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Nex-Tech produces three quality newsletters for its customers to keep you informed of what's going on at Nex-Tech, as well as what's going on in the communities we serve. You also get tech tips, links to fun and helpful websites and apps, and invitations to contests and special events.
 

These stories are hot off the press!

Nex-Tech CEO Elected to NRTC Board

Lenora, Kan. 2-17-17 —Nex-Tech is pleased to announce that CEO and General Manager Jimmy Todd has been elected to the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) board. Joining Todd as a new board member is Jason Dandridge, CEO at Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative in Walterboro, South Carolina.
Representing the interests of all its members, the NRTC Board is comprised of leaders from the national rural electric and telephone industries, as well as national organizations. Todd and Dandridge will represent the membership in an at-large position serving a term of three-years, with a limit of four consecutive terms.
 
NRTC provides solutions that help electric and telecommunication members bring today’s evolving technology to rural America. Todd stated that he is excited to serve on the NRTC Board to represent the information technology and telecom needs of electric and telephone utilities.
 
Founded in 1986 by electric cooperatives, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), NRTC today serves more than 1,500 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 states. Adhering to the Cooperative Principles created by its members, NRTC’s solutions help electric and telephone members bring all the advantages of today’s evolving technology to rural America.

W8T 2 TXT program to add “wheels”

Lenora, Kan. 2-13-17 —A traveling golf cart course designed to teach the dangers of distracted driving is taking on a new look. Lenora-based non-profit, Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc., received two, separate Dane G. Hansen Community Grants totaling $8,995, toward enhancements to its W8T 2 TXT (Wait to Text) program. Through the Greater Salina Community Foundation (Graham County) and Heartland Community Foundation (Ellis, Rooks, and Trego counties), Nex-Generation has been awarded $3,500 and $5,495, respectively. The funds are being used to purchase and wrap two golf carts and a trailer for the program.
W8T 2 TXT teaches about the dangers of talking, texting, or reading while driving. The program includes both classroom instruction and a hands-on driving course, where participants operate golf carts on an outdoor obstacle course. Nex-Tech and Nex-Tech Wireless provide staff to assist with the program.
 
Photo: Nex-Generation showcases one of its new W8T 2 TXT golf carts, purchased through Avalanche Custom Carts in Great Bend. Graphics were created by graphic designer Chris Norris of Nex-Tech and fitted by Commercial Sign of Hays. Pictured are Colton and Cade Peterson, sons of Terry and Julie Peterson of Lenora, and Jacque Beckman, Executive Director for Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc.
Nex-Generation’s Executive Director Jacque Beckman said the goal is to build awareness. “Let’s face it, we are on our phones a lot. When behind the wheel, our use of a phone – or any electronic device – becomes a huge distraction. At Nex-Generation, we are dedicated to helping students recognize these distractions and make better choices toward preventing traffic accidents and fatalities – choices that may save a life,” she said. Since its launch in 2011, nearly 3,000 students, teachers, and community members have participated.
 
“W8T 2 TXT is an excellent program for all drivers learning to wait to text and not to be a distracted driver,” comments Bob Bearley, Thunder Ridge High School (USD 110) driver’s education teacher. “Nex-Generation has a great presentation prepared for the classroom, and the hands-on lesson with the golf carts lets students learn the importance of not texting and driving. We are so appreciative that Nex-Generation makes this program available for our students.”
 
Whenever possible, Nex-Generation incorporates local law enforcement or highway patrol personnel, too. “It’s of great value to the students to see the county sheriff or deputies riding alongside them on the carts,” Bearley added.
 
Beckman expresses the organization’s appreciation. “We want to thank the community foundations, their committees and boards, as well as local residents, schools, and local law enforcement for their continued support of the program,” Beckman said.
 
To bring this free program to your school or community, contact Nex-Generation at 877-567-7872, or e-mail jbeckman@nex-tech.com.
 
Funding for Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc., is made possible through generous donations of Nex-Tech Round-Up customers, Nex-Generation business partners, the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, and northwest and north central Kansas community foundations.

Nex-Tech employees present at NTCA

Hays, Kan. 2-10-17 —The largest annual gathering of rural telecom’s brightest is the Rural Telecom Industry Meeting and Expo (RTIME), organized by NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association.© This year, RTIME convened in San Diego, California, on February 5-8, with the theme of “Focus on Growth: New Rules. New Strategies. New Opportunities.”
RTIME brings together key employees, directors, vendor partners, and allied industry organizations. In addition to meetings, awards, and keynote speakers, “Focus on Growth” offered sixteen concurrent ninety-minute sessions, two of which were presented by Nex-Tech employees.
 
