Bixby,Okla -Jerry Kite, President and CEO of Bixby Telephone Co., has announced his retirement, effective June 1 of this year. He has led BTC for the last 9 years, culminating a 35-year career in telecommunications–the last 28 years spent in leadership positions with major telephone service providers.
He will be succeeded by M. Lynn Pike, who will become the new President and CEO, assuming all General Management responsibilities for BTC and its affiliates. Pike started with BTC in November of 2004 as General Manager and COO. He was previously President and CEO of Warwick Valley Telephone Co.,Warwick, NY. Prior to that he had over 30 years experience in the telecommunications industry as management with Contel and other telecom companies in the U.S. and Europe.
Kite took the helm at BTC when Bixby was challenged not only by phenomenal growth, but also by an explosion of new products and services in the telecommunications industry. “I am proud that we have been able to keep our customers on the cutting-edge of technology with DSL high speed broadband services, now available to every customer in our service area,” said Kite.
After his June 1st retirement, Kite will continue at BTC for a short time in an advisory role during the management transition. He and his wife, Sherrie, will be soon relocating to Utah where most of their family resides.
In 2004 Kite was named “Citizen of the Year” for 2003 by the Bixby Chamber of Commerce. He is a past President of the Bixby Rotary Club, the Daily Family YMCA of Bixby, and the Bixby Chamber of Commerce, and a past director of the Bixby Historical Society. He is also a member of the Bixby “Make it Happen” committee, and has led out in the committee’s commitment for the beautification and revitalization of downtown by initiating BTC’s recent remodel, new signage, and improved landscaping of its downtown office on Breckenridge. He is a member of Grand Bank’s Advisory Committee and is actively involved in his Church, where he has taught and served in leadership positions.
As a charter member of the Bixby Rotary Club and the club’s second president, Kite was instrumental in the planning, formation, and implementation of the club’s major fundraiser,the Bixby BBQ’n Blues festival, which has funded several significant community projects.
Pike, like Jerry Kite, brings a history of Rotary Club involvement and a love of serving and furthering his community. He has worked as a literacy volunteer and served on the public library board in Warwick,NY. “I plan to be involved and look forward to getting better acquainted with our community leaders and participating in community projects. In a community the size of Bixby we have an opportunity to make a difference and see the results of our efforts, and that is very rewarding”, Pike said.
As Pike takes the helm of BTC, more change and rapid growth are predicted for the future. “Jerry has led Bixby through a period of rapid high growth and expansion and provided valuable stability for the company in a wildly fluctuating telecom market,”noted Pike. “With his leadership BTC has provided our customers the latest in telecommunications products and services–normally only associated with large cities–and still provided high quality, personal service and a quick response time. I plan to continue to build on that tradition, as I go forward with the excellent employee team Jerry has assembled here at BTC,”Pike concluded.
Pike will be joined on his management team by Bob Rozell, BTC’s current CFO, who will have the added responsibilities of BTC’s Assistant General Manager. Rozell has been with BTC since last winter and has more than 17 years experience in the telephone industry,
Rozell comes to BTC from Beacon Telecommunications Advisors, a telecom consulting firm. He previously held the position of Controller of Panhandle Telephone Cooperative in Guymon,OK and contributed to the company’s substantial growth in revenues and customers.
Kite is pleased that BTC will have two individuals the quality of Pike and Rozell to take the leadership roles at BTC, and states that, “Lynn Pike is a proven leader and has successfully led other telecommunication companies similar to BTC. Our company, employees and customers are in good hands!”