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District 3, District 7 and District 9 Board of Director Elections

As a cooperative, Paul Bunyan Communications is governed by a seven-person member-elected Board of Directors.  In 2022, there are Board of Directors positions up for election representing Districts 3, 7, and 9.

Article III, Section 3 of your Cooperative’s Bylaws requires any member interested in serving as a Director to submit a candidate packet to the Cooperative headquarters at least 25 business days prior to the Caucus Election date.  This enables the Cooperative to properly verify the eligibility of all candidates to serve as a member of the Board if elected.  Members interested can find the candidate application packet and related information online at https://paulbunyan.net/cooperative/documents/

The deadlines for completed Director-candidate packets to be returned to the Cooperative are:

District 7 deadline is February 17

District 9 deadline is February 22

District 3 deadline is February 24

If there are less than two pre-qualified candidates seeking election/re-election to the Board of Directors from the same district (an uncontested district election), no in-person Caucus and Caucus Election for that district will be held.

If there are two or more pre-qualified candidates seeking election from the same district, the in-person Caucus will be held and all members residing within the district will be notified by mail of the caucus date, time, and location.  The purpose of the in-person Caucus is to select two pre-qualified candidates to seek election/re-election to be the district’s representative on the Paul Bunyan Communications Board of Directors. Directors serve a five-year term through 2027, however in the case of District 3, the election will fill the remaining four years of the existing term ending in 2026.

The current director for District 7 is Board Secretary Bruce Campbell and he has expressed his intent to seek re-election.

The current director for District 9 is Board Treasurer Tim Hins and he has expressed his intent to seek re-election.

The current director for District 3 is Tracy Mistic-Schaar and she has expressed her intent to seek re-election.

Based on the results of any contested Caucus Election, the names of two candidates are listed on the ballot to be voted on by the general membership of the Cooperative.  Votes are tallied at the Annual Meeting, scheduled for May 25, 2022.  The candidate from each respective district with the greatest number of votes from the general membership is elected/re-elected as the Director for such district.

Posted: 4 days ago.

District 3 Director Kathy Peterson Retires After 26 Years; Tracy Mistic-Schaar Appointed to fill the District 3 seat

At their monthly meeting in November, the Paul Bunyan Communications Board of Directors accepted Kathy Peterson’s retirement notice and appointed Tracy Mistic-Schaar to fill the District 3 seat.

We thank Kathy for her dedication by serving over 25 years on our cooperative’s Board of Directors!  Kathy was first elected in 1995 and led our cooperative as Board President for an incredible 20 years from 1998-2018.

So much has been accomplished in the two and a half decades Kathy has been on the Board of Directors it is hard to put into words.  Our cooperative has grown significantly in membership, employees, and the technology and services we offer.  When Kathy first started on the Board, Paul Bunyan Net was just formed to offer dial up Internet service, cellular service was transitioning from bag phones to flip phones, and there was no such thing as Paul Bunyan Television, high speed Internet, or the GigaZone.  It was under Kathy’s leadership that Paul Bunyan Communications developed into one of the most progressive communications cooperatives in the United States now providing an industry-leading multiple gigabit Internet service across 6,000 square miles of northcentral Minnesota.

“Kathy is very humble and I know she won’t take any personal credit for the many accomplishments and progress our cooperative has experienced over the past 25 years, but her steady leadership has played a pivotal role in all of our growth and subsequent success.  She and fellow board members had the foresight to diversify our service offerings and to boldly authorize the construction of one of the largest rural all-fiber optic networks in the country nearly a decade before most other service providers.  Recognizing the critical role broadband now serves in education, healthcare, work, e-commerce, government, and entertainment, you cannot overstate Kathy’s impact on the lives of thousands across our region.  Her sincere dedication to our cooperative and our members has been incredible and we can’t thank her enough.  We are going to miss her leadership, support, and positive attitude, but wish her the very best in retirement,” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

As is called for in the Cooperative’s bylaws, the Board has appointed District 3 member Tracy Mistic-Schaar as the new District 3 Board Member.  We look forward to working with Tracy and appreciate her willingness to serve on behalf of the members of District 3.  That position is up for election/re-election this year.  Tracy has expressed her intent to seek re-election.

