Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Employees graduate from leadership program

Commercial Account Executive Eleise Wood Myers and CATV Senior Project Manager Tony Van Pelt graduated from the inaugural class of the Central Arkansas Leadership Institute (CALI) in November 2017.

CALI is a program that prepares leaders to serve the Conway community through an eight-month curriculum inspired by Conway2025, a long-range strategic plan developed by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce with the input of more than 1,400 area residents.

Class participants experienced first-hand how community leaders, businesses, and organizations make a difference in Conway every day while developing their own leadership skills and unique role in the success of the community.

“We are extremely proud of Eleise and Tony for the work they do for Conway Corp and for the community,” Conway Corp CEO Bret Carroll said. “Conway Corp has always been committed to enhancing the quality of life in Conway, and CALI prepares leaders like Eleise and Tony to do just that.”

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Winterize your home for energy savings

Cooler temperatures are on the way, and Conway Corp wants to help make your home warmer without turning up the heat this winter. While preparing for winter might seem like an unnecessary chore, the financial benefits definitely outweigh a small to-do list over a few weekends.

Winter heating costs are on the rise, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts Americans will pay 15 percent more for heating expenses this year. That number can skyrocket even more if windows are poorly insulated, the plumbing breaks or the heating system is outdated.

Ensuring your home is prepped properly can save a nice chunk of change while protecting your property for years to come. With these winterization tips, you’ll save energy while saving money at the same time.

Seal all Drafts

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5 to 30 percent of your energy use. Window insulation is a few dollars at most hardware stores and is essentially invisible once installed. Repair bigger gaps with caulking and weatherstripping. Looking for a simple fix? Fill old socks with sand or kitty litter to make a “draft snake” to place in front of a drafty door.

Change Furnace Filters

It’s important to replace furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. Consider switching to a permanent filter which will reduce waste and hassle, saving time and money. Replacing an inefficient furnace for a modern machine will cost you in the short term, but save you money every month through the heating season. Disposable fiberglass filters trap between 10 to 40 percent of debris while permanent electrostatic filters trap around 88 percent and are much better at controlling bacteria, mold, viruses and pollen.

Run Fans in Reverse

Many ceiling fans come with a switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes while switching to clockwise makes it warmer. Air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space cutting your heating costs as much as 10 percent.

Winterize Your AC and Water Lines

Drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes making sure you don’t have excess water pooled in equipment. If your air conditioner has a water shutoff valve, go ahead and turn it off. Remove any window air conditioner units and store them so you don’t invite cold drafts all winter. Also, turn off exterior water spigots.

Turn Down Your Water Heater

Many conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees, but most households don’t need that much steam. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees – or lower – will reduce your water heating costs by 6-10 percent. Consider a tankless water heater or going solar to save even more.

Install Storm Doors and Windows

Installing a storm door or storm windows can increase energy efficiency by 45 percent by sealing drafts and reducing air flow. They also offer greater flexibility for letting light and ventilation enter your home.

Give Your Heating System a Tune-Up

Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use saving up to 5 percent of heating costs.

Mind the Thermostat

Most households spend 50 to 70 percent of their energy budgets on heating and cooling. For every degree you lower the thermostat during the heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3 percent of your heating bill. The average family with a programmable thermostat will save $180 a year.

Boost Insulation

Insulation is one of the best ways to save energy and money at home. It can make a big difference to add more insulation between walls and on the attic floor. Properly insulating your attic can save you up to 10 percent annually on energy bills. You can also pay less for hot water and decrease the chance of pipes freezing with insulation. Check to see if your pipes are warm to the touch. If they are, get pre-slit pipe foam at any hardware store, cut it to size and fasten it in place with duct tape.

Zero percent interest loans for energy efficiency home improvements like attic insulation are available to Conway Corp customers through its Energy Smart program.  All you need to do is provide an estimate from a vendor and apply for the Energy Smart Loan. Once approved, the vendor will verify the need and install your new insulation. Conway Corp then remits payment to the vendor. It’s that easy to start saving money with a more energy efficient home.

