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

Conway Corp launches updated logo, brand campaign

Conway Corp recently surveyed customers and employees as a part of a brand analysis study. Using results, the company has launched an advertising campaign to share its history and vision with the community and introduce an updated logo. 

Conway Corp was established in 1929 as the city faced the threat of losing Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. In June of that year, Conway Corp was given the lease to operate the city’s electric light plan and franchise. Bonds were issued in the amount of $215,000 and given to each of the three Conway colleges, along with the community’s public and parochial schools.

For more than 86 years, Conway Corp has served the city of Conway. The company prides itself on providing high-quality services at reasonable rates and is a recognized leader and award –winner in its industries. 

“As we began looking at a brand campaign, we asked ourselves if it was time for a new logo.  Our customer research led us to the conclusion that it was time to refresh the logo, but not have a wholesale change,” Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold said. “Conway Corp is valued and trusted by its customers. They identify with our brand and we wanted something updated, but still familiar.”

The icon has been simplified but continues to represent electric and water – the two original services of the company. 

The iconic blue water tower shape now has powerful supporting columns to reflect Conway Corp’s dedication to supporting the community, while the orange base of the tower suggests electric with the three prongs of a grounded plug. An interior prong also serves as a door to future services and technologies like cable, Internet, telephone and soon home security service. In addition to the new “Tower of Power” logo, Conway Corp will begin using a distinct icon for each service line. 

In the coming weeks customers will begin seeing the new advertising campaign featuring commercials, print ads, posters, online ads and billboards. 

Click here for more information on Conway Corp, its services and its history.

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

Energy Smart Essay & Poster Contest Winners Announced

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 and essay contest. Students in grades K-4 were asked to create a poster on the theme “Powering an Energy Smart Future” while students in 5-7 grade and 8-12 grade were asked to write an essay on the same theme. First, second and third place prizes were awarded in each age category.  

Woodrow Cummins Elementary third grader Tori Worley won first place in the poster contest. Tori won a Conway Corp prize pack, an Energy Smart pizza party for her classroom and $100 donation for her classroom. Ty Freyaldenhoven, first grade at the Art School, won second place and Lily Mason, third place at Woodrow Cummins, won third place. 

In the 5-7 grade category, Delia Baatz won first place for her essay “Powering an Energy Smart Future.” Allison Purtle won second place for her “An Energetic Future” essay, and Aiyla East won third place for her “Teach Them Well – Powering an Energy Efficient Future” essay. Baatz is a sixth grader at Bob Courtway Middle School. Purtle and East are seventh graders at Ruth Doyle Middle School.

“Saving our Future: Energy” by Elaina Taylor won first place in the 8-12 grade category. “Always with Celerity” by Meagan Carmack received second place, and “The Power of the Future Lies Within the Energy of Today” by Nicole Penn received third place. Taylor, Carmack and Penn are all seniors at Conway Senior High School.

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

Taylor: “Envision the future: holographic telephone calls, hovercrafts and climate controlled cities. We all agree the future involves more and more technology and with this, more energy is demanded. Energy is defined by the Miriam-Webster dictionary as ‘usable power (as heat/electricity).’ It is incredibly valuable in everyday life due to everything we do needing or generating energy which is why powering an energy smart future is essential to maintain life. There are a myriad of ways to do this, including in the home, community and utilizing more renewable energy.

The first step toward powering an intelligent energy suture is starting at the grass roots level, the individual home. Simple options can drastically improve energy cost savings. Utilizing a programmed thermostat to set times to cool a house, while the temperature is warmer while you’re gone can actually save up to $150 a year. Think of all the potential energy saving during those eight hours the average citizen isn’t home; and that way there isn’t a single day that energy is wasted because of someone forgetting to adjust their thermostat.

The community at large is the next place to look when improving energy efficiency. The first step in this process is awareness. Many Americans understand the harms in using too much energy and the accompany substantial costs, but other than these two disadvantages, over 60 percent that were polled in a Harris Interactive survey were unaware of energy savings incentives available to them. There are usually tax rebates and incentives for making energy efficient upgrades. However, Arkansas is not one of those fortunate states that benefit from a government program currently; although many small business organizations have other programs that are offering incentives in Arkansas until those governmental agencies have means to order them here as well.

An example of one of these programs is the Small Business Energy Solutions Program that incentivizes technical supports if the consumer has a peak demand of less than 100kWh and also offers a $0.18/kWh for those taking energy efficient steps their first year for lighting control and covers the cost of direct installation projects for their customers. Also, more opportunities are readily available to a converted residence. By taking the initiative and making everyone in the community aware of the importance of energy efficiency and how many incentives are available, this will momentously help the cause.

