Smithville Spotlight – Jim T., Maintenance Assistant

Jim T., Maintenance Assistant, is well known around Smithville. In his role he is able to work on maintenance requests across all Smithville locations, helping out wherever needed. Smithville employees love seeing him around, and his presence always brings a smile to their faces.

Before we learned more about Jim, we asked him some very important questions:

    • Hometown: Ellettsville, IN
    • Favorite TV Show: The 3 Stooges
    • Favorite Movie: Caddy Shack
    • Favorite Food: Spam! And of course, spaghetti and steak
    • What he likes to do in free time: Golf and play drums
    • Dream vacation destination: Other than Gosport, Hawaii of course!
    • Favorite quote: “If you’re not the lead dog the scenery never changes”


Jim joined Smithville nine years ago. He had a background helping with maintenance, and the position at Smithville was a perfect fit, allowing him to help others. “My day goes very fast with preventative maintenance and maintaining facilities and grounds and helping people in need.”

Helping others is in Jim’s nature, and working together as a team is what motivates him each day. “I love being able to work with all types individuals in every department. I think people may not realize just how professional and courteous we are as a company and individually.”

Working at Smithville has offered many rewards for Jim. “All of the benefits offered and vacation time is great, but most of all the people I have the opportunity to work with is a huge reward.” He also has been able to expand his knowledge and skills of maintenance issues while working these past nine years.

As Jim travels to Smithville locations across the state, including Sharpsville, French Lick, Jasper, and Griffin, he logs a lot of miles. At Smithville’s annual Night of Champions in 2018 he was honored as the 2018 Safety Champion. He traveled the most miles of anyone in the company and had a stellar safety and speed record. His attention to detail and the safety of himself, coworkers, and customers led him to receive the coveted Smithville gold cone award, one of our signature orange cones placed outside vehicles for safety spray painted gold.

When asked to describe his time here at Smithville in three words, he said “rewarding, exciting, and fulfilling.” His coworkers would agree, and they look forward to seeing him at one of our many locations whenever he stops by.

Smithville Spotlight: John B., Project Manager

When asked to describe his time at Smithville in three words, John B., Project Manager, said “My opinion matters.” Although he recently joined the team, he brings years of experience and a fresh perspective that has been welcomed in Project Management.

Before we learned more about John, we asked some very important questions to get to know him better:

    • Hometown: West Terre Haute, IN
    • Favorite TV Show: The Voice
    • Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump
    • Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers
    • What He Likes to do In Free Time: Raising goats and spending time with his family, including 2 granddaughters
    • Dream Vacation Destination: Italy
    • Favorite Quote: “Treat others how you want to be treated.”


John came to Smithville with over 30 years in the telecommunications industry. His passion for helping lead projects serves him well in his role here at Smithville. “I retired from AT&T but still felt like I had a lot to offer a company and really wasn’t ready to not work. I applied for several jobs over a course of a year and none ever felt like the right fit until I applied at Smithville. During the interview process I felt welcomed and like I was already an employee, which made me even more excited when I accepted the position as Project Manager.”

Our Project Management department helps get new initiatives or process improvements up and running, while making sure every key stakeholder is involved and informed.  That communication is key to success, and something that is very rewarding to John. “As a Project Manager I attend various project calls during the day and work on existing projects.  I really like the fact that we get to work on almost all new or changing initiatives the company is pursuing!  It can be challenging but also rewarding at the completion of accomplishing what you have planned.” Another rewarding aspect of the job has his ability to help coworkers. “The most rewarding thing I’ve accomplished so far has been letting my manager have a vacation without worrying about what was happening while she was away.”

One of the most surprising things to John since he joined in June is the warm environment and family-feel. “I compare Smithville to that little country store you go in and everyone says hi.  There doesn’t seem to be a stranger at Smithville, and everyone likes and wants to come to work. I even get to walk by and see the CEO of the company every day.”

