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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.”

Nex-Tech’s Schlaefli presents at events throughout the nation

Hays, Kan, 12.03.18 —Dustin Schlaefli, Nex-Tech’s Director of Customer Engagement, has been mentoring colleagues in telecommunications and marketing this fall. He presented two different sessions at two different events in September and October.
He was in Seattle for the NTCA Fall Conference from September 16-19. NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association represents independent telecommunications companies in rural and small communities in America. Schlaefli’s presentation was called, “Customer Feedback and Reviews—Your Most Unhappy Customers Are Your Greatest Source of Learning”.
At the Calix ConneXions Innovation and User Conference in Las Vegas from October 28-30, Schlaefli joined a discussion on service provider plans for the future of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). Calix is a leader in cloud and software programs and is a vital part of Nex-Tech’s Smart Home WiFi product. The title of the presentation was, “How Will Streaming Video Change IPTV and Drive Wi-Fi Saturation?”

Nex-Tech earns 2018 Calix Innovation Award

Hays, Kan, 11.09.18 —Calix, Inc. has announced the winners of its 2018 Calix Innovation Awards. The winners, who represent six broadband leaders from three different countries, were honored at the sold-out Calix ConneXions Innovation and User Conference in October, 2018. Now in its eighth year, the Calix Innovation Awards recognize Calix customers who demonstrate outstanding creativity when leveraging Calix technology to deploy best-in-class services over the past 12 months. The awards showcase innovation in the use of cloud and software platforms, systems and services to transform business models, networks and the subscriber experience.
The 2018 Calix Innovation Award winners for Innovations in Subscriber Experience are:
  • Nex-Tech, Hays, KS
  • ALLO Communications, Imperial, NE
  • ITS Fiber, Indiantown, FL
The 2018 Calix Innovation Award winners for Innovations in Next Generation Networks are:
  • CityFibre, London, England
  • Gibson Connect, Trenton, TN
  • Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Republic of Maldives
“Our partnership with Calix has been a vital part of our Smart Home Wi-Fi product, and it is an honor to be recognized as one of the 2018 Calix Innovation Award winners,” said Jimmy Todd, CEO and General Manager of Nex-Tech. “We can’t wait to take our service to the next level and cement our place as the smart home experts for our subscribers.”
“Calix ConneXions 2018 once again showed the event is the industry’s premier educational conference with record-setting attendance from broadband service providers around the world,” said Michael Weening, Calix Executive Vice President of Field Operations. “The Calix Innovation Award winners were a highlight of the conference as they serve as examples for others to take concepts that were once imagined and make them real, with exceptional results. Each of these broadband leaders has taken control of their future success by building next generation networks and showing a commitment to the subscriber experience that sets the pace for the rest of the industry to follow.”
More information and insights from Calix ConneXions, including video recordings of many of the keynote presentations, will be posted on the Calix ConneXions site at
Photo Caption: Jimmy Todd, Nex-Tech’s CEO and General Manager, accepts the 2018 Calix Innovation Award for Innovations in Subscriber Experience for Nex-Tech. Pictured left to right: Calix President and CEO Carl Russo, Jimmy Todd, and Calix Executive Vice President of Field Operations, Michael Weening.
“The accounting department collectively has more than 160 years of experience in supporting the various lines of business throughout Nex-Tech,” noted Lindenman. “It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to lead this excellent group of individuals.”
Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) – Innovative communications service providers rely on Calix platforms to help them master and monetize the complex infrastructure between their subscribers and the cloud. Calix is the leading global provider of the cloud and software platforms, systems and services required to deliver the unified access network and smart premises of tomorrow. Our platforms and services help our customers build next generation networks by embracing a DevOps operating model, optimize the subscriber experience by leveraging big data analytics and turn the complexity of the smart home and business into new revenue streams.

