Ben Lomand Connect Names New GM/CEO
Ben Lomand Connect announces the retirement of GM/CEO Lisa Cope and the installment of Greg Smartt as the next GM/CEO of the company.
Smartt, who is set to become the seventh GM/CEO in the company’s sixty-seven-year history, has been with Ben Lomand Connect since 1984. His most recent position was Broadband Operations Manager. Smartt began his career at Ben Lomand Connect in the lineman department and became Outside Plant Manager in 2006. Smartt has been a part of leading Ben Lomand Connect in fiber deployment areas, emphasizing state and federal grant areas.
Ben Lomand Connect Board President Gerald Sitz says, “Ben Lomand Connect has selected Gregory D. Smartt as the new General Manager and CEO. Greg is a lifelong resident of Warren County with 37 years of service to the Cooperative and his community. His vast experience gives him a unique insight into Ben Lomand’s business model, long-term goals, and the opportunities that the continuing innovations in the telecom industry can afford us as we continue to expand our broadband footprint in Tennessee to better serve our membership.”
Greg is proud of the growth and direction of Ben Lomand Connect. He states, “Fiber deployment is making a big change in the industry and a huge difference in the communities we serve. I’ve taken the long road to this position which gives me a lot of experience, and I am excited about this opportunity. As technology moves forward, Ben Lomand Connect will look to continue to be a telecommunications leader in our state and nation. This is truly a team effort at Ben Lomand, and I look forward to leading the employees in this endeavor.”
Lisa Cope, who submitted her plans for retirement in November of 2020, will be wrapping up a more than a twenty-six-year career at Ben Lomand Connect, which moved her from working at the Sparta office as a customer service representative and through the ranks to GM/CEO in 2016. Under her leadership, Ben Lomand established a five-year fiber deployment initiative to cover nearly all of the Cooperative’s territory. During her tenure as GM/CEO, Ben Lomand Connect was awarded grants to expand the company’s fiber footprint to underserved areas in Tennessee.
“I am delighted to be able to publicly congratulate Greg Smartt as the new General Manager/CEO of such an amazing company,” says Cope. “The future is certainly bright at Ben Lomand with Greg at the helm because he brings so much industry experience and dedication to the company and the communities we serve. I am certainly looking forward to spending more time with my earthly and church family – not to mention that I also look forward to some gardening time and playing in the dirt. Blessed is the word I use to describe my years of employment with Ben Lomand and the ability to be a part of this amazing family, and I will forever cherish the friendships that have been formed over these many years.