Telecom cooperative director, mother of young children, entrepreneur, technologist and educator are adjectives that could describe Carissa Swenson of TechTECS. It is this last adjective, educator, that is the common thread that binds her numerous activities. Prior to starting her own business, Swenson was a teacher with the state of North Dakota, which led to helping schools statewide through an initiative, EDUtech, to ensure that North Dakota schools were making the most out of technology.
Seeing the value of her skills and background, the Consolidated Telcom board of directors wisely appointed her to fill a board vacancy. Her knowledge of the EDUtech program led to a unique customer technology training program, as outlined in this interview with Consolidated Telcom’s Rhonda Dukart. As she points out, while Consolidated Telcom gains new customers and more satisfied customers, the community benefits through the multi-generational activities associated with the different types of classes they offer.
In this and a subsequent interview to be published in the future, Swensen emphasizes the importance of the fiber network both for educational purposes, as well as for helping businesses in rural areas. And Swensen knows of what she speaks, as her business, TechTECS, helps rural broadband operators help their customers get their arms around the ever-changing technology world.
Based in Halliday, ND, (population 209), where her husband farms, TechTECS would not be a viable option for Swensen without the broadband speeds provided by the Fiber to the Home network. As she says,
“We need to have that telecommunications when we live in the middle of nowhere. That’s how we connect with the world.”
It is clear that this teacher brings a unique perspective, as a rural customer, evangelist and educator of broadband and its associated applications.
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