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If you drive a vehicle, run a business or operate machinery in Southern Oregon or Northern California, chances are you’ve run across Ed Staub & Sons and Ed’s Trucking. The company started more than 50 years ago when Ed Staub bought a Chevron bulk plant in Alturas, California. Over the years, through hard work and old-fashioned customer service, Ed and his sons have grown the company, adding services and locations across the west.
Now, in addition to driving trucks and delivering fuel, Ed Staub & Sons sells lubricants and appliances, offers installation services and facilities maintenance, and runs several retail stores and card-lock fuel stations. With 65 locations in Oregon, Northern California and Idaho, and multiple business lines and divisions, the company’s operations are complex and require tight organization and communication.
Trevor Oswald is the IT director for Ed Staub & Sons. With a lean team of three people, he supports more than 450 employees who work for the company across all 65 locations. The company’s network includes fuel stations, card-lock fuel terminals, retail point-of-sale systems, convenience stores, bulk plants and operations yards.
The company shares its success with dozens of fuel, service and product partners, but one partner Ed Staub & Sons depends on is Cal-Ore Communications for fiber broadband, phone services and network design. Oswald has come to count on the team at Cal-Ore as an extension of his networking team.
Randy Shaw, owner of Coldwell Banker Holman Premier Realty, says a real estate company’s inherent objective is to promote its community. That’s not difficult to do when you work in a place as great as Klamath Falls.
Randy and his team of local real estate professionals have sold diverse properties in the Klamath Falls region since 1982, winning multiple awards and garnering serious recognition along the way. The company was founded on the principal of putting the customer’s best interest above all, and that’s still true today.
“We understand how important our job is when handling someone’s assets,” Randy says. “We’re always looking out for our customers and we do everything we can to handle their needs with care.”
The Golden Rule
Whether it’s volunteering time on organizational boards and committees, or researching local property laws, the team at Coldwell Banker Holman Premier Realty are doing their best to contribute to their community and protect people’s ability to own a home. “We try to create an atmosphere within the company where following the ‘golden rule’ is a main priority," Randy says.
A History Rooted in Klamath
Midland Empire Insurance has been a fixture in the Klamath Falls community for more than 75 years. Clem and Sylvia Lesueur acquired the agency in 1958, and it still remains in the family.
Today, their son Lance and his wife Bernice co-own the agency, providing five types of insurance to local residents and businesses. “We offer a full line of insurance products,” Lance says. “From auto insurance to farm insurance, we’ve got you covered.”
A Commitment to Customer Service
Over the last 75 years, business has grown significantly for Midland Empire. With eight employees in Klamath Falls and five in Grants Pass, the agency has grown 12 times its original size. “We have very educated employees, and most have been with us for at least 10 years,” says Lance. “We love our community.”
A Connected Community
The Karuk Tribe relies on technology in more ways than one — and it has certainly made life easier for its members in Happy Camp, Yreka and Orleans, California. The word Káruk means “upriver people,” referring to the indigenous groups who have lived in small villages along the Klamath River for thousands of years.
With its own elected government, the tribe has worked extremely hard to provide various service programs for the community in healthcare, government, education, natural resources and more.
IT Director Eric Cutright manages the small team that is responsible for maintaining all network computer and phone systems for the Karuk Tribe. “The work I do is good,” he says. “I’m helping a people who have been historically underserved.” The tribe earned federal recognition in the 1970s, becoming a "Self-governed Tribe" and helping to establish government-funded services for members and other people in the area.
The most widely-used programs are in healthcare. "We're interested in providing for the overall health of the community, not just the medical side," Cutright says. The services offered range from primary care doctors and dentists to social workers to counselors — and technology plays an important role in all of them.
A Reboot for City Hall
The City of Yreka provides many of the essential services residents need, like water and sewer, and they rely on cloud-based software. But before City of Yreka switched to Cal-Ore Fiber, city staffers could hardly depend on their internet signal.
“We used to have wireless antennas on a tank up on the hill,” says Shella Rhetta Hogan, Finance Director for the City of Yreka. “The internet would go out every time there was a storm.”
It was bad,” Hogan remembers. “Almost every Monday we were manually resetting the tower.”
So when Cal-Ore expanded its Fiber Internet network, offering bigger bandwidth and dramatically improved reliability, Hogan and the City of Yreka couldn’t help but be interested.
