Wayne Skarda lives in the rural Keene area with his wife Kim, where he presently works on the family farm. Wayne and Kim were both raised and went to school in the Watford City and Keene area. They have three grown daughters. After working in Wyoming for 20 years for a rural electric cooperative they moved to Garrison in 2010 where Wayne worked at McLean Electric Cooperative as operations manager. In 2014 he retired from the electric industry.
Click on the video link for the RTC Networks
70th Annual Meeting
The RTC Networks 70th Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, September 9 at 6:30 pm at the 4 Bears Event Center in New Town, ND. The recording is now posted and will be available for the next few weeks. Thank you for participating in your cooperative’s annual meeting.
Board of Directors
District 1A - Alexander, Arnegard, Keene, Squaw Gap, Watford City
District 1B - Alexander, Arnegard, Keene, Squaw Gap, Watford City
Jennifer Sorenson and her husband Curtis farm and ranch five miles south of Watford City. She graduated from Watford City High School and North Dakota State School of Science. Jennifer has served on the RTC Board of Directors since 2008 and is a member of District One Cattlewomen, the Watford City Lions and the Pioneer Museum. She is also active with First Lutheran Church and enjoys volunteering and being active in the community. Jennifer and Curtis’ son Jarvis, his wife Kadie, and their three children join them as 4th and 5th generation on the family ranch. Their daughter Erin and her three children also live in Watford City. Jennifer enjoys helping out on the ranch, traveling and keeping up with her grandchildren’s activities.
Jared Eagle, VP
District 2A - Mandaree, New Town, Ross
Jared Eagle has lived in New Town his entire life. He is the son of Ronnie and Kim Eagle. Jared has worked for the Indian Health Service and the Three Affiliated Tribes health system for eleven years. He currently serves as the diabetes program director. A graduate of North Dakota State University, Jared is active in the community. He served on the New Town Volunteer Fire Department for four years and the North Dakota Comprehensive Cancer Advisory Board for four years. He also served for nine years on the Edgewater Country Club Board. He and his wife Candice Eagle, who works at Cornerstone Bank, have one daughter named Ellery.
District 2B - Mandaree, New Town, Ross
Terry Wilber was employed by Northrop Grumman in New Town and retired after 32 years, with over 28 years as the Plant Manager. He graduated from New Town High School and Dickinson State University with a degree in Business Administration. Terry has served on the RTC Board of Directors from District 2B since 1999, and is also a past president of the RTC Board of Directors. He is currently involved in a variety of organizations including the New Town Lakeside Community Living Center, New Town Health Support, Van Hook Cemetery Association, New Town Industrial Development and the Bethel Lutheran Church. Terry was involved in the startup and initial operation of TJMD, LLP, which performs various oilfield services. Terry has been married to Marcia since 1974 and they have three children: Dana, Mike and Jesse; and ten grandchildren. When time allows, Terry enjoys yard work, hunting, fishing, golfing and getting involved in projects that provide business development and employment opportunities in the area.
District 3 - Kenmare, Norma, Spencer
Amy is a graduate of Kenmare High School and the University of North Dakota earning degrees in both Accounting & Business Management. She has also successfully passed the Uniform CPA exam. Amy has been the Flaxton City Auditor for the past 8 years and owns her own consulting business that specializes in governmental accounting, charitable gaming and grant writing. Amy’s community involvement includes being the chairperson for the Kenmare Area Community Foundation, a director on the Kenmare Public School Board of Education and a member of the Bowbells United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Ryan, who is employed as the assistant service manager for Gooseneck Implement live in rural Kenmare with their two children, Grace and Brooks. Amy enjoys attending her kiddos academic and sporting activities and promoting and advocating for ND communities.
Jeanette Hoff, President
District 4 - Parshall, Plaza
Jeanette farms with her husband Steve and son and daughter-in-law near Parshall. After graduating from Minot State University, Jeanette taught school in Parshall, North Shore, and White Shield for a combined total of 20 years. Jeanette has been recognized by the NTCA with the “Excellence in Leadership Award” for outstanding commitment to telecommunications and organizational education. She has also served as a “team leader” for NTCA during legislative conference visits of our Senators and Representatives. Jeanette is currently involved with the following organizations: RTC Board President, First Lutheran Church Choir Director, First Lutheran Church Quilting Group, Parshall Promoters supporter. Previously, Jeanette’s activities included: NDATC Board Past President, Parshall Township Clerk for 26 years, Parshall Horizons Circle, First Lutheran Church Council, Parshall Education Association, Parshall Dive-Rescue squad, Chairperson for the Parshall Centennial Celebration, Big Band Reflections/Dixie Band Reflections, and Plaza Quilting Guild. Jeanette and Steve have three sons (two are married) and seven grandchildren. Jeanette enjoys being with family and friends, church and community involvement, sewing, painting, golfing, listening to music, and being at the lake.
