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. This entity now exists, and is more vibrant than ever. By meeting the criteria set forth by the Committee, individuals are considered by the Hall of Fame Honors Court.

    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. 2020 Hall of Fame Inductee

     

  3.  

    Eleanor G. Haskin

    Haskin—first women president of a national telephone association—elected 103d member of ITPA’s Telephone Hall of Fame 

     

    Eleanor Geraldine Haskin of Waitsfield, VT not only grew and modernized her family’s small telephone company but also contributed impressively to Independent telephony on the regional and national stage. The second woman elected to the Independent Telecom Pioneer Association’s Telephone Hall of Fame will become its 103d member. Fittingly, the May 31, 2020 induction will be held in South Portland, ME during the ITPA’s annual assembly.  

     

    The soon-to-be 100-year old association, with members in all states, and headquarters in Hinesville, GA recognizes individuals who had made “outstanding contributions to the Independent [non-AT&T] telecommunications industry.” The most recent inductee was James E. McCartney in 2019, while the only other woman member of the Hall of Fame, Mayme Workman (1892-1961), was inducted in the first class of 1965.

     

    Eleanor Haskin always said getting into the phone business “was easy. She was born into it.” When Alton Farr died in 1940 the sole ownership of Waitsfield-Fayston Telephone Company—founded in 1904 and acquired by Farr in 1911-- passed to Eleanor’s mother, Eunice. Daughter Eleanor began learning the business from childhood until moving away from the Mad River Valley upon marriage in 1952 to Dana Haskin. It was upon her mom’s declining health that she and Dana returned seven years later to manage the company, located in Vermont some 140 miles north of the Massachusetts line.  Upon Eunice’s death, Dana became president, Eleanor vice president.

     

    Even as Eleanor was hands-on from the get-go in the operation of the telco, industry peers soon discovered her decision-making ability and incisive mind within a true telephone person’s spirit of service. Recalls a long-time fellow board member:  “Eleanor’s warm personality made her leadership style that much more effective. She was a delight to work with.”

     

    The breath of Haskin’s industry involvement spanning the next 46 years until retirement in 2005 begs imagination. It was logical for Waitsfield-Fayston—today Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom—to early join OPASTCO (Organization for the Preservation and Advancement of Small Telephone Companies) based in Arkansas (and later moved to Washington, DC).  Instantly active on committees, Eleanor by 1974 was a member of the board of directors and in 1980 elected its president, becoming the first woman to lead a national telephone association. She was later honored with the OPASTCO President’s Award for her years of service to the telephone industry.

     

    On the home front she was recruited as a director of the Vermont Telephone Association, moving up from secretary-treasurer to president. The prestigious regional Telephone Association of New England (TANE) brought her on board as a director and through the chairs to VP and president, its first ever woman president. In 1995 she was inducted into the TANE Hall of Fame.

     

    Nationally sought after for her acumen, Haskin served as a director of the Rural Telephone Bank, member of the Governor’s Telecommunications Council/State of Vermont, Subset III director of the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), representative to the New York Policy Council and the board of directors of US Intelco. 

     

    Demonstrating her versatility, Eleanor was motivated upon the centennial of the invention of the telephone in 1976 to research, write and publish “ History of Independent Telephony in New England”.  It is a historical compilation of every telephone company that existed in the region. Later, in 2004 she participated with two employees to produce “Connecting Family, Friends & Neighbors”, a history of WCVT upon its 100th anniversary.

     

    In 1986, Haskin was chosen to join a high-level U.S. telephone industry delegation invited by the Ministry of Telecommunications of the People’s Republic of China to present workshops in seven mainland China cities to benefit its telephone professionals.  Haskin’s lectures on how to take advantage of emerging technologies caught the eye of America’s Telecom (formerly Telephone Engineer & Management) magazine whose feature article in February 1993 highlighted how the telco had kept pace with industry trends.  Such as:

     

    Witnessing the development of ski areas, the Haskins took advantage of REA funding and expertise to upgrade their entire system to dial in 1961. Another government loan allowed conversion of the network to single-party service in 1967.  Admitting she was “a computer person,” Eleanor drove the company toward “total integration” of record keeping and data, finally computerizing all plant records by 1981. In 1982 construction began to offer cable TV. The company also found new ways to use its telephone directory as a marketing tool. Not surprising that Haskin was big on cross-training: “We want everyone in a department to know one another’s job.”  In 1997 the company began Green Mountain Access offering Internet service.

     

    Several years earlier, on the eve of a major territorial expansion, 99% of its 4,568 subscribers in 1993 rated overall service “good” or “excellent.”

     

    In 1993, Dana and Eleanor began working with several other New England companies to acquire the New England GTE properties. The group reached a definitive agreement on November 12, 1993. On August 1, 1994 Waitsfield-Fayston Tel of Vermont, Lincolnshire Tel of Maine and Merimack County Tel of NH met to sign the papers officially transferring ownership of the GTE properties of New England.

     

    With the acquisition of GTE Champlain Valley of Vermont service territory, it quadrupled the customer and the size of her company over night. The new service area, which was contiguous to their existing customer base, spread out over 551 square miles over the Appalachian Gap into Vermont’s Champlain Valley and extended to Lake Champlain and the New York state line. This transaction doubled their work force, adding 37 new employees.

     

    Still in Eleanor’s watch, although her children and added executives were now very active, the expanded company in 1998 and 1999 was recognized by the Vermont Council For Quality with its annual achievement award. A year later, Eleanor and the company won the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award, the same year it was presented the U.S. Senate Award for Outstanding Achievement of Economic Productivity.  She was singled out in 1997 as Rotary Person of the Year, receiving a Paul Harris Fellowship from the Mad River Valley Rotary Club of Waitsfield, VT.  A year later she was chosen a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable.  Haskin was listed twice in Who’s Who of American Women, in the 1981 International Register of Profiles and International Who’s Who of Intellectuals 1981. And who would have thought that in 1986 Eleanor would be chosen as an International Delegate to the World Congress of Martial Arts? Nor did the graduate of  Eastman School of Music , University of Rochester (1957) overlook her community as a member of Waitsfield Federated Church, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Waitsfield Fire Department, as an Active Member Order Of The Eastern Star and a Scoutmaster of Waitsfield Girl Scouts of America.

     

    In May 2005 Eleanor retired to her home in East Warren and turned the reigns over to her sons Eric and Gregg Haskin. (Gregg passed away unexpectedly in 2018.)  Eleanor herself passed away in 2015 at age 86 and today the Company is in its third generation of family ownership with Eric Haskin serving as president/CEO.

     

     Now with her induction into ITPA Hall of Fame, the legacy of Eleanor Haskin in the Independent Telephone industry may be considered complete.

     

     

  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
    • 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