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 eight employees who are celebrating milestone anniversaries and have each been with the company 25 years or more.

Brent Clark is celebrating 36 years with Conway Corporation. Brent was hired in July 1979 as a wastewater plant operator and continues that position today. He operates and maintains stationary mechanical equipment at the wastewater plant including water pumping equipment engines, air compressors, generators, motors, turbines and chemical insertion units.

Randy Ethridge is celebrating 27 years with Conway Corporation. Randy was hired in July 1988 as a groundman and was promoted to underground service technician in November 1998. Randy installs, maintains and repairs underground electrical services and meter loops to help keep the lights on in Conway.

Tilden Fulmer is celebrating 36 years with Conway Corporation. Tilden was hired in July 1979 as a wastewater plant operator and was promoted to his current position as chief wastewater plant operator in January 1998. Tilden supervises the wastewater plant staff and ensures the plant is working safely and within state and national guidelines to provide Conway residents with a nationally-recognized wastewater system.

Jim Lawrence is celebrating 29 years with Conway Corporation. Jim was hired in July 1986 as a groundman and was promoted in 1996 to locator then to locator foreman in 1999. In October 2010, he was promoted to his current position, damage prevention foreman. Jim manages, coordinates and supervises the locating of Conway Corp utility lines to protect the lines and the public to potential hazards.

Steve Mahar is celebrating 42 years with Conway Corporation. Steve was hired in July 1973 as a water plant operator and currently holds that position today. He operates and maintains stationary mechanical equipment at the water plant including water pumping equipment engines, air compressors, generators, motors, turbines and chemical insertion units.

Tracy Moore is celebrating 28 years with Conway Corporation. Tracy was hired in July 1987 as the manager of data processing and was promoted to the manager of accounting services in 1996, In February 2012, he was promoted to his current position, manager of accounting, compliance and risk management. Tracy coordinates NERC/SERC compliance with appropriate regulatory bodies and is responsible for risk management activities and providing oversight for Conway Corp’s accounting function.

Liz Nixon is celebrating 35 years with Conway Corporation. Liz was hired in July 1980 as a secretary and currently works in the engineering department. She provides general support to engineering and operations staff and serves as the first point of contact for the public needing assistance from the department.

Mark Rowlett is celebrating 30 years with Conway Corporation. Mark was hired in July 1985 as a groundman and was promoted to a journeyman lineman in 1993. Mark was promoted to his current position, senior lineman, in January 2000. Mark supervises an electric crew who install, maintain and repair both overhead and underground electrical power distribution lines and accompany apparatus.

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

Is it time to change the air filter in your home?

Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program is one of the many ways we’re balancing increasing demands for electricity with our commitment to providing affordable rates to Conway residents. Now that the summer heat is officially here, it’s especially important for homeowners to understand how their air conditioners work to keep energy bills low and homes comfortable. Unfortunately, the highest level of interaction most of us have with our air conditioners comes from adjusting the thermostat.

Our air conditioners work hard to keep us cool, and air filters play an important role in that. Your air conditioner works by pulling in air from the outside, cooling it, then sending it throughout the home. When it pulls in air from the outside, it can also grab outside pollutants like dust, mold and allergies that get sent through your ductwork along with the cooled air.

This is why your filter is so important. The air filter’s job is to stop all the pollutants from reaching you while keeping your air fresh and germ free. After time, your filter gets dirty from all the pollutants it’s filtering out of the air. When this happens, you need to replace it.

Filters should be replaced about once a month for air conditioning units to work properly. If they are neglected, units will not run at peak performance and other negative effects could occur including:

  • Poor air quality
  • Higher energy bills
  • Inconsistent room temperatures
  • Expensive AC repairs
  • Reduced home comfort

Filters are made of a variety of materials and are rated by efficiency. What type of air filter we choose for our homes can have a huge impact on our air quality. It’s important you get the right kind of filter for your home’s needs. The minimum efficiency reporting value goes from 1-20 and is used to rate the filters. Generally for home central air units, you’ll want a filter between 5 and 12. These effectively filter mold, pet dander, household cleaning sprays, spores and more. As for the size, check what your unit needs simply by looking at the old filter.

While disposable filters have to be replaced once a month, changing them out is easy. Just remove the dirty filter, slide the new one into position, and you’re done. They typically have higher ratings than reusable filters and are more efficient at catching and trapping debris when changed regularly. Disposable filters are also pretty inexpensive depending on the type you choose.