Nex-Tech’s Bieker, Lindenman, and Nickelson accept promotions

Hill City, Kan, 10-22-18 —Nex-Tech is pleased to announce the promotions of Mindy Bieker, Melissa Lindenman and Whitney Nickelson. Lindenman began her new position on September 9, 2018, while Nickelson and Bieker will assume their new responsibilities on January 1, 2019.
Bieker will be the Director of Accounting, Finance and Billing and also a member of the executive management team for the company. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Fort Hays State University. Bieker joined Nex-Tech as a bookkeeper in 1998, was promoted to Accounting Supervisor in 2001, then Accounting Manager in 2006.
“I am excited for the opportunity to grow and expand my knowledge in the finance and billing areas of the company,” said Bieker. “I have really big shoes to fill with the well-deserved retirement of the supervisors in these areas, but Nex-Tech has amazing people and we all work well as a team. I know with the help of their staff and my accounting team, this transition will be successful.”
Originally from Hoxie, Bieker lives in Hill City with her husband, James, and 13 year-old twin daughters, Gretchen and Grace. In her free time, she supports her children in sports and special interest activities, and volunteers for community organizations such as 4-H, County Extension, and Graham County Recreation. She has served as a cheer sponsor for every level of cheerleading in Hill City.
Lindenman has been selected as the Accounting Supervisor. Like Bieker, she started as a bookkeeper with Nex-Tech in 2001, and was promoted to Plant Accountant in 2006. After growing up in Dodge City, Lindenman earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Business Management from Fort Hays State University. She now resides in rural Morland with her husband, Shawn, her son, Jacob, a junior at Hill City High School, and daughter Leah, a freshman and dancer.
Lindenman serves on the booster club and as a cheer sponsor. She teaches Sunday School and has volunteered for the Graham County Recreation Commission. Most importantly, she is her kids’ biggest fan for their activities.
“The accounting department collectively has more than 160 years of experience in supporting the various lines of business throughout Nex-Tech,” noted Lindenman. “It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to lead this excellent group of individuals.”
Nickelson will advance to Human Resources Manager. She has been with Nex-Tech since 2008, when she started as the Administrative Coordinator for the Chief Information Officer. She transferred to Human Resources in 2011, serving as an assistant, then generalist, and most recently, coordinator. Nickelson lives on a farm near Hill City with her husband, Jay, and two beautiful little girls, Kimber and Remi. They enjoy time as a family checking cows and playing with the dogs.
“I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges this new leadership role will bring,” said Nickelson. “I feel blessed to be a part of this fascinating, growing and very important part of our business.”
Nickelson graduated from Weskan High School and Colby Community College before earning a Bachelor of Arts from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, where she played Coyote Volleyball and was recently inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame with her team. Before starting her family, Nickelson coached volleyball at Hill City High School.
Chief Financial Officer Rhonda Goddard will work with all three women in their new positions. Said Goddard, “I’m very excited for the future of these three talented, professional women. Growing this kind of expertise in our organization and being able to make these promotions from within is The Nex-Tech Way.”

Nex-Generation intern program impacts 68 students

Lenora, Kan. 8-21-2018 —Fifty-six businesses across northwest and north central Kansas hosted 68 high school and college interns through this summer’s Nex-Generation Student Internship Program. Participating students received an opportunity of a lifetime, preparing them for any future career path they choose.

