Shentel makes Forbes list for 2nd year

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By Tom Wilmoth

    Shentel has been named to the Forbes 2014 list of 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America.
    Shentel’s inclusion on the list marks the second consecutive year in which the company has been awarded this honor, which recognizes organizations who have demonstrated exemplary trustworthy business practices over the previous year.
    “We’re very proud of the recognition,” stated Shentel Executive Vice President and COO, Earle MacKenzie. “The fact that they review over 8000 public companies and we were selected as one of 100, two years in a row, it makes us incredibly proud.”
    MacKenzie said the honor is a reflection of Shentel’s corporate culture. “We pride ourselves on having a very open and transparent relationship with shareholders and customers,” he said.
    He said this is important for customers. “We try to make everything very transparent. We try to make sure their bill is understandable. We try to be very honest with them as to what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”
    Shentel (Shenandoah Telecommunications Company) was selected from over 8000 public companies in North America.  The recognition was the result of a comprehensive measure of corporate integrity by investment advisor GMI Ratings, based on an evaluation of metrics which studies the company’s results and corporate behavior.  After assessing these top indicators of a company’s credibility, the organizations that generated the 100 highest scores were named to the 2014 list of Most Trustworthy Companies.
    “As a company that prides ourselves on being a good partner to the communities we serve, recognition for imperative values like trust and dependability is something that we hold as a high priority within our organization, and strive to provide to our customers, our shareholders and employees every day,” MacKenzie said.
     MacKenzie said since Shentel hasn’t been in this area very long, the recognition furthers the company’s credibility in the community. “It helps us create that credible reputation that we’re so proud of, that we’ve been providing for 110 years,” he said.
    He said Shentel is also proud of what it has been able to do in this area in a short amount of time, since acquiring the properties that had been Jet Broadband. “We take that long view with our relationship with the customer or the shareholder,” he said.
    With so many cable/Internet companies having come through this area in the past decade, MacKenzie said it’s been important to establish a credible reputation with the public.
    “That was one of the biggest hurdles that we’ve had to address as a company,” he said of expanding into this maket.
    “We had no reputation here, but the cable company had a bad reputation. We were the new cable company. We’ve worked very, very hard to try and turn that around.”
    He said people are taking notice and the public is responding positively to Shentel’s efforts.
    “We actually have put our actions where our mouth is and done what we’ve said we can do,”  MacKenzie said. “Our customers are beginning to appreciate that fact.”
    He said the company is trying to expand service throughout the county, whenever the request is reasonable—and economically viable.
    “It has to be evaluated,” he said of requests for service. “We have spent significant dollars providing service where there was no service.”