Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 21, 2018

Kemp receives Lloyd Westbrook Good Neighbor Award

Conway Corp Marketing and Public Relations Manager Crystal Kemp has been recognized by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce with the Lloyd Westbrook Good Neighbor Award. 

Established in 1973, the award is presented annually to an individual who has given of his or her time and talents. Recipients are known for going above and beyond the call of duty to help others while exemplifying outstanding public service to the Conway community. In 2016, the award was renamed to honor Westbrook, former CEO and President of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for contributions to this community,” she said. “It’s also special to me is because it’s named for Lloyd, who was so important in my professional and personal development.”

Westbrook hired Kemp at the chamber soon after she and her husband moved to Conway in 1993 and they worked together for seven years until 2000 when she accepted a position at Conway Corp.

“Crystal is the epitome of servant leadership and I can think of no one more deserving of the Good Neighbor Award,” Conway Corp CEO Bret Carroll said. “She is selfless and strives to put others needs before her own; our community is a better place because Crystal lives here.”

Kemp was presented her award by the Chamber at a reception held earlier this month and was recognized at the Chamber’s annual meeting on March 15.

Drew Gainor with Northwestern Mutual (left) and Brady Lacy, President and CEO Conway Area Chamber of Commerce presented Conway Corp Marketing and Public Relations Manager with the Lloyd Westbrook Good Neighbor Award at a downtown reception earlier this month. 
Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 21, 2018

Get Peace of Mind with Conway Corp Security

Keeping you and your family safe is a big deal. That’s why Conway Corp offers a home security and automation service to help you protect what matters and the ones who matter most. With Conway Corp, you get the reliability and peace of mind of a home security system plus the power to monitor and control your home from virtually anywhere – all backed by a local team you know and trust.

HOME & FAMILY PROTECTION 

Each year there are an estimated two and a half million burglaries across the United States costing homeowners more than $3 billion with the average loss per burglary around $1,700. Conway Corp’s home security system is monitored 24/7 with an alarm that scares off many would-be burglars and will notify the authorities if someone does attempt a break-in.

A recent Rutgers study found that homes without security systems are nearly 3 times more likely to be targeted by a burglar, and as the number of home security systems increased in an area, the number of residential robberies decreased. Having a security system not only protects you and your valuables, but it helps your neighborhood be a safer place for everyone.

Conway Corp security offers indoor and outdoor cameras as well as door/window sensors and glass breakage sensors. While most cameras are set to take photos or record after motion is detected, Conway Corp offers the ability to record continuously for seven days onto an SD card for convenient playback. New for 2018, Conway Corp will begin offering doorbell cameras, garage door openers, Amazon Echo compatibility and cloud recordings with seven, ten and 30-day options.

FIRE PROTECTION

Every 23 seconds, a house fire is reported in the U.S. Many homeowners rely on smoke detectors to warn them of a fire, but Conway Corp home security systems also offers an early warning system. Monitored home alarm systems not only warn home occupants of the presence of smoke in the home, but they also warn of sources of heat. In addition, our monitored system contacts authorities at the first sign of trouble so you’re protected even when you’re not home.

CARBON MONOXIDE PROTECTION

Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by a colorless, odorless gas released by stoves, heating systems and gas ranges among other things. Carbon monoxide is undetectable by the human senses, so individuals are often unaware of the gas building up over time in the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning causes dizziness, headaches, chest pains, nausea, vomiting, confusion and in severe cases, death.

The good news is carbon monoxide leaks can be discovered with carbon monoxide detectors. These small devices resemble smoke detectors and not only warn the homeowner of a problem but can also warn emergency service personnel. The faster individuals are able to leave home and receive medical treatment, the less severe carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms will be.

INSURANCE SAVINGS

Homeowner’s insurance is a mandatory part of becoming a homeowner in most cases and covers losses or damages to private homes and possessions. Often, a discount is given to homeowners with home security systems installed. The total discount given differs based on the features of the system but having a system in your home can lower your insurance by up to 20 percent.

REMOTE MONITORING

Conway Corp security and automation system puts you in control by allowing you to access the system remotely so you can keep an eye on your home even when you’re away. Log on to the secure system via computer or smart phone and monitor what’s happening in your home. You can remotely arm or disarm the security system, monitor cameras, turn household lights on and off, control the thermostat and more.

