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Apr 19, 2024

Press Release – For immediate release

Joel Richardson Named to Michiana Forty under 40 Class of 2024

Joel Richardson, Director of Customer Operations at Surf Internet

ELKHART, Ind. (April 19, 2024) – Joel Richardson, Director of Customer Operations at Surf Internet, has been selected as a member of the 2024 Forty Under 40 class.

A long-time resident of La Porte, Indiana, Joel has exemplified dedication and leadership in a mission-driven way at Surf Internet. Beginning over a decade ago as a field technician, Joel quickly rose through ranks due to his leadership, and now leads a full team of 50 employees at Surf. Joel has led his team to transform customer operations at Surf, putting strategies in place to make their team more streamlined, effective, and customer-service oriented.

Surf CEO Gene Crusie congratulated Joel on the honor, saying “Joel has always been a rising star at Surf Internet, due not only to his sense of leadership and dedication, but also in his humble, caring demeanor and respect for others. He deserves this unique honor completely, and I’m proud to call him a colleague and friend.”

Outside of Surf, Joel is an active member of his church — an ordained pastor, worship leader, and teacher as well — having served there nearly every week for over 15 years. He and his wife are also deeply involved in supporting other parents of children with chronic medical conditions. They have served and supported many initiatives over the years, including Ronald DcDonald House charities, the Pull-Thru Network, and the NICU at Comer Children’s Hospital.

Joel was grateful for the recognition, stating, “I’m humbled and honored by this recognition. It is my privilege to serve Christ and to lead an incredible team at Surf!”

The Michiana Forty under 40 program, organized by South Bend Regional Chamber and YPN South Bend, in partnership with program partners Community Foundation of Elkhart County, First State Bank, and Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame, is a distinguished initiative that highlights the achievements of 40 outstanding young adults who, despite being under the age of 40, have demonstrated exceptional leadership, excellence in their respective careers, and a commitment to community service.

The program aims to recognize and celebrate the contributions of these individuals who not only excel in their professional endeavors but also make significant efforts to give back to and positively impact their communities.

In addition to living and working in the Michiana area, nominees had to show the following:

  • Initiative and dedication in pursuing their career
  • Proven success and achievement in their job/career
  • Investment in and service to others through their involvement in civic, charitable and/or religious organizations
  • Passion for their community, giving back because of that passion

Joel and the 39 other members of this year’s class will be honored on May 17th at the Recognition Luncheon held at Gillespie Conference Center in South Bend, Ind.

More information about Michiana Forty under 40 can be found at

About Surf Internet
Surf Internet is an innovative fiber-optic internet company that serves as the essential gateway to connectivity across the Great Lakes region of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. The company is building a bridge to the wide-open future by delivering high-speed, reliable internet to homes and businesses in underserved, rural communities. Surf’s 200-plus person team is local, giving them an edge when it comes to customer care and advocacy for the region. Headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., Surf also has offices in La Porte, Ind., Byron Center and Fowlerville, Mich., and Coal City and Rock Falls, Ill. Learn more at