Another key factor in improving community smart energy efficiency is to realize that all the household benefits can be applicable to offices too. For example, certain companies in Conway keep the bathroom light off and allow the customer to turn it on as need because allowing so much energy to generate throughout an eight-hour work day is truly both a waste of energy and neglecting the company’s fiscal responsibility. The money and energy saved in the home and community through one year would be tremendous if everyone would just practice these simple suggestions.”

Baatz: “For years people lived in darkness then Thomas Edison provided us with the ability to see through that darkness with electricity. For the people of Conway, this life-changing service is provided by Conway Corp. Not only for homes, but for businesses as well. Ideas for the future are able to become reality because they provide the energy needed to meet dreams.

Conway Corp also shows a concern for their customers and the environment by providing tips for conserving energy. At my home we use natural sunlight instead of using our lights during the day. When we brush our teeth we keep the water turned off until it’s time to rinse the brush instead of leaving in running.

A lot of people don’t realize that leaving your electronics plugged in uses electricity even if the items are not in use. For instance, we always make sure to unplug chargers for our phones and computers when they are not needed. My mother also recently had a family meeting on how to properly load the dishwasher to ensure that the most amount of dishes can be cleaned while cutting down on the number of loads we have to run. We turned off the heat drying on the dishwasher and allow them to air dry.

I have a two year old brother named Genesis and an eight month old sister named Marley Jade. My wish for the future is that they have a green planet and clean air to breathe as they grow. The changes that I have listed for energy use are just some of the ways that my family makes a difference to make my wish come true. With the growing population, more people need to join the cause and reduce their own carbon footprint. I think everyone could come together to make our world a better place.”

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2015 Energy Smart Essay and Poster Contest, and thank you to all students who submitted an entry. Conway Corp is proud of these students who continue to encourage us all to conserve energy in our everyday lives.

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

Conway Corp celebrates Public Power Week

Conway Corp is celebrating Public Power Week, October 4-10, along with more than 2,000 other community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that collectively provide electricity to 48 million Americans. 

“Public Power Week celebrates the reliable, affordable electricity Conway Corp provides to our community,” Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold 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 to our citizens."

Conway Corp was recently named one of the most reliable public utilities in the nation by the American Public Power Association and has been recognized with the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation for the proficiency in the reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

Conway Corp was recognized largely in part because frequency and duration of power outages in the service area is exceptionally low. The length of power outages for Conway Corp service area averages 40.7 minutes compared to the industry average of more than 90 minutes. Over the entire year, Conway Corporation customers were without power for an average of 92.1 minutes compared to the industry average of 1,366 to 1,998 minutes, meaning that lights were on 99.99 percent of the time.

Reliable, safe, affordable electricity is what public power is all about, and it's what Conway Corp delivers year round. Public power works because employees care about the community and take pride in serving their friends and neighbors. Helpu us thank our electric department for their 24/7 commitment to keeping the lights on. 

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

Three employees celebrate 25-plus years of service

We’ve come a long way since we began operating Conway’s electric light plant in 1929, and we owe much of our success to our employees – the men and women who proudly serve this community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This month, Conway Corporation would like to recognize three employees who are celebrating milestone anniversaries and have each been with the company 25 years or more.

Glen Campbell is celebrating 28 years with Conway Corporation. Glen was hired in September 1987 as a Dispatcher and continues in that position today. He receives after-hour calls from Conway Corp customers and provides technical assistance with broadband communications, cable television, electric, water and sewer services. In addition, Glen monitors Conway Corp grounds and building surveillance systems.

Robert Fortner is celebrating 31 years with Conway Corporation. Robert was hired in the Water Department in September 1984 and was promoted to Foreman in November 1992. He was promoted again to Senior Foreman in March 2005 and became the Water Distribution System Superintendent in July 2010. In his current position as superintendent, Robert coordinates activities concerned with the installation, maintenance and repair of the water and wastewater distribution systems in Conway while managing foreman who supervise the various crews assigned to the water department.

Floyd Balentine is celebrating 32 years with Conway Corporation. Floyd was hired in September 1983 as a Utility Worker in the Water Department and was promoted to his current position as Foreman in August 1990. Floyd oversees and coordinates the activities of utility workers engaged in cleaning, repairing and installing water system pipes, manholes, hydrants, valves and other water system equipment.