We can’t wait to see what project John works on next and are looking forward to the future.

Smithville Spotlight: Brad H., Outside Plant Engineer

Keeping Hoosiers connected is our mission here at Smithville. Brad H., Outside Plant Engineer, ensures we can do just that. His work helps to maintain accurate plant records and ensure new fiber projects are engineered and mapped correctly.

Before we learned about his background and skills, we asked some hard-hitting questions:

      • Hometown: Dolan, IN
      • Favorite TV Show: Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings
      • Favorite Movie: The Goonies & any Star Wars movie
      • Favorite Food: A good sirloin steak on the grill
      • What he likes to do in free time: Work on his restored 1971 Chevy C10 truck
      • Dream vacation destination: Alaska
      • Favorite quote: “Your future is whatever you make it.” -Doc Brown, Back to the Future


Brad started his career at a small panel manufacturing plant in Mooresville, IN, where he utilized and honed his skills in architectural design. He came to Smithville in 2015, after 20 years there in a management position. After a year as Outside Plant Engineering Technician he was promoted to Outside Plant Engineer. Since coming to Smithville he has been able to work on many exciting projects. “Probably the most rewarding thing that I have accomplished would be the fiber to the home overbuild projects that I have designed – Greenbrier Meadows, Prominence Point, Arrow Head, Deer Run, Ellettsville North, Thomas Reeves and Hartstraight Rd.” These projects upgraded existing DSL service to fiber optics, offering the latest technology for growing customer demands for streaming, gaming, and working from home.

A typical day for Brad involves working on many different projects. He may be answering questions about new or existing lines, designing new Enterprise fiber construction plans, keeping fiber records up to date, or working with contractors on a fiber construction build. No matter the assignment, though, working with the people at Smithville is rewarding. “My favorite aspect of working at Smithville would have to be working with such a great and talented group of people. Someone on the outside looking in would be surprised by the friendly and caring atmosphere from not only all the employees, but from leadership as well.”

The work environment at Smithville is something special, and something that Brad hadn’t seen before. Employee events and initiatives help keep everyone connected, even though they may be in separate departments. “Smithville is a more family-friendly atmosphere. Events such as Fun in the Sun and the Night of Champions, where employees can invite and involve family members, are appreciated. You don’t see that kind of atmosphere just anywhere.”

When asked to describe his time here at Smithville in three words, Brad said “exciting, challenging, and friendly.” That describes what has made his time here at Smithville productive and rewarding. We can’t wait to see what project Brad works on next and are looking forward to the future.

Kimberly Pitcher, Plant Engineering Manager, Inaugural Woman in Fiber Spotlight Winner

Smithville’s own Kimberly Pitcher, Plant Engineering Manager, has been announced as the Fiber Broadband Association‘s inagural Woman in Fiber spotlight winner! These spotlights are a new initiative to highlight different roles and careers for women in fiber, telecom, tech, and construction.

Jason Dauby, Chief Technology Officer, had this to say about Kimberly: “Kim is a role model, the only female in plant engineering where she brilliantly manages a team of men. She demonstrates calm efficiency, managing diverse issues as they arise, coordinating with the network engineering, construction, and I&R departments. She represents Smithville as an expert in her field, sits on panels and is always aware of what’s coming that will impact the industry.”

To read more about Kimberly, check out the Woman in Fiber Spotlight on our Women in Fiber LinkedIn page or the Fiber Broadband Association website, Congratulations, Kimberly!

Smithville Spotlight: Michael H., Lead Telecom Technician

Michael H. came to Smithville in 2016 with extensive telecommunications experience. He had a desire for a career that was rewarding at a place where it was fun to go to work. Nearly four years later, he’s found that and more and was honored with a prestigious employee-nominated award at Smithville’s annual award dinner.

