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in the Community

Our cooperative has a long history of giving back to the communities we serve through contributions of both time and money.  From donating over $30,000 annually to educational scholarship for local students to sponsoring major events such as the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, we remain committed to improving the lives of those we serve and the communities we call home.  Check the news & events section to see our most recent activity.

Below are some of our recent donations, scholarships, recognition and supported community events.
 

Donations - 2016/2017

PBTV Ad Representative Don Dale (center) is pictured here delivering the check to Sgt. Tony Petrie (left) and Deputy Kyle Nohre (right).

Beltrami County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit
We support the communities we serve and recently our cooperative made a donation to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit for training and ongoing support of this essential service for our region. PBTV Ad Representative Don Dale (center) is pictured here delivering the check to Sgt. Tony Petrie (left) and Deputy Kyle Nohre (right).

Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor (left) handing over the cooperative’s donation towards Project Lifesaver to Beltrami County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Hinners (right).

Project Lifesaver
Project Lifesaver is a public safety program through the Beltrami County Sheriff's Department designed to use state of the art technology in assisting those who care for victims of Alzheimer's dementia, Autism, Down Syndrome, and any other cognitive condition that causes wandering. The program places personalized radio transmitters on identified persons which assist caregivers and emergency agencies in locating those who cannot help themselves. If you would like to donate to Project Lifesaver, please contact the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office at 218-333-9111. Pictured left to right is Paul Bunyan Communication Marketing Supervisor, Brian Bissonette and Scott Hinners from the Beltrami County Sherriff's Department.

 

Pictured with the check (left to right) are Chloe Keprios, PBC Account Executive and Ann Marie Ward, 4-H Program Coordinator. They are surrounded by members of the Beltrami County 4-H Robotics team.

4-H Robotics Program
Paul Bunyan Communications made a donation to the regional 4-H Robotics program. This is the 4th consecutive year the cooperative has been a major donor to the program which supports Robotics programs throughout the region served by PBC. Pictured with the check (left to right) are Chloe Keprios, PBC Account Executive and Ann Marie Ward, 4-H Program Coordinator. They are surrounded by members of the Beltrami County 4-H Robotics team.

Bemidji Vocalmotive Show Choir director Chris Fettig (center) and co-captain Tony Turner accept a donation from Paul Bunyan Communications CFO, Dave Shultz (left).

Bemidji Vocalmotive
Bemidji Vocalmotive Show Choir director Chris Fettig (center) and co-captain Tony Turner accept a donation from Paul Bunyan Communications CFO, Dave Shultz (left). Vocalmotive is celebrating its 20th year!

PBC District 9 Director Tim Hins (right) presents Cass Lake Fire Chief Ben Cameron with a donation check.

Cass Lake Rural Fire Department
PBC District 9 Director Tim Hins (right) presents Cass Lake Fire Chief Ben Cameron with a donation check. They will be purchasing a new fire truck to help serve a 400 square mile area that includes the Leech Lake Reservation and Cass, Hubbard, and Beltrami counties. The CLRFD is made up of 20 volunteer firemen, one part-time Fire Chief, and one part-time Administrative Assistant.

Scholarships & Youth - 2016/2017

Ashley Benes of Grand Rapids is the recipient of a $2,500 college scholarship from Paul Bunyan Communications and the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS)

2017 National College Scholarship Program for Rural Youth Winner
Ashley Benes of Grand Rapids is the recipient of a $2,500 college scholarship from Paul Bunyan Communications and the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) the philanthropic arm of NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association.

2016 Youth Tour Essay Contest  winner Sydney Preston2016 Youth Tour Winner
Sydney Preston, a Junior at Kelliher High School, was selected as the 2016 Paul Bunyan Communications Youth Tour Essay Contest winner. She will attend the 2016 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. in June.

Lucia Laituri won the Paul Bunyan Communications 2017 Youth Tour Essay Contest and Trip to Washington D.C.

2017 Youth Tour Essay Contest Winner
Lucia Laituri was the winner of the cooperative's 2017 Youth Tour Essay Contest. Lucia is a junior at Bemidji High School, is the daughter of Ron and Annie Laituri. She will attend the 2017 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. June 3-7, with all expenses paid by Paul Bunyan Communications.