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

Conway Corp promotes Mason to Foreman

Conway Corp has promoted Henry Mason to Electric Foreman for the company. 

As a foreman, Mason will direct an assigned crew and assist in directing and coordinating activities concerned with the operation of the Electric Department. 

 “Henry brings a lot of experience and knowledge to his new role," Electric Distribution System Manager Jim Moore said. "He’s not only a great leader but a great role model too.”

Chief Operating Officer Tommy Shackelford said Mason was an excellent choice for the position. 

“Henry is respected by fellow employees, in the electric department and companywide,” Shackelford said. “He cares about Conway Corporation, the employees who work for him and our customers. I have complete confidence that Henry will excel in his new, well deserved position.”

Mason began his career for Conway Corp in May 1980 as a groundman.  

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

Can landscaping save money on your energy bill?

Landscaping not only adds beauty to your home and community, but it’s also a cost-effective way to improve your home’s comfort and lower your energy bills. In fact, a well-designed landscape saves enough energy to pay for itself in less than eight years while also reducing water use, cutting heating and cooling costs, protecting your home from cold winter wind and hot summer sun and lowering noise and air pollution at the same time.

Widespread tree planting and climate-appropriate landscaping offers substantial environmental benefits and is a great long-term investment for reducing energy costs. The National Academy of Sciences estimates filling urban spaces with trees would result in an annual energy savings of 50 billion kilowatt-hours or $3.5 billion each year.

Landscaping for Shade

Shading is the most cost-effective way to reduce solar heat gain in your home and cut air conditioning costs. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling, and the U.S. Department of Energy predicts that only three trees will save an average household between $100 and $250 a year in energy costs. An entire well-planned landscape can reduce an unshaded home’s air conditioning costs by 15 to 50 percent.

A six-to-eight-foot deciduous tree planted near your home will begin shading windows the first year and shade the roof in five to ten years. Shading an air conditioner can increase its efficiency by as much as ten percent. Because air settles near the ground, air temperatures directly under trees can be as much as 25 degrees cooler than air temperatures above nearby blacktop – meaning summer daytime air temps are usually six degrees cooler in tree-shaded neighborhoods than in treeless areas.

When landscaping for shade, plant deciduous trees to the south of your house so they can screen 70 to 90 percent of the hot summer sun while allowing breezes through. Plant trees with crowns lower to the ground on the west if you want to shade from lower, afternoon sun angles, and plant bushes, shrubs or climbing vines with a trellis to shade your patio area. To cool air before it reaches your home, plant shrubs and groundcover plants.

If you’re planning on adding trees to your property, it’s important to know where you plant them in relation to power lines. Tall trees can grow into overhead power lines, while roots can damage underground power lines. Trees planted directly underneath overhead power lines should have a mature height of 25 feet or less. Trees between 25-and-35-feet should be planted more than 25 feet away, and trees more than 35-feet tall should be planted more than 50-feet away from power lines. Before you do any digging, always call 811 so buried lines can be marked and you can dig safely around them.

Landscaping for Windbreaks

A windbreak reduces heating costs by lowering the wind chill near your home creating dead air space that insulates your home in the winter. Trees can be used as windbreaks to shield your house from the wind, and recent studies have found that windbreaks to the north, west and east of houses cut energy consumption by an average of 40 percent. If you live in a windy area, a well-planned landscape can reduce heating bills by approximately one-third.

When landscaping for windbreaks, the distance between your home and windbreak should be two to five times the height of the mature tree for maximum protection. Plant evergreen trees and shrubs to the north and northwest of your home to stop wind, and plant trees on either side of your house to direct cooling wind toward it in the summer. 

Landscaping for Water Conservation

It’s easy to plan your landscape to not only save energy but also to conserve water. Familiarize yourself with your yard’s features and the temperate climate region of Arkansas. Plants suited to the region require less care and less water. Landscape professionals can always help you choose which trees, shrubs or ground cover will work best for your needs.

When landscaping for water conservation, always group plants with similar water needs together and aerate your soil – it improves water flow to plants’ roots and reduces wasted water runoff. Remember to water in the morning when it’s cooler and water evaporation rates are low, and use mulch to keep plant roots cool, further minimizing evaporation and recurring weed growth. In the summer, raise your lawn mower cutting height – the longer grass blades help shade each and retain more water.