 

 

Posted: 1 week ago.

Brittany Perry of Missouri wins Hockey Hot Shots; Second BSU Game in a row with a winner

For the second time in as many games, there was a winner of the Paul Bunyan Communications Hockey Hot Shots Promotion during a Bemidji State University men’s home hockey game!

Brittany Perry of Columbia, MO made her shot at center ice during a period intermission at the Beavers game Friday, December 31 against St. Cloud to win a 70” Smart HDTV.  Brittany was in town for the holiday with her boyfriend Sam Rydeen who graduated from BSU in 2018.  It was the first time she’s attended a college hockey game and the first time she held a hockey stick.

“We thought it would be a good idea to leave 61 degree weather to come to the coldest weather we had ever been a part of, -15 with a “feels like” -30. The BSU game was the first college hockey game I had ever been to and I’m not sure another could ever top it after this!” said Peterson.

“We’ve sponsored the contest for a long time but have never seen a win like Brittany’s.  She had never held a hockey stick before and you could tell.  She missed the puck on her first four tries and it seemed was about to give up but wouldn’t you know it, the fifth time she connected and it went straight down and in!” said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

You can see video of Brittany making the shot on the Paul Bunyan Communications YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKUI-3TAISg

The Paul Bunyan Communications Hockey Hot Shots contest is held during an intermission at select Bemidji State University Men’s Hockey home games. Three contestants are selected at random to participate each night. All contestants receive a coupon for a free PBTV On Demand movie rental, any contestant hitting the board receives a Paul Bunyan Communications Bluetooth speaker, and a contestant who puts the puck in the net through the middle of the Hockey Hot Shots board wins up to a 70” Smart HDTV.

Posted: 2 weeks ago.

FCC Launches Affordable Connectivity Program; Enrollment Now Open

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service.  This new benefit  provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers*.

Eligible households can enroll through Paul Bunyan Communications, a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail in application.

You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting www.fcc.gov/ACP, or by calling 877-384-2575.

*Paul Bunyan Communications is a participating broadband service provider but we do not sell laptop, desktop computers, or tablets and therefore are not a participating provider for that part of the program.

Posted: 2 weeks ago.

16-17 Year Old High School Students: Enter the Paul Bunyan Communications Youth Tour Essay Contest for a Chance to Win a Trip to Washington D.C. Deadline is Friday, March 4

Area High School Students age 16 or 17 are encouraged to enter the Paul Bunyan Communications Essay Contest for a chance to attend the 2022 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. June 1-5, with all expenses paid by Paul Bunyan Communications.

 Students interested in attending the Youth Tour need to submit a short essay, no more than 500 words in length, on why they would like to attend the Youth Tour. Students must be 16 or 17 years of age and in high school with their parent/guardian a member of Paul Bunyan Communications Cooperative.

Entries can be dropped off at the Paul Bunyan Communications office in Bemidji or Grand Rapids, or they can mailed to:

Paul Bunyan Communications Essay Contest
1831 Anne St. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

The deadline for entries is Friday, March 4.

The trip features a comprehensive overview of the telecommunications industry, including careers in telecom, the critical role telecommunications plays in rural America, and how legislative and regulatory decisions affect the industry.  The tour allows youth to meet with members of Congress who represent rural constituents.  They also participate in educational sessions about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Students visit some of the nation’s most historic sites, including Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian Museums, and a beautiful night tour of our Washington D.C.

All attendees of the 2022 FRS Youth Tour will be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination and follow all current NTCA protocols related to health and safety. You can see the current protocols at https://www.ntca.org/events-education/education/health-safety-protocols The covid policies are subject to change and registrants will be notified as quickly as possible.