Nex-Tech announces 2018 scholarship recipients

Lenora, Kan, 05.09.18 —Nex-Tech is proud to announce its ten scholarship recipients for the Nex-Tech Scholarship. Each will receive a $1,000 award for excellence in demonstrating their passion and how that has led to their chosen career.
Kaelan Cameron, Osborne High School, son of Jerry and April Cameron, Osborne. Kaelan received his admission certification to the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in November of 2017. He will major in atmospheric sciences/meteorology and potentially minor in journalism and communications. Kaelan’s career goal is to become a meteorologist working at the National Weather Service Office in Hastings, Nebraska.
Will Crouse, Rawlins County Junior/Senior High School, son of Sam and Jan Crouse, Atwood. Will plans to attend Fort Hays State University to study agronomy specializing in animal science and general agriculture. His future plans include returning to his roots to operate the family farm.
Wyatt Engel, Victoria High School, son of Darin and Jacqueline Engel, Victoria. Wyatt plans to pursue a degree in chemistry at Fort Hays State University. His goal is to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Kayla Garvert, Plainville High School, daughter of John and Michele Garvert, Plainville. Kayla plans to attend Newman University majoring in chemistry with a minor in forensic science. Her goal is to improve urban and rural lifestyles by engaging in scientific research involving crime investigation and prevention.
Dawson Harman, Hays High School, son of Dusty and Rachel Harman, Hays. Dawson believes the leadership attributes he acquired from participating in sports will help his future career. He plans to attend Fort Hays State University to study construction management and hopes to continue playing baseball in college.
Ryann Kats, Logan High School, daughter of Michael and Shannon Kats, Prairie View. Ryann plans to attend Kansas Wesleyan to pursue her goal of becoming a graphic designer. Instead of seeking employment in a big city, Ryann wants to retain her love for agriculture and come back to her hometown area to live on a farm. While she plans to market her design services locally, she also wants to utilize technology to expand across the country.
Makenzie Jansonius, Logan High School, daughter of Lonnie and Laura Jansonius, Prairie View. Makenzie has a strong interest in music and helping children. She wants to become an elementary teacher in an inner-city school and continue performing in musical theater. Makenzie plans to attend McPherson College.
Halle Lang, Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, daughter of Greg and LaNae Lang, Hays. Halle’s interest in photography/videography has led her to starting her own business. She plans to attend Kansas State University majoring in marketing with a minor in leadership studies.
Anna Speno, Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, daughter of Timothy and Jessica Speno, Hays. Anna plans to attend the University of Kansas studying linguistics and the English language to pursue her dream of becoming an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. She wants to teach in America and abroad.
Shayanne Wente, Stockton High School, daughter of Brianne Rush, Stockton, and Shane Wente, Hoxie. Shayanne wants to become a leader in the banking industry and plans to attend Fort Hays State University majoring in finance or business.

Nex-Tech Facilitates CALEA Compliance

By Ashley Spinks, Communications Coordinator, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
02.05.18 —NTCA member company Nex-Tech (Lenora, Kan.), which serves more than 45 communities across Kansas (most with gigabit speeds), is constantly looking for ways to diversify its business model. Nex-Tech is both a Certified Gig-Capable Provider and a 2013 Smart Rural Community Showcase Award Winner. The company used a 10 Gbps transport network to improve health care in the community of Hays, Kan. Nex-Tech’s network facilitates the rapid transfer of imaging and electronic health records, and gives the cardiac rehab unit of Hays Medical Center full digital connectivity.
In addition to providing communications services to local residents of Kansas, Nex-Tech offers carrier-facing business services. As one of these services, Nex-Tech functions as a trusted third party (TTP) that assists ISPs with complex regulation compliance.
In 1994, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) passed into law. The law requires that “telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment design their equipment, facilities and services to ensure that they have the necessary surveillance capabilities to comply with legal requests for information,” according to the FCC website. Put more simply: If telcos are presented with a subpoena or a warrant, they must be capable of “wiretapping” (intercepting data from) users of their network without detection so that information can be turned over to law enforcement.
The law—originally intended only for telephone traffic—has been expanded twice to include VoIP and broadband internet service. While fairly straightforward in theory, it can be less so in practice, especially for rural broadband carriers. Small telecommunications companies often cannot afford to invest in the necessary equipment for CALEA compliance, nor do they have the resources to train or hire staff who can fulfill the information requests. To address this concern, CALEA allows these smaller telcos to hire TTPs that meet the requisite security requirements and can fulfill requests on behalf of others.
This is the role Nex-Tech fills. Nex-Tech acquired its first CALEA contracts in April 2015, and just last month assumed the contracts of Dobson Technologies, an ISP based in rural Oklahoma. Essentially, “it was a purchase of their customers for the CALEA services only,” Nex-Tech Chief Operations Officer Mike Pollock said. Now, if any of the carriers with which Dobson had contracts receive a valid intercept request, they will contact Nex-Tech to intercept the necessary data and deliver that data to law enforcement officials.
“Nex-Tech is excited about the opportunity to expand its business and serve Dobson Technologies’ customers,” said Jimmy Todd, Nex-Tech’s chief executive officer. “Dobson is the ideal fit for Nex-Tech because we already have a great technical team that provides CALEA services for other telecommunications companies.”
Despite being a rural telecommunications company itself, Nex-Tech is providing essential services to other locally-owned ISPs through its work as a TTP, and hopes to further innovate and diversify in the future.

