Connecting the Local with the Global

Fibertech Networks' community commitment extends to people in Southern Sudan 

November 2009

Fibertech Networks is a leader in building and operating fiber optic networks throughout mid-size cities in the Eastern and Central regions of the United States.

Twice each year, the company, headquartered in Rochester, NY, gathers employees together for a meeting to share company performance and inspire people with presentations by outside speakers, such as an advertising executive who climbed Mt. Everest.

 "The company's goal with these meetings," says Mike Hurley, VP of Sales and Marketing, "is to motivate people to overcome barriers, be persistent and make a difference, not just for our customers but for our community."  That sentiment sums up the company's operating philosophy where CEO and founder John Purcell and his management team lead by example.

So when Hurley learned of Salva Dut and his work, he knew that Salva's story would be perfect to share with the employees of Fibertech. He asked Dan Clifton, the company's Director of Marketing, to put it together. Salva was engaged to speak at the company's summer 2009 meeting. But it didn't stop there.

Homework for everyone

With the thoroughness that characterizes the company, employees were prepared for Salva's visit. Clifton purchased and distributed to all employees a story called They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, about Sudan's civil war that chronicles life as "Lost Boys of Sudan."

"The idea was to give everyone a grounding in the story of the 'Lost Boys.' We felt it important to educate everyone on the story to help put into perspective the type of situation faced by Salva and others when they were just young kids," says Clifton. "I have two boys, ten and six years old. The plight of these children from Sudan hit home and I couldn't imagine my boys surviving that type of experience."

So when Salva spoke to the 200 Fibertech employees, they had already done their homework.

Fibertech connects with Water for Sudan

Salva, after showing the film "Just Add Water," and speaking about his life and work, answered questions.  Salva was asked by CEO Purcell what the company could do to help. Purcell then spontaneously pledged the company to support Water for Sudan in the drilling of a well. That response reflected how the plight of Southern Sudan's people and Salva's entrepreneurial leadership resonated with the Fibertech community.
The company provided Salva with a banner to photograph at the well site when it's completed. Clifton also plans to post a link and map on the Fibertech website in the future so employees can stay in touch with Water for Sudan's progress.

"Salva touched a lot of people on so many levels,"

says Clifton. "Many employees have stopped me in the hallway since, commenting on how Salva has touched their lives. From not taking things for granted to saying things like 'He's inspired me to think I can do anything,' Salva's message still resonates long after his speech ended."

At Fibertech Networks, they know what it means to connect the local with the global to make a difference for people.