A man of 'Dedication'
DirectLink held a celebration to dedicate the new Don Peterson Boardroom to the late Canby Telephone Association (CTA) board member, Don Peterson, on Jan. 11.
Peterson served on the CTA board for 27 years. He was elected to the board in 1988 and served as secretary/treasurer from 1990-1998 and then as board chairman from 1998 until his passing in 2015. Peterson was a strong guiding force for the company and throughout the telecommunication and Internet industry. A pharmacist by trade and owner of the former Parson's Canby Pharmacy, board members remarked that he "moonlighted" as a student of telecommunication technology.
Peterson is considered a visionary leader of the CTA board. He guided fellow board members with management assistance in establishing policies and projects including, but not limited to, cable television, internet, infrastructure development, fiber deployment, budgeting, expansion and improvement of services as well as strategic planning. At all times during his board career he emphasized that the success of this local cooperative depended upon the skills of its employees.
Peterson's successor and current CTA board chairman Roger Reif said during a short speech at the event, "I value the opportunity I had to observe his skills, leadership and vision."
"I once asked Don how he became so knowledgeable on the [technology] subject. He responded by saying he read all newspaper and magazine articles he encountered, would ask many questions of staff and management, and he tried to understand the vision behind mega-companies and competitors' actions," Reif added.
Current and former employees, board members, Peterson family members from around the United States and local business owners attended the short ceremony at 190 SE Second Avenue.
In addition to his work on the Canby Telcom Board, Peterson was also involved in many local boards and committees including the Canby Chamber of Commerce, Canby Rotary, Canby Kids and Canby Merchants Association.
Peterson was born in 1941 in Fargo, N.D. but then grew up in the Portland area and graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in pharmacy. He met his wife Peggy while attending college and they married in 1964. He devoted countless hours toward community service in the Canby community and purchased Parson's Canby Pharmacy in 1971.