New GM for Wittenberg Telephone Co.

PHOTO BY MIRIAM NELSON
Scott Nyman, above, will take over as general manager of the Wittenberg Telephone Company when Allen Mahnke retires at the end of January.
By: 
Miriam Nelson
mnelson@newmedia-wi.com

Scott Nyman, of Plover, will assume the general manager duties at the Wittenberg Telephone Company from Allen Mahnke at the end of January.

Nyman was hired in August and appointed as Mahnke’s successor on Dec. 7. Mahnke, who will retire Jan. 31, agreed to stay on as long as needed to fill the position and has been overseeing the transition.

“Scott is a great addition to our team,” Mahnke said. “He brings a lot of experience and enthusiasm, which greatly benefits our customers and employees.”

Nyman, 43, started his career in the telephone and internet industry in 2002 with the Ontonagon Telephone Company in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

“I’m a Yooper, born and raised,” said Nyman, who served nine years in the Navy aboard nuclear submarines.

The family moved to Wisconsin from Michigan in 2005 when his wife, Kirsten, accepted a job at the hospital in Wisconsin Rapids. Nyman took a job with Solaris, formerly known as Wood County Telephone. Over the past 13 years he has held several positions in the company, including management of the entire network.

WTC President Cheryl Peterson said the company was fortunate to have a strong pool of candidates for Mahnke’s job. She noted that hiring externally gives the company the benefit of getting a different perspective, both technically and culturally.

Nyman said the Wittenberg Telephone Company, which has 14 full-time employees, has done a great job in keeping up with trends and demands. Working with state and national broadband initiatives, the company is in the third year of a 12-year program to upgrade its remaining digital subscribers to an all-fiber network.

Nyman noted broadband use has increased by over 500 percent in the last five years.

“I think it’s an exciting time, and there is room for growth and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

The company’s service area extends from Wittenberg to Pike Lake and Tigerton and Shepley and as far north as Pickerel and Antigo. In the Antigo area, the company operates under the name Cirrinity.

Nyman has also gotten involved with the Wittenberg Economic Development Corporation and will take over as treasurer when Mahnke retires. WEDC’s goals include providing reliable internet service at the fastest speed available in both business parks. The agency plans to work with the Public Service Commission to be tagged as a “telecommuter forward” community, which hopefully will attract people who are looking for a more rural lifestyle without sacrificing good broadband service.

The Nymans have two daughters and plan to relocate to the area after the older daughter, Hannah, finishes her senior year of high school this spring. The younger daughter, Morgan, is in the fourth grade.

Wittenberg Telephone Company was incorporated in 1921 by Peterson’s grandfather, Ray Peterson.