Our Company History
ProTel began doing business in 1982. Our former owner, Steve Thompson had been working as a supervisor for Southwestern Bell Telephone for 12 years and the communications industry was facing a major change as deregulation was just starting. Steve felt this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to start his own business selling and servicing telephone equipment.
To take advantage of this opportunity, Steve and his wife Bonnie began ProTel Systems in the basement of their home. Steve did all of the sales, installation and service work and Bonnie answered the phone and took care of accounting.
Soon the business added several employees and an association was formed with Hedges Communications, with Steve as general manager for Hedges. For a period of six years the two companies were organized as one under Steve's management.
Now bursting at the seams, it was determined that ProTel should be moved out of Steve's basement. Our first commercial address was 1446 E. Sunshine (where The Copy Shoppe is now located). As the company continued to grow and expand they moved to even larger quarters in what was then known as Corporate Center (now the American National Building) at 1949 E. Sunshine.
In late 1989 the two companies, ProTel and Hedges, separated and Steve once again began focusing his full efforts toward ProTel. Since that time ProTel has grown significantly and consistently, with our reputation of providing the best telephone products and service in Southwest Missouri.
In 1992 we moved again to 3351 E. Sunshine, where the company resided until our final move in December of 1998 to our permanent home here at 2929 N. Eastgate Ave.
In 2008, