acquired. Nex-Tech will have four local staff in the Topeka location.
 
Steve Riat, Director of Sales at Nex-Tech, explains Nex-Tech’s history in the Topeka market. “In 2019 Nex-Tech started offering business technology services in the Topeka market and had two local team members.” Riat continued, “We are excited to have worked with Bob and Pam on this acquisition, and we will continue with the same services in Topeka, plus expand the offerings with Nex-Tech’s complete line of technology applications, including cloud services, secure networking, security and surveillance, mobile devices, hardware and software, to custom applications and desktops.”
 
“We know Nex-Tech is great company with a core foundation built on a standard of providing high-level customer service, quality installation and superior support,” stated Bob Raymer. “Our customers will be in great hands with Nex-Tech.”
 

Nex-Tech Announces Continuous Learning Initiative for Fall 2020 School Year

Hays, Kan, 8-18-2020 —In response to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on area schools and understanding that Internet connectivity is critically important to the success of students, Nex-Tech is announcing its plan to extend the Continuous Learning Initiative. Schools have been planning all summer and many have implemented at-home learning or hybrid options. Schools will be asked to confirm the impact of student households that don’t currently have Internet service and have opted in to at-home learning or a hybrid option. Schools will then share these addresses with Nex-Tech for verification of eligibility. Nex-Tech will begin providing service to eligible locations effective August 17, 2020.
 
Area schools have been sent additional information from Nex-Tech and will distribute to eligible families regarding the steps to sign-up for service.
 
Nex-Tech would also like to assure its customers that its network is strong and ready for increased usage. Said Dustin Schlaefli, Director of Customer Engagement, “Our network was built to scale. We are pleased to be able to provide a program to help families in need. Nex-Tech has a great relationship with the schools in our area, and this is just another way we get involved and give back to the communities we serve.”
 
To learn more about Nex-Tech services and its additional measures regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, you may go online to www.nex-tech.com. For families with students that have chosen at-home learning or a hybrid option, and that do not have Internet service, please contact your local school for more information.
 

Nex-Tech Director of Operations Ron Ellis Retires July 31, 2020

HAYS, Kan, July 7, 2020 —Nex-Tech today announced that Director of Operations Ron Ellis is retiring July 31, 2020. Ron’s contributions will last long into the future, including his work toward making Nex-Tech one of the first companies in the world to take fiber-to-the-home.
Ron started out as an engineering technician, and over the years, grew with the company. Always a leader in character, he became a director focused on building strong teams dedicated to delivering progressive technological products with a customer-first attitude.
 
Chief Operating Officer Mike Pollock says, “Ron has been a key member of the management team during a time of extraordinary growth at Nex-Tech. His immense knowledge, vast experience, strong work ethic and positive can-do attitude have been instrumental to the success and growth of Nex-Tech during the past 30 years. I wish him the best in his retirement.”
 
Moving forward, the department is expanding, resulting in a split of duties between two directors. Allan Reiter now serves as Director of Technology overseeing network operations, technology services, and operational support for the Cordell Division. Terry Peterson is the new Director of Field Services managing field operations, engineering, construction, and fiber and fixed wireless infrastructure.
 
Of the changes, Ron says, “I’ve had the honor of working with Allan and Terry over the years, and know they are sharp intelligent individuals who understand the technologies and the people they direct. That’s a huge thing, getting the people side as much as the technology side, and they do it with style.” On a personal note, he continues, “For me, I’ve had the best of times working here. I’m honored to be part of a progressive company, and I know that doesn’t happen without the support of a progressive board and executive management team leading the way. Thank you!”
 
Join us for an open house celebrating his service to the company, Friday, July 17th from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the Lenora Community Building, Lenora, KS. Refreshments will be served.
 

Nex-Tech Wins NTCA 2019 Best Marketing Campaign Award

HAYS, Kan, June 23, 2020 —Nex-Tech announced today that it won the Marketing Campaign category in the 2019 NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association Marketing eXcellence awards program for the cloud phone campaign titled Get in the Cloud. Love the View.
Recognized in telecommunications as the leading organization promoting the welfare and strength of rural providers, NTCA advocates at the national level for ongoing technological development and the continuation of programs rural providers require in order to deliver robust connectivity and solutions to areas who otherwise would not have access to services found in major U.S. metropolitan areas.
 
“I would like to congratulate all of the 2019 Marketing eXcellence Award winners for their incredible work,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “The marketing efforts of NTCA member companies play a critical role in educating consumers and raising awareness of communications technologies, services, initiatives and issues that impact the vitality of rural communities—all of which are extraordinarily important right now. Their work is truly impressive.”
 
