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.

 


Jermaine L. Swafford Named CSX Vice President Regional Transportation-Southern Region

Jermaine Swafford, a native of Hamilton County, has risen through the operations ranks at CSX since he joined the company in 1998.  From an assistant trainmaster in Russell, Ky., to his most recent position as division manager in Atlanta, Mr. Swafford has consistently demonstrated team-focused and results-driven management, according to the company officials.   "Under ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Business Calendar For Feb. 28-March 6

March 2015   SA/28 24Hour Generator at Mad, Bad, and Dangerous 3:00 p.m. Girls Preparatory School: 205 Island Ave. 24Hour Generator is a new event designed for enterprising high school girls across the region. Hosted by The Company Lab (CO.LAB) and held as part of GPS’s inaugural  Mad, Bad, and Dangerous  event, 24Hour Generator ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed By Husband In Dalton Dies From Her Wounds

A woman who Dalton Police say was stabbed Thursday by her husband has died of her injuries.   Glenda Dyer had been transported to Hamilton Medical Center. She initially was listed in stable condition.   The incident happened at the couple's home at 1603 Elaine Way.   Police said a murder charge will be added to the counts already facing ... (click for more)

Signal Council, Residents Concerned About Unsafe Driving En Route To Schools

The town council of Signal Mountain is dealing with a traffic problem caused by increased traffic to and from Signal Mountain Middle High School and Nolan Elementary. Mayor Dick Gee said, “This is a tough issue that we wouldn’t have to deal with if everyone would drive responsibly.” The main concern is for safety and in November the council agreed to try to fix the problem by ... (click for more)

Net Neutrality: The Beginning Of The End Or Just A New Beginning?

“The Internet is simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” says Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, “Today’s order is more powerful and more expansive than any previously suggested.”  The FCC’s vote for so-called Net Neutrality purports to allow the agency to regulate the Internet as a public utility.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden On March 1

As I try to do at the beginning of each month, I stroll through my garden to see the good and the bad. This morning there is still a solid covering of snow but, as usual, there is still a lot to see. March is historically known for “coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb” so let’s see who gets what: A LAMB to the fact 90-year-old Floyd Hartwig of Easton, Calif., and his ... (click for more)