Looking for more ways to save this winter? Click here and find energy-saving tips or call 450-6000 to schedule a free energy audit from a Conway Corp certified energy professional.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Conway Corp announces safety & customer service award winners

Conway Corp recently honored Lead Serviceman Wayne Evans, SCADA and Network Systems Administrator Zach Leach and Manager, Electric Distribution System Jim Moore with awards for their exemplary work performance.

Conway Corp is dedicated to exceeding customers’ expectations through the exceptional work of dedicated employees and recognizes employees annually for their dedication in the areas of customer service and safety.

Evans and Leach each received the Customer Service Award presented by CEO Bret Carroll. They were nominated by their fellow coworkers for going above and beyond their job duties.

The nomination for Evans stated that even though he has the difficult job of disconnecting electricity for delinquent accounts, “he does his best to ensure the information is accurate. He will call Conway Corp cashiers on behalf of the customers he has interaction with so they have the balance needed to retain services or even research payments. His kind heart is shown in all his interactions with customers and coworkers.”

Leach was nominated for “building the relationship between operations and technology to ensure his internal customers are getting what they need. He also makes himself available as needed and goes the extra mile”

Moore received the Safety Leadership Award presented by Safety Director Steve Plant. Moore was nominated by the entire Electric Department who said as the department’s manager “he has created an atmosphere and built a strong team of educated linemen that were able to earn the RP3 designation for two consecutive cycles. He strives to not only be a leader, but a safe one.”

The RP3 (Reliable Public Power Provider) designation is given by the American Public Power Association to public power companies who show exceptional service in the areas of reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. One hundred ten of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities earned the RP3 designation. Conway Corp is the only company in Arkansas to receive the designation.

“We are extremely proud of our employees and want to recognize those who continue to exceed customer expectations,” Carroll said. “The peer nominations submitted make these awards even more meaningful.” 

Electric Distribution System Manager Jim Moore, SCADA and Network Systems Administrator Zach Leach & Lead Serviceman Wayne Evans

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Conway Corp announces Energy Smart Contest Winners

This October, Conway Corp celebrated Energy Awareness Month and Public Power Week by encouraging local students to show their energy smarts and participate in a poster, essay and video contest. Students in grades PreK-4 were asked to create a poster on the theme “My Life, Powered by Conway Corp” while students in 5-7 grade and 8-12 grade were asked to write an essay or create a video on the same theme. Prizes were awarded in each age category.  

Woodrow Cummins Elementary fourth grader Olivia Frazier won first place in the poster contest. Olivia won a Conway Corp prize pack, an Energy Smart pizza party for her classroom and $100 donation for her classroom. Rylee Allen won second place, and Ethan Brock won third place. Rylee and Ethan both attend fourth grade at Woodrow Cummins Elementary and each won Conway Corp prize packs.

New to the contest this year, was a digital video category. Landon Henigan won first place in the 5-7 grade category, and Colby Thompson won first place in the 8-12 grade category. Landon is a fifth grader at Ruth Doyle Middle School, and Colby is in eighth grade at Conway Junior High School. Both students won cash prizes.

Click here to watch the videos.

In the 5-7 grade essay category, Kaeden Ingram won first place for his essay “Conway Corp: My Super Power.” Jacob Regehr won second place for his “My life powered by Conway Corp” essay, and Ruby Jones won third place for her “Conway Corp: Powering Every Moment” essay. Kaeden is a fifth grader at Carl Stuart Middle School. Jacob is a sixth grader at Bob Courtway Middle School, and Ruby is in seventh grade at St. Joseph School.

“The Daily Ritual” by Anne Sting won first place in the 8-12 grade essay category. “My Energized Years with Conway Corp” by Kennedy Smith received second place, and “My Life, Powered by Conway Corp” by Ashton Harris received third place. Anne is a senior at Conway High School. Kennedy is in eighth grade at Conway Junior High School, and Ashton is a junior at Conway High School. 