Dustin Schlaefli, Director of Customer Engagement for Nex-Tech, gave a presentation called “The Revenue Replacement Strategies: Monetizing Wi-Fi Management in Homes and Businesses.” His session touched on generating revenue, improving customer satisfaction, and increasing retention by offering Wi-Fi risk management.
 
Justin McClung, Director of Development, Innovation, and Administration for Nex-Tech, offered “Culture Change: A Shared Responsibility.” This presentation identified the important role of management in ushering in a new culture and how it can differ from responsibilities to support the management team.
 
RTIME is attended by telco executives and board members, as well as leaders in marketing, sales, and the regulatory arena.
 
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing more than 800 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies 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 and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use.

More than 30 paid internships available

Lenora, Kan. 2-7-17 —Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc., is accepting applications for this year’s student internship program, which runs from May 30 through August 4. Through this program, the organization will match more than 30 high school and college students with local businesses throughout northwest and north central Kansas for paid internships.
Participating businesses include: Cheyenne County Development Corporation (St. Francis); City of Norton (Norton); Cunningham Telephone & Cable (Beloit); Colby Community College (Colby); CCC Endowment Foundation (Colby); Dane G. Hansen & K-State Research and Extension in conjunction with Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation, Oberlin-Decatur Economic Development and Chamber, and the City of Norton (Lincoln, Oberlin, and Norton); Fabrizius Plumbing (WaKeeney); Farmers Bank of Osborne (Osborne); Graham County Hospital (Hill City); Grinnell Locker Plant (Grinnell); Hoxie Feedyard (Hoxie); Lincoln – USD 298 (Lincoln); Midwest Energy, Inc. (Hays); Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc. (Lenora/Hill City/Hays); Nex-Tech (Lenora/Norton and Hays); Northwest Kansas Library System (Norton); Norton County Community Foundation (Norton); Osborne County Memorial Hospital (Osborne); Phillips County Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (Phillipsburg); Rush County Memorial Hospital (LaCrosse); Shiloh Vineyard (WaKeeney); Smith County Memorial Hospital (Smith Center); Tri-State Antique Engine and Thresher Association (Bird City); Waddell & Reed, Inc. (Hill City/Hays); and Western Cooperative Electric (WaKeeney).
 

Nex-Generation awards $5,000 in grants

Lenora, Kan. 2-7-17 —Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc., launched a new grant program in the fall of 2016 and is pleased to announce its first round of grant awardees:
Third Graders from Rock Hills Elementary School show career books purchased with Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth grant funds.
  • Downs Chamber of Commerce ($2,300) -
    Purpose: Portable stage to be built by Lakeside Jr. /Sr. High School welding class
  • Victoria Schools, USD #432 ($1,000) -
    Purpose: Purchase of large-screen, digital TV for classroom
  • Graham County Happy Crickets 4-H Club ($790) -
    Purpose: Purchase of flower boxes for 4-H community vitality project
  • Rock Hills Elementary Third Grade ($660) -
    Purpose: Purchase of hardbound career books for 3rd grade class project
  • Goddard Place, Inc. ($250) -
    Purpose: Youth ethics camp expenses
 
Each of these grants will be used toward community or youth projects within their local communities.
 
To qualify, applicants must be from the following 28 Kansas counties: Barton, Cheyenne, Cloud, Decatur, Ellis, Ellsworth, Gove, Graham, Jewell, Lincoln, Logan, Mitchell, Norton, Osborne, Ottawa, Phillips, Rawlins, Republic, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Saline, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego, and Wallace. In addition, projects should be focused within three categories: community, student organizations, and youth entrepreneurship.
 
The next round of applications is due April 1, with grants totaling $2,500 to be awarded by June 30. Another round will be due October 1 and awarded by December 31. The application and a complete description of the program and its requirements are located at www.nexgeneration. org under the red “Programs” tab, and listed under the heading “Grant Program.”
 
Anyone with questions should contact Jacque Beckman or Mendi Anschutz by phone or email: 877-567-7872, jbeckman@nex-tech.com, or manschutz@nex-tech.com.
 
