Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Carri Bennet is the inaugural winner of the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Distinguished Service Award, given for her support of FRS and its mission to provide vital broadband services to rural communities.

Founded in 1994, the Foundation for Rural Service is a non-profit that supports rural broadband companies, consumers and policymakers with educational information, products and programming.

The FRS Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor awarded by FRS and is given to an individual who has made a significant impact and meaningful contribution to FRS through their leadership or fundraising efforts.  The award recognizes those individuals who have gone above and beyond to show their passion and commitment to FRS and the rural communities FRS serves. Bennet was unanimously chosen as the first-ever recipient of this award. 

FRS Executive Director Pam Becker: “Carri Bennet was a member of the FRS Board of Directors from 2015 to 2019, serving as Board chair in 2019. During her service as Board Chair, Carri strengthened the strategic priorities by increasing fundraising from individuals and growing the Community Grant Program. In 2021, Carri put her passion for helping rural communities into action by creating the Carri Bennet Rural Economic Development Grant Fund at FRS. The endowment will generate annual awards to rural communities for rural economic development as part of the FRS Community Grant Program in perpetuity.” 

FRS Board Chair Kurt Gruendling: “Carri also continues to be an advocate for FRS by establishing and promoting the new FRS Board Alumni Club, a group of former FRS board members who continue to be involved in fundraising efforts that benefit rural communities. As a partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, Carri helps facilitate its significant corporate support of FRS and FRS events. Carri is always looking for ways to grow and strengthen the reach of FRS. She never misses an opportunity to promote the work of FRS or encourage NTCA members to be a part of the organization. Carri both walks the walk and talks the talk on behalf of FRS.”

Bennet was recognized at a Feb. 16 award ceremony in Dallas where she reiterated her passion of bringing broadband to rural America by reminding the audience that when she passes on to the great beyond that in lieu of funeral flowers she hopes family, friends and colleagues will make a contribution to FRS in her memory!