Pandemic spurs positive career change for BendBroadband associate

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 upended life for all of us—including BendBroadband associate Keith Wilson.

Keith worked in the restaurant industry for years and was managing an establishment outside Bend, Oregon, when the pandemic hit. After the restaurant temporarily—and eventually permanently—closed, Keith suddenly found himself unemployed.

Rather than bemoan his bad luck, Keith focused on making the most of his situation. He always wanted to spend more time with his daughter anyway—something that working nights and weekends at a restaurant makes more difficult. So, Keith revamped his résumé and set his sights on sales and marketing.

He heard about BendBroadband from a friend who is an associate. After first unsuccessfully applying for a commercial sales job, Keith was hired at a Bend retail office.

He hasn’t looked back—and is flourishing in his new career.

“I took being unemployed as an opportunity to get back into the line of work I liked most: building relationships with people and providing a product I can stand by,” Keith said.

After one year in the retail office, Keith was promoted to account relations representative, where he works with property management companies, realtors, and homebuilders to provide BendBroadband service.

Even better is that Keith can spend more time with his family, through regular, daytime working hours and paid time off.

“If my daughter has a recital, I don’t have to miss it or have to find somebody to work my shift,” Keith said.

Keith needs no further affirmation for his career move than what he gets from his daughter. “She’ll see an ad on TV for our service and says, ‘Daddy that’s where you work!’ It feels so good that my daughter is proud of what I do and where I work,” he said.

Shauna Osteen, associate manager of Direct Sales, said Keith has been a huge asset to the Direct Sales team.

“Keith has shown that he genuinely cares about our customers and truly wants to give each customer and referral partner he interacts with the ‘white glove’ experience,” Shauna said. “I am super excited to see how Keith grows in this position and beyond.”

A year and a half after the pandemic forced him to change careers, Keith is thriving in his new professional path. He’s especially pleased with the culture at BendBroadband and TDS.

While other companies “tell you one thing and then nothing happens the way they tell you, everything TDS has said has come true,” Keith said. “It feels like TDS actually cares and wants to create a culture of caring for employees.”

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