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In Memory of BEK Director Richard Hausauer

Posted 9/13/12 (Thu)

Friends and family gathered on Monday, September 3, 2012 to celebrate the life of Richard Hausauer who passed away of natural causes on August 29, 2012.  Mr. Hausauer was a board member for BEK Communications Cooperative for 32 years and BEK offers its heartfelt gratitude to Richard and his family for the time he devoted to the cooperative.

On June 4, 1980, Richard Hausauer won the BEK Communications Cooperative District I directorship election by a landslide.  District 1 includes the exchanges of Regan, Sterling, McKenzie, Wilton and Wing.  At his first board meeting in 1980, Richard joined incumbent District I directors, John Trygg and Albert Dronen.   At that time, John Trygg was Board President and he had been a director for 28 years while Albert Dronen had served for seven years.  Imagine how valuable it was for Director Hausauer to serve on the board (and represent his district) with Mr.Trygg, one of the original board members who helped build the cooperative under his philosophies and principles.   In 1980 the two main sources of revenue for BEK were local and long distance telephone services.  Under the guidance and direction of its Board of Directors, like Richard Hausauer, BEK has evolved into a multi-faceted communications company.  

In his 32 year BEK board member career, Richard was involved in several crucial conversations and decisions.  It was these decisions that changed the face of BEK and advanced the coop from a telephone company to a leader in the communications industry by offering some pretty impressive services and revenue transformations such as:

  • The purchase of new property and the design and construction of a new BEK facility in 1994.
  • The US West acquisition of Steele, Napoleon, Lehr, Linton, Wishek and Zeeland in 1996 adding six exchanges to BEK’s existing 12 exchanges and the addition of more than 3600 access lines.
  • The purchase of DirecTV services and then the later profitable sale of this investment.
  • The first Fiber to the Home construction in 2004 to nearly 100% completion in 2012 of BEK Fiber to all BEK customers.
  • The purchase and development of a new business subsidiary in 2006  – BEK Business Solutions headquartered in Bismarck, N.D.
  • Developing local TV content to broadcast high school games in the BEK exchanges and later expand to add broadcast partners in order to broadcast games throughout North Dakota and produce additional revenue for BEK.
  • The acquisition of Midcontinent services in Napoleon, Linton, Wishek, Lehr, Zeeland and Wilton in 2008.
  • The application of a federal stimulus grant to expand BEK services to its new Rural Bismarck exchange to provide new revenue for BEK and encourage growth opportunities.
  • Introducing two new services in 2012: BEK Spyder Talk and BEK Spyder Webwatch.

Richard served as the BEK Communications Cooperative Board of Director President for nine years.  He also represented BEK by serving on the board of the North Dakota Association of Telephone Cooperatives (NDATC) for 13 years and also held the office of NDATC President from 1989 to 1994.

“Richard was a director with great clarity of vision and he held the management team to the highest of standards and accountability,” says Derrick Bulawa, CEO/General Manager.  “His conviction will be missed.”