Who ya’ gonna call when you need a security or phone system? HiCom, that’s who! Mr. Derek McKee visited the class on Wed, 25 Sep to talk about his company HiCom and the importance the company plays in Greene County and several locations throughout the state. In addition, he conveyed to the students how he got started in the business, several aspects of managing the business and what he considers important to the economic health of the county. His grandfather started the business after he retired from Indiana Bell (remember Indiana Bell) doing business phone installs. Pretty much grew out of necessity as he, his grandfather, kept getting calls for advice and assistance from previous customers. Bet you didn’t know HiCom stands for Hiatt Communications after his grandfather. His grandfather wanted Derek to take over the business, but after he graduated college, which he did. Instead of biscuits (remember biscuits), Derek brought with him an old, dial type phone to demonstrate the difference in technology from then to now, holding up his smart phone. Technology has changed and so has the focus of the company. HiCom started getting into security systems in 2007 right before the “great recession” and how that timing turned out to be huge for the business with businesses and schools seeking additional security. He provided many good points about managing a business, community involvement and what he’s learned about success in his young life. He also made it know he has a side business of barbeque, catering and stand up comedy, but we’ll save that for a return visit! (He was asked to tell a few jokes.) Do want to document one of his shared true-life experiences. When he was 22, he was able to fix a phone system for a local business that was out of commission due to lightening. The manager was very appreciative and remembered his talent. Years later, that manager, who was then head of maintenance at Bedford-North-Lawrence school, called him to take over their communications, which he did. Sometime after that, the financial officer at BNL had moved to the school in Seymour and, knowing the quality of his work, eventually signed with HiCom to do their communications and security. Reputation and quality work go a long way, both on the map and in business. He ended by encouraging the students to consider returning to Greene County as it has many positive qualities to offer in raising a family. Upon leaving, he went down the hall to fix a phone problem. Go figure.

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