Richard Venable
Retired CEO of NETWORKS
Current Mayor, Sullivan County

“I was resistant to a monthly contract, but now I see great value in Holston IT working proactively to optimize the efficiency of our computers.”

Richard has served our region for decades. His service includes being the Republican House Whip in the Tennessee General Assembly, the Mayor of Sullivan County, and the CEO of NETWORKS-Sullivan Partnership. He gave these remarks when he was serving in that capacity. NETWORKS, which stands for “NE Tennessee Works,” is the economic development organization for Sullivan County, Bluff City, Kingsport, and Bristol.

by Richard Venable, speaking in December 2013 shortly before he retired from working as the CEO of NETWORKS-Sullivan Partnership

We’ve been working with Holston IT for over four years now. When I think about what they have given us, I keep coming back to one word: stability. We didn’t have that before we found Holston IT. If something broke, we had the insecurity of asking each other, “Who should we call?”

We don’t have that problem anymore. We call Holston IT, and we never have to wait long for someone to analyze the problem and correct it. They fix it and we’re back to work. The stability this gives us—it is an absolutely positive effect on our operations. Whether we need to purchase new equipment and software, or we just need to seek ways to make our current network more efficient, they are on top of things. If we are antiquated in any way, I’ll hear Andy or Logan say, “Let me see if we can improve this.” I can ask them anything! For those of us that are technologically challenged, that’s an immeasurable benefit.

I’m resistant to long-term contracts. So when Tim first proposed that we enter into a monthly agreement, I was hesitant. But we had incurred some huge expenses that came about because of lack of planning regarding our technology. Tim convinced me that there was a good value in letting Holston IT work proactively to prevent problems—instead of just calling them after things broke. I’m glad I contracted with them to do this proactive maintenance. Now I don’t have to think about our technology, I just know that Holston IT has it covered.

We demand efficiency from our computer network. We’re able to do our job because we have secure and reliable information technology. In fact, I’d say we must be twice as efficient as we’d be without our computers.

Technology means different things to different members of our team. Michael, who handles much of our industrial research, does 90% of his work on his computer. Time is money, and we simply can’t afford downtime: Holston IT saves us the money that we could not afford from being down.

Everyone on the Holston IT team is personal, and their response time varies from instantaneous to just a few hours. They are our business partner, focusing on our computers so we can focus on serving the people and businesses of Northeast Tennessee. I absolutely recommend their services!

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