Reusable filters require cleaning just as often as disposable filters require replacement, but can be manually cleaned and dried at your home. While they might cost a little more upfront, they may save money in the long run since you’re not replacing them as often. If cleaned regularly, a reusable filter can last up to five years.

No matter which filter you choose, having a fresh filter in your home can make a huge difference. Replacing or cleaning your home’s filter once a month will improve your home’s indoor air quality and reduce the amount of dust that collects in your home. Plus, your air conditioner will run much more efficiently when the filter is clean and that means it uses less energy to do its job meaning lower utility bills each month.

On average, the energy your air conditioner uses makes up about half of your energy bill each month, so spending a few dollars on a clean air conditioning filter can make a big difference on your monthly budget. 

To learn more the Energy Smart program or to read more energy saving tips, contact Conway Corporation at 501-450-6000 or click here.

Look for more Conway Corporation Energy Smart efficiency tips every month in 501 Life magazine.

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

Rowlett, Spangler honored for safety, service

Conway Corporation recently honored Senior Lineman Mark Rowlett and Business Systems/End User Support Administrator Ben Spangler with awards for their exemplary work performance.

Conway Corporation is dedicated to exceeding customers’ expectations through the exceptional work of dedicated employees and recognizes two employees annually for their dedication – one in the area of safety and another in the area of customer service.

Rowlett received the Safety Leadership Award presented by Safety Director Steve Plant. Rowlett was nominated by fellow electric department employees who said he is "organized, efficient and works hard at doing the right thing for all concerned accomplishing his jobs in a safe and timely manner, regardless of the weather or difficulties that might arise. He strives to not only be a leader, but a safe one."

 

Spangler received the Customer Service Award presented by CEO Richard Arnold. He was also nominated by his coworkers for going above and beyond his job duties with one employee saying he has "shown over his years here that he values the customer service and satisfaction portion of his job duties. He often takes the extra time required to not only solve the problem at hand, but to listen to any of his customers’ concerns. Ben has formed many friendships across the company and this has had a direct impact on the satisfaction of his customers.”

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

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

Four 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.

Mike Credit is celebrating 39 years with Conway Corporation. Mike was hired in June 1976 as a Utility Worker. He is currently a Senior Foreman in the Water Department, a position he has held for more than 10 years. Mike oversees and coordinates a crew dedicated to cleaning, repairing and installing all aspects of Conway’s water and wastewater system.

Dale Gottsponer is celebrating 26 years with Conway Corporation. Dale was hired in June 1989 as an Engineer. After passing his Electrical Principles and Practice of Engineering exam, Dale was promoted to Electric System Engineer in 1996. In 2008, Dale was promoted to his current position, Electric System Senior Engineer, where he plans, designs, studies and coordinates engineering work related to transmission and substations.

Tommy Shackelford is celebrating 37 years with Conway Corporation. Tommy was hired in June 1978 in the engineering department and is now the company’s Chief Operating Officer where he oversees the day –to-day operations of the Electric, Water and Cable departments.

Keith Cates is celebrating 26 years with Conway Corporation. Keith was hired in June 1989 as a Utility Worker. He was transferred to the Water Department in the early 90s and earned his Grade A Water license in 1994 and his inspector and backflow licenses in 1996.  He was promoted to his current position as a Water Systems Designer II in the Engineering Department in 1999 where he plans, designs and directs water and wastewater engineering projects. 

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

Save water & money this summer

As temperatures rise during summer months, our consumption of water also increases. We participate in outdoor activities like swimming and gardening and use nearly four times as much water as the rest of the year to keep our lawns green or fill our backyard pools.

Some homes can even use up to 3,000 gallons of water on a peak day which is the equivalent of leaving a garden hose running for nearly eight hours. The good news is with a few simple techniques, you can save water and money all summer long while still enjoying your favorite outdoor activities.

Landscaping

Now is a great time to determine which area of your yard needs the most water and to prioritize the watering needs of outdoor plants and trees. Newly planted trees, shrubs and lawns should receive the first priority when it comes to determining the need for water. While most plants and bushes are not planted until spring, those planted the previous year may not have had time to develop extensive root systems. It’s best to water early in the morning when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest to reduce loss from evaporation. Mulching also reduces loss and keeps the soil and roots cool. Remember a slow trickle from the hose is the most effective method for absorption.

