October 1, 2016 – Marne & Elk Horn Telephone Company purchases Walnut Telephone with a stock & cash shareholder options; the companies will operate under two different brands – Marne Elk Horn Telephone Company (METC) and Walnut Communications. The new company serves 13 communities with telephone, cable & Internet services, which include Elk Horn, Marne, Kimballton, Elk Horn, Brayton, Walnut, Avoca, Shelby, Minden, Underwood, Neola, Persia & McClelland.

Employees at Time of Merger:

Janell J. Hansen - General Manager/CEO

Jill Madsen - Elk Horn Office Manager
Rachel Hamilton - Walnut & Avoca Office Manager
Diane Schaben - Accounting
LeAnne McCarthy - Marketing & Sales
Darla Ehlers - Customer Service Representative
Janice Greve - Customer Service Representative
Michelle Jens - Customer Service Representative
Sue Mardesen - Customer Service Representative
Marlene Nelsen - Customer Service Representative
Tonya Olesen - Customer Service Representative

Bruce Poldberg - Plant Manager
Jim Lindgren - Internet Manager
James Bieker - Central Office Technician
Terry McCarthy - Central Office Technician
Jordan Jacobsen - Outside Plant
Jimmy McCarthy - Outside Plant
Loren McDermott - Outside Plant
Shannon Miller - Outside Plant

Noel Leistad - Internet Systems Administrator
Rob Sampson - Media

Jared Ploen - Construction
Jason Wood - Construction

Board of Directors at Time of Merger:

Bryan Clemsen - President, Brayton
Devin Moeller - Vice President, Marne
Larry Petersen - Treasurer, Elk Horn
Bernard Kaltoft - Secretary, Kimballton
Terry Petersen - Elk Horn
Peggy Leader - Elk Horn
Eric Juelsgaard - Kimballton
Rex Sievers - Walnut
Daniel Petersen - Walnut

February 2017 – Final rural Walnut customer is connected to the Fiber network

May 2017 – Contractors Quality Construction are brought in to begin the Fiber to the Home project for in-town Walnut residents

Summer 2017 – Conversion installs for Brayton residents are taking place, final customer is connected in November 2017; Elk Horn, Kimballton, Brayton & Marne are all 100% fiber connected.  The Fiber to the Home Project which began in 2011 is now complete!

January 2018 – The company begins to use Marne Elk Horn as brand name and introduces a new logo

January 2018 – Fiber to the Home installations begin in the town of Walnut, customers are cutover using the Genbandswitch in Elk Horn; this project’s estimated cost is $3.5 million