Ellettsville-based Smithville has appointed its first non-family president. John Patten has served as chief operating officer since 2014. Darby McCarty will continue as chair and chief executive officer and says Patten will be "more publicly visible" in the enhanced role.
Patten is the first president outside the McCarty family to serve in the position. Cullen McCarty remains executive vice president of Indiana’s largest privately-held telecommunications firm.
Darby McCarty says Patten has already taken over several of the position’s responsibilities. "John’s promotion reflects what’s happening to Smithville operations as we grow to meet new challenges and expand our services. The board and executive leadership are very pleased with John’s performance as COO and it’s time to make clear his upward movement in terms of new responsibilities," she said. "Smithville holds a deep history of real innovation and customer service in the communications industry, and I look forward to this new formal role in helping Smithville achieve its next level of strategic growth."
As president, Patten will take on leadership development and sustainability of Smithville, as well as managing and setting the vision for the company’s execution.
During Patten’s time at Smithville, the south central Indiana telecom provider says he’s been instrumental in growing its fiber-based residential and business services outside traditional service areas. He helped establish of a new "GigaCity," or 100 megabits, expansion in Jasper and other other communities and is engage in additional large-scale enterprise and small business services.
Patten says Smithville will roll out "a number of new service innovations" this year, including a new network upgrade to 100 gigabit capacity for its large-scale enterprise customers, which will boost band-width of that service from 10 gigabits. He adds other service improvements will be announced "that will increase Smithville’s already highly-competitive position in residential and business services."
Since a multi-year, $100 million investment into fiber systems in 2008, the company has launched fiber installations in Jasper, Danville and other communities. Last year, the company switched its brand named to Smithville Fiber to reflect its emphasis on the technology. It currently has around 23,000 businesses and residential customers.
The company has launched a search for its next COO.
Editor’s Note: A previous version incorrectly stated Patten retains his position as chief operating officer.