Michael Shepard, Ruralite Services’ new CEO.

Ruralite Services Inc. is pleased to announce its new Chief Executive Officer Michael Shepard.

The search for a new CEO began in late December when Russell Green, Ruralite Services’ CEO since 2005, announced his resignation. Russell took a position as the new regional vice president for the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.

Michael is coming to us from Wick Communications, a privately owned media company based in southeastern Arizona, where he was a regional publisher. Before taking the position at Wick, he was Senior Vice President – Business Operations for the Seattle Times. He has a degree in communications with a journalism emphasis from Washington State University (WSU), Pullman, Washington.

Michael began his career as a courthouse reporter for the Moscow/Pullman Daily News, on the Idaho/Washington border. He has served as president of both the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington and was a longtime member and chair of the professional advisory board for the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU.

His career has taken him to jobs based in Walla Walla, Yakima, and Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula giving him a great appreciation for rural communities.

“In Mike, we have found a candidate with the skill set to take us into the future,” says Brad Reeve, Ruralite Services Board Chair and CEO of Kotzebue Electric Cooperative in Kotzebue, Alaska. “He has been both on the editorial and the management side of the organizations with which he has been affiliated. And, he has experience in multiple location publications, management, and operations. We are pleased to have him join us at Ruralite.”

Michael will begin at Ruralite on March 14.

“I am delighted and honored to be named the next CEO of Ruralite Services,” says Michael. “I appreciate this opportunity to lead Ruralite toward the board’s vision of the future. Ruralite has great opportunities to grow and even better serve its customers and I look forward to working with the fine Ruralite Services’ staff to address them.”

He and his wife, Rhonda, live in North Plains, Oregon.