Westman Communications Group is a consumer co-op that formed in 1977 to bring cable television to southwestern Manitoba and since then has grown to serve 54 rural communities and 25,000 members. Its head office is in Brandon.
Besides offering all the latest technology from high-speed internet, TV, streaming and phone services, the co-op ensures its members stay connected through community-based, volunteer-run programming on five TV channels. In addition, Westman owns two radio stations, again with a focus on local stories and events.
Westman uses its communications capacity to help regions raise funds for important causes and donates to support youth, education, technology and women. Students on their way to college or university can apply for $500 scholarships, another example of co-operative values in action.
We were pleased to speak with Dave Baxter, who has been Westman’s President and CEO for 26 years, retiring on March 31/22. Here’s our discussion.