TDS Telecom associate celebrates 45 years with company
CORINNA, Maine – A local TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS®) associate is celebrating a major milestone as he enters his 45th year with the company.
Rick Palmer, a field service technician based in Corinna, Maine, started full time Jan. 1, 1977, after getting initial experience while in high school.
Throughout the years that followed, Palmer saw many changes to the industry he grew up in—rotary phones early on, the digital switch in the 1980s with touch-tone and calling features, and then dial-up internet decades later. While he’s held different titles over the years, Palmer has always been passionate about being in the field and performing all aspects of install repair. This has included line construction, setting poles, splicing, and assisting in outages – even repairing broken poles in the middle of the night.
However, one thing that has been consistent throughout his 45-year career is Rick’s love for his community.
“I’ve always liked being close to the customer. Interacting with them and solving a challenging trouble has always been rewarding to me,” Palmer said.
Palmer was essentially born into the telecommunications industry. His father, Carl, was the general manager of West Penobscot Telephone and Telegraph. Some of his earliest and fondest memories of the industry are going on ride-alongs with his father to address outages or make repairs.
Some of the major projects he worked on include bringing telephone service to Isle-au-Haut in 1988 and helping the region recover from the Great Ice Storm of 1998. When reflecting on what has made his long career so special, Palmer pointed to his fellow TDS associates.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a knowledgeable group of skilled field techs and support staff over the years, which has really made the work enjoyable,” Palmer said. “We put in a lot of long hours together, and at times it’s felt like my home away from home.”
“We’re so fortunate to have dedicated associates like Rick. For over four decades, Rick has helped Maine communities grow and residents stay connected to the world. We can’t thank Rick enough for his years of service to TDS and his community,” said Andrew Buchert, TDS Telecom vice president of Field Services.