45 A PARTNERSHIP BUILT ON TRUST CHAPTER TWO ative (NRTC) — in conjunction with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, CFC and several rural utilities. Hobson served as NRTC’s first Board President. NRTC’s goal was to provide telecommunications guidance and resources for electric cooperatives. The originating directors of NRTC saw the coming of new telecommunications and IT services that when integrated would help rural electric operations, and NRTC would help them do so. Hobson also oversaw the expansion of CADP’s offices, strong growth in Membership,andsolidfinancialresults.Butasthenewmillenniumapproached and computing changed dramatically, Hobson looked for guidance to ensure Members would continue to control their own technological future. He listened to the advice of John Doggett, a management expert at the University of Texas Austin, and Steve Collier, an engineer and consultant in the utility industry, who advocated for the merger of regional data processing centers. When NISC formed in 2000, Hobson agreed to take the helm and lead the organization through its difficult transition — and then retire in 2002. Doggett was surprised and impressed by Hobson’s selfless decision and commitment to sharing leadership. “There seemed to be a true partnership [between Hobson and his successor, Vern Dosch,” says Doggett. “That decision was absolutely crucial for the ability of the organization to make this transition successfully.” As it turns out, Hobson wasn’t ready to fully retire from working with cooperatives, assisting them in two additional ways. Through NRECA, he serves as an executive recruiter helping facilitate management searches for rural electrics. And, after overseeing the construction of a new $18 million NISC headquarters building in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, he launched a new career in facility consulting. As Chairman of Cooperative Building Solutions today, he’s in his element — helping cooperatives. “In the cooperative model, these shared values are not a check on the profit margin,” as they might be at another tech company, says Software Specialist Matthew Leidholm. “They are a reminder that we’re here for our Members.” Mid-morning on an unseasonably warm fall day, the cubicles that make up the Blue Team are quiet except for the staccato tapping of computer keys. NISC Support Specialist Bryan Drilling sees the scrolling bar across the top of his screen turn from green to yellow. A call is coming in from Nikki Wilson at Trico Electric Cooperative in Marana, Arizona. He quickly After “retiring” from NISC, Gary Hobson started Cooperative Building Solutions, which has overseen the construction of more than 40 rural electric office facilities since 2009.