Message from Bryant Barnes, President and CEO:

Hello from everyone at Comporium. We invite you to browse through these pages to see what we’re doing — investing in technology to improve your telecommunications service and investing to nourish the communities we call home.

Comporium, dating back to 1894, has deep roots in upstate South Carolina — roots that now have spread into the Midlands of our home state and into western North Carolina. When we say we’re a part of the community, we mean it. We live here, too.

People in our communities often say we’re unique – a local telecommunications company that relates to its customers on a personal basis, yet is often the first to roll out a new technological development while larger companies are still studying it.

We like to hear people say that, and we work hard every day to keep up with advances in technology around the globe so we can offer them to you.

From a small family with a single phone... to a large corporation with banks of data to protect… to an astronomical research center linked to satellites around the world, every customer is important to us. We ask what you need—not just today, but tomorrow—and we listen. Then we get to work making that happen, exceeding your expectations.

We take pride in our reputation as a caring company that’s also a technological leader, and we’re glad for the opportunity to share these highlights with you. Let us hear from you – by phone, Comporium.com, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube – with your ideas about how we can continue to make life easier for you.

Core Beliefs / Who We Are

Large enough to offer cutting edge technology, but small enough to offer superior customer service, Comporium strives to make each customer’s life easier. We are a telecommunications leader offering a diverse and technologically rich suite of business products. Comporium, an Enterprise that is over 120 years old and is one of the largest telecom providers in the nation, always strives to deliver the latest technology to our customers. We support businesses with innovative solutions that include voice, Internet, data, wireless, structured wiring and cabling, security, monitoring, automation, computer network service, and digital video. Our team is dedicated to meet the communications needs of each customer and to provide unsurpassed value.

Comporium, which is headquartered in Rock Hill, S.C., provides services in York, Lancaster, and Chester Counties in the Upstate; as well as, in parts of six counties in the Midlands: Lexington, Saluda, Edgefield, Orangeburg, Calhoun, and Aiken, and Transylvania County, N.C. Additionally, Comporium offers a comprehensive suite of business communications equipment and service options, in Charlotte, NC.

 

History

Comporium, known then Rock Hill Telephone Company, was founded in 1894 by John Anderson, John Cherry, and Andrew Smith. During the first year, the company installed 27 phone lines, most of them connecting the businesses and suppliers of the company’s founders. During the next two decades, Paul Workman and his aunt grew the company to 443 phones before ultimately selling the company to E.L. and Mary Sanders Barnes on Mar. 10, 1912. Four generations later, the descendents of E.L. and Mary are still running what has now become Comporium, as the company enters its 120th year of business. During the past century, we have acquired an interest in five other independent telephone companies, growing to serve Fort Mill, Lancaster, Heath Springs, Great Falls, Brevard (NC), and the Midlands of South Carolina.

Our Leaders

Bryant G. Barnes:
President & Chief Executive Officer
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Bryant Barnes Chief Executive Officer

Bryant joined Comporium in 1979 and served in many different capacities throughout the enterprise before being elected as president in 2002. After a year as president, he was elected chief executive officer in 2003. Prior positions with Comporium include general manager and president of the data services business unit and vice president of information services for the enterprise.

Bryant has been a member of the Independent Telephone Pioneers since 1994. He has served on several committees for the United States Telecommunications Association and the Organization for the Preservation and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies. He also has served as director of the South Carolina Telephone Association and chaired its management information services committee.

He was the first chair of the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and he recently served as a director of Success by Six. Currently he serves on the Clemson University Foundation Board of Directors and the Winthrop University Advisory Group. He is a member of the Rock Hill Rotary Club.

Bryant is a graduate of Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina.

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John M. Barnes Jr.:
Executive Vice President -
Marketing & Business Solutions

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John M. Barnes Jr. Executive Vice President -
Marketing & Business Solutions

John is the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Solutions. In addition to serving on the Comporium Board of Directors, he also holds board seats with CentraLite Systems, Inc.; SmartHome Ventures, LLC; Zubie, Inc.; STEM Premier, Inc.; Innovative Global Systems, LLC; Home Telecom; Immedion, LLC; Hypersign, LLC; and, iControl System’s Multi System Operator Council.

John serves the community through his service on the S.C. Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics Board of Trustees, the Founding Innovation Partners Advisory Board for the Watt Family Innovation Center, and the Board of Directors for Palmetto Partners for Science & Technology (“First Robotics”).

A graduate of The Citadel, John earned a bachelor of science in business administration. He is also the holder of multiple patents.