Students in the essay contest won cash prizes. Below are excerpts from Anne’s and Kaeden’s winning essays.

Anne: “The steady beat of the metronome pulses in my ear again and again, unrelenting and monotone. It eggs me on until I quickly fill my lungs to the brim with air, pushing it back out and feeling my lips vibrate against the still warm metal. I’m pegging note after note, floating and matching with the abstruse melody, watching my fingers dance on the valves. I push towards the final pattern, ringing out the final clear tone echoed by the continued clicks that mark each beat.

That is the excitement that pounds in my brain when making music. My entire life has been consumed by it. Every second, every heartbeat is bursting with that pounding rhythm that fills concert halls and cars alike. This drive to pursue music would not have been realized had it not been for the heavy influence of electricity in my daily life.

When I wake up in the morning, I immediately turn on the radio or open my phone to listen to music. It has become a sort of daily ritual; hearing Gustav Holst’s Jupiter helps to calm me before the day begins. I have access to millions of classical works that, in a different time, would’ve been impossible for me to access. I can listen to musicians who have passed away in their glory years at the tap of a button, close my eyes, and, if not for a few moments let the rich sounds wash over me.

Every day, I uncase my horn and practice for an hour or two. During this time, I often find myself turning to technology to streamline the process. I access online tuners and metronomes to keep my sessions in line; I always have a tab open to online music dictionaries so that I might play my solos as “ risoluto ” instead of “ marciale ” as the composer intended. When searching for how to repair my instrument I can access my laptop and pull from a wealth of knowledge as to why my horn is “clanking” or what to do if a screw goes missing. Outside of my rehearsals, I’ve watched nearly every one of Sarah Willis’s “French horn master classes” because it allows me to experience these lessons that have either happened years ago or thousands of miles away. Technology has afforded me the opportunity to listen in on performers who are playing the pieces I am, as well giving me tips on style, mastery of the literature, and general knowledge of my craft.

Arkansas has been blessed with a superb wealth of musicians, along with high school and college music programs known for their superiority. Through technology, these musicians can create a community, helping to improve one another. Programs like the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association (ASBOA) and Dixie Band Camp post audition materials and results, and bring talented students from around the state and into Conway together to perform high level music through their websites. Technology, on a personal level, allows for me to set up lessons with professors at the University of Central Arkansas to advance my skill levels, and keep in touch with my section at the Conway High School band, allowing me to set up sectionals and lessons.

As Plato once stated “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” I’ve blossomed as a musician and have helped my community and peers grow through my exposure to music and technology. By allowing me access to music, information, and fellow musicians, Conway Corp has driven me to a life centered around melodies and compositions. I don’t want to spend a day where I can’t feel music flowing through my body, and thanks to these advancements, I won’t ever have to. I can help build up the future generations of musicians and create as I please.”

Kaeden: “‘As a ten-year-old boy, I am of one the luckiest kids in the world!  I am lucky for many reasons, including my family, my friends and my church. When I’m counting my blessings, I count Conway Corp among them because from the time I wake up in the morning until the time I lay down at night, Conway Corp is all around me, helping me to do everything I need, as well as keeping my lights and water on.

When I wake up in the morning, it is to an alarm on a phone on a charger in a house powered by Conway Corp. I wake up with no worries of not having lights or water or internet because while I’m sleeping Conway Corp is busy working to make sure that I and my neighbors and friends have all those things. Even when my parents are yelling at me to turn off the lights to save energy and money on the bill or to get off my phone and pay attention at dinner, I’m not worried because I know Conway Corp will be there for me when I turn them back on.