“We hope that by providing our youth with telecommunications services comparable to those found in urban areas, as well as exposing them to cultural and educational opportunities, such as the FRS Youth Tour, our youth will remain in and become active members in their rural communities,” said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

The Foundation for Rural Service is dedicated to informing and to improving the quality of life throughout rural America.  Each year, it organizes the Youth Tour, designed to educate rural youth about the telecommunications industry and the federal political process.  The FRS is a subsidiary of the NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association of which Paul Bunyan Communications is a member.

Paul Bunyan Communications has participated in sending a local high school student to the Youth Tour for over 25 years.

Posted: 2 weeks ago.

2022 Scholarship Opportunities from Paul Bunyan Communications

Paul Bunyan Communications is committed to the communities we serve and provides annual scholarships to local students within our service territory.  We also offer local students the chance to apply for one statewide industry scholarship and one national industry scholarship.  If you are a current high school senior or a student at one of the local post-secondary institutions, you can apply to win a Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship!

High School Scholarships

Each year, our cooperative provides at least 2 scholarships to 16 area high schools within or near our service territory.  The application process, winners, and distribution of funds are handled by each high school independent of Paul Bunyan Communications.

Bemidji, Bigfork, Blackduck, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, Cass Lake, Deer River, Grand Rapids, Greenway, International Falls, Kelliher, Laporte, Nashwauk-Keewatin, Northome, Park Rapids, Red Lake, and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High Schools

Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarships are available at the following high schools: Bemidji, Bigfork, Blackduck, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, Cass Lake, Deer River, Grand Rapids, Greenway, International Falls, Kelliher, Laporte, Nashwauk-Keewatin, Northome, Park Rapids, Red Lake, and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.

To apply for the Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship at one of these high schools, please speak to the school counselor or career service office.

Post-Secondary Scholarships

In addition to High School Scholarships, Paul Bunyan Communications provides scholarship opportunities to the following post secondary institutions: Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, Itasca Community College, Red Lake Nation College, Leech Lake Tribal College, and Oak Hills Christian College.

Bemidji State University

There are several scholarships annually available to students attending Bemidji State University that are current members of Paul Bunyan Communications or a parent/legal guardian is a member.  Applications are available in the BSU Admissions Office.

Northwest Technical College

One scholarship is awarded annually to a NTC student that is a current member or who has a parent/legal guardian that is a member of Paul Bunyan Communications. Applications are available in the NTC Admissions office or online at www.NTCmn.edu under scholarships.

Itasca Community College, Red Lake Nation College, Leech Lake Tribal College and Oak Hills Christian College

One scholarship is awarded annually at Itasca Community College, Red Lake Nation College, Leech Lake Tribal College and Oak Hills Christian College to a student that is a current member or who has a parent/legal guardian that is a member of Paul Bunyan Communications.

To apply for the Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship at one of these post-secondary institutions, speak to the Admissions or Career Service office at the school you attend.

Minnesota Telecom Alliance Foundation Scholarship

Minnesota Telecom Alliance FoundationPaul Bunyan Communications participates in the MTA’s scholarship program which awards five $2,000 scholarships to Minnesota high school seniors each year.

The application for 2022 can be downloaded at https://www.mnta.org/resource/resmgr/forms/MTA-Scholarship-Form-2022.pdf  and must be turned in to Paul Bunyan Communications no later than February 24, 2022.

A telecom alliance panel reviews each application and selects the finalists based on applicants’ grades, academic achievements and extra-curricular activities.  Preference to receive the scholarships is given to students who have an interest in telecommunications technology and rural communities.

The Foundation is part of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance, a trade organization representing 86 telephone companies and cooperatives in the state.

Foundation for Rural Service Scholarship

Minnesota Telecom Alliance FoundationPaul Bunyan Communications participates in the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) scholarship program which awards 30 $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors throughout the country each year.