Dustin Schlaefli, Nex-Tech Director of Customer Engagement says, “NTCA is an important organization to us here at Nex-Tech for the work they do on behalf of rural providers everywhere. It is an honor to receive the 2019 Marketing eXcellence Marketing Campaign award. For us, developing products and services that help community businesses succeed is what we’re all about and recognition for doing an excellent job is both inspirational and meaningful.”
 
An overview video produced by NTCA of the Nex-Tech marketing campaign is here: https://youtu.be/ej69fBscuBw
 
The complete list of 2019 Marketing eXcellence winners is available here: https://www.ntca.org/member-services/awards-recognition/marketing-excellence-awards#winner
 
Background
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. In an era of transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.
 

Foundation for Rural Service Announces 2020 Scholarship Recipients

Lenora, Kan, 06-17-20 —Nex-Tech is pleased to announce Maggie Speno, Taylor Weidenhaft, and Patrick Heath as national award recipients of the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) scholarship program.
The FRS awarded $87,000 to 34 students from rural communities served by members of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, including Nex-Tech. In its announcement, the FRS noted that the awardee’s applications were stellar and showcased not only their academic dedication, but an incredible amount of pride in their rural communities.
 
Maggie Speno received the $7,000 Everett Kneece scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to one student who demonstrates strong interest in returning to a rural community. Maggie is the daughter of Timothy and Jessica Speno of Hays. She is a Thomas More Prep-Marian graduate and will attend Fort Hays State University majoring in Mathematics to become a high school Math teacher.
 
Taylor Weidenhaft received a $5,000 JSI Staurulakis Family scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to four students with interest in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math. Taylor is the daughter of Brandon and Julie Weidenhaft of Hays. She is a Hays High School graduate and will attend Kansas State University majoring in Human Health Microbiology with a Pre-Med focus and minor in Psychology.
 
Patrick Heath received a $2,000 FRS General scholarship with a match of $500 from Nex-Tech. A total of 19 students received this award. Patrick is the son of Dan and Kim Heath of Great Bend. He is a Great Bend High School graduate and will attend Wichita State University majoring in Graphic Design.
 
The FRS Scholarship Program awards one-time scholarships to students from across rural America for their first year of college, university or vocational-technical school. Each student is sponsored by an NTCA member company. FRS had tremendous response to their scholarship program receiving over 650 applications.
 
“Nex-Tech is pleased to be a part of national organizations like FRS that offer advancement opportunities to our youth,” said Jimmy Todd, CEO/General Manger. “We congratulate Maggie, Taylor, and Patrick on their accomplishments thus far and wish them great success in the future.”
 
“It is a privilege for FRS to have a small role in supporting the continued education of these students through our scholarship program,” said FRS Executive Director Pam Becker. “Every applicant was impressive and demonstrated a deep knowledge of and dedication to their rural communities. We thank all our donors for making this scholarship program possible year after year.”
 
A full list of scholarship awardees and the NTCA member companies who are partnering with FRS to make the funding possible is available online.
 

Nex-Tech Announces Continuous Learning Initiative

Hays, Kan, 3-26-2020 —In response to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on area schools and understanding that Internet connectivity is critically important to the success of students, Nex-Tech is announcing its Continuous Learning Initiative. Schools districts have been gathering data to confirm the impact of student households that don’t currently have Internet service and have shared these addresses with Nex-Tech for verification of eligibility. Nex-Tech will begin providing service to eligible locations effective March 30, 2020.
Area schools will distribute additional information from Nex-Tech to eligible families regarding the steps to sign-up for service.
 
Nex-Tech would also like to assure its customers that its network is strong and ready for increased usage. Said Dustin Schlaefli, Director of Customer Engagement, “Our network was built to scale. While we have observed increased usage during the day, we can easily absorb significantly more. Our network was designed with the future in mind - telemedicine, telecommuting, remote education, 4K streaming and beyond. While we never imagined things would change so quickly, we are encouraged that our network was ready and will continue to be.”
 
To learn more about Nex-Tech services and its additional measures regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, you may go online to www.nex-tech.com. For families with students at home that do not have Internet service, please contact your local school for more information.
 
 
 
Some locations may currently have limited hours due to stay at home guidlines. Please individual websites or Facebook pages for details.
 

