15 POWER TO THE PEOPLE CHAPTER ONE OPTIMISM POWERED GROWTH AT CADP AND NCDC A Million Live in ’75. When CADP General Manager Jim Lockley set a goal of adding enough Members to reach 1 million metered customers, he captured the sense of optimism and teamwork that would catapult the co-op into the future. It became a sort of rallying cry. By growing steadily, CADP could upgrade and add services while keeping per-Member costs low. CADP purchased a new Univac 90/60 mainframe in 1975 and was constructing its own building in St. Peters, a suburb of St. Louis. “There was a persistent move to fulfill the initial objective of a total management information system,” Board member Mike McBride said in a CADP retrospective. “The move to do that was a relentless, never-ending struggle. One of the keys to CADP’s success was the passion to grow.” A similar focus on growth propelled NCDC, although it was smaller in size. On its fifth anniversary in 1973, NCDC ordered a new Burroughs B-1728 mainframe, placing the co-op “on the ground floor of the latest technology available,” Manager Ben Reem reported at the Annual Meeting. The next year, NCDC recorded a positive net margin and returned to Members its first capital credit refund (the Members’ share of the net margin). Technically, the regional data processing centers were collaborators, not competitors, working by way of a gentlemen’s agreement on which states each would serve. But the need for growth caused some friction. In 1972, NCDC learned that CADP had drafted a proposal for data processing services for a co-op in Iowa. The NCDC Board of Directors sent a letter to the CADP General Manager and Board noting that Iowa was in NCDC’s service territory. “With all of the forces which have arisen along the line to deter the success of the Regional Center concept, we cannot afford to be put into a position of distrust and competition amongst each other,” they wrote. Through a lawyer, CADP said it “certainly has no intention of doing anything to weaken any other center.” Such limits would violate antitrust law, the lawyer said. While CADP wouldn’t solicit co-ops in other regions, it wouldn’t deny them service, either. NCDC and CADP continued to collaborate — and to compete. CADP did not reach “a million live in ’75,” instead attaining that milestone two years later in 1977. And by 2017, NISC served more than 800 Members representing over 14 million end customers, adding more than 1 million customer accounts in 2016 alone. “I don’t think there’s ever been a time in the almost 43 years I’ve been [at CADP and NISC] that I wasn’t optimistic about the company,” says Industry Consultant Linda Bass. Like all mainframes in the 1960s to 1980s, the Sperry Univac 90/60 processor was large but held limited memory.