District 5 - Douglas, Makoti, Max, Roseglen, Ryder
John McElwain was born and raised in Max.After graduating from Max Public High School, he attended college before returning home to join his father, Jim McElwain, to work on the family farm and McElwain Construction Inc. In 1987, John married Tammy, and they raised their two children, Nicole and Justin. For eight years, he worked as the Max City Maintenance Operator. In 2001, with the passing of hisfather, John took over the operation of the family farm and McElwain Construction Inc., which does excavation work throughout North Dakota. John has served on the Max Civic Club, and the Immaculate Conception Church Board. He is currently serving on the Max Farmers Elevator Board (2000 to present) and the Max Fire Department (1987 to present). He enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with family and friends at the lake.
District 6 - Emmet, Garrison
Barbara Steinmetz lives in Garrison with her husband, Doug. She was raised near Oberon, North Dakota. Her family was always active in the community and cooperatives. Barb has been on the RTC Board of Directors since 2012, is currently involved with the Benedictine Living Center as a volunteer, and is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. Barb worked in the banking industry for 20 years. She and Doug have lived in Garrison since 2006. Their daughter, Jill, lives in Boise, Idaho and son, Matt, lives in Cody, Wyoming.
- October 28, 1949 – President Truman signs the telephone amendment to the Rural Electrification Act of 1935 to provide low cost loans to be used to improve and to provide telephone service to rural areas of America.
- July 7, 1950 – First public meeting to discuss the formation of our telephone cooperative takes place in Garrison.
- January 1951 – Area residents and representatives from the telephone companies at Parshall, Plaza, Makoti, Ryder, Van Hook, and Sanish meet at Roseglen and decide to form a rural telephone cooperative named Reservation Mutual Aid Telephone Corporation.
- October 16, 1951 – Articles of Incorporation are filed.
- August 12, 1952 – RTC’s first REA loan is obtained for $417,000.00.
- August 14, 1952 – Fred Ahlgren is named General Manager.
- 1952 – 1954 – Reservation Mutual Aid Telephone Corporation has business offices at Parshall Memorial Hall above the auditorium and at the Creamery building, which is now Parshall’s funeral home.
- 1952 – New Town exchange replaces the Van Hook and Sanish exchanges.
- 1954 – 1958 – Telephone exchanges at Parshall, Plaza, Makoti, Ryder, Emmet, Roseglen, Arnegard, Keene, Norma, Spencer, Ross and Douglas are added.
- 1958 – RTC headquarters building is built.
- 1959 – RTC begins offering mobile telephone service with towers at Keene, Parshall and Roseglen. IMTS (Improved Mobile Telephone Service) is offered over radio channels licensed by FCC (Federal Communications Commission).
- 1959 – Original nine member Board of Directors reorganize into a board of seven members. Reservation Mutual Aid Telephone Corporation changes to Reservation Telephone Cooperative (RTC).
- 1963 – Minuteman Missile installations began. RTC provides service to 7 sites.
- 1967 – RTC’s “Service Improvement Program” begins to bring one party service to all of the subscribers and replace the open wire plant with underground facilities.
- 1971 – Squaw Gap exchange added.
- Dec. 15, 1971 – Squaw Gap and the rest of the world are connected by telephone. NBC (National Broadcasting Corporation) along with thousands of viewers and Squaw Gap subscribers gather to witness the first phone call made by Donnell Haugen, president of the RTC board and Squaw Gap resident, Ray Macik to Washington D.C., where Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture is on the line to congratulate them.
- August, 1972 – All subscribers now have private line service.
- 1973 – 1974 – All exchanges are converted to direct distance dialing and automatic number identification.
- 1974 – Mandaree exchange is added.
