Author: Kristin Jackson, Chief Financial Officer OF United Communications
Rutherford County has a lot going for it. It has a wonderful blend of native Tennesseeans and transplants that make for a diverse, thriving community. There are hundreds of local businesses across Smyrna, Eagleville, LaVergne, and Murfreesboro that make each community unique and special. As a mother of three small children, I also appreciate the quality of the public school systems. Rutherford County offers a variety of entertainment activities while also providing a small-town feel.
And yet, you might be surprised to know that there are still thousands of residents across our county who don’t have access to high-speed broadband internet. Closing the digital divide for residents in Rutherford and surrounding counties across Middle Tennessee has become our most important initiative at United.
I’m honored that United has become a top internet provider for residential and commercial customers across Rutherford County. As a Rutherford County resident, there are three specific initiatives that make me proud of the work United is doing to support businesses, residents, and local governments across our community.
1. We equip local governments and emergency services with reliable and secure fiber networks.
In today’s world, fiber internet access is critical for public safety and instrumental in enhancing the work public service departments are doing to improve our communities. With a fiber network, emergency services can communicate with each other more effectively, resulting in faster response times and potentially saving lives. These fiber plans also empower local government agencies to communicate with each other and the public more effectively, providing timely and accurate information. To date, we’ve completed fiber builds for the City of LaVergne, the Town of Smyrna, and the Rutherford County Emergency Communications Department.
2. We’ve invested in fiber expansion to reach underserved businesses and communities across the county.
At United, we’re committed to investing in the local communities we serve. Whether it’s a local grocery store in Eagleville or a multi-family neighborhood in Murfreesboro, we want to play our part in helping our neighbors thrive.
As a subsidiary of Middle Tennessee Electric based in Murfreesboro, we believe in developing strategic partnerships with local communities, businesses, and government leaders to provide high-speed internet access to as many residents as possible. To date, we’ve devoted $35 million to serve approximately 25,000 residents and businesses in Rutherford County.
Personally, I am most proud of the way our Project UNITE initiative has provided high-speed internet access to the Eagleville community (which was previously unserved). Through this initiative, I’m pleased to share that we’ve invested $1.4 million in funds (to Eagleville alone) to provide fiber internet access to homes and businesses in the area.
3. We actively give back to the community through charitable causes and scholarships.
Giving back to the community has been part of our DNA at United since we were founded 75 years ago. Many of our employees are involved in our community throughout the year, volunteering with local nonprofits or supporting families during the holidays. We also provide scholarships to graduating seniors at two Rutherford County high schools: Smyrna High School and Eagleville High School. These scholarships are $1,000 per year for four years to each recipient.
Continuing Our Commitment to Rutherford County
United is committed to solving the digital divide throughout Rutherford County, and I am excited about the way we will be continuing to apply for future grant opportunities to make this possible. I know that Project UNITE will have a long-term impact on residents and businesses across our community for years to come, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.
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Chief Financial Officer of United Communications
As CFO of United Communications, Kristin Jackson has brought energy, innovation, and sharp financial acumen to her work. Since joining the company in 2016, Kristin has contributed to United Communication’s growth by leading financial, regulatory, IT, and HR initiatives. She has also played a key role in securing more than $53.4 million in state and federal grants through Project UNITE. Because of her contribution, Kristin was awarded the 2021 CFO Of The Year by the Nashville Business Journal. Kristin also serves on the Board of the United Community Foundation and is a member of Rutherford Cable, a women’s professional group in Rutherford County. She is also a 2022 graduate of Leadership Rutherford. Kristin and her family live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time outdoors together.