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Ellen Hsu and Rita Bolden celebrate 25 years at NTCA.

Twenty-five years ago, major changes were revolutionizing the telecommunications industry. The FCC issued its decision to leave enhanced services unregulated, and Hewlett-Packard released its first personal computer. Later in the decade, Bell operating companies were forced to divest; the U.S. had its first cellular subscriber; and the world was wowed by the completion of the first transatlantic fiber optic cable.

Rita Bolden and Ellen Hsu witnessed these transformations as first-year employees at NTCA. Today, 25 years later, the association is still graced by their dedication to its ideals and their pleasant dispositions. The legal and administrative coordinator and accounting manager, respectively, these women were honored at an April 1 luncheon to celebrate their milestones.

"It is amazing how much has changed in 25 years," said Bolden. "Technology has improved productivity in the office, and e-mail has revolutionized the way the legal and industry division conducts business." Long before the Internet, she recalled the early days of using a typewriter to complete filings and having to hand-deliver them to the FCC.

Bolden began her career at NTCA as an administrative secretary and then became the legal secretary. She said she has enjoyed the expansion of her responsibilities over the years. Today, she provides the main administrative and logistical support to the association's attorneys.

"NTCA is fortunate to have an employee like Rita because her dedication to the association is unwavering," said Marie Guillory, vice president of legal and industry affairs. "She is the consummate professional, and we can depend on her to take initiative and put her heart and mind at work in everything she does."

A self-professed "people person," Bolden said she enjoys her interaction with NTCA members and her co-workers. "Our members are very special," she said. "My heart goes out to them and their style of living. I truly enjoy working for this association, and I appreciate the time that I've been able to spend with staff."

Quite similarly, Hsu was recognized for her devotion to the association. "The first word that comes to mind when I think about Ellen Hsu is 'inspirational' ... because of her commitment to NTCA in general and to her job in particular," said Lisa Schweitzer, vice president of finance and internal operations. "She is one of those employees who you know will get the job done, no matter what the circumstances or obstacles."

Hsu said she also is impressed by the changes in the association over the past 25 years. "NTCA has undertaken greater, more ambitious missions for its membership, and the responsibilities and duties of each department have expanded greatly."


Although she began her career at NTCA as a clerk/typist, with the primary responsibility of coordinating finances in preparation for the annual meeting, Hsu worked her way up to accounting manager, a position she has held for the past 12 years.

Described by her colleagues as an extremely dedicated and unassuming independent worker, Hsu attributes both her personal success, as well as NTCA's accomplishments, to the spirit of cooperation that pervades the association.

"As a team, we can accomplish a great deal for our members because NTCA has great leadership. I try to do my part--be it small or large," she said. "The experience and expertise of our long time staff members balances perfectly with the fresh ideas and courage of our new, younger employees."

It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Rita and Ellen on their 25th anniversaries with NTCA.

By Megan O'Donnell, NTCA Communications Intern
COPYRIGHT 2005 National Telephone Cooperative Association
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:O'Donnell, Megan
Publication:The Exchange
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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