In her attempt to defend the honor of NCTC, I am afraid Ms. White added a few misleading remarks and inaccuracies of her own. I would like to take this opportunity to explain a few of them. Regarding the CEO’s salary she compared her Total Pay to the former CEO’s Total Compensation Package. I can only assume that means she included non-salary related compensation, such as the payment for unused vacations and sick leave that is accrued and accounted for every year on the Cooperatives books by its auditors. This is paid out to all NCTC employees upon retirement under the approved policies of the Board.
If this is the case it is certainly misleading and may mean that the CEO’s salary is actually higher than what the Actual salary of the former CEO was. A salary by the way which was also based on the 40 years of Rural Telephone Cooperative Service, 24 years of which were as the CEO of NCTC.
In the past the salaries of the CEO and all salaried employees were approved by the Board based on the surveys and performance reviews of the personnel. At no time did NCTC pay at or above the Industry averages, in fact it was generally well below the averages. The cost separations procedures described by Ms. White were actually implemented many years ago by former management and approximately 65% of the CEO’s compensation was always recovered through that process. I am pleased to know that the Cooperative is continuing to take advantage of the programs that have been in place for some time.
During past years we used many highly qualified Consultants to help take advantage of every legitimate expense or Capital improvement we could take. It is a fact that the more investment you make in your plant the more return you can obtain from the cost separations process. It is also true that this compensation system is under threat of being severely reduced or eliminated by the current Federal Communications Commission. If this were to happen the Cooperative would need to have alternative plans to generate the necessary income to meet their expense and debt repayment.
I am glad to see that NCTC is continuing to grow and prosper and hope that it continues. A significant part of that growth in Income is being generated through the use of North Central Communications, a company that was formed a number of years ago to invest and provide ownership in some very successful companies like Bluegrass Cellular, IRIS Networks, our Multi State Fiber Network Company as well as the North Central Security Service. These companies are providing significant profits to NCTC. It is difficult to build a successful company without a strong foundation. I have always been and remain proud of NCTC and its many accomplishments. From the time it was formed by Visionaries like Will Hall Sullivan, William Bill Green, Elder Calvin Gregory and Harris Howser it has been recognized as a National leader in the rural telecommunications industry and remains so today.
It is successful today because of the hard work and dedication of its many Employees and Board Members both active and retired and their dedication to serving the members. Let’s hope the actions of a few of them don’t harm the rest. These are my own personal comments and are offered for your consideration. It is in everyone’s interest to see NCTC continue to thrive and prosper.
F. Thomas Rowland,
Retired President and CEO, NCTC