I started in the telephone industry in 1975 and now it is 2018, so I have decided to retire. I was a combination tech from 1975 to 1987 at Haviland Telephone. In 1987, I went to work for KanOkla. I started as the Plant Supervisor in charge of five men and we were headquartered in Anthony, KS. KanOkla had just put their first fiber optic cable in the ground between the Caldwell and Bluff City exchanges. We never imagined back then just what that fiber cable was going to do for us in the
future. We have buried many more miles of fiber several different times since then, and today we have 2280 miles of cable over ten counties in Kansas and Oklahoma.
In 1991, thanks to the Caldwell Economic Development committee at the time, and to Glenn Johnson for the land, KanOkla built a new headquarters building in our largest exchange here in Caldwell. We added a lot of personnel the next few years, and it didn’t take us long to outgrow the original building and garage. We remodeled part of the existing garage to add on more office space
in 1998, and we have built two outside buildings since.
Cell phones were becoming more popular about this same time, and KanOkla became an agent for Pioneer Enid Cellular. We opened an office in Medford, OK to sell these big bulky bag phones and installed hundreds of them at our headquarters building here in Caldwell. Some of you might still have one of those “antique” phones boxed away.
In 1998, we converted the old IOOF building in downtown Caldwell into the KanOkla Technology Store, which several years later KanOkla purchased a RadioShack© franchise that we kept until just recently. Many desktop computers were built and installed in those early years. The KanOkla Store carries a variety of technology products along with household items, televisions, small appliances, and Traeger Grills and accessories. Last year, we purchased Shidler Telephone Company and expanded our wireline customer base.
There are always new technologies right around the corner, and when they come along, KanOkla Networks will be here to provide you with the latest and greatest of everything the technology world has to offer. KanOkla has been a great opportunity for me. I have been working here for 31 years, and I will continue to watch KanOkla grow, just not from behind this desk. The KanOkla employees will continue to take
care of the members and all of the customers.
I want to thank all of the Employees, Directors, and everyone else I have worked with in the industry. It has been a great run. March 30th will be my last day in the office.
Thank You, Dana L. Pierce, CEO-retired