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Union Telephone celebrates 100th anniversary

Posted: Monday, Jan 27th, 2014

John Woody, Howard Woody and Jim Woody will celebrate today — and throughout the year — the 100th anniversary of their family-owned and operated business Union Telephone.(COURTESY PHOTO)

MOUNTAIN VIEW — On Jan. 28, 1914, Union Wireless incorporated as a service provider to a handful of residents in Mountain View. Today, 100 years later, the family-owned and operated business serves more than 60,000 customers in five states.

Chief Customer Relations Officer Brian Woody said in a recent Herald interview that it all started with his great-grandfather, John D. Woody. The Woody family continued to run the business, with Howard Woody taking over in the 1940s and expanding service to 125 lines and a centralized operator.

These days, Brian Woody is proud to work alongside his dad, Jim Woody and his uncle, John G. Woody, while the company continues to serve customers with the same small-town kindness that has become a hallmark of their business.

“One of our proudest accomplishments,” Brian Woody said, “is that we are continuing to do what we’ve always done best: serving our customers and staying on top of technology.”

He said the company plans to commercially launch their LTE service this year, something that has been in the works for some time.

To celebrate 100 years of service to the community, Union plans to host two commemorative dinner parties in Evanston and Cheyenne. The crew of TLC’s hit reality show “Cake Boss” has been commissioned to prepare special cakes for the events, according to a Union Wireless press release.

In addition to the commemorative dinners, Union will host live radio remotes at their 13 retail store locations on Saturday, Feb. 1. Free food and beverages will be served during the events, which are open to the public.

“The rest of the year will be punctuated with activities celebrating Union’s 100-year anniversary,” Brian Woody said. “We are looking forward to the next 100 years being as exciting, productive and innovative as the first.

“We look at Wyoming as a small town with very long streets. And we try to treat our customers like our friends and family. They are our neighbors, and we want to treat everyone like we treat ourselves.”

Looking forward, Brian Woody said he doesn’t see landlines disappearing completely, although he said they will continue to decline. In addition, Woody said he hopes to see Union offering a variety of different phones.

Keeping up with developing technology will also be an important challenge for Union Wireless, as communication technologies merge, evolve and change.

“I’m thankful to our customers and employees who have helped make the company successful for 100 years,” Brian Woody said. “We hope to be able to serve our customers, whether they are our customers now, or will become our customers in the future. That is what this business is all about.”

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