Next-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc., is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization based in Lenora, Kansas. The organization operates solely on the generous support of area donors. Nex-Generation’s 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 scholarship. Through these efforts, the organization hopes to foster a positive sense of community and encourage youth to remain or return home to prosper.

Nex-Tech employee receives national award

Hays, Kan, 11-11-16 —Nex-Tech’s Economic Development and Networking Specialist, Mendi Alexander recently received the 2016 NREDA President’s Award. The award was presented to her at an awards luncheon at the annual conference of the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) held in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina in early November.
Nex-Tech’s Economic Development and Networking Specialist, Mendi Alexander accepting the 2016 NREDA President’s Award
The President’s Award recognizes outstanding support of NREDA and its mission and purpose through leadership in their own economic development position, committee work or participation on the Board. Recipients go above and beyond in their efforts on NREDA’s behalf to grow rural America.
 
According to NREDA president, Trista Fugate, Alexander was chosen for the award in honor of her service to NREDA on the Public Relations and Marketing Committee and her input on the NREDA News Brief, a newsletter distributed twice monthly. She was also the co-chair of the 2015 annual conference, served on the Nominations Committee and was elected to the NREDA Board in 2014. Alexander is recognized as a champion for rural America and has been featured in the video on the home page of NREDA website. Nex-Tech has been a longtime sponsor of the annual conference and Alexander’s attendance at NREDA events such as conferences and board meetings has been consistent.
 
NREDA is an organization of economic development professionals focused on the issues and opportunities of rural America. It is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of its membership through ongoing education and networking programs, while serving as an information source and conduit for business retention and expansion efforts for NREDA members and the areas they serve. For more information about NREDA visit www.nreda.org or contact NREDA headquarters at (515) 284-1421.

Kansas City Magazine Features Nex-Tech Exec

Lenora, Kan, 6-28-16 —Nex-Tech CEO/General Manager Jimmy Todd was named one of 50 Kansans You Should Know, in the May issue of Ingram’s Magazine, a Kansas City-based business magazine.
Todd, who hails from Georgia, enjoys the rural lifestyle while navigating the fast-paced broadband and technology company based in Lenora. “I’m a small-town guy, and I prefer a small-town life,” says Todd. “I felt at home when I came to Kansas.”
 
Todd told Ingram’s Magazine he relishes the challenges of connecting rural Kansans to the world. “It’s vital out here,” he says. “When you start thinking about today’s economy and the local market touching the global market, your connectivity and being able to be online through a broadband connection is vital.”
 
Ingram’s list of prominent Kansans includes men and women who are making their mark in politics, education, business and industry. This year marked the sixth installment of the magazine’s 50 Kansans You Should Know feature.
 
The entire feature, and profiles of the 50 accomplished, colorful and influential Kansans can be found online at www.ingrams.com/article/50-kansans-you-should-know-3.

Nex-Tech brings Netflix content closer to home

Lenora, Kan, 5-9-16 —More people than ever are turning to the Internet for video entertainment. The most popular option for Internet-accessed movies and TV shows is the streaming service Netflix.
The exponential growth in customers has created network challenges for both streaming services like Netflix, and Internet services providers like Nex-Tech. To minimize network traffic issues and improve the user experience, Nex-Tech is partnering with Netflix in its Open Connect program.
 
“With this partnership, Netflix has deployed their Open Connect Appliances, or video content servers in our data center,” said Justin McClung, Nex-Tech Director of Development, Innovation & Administration. “Having the servers closer to the user results in a more responsive experience for Netflix viewers, with less latency and buffering,” McClung added.
 
Instead of accessing video content from servers thousands of miles away, Netflix subscribers with Nex-Tech Internet service are viewing content from servers virtually in their backyard, McClung said.
 
“The Netflix Open Connect program is a win-win for both Netflix and Nex-Tech,” McClung said. “Nex-Tech minimizes expensive long-haul network traffic, while Netflix is able to offer a better customer experience to their streaming customers,” he said.

Nex-Tech Earns National Advertising Awards

Lenora, Kan, 5-3-16 —Nex-Tech’s Advertising Solutions Team recently received two TeleChoice Awards from NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association.
Dustin Schlaefli, Nex-Tech Director of Customer Engagement, second from left, is shown with other TeleChoice Award winners, May 2 during the NTCA PR & Marketing Conference in Charleston, S.C.
The annual awards program honors excellence in member telco public relations and marketing. Entries in seven categories—annual reports, complete branding campaign, complete marketing campaigns, customer newsletters, single-target print publications, websites and local video content—were judged on innovative strategies, design, writing, creativity and other elements specific to each category. In each category, a winner was selected from three divisions based on the number of access lines served by the entrant and two production divisions: “in-house” and “outsourced.”
 
