Ribbon Cutting and Celebration at East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative
Ribbon cutting at ECOEC Headquarters.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Board Member Jim Meek, accompanied by Farm Bureau Agent Jim Hall and Board Member Larry Harvey, presents an award to ECOEC General Manager Tim Smith.
Board President Lowell Hobbs shakes hands with Representative-Elect Chris Banning.
Ribbon Cutting at ECOEC Headquarters

East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative invited state senators and representatives for an afternoon of celebration at their newly expanded headquarters in Okmulgee Friday.

The expansion project began in August 2021 as the result of the rapid growth of East Central’s fiber broadband subsidiary ecoLINK.

Construction of ecoLINK fiber began in March 2019, and by August 2022, ecoLINK reached a milestone of over 10,000 connections.

East Central embarked upon the facility expansion to accommodate the increase in employees and warehousing required to complete the ecoLINK fiber project over two years ahead of schedule. The building expansion was completed under budget and in less time than projected.

In addition to those elected officials present, Jim Meek, member of the Oklahoma Broadband Governing Board, spoke during the luncheon about the State of Oklahoma’s goal to serve 95 percent of Oklahoma with adequate broadband internet by June of 2028.

“I’ve talked to many telecom companies that have said they need state support to make a profit providing quality broadband service to rural areas at the end of the line,” Meek said. “I hold East Central and ecoLINK up as an example to the state. If you can provide quality internet connection in Hichita, Oklahoma, or out by Dripping Springs Lake, it’s possible to reach everyone in the state.”

In his capacity as a Director of The Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Meek also presented an award to East Central General Manager Tim Smith, “for his efforts in rural economic development through expansion of broadband internet services in Okmulgee County.”

Following the presentation, elected officials, the East Central Board of Trustees, members of the East Central staff and representatives of PARIC Construction gathered to celebrate East Central and ecoLINK’s accomplishments with a ribbon cutting for the new facility.

Ribbon Cutting at ECOEC Headquarters in Okmulgee
LEFT TO RIGHT: Cooperative Building Solutions Craig Wall, State Representative-Elect Chris Banning, Katy Banning, ECE Manager of Operations Jerome Robert, ECE Trustee Larry Harvey, ECE Executive Assistant Genie Trammell, ECE Director of Corporate Services Gary Creekmore, ECE Trustee Dwight Luther, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Director Jim Meek, ECE Director of Accounting Teresa Sparks, ECE Trustee Jay Emerson, ECE Trustee Jim Hall, State Representative Scott Fetgatter, ECE General Manager Tim Smith, ECE Board President Lowell Hobbs, Donna Hobbs, ECE Director of Broadband Services Jeremy Hendrickson, Phyllis Shoemake, ECE Trustee Max Shoemake, ECE Manager of Member Relations Katherine Russell, State Senator-Elect Todd Gollihare, ECE Trustee Mike Vernnon, PARIC Construction Engineer Alex Kreikemeier, PARIC Construction Superintendent Jason Skinner.