CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Oct. 21, 2022) — EPB has promoted Karen Thomas to vice president, Customer Relations. In this position, Thomas will lead the Customer Relations Team and build on EPB’s continuing commitment to providing world-class customer service.
“In her new role, Karen will lead many critical efforts as we strive to be continually more responsive to our customers,” said David Wade, president and CEO of EPB. “Providing outstanding customer experiences matters more than ever as our industry undergoes rapid change. Our goal is to help our community bridge from the present to the future, so our customers can get the most benefit from emerging technologies and options.”
During her career at EPB, Thomas has worked her way up from her initial position in Customer Relations. Since then she has assisted in building and upholding EPB’s award-winning customer experience. She made significant contributions during the launch of EPB Fiber Optics and helped restructure the EPB Customer Relations Team from operating Monday through Friday during business hours to delivering customer support 24/7/365. Thomas also led efforts to utilize SMS, Live Chat and social media to provide positive customer interactions.
“My customer service philosophy is to treat customers the way I want to be treated,” Thomas said. “With that in mind, the EPB Customer Relations Team and other EPB employees across the company are continually working to deliver outstanding customer experiences during every interaction, whether in-person, by phone or online.”
Thomas has been with EPB since 1980 when she graduated from McKenzie College with an Associate of Accounting degree. She spent her first 18 months with the company in Customer Relations before transferring to the Accounting Department. In 2001, Thomas rejoined the Customer Relations Department. Thomas is proud of her contributions to EPB’s mission of enhancing quality of life for the people of the Chattanooga area. In her free time, she and her husband Dennis enjoy taking walks with Super Cooper Thomas, their certified service dog.
EPB serves the people of the Chattanooga area with advanced smart city infrastructure to enable world-class energy and connectivity solutions that include the most resilient smart grid power distribution system in the United States and the fastest internet in the world. EPB gained national notice when it deployed a community-wide fiber optic network accessible to all its customers and used it to launch America’s first Gig-speed internet in 2010 (beating Google Fiber by 4 years) as well as the first community-wide 10 Gig internet service available as a standard offer to all residences and businesses in 2015. Most recently, EPB launched America's first community-wide 25 Gig internet service, future-proofing the network's capacity and keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge.
EPB also utilized the fiber optic network as the communications backbone for deploying more than 200,000 smart switches, sensors and other devices to establish the most advanced and highly automated smart grid in the nation. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy named EPB a living laboratory for pioneering smart grid technologies. Since then, EPB has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and more than 20 other national research partners to play a critical role in more than $155 million in smart city research. EPB was also the first major power distribution utility to earn the GBCI’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid in 2015 and followed up in 2021 by re-certifying at PEER Gold.
EPB is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga which began serving customers in 1939. Visit epb.com for more information.
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