Nex-Tech was awarded first place in the “in-house” division for the website, and complete marketing campaign categories. Of the 33 NTCA member companies that received TeleChoice Awards, Nex-Tech was one of only three companies that received awards in two different categories.
 
Dustin Schlaefli, Director of Customer Engagement, accepted the awards on behalf of the company, on May 2, during the PR & Marketing Conference in Charleston, S.C. “I’m extremely proud of our 15-member staff of marketing and media professionals,” Schlaefli said. “The TeleChoice Awards validate the high level of expertise, knowledge and creativity our teams possess and utilize, bringing value to both Nex-Tech and our Advertising Solutions customers every day,” he added.
 
Winning entries were on display during the conference and will be showcased in an upcoming issue of Rural Telecom magazine.

Nex-Tech CEO Participates In FCC Public Workshop

Lenora, Kan, 4-28-16 —Nex-Tech CEO/General Manager Jimmy Todd was a recent participant in the FCC Media Bureau’s second public workshop on The State Of The Video Marketplace April 26 in Washington, D.C. Todd was a panelist on the session entitled, “Challenges Faced By Smaller Multichannel Video Programming Distributors that Affect Carriage of Independent Programming.”
In his written remarks Todd stated, “Our goal is to provide excellent service at a reasonable cost, but in many ways, we are unable to impact the costs that our customers must bear for television service. One of the few ways we can control costs is to not add optional channels to the line-up. Most of our customers would like to have more al la carte options or at least the ability to choose smaller packages that align with their interests.”
 
Todd added that many content providers require Nex-Tech to take a bundle of channels within their portfolio, which he suggested forces the video provider to offer less desirable content and raises overall costs to customers.
 

Nex-Tech to Host Free Electronic Waste Recycling Event

Great Bend, Kan, 4-25-16 —Nex-Tech, in conjunction with ArchWay Recycling, will be hosting a free electronic waste recycling event on April 30, 2016, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The event will be held in the parking lot of the Great Bend Nex-Tech office, located at 3700 10th Street.
ArchWay Recycling is an electronic recycling company based out of Scott City, Kansas. Accepted items include computer towers and servers, cell phones, routers, printers, wire, laptops, LCD monitors and TVs, fax machines, electronic typewriters, lithium ion and lead batteries, power backup supplies, keyboards and speakers and generally anything with a cord. CRT TVs or monitors, the type with the tube, cannot be accepted.
 
“Nex-Tech is pleased to present this opportunity to area residents. As a technology company, we understand the positive impact electronic recycling can make on our environment,” stated Dustin Schlaefli, Director of Customer Engagement. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, E-waste contains many valuable materials that can be reused and recycled and kept out of our landfills. It can also contain toxic materials such as lead and mercury that can seep into the soil and water if not properly recycled.
 
For questions about recycling items that can be accepted, contact ArchWay Recycling at 620-874-8463. For questions about Nex-Tech, call the Great Bend office at 620-792-3908 or visit 3700 10th Street.
 

Nex-Tech Staff Participate in National Conference

Lenora, Kan, 4-13-16 —Nex-Tech CEO/General Manager Jimmy Todd, Economic Development Specialist Mendi Alexander and Chief Operating Officer Mike Pollock were panelists at last week’s IP Vision Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. Sponsored by NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, the IP Vision Conference was geared toward broadband professionals seeking to keep pace with the latest technological and marketplace developments in Internet-based applications and the networks that carry them.
Todd participated in ‘Video Regulations: Net Neutrality, Retransmission and DSTAC’ where panelists discussed how recent or impending reforms, including the FCC’s set-top box recommendation, can influence business decisions and network planning, especially as they relate to video services.
 
Alexander participated in ‘Telehealth and Broadband’ where panelists explored how technology, demographics and regulations are changing how broadband providers can help enhance health care in rural communities.
 
Pollock participated in ‘Practical Steps in Cybersecurity’ which focused on practical steps providers can take to minimize network security risks, and the status of government efforts regarding information sharing, best practices and potential regulation.
 
Approximately 500 broadband company managers and executives attended the three-day technology conference.