- 1976 – First major addition to the headquarters building is completed.– RTC becomes member of NCDC (North Central Data Cooperative) now known as NISC (National Information Solutions Cooperative).– Phone billing is converted to computer.
- 1980 – RTC hires Gene Sloan as new General Manager.
- 1980 – Fred Ahlgren, RTC’s first General Manager, retires ending a 28 year career (1952-1980)
- 1981 – RTC gets into the cable TV business. Rolfson Construction plows coaxial TV cable in New Town and Parshall.
- 1983 – Headquarters building is expanded to make room for the new digital switch.
- 1984 – New digital switch is installed. AT&T Divestiture becomes a reality.
- 1985 – RTC starts replacing the old rotary dial telephone sets with new touch-tone phones that could be plugged into a modular connection.
- 1987 – Royce Aslakson is hired to train for Office Manager. RTC plows coaxial TV cable in Plaza. RTC becomes member of North Central Regional Processing Center (NCRPC).
- 1988 – RTC plows coaxial TV cable in Makoti. Max Adams, RTC’s first Office Manager, retires after 35 years of service.
- 1989 – RTC plows coaxial TV cable in Ryder. RTC purchases Arnegard cable TV system from a private individual. Payroll and labor accounting becomes automated with the aid of NCDC.
- 1989 – RTC upgrades new digital switches and plows fiber optic cable as the backbone for toll network.
- 1990′s – College scholarship program implemented for high school seniors.
- September, 1995 – RTC announces it will offer Internet service.
- June, 1996 – RTC purchases the exchanges of Garrison, Max and Kenmare. RTC sells payphone business.
- 1996 – RTC becomes member of Dakota Carrier Network (DCN).
- August, 1998 – RTC joins North Dakota Long Distance as a partner.
- 1998 – Royce Aslakson is selected as Assistant General Manager. New host switch installed in Garrison and remotes installed in Parshall and Max.
- 1999 – RTC goes equal access giving RTC subscribers a choice of long distance carriers.
- May, 1999 – Cellular phone service makes IMTS obsolete and all three systems are shut down.
- 2001 – RTC begins offering DSL (Digital Subscriber Line). Gene Sloan, RTC’s second General Manager retires after 21 years of service.
- September 1, 2001 – Assistant General Manager Royce Aslakson assumes General Manager duties.
- 2003 – RTC installs OC-48 Sonet Ring. RTC begins construction on Multi-purpose Building to house 16 vehicles and include a kitchen. RTC sends first student to Foundation for Rural Service Youth Tour in Washington D.C.
- April 1, 2003 – RTC purchases Watford City and Alexander exchanges from Citizens Telecommunications Company.
- May 2003 – New switch installed in Watford City.
- September 1, 2003 – RTC purchases McKenzie Consolidated Telcom (MCT).
- December 2003 – Former MCT customers are cut over to RTC equipment.
- 2004 – RTC completes construction on Multi-purpose Building.
- November 2, 2004 – RTC purchases the Alexander, Garrison, Kenmare, Max and Watford City cable TV systems from Midcontinent Communications, Inc.
- April 28, 2005 – Ground breaking takes place for addition to headquarters building.
- June 1, 2005 – RTC begins offering WildBlue Satellite Speed Internet service in partnership with National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC).
- May 18, 2007 – RTC hosts open house to celebrate the completion of construction on the new headquarters complex.
- January 2009 – RTC introduces new company logo and tagline: Smarter. Better. Faster.
- March, 2009 – RTC enters agreement with Microsoft to use Microsoft Mediaroom as a platform for RTC’s IPTV services.
- August 25, 2009 – RTC broadcasts first local high school sporting event with BEK Sports West (Dunseith at Kenmare football game).
- March, 2010 – RTC is awarded $21.9 Million award through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Award includes a $10.95 Million grant and $10.95 Million loan to expand the availability of broadband service on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and the Squaw Gap exchange.
- August, 2010 – RTC begins offering WiFi service at various locations throughout their service area.
- December, 2010 – RTC launches new website
- March 1, 2011 – RTC offers surveillance camera systems for residential homes or businesses.
- Fall, 2011 – RTC opens customer office in New Town.
- August 4, 2014 – RTC opens customer office in Watford City.
- January 1, 2015- Assistant General Manager Shane Hart is promoted to GM/CEO.
- June 1, 2015- GM/CEO Royce Aslakson retires with 28 years of service to RTC.