All while I’m at school I see evidence of Conway Corp all around me. Conway Corp is more than just a supplier of lights and water, they keep our city running and are always there to support in times of trouble. My school is pretty big, much bigger than the elementary school I came from. There are tons of electronics and classrooms and each depends on Conway Corp. There’s probably over a thousand kids in just my school and we all benefit from Conway Corp every school day. And that’s just my school, imagine all the other schools in Conway. Conway Corp has a huge job to do.

After school, I’m either at Sonshine Academy or my house. Again, I see the footprint of Conway Corp around me. Whether I’m using the Wi-Fi powered internet or watching shows on tv or doing homework, there’s not much I can accomplish without the power of Conway Corp. Conway Corp makes sure that we can watch all our shows as a family and they also make sure that your cable doesn’t just go off for no reason. 

When I spend time at Sonshine Academy, either tumbling or waiting on my sister to have cheer practice, and I look around and see everyone on their phone using the wifi enabled by Conway Corp or charging devices for the kids to play on. Or as we watch our routine playback on a television in the gym, I can see the hand of Conway Corp.

There have been times that the lights at my house would go off because of a storm or another problem, I would panic and look for flashlights and an escape plan, my parents always told me that I didn’t have to worry or be scared because the men and women that worked at Conway Corp always have our back and would always get the lights back on and working. Now if that happens, I automatically know that it’s being handled and will be back to normal very soon.

My normal days are surrounded by all of the good things that Conway Corp offers. In thinking about what I wanted to say and writing this, this I have come to see the many different ways Conway Corp is a part of my routine and just how different my life would be if it were not POWERED by Conway Corp. There are not a lot of things I can do that is not touched or powered by Conway Corp. From the dinner we have cooked on the stove in the house that is in the city are ALL powered by Conway Corp. It’s all so amazing!”

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Energy Smart Poster, Essay and Video Contest, and thank you to all students who submitted an entry. Conway Corp is proud of these students who continue to remind us how integral Conway Corp is to our daily lives. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Conway Corp promotes McDaniel

Conway Corp has announced the promotion of Brett McDaniel to Engineering and Planning Manager. 

McDaniel will be responsible for directing and coordinating the operation of the company’s Engineering and Planning Department including forecasting, system planning, system design and engineering analysis as it supports the community and the company.  

“I’ve worked alongside Brett for 12 years and I am confident he will do a great job in this role,” Chief Operating Office Greg Dell said. “Conway Corp is fortunate to have someone with Brett’s knowledge and background to move into this position.”

McDaniel was hired as a Water Systems Engineer in 2005 and was promoted to Water Systems Senior Engineer in 2008. He held that the role until his recent promotion to manager.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Conway Corp employees win regional customer service awards

Conway Corp was recognized for excellence in customer service when 23 of its customer service and cable installer professionals were awarded Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Awards at the 2017 Mid-America Cable Show held in Little Rock, Ark.

Customer Service Specialist Tracy Ferrell, Marketing Coordinator Beth Jimmerson and Call Center Supervisor Lesia White were recognized with Extra Mile Five Star CSE awards. 

Extra Mile Awards are presented to individuals whose concern and resolution in customer service go above and beyond the responsibility of their normal job duties.

Lead Customer Service Specialist Jane Harrison, Senior Customer Care Specialist Kelly Wirtz, and Commercial Sales Account Executive Eleise Wood Myers were recognized with Five Star CSE awards in the area of sales.

Customer Service Specialist Shelly Smith, Business Class Services Specialist James Buggs, Service Technician Justin Moore and Broadband Premises Technician Andrew Nelson were recognized with Five Star CSE awards in service.

The Five Star award recognizes master performance that is clearly exceptional with outstanding skills that far exceed position requirements.

Customer Care Specialists Eric Bell and Nicole Pizzolato, Senior Service Technician Brent Brown, Business Class Services Specialists Jason Fleming and Tony Lemke, Broadband Premises Technicians John Davis and Corey Free, Broadband Premises Installers Aaron Julian and Aaron Reynolds, Service Technician Robert McCray and Public Relations Coordinator Jeff Matthews were recognized with Four Star CSE awards.

