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Category Archives: PR & News

BendTel Celebrates James Neff’s 10-Year Milestone

BendTel celebrated the 10-year milestone of its CTO and co-owner James Neff this month. Neff is a 4th generation Oregonian whose pioneer great-grandfather was one of Bend’s earliest settlers, after whom Bend’s Neff Road was named. A former COCC wrestling Bobcat, James attended college on a wrestling scholarship before volunteering for the Army, where he became a sergeant in the 58th Signal Battalion. His Army occupational specialty of Telephone Lineman opened the door to a career now spanning more than 4 decades. Due to the communications-oriented nature of his occupational specialty, the Army also required James & his squad to complete SERE training (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape).

This training also seems to have served James well in his career. From the breakup of Ma Bell, to the advent of several succeeding generations of new technology, to rapid industry consolidation, the amount of change & upheaval in the telecom industry over the past 40 years could well be described as cataclysmic. Perhaps James’ unfailingly positive outlook and adaptability are owed in part to the perspective he gained in the Army. He recalls one training exercise which required him and his squad to subsist for a week in the wilderness. After foraging several days, he managed to spear one small fish in a muddy pool with a sharpened stick. But while roasting the fish over an open fire, he succumbed to exhaustion, falling asleep and dropping the fish in the flames, where it was burned to a crisp. Escaping the ensuing ire of his famished but irate colleagues was, he relates, a truly stressful event. So when his very first employer, AT&T’s Western Electric Division, was dismantled by the AT&T divestiture early in James’ career, he saw not a calamity, but an opportunity to form his own company, NeffCom.

In the early days of NeffCom, the effect of the AT&T divestiture was felt as an explosion of technological innovation. Equipment manufacturers rapidly developed new products to fill the demands of businesses that now began purchasing telephone systems of their own after decades of relying on rented equipment from AT&T. NeffCom’s growth was rapid as prevailing standards in telephone equipment technology changed several times in the course of several years, from analog, to electronic, to digital. By 1999, the year James sold NeffCom to Unicom to become Vice President of their Interconnect Division, IP telephony had already begun emerging as the next dominant technology. Also, the telecom industry started re-consolidating. In 2007, the year James left Unicom to buy into BendTel, Unicom had already been acquired twice – first by Echelon, then by Integra.

Meanwhile, at BendTel, James has taken pride over the past 10 years in working with his partner and CEO Tom Barrett to build an enterprise with longevity. Asked for a quote on the occasion of his 10-year BendTel milestone, James said, “I feel better about myself and what I create when I can see joy & forward motion in other people. Employees are like family.” Aside from the satisfaction of providing a great workplace, James says his work is exciting because it continually affords the opportunity to learn something new, all to better serve the customer. Outside of his career, James notes some of his greatest joys in life have been raising a large family with his wife Valorie and living on his family’s Central Oregon farm. He is also an avid off-road motorcycle racing enthusiast and competes in regional motocross events.

Password Security Tips

Do you ever have trouble keeping track of your office, car, or house keys? What about your passwords? Just like a house or a car key, a password is a tool you use to protect yourself from becoming a victim of theft or trespassing. And as we conduct more of our work & personal lives… Continue Reading

Congratulations Justin Neff on 10 Years with BendTel

January 2017 marks the 10-year BendTel anniversary of Justin Neff, Senior Account Executive. Having joined BendTel as an Interconnect Technician in 2007, Neff leverages his technical knowledge to the advantage of his clients in his current role, notably distinguishing himself as BendTel’s top-performing salesperson of 2016. Prior to joining BendTel, Neff was self-employed as the… Continue Reading

Bend Bulletin Bandwidth Article Highlights BendTel

Awareness of Gigabit bandwidth is growing in Bend, thanks in part to a recent article in The Bend Bulletin highlighting the availability of big bandwidth in our area, and its importance to the business community. The article, which quotes BendTel CEO Tom Barrett, can be read in full on The Bulletin’s website at this link. Continue Reading

Gig City

Considering the average rate of 6 new people moving to Bend per day over the past 5 years1, our town could eventually become a big city. But something has grown even faster than Bend’s population this year…namely, Bend’s Internet bandwidth speeds. The completion of a new multi-Gigabit fiber optic network in Bend in 2016 multiplied… Continue Reading

BendTel Completes Data & Telecommunications Wiring at FedEx

BendTel announces the completion of the data & telecommunications wiring at the new FedEx Ground distribution facility in Bend. The recently-constructed 69,000+ square foot facility is located on an 11.5 acre campus on Brinson Boulevard. The data wiring project was completed on time & within budget. Engineering of the network was provided by FedEx’s partner… Continue Reading

PJ Fritchman Joins BendTel

PJ Fritchman has recently joined BendTel in the role of Senior Account Executive and Public Relations Liaison. Fritchman’s background in sales & marketing started in Portland and included a stint as PR Director for the Portland Timbers. She subsequently moved to Bend, and has spent the past 10 years in the telecommunications industry. This experience,… Continue Reading