JCJC Honors Institute hosts CSpire guests

Written By: Wes Herring and Anna Beth Houston
Email Address: kelly.atwood@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2014-11-21 13:58:43

          Jones County Junior College’s Charles Pickering Honors Institute recently hosted guests Hu Meena, CEO of C-Spire, and Wade Creekmore, Jr., founder of C-Spire. Meena and Creekmore spoke to students about C-Spire’s history and success as a telephone company.

          C-Spire, which employs 1500 and is based in Ridgeland, Miss., is one of the largest privately-owned telephone companies in the world and the fifth largest telephone company overall. It provides service to roughly 1.3 million people in Mississippi, Alabama, the Florida panhandle and the Memphis metropolitan area.
         The company began to take shape in the early 1960s with the small telephone company owned by Creekmore’s father. Creekmore worked to expand his father’s telephone company by assimilating other small telephone companies in the state. By February 1988 Creekmore’s telephone company had developed into Cellular South.

Meena explained that the market is continually changing and his company is doing its best to lead those changes. One way by which they do this is by being a customer-centered company, constantly looking to their customers for ways to improve. Any needs or wants brought to their attention are carefully examined in order to find a way to solve the problem. Even their name is a reflection of their focus. Previously known as Cellular South, the company changed their name to C Spire, which is an abbreviation for customer inspired. The name C-Spire also prevents limiting or defining the company by regional or technological ties.

          Meena explained that C-Spire competes with larger companies such as Verizon and AT&T through innovation and customer service. The company relies on customer feedback to determine future business moves and projects.

        Meena also announced that a new $2.3 million data storage center was recently completed in Starkville. This data center was created to store more information for C-Spire’s customers and increase the system’s efficiency.

         Because the company’s roots are in Mississippi, C Spire has made this state a priority.

          “We want to bring young people (of Mississippi) into our business and have a business that puts Mississippi first and continues to do that,” said Meena.

Both Meena and Creekmore said they have been involved with cellular devices since the technology’s infancy. As they described the change in cellular devices, they also described the changes that their company has undergone to meet the needs the changes produced. When cellular phone service began, the calls focused on transmitting from one place to another place. The focus then moved from person to person, and now it’s from a person to data. To illustrate just how much data is used day to day, Meena stated, “I no longer say I am in the cellphone business, I now say that I’m in the data moving and storage business.”

Morgan Powell , a sophomore in the honors college found the sense of community C Spire had to be inspiring. “I thought it was kind of cool how he (Meena) talked about how whenever they had placed all their landlines throughout Mississippi they just happened to have this wireless license come up. If you keep your place in your home state then that’ll help you in the end.”

C Spire has accomplished many things since it first provided cellphones in 1988, but they are by no means done. Meena put it best when he said, “We’ve achieved a lot of goals, but we’re always moving forward so we can reach more.”

 

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