Every year at its annual meeting, Aureon recognizes one of its shareholders, an independent telecommunications company (ITC), for inspirational leadership and contribution to economic development by awarding the company with the Ripple Effect IMPACT Award.

The purpose of the program is to recognize, celebrate, and honor ITCs who have demonstrated active, creative contributions to community and business development with a specific project that was implemented in the previous year.  Award eligibility requires making use of technical and/or financial assistance through Ripple Effect in the previous year by collaborating with local partners in the following categories:

Award / Recognition Categories – (for illustrative purposes)

  • Project development
  • Site development
  • Community development/vitality  (community projects)
  • Community planning
  • Policy development (e.g., setting up RLF, hiring ED staff, innovative community partnerships, internships)
  • Sustainable development/LEED certification
  • Marketing/tourism planning
  • Community philanthropy
  • Research, education and training

The annual award recipient is selected by Aureon and its program partner, Iowa Area Development Group and is honored at the annual Aureon shareholders meeting.


2018 Twenty-One  ITCs Honored with Impact Award null
Twenty-one independent telecommunication companies (ITCs) have been awarded the 2018 Ripple Effect IMPACT Award by Aureon and Iowa Area Development Group. All of the companies are honored for operating revolving loan funds (RLFs) that provide critical financing for business and community development in rural Iowa. Take a closer look at the map.

2017 Minburn Communications, Minburn, Woodward and Perry, Iowa
Minburn Communications was recognized for their role in helping the City of Perry achieve Certified Site status for the 134-acre industrial park and the ongoing certification process for the City of Woodward's 186-acre Eco-Park. 

2016 Sully Telephone Association, Sully, Iowa
Sully Telephone was recognized for its assistance with a USDA pass-through loan and DOT RISE grant for the City of Sully’s water and street improvements. These improvements were instrumental in helping facilitate Janco Industries’expansion into the Sully Business Park in September of 2015..

2015 Farmers Mutual (FMTC), Stanton, Iowa
FMTC was instrumental in developing the Stanton Viking Center in Stanton, a 25,350 square foot multi-purpose community center which opened in 2014. The company participated in the USDA Rural Development program to create a revolving loan fund and then loan $360,000 to the Viking Center at zero percent interest.

2014 Panora Communications Cooperative, Panora, Iowa
Panora Communications located in Panora, Iowa was awarded a $300,000 grant from USDA, created a revolving loan fund and made a $360,000 zero percent interest, pass-through loan to Lakeshore Family Dentistry in Panora.

2013 Interstate Communications, Truro, Iowa
Interstate Communications was awarded a $1,000,000 loan from USDA to make a zero percent interest, pass-through loan to C&L Companies for its expansion into rural Warren County.

2012 Winnebago Communications (WCTA), Lake Mills, Iowa
WCTA was the award recipient of a USDA zero-percent-interest pass-through loan for the North Central Iowa Rail Corridor (NCIRC) Project. WCTA used the proceeds to, in turn, loan $600,000 to NCIRC for help in purchasing the rail line from the Union Pacific and reconstruction of a rail switch in Garner.

2011 River Valley Telecommunications (RVTC), Graettinger, Iowa
Over a three-year period, RVTC used Ripple Effect matching financial assistance for loans to a small business in Ruthven, Iowa and community facility renovations in Wallingford, Iowa.

2010 Northwest Communications, Havelock, Iowa
Northwest applied for USDA financing on behalf of Country Maid, Inc. for its over $5 million expansion in West Bend, Iowa.Northwest secured a $500,000 zero percent pass-through loan for Country Maid.

2009 GRM Networks, Princeton, Mo.null
Grand River and Aureon partnered to grant $10,000 to Decatur County Development Corporation for marketing initiatives including the development of a marketing plan, laborshed study, website enhancements, and a tourism/promotion DVD which can be seen on