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ETCOG Wins Impact Award from National Member Organization for Regional Broadband Planning Initiative
Kilgore, TX, December 4, 2023 – The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) has received a 2023 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for its Regional Broadband Planning Initiative. ETCOG’s grassroots Broadband Planning Initiative involved working with each county over the past three years to identify and prioritize critical broadband needs, resulting in a comprehensive plan consisting of up to six projects per county, along with the necessary budgets to seek funds for implementation.

“On behalf of the East Texas Council of Governments, the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and staff, I am thrilled our organization received this well-deserved recognition,” said ETCOG Executive Director David Cleveland. “With this project, our aim has been to build county-level plans to bridge the digital divide, ensuring that we have a strategy to enable high-speed internet access to become a reality for underserved communities throughout the region. It has resulted in 65 total projects being planned in East Texas! I am incredibly proud of our team for their work on this initiative.”

NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. The Impact Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.

Award-winning projects were recognized during NADO’s 2023 Annual Training Conference, held in Cleveland, Ohio, last month. The 2023 class of award recipients consists of 107 projects from 71 organizations spanning 28 states. These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO that includes project summaries, partners, and images. The Story Map is available online at

“NADO’s Impact Awards program provides a yearly opportunity for us to publicly commend the indispensable services delivered by our members to their local communities,” said 2022-2023 NADO President Chris Fetzer, Executive Director of the Northern Arizona Council of Governments, located in Flagstaff, AZ. “These projects not only made positive impacts in their respective regions, but also underscore the incredible diversity of programs and resources offered by regional development organizations that promote vibrant, resilient, and thriving communities.”

The NADO Impact Awards are presented in honor of the late Aliceann Wohlbruck, who was NADO’s first Executive Director and served 24 years as a champion for regional approaches to economic development in rural communities.

About NADO

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) promotes public policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through the regional strategies, coordination efforts, and program expertise of the nation’s regional development organizations. Learn more about NADO at


The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts and special districts within the fourteen-county East Texas region. ETCOG assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. Established in 1970, ETCOG, either directly, or through its contractors, provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers, and job seekers. ETCOG and its contractors also build the 9-1-1 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training and homeland security planning services; and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs, and environmental grant funding for the region.

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