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Jeff Bushardt:
Senior Vice President –
Human Resources

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Jeff Bushardt Senior Vice President –
Human Resources

Jeff has been with Comporium since 2007 and is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources. He has more than 30 years of experience in Human Resources management, spanning manufacturing, sales, service and distribution operations, both nationally and internationally.

Jeff formerly was with Integrated Human Resources Solutions as a principal and executive consultant. He also has worked for the Chicago Pneumatic Division of ATLAS COPCO in Rock Hill and has held positions in human resources management at Cambridge Filter Corporation in Syracuse, N.Y., and at Jacobs Manufacturing Co. in Hartford, Conn.

Jeff holds an associate degree in engineering and math science and completed bachelor’s degree work in business administration with a minor in human resource management at Central Connecticut State University and Utica College/Syracuse University.

He is a member of the Society of HR Management and he serves on the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, the Catawba Region Education Council Advisory Board, York County Growth Partners Board, and the York County Economic Development Board.

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Kevin Cage:
Executive Vice President –
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

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Kevin Cage Executive Vice President –
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Kevin is the Executive Vice President - Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, having previously served as Vice President – Financial Planning and Analysis. He joined Comporium in 2007. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and also a certified global management accountant (CGMA).

Additional areas of responsibility include local, state, and federal regulatory and legislative affairs; community and economic development; and industry relations.

Kevin’s primary role at Comporium is to provide financial insight as to strategic direction and the outcome of business decisions. His responsibilities include business analysis and decision support, internal and external financial reporting, cash management and banking relationships.

A native of the Carolinas, Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following graduation in 1982, he joined Arthur Andersen & Co. as an auditor until 1986 when he joined Springs Industries. At Springs, he served as Vice President – Strategic Planning and Vice President Of Financial Planning and Analysis. Kevin also worked at Spring’s European operations in Belgium and Germany.

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Matthew Dosch:
Executive Vice President –
Customer Operations and External Affairs

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Matthew Dosch Executive Vice President –
Customer Operations and External Affairs

Matt joined Comporium in 1994 and has served in a variety of capacities within the enterprise, culminating in his current position as Executive Vice President of Customer Operations and External Affairs. He is responsible for all of the company’s customer service operations, including residential and business sales and service and the customer contact center.

Additional areas of responsibility include local, state, and federal regulatory and legislative affairs; community and economic development; and industry relations.

Formerly, he was manager of regulatory and legislative affairs for the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies in Washington, DC.

Matt is a past Chairman of the Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance, a national trade association. Locally, Matt is the Chairman of the STEM Development Foundation. He is also on the board of the I-77 Alliance, a regional economic development organization, and is a member of its fundraising steering committee. Matt is a member of the Knowledge Park Leadership Group, a group of private sector advocates for the redevelopment of downtown Rock Hill, S.C., and participates in a variety of Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation activities.

He is a Board member of the Winthrop University Foundation. He is a member of the board of the Arts Council of York County, and serves as Chairman of its Community Performance Center Committee. He is also a past Board member of the SC Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation.

He is a graduate of Duke University with a double major in public policy studies and English.

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Forrest Emerson:
Senior Vice President –
General Counsel

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Forrest Emerson Senior Vice President –
General Counsel

Forrest, Senior Vice President – General Counsel, joined Comporium in 2007 from Springs Industries, Inc., where he had served as Vice President – General Counsel for Springs Window Fashions and Senior Vice President – General Counsel for Springs Global. Before joining Springs in 1989, Forrest worked three years for the Rock Hill law firm of Roddey, Carpenter & White and six years for the public accounting firm of Arthur Andersen.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Clemson University and a juris doctor degree from the University of South Carolina law school.

Forrest is a former member of the S.C. Association of Certified Public Accountants and a current member of the S.C. and York County Bar Associations.

He is a past board member of the Upper Palmetto YMCA, Cities in School, and the Upper Palmetto Chapter of the American Red Cross, and a current board member of Keystone and the High Cotton Classic.

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Jack Holladay:
Executive Vice President –
Technology and Facilities

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Jack Holladay Executive Vice President –
Technology and Facilities

Jack is the Executive Vice President – Technology and Facilities and has been with Comporium since 1984. He has served in various management positions of increasing responsibility, including vice president of external affairs.

He is currently accountable for network services, Internet planning and development, supply chain, information technology, facilities and construction, and engineering and planning.

Jack graduated from Presbyterian College and with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and minor in computer science. He also has a master’s degree in business administration from Winthrop University.

He has been an active volunteer in the community and currently serves as treasurer on the Boys & Girls Club of York County’s board of directors.

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Telephone Museum

Museum Info:

117 Elk Ave | Rock Hill | South Carolina
Phone: 803.324.4030
museum@comporium.com
Driving Directions

Museum Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

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