Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

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.”

Safety first is philosophy in training field service techs

The old saying, “Safety doesn’t happen by accident” certainly holds true for BendBroadband’ field service technicians (FSTs). Newly-hired technicians spend their early days with the company learning the ropes—figuratively and literally. Mike Shinee—senior safety administrator at TDS—has built BendBroadband/TDS’ Field Service safety program from the ground up. With 27 years of service in public safety… Continue Reading

Ray Hoffman: 35 years with BendBroadband

Ray Hoffman: 35 years with BendBroadband

BendBroadband is recognizing employees who are celebrating significant work anniversaries this year. When BendBroadband Network Specialist Ray Hoffman started with Bend Cable in 1984, Central Oregon was in the middle of a lengthy recession. Few homes were being built in the area, and the number of specialized cable TV programmers continued to increase. “When I… Continue Reading

He travels to Bend for work, volunteers here too

He travels to Bend for work, volunteers here too

Alan Leopold enjoys helping others. When he’s at home, he’s a volunteer firefighter for the North Freedom Fire Department in Wisconsin and has been for the last 23 years. However, Alan often travels from Madison, Wisconsin to Bend to train employees, so when he’s away from home, Alan continues to give back. When Alan first traveled… Continue Reading

BendBroadband field techs work with at-risk youth program

BendBroadband field technicians are taking their knowledge and expertise and sharing it with area at-risk youth through the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program. The Youth Challenge Program is a residential alternative high school where students (or “cadets,” as they’re known in the program) live on site for five months while attending a military model school.… Continue Reading

BendBroadband field techs work with at-risk youth program
Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

Ever wondered what it takes to be a BendBroadband installer? It’s a year-long process to master the ins and outs of the job. Only practice makes perfect. At the entrance to a crawl space, Eric Thompson puts on his blue crawl suit. His mission: to replace a faulty cable splitter somewhere under the house. He pulls a protective mask… Continue Reading

Kudos to the 2014 Local Dog Giving Game award recipients

Kudos to the 2014 Local Dog Giving Game award recipients

BendBroadband is proud to reveal the recipients of the 2014 Local Dog Giving Game. BendBroadband has a long history of giving back to the communities it serves. Beyond the yearly giving activities, the holiday season is a time to recognize and thank the many nonprofit organizations that serve Central Oregonians. This year, BendBroadband invited its… Continue Reading

John Hammarley nominated for an Emmy

John Hammarley nominated for an Emmy

Local television reporter John Hammarley has been nominated for the prestigious Emmy Award for a heartwarming story about a young Central Oregon man’s quest to help less fortunate kids. Hammarley is a feature reporter with “myWindow,” a Central Oregon lifestyle show that is featured on the local CBS and ABC stations. Hammarley has covered many… Continue Reading