1. The Telephone Hall of Fame was founded in 1965 by a group of Pioneers who envisioned a special way of recognizing individuals in the industry who contribute not only to their company, but to the industry at large; a forum where excellence is rewarded by colleagues, employers and the leaders in telecommunications. By establishing the Hall of Fame, they accomplished their goals. The Hall of Fame Honors Committee now exists, and is more vibrant than ever. By meeting the criteria set forth by the Committee,  individuals are considered for the Hall of Fame.

    The accomplishments of those inducted into the Telephone Hall of Fame truly represent an unmatched insight into the development and growth of telephony. This industry has made a significant contribution to the nation's private and public sectors and the lifestyle of its people, especially in the rural areas. These successes also serve as a standard to which present and future generations can aspire.

    Nominations to the Hall of Fame are made from among those persons who have made positive and substantial contributions to the development, growth, and public perception of the telephone industry, on a national scale, over a period of many years.

    To be eligible, an individual must have reached age 70, be retired from the industry for at least three years, or be deceased.

  2. 2021 Hall of Fame Inductee



    D. Wayne Peterson

    A visionary who also sought practical applications, D. Wayne Peterson instituted a host of innovations in the companies for which he served that found their way into Independent telephone companies everywhere. He has been elected to the Telephone Hall of Fame of the Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association and will be inducted at the Association’s next annual Assembly at a time and place to be determined. 

    The 100-year old association with headquarters in Hinesville, GA began in 1965 to recognize individuals who had made “outstanding contributions to the Independent (non-Bell) telecommunications industry.” The accomplishments of those inducted represent an unmatched insight into the development and growth of the Independent telecommunications industry which makes a significant contribution in the nation’s private and public sectors and lifestyle of its people, especially in rural areas.  ITPA has now honored 104 Hall of Famers, most recently the late Eleanor G, Haskin of Waitsfield, VT in 2019.

    Peterson’s distinguished 40-year career began in 1957 with a nine-year grounding in telephony at Southwestern States Telephone Company in Texas (Southwestern Bell in 1964). He was recruited in 1968 by United Telecommunications Inc. as Assistant Vice President-Revenues with management responsibilities in division of revenues, cost analysis and revenue planning. When the position of VP-Marketing was created, it went to Peterson. One of those to whom Peterson reported, retired Vice Chairman Raymond Alden (Hall of Fame 1994) says in 2020:  “Wayne was among the strongest of my staff. He did his job well and was highly respected throughout the United System.”

    So respected that in March 1980 Peterson at age 44 was appointed president and CEO of, arguably, the crown jewel of holding company United’s operating telcos: Carolina Telephone Company in Tarboro, NC. It was in the next 13 years that Peterson left his largest footprint.

    A time of great change for telephone companies, momentum was advancing on the fronts of digital and fiber optic technology and competitive marketing in new communications products. Peterson grasped all three and led CT in meeting these and other challenges. One former employee, George Dudley, recalls: “When I think of Peterson, what keeps coming back to me are the ‘big picture’ things—how his forward-mindedness guided us into the emerging future. He was at the helm as we navigated huge regulatory and competitive challenges.”  For instance:

    **By 1993 the company was 100% digital switching having invested $390 million.  Peterson’s annual construction budget during the period was over $100 million annually, remarkable for the times.

    **Determined to mine the resources of his employee-force to improve overall quality, Wayne created an award-winning Quality Circle Program, beginning in 1981 with a steering committee and six pilot circles. By 1993 there were over 100 circles of employee work groups involved in decision-making.  The company’s annual Quality Conference lasting a week involved more than 2000 employees and became a model for other telcos.

    **Peterson recognized the need for Independents to be politically involved as the industry evolved to a more competitive business. He was instrumental in creating a governmental affairs effort within the North Carolina Independent Telephone Association that drafted and obtained legislation that eased the telco transition into a competitive market. North Carolina in many instances had a head start before changes made at the federal level in such changes as long distance deregulation, price regulation, local exchange deregulation.

    **Trading on his experience in marketing back in United System corporate, he pushed training employees to become sales people rather than just order takers, an emphasis other telcos took to heart from the successful CT&T example.

    Shortly after Carolina Tel’s parent company, United Telecommunications, was changed to Sprint Corporation, Peterson in 1992 was placed in charge of Sprint Mid-Adlantic Telecom which embraced United’s properties in the Southeast as well as the acquired Centel telephone companies in the region. 

    A year later (1993) his leadership skill was rewarded in beings named head of Sprint’s Local Telecommunications Division in Kansas City, MO. He became responsible for all of Sprint’s U.S. local service telephone companies, including Carolina Tel.  Three years later (1996), Peterson was appointed president of National Integrated Services until his retirement in 1997.

    Not to be overlooked over the years was Peterson’s exemplary contributions to the communities in which he lived and served. Over time he was on the boards of 14 civic organizations, 10 different educational institutions, a half dozen other non-profits and three bank directorships. His awards too numerous to list include the U.S. Army’s highest civilian award: Commander’s Award for Public Service in 1993 from the hand of Fort Bragg’s General Charles D. Luckey. 

