Governor Kim Reynolds appoints Ray Warner to the Empower Rural Iowa Connect Task Force

On September 1, 2022, Ray Warner, Aureon's Manager of Industry Affairs was appointed by Governor Reynolds as a member of the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative.

Articles published September 14, 2022

Ray Warner from Aureon appointed to Empower Rural Iowa Connect Task Force

The Governor’s initiative was created in 2018 in partnership with the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC) and is co-chaired by Lt. Governor Adam Gregg and IRDC Chair Sandy Ehrig. According to the Iowa economic development webpage (https://www.iowaeda.com/empower-rural-iowa/) the Empower Rural Iowa Act created three task forces with distinct missions:

  • Growing Rural Iowa Task Force – leadership development in rural communities, creating welcoming communities, and attracting and retaining residents or workers.
  • Investing in Rural Iowa Task Force – rural housing shortage, derelict and dilapidated buildings, online business presence, business transition planning, and entrepreneurship.
  • Connecting Rural Iowa Task Force – financing broadband connectivity, leveraging connectivity, and remote worker readiness.

As a newly selected member of the Connecting Rural Iowa Task Force Ray said, “I’m extremely thankful to Governor Reynolds for the opportunity to serve on the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. The task force has made great strides in providing reliable and affordable broadband to the businesses and residents of rural Iowa, but there’s plenty of work left to do. I’m proud to be part of the effort. I hope to leverage my well-rounded background to make the task force successful.”

In a career that has spanned forty-two years, Warner has held a variety of roles in the telecom industry, from small telephone companies to Fortune 500 corporations, he is in his ninth year with telecom and broadband provider Aureon, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Aureon CEO Scott Behn says of Warner, “­­Ray is consistently working hard to find ways to help Iowans get access to future-proof technology. We’re extremely proud, but not at all surprised that Governor Reynolds would appoint Ray for this role.”

As an integral part of Governor Reynolds's Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, the Connecting Rural Iowa Task Force is expanding broadband access to rural communities to support high-tech jobs, agriculture, education, and local economies for numerous opportunities for growth. The continued investment in Iowa’s small towns creates a profound impact on the state of Iowa and on the people that live there. Ray says, “It is imperative that I not only be a member of this Task Force but be a strong contributor and not only make our Governor pleased with her appointment but to properly and proudly serve the great state of Iowa, the ITCs, and Aureon.