Nex-Generation hosts 179 youth at Career Fair

Lenora, Kan, 01.31.18 —On January 10, Nex-Generation Round up for Youth, Inc. hosted a marvelous career day event for area middle school students. Since 2012, Nex-Generation, in conjunction with the ICAN (Interactive Consortium Academic Network), has been hosting a Career EXPLORation day via interactive distance learning equipment. At this career event, students have an opportunity to hear about local careers to give them a better idea of what is available in the area.
Students from the following schools participated: Grinnell, Natoma, Plainville, Palco, Thunder Ridge, and Stockton, with up to 179 youth attending each session. The event was coordinated under the direction of I-CAN Director Cindy Beisner of Natoma and Nex-Generation’s Executive Director Jacque Beckman.
“Middle school is a great time for us to help plant the seeds for career development. We believe by exposing the students at an earlier age, they will start exploring their options and begin conceptualizing the types of education (i.e., high school classes) that are required,” explained Beckman.
Beisner added, “Even as 6th, 7th, or 8th graders, students can begin forming ideas about possible careers. So often they are not exposed to potential jobs until much later, sometimes not until after college. By letting them hear about area careers earlier, we feel we are setting them up for success in high school, college, and beyond.“
Speakers for the day included:
  • Bobbi Basart, USD 271 (Stockton), who spoke about being a school’s technology coordinator.
  • Heather Lyle, Angel Accounting (Natoma), who provided information about both accounting and financial advising.
  • Brian Newell, Newell Plumbing and Electric (Damar), who spoke about the increasing demand and availability of plumbers and electricians in the area; and
  • Cameron Eickhoff, Oak Grove Construction (Plainville), who provided examples of the experiences in starting his own business in architecture and construction.
Nex-Generation is a 501c3 non-profit organization, located in Lenora, Kansas. Its mission is to educate northwest and north central Kansas students about local career opportunities by providing and supporting programs in career development, entrepreneurship, internship, and work study/apprenticeship. Through these efforts, we hope to foster a positive sense of community and encourage youth to remain or return home to prosper.

