High speed Internet helped Tiffany return to small town life in Otter Tail

Tiffany Voigt is a regional therapy manager for eLuma, a teletherapy company. She works out of her country home outside of the city of Ottertail.

 In a sign of the times, she might not be living there at all if it weren’t for technology. Fast technology.

The home office window view is like working outdoors. But the snow today is bright.

The home office window view is like working outdoors. But the snow today is bright.

“We worked with Arvig, a local Internet service provider, to be sure fast internet was available” on the land they were about to purchase in rural Otter Tail County, she said.

Having broadband access paved the way for Tiffany’s family to move from Fargo.

“I think having the opportunity to have a job and work online is big for moving to a small community,” she said. Telemedicine, or in her case teletherapy, is one solution for accessing and/or offering services in a rural area. “This online job has allowed me to pursue my career goals. It has led me to a director’s role.”

Tiffany supervises several people from her home office and the company’s services are provided in 30 states. “We help people who might not have access to therapists,” noting that much of their work is offered in schools. “I’ve actually had clients from Africa to California,” she said.

Tiffany spent several years in Woodbury (near the Twin Cities) after graduating from the University of North Dakota. She spent some time at St. Cloud State to earn a master’s in speech therapy. Job prospects were good as she landed a job in Woodbury, outside of St. Paul, before graduation.

Working in the ‘burbs was ok, but Tiffany longed to be closer to family. You see she grew up on a farm between Perham and New York Mills. “I have lots of family here,” she said. “I wanted to be closer. I liked the city for a while, but I wanted a smaller urban area.”

So Fargo was her next landing place; a smaller urban area where she worked as a speech therapist with a private firm.

Yet Fargo wasn’t exactly what she was looking for, either. But you might say she did find something: she met Aaron there (who was also from a small town) and they married in 2010.

Tiffany is the mother of twins, Isla and Paige, who recently turned five. They were born in Fargo premature, meaning Tiffany and Aaron’s life was turned upside down for a while.

But having children offers more choices in life. Tiffany admits that Aaron and she wanted their daughters to have a Christian education in a smaller community. “That was important to us,” she says. She’s also notices the pace of life has slowed down since their move from Fargo to their rural Otter Tail home in 2017.

“I like that neighbors watch out for you” in a small town, Tiffany said.

You might say it’s old fashioned hospitality made possible by new fashioned technology!