Japanese Delegation Visits Chattanooga And EPB

Thursday, February 14, 2013
NTT-East group with EPB President and CEO Harold DePriest
NTT-East group with EPB President and CEO Harold DePriest

EPB was honored to host a group of Japanese representatives of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation East in Chattanooga on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The company is Japan’s premier provider of phone, television and Internet services.

The delegation met with EPB’s team that led the design and construction of our Smart Grid. As NTT-East continues rebuilding it’s legacy and fiber optic networks following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, engineers wanted to see first-hand how the Chattanooga community took advantage of the latest fiber optic technologies.

The magnitude 9 earthquake and resulting tsunami of March 11, 2011, was the worst natural disaster to strike a developed country in modern history. More than 15,000 lives were lost and more than 100,000 buildings were destroyed. Electric power distribution and communication systems in northeastern Japan were left in ruins.

But the resiliency of the Japanese people was amazing. Most services were restored within 50 days. As Japan continues rebuilding it’s communities and core infrastructure engineers with NTT-East want to ensure their systems will be compatible with future demands and technologies.

While learning how EPB’s team integrated multiple platforms of communication with a fiber optic Smart Grid, the Japanese delegation said they were most impressed with EPB’s management style, which is “horizontally” structured. That means boundaries between EPB’s departments and managers are erased as people work together to achieve common goals.

“It’s an all-hands on deck approach,” EPB President and CEO Harold DePriest said. “You can’t solve problems just with automation, you need people in work groups who are collaborative and work as a team with boundaries removed.”

The Japanese delegation’s visit included time spent at EPB’s new operations center to see first-hand how EPB technicians work to install fiber optic services in homes and businesses. Officials said, "They said they were truly impressed with EPB’s commitment to customer service and satisfaction. Equally impressive was to see how EPB Fiber Optics can deliver one-gigabit Internet service to all of its more than 170,000 customers in its 600 square mile service area."

The NTT-East team included Mr. Gaku Yamda, manager of Core Network Center, Network Business HQ; Mr. Junichi Kagesawa, assistant manager of Service Management and Network Technology Core Network Center; and Ms. Sayaka Sekiya, assistant manager of Service Management and Network Operation Core Network Center.

The NTT-East delegation will make its presentation on what it learned from EPB to senior management in Japan in March.

The NTT-East team is the latest international group to visit Chattanooga and EPB. The growing list includes representatives from Ireland, Israel, Denmark and Columbia.

 


GDOL To Help Sustainable Corrugated Recruit In Dalton

The Georgia Department of Labor will help Sustainable Corrugated, a manufacturing company, recruit about 60 employees to work in Dalton.   The recruitment will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4 from 2-7 p.m. at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center located at 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road in Dalton. The employer will be recruiting forklift and machine operators, ... (click for more)

Dr. Austin Roberts Family And Implant Dentistry Has Open House

Dr. Roberts has relocated his practice to Ooltewah, where he and his team are providing care to their patients. Dr. Austin Roberts Family And Implant Dentistry will host an open house with ribbon cutting on Aug. 18 at 4 p.m. at 6107 Ooltewah Georgetown Road.  The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will coordinate the event.  Hours of operation are from 8 a.m.-5 ... (click for more)

Baylor School Tennis Coach Charged With Buying Meth In Whitfield County, Ga.

A Baylor School tennis coach has been arrested on charges of buying meth in Whitfield County, Ga. Phillip Johnson, 51, of Ooltewah, was taken into custody on Thursday and charged with attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and use of a communication facilities during drug transactions. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)