Telephone service started in the Stratford area in 1898 with eleven miles of aerial line strung between telephone poles and the goal to bring local residents together with cutting edge technology that would change their lives forever. 115 years, three names, and countless technological advances later, our company remains true to the ideals pursued by our forefathers: dedication to providing optimal service and commitment to our community.
Stratford Mutual Telephone was officially formed when South Marion Telephone Company took over and expanded the Chamberlain Telephone Company in 1903. Since then, our customers have watched the face of communications change in ways that would have been unimaginable to the folks seeing their first telephone poles roll in to town on train cars at the dawn of the previous century. Through the years, Stratford Mutual Telephone has kept abreast of the latest advances in our field and has always endeavored to provide our subscribers with the best and most modern technology at the lowest possible cost. In 2005, we became one of the first telephone companies in the nation to deploy our services over a fiber optic network that reached every customer in our exchange. This fiber optic network has ushered us into a new area and has made room for previously impossible upgrades to our phone, internet, and cable TV products. It has also given us a chance to provide the customer who lives several miles away with the same quality service as someone living next door to the office receives. We are now providing the level of coverage our founding fathers dreamed of with technology they never could have imagined.
As proud as we are to stand behind our service, there’s another aspect of our business that we feel is imperative for our success: community involvement. We are a small local company and see real value in participating as much as possible in our community. Stratford Mutual Telephone is driven to be an active member of the area and commits every possible resource to civic projects, charities and organizations. We pay nearly $35,000 in city and county taxes each year, and we donate funds and resources on a large scale to projects, fundraisers and events that directly affect our customers. Individually, SMTC employees are members of the Lions, Stratford Stride, American Legion, school board, grocery store board, fitness center board, community center board, Stratford Development Corporation and Promotions Committee. We are veterans, t-ball and soccer coaches, parents and advocates for our town and its businesses. Our company puts real effort into community development because this is our home and we want to help it thrive. We are your friends and neighbors, and we are proud to provide you with metropolitan service from a rural point of view.
As technology continues to advance, we will adapt with it and keep offering you the best possible service. Our business was built on the drive to bring our customers into the future of telecommunications, but we will continue to honor the past while looking to the horizon.
Our Board and Staff
SMTC Board of Directors
- Larry Schultz, President & CEO
- Nolan Patterson, Vice President
- Neil Swedlund, Secretary
- Grant Carlson
- Trevor Carlson
- Connie Kramme
- Travis Sonksen
- Dirk Westrum
- Darrell Young
- Steve Frey, General Manager
- Doran Erickson, Outside Plant Technician
- Clark Conklin, Master Electrician
- Janson Bergman, Apprentice Electrician
- Jen Frank, Office Manager, Accounting Manager
- Jim Berry, Network Operations Manager
- Scott Henderson, Cable Plant Manager
- Heather Conklin, Customer Service Rep
- Darcy Runestad, Marketing Director, Programming Director