    A staunch supporter of Pioneering, Wayne encouraged the Carotel Club’s purchase of two Smokehouses for educating school children in fire safety with the slogan that became popular: “Stop, Drop and Roll.” Company vehicles transported the houses to various events around North Carolina. He was a hands-on participant remembered for stating:  “Wait for me. I’m your leader. 

    The native of Stroud, Oklahoma received his education at Tyler (TX) Community College, Dallas College of Southern Methodist University and Rockhurst College, Kansas City, MO.  Peterson served for six years on the board of governors of the University of North Carolina Systems.  He is a member of Christ Community Church of Pinehurst. Wayne and his wife, Billie Ann, are the parents of two daughters and two sons.




  1. Telephone Hall of Fame Honor Roll

    Below is a list of the members of the Telephone Hall of Fame, followed by the year of their induction.

    Hall of Fame Nomination Form

    • Adams, Arthur F, 1965
    • Agee, John H, 1966
    • Alden, Raymond M, 1994
    • Atherton, J.Ballard, 1969
    • Bailey, Carl F, 1998
    • Bailey, Clyde S, 1972
    • Balch, John A, 1976
    • Barnes, Edwin L., 2016
    • Barnes, Frank S,Sr, 1980
    • Barnes, Frank S,Jr, 1996
    • Barnes, John M, 1999
    • Barnhart, Henry A, 1969
    • Barnhart, Hugh A, 1982
    • Bell, Alexander G, 1999
    • Berry, Loren M, 1982
    • Blain, Ray, 1981
    • Blakeslee, Edwin M, 1965
    • Blomeyer, Edward C, 1965
    • Bohn, Frank F, 1966
    • Boylan, John P, 1965
    • Bozell, Harold V, 1970
    • Brorein, Carl D, Sr, 1976
    • Brorein, William G, 1968
    • Brown, Clyson I, 1967
    • Bryant, Glenn E, 2015
    • Bunke, Robert W, 1995
    • Burfiend Raymond H, 1967
    • Cadwell, Charles S, 1970
    • Carlson, LeRoy T, 2014
    • Case, Weldon W, 1991
    • Clerkin, James J, Jr, 1988
    • Cook, John Brown, 1981
    • Cook, Wallace I, 1969
    • Corman, William F, 1989
    • Densmore, Leonard D, 1983
    • Fargo, Harm D, 1974
    • Ferguson, Peter M, 1969
    • Fisher, Burgie L, 1966
    • French, Warren B, Jr, 1993
    • Galloway, Josey K, 1984
    • Garnett, Wilson B, 1995
    • Gary, Theodore, 1965
    • Geist, James E, 1996
    • Guild, Douglas S, 1984
    • Hageman, Herman E, 1965
    • Harris Joseph, 1967
    • Hart, Adlen L, 1969
    • Haskin, Eleanor G., 2020
    • Henry, William C, 1973
    • Henson, Paul H, 1992
    • Hill, Luther W, 1970
    • Hirsch, Gustav, 1965
    • Hirt, Donald, 2001
    • Holderness, H. Dail, 1985
    • Johnston, John K, 1967
    • Keen, Jack C, 2000
    • Kellogg, Milo G, 1965
    • Loomis, Wesley H, III, 1981
    • Loveland, Chester H, 1976
    • Lucier, Phillip J, 1994
    • Lucier, Ralph F, 1972
    • Lumpkin, Richard A, 1990
    • MacKinnon, F.S., 1965
    • McHenry, Houck, 1965
    • Mahoney, Harry P, 1967
    • Martin, Talbot, G, 1976
    • Mason, Charles F, 1966
    • McCartney, James E., 2019
    • McClelland Robert S, 1997
    • McBerty Frank R, 1965
    • McGraw, Max, 1968
    • Nehring, Roland, 2001
    • North, Charles H, 1969
    • O'Connell, John F, 1993
    • Odegard, Sigurd L, 1993
    • Ostline, John E, 1977
    • Payne, Harold G, 1987
    • Peterson, D. Wayne, 2021
    • Pirnie, Robert M, Jr, 1991
    • Porter, John R, 1967
    • Power, Donald C, 1975
    • Quatman, George B, 1977
    • Reese, Frank D, 1997
    • Reno, Ralph C, 1971
    • Reynolds, John G, 1980
    • Scupin, Carl A, 1973
    • Smith, Ray H, 2013
    • Stewart, H Milton, Sr, 1983
    • Stocker, C. Paul, 1985
    • Stoffels, Robert E, 2016
    • Stromberg, Alfred, 1965
    • Strowger, Almon B, 1965
    • Sullivan, R Parker, 1983
    • Swanson, Dean Charles 2018
    • Thomas, James M, 1966
    • Warner, Leslie H, 1980
    • Welch, Francis X, 1981
    • Wettstein, Otto, Jr, 1977
    • Wilburn, High R, Jr, 1986
    • Williams, Clarke McRae, 2014
    • Woods, Frank H, 1965
    • Workman, Mayme, 1965
    • Wright, John H, 1965