Turning on and off lights through remote access can keep you protected by giving the illusion that someone is home even when they are not. Accessing the heating and air can help you prepare the home for sudden temperature changes to prevent pipe damage or protect pets.

REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION

Conway Corp’s security and automation also allows you to access and control the lighting and thermostat through remote access which can significantly decrease your energy bills over time. Customers can log in from anywhere at any time to change their home’s temperature, schedule thermostat settings or turn lights on and off. Turn off lights you accidentally left on before leaving home or change the temperature while you’re away at work. According to EnergyStar, taking advantage of a programmable thermostat like Conway Corp’s will save an estimated $15 per month in energy savings.

PEACE OF MIND

Having a home security system gives your family an extra layer of protection that provides you with peace of mind. Get an email or text message notification when your child arrives home from school or know an elderly parent left alone will have authorities dispatched immediately if needed. You can rest easy knowing your home is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by a CSAA certified Five Diamond center to keep you and your family safe. You will be alerted immediately to any emergency situation, and we’ll even take care of calling the authorities for you so can focus on what’s important – your family.

Conway Corp home security and automation is all about putting you in control. Be the first to know if something unexpected happens. Turn on the lights when you’re out of the house. Receive a text or email alert if your alarm is triggered or set the system to send you a picture when a motion detector is activated. Click here to learn more or call 450-6000.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 21, 2018

Is your Internet speed right for you?

Whether you’re an occasional emailer or an all-night binge-watcher, finding the internet speed that’s right for your needs and knowing what can affect it is a necessity. 

It used to be simple to connect to the internet, but today things are more complicated. With browsing, streaming, gaming, shopping, video chatting and more, it’s more important than ever to choose the right internet for the best experience.

Conway Corp offers five packages for residential customers and three for business customers ranging from a reliable 6 Mbps to the blazing-fast 1 Gig. Which internet package is right for you? You’ll need to consider a number of factors including total number of internet users in your home or office, number of devices connected and what you’ll be doing online.

While it might not seem like you’re using a lot of internet, usage for a typical home of four can add up quickly. Consider a mom streaming her favorite show on smart TV and checking her social media accounts; a dad watching the latest blockbuster movie in HD on his tablet plus sending emails for work; a teenager streaming music while playing online games and another child browsing the web while chatting with friends.

To get started, ask yourself these questions. The higher the number, the higher speed internet you will need.

What is the maximum number of devices that could be using the internet in your home including browsing the internet, using social media or checking mail at the same time?

In today’s digital age, it’s important to remember internet usage isn’t just about checking email on a desktop computer anymore. Devices can range from computers to printers to cell phones to tablets to game consoles – even your fridge can use the internet to let you know you’re out of milk. The more internet connections your home has, the higher speed you need. If multiple people are using separate devices at the same time, you will need to increase your speed to accommodate the number of people and devices to ensure an enjoyable internet experience without lag or latency issues.

During your busiest hour of internet usage, how many devices could be streaming at once?

Streaming is a type of download that isn’t saved or stored anywhere on your device, but it can still use a lot of bandwidth. Streaming video from sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or YouTube in HD or Ultra HD needs at least a 25 Mbps speed to ensure a buffer-free experience. Plus, a recent survey found that more than 90 percent of people multi-task while watching TV or streaming video so simultaneous use is also an important factor in determining speed.

How many devices might be downloading large files and how long are you willing to wait on files to download?

Downloading is the transfer of data from one place to another. When you download a movie or a song, get an email or search and save from the web, you have a copy of the item on your device. Downloads typically use more bandwidth over a shorter period of time than streaming because you can download faster than you can watch. While faster speeds are not required for large downloads, users who download a lot of files might prefer a faster connection. A two-hour movie will take about an hour to download with a 6 Mbps connection but take only 25 seconds with Conway Corp’s 1 Gig connection.

How many devices in your home will be playing games online?

Online gaming is one of the biggest bandwidth users for internet users, especially game updates and the audio calling services gamers use to talk to each other. Most households with at least with one gamer need a 50 Mbps connection and will need a higher connection if more than one gaming console – like a computer, PS4, Xbox, etc. – is in the home.

