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

Local artists decorate new Conway Corp building

Visitors to Conway Corp’s new Customer Care Center at 650 Locust St. will see three original pieces of art commissioned by artists from Art on the Green. The artists were each asked to have their piece be reflective of Conway Corp’s history and place in the community.

On the first floor, Steve Griffith crafted a unique piece of assemblage art; a piece he titled “The Light Plant."  The art was created entirely from recycled and repurposed materials used by Conway Corp.  

“I wanted to take items that may not necessarily go together and piece them together artistically,” Griffith said. “Elements of art – lines, shapes and textures – came together out of the pieces that represented every service and dated to the creation of Conway Corp in 1929.”

Sheila Parsons created a mixed media work called "Front Street 1930" on the second floor. The painting depicts a scene of what life may have looked like on Front Street, looking south, the year after Conway Corp’s formation as water main lines are being buried on Front Street.

Guests on the third floor are greeted by an original oil painting by Nina Ruth Baker - "Peace and Power." The work shows electrical power lines with two birds perched on the line against an overcast Conway sky.

In addition to the art commissioned by local artists, customers can enjoy a number of historic photographs on display throughout the building.

“We are excited to welcome customers to this new space,” Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold said. “And we know that the art created by these artists helps us to tell our story as customers visit the building.”

Conway Corp will host a dedication ceremony and open house from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 23. The public is invited to attend.

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

Arnold Innovation Center plans announced

Conway Corp Board of Directors Chair Johnny Adams announced plans for the Arnold Innovation Center at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting held last night at the University of Central Arkansas.

The center is named in honor of retiring Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold and will be a destination for entrepreneurs to connect with one another while having access to necessary resources to create, launch and grow businesses. 

“The facility will become the epicenter of Conway’s startup community," Adams said. "With plans for co-working space, leasable office suites and seminar facilities, the Arnold Innovation Center will provide a continuum of space for Conway startups as they grow."

Arnold began working at Conway Corp in 1978 in the data processing department and was named the company’s fifth CEO in 1998. He will retire from that position on June 1.

“Richie’s leadership has positioned Conway as a creative hub for entrepreneurs,” Adams said. “The Arnold Innovation Center will feature the latest in technology and provide a venue for developers, students and the wider community to engage directly with Conway Corp’s latest infrastructure upgrades, business tools and fastest digital data technology available.” 

Click here for more information on the Arnold Innovation Center and the chamber's Conway 125 Capital campaign.

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

2016 Energy Smart Builder of the Year

Conway Corp has named Watson and Watson Construction the 2016 Energy Smart Builder of the Year for their dedication to building energy-efficient homes in the Conway community. 

Energy Smart homes use less energy than standard-built homes and help save homeowners money and energy for years to come. 

Conway Corp has recognized more than 50 homes built by Watson and Watson Construction as being Energy Smart since 2009. Watson and Watson have 21 homes that will meet Energy Smart standards planned for construction in 2017.

“Watson and Watson Construction has been committed to building homes that meet or exceed Conway Corp Energy Smart criteria since the Energy Smart New Home program was developed in 2009,” Conway Corp Major Accounts and Energy Efficiency Manager David Avra said.

Energy Smart specifications are based on the United States Department of Energy recommendations. Energy Smart homes can save 20 to 30 percent energy use over a standard built home thanks to a variety of energy-efficient features including insulation, high-performance windows, tight ducts and efficient heating and cooling equipment.

“636 Energy Smart homes have been built since the program began in 2009 with an estimated accumulative energy savings to the homeowners of more than $643,000,” Avra said.

Watson and Watson Construction is a partnership between Brothers Tom and Kevin Watson along with Tom’s wife Cindy and Kevin’s wife Michelle. The Watson brothers grew up working after school and during the summers for their father building homes.

“It’s important for us to stay current with innovations in the industry to build Energy Smart homes,” Tom Watson said.

“We work with Conway Corp and other local vendors and suppliers ready to assist with the best options in an Energy Smart home,” added Kevin Watson.

Customers interested in learning more about Energy Smart homes or builders interested in building Energy Smart homes can click here to learn more.

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

Conway Corp adds two additional TV networks

Conway Corp has added digital network TBD TV to channel 179 and Charge TV to channel 176.

TBD TV handpicks the most entertaining stuff from the most creative creators and puts it on your TV for a new adventure every day. If it’s what’s new or what’s next, it’s on TBD.

TBD's schedule features various web-originated films, featurettes, scripted and non-scripted series, along with some traditional full-length films and documentaries. Topics and themes are wide-ranging, with categories including science, fashion, lifestyle, travel, music, comedy, gaming and viral content.