Customer Service Specialists Elizabeth Harmon and Michelle Hatfield received Four Star CSE awards in sales.

Four Star CSE awards recognize a superior performance with presentation skills that are considerably above industry competency.

The Customer Service Excellence Award program was established by cable television professionals in 1986 to recognize and award customer care professional excellence in the cable television industry.

The Mid-America Cable Association is an industry association formed in 1958 to help telecommunication providers promote technical excellence, superior customer service, exemplary marketing and student scholarship. It includes cable telecommunications system operators in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas and Texas. The Customer Service Excellence Award program was established in 1986 to recognized excellence in the cable television industry. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Marketing, Local Programming wins regional awards

Conway Corp’s marketing and public relations department received three MIDI Awards at the 2017 Mid-America Cable Show held in Little Rock, Ark. In addition, the company’s local programming department also received a MIDI Award at the event.

The company’s 1 Gig Internet campaign featuring video, print and digital components won in the marketing and promotion category. Conway Corp was also recognized in the cable advertising: self-promotion category, for a 30-second commercial produced to promote the company’s home security service offering.

Marketing and Public Relations Manager Crystal Kemp and Marketing Coordinator Beth McCullough Jimmerson received recognition for these campaigns. Conway Corp marketing staff worked with advertising agency Eric, Rob and Isaac to produce these campaigns.

In the category of community programming, the company’s new web video series “Plugged In” was recognized. The show is produced by Public Relations Coordinator Jeff Matthews with contributions by Kemp and Jimmerson and airs weekly in Conway Corp’s social media.

Conway Corp production coordinators Wayne Bailey and Ryan Tucker were recognized in the local ad sales category for production of a spot for United Way’s annual fundraising campaign featuring kid spokesperson Karson Prince explaining the role of United Way in the community.

The Mid-America Cable Association is an industry association formed in 1958 to help telecommunication providers promote technical excellence, superior customer service, exemplary marketing and student scholarship. It includes cable telecommunications system operators in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas and Texas. Conway Corp was competing with systems of 10,001-50,000 cable subscribers.

Public Relations Coordinator Jeff Matthews, Marketing Manager Crystal Kemp and Marketing Coordinator Beth McCullough Jimmerson
Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Celebrating 2017 Public Power Week

This October, Conway Corp is celebrating Public Power Week along with more than 2,000 other community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that collectively provide electricity to more than 48 million Americans.

“Public Power Week celebrates the reliable, affordable electricity Conway Corp provides to our community,” CEO Bret Carroll said. “Public power puts the people of Conway first, and Public Power Week gives us the chance to emphasize the advantages of locally grown, locally owned power that supports strong communities.”

Conway Corp has operated alongside our customers in Conway since 1929. We not only work for Conway, we are Conway. Knowing our community and its needs helps us keep homes, businesses and public places powered year-round. Our service is safe, reliable and affordable, and we take pride in serving our friends and neighbors.

Conway benefits from public power including affordable energy costs, superior service, local control and reinvestment in the community. Local needs are considered when decisions are made about rates and services, power generation and green alternatives. Plus, public power revenues are reinvested into community programs and projects that are for the common good.

Reliability

Reliability is our number one job. Our crews work tirelessly to keep the power on and restore it quickly when outages occur. Through continued training and ongoing preventative care, we are prepared to act quickly and safely to restore power to Conway. We are the only utility in the state to be designated a Reliable Public Power Provider by the American Public Power Association for demonstrating high proficiency in reliability, safety, work force development and system improvement. Plus, our employees are dedicated and passionate about this community because it’s where they live too.

Affordability

We focus on providing affordable electric rates, and on a national average, our rates are lower than industry competitors saving money for citizens and businesses. Lower rates mean citizens have more available to spend on other goods and services, together with the dollars our customers save through energy efficiency programs, which boosts the local economy. Our revenues are reinvested into maintaining and upgrading our system’s substations, distribution lines and more so we’re able to safely deliver low-cost, reliable electricity. Keeping energy costs affordable serves our community’s long-term needs – and that’s what public power is all about.