What speed is right for my home?

In general, Conway Corp Basic Residential internet is good for email and basic web browsing. Broadband 25 internet is good for light video streaming, file sharing and downloading smaller files. Broadband 50 internet is good for moderate video streaming, light online gaming and multiuser homes. Broadband 100 internet is good for heavy video streaming, moderate online gaming and professional home offices. Gig internet is good for maximum video streaming, heavy online gaming, multiple users and devices and advanced applications.

What speed is right for my business?

In general, Conway Corp Business Basic internet is good for most small businesses that deal with light web browsing and emails with small attachments. Business Broadband 25 is good for moderate web browsing, email with large attachments, processing credit card transactions, desktop video conferencing and high definition video streaming. Business Broadband 75 is good for heavy web browsing, high-performance email with large attachments, online backups and file sharing and maintaining a Wi-Fi hot spot for employee or customers. Commercial customers with heavier internet use can also benefit from one of Conway Corp’s custom fiber packages tailored to fit individual business needs.  

Getting the most from your internet package

Once you choose the internet speed that’s right for you, it’s important to know what can affect your speed so you get maximum performance. The key to receiving the fastest internet speed is having the right device with the right wired connection. More recently purchased devices can support faster internet speeds than older devices. Some devices are limited to certain speeds. Check the documentation for your specific devices to find their maximum speeds.

The speed you receive also depends on if you are using a wired connection between the device and the cable modem or if you are using Wi-Fi service. A direct connection is the best way to experience your device’s full speed. If you connect via Wi-Fi, your speed may decrease since wireless connections are inherently slower. Wireless connections are also adversely affected by distance from the router as well as the number of walls or other obstacles between your device and the router.

In addition, the wiring that distributes communication services throughout your home or business can impact speeds. Modern buildings usually come equipped with wiring that is more likely to support faster speeds. Older homes and offices are more likely to experience some loss in speed due to out-of-date wiring standards in place when those buildings were constructed.

The internet is changing and growing every day, but Conway Corp has trained customer service representatives and technicians to help you understand and get the most out of your service. If you need help choosing the right speed for your home or have questions about your internet package, call 450-6000. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 21, 2018

Stewart earns CCISO certification

Conway Corp Broadband Services Administrator Jerry Stewart has earned his certification as a Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO).       

This certification is offered by The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) and demonstrates that Stewart is able to recognize the real-world experience necessary to succeed at the highest executive levels of information security.

“This is a valuable certification not only for executives, but also for those advising and creating security policies," Information Systems Manager Brad Sanders said.

“This will be valuable to us while we continue to set security posture and create policy for our company.”

Stewart joined Conway Corp in August 2007 and began his career as a Linux Systems Analyst. In March 2012 he became a Broadband Systems Administrator and became an Information Security and Compliance Administrator in May 2017. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 21, 2018

Lawrence, Martin earn operator licenses

Water Plant Operators Daniel Lawrence and Reece Martin have passed the Arkansas Water Operator Exam and have earned their operator licenses from the Arkansas Department of Health.

“I am proud of Daniel and Reece for passing this important exam,” Water Systems Manager Lee Tedford said. “They have shown a clear understanding of the treatment process and will help Conway Corp continue to deliver safe and reliable drinking water.”

Any water operator that performs water treatment duties in the state must hold a valid, active operator license. Lawrence and Reece had to conduct 100 training hours in addition to passing the exam.

“Passing this exam is an accomplishment,” Water Plant Superintendent Keith Rains said. “Daniel and Reece are the future of the Roger Q Mills Water Treatment Plant and Conway Corp.”

Water Plant Operators Daniel Lawrence, Reece Martin, Shane Gray, Mike McKaskle with Plant Maintenance Worker Rick McPherson and Water Systems Manager Lee Tedford. Lawrence and Martin recently earned their Water Operator Licenses.  
Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 21, 2018

Take the Energy Smart Challenge & win $100 gift card

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are officially over. We’re putting away the decorations and the treats and making lists of what we hope to accomplish this year. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions will be to lose weight and get fit, but the average treadmill uses between 600 and 700 watts of energy meaning a quick workout is the equivalent of leaving 50 CFL light bulbs on for 30 minutes.