Programs on TBD’s schedule include:

10 Up information and top ten lists covering online gaming and eSports

Because Science explanations of the science and physics behind fandom and fantasy figures, hosted by Kyle Hill

While You Were ... recaps of the week's top online news stories

Best of the Week a showcase of the week's best viral videos

Big Red Lazor a hybrid talk show and video game competition

QYOU UP weekday morning presentations of inspiring and inspirational videos and music

QYOU ZONE a showcase of "the wildest, funniest, hottest web videos on the planet"

QYOU PRIME early evening presentations of trending online videos and undiscovered features

QYOU EDGE weird, wacky and gritty web videos presented during TBD's overnight hours

This Week in Fails FailArmy's showcase of epic fails caught on videotape

TableTop Wil Wheaton and guests highlight and play various tabletop games

In addition, Charge TV is replacing Grit TV on channel 176 due to changes in lineup from the Sinclair Broadcasting Group that owns both networks.

Charge TV is an action-based network that will feature MGM films and boasts a library of more than 2,000 movie titles such as Dances with Wolves and Platoon and 2,300 hours of TV series content like In the Heat of the Night and The Magnificent Seven.

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

Customer Care Center opens

The Conway Corp Customer Care Center at 650 Locust Street will be open to customers at 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13.  Customers can now pay their bill, talk to account managers, add services and more in the new building that includes a two-lane drive-thru and after-hours payment drop box. 

Conway Corp leadership began working with Rik Sowell Architects in 2014 to develop a long range plan to address growth and expansion needs. Phase one of the plan is the Customer Care Center, a 30,000 square foot building that is the anchor of Conway Corp’s downtown location. The building is three stories of offices with ground floor customer care space overlooking an outdoor plaza. The back of the building includes a two-lane drive thru for customer bill pay. The second floor houses the marketing department, billing services, training facility and room for future expansion. The third floor is executive staff offices.

“For several years, we have dealt with inadequate office space, parking and other issues typically found in an old building,” CEO Richard Arnold said. “When we completed the  fifteen-year campus master plan and were delighted that it revealed we could effectively address these needs right here in downtown Conway. With the existing building and the new customer care center, we will have room for growth to meet customer needs,”

The existing building will be occupied by accounting, local cable programming, ad sales and power supply staff. All direct customer business will be conducted at the Customer Care Center.

“Conway Corp has had a presence in downtown since our founding in 1929,” Arnold said. “We are excited to begin welcoming customers to our new Customer Care Center.”

The Customer Care Center was built by Nabholz Construction with design elements from Georg Andersen Interior Design and Eric, Rob & Isaac. Custom art pieces created by local artists, Steve Griffith, Sheila Parsons and Nina Ruth Baker will be seen through the building along with historic photographs of Conway Corp’s 88 year history.

The company will host an official grand opening and open house on Sunday, April 23.

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

Getting the most from your internet

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 effect 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 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 ranging from a reliable 6 Mbps to the blazing-fast 1 Gig. What internet is right for you? You’ll need to consider a number of factors including total number of internet users in your home, 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 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 slower your speeds will be. 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 and 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 and 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.

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.

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 Wifi service. A direct connection is the best way to experience your device’s full speed. If you connect via Wifi, 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 can also impact speeds. Modern homes usually come equipped with wiring that is more likely to support faster speeds. Older homes are more likely to experience some loss in speed due to out-of-date wiring standards in place when those homes 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, click here or call 450-6000. 

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

LaPlante celebrates 30 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. 

Keith LaPlante is celebrating 30 years with Conway Corp. Keith was hired in January 1987 as a Dispatcher and continues in that position today. Keith works weekends, overnight hours and holidays to notify appropriate employees of emergency and after-hours outage situations while also providing technical support to customers with cable, internet and telephone services.

In addition to Keith, Engineering & Planning Manager Greg Dell is celebrating 32 years of service, and Wastewater Plant Superintendent Bill Fulmer is celebrating 38 years of service this month. 

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

Take the Energy Smart Challenge & win $100

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 2017 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 2017. 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 15, 2017. 

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

Sexton earns Customer Service Management certification

Conway Corp Customer Service Manager Jaylene Sexton recently earned her Customer Service Management certification from the American Public Power Association. 

To earn the certification, Sexton completed five required courses, passed an online exam and submitted a customer service assessment and plan focused on sustaining the company’s culture of outstanding customer service.

“Conway Corp has always been focused on meeting customers’ needs,” Conway Corp Chief Financial Officer Bret Carroll said. “This APPA program is designed to examine evolving customer preferences and expectations and provide training and guidance on building on our customer service successes. This certification demonstrates Jaylene’s leadership, knowledge and skill in this area. We are proud to have her leadership in our customer service department.”

Sexton will be recognized at the APPA National Conference scheduled in 2017.

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

Conway Corp recognized for safety excellence

Conway Corp has received Energi’s 2016 Excellence in Risk Management Award for being a leader in the implementation of Energi safety and risk management programs.

Energi, a leading provider of Insurance and Risk Management Programs to the energy industry, recognized Conway Corp as being the “Best of the Best” within the Energy industry at the Risk Management Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Safety Director Steve Plant accepted the award on behalf of the company.

“Conway Corp’s focused commitment to safety, implementation of risk management best practices and willingness to learn and apply new safety techniques have enabled us to set a future standard of excellence among industry peers,” he said.  

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