Superior Service

Conway Corp exists to serve to the residents of Conway. We provide friendly walk-in service to customers. Customers can also call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be connected to a customer service representative who is a local, member of the community. We are responsive to customers’ needs and concerns and make customer service a priority. In addition, recent data shows we keep the lights on 99.99 percent of the time, but when an outage does occur we restore power quickly and efficiently because we’re located in the community we serve. We live here and have a vested interest in getting service restored as quickly and safely as possible. We’re accountable to our friends, neighbors and families.

Community Values

Conway Corp is dedicated to exceeding our customers' expectations in producing and delivering safe, affordable, reliable, innovative and environmentally-sound utility and telecommunication services while enhancing the quality of life in our community. We believe in enhancing our community through community projects, education opportunities like scholarships and more. 

We’re invested in Conway, and so are our employees. We employ nearly 250 local individuals who serve on local boards, participate with local charities, coach local youth sports teams and more. Recently, Conway Corp employees collectively donated more than $35,000 to United Way and granted their eighth wish to a local child through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition, employees hold an annual food drive for a local charity each year and participate in the Angel Tree program.

As a public power utility, our loyalty is to our customers and our community. Public power is an American tradition that works, and we thank you for your support and for allowing us to serve you since 1929. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Greg Dell promoted to Chief Operating Officer

Conway Corp has announced the promotion of Greg Dell to Chief Operating Officer.   

As Chief Operating Officer, Dell will ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­direct, administer and coordinate the activities of operations in support of policies, goals and objectives established by the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Directors. He is responsible for the overall direction, coordination and evaluation of the operations of Conway Corp.

“Greg has shown great leadership and dedication to Conway Corp over his 32 year career,” Conway Corp CEO Bret Carroll said. “He has great respect among his peers and I have complete confidence that he will continue our tradition of operational excellence.”

Dell takes over as COO on October 1, 2017, replacing Tommy Shackelford, who is retiring after almost four decades with the company, including the last 12 as COO.

Dell began his career with Conway Corp in January 1985. He worked in several engineering and design departments before being named Assistant Manager, Engineering and Planning in January 2005. He held that position until May 2005 when he was named Manager, Engineering and Planning.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is December 12, 2017

Electric crew deploys for Hurricane Irma response

Conway Corp deployed a crew on Thursday, Sept. 7 to assist with power restoration in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The five-person crew is part of a mutual aid response being coordinated by the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA).

Conway Corp's crew joined 36 lineworkers from the Missouri cities of Columbia, Hannibal, Independence, Macon, Nixa, Poplar Bluff and Trenton in Birmingham, Ala. before traveling on to Orlando.

“Our crew arrived in Orlando on Friday night ahead of the storm,” Conway Corp Electric Distribution System Manager Jim Moore said. “They reported to the command center Saturday morning and rode out the storm in Orlando. They are now at work helping to restore power in the Orlando area and will be in Florida for at least two weeks.”

​Preparedness coordinators for the Florida Municipal Electric Association issued a call to the MPUA for mutual aid assistance on Wednesday, Sept. 6. MPUA contacted Conway Corp to join with their response.

The mutual aid response, coordinated through MPUA’s mutual aid network, allows public power electric utility workers to help during widespread outages in other communities. Assisting cities are reimbursed by municipal utilities receiving assistance. Nationally, mutual aid agreements organized through the American Public Power Association link more than 2,000 public power and rural electric cooperatives, so they can assist each other in times of need.

“We have been a part of mutual aid assistance through the Arkansas Municipal Power Association on numerous occasions,” CEO Bret Carroll said. “This is the first time we have traveled out of state as part of a mutual aid response.”

“We are extremely proud of the work our crews do and that we are able to assist fellow public power providers."

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