 

Recognition - 2016/2017

 

Paul Bunyan Communications CEO, Gary Johnson (center) is presented with the Calix Best Innovation in Residential Subscriber Experience for 2017Paul Bunyan Communications Wins International Innovation Award
Paul Bunyan Communications' GigaZone Gaming Championship, the first stadium-style eSporting event in northern Minnesota, has been awarded the Calix Best Innovation in Residential Subscriber Experience for 2017.

The Calix Innovation Awards are given annually to Calix customers – technology companies from around the world – who demonstrated outstanding creativity when leveraging Calix technology to deploy best-in-class services. The award recognizes innovation in the use of access, premises, and cloud technologies to transform businesses and networks.

"Congratulations to Paul Bunyan Communications on their Best of Innovation in Residential Subscriber Experience Award!" said Michael Weening, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Calix. "Typically, events of this type and caliber are only found in major metropolitan areas. The GigaZone Gaming Championship and other progressive initiatives underscore Paul Bunyan's commitment to their rural region and their willingness to be industry innovators and leaders, whether that's building one of the largest rural all-fiber optic gigabit broadband networks in the country or creating this exceptional gaming event. The award is well deserved."

"We are honored to receive this innovation award from Calix. It's very rewarding to see how the region is embracing this event that showcases our Calix-enabled broadband technology and creative and talented technical team. Attendance doubled at our second GigaZone Gaming Championship held in September!" said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

Paul Bunyan Communications has been awarded a national TeleChoice Award by the NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association during their Annual 2017 PR & Marketing Conference Paul Bunyan Communications Named 2017 Complete Marketing Campaign Award Winner
Paul Bunyan Communications has been awarded a national TeleChoice Award by the NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association during their Annual 2017 PR & Marketing Conference. The annual awards program honors excellence in public relations and marketing.

Paul Bunyan Communications was given the TeleChoice Award for their complete marketing campaign of the GigaZone Gaming Championship, the first stadium style eSporting event in the region held last November at the Sanford Center. Entries were judged on innovative strategies, design, writing, creativity and other elements specific to each category.

"We are honored to receive this national award for marketing. The GigaZone Gaming Championship was a first of its kind event we brought to the region last year aimed at gaming enthusiasts of all kinds. We spent a lot of time on the creative aspects of the campaign to ensure the message would resonate with the gaming community but also would appeal to the general public. It was a very successful event and one that will continue in the years to come. The 2017 GigaZone Gaming Championship is set for September 29-30 and will be even bigger and better than our first event last year!" said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

"Congratulations to Paul Bunyan Communications on their 2017 TeleChoice Award" said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. "Creating their eSport event, the GigaZone Gaming Championship, and bringing it to customers in rural northern Minnesota is unique in the industry. It shows their commitment to their community and their willingness to be industry innovators and leaders, whether that's creating one of the largest rural all-fiber optic gigabit broadband network, or creating this wonderful gaming event. The marketing of the event was unique, creative and essential to its success. The award is well deserved and hard earned."

Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson (lower right corner) was named as one of the Twin Cities Business Magazine's (TCB) 100 People to Know.Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson Named Twin Cities Business 100 People to Know
Paul Bunyan Communications CEO Gary Johnson was named as one of the Twin Cities Business Magazine's (TCB) 100 People to Know.

Twin Cities Business Magazine annually highlights 100 Minnesotans, leaders with insight, experience, and savvy that people in business need to observe, seek out, and learn from in the year ahead. The goal is to identify the key individuals that are expected to make an impact on local business, regional economy, and quality of life in 2017.

Johnson was included in the Pioneers category in recognition of Paul Bunyan Communications' innovation, growth, and continued deployment of the latest in communication technologies including construction of one of the largest rural all-fiber optic networks in the United States.

Large Company Safety Award from the Minnesota Telecom AllianceLarge Company Safety Award from the Minnesota Telecom Alliance
Paul Bunyan Communications was named the Large Company Safety Award winner for 2016 by the Minnesota Telecom Alliance.
The award is given to companies that demonstrated dedication, commitment, consistency, direction and involvement, not only to their employees, but to the MTA Safety Program, the industry and their communities.