It’s not possible to control temperatures, but an energy-saving landscape can significantly modify the micro-climate surrounding your home keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. If the landscape is well-planned, installed and maintained, you will save on energy costs while increasing the value of your home.

Homeowners interested in more energy-saving tips should visit Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart website here or call 450-6000.

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

Customers should beware of utility scam

Conway Corporation has been notified of a scam targeting utility customers in which someone impersonating a Conway Corp employee demands payment on supposedly delinquent bills. The scammer claims that services will be shut off unless the consumer pays by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer, instead of a traditionally accepted form of payment. Consumers who receive this type of call or email should hang up and call Conway Corp directly.

Conway Corp officials are  urging customers not to act upon this type of request.

“If you have any concerns about your payment or disconnection of services, please contact Conway Corp directly," Billing Services Manager Edie Turner said. “Conway Corp does not call or visit customers demanding immediate payment under threat of disconnection.”

If you believe you are a victim of this scam, notify the Conway Police Department and the state attorney general's office. If you believe your Conway Corp account has been affected, call 501-450-6000 to speak with a Conway Corp customer service representative.

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

Eight employees celebrate 25 plus years of service

We’ve come a long way since we began operating Conway’s electric light plant in 1929, and we owe much of our success to our employees – the men and women who proudly serve this community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This month, Conway Corporation would like to recognize four employees who are celebrating milestone anniversaries and have each been with the company 25 years or more.

Bob Fason is celebrating 26 years with Conway Corporation. Bob was hired in August 1989 as a Laborer in the Water Department. He transferred to the Cabled Department in January 1994 as a Cable Installer Trainee and became a Cable Technician in August 1994. He was promoted to CATV Maintenance Foreman in October 2001 and Cable Maintenance Superintendent in January 2007. Bob is currently the CATV Maintenance/Trouble Superintendent and directly coordinates the activities of the cable maintenance and trouble technicians.

Mike Brakebill is celebrating 26 years with Conway Corporation. Mike was hired in August 1989 as a Laborer in the Water Department. In March 2005, he was promoted to Water Systems Foreman where he oversees and coordinates the activities of utility workers who clean, repair and install water system pipes, manholes, hydrants and valves for the entire Conway water system.

Ronnie Davie is celebrating 28 years with Conway Corporation. Ronnie was hired in 1987 as a Laborer in the Water Department and was promoted in June 1992 to Water Systems Foreman. In March 2005, he was promoted to Water Systems Senior Foreman where he oversees and coordinates the activities of utility workers who clean, repair and install water system pipes, manholes, hydrants and valves for the entire Conway water system.

Tony VanPelt is celebrating 30 years with Conway Corporation. Tony was hired in August 1985 as a Groundman in the Electric Department and began the Apprentice Lineman program in September 1989. He transferred to the Engineering and Planning Department in November 1996 as an Electric Systems Designer and was promoted in October 2010 to CATV Senior Project Manager. Tony directs the planning, designing and coordinating of engineering work activities within and outside the utility while advising staff on reception, distribution, headend and special studies.

Jody Smith is celebrating 33 years with Conway Corporation. Jody was hired August 1982 as a Cable Installer in the Cable Department and was promoted in May 1989 to Systems Sweep Technician. In December 2000 he was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Telecommunications and again to CATV Systems Assistant Manager in January 2007. In July 2014, Jody was promoted to Cable Telecommunication System Manager where he directs and coordinates the entire operation of Conway Corporation’s CATV system.

Henry Mason is celebrating 35 years with Conway Corporation. Henry was hired in August 1980 as a Groundman in the Electric Department and soon entered the Apprentice Lineman program. In October 1995, he was promoted to Senior Lineman and was promoted to Electric Foreman in May 2015. Henry directs and coordinates his own electric crew in the field to ensure Conway residents receive consistent, reliable electric service.

Greg King is celebrating 36 years with Conway Corporation. Greg was hired in August 1979 as Water Plant Operator and still holds that position today. Greg operates and maintains stationary mechanical equipment such as water pumping equipment engines, air compressors, generators, motors, turbines and chemical insertion units to provide water to Conway residents.

Richie Arnold is celebrating 37 years with Conway Corporation. Richie was hired in August 1978 in the Data Processing Department and eventually served as the manager of that department until he was promoted to the Finance and Accounting Manager. In October 1996, he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer and named Chief Executive Officer in April 1998. Richie provides leadership to the entire organization and implements strategic goals and objectives while working with the board of directors to fulfill its function. He gives direction and leadership toward the achievement of Conway Corp’s philosophy, mission strategies and objectives and recruits and develops the company’s leadership team.