Before we learned about his background and skills, we asked some hard-hitting questions:

    • Hometown: Oblong, IL
    • Favorite TV Show: Bob’s Burgers
    • Favorite Movie: Back to the Future series
    • Favorite Food: Steak & Potatoes
    • What he likes to do in free time: Married with 2 kids I normally have free time from 11:00pm-6:00am and I sleep
    • Dream vacation destination: Caribbean some day
    • Favorite quote: The whole family likes to randomly say “Roads… where we’re going we don’t need roads” -Dr. Emmett Brown

Michael started working in the telecommunications industry with Nortel Networks in the late 1990s. After their bankruptcy he worked at Toyota Manufacturing in Princeton, IN. While the money was good, he was looking for something more rewarding in other ways and looked to get back into the telecommunications industry. “I started looking into telecommunications again and looked at several different companies all over the country. Then I found a Telecom position in Jasper for Smithville. I must admit I was caught off guard that a family business in telecommunications had such a large reach in Indiana with the latest technology available. I had spent a lot of years working in Indiana with Nortel but never crossed paths with this company. I talked to my wife about the position and we searched the town of Jasper to see what could be offered to our kids. After looking, we knew this was a direction we both wanted to take our family.”

A normal day for Michael involves making sure customers get connected to our service in an efficient manner. He often assists other technicians to help make the customer’s installation appointment go quicker. He understands that customers are the reason we come to work each day and makes it his mission to ensure a great customer experience. These efforts and dedication have not gone unnoticed.

Each year, Smithville holds an annual awards dinner to recognize the hard work of Smithville employees. In addition to honoring those with milestone service anniversaries, employees nominate coworkers for three Champion awards. Michael was nominated by three coworkers, and won the 2019 Above & Beyond Champion award, which he says is the biggest thing he’s accomplished since joining Smithville. To better understand the impact Michael has made at Smithville, here’s part of his nomination from a coworker:

“Michael consistently goes above and beyond to do the best for the Smithville Team and our Customers. He is the first one to volunteer help to his peers and the first one to sacrifice his time when trouble arises. He is always on the lookout for potential issues that might cause a customer to be upset. He then is proactive and will address them to find a solution. He makes sure he is in communication with the customer and whatever department he thinks may be able to ease the situation. When there is an absence, he picks up extra work before his Supervisor or Manager has a chance to ask. Michael on many occasions has brought attention to areas that can help the sales team with potential leads. It is common for Michael to come in on a Monday and pass along things that he has seen over the weekend to make the Team more efficient or to help us stay a step ahead of the competitors. In a lot of ways, it has just become the norm for Michael to go the extra mile.”

The dedication and passion he exhibits each day definitely shows how he goes above and beyond. This award meant so much to Michael because it was nominated for and selected by fellow coworkers. That feeling of family, in addition to new growth opportunities, has led Michael to recommend others look into Smithville. “Anyone has the opportunity to do more at Smithville if they choose.”

Smithville Spotlight: Julie P., Collections Specialist

When asked to describe her time at Smithville Julie P., Collections Specialist, immediately said “transformation, humanitarianism, and partnership.” For the past 17 years she’s grown and adapted to new positions while Smithville progressed with new technology.

Before talking about her background and experience we asked some important questions to get to know Julie better:

    • Hometown: Came to Indiana from California at age three and called Bloomington home until moving to Ellettsville over 18 years ago
    • Favorite TV Show: All NCIS show
    • Favorite Movie: West Side Story
    • Favorite Food: Mexican and steak
    • What she likes to do in free time: Spending time with grandkids and pups and cooking
    • Dream vacation destination: Australia or Africa
    • Favorite quotes: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” and “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

Julie joined Smithville in 2003 as a Customer Service Representative. She then helped launch our fiber optic upgrade project before returning to Customer Service. In 2012 she transitioned to Collections Specialist, where her focus and attention to detail is used every day. As this was a new position for Smithville, she was able to provide feedback and adjust job duties and procedures as time went on, which was an exciting project for her. “Creating the position to be what it is today has been the most rewarding thing for me while at Smithville.”