Cultivating the Talent of a Community
Justin Sparks might seem an unusual candidate for director of operations of the biggest eye center in the Klamath Basin; he comes from a background as a contractor and he has 20/20 vision. But when the Klamath Eye Center hired Sparks to do some construction projects back in 2004, his work was so impressive that the Klamath Eye Center took him on full-time. Sparks scribed under Dr. Mark Fay for almost three years – learning the ins and the outs of the business and earning his way up to Director of Operations.
Sparks says this is just the way it works for Klamath Eye Center.
“Finding qualified workers in our community isn’t easy,” Sparks says, “so instead we find good workers and we train them and move them up the ranks. A lot resources go into all the training, but it’s worth it for us to stay state-of-the-art in our small community.”
Technology to Cover the Basin’s Needs
“We’re kind of on an island by ourselves out here in ‘The Basin’,” Sparks says. “Certain times of the year, you don’t want to be leaving town. Everyone in the area respects that and tries to expand the services that we as a community can provide so we can be sustainable and self-sufficient. There’s a pride of being able to provide for ourselves and for each other and we all chip in to cover the full spectrum of the community’s needs”
Eyes on Yreka
Yreka Police Chief Brian Bowles’ job includes many responsibilities that keep him stuck in the office most of the day: paperwork, phone calls, meetings and planning for an upcoming move to replace the historic-but-cramped Yreka police station. But don’t think that the chief isn’t keeping a close watch on Yreka.
“As you move up the ranks in a small police department, you actually do less on-the-ground police work,” Bowles says. “I have to know more about computers, technology and business than I ever anticipated in my early days as an L.A. County deputy.”
When police aren’t able to have eyes on the ground, one solution is deploying a set of mobile surveillance camera stations on power poles in trouble areas. The department can install them anywhere in town in 15 minutes and then record video 24 hours a day–live-streaming the footage back to the station where police can remotely turn and zoom the cameras.
“We had a guy recently who was repeatedly breaking into the bathroom at the Miner Street Plaza,” Bowles said. “We hooked up the camera and caught him in the act, then put a call out in the newspaper with a picture. We caught the guy right away. This saves the City staff a big hassle and a lot of money from fixing the bathroom all the time. But for more serious crime, these cameras could save lives.”
Country For The Community
No matter what kind of music you love, you’ve probably listened to KLAD-FM 92.5, “Oregon’s country giant.” They’ll tell you they’re more than just a country station, and they’re right.
“People who don’t listen to country music listen to KLAD just to find out what’s going on in the community,” says Rob Siems, host of the KLAD Wake-Up Crew. “It’s unique. You don’t have everyone listening to the country station like that in most places.
Siems is not only the host of the KLAD morning show — which broadcasts across the Klamath Basin. He’s also the general manager of Basin Mediactive, the radio group that runs 92.5 KLAD, 99.5 The Rock, Big 98.5, ESPN 83.3 and 1150 KAGO.
Big Bandwidth for Broadcasting
Beaming five radio stations to the Basin and beyond takes some serious bandwidth.
In the idyllic Shasta Valley, on the other side of Butcher Hill from Yreka, California, a nondescript warehouse building houses one of the most advanced water filtration companies in the world: Ozotech.
“We like it here in Yreka,” Ozotech President Steve Christiansen says with a wink. “We can keep our technology safe because nobody can find it.”
Then Christiansen lights up the Corona Discharge Cell to demonstrate. It’s a 3-foot glass tube wrapped in a perforated metal grid. When Christiansen connects the electricity, a center cathode radiates a blue electric shock that looks like something out of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. What's he up to? Ozotech uses ozone to disinfect water — without using chemicals.
One of the most common applications for Ozotech filters is one of its customers: Aquafina bottled water. Add ozone to the water during bottling, put a cap on it, and by the time it’s opened, the water is disinfected and ready to drink. “The byproduct is highly-dissolved oxygen in the water, and that’s a benefit for taste,” Christiansen says.
If you live anywhere in Klamath County, you’re probably familiar with Sky Lakes Medical Center. If you’re lucky, you may have been born there.
Sky Lakes is the only hospital in the Klamath Basin and the primary hospital for 10,000 square miles of Oregon and California. Sky Lakes performs everything from major surgeries to regular checkups. With 1,200 employees, they're also the largest non-governmental employer in the area. As a not-for-profit organization, they're owned by the community and governed by a board of volunteers.
Technology is the backbone, so to speak, of Sky Lakes’ operations. From the big things — they have a robot that aids doctors in stroke management — to the everyday things like sharing CT scans back and forth between experts, Sky Lakes requires the best technology and internet services available.