Being a community-oriented business means creating a reciprocal relationship with the people and places around you. For Lakeland Networks, this mutual relationship is between their employees and the communities they serve to connect.
Lakeland Networks operates closely with communities in Muskoka, Parry Sound, Almaguin, and the surrounding areas to plan broadband internet network expansions. Lakeland employees have a personal connection to the networks they build because they see firsthand the potential that communication services bring to our local economies and societies.
“Our presence within the community is like a partnership; a growing cycle of giving and receiving,” says Dave Keith, Director of Business Development and Operations.
That partnership also leads Lakeland team members to contribute to the community in many other ways. Dave, for example, is a member of the Muskoka Founders Circle, a group that provides financial support and business mentoring to local entrepreneurs. “I joined to work with a like-minded group of local people further encouraging the promotion of economic development in Muskoka.”
Customer Service Representative Amy Pritchard volunteers as a troop leader for the 1st Gravenhurst Scouts and provides audio visual support to the Gravenhurst Calvary Church. “I feel that it is so important to give back when and where you can,” says Amy. “Communities thrive when they have an active group of volunteers, and everyone benefits from that.”
Other team members are engaged with local sports. Dave Caplan, Supervisor of IT and Telecom, has been a community rep soccer coach for 15 years, as well as serving on the Huntsville Soccer Club board. He is the current vice president of the Huronia District Soccer Association, while sitting on the Huntsville Disc Golf Club board of directors, and on the Town of Huntsville’s Economic Development Working Group. “I believe that giving back to your community and volunteering is one of the most important things we can do for society,” he says.
Isaac Middlebrook builds connections both literally and figuratively: he is construction Team Lead, and he sits on the board of directors for the Bracebridge Agricultural Society.
Team members are engaged with countless other local events and organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, Canada Day celebrations, Muskoka Pride week, Muskoka Walk for Alzheimer’s, Bracebridge Soccer Club, and Algonquin Grace Hospice Huntsville. They took part in the Coldest Night of the Year walk with a Lakeland team led by captain Bobbie-Jo Keith, Assistant Customer Experience Supervisor.
It’s all about making a difference in the community: at work, by providing fast and reliable communication services, and in their personal life by offering their time and efforts.
“We are proud to say that our business process is very personal, and people driven. We know that providing better internet connectivity and being community involved is essential to the well-being and growth of our communities,” says Dave Keith.
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS SCOTT TURNBULL