Kim Shepherd Named New SkyLine CEO
WEST JEFFERSON, N.C.–SkyLine Chief Management Officer (CMO) Kim Shepherd has been named the new CEO of SkyLine following the June 30 retirement of CEO Jimmy Blevins. Shepherd has been serving as Chief Management Officer (CMO) since November 2016 and was previously Executive Director of Customer Operations.
In her role as CMO, Shepherd assumed more of the day-to-day management operations of the company and joined the CEO for monthly board meetings and attending both regional and national industry meetings with the Board of Directors. The 20-year employee has held various leadership positions with SkyLine over the years including Repair Services Supervisor, Customer Service Manager and Executive Director of Customer Operations, overseeing both Customer Service and Field Service departments.
“We are very pleased to announce that Kim Shepherd will lead SkyLine and its subsidiary operations into the next dynamic era of telecommunications,” said SkyLine President R.C. Mitchell. “She brings a broad level of expertise and knowledge having led multiple areas of SkyLine’s operations that have focused on connecting our customers to the latest technology and delivering a high level of customer service. In this newest role, Kim will carry her predecessors’ forward-thinking and visionary legacy forward, and keep SkyLine at the forefront of technology as a rural telecom leader, positioning our service areas toward continued economic growth and prosperity.”
A native of Ashe County, Shepherd is a 1994 graduate of Northwest Ashe High School, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Appalachian State University and a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Human Resources from Gardner-Webb University. In her role as SkyLine CEO, she will lead the executive management group including Executive Director of Engineering Operations Robbie Farmer, Executive Director of Finance Cindy Rothstein, Executive Director of Competitive Operations Edward Hinson and Executive Director of Customer Operations Brian Tester. She also will serve as president of SkyBest Communications, Inc., CEO of Chesnee Communications, A SkyBest Company, and Loretto Telecom, A SkyBest Company, and she will be a member of the following boards: Carolina West Wireless, Carolina-Virginias Telephone Membership Association, Tennessee Telecommunications Association and South Carolina Telecommunication & Broadband Association.
She and her husband Derek reside in Warrensville, and they have two children, Ethan, who works with Sumter Utilities, Inc. and Emma, a rising senior at Ashe County High School.
SkyLine Membership Corporation is a local, member-owned cooperative, established in 1951 to bring telephone service to rural residents of Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga counties. Later, the cooperative expanded its service territory to include areas of Avery County and Shady Valley,
Tennessee, when it merged with Cherokee Telephone Membership Corporation. SkyLine serves a 12-exchange network with over 27,000 access lines across a five-county area in northwest North Carolina and east Tennessee. The company has a wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyBest Communications, Inc., and it co-owns with two other cooperatives Carolina West Wireless, a regional wireless carrier operating in 11 western North Carolina counties, as well as wireless company WSS, LLC. Additionally, SkyLine owns a minority percentage of Access/On Multimedia Inc., a regional fiber transport network, which serves north-central and northwestern North Carolina.
SkyBest Communications, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyLine Membership Corporation. Established in 1998, SkyBest is a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), offering a variety of deregulated services including broadband Internet, voice and long-distance services, business and network solutions, SkyBest Security, video surveillance, automation and SkyBest TV over an expanding fiber network. In 2014, SkyBest established a subsidiary, The Video Exchange, to serve as a source for video content for TV station operators and channel owners across the U.S. Most recently, SkyBest has expanded its service territory to cover more of the Boone business community as well as Lenoir in Caldwell County and Mountain City, Tennessee. In 2017, it established a wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyBest Holding Company, LLC.