 

PBC employees (left to right) Brenda Williams, Chuck Hildebrandt and Barb Zdenek accepted the award.

Best Year Around Partnership
At the United Way of 1000 Lakes Campaign Celebration & Best of Awards in Grand Rapids, Paul Bunyan Communications received the award for Best Year Around Partnership. PBC employees (left to right) Brenda Williams, Chuck Hildebrandt and Barb Zdenek accepted the award.

Events - 2016/2017

2017 Coop Celebration & Annual Meeting

2017 Annual Meeting & Cooperative Celebration

Annual Meeting & Cooperative Celebration Held Wednesday

2017 Coop Celebration & Annual MeetingThe 2017 Cooperative Celebration saw one of the nicest days of the event's history, drawing over 6,200 to our Bemidji headquarters on May 24 and making the night another resounding success!

The 61st Annual Business Meeting of Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative was held prior to the Open House at 3:30 p.m. The meeting included reports for the 2016 fiscal year and the re-election of board directors Tim Hins, District 9 and Bruce Campbell, District 7 both who were unopposed at their respective Caucus held in April.

2017 Coop Celebration & Annual MeetingThe Cooperative Celebration was open to the public and featured a free walleye dinner prepared by the Bemidji Fire Department Fish Fry Crew and Lueken's Village Foods, door prizes, kids' activities like face painting, balloons, temporary tattoos, storytelling, animals and entertainment from the Headwaters Science Center, United States Tennis Association's Quickstart Tennis, Concordia Language Villages, and special guests all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Nickelodeon and Cleatus the Fox Sports Robot. Kent Dudley as Elvis provided the musical entertainment.

2017 Coop Celebration & Annual MeetingSpecial thanks to the over 130 employees of Paul Bunyan Communications who made the event possible and run as smooth as possible! We would also like to thank the Bemidji Fire Department, Lueken's Village Foods, The Party Store, Minnesota State Patrol, Bemidji Police Department, Beltrami County Sheriff's Department, Paul Bunyan Transit, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Headwater's Science Center, Port-Able John, Bemidji Citizen's Patrol, Bemidji Area Tennis Association, Boy Scouts, Concordia Language Villages, Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji, and Raphael's Bakery for all their help.

2016 Coop Celebration & Annual Meeting2016 Coop Celebration & Annual Meeting

2016 Coop Celebration & Annual Meeting2016 Coop Celebration & Annual Meeting

 

 


2016 Coop Celebration & Annual Meeting2016 Annual Meeting & Cooperative Celebration

The 2016 Cooperative Celebration didn't get the best of weather with colder temps and occasional rain but still drew over 5,300 to our Bemidji headquarters on May 23 making the night another success!

The 60th Annual Business Meeting of Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative was held prior to the Open House at 3:30 p.m. The meeting included reports for the 2015 fiscal year and the re-election of board directors Kathy Peterson, District 3 and Jim Sutton, District 8 both who were unopposed at their respective Caucus held earlier in the year.

2016 Coop Celebration & Annual MeetingThe Cooperative Celebration was open to the public and featured a free walleye dinner prepared by the Bemidji Fire Department Fish Fry Crew and Lueken's Village Foods, door prizes, kids' activities like face painting, balloons, temporary tattoos, storytelling, animals and entertainment from the Headwaters Science Center, United States Tennis Association's Quickstart Tennis, Concordia Language Villages, and special guests Jimmy Neutron from Nickelodeon, Peg+Cat from PBS, and Cleatus the Fox Sports Robot. The LaPlant Family from Cohasset provided the musical entertainment.

2016 Coop Celebration & Annual MeetingSpecial thanks to the over 130 employees of Paul Bunyan Communications who made the event possible and run as smooth as possible! We would also like to thank the Bemidji Fire Department, Lueken's Village Foods, The Party Store, Minnesota State Patrol, Bemidji Police Department, Beltrami County Sheriff's Department, Paul Bunyan Transit, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Headwater's Science Center, Bob's Econo Pump, Bemidji Citizen's Patrol, Bemidji Area Tennis Association, Boy Scouts, Concordia Language Villages, Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji, and Raphael's Bakery for all their help.