In her own words: Kerry Crawford, manager with AT&T

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us a little about your company its specialties, its history, the size of its staff:

Kerry Crawford: AT&T is a global telecommunications company that is a national leader in wireless, broadband, television and high speed Internet. We offer the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. AT&T has the nation's fastest mobile broadband network. We're proud that AT&T has pioneered the introduction of smartphones in America. Our AT&T Emerging Devices group is working with some of the most innovative companies in America to bring new services, new features, new functionality and new benefits to consumers via wireless technology. In the 21st century, connectivity is being mobilized so that consumers have access to information and entertainment on the go, and AT&T is leading the way.

NNBW: What role do you play in the company?

Crawford: My job is to plan and design the outside plant cable, poles, conduit, electronics in order to provide dial tone, high-speed internet access, AT&T U-verse television and any other products that are delivered over fiber or copper cable in a timely and economic manner. I'm also responsible for monitoring those facilities and reinforcing when necessary. Years ago the company asked me to join the Rotary Club of Reno Sunrise. I was a charter member and still represent the company.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Crawford: I started as a directory Assistance Operator in college. (Yep, "What city please?") After I graduated I was offered a promotion and have been fortunate to work in almost every facet of the company. When my favorite position, strategic planning, was moved out of state, Dick Bostdorff and Scott Rabideau gave me an opportunity to learn the engineering side of the business.

NNBW: What is something no one knows about your job?

Crawford: For me, there is a huge "Wow" factor. Most of us take for granted being able to talk on the phone, send texts, videos and pictures over a cell phone, check email on a cell, download movies, pictures, x-rays, music to almost any electronic device. It's all done over an intricate yet massive network of fiber and copper cables. Much like strategic planning, it's strategic and tactical, which is why I like it so much.

NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?

Crawford: My original plan was to go to law school. I had friends who went and I lost interest after watching them for a couple of years.

NNBW: What do you like to do when you're not working?

Crawford: Hang with family and friends, ski, road/mountain bike, kayak and most anything else outdoors.

NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?

Crawford: Telecommunications is a great place to be! The future is all about bandwidth, wireless and the services/applications that can be offered over those. Get a degree ... the discipline required and ability to learn are tools you will always be able to use. Be comfortable living on a learning curve; technology is evolving at light speed so to speak.

NNBW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why would you want it?

Crawford: To be able to fly, with or without a cape. The freedom to move around quickly holds great appeal.

NNBW: What person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with, and why?

Crawford: My dad died suddenly at 59, way too young. We were very close so there was nothing left unsaid, but he never got to know my girls.

NNBW: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Crawford: Plenty over the years! Not sure which was the best but these are the ones I remember:

* Save; always pay yourself first;

* Living well is the best revenge;

* It's all about your health;

* Make choices you won't regret;

* Always take the high road.

NNBW: What do you like most about your job?

Crawford: The people I work with, problem solving, learning new technologies and helping customers.

NNBW: What do you like least?

Crawford: The bureaucracy that is an inherent part of a large corporation.

NNBW: What five words would most people use to describe you?

Crawford: Honest, organized, analytical, thoughtful and intelligent.

The basics:

Name: Kerry Crawford, manager of outside plant planning and engineering design, AT&T Nevada.

How long have you been in this job? 10 years

How long in the profession? 31 years

Education: University of Nevada, Reno, business administration, B.S.

Best book you've read? "Snow Crash"

What's on your iPod? An eclectic mix of everything except rap and heavy metal.

The best movie ever? Field of Dreams"

Spouse, kids or pets? Two daughters

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