Santel Cooperative

Our cooperative is collectively made up of several communities in south-east South Dakota. Through our Annual Meeting our patrons nominate and elect Directors from their communities to guide the cooperative via its Board of Directors.

The cooperative service area is primarily made up of three area districts: North, Central, and South. Each District has two Director seats on the board as well as one “at-Large” seat, for a total of seven Directors.


Richard Alt

Central District
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Richard has been on the cooperative Board of Directors since 1994 and is the current Board President.

Richard and his wife, Louise, live in the Forestburg exchange.  Richard is the owner of Alt Tax & Accounting.  He owns and operates the Country Pumper convenience store on Highway 34 as well as a custom farming operation with his son, Adam.   Richard is also on the Forestburg Farmers Elevator board and serves as board secretary.

Ruth Brodkorb

North District
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Ruth lives in Wolsey with her husband Bob and has been involved with public service for many years.  In addition to being on the Santel board since 2002, she has been Mayor of Wolsey since 1983.   She is a member of Congregational United Church, part of the Wolsey Senior Center and is President of the Nutrition Program.  She enjoys camping and fishing with her family.

Ruth feels, “It is important to have a balanced board and representation.  People have varied experiences and contributions to their communities.   Member owned cooperatives like Santel can harness and facilitate local solutions and investment.”

Jerry Jenssen

North District
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Jerry joined the board in 2015 and is currently serving as board Treasurer.  He is from the Woonsocket service area and has been a staple of the community for many years being a parent, teacher, coach, or small business owner.  He and his wife, Gloria, raised a family of 5 grown children and enjoy their 14 grandchildren immensely.

Born and raised in Woonsocket and as a longtime community member and cooperative patron, Jerry sought to be on the Santel board, “…seeking to use his talent to help the cooperative continue to grow and prosper in this fantastic telecom industry.”

Jeff Kramer

South District
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Dr. Jeff Kramer has been on the Santel board since 2002 and is currently serving as Vice President.  Jeff and his wife, Teri, operate their chiropractic practice on Main Street in Tripp and enjoy the small-town family pleasures with their son Kolter.  Jeff is very active within his profession and community.  Dr. Kramer is the current President of the South Dakota Board of Chiropractic Examiners, current member and President of the Tripp-Delmont School board, active with the Tripp Fire Department, and Parkston Youth Football.  In the past he has also been Assistance Coach and Team Physician for Tripp-Delmont-Armour football teams as well as an EMT and Director for the Tripp Ambulance Service.   Jeff’s interests include computers and any spectator sports, but most of all he enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and boating with his family.

When asked about the cooperative’s relevance, Jeff said, “The role and our dependence on technology and connectedness in our homes and businesses has expanded rapidly.  Our cooperative and board’s challenge is to make mindful, long-term community based investments where other national providers choose not to invest.”

Daniel Kurtenbach

South District
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Dan has been with our cooperative board since 2013 and is from Dimock, which is in our Parkston service area.  Dan currently serves as Santel board’s Secretary and also serves on the board of another area cooperative, Ethan Coop Lumber.  Dan and his wife, Linda, are solid supporters of the cooperative way of business:  local patronage and control; communities taking care of each other.

When asked why it is important for our cooperative to provide services, he said: “To help people get better services to meet their needs as well as the needs of our communities.”

Jeff Larson


Pam Moore

Central District
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Pam Moore, has been on the board since 1995 and is from our Artesian service area.  Dr. Pam is a Veterinarian and ranches with her husband, Jerry, and have two grown children. 


“Our cooperative is owed by the patrons that utilize the service.  Just like today’s ag production operations, we are long-term planners — in a world where technology changes very fast.”


Kent Swenson

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Kent has been on the Santel board since 1984 and is our current At-Large Director.  He lives just outside of Woonsocket and operates a family farm as well as participates in his wife’s watermelon business.   They are joined by their three grown children and their respective families in operating a very diverse and fast changing operation.  Kent has several other areas of community involvement:  T&C Fire Board treasurer, Woonsocket Community Club, St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church, and the Knights of Columbus.

When asked about the longevity of several Santel board directors, he said, “It is critical to stay on top of the technology and regulation changes and opportunities.  Our cooperative has benefited by defining and being dedicated to a long-term vision, patience, and at the same time opportunistic.”

Ryan Thompson

General Manager

Team Members

Santel is managed by a committed team of telecom professionals. Known for fast and friendly service, they always put members first.

Customer Service (Left to Right):

Aaron Roesler – Technical Support Specialist, Pam Kopfmann – Customer Service Manager, Kregg Krueger – Plant Clerk, Kim Hiemstra – Customer Account Representative, Gloria Vermeulen – Customer Account Representative, Trevor Morgan – Technical Support Specialist, Leah Scofield – Customer Account Representative, Randy Northrup Sales & Marketing Manager

Installation and Repair (Left to Right):

Scott Beekman- Installation/Repair Technician, Ryan Larson – Construction, Kelly Dahl – Senior Wireless Technician, Morrey Overby – Installation/Repair Technician, Mark Wilson – Network Operations Manager, Joe Geppert –Installation/Repair Technician, Jay Ball – Installation/Repair Technician, Tim Klaas – Installation/Repair Technician, Mark Hohn – Installation/Repair Technician

Network and Building Operations (Left to Right):

Neal Mathis – Senior Network Technician, Carl Kappel – Custodian, Mark Wilson – Network Operations Manager, Mike Bamsey- Data Network Supervisor, Don Brady – Network Technician, Wesley Robertson- Network Technician

Tech Solutions (Left to Right):

Roger Tienter- Computer Technician, Bryson Boehmer- Computer Technician, Nathan Butler- Computer Technician, Jordan Thuringer – Project Supervisor, Gloria Vavra – Computer Technician, Pedro Ibarra – Computer TechnicianScott Beukelman – Network Specialist, Colin Mann- Computer Technician, Tanner Thuringer – Computer Technician, Nathan Snyder – Computer Technician

Administration (Left to Right):

Donna Spier – Accounting Manager, Ryan Thompson – General Manager/CEO, Lori VanDenOever – Accounting Supervisor