68th Annual Meeting

2020 annual meeting.jpg

All Members are invited to the 68th Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative Annual Meeting

Saturday, September 26, 2020
Wall High School Gym
401 South Blvd, Wall

Registration 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Meeting Called to Order at 11:00 a.m.
Lunch Provided after Annual Meeting

Registered Members will receive a $10 Bill Credit as a thank you for attending the meeting. A grand prize of $500 will be drawn during the meeting as well as 20+ additional prizes, must be present to win. 

*Please note the change in location and time of the meeting. Golden West is making every effort possible to provide a safe environment for our members and employees. 

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Press Release

Authorization to Vote

Director Elections


September 9, 2020

Golden West Annual Meeting Will See Changes This Year

WALL, SD – Things will be a little different at the 68th Golden West Annual Meeting, including a new meeting time and location to simplify the schedule and allow more space for social distancing.

The meeting will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, in the gymnasium at the Wall School at 401 South Blvd. in Wall. Registration will run from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Attendees should park and enter on the west side of the building.

Precautions to Prevent COVID-19

Several other precautions are also planned to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including changes to minimize movement and up-close interaction. For example, tickets for free lunch from one of five restaurants will be distributed to those who attend the meeting and can be redeemed afterwards. Attendees will also automatically be registered for cash and gift card door prizes, including one $500 grand prize. Members must be present when name/number is drawn to win.

“Golden West encourages members and employees to practice social distancing every day, and we will take many special precautions to make it possible at the annual meeting, as well,” said Golden West General Manager and CEO Denny Law. “While we have business to conduct as an organization, keeping our members and employees safe is always of the utmost importance.”

Another schedule adjustment involves drawing for door prizes as ballots are counted in lieu of entertainment to expedite the meeting. Golden West will distribute hand sanitizer and a pen to everyone who registers, along with a registration gift. Masks will also be available.

Vote for Four Directors

During the meeting, members can influence the future of the cooperative with their vote. Four of Golden West’s 15 board seats are up for election this year with three incumbents running unopposed and four candidates vying for one open seat. All director terms are four years. Co-op members may vote in all board elections regardless of their district of residence for the following:

  • District II – Gerry Sloat, Judy Goldhammer, Ryan Kjerstad, and Tanner Handcock vie for an open seat as incumbent Rod Renner did not seek re-election. 
  • District III – Incumbent Lee Briggs runs unopposed.
  • District V – Incumbent Stu Marty runs unopposed.
  • District IX – Incumbent Jeff Nielsen runs unopposed.

Proposed Changes to Articles & Bylaws

Members will also vote on proposed changes to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. Proposed amendments to the Articles of Incorporation cover items like referring to the organization as a “Cooperative” rather than an “Association” and providing a range in the number of directors rather than a set number. Proposed amendments to the Bylaws adjust parameters for membership, member meetings and eligibility for directorship, among other things. 

Members were sent a Notice of Proposed Amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws of Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative with this year’s annual report. The notice provides a general overview explanation and details of the proposed changes.

How to Vote as Individuals, Businesses

Individual members who register and attend the annual meeting can vote for the director candidates and on the proposed changes to the articles and bylaws. Non-individual members of the cooperative, such as school districts, towns, churches, corporations, and LLCs, may name a delegate to vote on their behalf.

To do so, an Authorization to Vote form must be completed and presented during annual meeting registration. This applies to all businesses, regardless of organizational structure. Each member organization should designate a representative who is an officer, stockholder or member of their organization. The Authorization to Vote form appears in the latest issue of Horizons hitting mailboxes the week of September 16 and can be downloaded and printed from goldenwest.com/vote.

Any member requiring special accommodations to have full and equal participation in the meeting is asked to contact the Golden West business office at 1-855-888-7777 prior to the meeting.

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Since 1916, Golden West has been providing telecommunications services across the state of South Dakota. A member-owned cooperative, Golden West provides business and residential customers with advanced broadband Internet, phone and Cable TV solutions. We strive to exceed the expectations of our members so they can live, work and play in the place they choose to call home. Golden West is proud to be an equal opportunity provider and employer. Learn more at www.goldenwest.com.

Attention Businesses, Churches, School Districts, Towns, Etc.

Non-individual members of Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., such as school districts, towns, churches, corporations, and LLC's, wishing to vote at the annual meeting must complete this form and present it at the registration desk on Saturday, September 26, 2020. This includes all businesses, regardless of organizational structure. Each member organization should designate a representative who is an officer, stockholder or member of their organization.

This form must be signed by an officer or member of the governing body of the non-individual member being represented. 

Authorization to Vote Form 2020.pdf

Authorization to Vote Form.PNG

Four Director Terms to Expire at Golden West's Annual Membership Meeting

Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative members will elect four directors to its Board of Directors at the organization’s 68th Annual Meeting at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Wall High School in Wall, S.D.

The terms of four existing directors on the cooperative’s  board will expire. Members residing in the districts below who qualify under the bylaws of the cooperative, including the incumbent, may run for the upcoming 4-year term. Terms expiring this year and candidates/incumbents include:

District II

Gerry Sloat, Challenger Candidate

Gerald Sloat Picture.jpgGerry Sloat has lived in Philip almost nine years, thanks to his wife, Bobby, who is a Philip native. Together they have four children and nine grandchildren.

