Bob Thomason is this year’s 2007 Rend Lake College Foundation Presidential Award winner. Thomason is General Manager of Hamilton County Telephone Cooperative and its subsidiaries which are the co-host of the RLCF Foundation Annual Dinner for the second year in a row. Joining this year, is co-sponsor Peoples National Bank.

The Presidential Award is given to a RLC Foundation Board Member who has provided exceptional service over an extended period of time.

Although Thomason has only served on the RLCF Board of Directors for a little more than a year now, the corporations he heads have been long-time contributors to the college’s cause.

The Hamilton County Telephone Co-op, Hamilton County Long Distance, Inc., and Hamilton County Communications, Inc., are recognized as major contributors to the Foundation student scholarship program and Children’s Center.

“[Thomason] shows a true caring of the people in this area, Rend Lake College, and helps through his leadership role with a tremendously fast growing company,” said RLCF CEO Pat Kern.

Thomason grew up in Carmi and attended Southeastern Illinois Junior College. Before joining the ranks at the cooperative in 1976, he worked as an assistant manager at Crown Finance and at Automatic Electric. He is a community college alumn who has received a certificate for Excellence In Leadership in 2003 and 2005 from the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association. Through his cooperation, Rend Lake College and Hamilton County Telephone Coop and its Subsidiaries were able to participate in a state-wide Digital Divide Grant which provides computer and internet classes to rural areas at no cost. The number of community participants attending these classes exceeded the first semester goals.

“Bob Thomason humbly gives the Hamilton County Telephone Cooperative and its Subsidiaries board recognition,” Kern added. “Thank you for your leadership role in recommending to your board that Rend Lake College students’ annual scholarships be increased to help more Hamilton County students and in co-sponsoring the last two Foundation Annual Dinners.”

Thomason has a wife, Mary, who teaches at Marion High School and two daughters, Shelda and Beth, who work as a teacher in Zeigler and a registered nurse in Carbondale, respectively. Thomason also has three grandchildren; Sydney, Trinity and Jacob.

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