This year, head outside to walk, run or bike instead and resolve to save energy and money in 2018 by participating in the Conway Corp Energy Smart Challenge. The Challenge helps Conway residents make home energy upgrades easy and affordable. Customers can work at their own pace choosing to start with small upgrades like replacing old lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs, or they can request a free energy audit from Conway Corp to identify goals and develop a tailored plan for their home. Zero percent interest loans are even available for many upgrades including attic insulation and appliances.

No matter how large or small you start, saving energy is a resolution you can stick with that will save you money in the long run while making your home more comfortable too. Start with these five tips and put them into action in the next three months – you will definitely start to notice changes.

START USING POWER STRIPS

Many electronic devices and equipment continue to consume unnecessary energy even when not in use. Often called energy vampires, these devices cost families more than $100 a year. Use a power strip for electronic devices and turn it off when not in use to eliminate energy vampires. And be sure to unplug your chargers – they draw energy even when they aren’t connected to a device.

REPLACE INEFFICIENT LIGHTING

About 10 percent of the energy your home uses goes to lighting costs. By just replacing five of your home's most frequently used lights with energy-efficient ENERGY STAR bulbs, you could save $75 a year in energy costs. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs can yield as much as 75 percent energy savings and last six-times longer. You can get even more energy savings, longer life span and less wasted heat by switching to ENERGY STAR LED bulbs.

UPGRADE APPLIANCES

Installing and setting a programmable thermostat can save an estimated 10 percent per year on heating and cooling costs while switching to ENERGY STAR certified appliances can save nearly $750 over the lifetime of the item.

REDUCE WATER HEATING EXPENSE

Water heating is a large energy expense in your home, accounting for about 14-18 percent of your utility bill. By taking low-cost steps, you can reduce your water heating bill. Make sure your water heater is set to no higher than 120 degrees. Install low-flow showerheads or temperature-sensitive shower valves. Newer water heaters have more insulation than older ones. If your water heater is more than five years old, wrap a water heater jacket around it to stop heat loss from the tank.

BENCHMARK YOUR ENERGY USAGE

Staring down 12 months of utility bills can be daunting, but benchmarking is a key step toward seeing how your current energy usage stacks up, prioritizing your projects and ultimately making a dent in your utility bills. The myConwayCorp app is a great resource for the past 13 months of electric and water usage in your home.

Set an energy-saving goal that will both challenge you and serve as an attainable milestone to reach by year-end. Aim to reduce energy use by 5 percent or save $300 from last year. Whatever your goal – set it and work toward it.

Once you’ve made the commitment, click here to officially sign up to take the Energy Smart Challenge and pledge to reduce your energy usage and footprint in 2018. You will find other ideas and tips for energy efficiency along with information on free residential energy audits and zero percent interest loans for qualified energy efficient improvements.

Customers who register to take the Energy Smart Challenge and schedule their free residential energy audit during January will be entered to win a $100 Home Depot gift card to help with energy efficiency improvements around the home. Winner will be selected by random drawing and be announced by February 16, 2018. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 21, 2018

Conway Corp announces promotions

Conway Corp recently promoted five employees in the technology, cable, billing, human resources and customer services departments to better reflect their current job responsibilities, training and certification level.

Jason English has been promoted from Headend Technician to Senior Headend Technician. English recently celebrated his 12-year anniversary with the company in April.

Ben Lawrence has been promoted from Construction Technician to Senior Construction Technician. Lawrence joined the cable department seven years ago.

Brittney McCaig has been promoted from Customer Accounts Specialist to Senior Customer Accounts Specialist. McCaig has been with the company for 13 years.  

DeAnna Smith has been promoted from Human Resources Technician to Senior Human Resources Technician. Smith is celebrating her seven-year anniversary with the company this month.

Shelly Smith has been promoted from Customer Service Specialist to Senior Customer Service Specialist. Smith started with Conway Corp in 2011 as a cashier and moved to customer service in 2013. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 21, 2018

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 May 21, 2018

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 May 21, 2018

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

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