Flower and Vegetable Gardens

Most flower and vegetable gardens require watering to stay productive. Mulching can help retain additional moisture in the soil and around the roots. Most well established trees and shrubs can withstand a prolonged period without rain or watering. Far more plants die from over-watering than under-watering. For many garden plants, the best way is to let your finger be the guide. Dig down several inches near the base of the plant. If the soil is dry, that’s an indication you need to water.

Lawns

Don’t over-water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need one inch of water every five to seven days. Try placing a small empty tuna can near your sprinkler system to help you determine when to turn off the sprinkler. When the can is full, you have watered approximately one inch. Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speeds are lowest to reduce loss from evaporation. Try setting your lawn mower blades one notch higher because longer grass means less water evaporation.

Rain Barrels

Place rain barrels or buckets beneath your gutters or downspouts. For every 1,000 square feet of roof surface, you will collect 420 gallons of water during every inch of rainfall. You can use the rainwater for outdoor plants and trees or to wash your car. Channel storm water across lawns and into garden beds away from your house. Consider rainscaping by establishing a watershed-friendly garden, which will use storm water to thrive and create beauty around your home.

Swimming Pools

Uncovered backyard pools lose hundreds of gallons of water each month from evaporation. Using a pool cover and keeping it covered when not in use will reduce evaporation of water and chemicals by nearly 70 percent. Check your pool for leaks often, and always consult a professional with pool maintenance to reduce your risk of structural failure like a cracked shell that would waste thousands of gallons of water over the summer.

We all see our water use rise dramatically during the summer, but our monthly statements don’t have to rise too. Start planning now to use water more efficiently, and your entire family will be having fun in the sun all summer long. For more water or electric efficiency information, call the Conway Corporation Energy Smart team at 501-450-6000 or click here.

Look for more Conway Corporation Energy Smart efficiency tips every month in 501 Life magazine.  

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

Conway Corp Board of Directors elects Brad Teague

The Conway Corporation Board of Directors recently elected Brad Teague to serve a seven-year term beginning May 8.  

Teague, University of Central Arkansas director of athletics, moved to Conway in 2007 and is active with several community organizations including the Conway Chamber of Com­merce, Conway Noon Rotary Club and the Conway Airport Advisory Committee.

“Conway Corporation is quite an asset for our community. We are very fortunate, both individually and community wide, to have a strong utility to support our needs,” Teague said. “There is not a better place to live in this country and Conway Corporation is a major reason why Conway is doing so well. It is a privilege to be among the leaders of this great corporation in our progressive community.”

Teague received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Delta State, master's of education in administration from DSU and his doctorate of philosophy in leadership from Ole Miss.

Teague and his wife, Gina, have four children, Parker, Berris, Cooper and Hutson, and attend St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. 

The Board elects one director annually to serve a seven-year term.  Other board members are Johnny Adams, Bo Conner, Brad Hegeman, Ray Kordsmeier, Greg Murry and Bob Whitehouse. Teague replaces Bill Adkisson, whose term ended May 8.

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

Customer Newsletter: Internet Speeds Increasing

The Conway Corporation Spring 2015 Customer Newsletter is now available and includes information on the company’s plan to increase Internet speeds without raising prices.

The Conway Corporation Board of Directors recently approved increased speeds for Internet packages and a rate adjustment for cable services to take effect June 1.

Internet packages will remain the same price but will have an increase in download and upload speeds.

The current Basic package will increase from 4 Mbps to 6 Mbps down and from 512 Kbps to 1 Mbps up. The Express package will go from 12 Mbps to 25 Mbps down and from 1 Mbps to 3 Mbps up.

Extreme from 18 Mbps to 50 Mbps down and from 1 Mbps to 5 Mbps up.

The Turbo package will increase from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps down and from 3 Mbps to 10 Mbps up.

Conway Corporation will add a new package offering 200 Mbps down to 20 Mbps up.

Customers with current Internet packages will need an eight channel Docsis 3.0 modem or greater to automatically begin receiving higher speeds on June 1.

For more information, please call customer service at 450-6000.

Click here to read more about Internet speeds or to read other articles from the Spring 2015 Customer Newsletter.

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

Conway Corp promotes Meek to Senior Lineman

Conway Corporation Journeyman Lineman Robert Meek has been promoted to senior lineman beginning today.

