Sullivan, MO (PRWEB) January 10, 2015
Mark Head has seen Fidelity grow by leaps and bounds over a long career that began when he graduated from Linn Tech in 1973 with an Associate’s Degree in Electronics.
The Vice President of Operations since 2011, Head retired from Fidelity Communications on Dec. 31 after 41 years of service. Since he joined the company as a Central Office technician in 1973, Fidelity has grown from a small Missouri rural telephone company into a residential and commercial broadband, video and telephone provider serving markets in five states.
In the 1970s when Head started his career, Fidelity was providing service to telephone customers in Sullivan, Gerald, New Haven, Owensville and surrounding areas with about 75 employees, including operators who were placing long distance calls through old cord switchboards. Fidelity had party lines and exchanges that were connected via microwave system and copper facilities.
Private lines and touch tone dialing became the norm in 1983. Digital switching and fiber optic technologies were installed in 1987, replacing the Stromberg Carlson electromechanical switching platform, with the modernization effort led by President John T. Davis. Over the next seven years, all markets were converted to digital service carried on fiber optic lines and digital transmission facilities.
Fidelity expanded to the Rolla market in the 1990s, purchasing and upgrading a cable TV system in 1992 and eventually adding phone service in 2000. It was the first step toward providing services in competitive markets and proved Fidelity could compete in an ever changing industry outside its original local exchange boundaries.
The purchases and upgrades of cable systems in Lebanon and Salem followed, along with the addition of a family-owned Cable TV system in Lawton, OK in 2008. Fidelity Communications purchased 14 systems in Missouri, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana in early 2012, almost doubling the company’s customer base and increasing its employee base to over 400.
Although he played a role in that expansion, Head says most of the credit lies with the company’s leadership and dedicated employees. “The people I’ve been able to work with over the years—not one department, not one person—
have brought us to where we are today,” he said. “We’ve also had the luxury of having a company that believed in the employees and gave us the tools and leadership to grow the company to where it is now.”
After 15 years in the Central Office, Mark spent eight years in supervisory roles in both Central Office and Service Operations. He spent four years as a Technology Planning Manager, evaluating and recommending network architecture for cable TV and phone infrastructure; and seven years as the Director of Engineering and Technology Planning overseeing technical operations, network planning and design.
As Vice President of Operations, he was responsible for capital expenditures, field operations, installation, maintenance, service quality, business objectives and overseeing Fidelity’s General Managers in the Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma markets.
At the recent company Christmas party, Chief Operating Officer Mike Davis called Head “an integral part of our growth and our success.” Davis said Mark “exemplifies the word teamwork” and has been a wonderful friend and mentor to him over the last 20 years.
“In that time I’ve seen how Mark just intuitively knows to call a teammate and share a pat on the back when it’s deserved, to share words of encouragement when those are needed. Mark is all about the importance of building relationships with the folks you work with,” Davis said. “He treats people with respect and keeps us all pushing in the same direction.”
Head believes “you get respect by giving respect and you should never expect others to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Living by this philosophy has been an effective way for me to build strong relationships throughout my career,” he said.
He added, “I have been blessed to work for a company that believes in its employees and is willing to take risks in a very challenging and competitive industry. I’ve been fortunate to work with many great customers and alongside dedicated employees that I will never forget. This long chapter in my life has been a wonderful experience.”