Nex-Generation offers more than 80 paid summer internships in 2018

Lenora, Kan, 01.26.18 —Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc., is accepting applications for this year’s student internship program, which runs from June 4 through August 3. Through this program, the organization will match more than 80 high school and college students with local businesses throughout northwest and north central Kansas for paid internships. Applications are due March 15.
Participating businesses are listed below by county:
Cheyenne County: Cheyenne County Development Corporation (St. Francis); City of Bird City (Bird City); Tri-State Antique Engine & Thresher Association (Bird City)
Cloud County: Sharp Performance (Concordia)
Decatur County: Decatur County Beef/Foote Cattle (Oberlin); Decatur County Museum, Inc. (Oberlin)
Ellis County: Midwest Energy, Inc. (Hays); Sunflower Bank (Hays); Waddell & Reed, Inc. (Hays/Hill City)
Ellsworth County: Ellsworth County Medical Center (Ellsworth);
Gove County: Position in progress and will be posted on the online application soon.
Graham County: Graham County Hospital (Hill City); Livin’ on a Prairie (Hill City); Peoples State Bank (Morland); Waddell & Reed, Inc. (Hill City/Hays)
Jewell County: Jewell County Economic Development (Courtland/Mankato/Jewell); Randall Farmers Coop Union (Randall)
Lane County: Lane County Feeders/Foote Cattle (Dighton)
Lincoln County: 181 Ag Supply (Sylvan Grove); Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation (Lincoln); USD 298 Lincoln Schools (Lincoln)
Logan County: Pioneer Feedyard/Foote Cattle (Oakley); Uhrich Law Firm P.A. (Oakley)
McPherson County: CertainTeed Corporation (McPherson); Mid Kansas Machine Inc. (McPherson)
Mitchell County: Cunningham Telephone & Cable (Glen Elder/Beloit); Edward D. Jones (Beloit); Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems (Beloit); North Central Kansas Regional Planning (Beloit); NCK Tech (Beloit); OCCK Regional Office (Beloit)
Norton County: City of Norton (Norton); Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc. (Lenora); Northwest Kansas Library System (Norton); Norton County Community Foundation (Norton); Norton County Hospital (Norton); Theraplay Learning Center (Norton)
Osborne County: Domoney’s Furniture and Funeral Home (Downs); Osborne County Memorial Hospital (Osborne); The Farmers Bank of Osborne (Osborne)
Ottawa County: We are seeking interested businesses in this county.
Phillips County: Farmers & Ranchers Outlet (Phillipsburg); Midwest Family Health (Phillipsburg); Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy, LLC (Phillipsburg); Sign Solutions, LLC (Phillipsburg); The Chiropractic Centers (Phillipsburg); The Shepherd’s Mill (Phillipsburg)
Rawlins County: We are seeking interested businesses in this county.
Republic County: City of Belleville (Belleville); C & C High Tunnel Farms (Scandia); Polansky Seed, Inc. (Belleville)
Rooks County: Plainville Times (Plainville)
Rush County: EJ Livestock (LaCrosse); Rush County Memorial Hospital (LaCrosse)
Russell County: Ad Astra Music Festival (Russell); City of Russell (Russell); Russell County Economic Development & CVB (Russell)
Saline County: We are seeking interested businesses in this county.
Sheridan County: Hoxie Feedyard/Foote Cattle (Hoxie); Hoxie Implement (Hoxie); One Business Position is Open
Sherman County: City of Goodland (Goodland)
Smith County: Smith County Memorial Hospital (Smith Center)
Trego County: Fabrizius Plumbing (WaKeeney); Shiloh Vineyard (WaKeeney); WaKeeney KOA (WaKeeney); Western Cooperative Electric Association (WaKeeney)
Wallace County: Premier Ag, Inc. (Weskan); Wallace County Foundation (Sharon Springs)
Nex-Generation’s goal is to give students hands-on experiences in a variety of professions and encourage them to remain in or return home to prosper. “We are ecstatic to be offering such a wide variety of professions. It’s an amazing lineup and tremendous opportunity for area students,” said Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth’s Executive Director Jacque Beckman.
Interns are hired directly by participating, local businesses. “While the majority of the time will be spent with their respective businesses, interns can expect to get together at least two times during the summer,” Beckman said. “They will attend orientation at the beginning and a focus group/intern graduation session at the end of the program.” Nex-Generation assists with the application process and provides guidance, curriculum, and materials.
Northwest and north central Kansas high school and college students age 16 and over may apply. The application and eligibility requirements are on the Web at (Look for the blue banner half-way down the page.) The application deadline is March 15, 2018.
This program is made possible by generous donations of Nex-Tech Round-Up customers, Nex-Generation business partners, and the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.
Anyone with questions may contact Nex-Generation at 877-567-7872 for more information.