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February 28, 2024

Accord Enters Next Phase – Raises Additional Funding, Adds Formal Leadership Team and Four New Member Owner Companies

25 Local Rural Service Providers Team up to Bridge the Middle-mile Digital Divide with Accord Telecommunications Collaborative

Indianapolis, IN – Accord Telecommunications Collaborative, LLC, a middle-mile provider serving the Midwest with a dedicated team of 25 member-owners, signals the start of its next developmental chapter. This pivotal phase sees the appointment of new board leadership and the introduction of its inaugural executive staff.  The initiative is now bolstered by additional operating capital and the addition of four new member owners.

In the latter half of 2023, Accord added Decatur County REMC, Joink LLC, Northeastern REMC, and Warren County REMC as new members. The organizations complement Accord’s existing membership, solidifying its network with a total of 25 local, rural service providers.

With these new members, Accord is not only expanding its network footprint within Indiana, but also executing the next step in its long-term strategic vision.  Accord is now leveraging member assets in Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan, and is actively pursuing relationships with potential partners in other states as well.

“We joined Accord to collaborate with other similar-minded providers who are committed to enhancing and expanding broadband services,” said Joshua J Zuerner, President and CEO of Joink, LLC.  “Through our membership in Accord, we intend to win wholesale opportunities in our footprint, enhance the redundancy of our existing network – especially in our most rural markets, and expand to new markets where it makes sense. We are appreciative of the support of our board and investors to pursue this exciting multi-state initiative,” added Zuerner.

From its Martinsville base in central Indiana, Accord is bringing a new level of collaboration to the state and the nation, representing a willing mix of 25 members working together to provide reliable services through unique fiber-optic routes. Accord members are independent broadband providers, traditional telephone companies, traditional electric cooperatives, and electric cooperatives that also provide broadband.

Per its operating agreement, Accord annually elects board officers.  On December 14, 2023, the Accord board of directors elected Ross Ferson as its Board Chairman, Tony Clark its Vice-Chairman, and John Sturm its Secretary-Treasurer.

Ferson is Vice President of Business Development, Innovation and Technology at NineStar Connect and Clark is the CEO and General Manager of SEI Communications.  Sturm is the CEO of JCREMC and the President of JCFiber.  Together they represent a diverse leadership team focused on meeting Accord’s member needs while delivering on the Accord vision.

“It is a great honor to serve as Accord’s board chair.  So much has been accomplished, and I look forward to riding our momentum forward to the next phases of Accord’s success,” said Ferson.

On January 1, 2024, the Accord board of managers named James Tanneberger as its first Chief Executive Officer and Jerry Haver as its Vice President of Operations and Business Development.  Tanneberger and Haver bring a unique mix of business acumen and industry experience to Accord’s leadership team.

In Tanneberger, Accord adds a CEO experienced in business development and project management having previously developed internet service providers, in 1999 and SCI Fiber in 2018.  He is also President and CEO of South Central Indiana REMC. 

In Haver, Accord adds over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry with a focus on middle-mile networks.  He too has participated in the formation of three successful telecommunications service providers, giving him the needed technical, business, and leadership experience to move Accord forward as Vice President of Operations and Business Development. 

“It has been a real pleasure working with our members to improve connectivity in rural Indiana.  Together, we are collaborating and forming a new business model that is bringing improved connectivity to rural Indiana, the mid-west, and beyond,” said Haver.

Accord recently completed a major capital call to raise funding for its operations.  To date, Accord is fully funded by cash from its members and expects to be self-sufficient within four years.    

“We are pleased that our members recognize and support our vision to collaborate to create a middle-mile network made up of local providers who know and care about their territories.  We are a long-haul network with local, rural reach throughout, and that is what makes our network special,” said Tanneberger.


About Accord Telecommunications Collaborative, LLC
Accord is owned by 25 service providers who provide critical and life-enhancing services to their communities. Accord and its owners maintain thousands of miles of fiber, ready to provide access to telecom providers and robust services to business customers. Visit, email, or call (765) 343-9310 for additional information.

About Decatur County REMC
Founded in 1938, Decatur County REMC is proudly located in Greensburg, Indiana, and it is a member-owned electric cooperative. It manages over 1,060 miles of electric line and serves members in Bartholomew, Decatur, Franklin, Jennings, Ripley, and Rush counties. To learn more, visit

About Joink, LLC
Founded in 2001, Joink is a trusted technology solutions provider offering high-speed Internet, hosting, technology services, and managed IT services. Joink partners with industry-leading vendors to deliver advanced solutions. Joink has over 1,000 route miles of its own underground conduit and fiber. In 2021, Joink received a growth capital investment from DIF Capital Partners to rapidly expand and densify its fiber to the home offering throughout its growing footprint in west central Indiana and central Illinois. To learn more, visit

About Northeastern REMC
Northeastern REMC got its start in 1936, first named Whitley County REMC.  In 1986 the name was changed to Northeastern REMC to reflect the company’s expansion into Allen County.  Today, Northeastern REMC provides electric services to more than 33,000 members on more than 2,200 miles of line in six northeastern Indiana counties.  The company installed a significant fiber optic communications backbone and is now leveraging that network to add to Accord’s middle-mile footprint and help provide a better tomorrow for rural Hoosiers. To learn more, visit

About Warren County REMC
Warren County REMC is a member-owned electric power cooperative that serves more than 4,800 members in Warren County, Indiana. To learn more, visit