When asked to describe a normal workday, Julie said “My day is never normal, and that’s why I enjoy it so much!” She helps process customer payments, answers Accounting questions for other departments and customers, and processes credit refunds to customers. She also manages our past due amount process which entails running reports for old balances, contacting customers for payment, and moving to advanced collection strategies if required. She is Smithville’s go-to person for all things related to payments and past due amounts.

Throughout the years Smithville’s family feel and focus on the community have been what has stood out to Julie. “Smithville does so much for our surrounding area, like community food drives or even helping to build a home with Habitat for Humanity.” That community focus also relates to employees, as Julie explains. “My favorite part of working at Smithville is the feeling that we are a team with a goal we are all working towards.”

Julie has enjoyed the last 17 years at Smithville and learning new skills along the way. She feels motivated to always do more, and that keeps her going. “Compared to other places where I’ve worked Smithville strives to be the best they can be and inspires employees to do the same.”

Viewership strong for Smithville Media video of Edgewood High School virtual graduation ceremony

As with previous years, Smithville Media has produced a video of the Edgewood High School graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. The event took place on Saturday, May 16. Response from the community has been very positive, with personal notes of thanks and viewership of the ceremony reaching above 1500 within the first four days.

“GREAT JOB on putting together the Graduation for all of us to view on Saturday! It will be one of the BEST keepsakes to have for years to come! Our Seniors should definitely feel proud of all the hard work that was put into that presentation!”–Judy

“We appreciate the creative 2020 commencement ceremony for Edgewood High school graduates provided via Smithville. Thank you!”–The Langs

This year’s ceremony was very different from previous iterations with students coming in at designated times in groups of 20 and standing six feet apart. Only the students and a few faculty members were present for the ceremony. Students also wore protective masks as well as their caps and gowns until walking on stage to get their diplomas. At that time, students were allowed to remove their masks for a photo and short “rose dedication” speech. The rose dedication is an Edgewood tradition where students present a rose in recognition of someone significant to their academic journey.

Smithville Media’s Rob Ramsey said that while this year posed additional challenges when compared with other years, he is proud of the final product, which was edited in a way to give it a look and feel of a traditional graduation ceremony. “I think it will be a very good substitute for something that otherwise may not have happened,” Ramsey said. Families were pleased with the final product, and many sent notes directly to Ramsey expressing their appreciation.

“My family would like to thank you for putting together the virtual graduation video.  When Alyssa learned that she would have the opportunity to walk across the stage (even if it was in front of an empty audience), she cried.  She said, ‘mom I didn’t think I would get to formally walk across the stage.’ The videotaping of the kids accepting diplomas was much better than a static photo of them.  We were able to have her grandparents here to watch, and as a family, we celebrated Alyssa’s accomplishments. Given the circumstances, I think you delivered the next best thing to being there in person. We are beyond grateful for you, Smithville Telephone, RBBCSC, teachers, administrators, and the community.  The outpouring of support for these students was amazing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”–Tina

Anyone interested can purchase a two-disc DVD of the video as a keepsake for $10. To order a copy, contact Edgewood High School Secretary Susan Shockney via email or call her at (812) 876-2277 ext. 2207.

The DVD has various extra features in addition to the graduation ceremony, including a senior montage video compiled by a student and a class celebration video put together by the staff. The video also includes traditional graduation elements like speeches by the class president and valedictorian, as well as a commencement address. This year’s commencement speaker was recently retired Edgewood English teacher, Larry DeMoss.

To see more Smithville Media features, visit the company’s YouTube channel. To read more about Smithville’s video production services, click here

Your home is talking…Are you listening?

Your home is a complex network of systems. From your HVAC system, to electric, water, and home security, your home has a lot of information to share that could save you money and help you avoid a catastrophe. The issue? There hasn’t been a way to tell you…until now. In this issue, we highlight the four main categories that make up a Smart Home and discuss how a Smart Home system can help keep you informed and make your home a safer, more comfortable, place to live.