Bissell’s Point Neighborhood Advances First in Nex-Tech Fiber Project in Great Bend

Hays, Kan, 1-10-2020 —Nex-Tech is pleased to announce the Bissell's Point neighborhood is one step closer to receiving fiber-to-the-home. Bissell’s Point surpassed the required threshold of homes showing interest in receiving Nex-Tech Fiber and will advance to the sign-up phase. Residents of Bissell’s Point will now be asked to commit to services and select the Nex-Tech services they would like to receive, including Internet, local phone service and TV Now. Nex-Tech is also beginning pre-construction efforts in the neighborhood, so residents will start to see Nex-Tech employees and vehicles.
In September, Nex-Tech announced its intentions to bring fiber to households and additional businesses in Great Bend. Nex-Tech has already built fiber to USD 428 and dozens of businesses. The proposed fiber expansion brings many benefits to Great Bend. Jimmy Todd, Chief Executive Officer of Nex-Tech said “Our mission is to provide state-of-the-art services to Kansans and level the playing field for rural America. Access to Gig Internet provides opportunities for telemedicine, supports a work-fromhome lifestyle, recruits and retains business and prepares Great Bend for the future.”
 
Nex-Tech has been providing fiber service for nearly 25 years and was the first company in the nation to build fiber to the home when they brought fiber services to Hill City in 1996. Now, more than 60 Kansas communities are powered by Nex-Tech fiber.
 
Ryan Axman, Director of I.T. for USD 428, has Nex-Tech fiber services at home and work. Said Axman, “Before, the only options were Cox or Dish and getting a technician to come out to our location was virtually impossible. Nex-Tech treats us like it’s their hometown. Having a local company that you can go in and talk to and having technicians that live and work in the area and come to your house to take care of things is a big deal for me. The customer service and technical service has been really nice.
 
Nex-Tech is still gathering interest from the other 12 zones in Great Bend. Zone A, Twin Lakes Neighborhood, is in the lead in the interest phase. Each neighborhood that meets the required number of customers to achieve feasibility will be prioritized in the buildout process. Neighborhoods with lower interest levels may be served with a hybrid wireless Internet solution instead of fiber.
 
For more information on Nex-Tech’s fiber expansion in Great Bend, to show your interest and view the progress, visit fiber.nex-tech.com or stop by the local Nex-Tech store at 3700 10th Street.
 

Tech Edge by Nex-Tech—Great Fit for Tony’s Pizza Events Center

180 attendees make the 6th annual IT and marketing event in Salina a hit
 
Salina, Kan, 06.11.19 —Nex-Tech, a leader in technological connectivity, recently wrapped up its 6th annual Tech Edge conference at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina, KS. This one-day IT and marketing conference aimed at new and upcoming technology education provided 180 attendees from the public and private sectors an information-packed day full of sessions, vendors and networking opportunities.
Featured speakers were:
 
Dave Kinsey, President of Total Networks, spoke about his book, The Blockchain Code: Decrypt the Jungle of Complexity to Win the Crypto-Anarchy Game, describing blockchain, cryptocurrency and the impact technology-based currency structure has on society.
 
Mark Matthews, ATG CEO, (Bromsgrove, England) focused on corporate culture, defining exactly how his dedication to empowering employees was key toward realizing record and sustainable growth at his award-winning IT company.
 
“Nex-Tech provides the latest and best-performing technologies to rural America,” said Jimmy Todd, Nex-Tech CEO and General Manager. “Tech Edge is a place where the brightest minds in business converge to discuss and explore cutting-edge technology, ultimately defining for themselves the best ways to incorporate it into their own businesses.”
 
Throughout the day, 27 breakout sessions and 26 vendors representing 14 national manufacturers kept attendees engaged. The day ended with Prize-A-Palooza excitement as randomly selected attendees won over $11,000 in tech-savvy gadgets.
 
“The amount of value a person gets from this $75 conference is phenomenal. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, or how involved you are with technology, you will take home something essential to moving your business forward, said Steve Riat, Director of Sales, Nex-Tech. “Add a reminder to your calendar for 2020! Planning for the 7th annual Tech Edge is already in the works.”
 

Nex-Tech earns Google Partner status

Hays, Kan, 01.14.19 —Nex-Tech is pleased to announce that the Advertising Solutions division has achieved Google Partner status and is listed on the Google Ads partner page. The Google Partner badge is for businesses that demonstrate Google Ads skills and expertise. This requires the business have at least two employees certified in Google Ads products that maintain the latest product knowledge, and meet monthly criteria for the successful use of advertising options with Google.
Digital Marketing Specialists Aubree Broyles of Hays and Daniel Schwindt of McPherson are the Nex-Tech employees that maintain certification in Google Ads. They, along with a talented team of marketing specialists, web designers, audio and video production specialists and graphic designers, provide expert Google Ads services and wide variety of digital, design, web, social media and consulting services to nearly 100 businesses throughout the United States.
 
“This recognition from Google proves that even though we live in a rural area, we’re keeping pace with technology experts around the world and bringing powerful advertising tools to our local businesses,” said Broyles.
 
Schwindt added, “It’s really an honor to be trusted by so many clients to manage these complex campaigns and influence the digital presence of their businesses.”