As senior lineman, Meek will supervise electric crew members to ensure the safety and success of the crew as they install, maintain and repair both overhead and underground electrical lines and accompanying apparatus.

 “Robert will not only be responsible for the safety of the crew, but also ensuring the job is done right,” Electric Distribution System Manager Jim Moore said.

Meek began his career with the Conway in May 1999 as a groundman and has been advancing in the electric department ever since.

“It’s important to the success of Conway Corporation that we keep our staff properly trained for now and the future,” Chief Operating Officer Tommy Shackelford said. “We are fortunate to have someone like Robert to move into this position and take on a role of greater responsibility.”

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

Win a free AC Tune Up from Conway Corporation

Summer is officially on its way, which means temperatures are steadily rising. Sometimes it’s hard to balance comfort and cost, but staying relaxed and cool in your home on the hottest days of the year without worrying about energy bills going through the roof is possible.

One of the easiest things you can do to stay cool this summer is having a professional tune up your air conditioning unit. Over the course of 12 months, a home’s heating and cooling will easily run thousands of hours. Left unserviced, the average unit will lose five percent of its efficiency each year from dust and dirt accumulation as well as regular wear and tear.

Conway Corporation recommends customers have a preventative maintenance tune up on their central air conditioning unit every year to keep it working efficiently. Having your home’s cooling system serviced is one of the best things you can do – both from a comfort perspective as well as a financial one. Plus, small problems can be detected long before they turn into big, expensive problems when temperatures are likely at their worst.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a checkup of your home’s HVAC system can extend its life by several years as well as save you up to ten percent a month on energy bills. On average, a tune up will cost $70 to $100 which easily pays for itself in monthly efficiency savings. Plus, a well-looked-after unit will last up to 15 years, compared to a seven years for ones that are left ignored. Extending the life of your unit will save up to $5,000 in replacement costs.

Conway Corporation Energy Smart professionals recommend scheduling a local, certified HVAC contractor to perform a system tune up that includes four basic steps:

  • Measure airflow of the system to test capacity and efficiency. Most air conditioners require 400 cubic feet per minute of air to operate to capacity.
  • Clean the condenser. The outdoor unit should be sprayed with a heaving foaming cleanser that soaks for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing.
  • Measure indoor and outdoor conditions including indoor wet bulb, indoor dry bulb and outdoor dry bulb. After all measurements are taken, they should be plotted on a sliding chart to determine super heat that will set the proper refrigerant charge.
  • Adjust refrigerant charge. One of the most expensive repairs for units is a refrigerant leak.

Homeowners can also play their part in keeping the system in good working condition by changing the filters on their heating, ventilation and cooling system four times a year. This helps to keep the system running smoothly and improves the home’s airflow providing better air quality and less temperature fluctuation.

Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program can help you balance increasing demands for electricity with our commitment to providing affordable rates. This month, Energy Smart is giving away an air conditioner tune up to one Conway Corporation customer. Customers can register to win online here. Entries must be complete by May 20, and winner will be announced May 22, 2015. Winner must be a homeowner in the Conway Corporation service area.

To learn more about Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program, contact Conway Corporation at 501-450-6000 or click here. 

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

Joe Bright retires after 29 years of service

Substation Repair Worker Joe Bright is retiring from Conway Corporation this month after serving more than 29 years in the electric department.

Bright joined the company as a groundman in 1977 and entered the lineman apprenticeship program one year later. He left the company in 1981 but returned in 1989.

Bright has spent time in numerous roles in the electric department – from service and street light truck crews to hanging banners and Christmas lights. For the past nine years, he has served as a substation repair worker. 

“Conway Corporation is a service-oriented company,” Bright said. “No matter what job I was doing, I knew I was getting to help people.”

Bright says he is a jokester and enjoys a good prank with his co-workers, but notes that the work done by those in his department is serious work.

“We know that electricity is no respecter of persons,” he said. “The job we do can be life-changing or life-taking in a second. It is hard work. But you do the hard things because you want to help people. We want to take care of customers.”

Bright said that is where the reward comes from his career – getting to help people and the relationship with co-workers.

“I have had the privilege of working with a great bunch of guys that care," he said. "I’m going to miss the camaraderie. When your life depends on the person next to you, those relationships matter."

Bright is looking forward to fishing, gardening and time with his grandchildren.

“It has been real and it has been fun. Now it is time to have some real fun.”

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