Chairperson of the Board and Past President
A woman of remarkable accomplishments,
Silkwood has spent her entire life in a tiny rural community called O’Neals and
has achieved success and esteem from those who cross her path through business,
community involvement and personal generosity. In an increasingly rare,
continuously family owned and operated business since 1908, Silkwood assumed the
role of President from 1983-2014 succeeding the leadership of her father and brother. This determined mother of two successfully guided her company through the most turbulent regulatory and technological evolution in the history of the telecommunications industry. Silkwood was the first woman to become President of the California Telephone Association; she served from 1985-1987. Her philosophy of deploying voice and broadband technology to underserved rural areas demonstrates her commitment to enriching the rural American heritage and lifestyle which she loves.
A committed community member, Silkwood takes pride in being a good neighbor and friend. Through her direction, Ponderosa Telephone has initiated programs to provide Internet service and education to schools, libraries and senior centers, donate computers, and other contributions to enrich people’s lives in local communities. Her promotion of the rural lifestyle continues through her charitable foundation encouraging youth of the valley to consider a career in agriculture. In 2000 and 2001 Silkwood was awarded state and national Honorary Future Farmer of America degrees for outstanding contributions made to youth through education and FFA. In 2003 she received the prestigious Marjaree Mason Top Ten Business Professional Women of the Year Award for her accomplishments in professional and community leadership.