Applications can also be downloaded from the FRS web site at https://www.frs.org/programs/youth-programs/scholarships

Completed applications should be sent directly to FRS, postmarked no later than February 25, 2022.  Applications postmarked to FRS after this date will NOT be accepted.

Please note the applicant or their parent/legal guardian must be a member of Paul Bunyan Communications (PBC) Cooperative to apply through PBC and that a signature of a PBC employee is required to be considered eligible.

Established in 1994, FRS, in cooperation with the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout Rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues.  In keeping with its mission, furthering the education of rural youth is one of the foundation’s primary focuses. Our cooperative, Paul Bunyan Communications, is a member of NTCA and is proud to support FRS in this worthy endeavor.

Posted: 2 weeks ago.

BSU Junior Garrett Peterson wins Hockey Hot Shots and a 70” Smart HDTV at BSU Men’s Hockey Game

For the first time since February of 2020, there was a winner of the Paul Bunyan Communications Hockey Hot Shots Promotion during a Bemidji State University men’s home hockey game!

Garrett Peterson of Hawley, MN made his shot at center ice during a period intermission at the Beavers game Friday, December 10 against Mankato to win a 70” Smart HDTV.  Garrett is a junior at Bemidji State University majoring in environmental science.

“I was pumped.  One of the contestants before me came close so I knew there was a chance.  There wasn’t much to cheer about for us Beaver fans that night so it was really cool to make it and hear the crowd come to life!” said Peterson.

“We’ve been sponsoring the contest for a long time dating back to games at the John Glas Fieldhouse.  The contest wasn’t held during the 2020 season with no fans in the stands so it’s great to have it back and to get a winner again!” said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

You can see video of Garrett making the shot on the Paul Bunyan Communications Facebook page, Twitter page, or YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmzn4zz55Vg

The Paul Bunyan Communications Hockey Hot Shots contest is held during an intermission at select Bemidji State University Men’s Hockey home games. Three contestants are selected at random to participate each night. All contestants receive a coupon for a free PBTV On Demand movie rental, any contestant hitting the board receives a Paul Bunyan Communications Bluetooth speaker, and a contestant who puts the puck in the net through the middle of the Hockey Hot Shots board wins up to a 70” Smart HDTV.

Posted: 1 month ago.

Get in to win up to a $500 credit on your account with our 6th Pick-It Bowl Challenge; Games start December 17

Get in to win with the 6th Paul Bunyan Communications Pick-it Bowl Challenge, a free online contest for participants to pick the winners for the 2021-22 College Bowl games for a chance to win a credit on a Paul Bunyan Communications account.

The top 10 finishers will win a credit on their Paul Bunyan Communications account. First place winner will receive a $500 credit, second place is a $250 credit.

To sign up for the Pick It Bowl Challenge go to http://paulbunyan.pickitchallenge.com

The first official College Bowl game is Friday, December 17 so be sure to register and make your picks by December 17 for the best chance at winning!

The Pick-it Bowl Challenge is a fun and free way to interact with others in northern Minnesota and enjoy a little friendly competition.  Must be 18 years of age or older. Limit one entry per person. Prizes not redeemable for cash. Void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply. See Pick It Bowl Challenge website for complete contest rules.

Posted: 1 month ago.

Offices Closed December 24 and December 31

Friday, December 24

Offices will be closed in observation of Christmas holiday.  Our regular office hours will resume on Monday, December 27.

Friday, December 31

Offices will be closed in observation of New Year’s holiday.  Our regular office hours will resume on Monday, January 3.

Emergency 24 hour repair will remain available and can be reached at 1-800-475-8309.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Paul Bunyan Communications!

 

Posted: 2 months ago.

Offices Closed Thursday, November 25 for Thanksgiving Holiday

Our offices will be closed on Thursday, November 25 in observation of the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Our regular office hours will resume on Friday, November 26 at 7:30 a.m.

Emergency 24 hour repair will remain available and can be reached at 1-800-475-8309.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted: 2 months ago.