Cherishing the Past and Embracing the Future – An Independent Telecom Family


My favorite ViodiTV stories are the ones that deal with people. After all, technology in the telecom industry should be transparent and facilitate the connecting of people. As such, I was extremely excited to find out that one of the sharpest young technologists in the business, Shaun Carlson of Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association, had a family connection to the business. His father, Steve Carlson, recently retired from a long career at Dakota Supply Group.

I have known Shaun through his speaking engagements at various industry events. At last year’s IP Possibilities, Shaun and I became “Facebook Friends” and, as a result, formed ties that extend to our respective Churches, even though are Churches are a thousand-plus miles away from each other. I have been impressed with Shaun’s ability to be a technology bridge for his community. What impresses me most is how he finds time serve our Country via the Air National Guard, as well as be a youth leader at his Church.

So, I was thrilled to meet Shaun’s dad, Steve, at this event. Through his work at Dakota Supply Group, he helped the independent telcos and their rural communities through a career of service. While researching their web site for this post, I noticed that DSG has a special club for the children of their employees and their customers. Kids who join the club receive a membership packet, t-shirt and opportunities to participate in contests; in short; it is a good community building thing for rural communities.
This video interview with Steve and Shaun Carlson embodies the theme of MTA’s 2009 Convention of cherishing the past and embracing the future.