Gerry currently works for Philip Health Services, Inc. He is a board member for the Bad River Senior Citizens Center, a Haakon County Library Volunteer and a Senechal Park maintenance volunteer. He and bobby also own a small business in Philip. 

A Brookings County native, before moving to Philip, Gerry worked in the business end of daily newspapers in Minnesota, Iowa and Pennsylvania. While in Pennsylvania, he owned a small business, was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, served as a mayor of his borough, and was rotating chairperson of a regional police commission.

Judy Goldhammer, Challenger Candidate

Judy Goldhammer Picture.jpgJudy Goldhammer is a retired manager of the First Western Agency in Wall. She worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years in Kadoka, Philip and Wall. During that time Judy served on the Kadoka School Board and the Philip City Council. 

Judy was also elected to the board of the South Dakota State Association of Insurance Agents. She served as its president and helped the crop insurance industry become a viable partner. while she was on the board, Judy helped create the Young Agents Group and received the State Agent of the Year Award. Judy has also been active in the Wall Chamber of Commerce and on the Badlands Natural History Association Board.

Judy lives in Wall with her husband, Paul Goldhammer. She is a member of the First Lutheran and has three children and five stepchildren. 

Ryan Kjerstad, Challenger Candidate

Ryan Kjerstad Picture.jpgRyan Kjerstad is a fifth-generation ag producer in Wall. He graduated from Wall High School in 2006 and attended Northern State University for one year while playing college football. He transferred to South Dakota State University where he participated in collegiate rodeo. After receiving his bachelor's degree in Ag Business with minors in accounting and marketing, Ryan returned to the family's agricultural operations. 

Ryan has been active in the community. He has coached or played a role in youth football and basketball and high school religion courses. He has served on the Diocese of Rapid City Pastoral Council and is currently serving in his seventh year on the Wall School Board.

Ryan appreciates the opportunity to continue in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dick Kjerstad, who served on the Golden West Board of Directors from 1991 to 2004. Ryan and his wife, Amanda, have four children.

Tanner Handcock, Challenger Candidate

Tanner Handcock Picture_Page_1.jpgTanner Handcock grew up on a farm and ranch in southern Jackson County. He graduated from Kadoka High School in 1999 and received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Black Hills State University. 

Tanner and his wife, Kim moved back to Wall in 2009 when he started as a crop insurance agent with the Crew Agency, Ltd. in Cactus Flat. Tanner has served on the Wall Community Golf Board for nine years and as president for five years. He has also served as a volunteer coach for tee-ball, baseball and basketball and has served on the Greater Wall Foundation Board, the South Dakota Wheat, Inc. Board, and on the legislative committee for the Crop Insurance Professionals of America. 

Tanner and Kim have four children, Dawson, Hallie and the twins Reese and Davis. When he is not busy with kid's activities, Tanner enjoys camping, hunting, fishing and golfing with his family.

District III

Lee Briggs, Unopposed Incumbent

briggs1_2013.pngLee Briggs was first elected to the Golden West Board of Directors in September 1996. Lee graduated from Eagle Butte High School and served four years in the Marine Corps, including two tours of duty in Vietnam. After graduating from South Dakota Sate University in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science he worked for a short time in Mobridge for Farm Credit of Omaha. 

Lee and his wife, Mary, have been ranching since 1976 and have owned their northern Haakon County ranch since 2004. The Briggs' have two grown daughters, Rea and Keva, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

District V

Stewart Marty, Unopposed Incumbent

Marty2.pngStu Marty retired as a business owner in 2008 and lives in Hot Springs. He was the president of Wright Printing Co., Inc. in Normal, IL, for 25 years and before that served as executive vice president for Bruce-Green Advertising, Ltd.

Stu has served on several national and regional boards, including the Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross, PrintImage International, and the National Association of Quick Printers, to which he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership. He currently serves on the Save the VA committee and is a lifetime member of the Fall River Historical Society and the Society of the Black Hills Pioneers. He is also a member of the Jedediah Smith Corral of Westerners International. 

Stu and his wife, Karen, raised three daughters and have seven grandchildren. They enjoy gardening and visits with family. Stu enjoys rock hunting, cutting and polishing, jogging, fishing, and researching and writing about western Dakota history.

District IX

Jeff Nielsen, Unopposed Incumbent

Nielsen2.pngJeff Nielsen is a business owner from Canistota and has served on the Golden West Board since 2010.  He grew up in Viborg and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in Business Administration.   

After college, Jeff served five years in the United States Army as an Infantry Officer stationed in Germany.  After leaving the service, he moved to Dallas, TX, where he worked for Sam’s Wholesale Clubs. He returned to South Dakota to raise his family (Chloe 24, Jerad 22) and start his own business.  

Along with his wife Janine, Jeff owns and operates Total Stop Food Stores with locations in nine communities in Eastern South Dakota.  Jeff has served on the Canistota School Board, Church Council, Economic Development Committee, Good Samaritan Society, and the South Dakota Retailers Association.  Jeff is also a 25-year member of the American Legion and Canistota Lions Club.