SkyLine’s commitment to solutions for our customers in the High Country is unparalleled. Our new CEO shares her dedication to our ongoing mission.
It is with much excitement and enthusiasm that we present the 2018 Executive Report. The title of this year’s Annual Report is “Every Connection Matters.” That holds so true for SkyLine Membership Corporation. A connection can be defined as a relationship in which a person, thing or idea is linked or associated with something else. At SkyLine, we are all about connections and as we pair our organizational assets with deliberate efforts to serve, grow and enhance our communities, every connection we make truly does matter!
As you know, the telecommunications industry is one of rapid change. At SkyLine, we view change as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. It takes a united effort to keep up with the changes. It takes an even more dedicated effort to remain prepared for the next big change. At SkyLine, we diligently work towards making the best decisions for both today and tomorrow. Our Board of Directors, Executive Staff and Managers work on strategic, long-term planning while taking into consideration the changes in customer expectations, technological advancements and the competitive landscape in which we operate.
Ushering in a new era of leadership for the state’s largest telecommunications cooperative, Kim Shepherd, who has led Customer Operations for several years, is SkyLine’s new CEO.
“It takes a united effort to keep up with the changes. It takes an even more dedicated effort to remain prepared for the next big change.”
In the period since the last Annual Report, SkyLine has seen many changes and established many new connections. As a company, we completed the acquisition of Chesnee Communications in Chesnee, South Carolina, in October of 2017 and the acquisition of Loretto Telecom in Loretto, Tennessee, in April of 2018. Both of these acquisitions were very strategic in nature, and each created new connections for SkyLine that would not have otherwise existed. These acquisitions are further highlighted on page 22 of the Annual Report.
In addition to the acquisitions, we completed a successful transition to a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Jimmy Blevins retired from the company at the end of June after 33 years of dedicated service to SkyLine. Jimmy spent much of his career working in and leading the Engineering Department at SkyLine. To recognize Jimmy’s long career at SkyLine, the Board of Directors officially named and dedicated “The Jimmy C. Blevins Engineering & Technology Building” in honor of him. Chief Management Officer Kim Shepherd was named by the Board of Directors to succeed Jimmy in becoming the new CEO of SkyLine. For more of an introduction, please see pages 20-23 to learn more about me, my history with SkyLine and my vision for the company.
Financially, our consolidated net income for 2017 totals over $8 million and our balance sheet reflects nearly $300 million in total plant. The company’s cash reserves remain strong which allowed the Board of Directors to approve $1.2 million in capital credit refunds to members and estates in 2017. Affiliate Carolina West Wireless (CWW), another one of SkyLine’s many connections, continued to expand and grow in 2017. The company added additional spectrum and capacity to several sites in Ashe, Alleghany and Watauga counties. CWW also continued to expand its 4G LTE coverage cloud by updating various sites. Over the past year, the LTE coverage has increased to 90 percent of all CWW sites.
Some of the most important connections that our company has are our employees. You will not find a more dedicated, hardworking group of individuals anywhere. Each employee takes the company’s mission statement to heart and truly cares about providing a culture of excellence in customer service. The level of service we provide through our employees is what defines SkyLine and what makes us unique. Other companies can offer the same products and services, but no other company can offer the same employees — individuals who have a genuine desire to not only meet, but also to exceed each customer’s needs. We could not be more proud of this group.
Another group with an equal dedication to this organization is SkyLine’s Board of Directors. These forward-looking individuals embrace change and take the necessary steps to keep SkyLine on the forefront of advancement while remaining steadfast in keeping customer service a top priority. We are grateful to and appreciative of our board members.
In closing, we would like to thank the most valuable connection that the company has — you, our members and customers. We thank you for your patronage and your continued support of SkyLine. Every single one of you matter!
KIM SHEPHERD Chief Executive Officer
SkyLine Membership Corporation
RC MITCHELL President
SkyLine Membership Corporation
“Some of the most important connections that our company has are our employees. You will not find a more dedicated, hardworking group of individuals anywhere.”