Ronald Choura was not only an instrumental part of Allband’s history but is one of two people who technically “started” the Cooperative. Ron held two professional positions which both impacted Allband as he was a long-time public servant with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and adjunct faculty with the Michigan State University Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media. When John Reigle, Allband’s President and Founder originally tried and failed to obtain traditional phone service from GTE in Allband’s service territory, it was Ron Choura who he first spoke with about the issue at the MPSC! After much discussion, it was Ron who basically told John that he would have to start his own phone company if he was going to get phone service any time soon. Well guess what? Here we are! Allband and its community owes Ron a tremendous amount of gratitude for his dedication to our mission. Ron spent endless hours working with Allband’s founders and management to navigate the challenging early years of the Cooperative’s creation. We could not have done it without him! His ingenuity, knowledge of the telecommunication industry, passion for the constituents of our State and support of the MSU students who helped start Allband almost twenty years ago can hardly be recognized with simple words. He was a rural broadband pioneer, an amazing teacher, a dedicated public servant, a wealth of knowledge and more importantly an unbelievably generous and kind man.
“Ron – the Allband team and our community will remain forever thankful for all that you did. You were taken too soon, but in some way, we know that you still smile down on us with humble pride. When I think of my time at MSU, it is hard not to think about you. You were a great mentor and friend, and I will always cherish the long conversations we had in the classroom, in the M-SITE lab and especially during those long trips up north to the area I now reside and work in. Your legacy will always be a part of Allband and my life. Thank you. – Ron Siegel, GM (October 2021)