Did I forget to lock the door? Is my garage door closed? Did my important package arrive? Did Suzie get home safe? I wonder what my pets are doing. Is there a security threat at home?

We all live busy lives and staying connected to your home and family can sometimes seem like a struggle. Luckily, with today’s technology, the difference between wondering what’s happening at home and knowing what’s happening is a smartphone app away.

With the Total Connect 2.0 app offered by Smithville you can get important notifications sent directly to your smartphone allowing you to take action quickly and know what’s going on at home. Now you don’t have to wonder if you forgot to close the garage door or worry about Suzie getting home from school. With Total Connect, the information is at your figure tips allowing you to make smart decisions that improve the safety and wellbeing of your home and family. 


Having the ability to control devices around your home like thermostats, lights, locks, and garage doors has been around for a while. Typically, these are sold as separate systems with several apps. What if these systems could all tie together to create a unified experience? With Total Connect 2.0 it can…

Total Connect 2.0 ties all your devices together allowing you to control your whole home from a signal app. Total Connect even makes your devices smarter because now they can work together. For example, say your smoke detector goes off. Your smart home system can unlock the door to let the fire department in, turn on the lights allowing you to see in the smoke, shut off your thermostat so you are not feeding the fire with fresh air, and notify the fire department and your family to danger. 

No need to rush home, with Total Connect you have full control of your home from anywhere. You have the ability to automate your home so lights, locks, thermostats, and other smart devices can work together and adapt to your schedule so you can keep your home just how you like it.

Life Safety 

Life safety equipment such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, medical alert pendants, and water leak sensors are designed to alert you and/or the authorities to events that threaten the life of your family and pets. These devices are professionally monitored 24/7/365 so you and the authorities can take action quickly to mitigate the threat.

Smart Home systems not only keep an eye on threats from fire, carbon monoxide, and water leaks but they may also help you save money on your home insurance. Insurance agents know that having your home professionally monitored reduces their risk and many times they are willing to pass on these savings to you.


Security equipment is designed to alert you and/or the authorities to security threats from burglaries and other events happening around your home. With professional security monitoring, Smart Home systems are designed to alert you and the authorities to these threats so your family and property stay safe and protected.

Putting it all together with a Pro

Your home is a complex place. Let the Pros at Smithville help you design and install the perfect Smart Home system for your home. Our robust smart home packages our designed to tie all four of these categories together to create an all-in-one smart home solution for your family. In one system, your home can be professionally monitored against life safety and security threats, you can access a wealth of information and alerts that keep you informed, and you have a way to manage and control your home from anywhere through one easy to use app.

The best part, these systems are affordable, and for a very limited time we are making it even more affordable by offering free installation and starting equipment* on our popular Smart Home security package! Just mention promo code June Newsletterwhen you call. 

Worried about having people in your home due to COVID-19? No worries! We’ve developed a unique approach that allows you to get all the benefits of professional design and installation without any physical contact with people in your home.

Call us today at 800-742-4084 or visit us online at and let us help build the perfect Smart Home solution for you.

*For new customers only. Free installation and equipment on our “Pro Security Starter Package”. Additional equipment sold separately. Requires “Smart Home Security” subscription with 5-yr monitoring agreement. 

Smithville Spotlight: Ryan B., Help Desk Technician

Ryan B.’s connection to Smithville began when he was in elementary school while using our internet. He was able to play games and watch movies while staying in touch with friends online. His knowledge of the service Smithville provided prompted him to apply for an open position, and that has led to advancement opportunities and career development.

