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Linda Gott Honored as the 2024 Recipient of the Ernie Bolz Memoriam Award

Olympia, WA, March 13, 2024 – We are delighted to announce Linda Gott as the 2024 Ernie Bolz Memoriam Award recipient. In its fourth year, the Ernie Bolz Memoriam Award annually recognizes extraordinary contributions and selfless commitment to the mission of enhancing telecommunications services for Washington State.

With a distinguished career spanning over 24 years, Linda Gott has not only served as the longest-tenured President of the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) Board of Directors but also holds the distinction of being the third-longest-serving commissioner in Mason PUD 3 history. Her profound contributions and tireless advocacy have established her as a standard-bearer in shaping policies prioritizing community interests in the telecommunications space statewide.

Linda and Ernie worked closely as commissioners and in their roles at NoaNet. “They shared the same passion for helping people in unserved and underserved communities across the state.” Don Cohen, long-time general counsel for NoaNet commented. “They were effective advocates. They never promoted themselves but kept the focus on serving our communities.”

Throughout her tenure, Linda’s steady leadership guided NoaNet through periods of growth and transition, ensuring resilience and strength.

NoaNet owes a great debt of gratitude to Linda Gott for her perseverance and unwavering commitment, navigating both moments of triumph and challenges with equal resolve.  Linda “helped this organization stay on a path of growth… and sometimes it was not easy.” Former NoaNet CTO Rob Kopp shared. “She was always that calm, professional, quiet strength that kept us together and progressing.”

Linda Gott’s tenure as a steadfast advocate and policy architect has left an indelible mark on the telecommunications landscape in Washington. Her unwavering dedication to broadband access for rural communities has yielded tangible benefits, evident in the exceptional utility rates and reliability of Mason PUD 3 services.

Under her stewardship, significant progress has been made in expanding rural high-speed broadband access, bridging the digital divide, and fostering economic growth.

While her achievements are too numerous to list comprehensively, Linda’s unparalleled leadership and steadfast dedication truly set her apart. Her legacy as a champion for Mason PUD 3 and the NoaNet organization will resonate for generations to come.

After the resolution was read and approved unanimously by the NoaNet board of directors, memories, congratulations, and sentiments were shared by the group. Resounding themes included Linda’s calm, persistent, and forward-thinking leadership style, her dedication to the mission and vision of the NoaNet organization, and her heartfelt appreciation for her personal and professional presence over her years of service.

Linda Gott (center) holding the Ernie Bolz Award plaque with Mason PUD 3 representatives. The plaque will be displayed at NoaNet’s Network Operations Center in Spokane Valley.

The Award, established in tribute to the late Mr. Ernie Bolz, former PUD commissioner at Okanogan PUD and dedicated rural broadband advocate, honors his enduring legacy. Ernie’s reputation as a “soft-spoken visionary” continues to influence the success of NoaNet and its stakeholders. The NoaNet Board pays homage to his memory through this Memoriam Award.

Previous recipients of the Ernie Bolz Award include Jim Sanders of Benton PUD, Fred Mitchell of Clallam PUD, and Doug Miller of Pacific County.

Join us in congratulating Linda Gott on this well-deserved honor for her exemplary service to the mission of enhancing telecommunications services for Washington State.