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

Customer Newsletter: Tommy Pratt retires after 42 years

Senior Foreman Tommy Pratt joined the Conway Corp electric department on August 20, 1973. Forty-two years later on August 20, 2015, he will enter retirement. 

“When I met Garland Bradley (former electric department manager) he asked me, ‘Do you know anything about electricity?’ and I told him no. He said he liked it that way. He’d teach me,” Pratt said. And he did. 

Pratt began as a groundman and has served in various roles – making his way as a journeymen lineman, senior lineman and foreman.

“Things have definitely changed,” he said. “When I was first able to start climbing, we climbed every day. We have better equipment now and that means climbing is less frequent today. It is still necessary, but may not be every day.”

“The safety requirements are stricter too, which is good. You have to be careful or you don’t go home."

The thing that hasn’t changed is the camaraderie among linemen.

“It is a brotherhood,” Pratt said. “You have to have a trust, a bond. I never had any brothers, so to have thirty of them – well, that is what I will miss the most, the camaraderie.”

Pratt commented that the most difficult thing about retiring was telling Electric Distribution Systems Manager Jim Moore about his departure.

“He’s a good friend and I am going to miss him,” Moore said.

“Tommy taught me. He taught me how to climb, how to work in a hot zone. He will be missed by me, our department and by our customers.”

Moore added that Pratt has always put Conway Corp customers first. 

“I have always liked helping people and when your job lets you do that, it means a lot,” Pratt said.

In addition to time for hunting and fishing, Pratt is looking forward to time with his four grandchildren.

“They're at an age where they like to fish, ride 4-wheelers; we go to movies. I want to enjoy this time with them.”

Pratt also anticipates traveling more in a few years when his wife, Mitzi retires.

“I have been blessed with a wonderful wife, two great kids, which in turn have given me four fabulous grandkids. A wonderful job, working with great people along the way. It is time to enjoy family and life. God is good.”

Thank you Tommy – for your service to Conway Corp and to Conway.

Click here to read more about Tommy or to read other articles from the Summer 2015 Customer Newsletter including the launch of Conway Corp Home Security and Automation.

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

Energy Smart Essay & Poster Contest

Energy is an essential part of our daily lives. We use energy every day at home, at school and even when we’re playing.  Energy powers our computers and televisions; gives us light in the dark and even heats and cools our home. Because energy is so important, it’s important to use it wisely by being efficient.

Energy conservation is any behavior that results in the use of less energy, while energy efficiency is the use of technology that requires less energy to perform the same function. Here are a few things kids can do to start saving energy at home:

  • Turn off all lights, ceiling fans and appliances like the television when you leave a room.
  • When it’s sunny outside, open the curtains and use the sunlight instead of turning on the lights.
  • Don’t leave windows or doors open when the heat or air conditioning is on.
  • Help hang clothes outside to dry on a sunny day instead of using the dryer.
  • Ask your parents to install energy-saving CFL light bulbs and set the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 in the summer.

Do you have some ideas and thoughts on how to conserve electricity and energy so we can power an energy smart future? Show Conway Corporation what you and your family do at home to conserve energy by entering the third annual Conway Corporation Energy Smart Poster and Essay Contest.

The poster contest is open to students K-4th grade in Conway. Students should use their imagination to create a drawing colored with crayons, markers, colored pencils or paints to illustrate the 2015 contest theme, “Powering an Energy Smart Future.” Entries will be judged on creativity and theme representation. Winning posters will be on display during Public Power Week, October 4-10. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners. The classroom of the overall winner will also be awarded $100 in that student’s name along with an Energy Smart pizza party.

The essay contest is open to students 5th-12th grade in Conway. Students should submit a typed essay of no more than 1,000 words on the 2015 contest theme, “Powering an Energy Smart Future.” Entries will be judged on content and syntax. The winning essays will be featured during Public Power Week, and cash prizes will awarded for first, second and third place to winners in two age categories: 5th-7th and 8th-12th.

All students K-12th who live in the Conway Corporation service area are eligible. Click here for an official entry form and contest rules. Entries should be submitted to participating teachers or postmarked to Conway Corporation 1307 Prairie Street Conway AR 72034 by Wednesday, September 30. Email essay entries in MS Word or .pdf format. A scanned copy of the entry form plus contact information must accompany all electronic submissions. Please put 2015 Essay Contest in the subject line.