Before we learned about his experience and journey to Smithville, we took some time to learn more about Ryan:

    • Hometown: Bloomington, 2015 graduate of Edgewood High School
    • Favorite TV Show: Psych
    • Favorite Movie: Unsure, but of recent movies Knives Out
    • Favorite Food: Wings
    • Favorite Free Time Activity: PC gaming
    • Dream Vacation Destination: Osaka Japan
    • Favorite Quote: “A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.” -Unknown


Ryan joined Smithville as a Customer Service Representative in 2018, where he learned all about Smithville services and our dedication to providing an excellent customer experience. When an opportunity opened in the Corporate Information Technology department six months later, he jumped at the chance. Although he didn’t have prior experience, he felt supported and motivated by the trust others had in him. “Coming from a background with no IT experience, it was a monumental achievement for me to be able to pursue my career with the backing of Smithville. I don’t think I would have been able to get into anywhere else with my experience. I believe that Smithville really saw the potential in me and decided to invest in my abilities and that has to be the best feeling to have from your employer.” Ryan has been able to utilize his customer service skills to help internal customers while learning more and more about the technology field each day.

A normal day for Ryan involves helping employees with technology issues. He helps troubleshoot computers, desk phones, cell phones, printers, and all other technology. It’s important that our technology works so employees can take care of customers, and that’s not lost on Ryan. “My position is relied upon daily to enable the workers of Smithville to do their jobs. I take pride in that responsibility and put it towards my job every day.”

The culture at Smithville is something important to Ryan, and something he hasn’t seen anywhere else. There’s a common goal of serving customers as we’re a part of their community. “I have worked in a place where the only goal is to make money and the company could not care less about the customer. It is disheartening to see how common that is in business these days. But Smithville really does care about their customers and strives to provide only the best.”

Part of the culture involves things that go above and beyond daily job duties. These things include company events, contests, and policy changes from one of Smithville’s three teams. Our Culture Team works to make change to make work better, Smithville Engaged works to unite employees from all areas through events and charitable initiatives, and Smithville Strong works to ensure employees are healthy and well. “Smithville spends a lot of time and money trying to bring people together to have a good time, both inside and outside of work. They have events with the intent of forgetting about work and being friends. Things like the Night of Champions award dinner and Fun in the Sun company picnic. I think the focus on culture and employee morale is extremely important. And judging by the way Smithville approaches it, I can say they feel the same.”

That culture has helped make employees comfortable communicating with each other and ensured everyone is working towards the same goal. “Being able to talk and communicate on the same level with everyone in the company, whether they are a technician, receptionist, accountant, or executive makes everyone more motivated to work together and keep doing their best. We have a common goal throughout the company, and instead of being tons of small groups working for themselves, we are one big group working together.”

Through making sure employees have the technology they need to serve customers, Ryan is an integral part of the team. He’s focused and determined on learning and growing with Smithville. “I am now focusing on a career path in the IT field and it is thanks to the flexibility and investment Smithville has in its employees.”

5 Tips for Telehealth

Thanks to USTelecom for these helpful tips:

As communites work to support the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic, broadband-powered telehealth helps ensure the doctor is always in.

  1. Coverage Expanding:
    1. Medicare has lifted restrictions on telehealth coverage and medical professionals across the country are expanding their offerings.
  2. Be Tech Ready:
    1. Testing your webcam and other equipment, closing unnecessary programs on your computer and using a wired broadband connection can help improve visits.
  3. Virtual Triage:
    1. With hospitals overloaded, telehealth plays a vital role in triage–providing guidance on when to recover at home and when to seek in-person care.
    2. Experiencing potential symptoms? IU Health is offering free online screening 24/7.
  4. Online Rx Refills:
    1. The CDC recommends talking to your doctor or pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of prescription medications during a pandemic.
    2. Many providers are waiving refill limits, and major pharmacy chains are offering free prescription delivery in support of social distancing.
  5. Connected Resources for Health Care Professionals:
    1. Cisco tutorial on transitioning to virtual health care
    2. Twilio artifical intelligence chatbot helps answer common COVID-19 questions
    3. Online CDC COVID-19 FAQ for the medical community

We hope these resources are helpful and we’re here to help support your connectivity needs. We’re in this together.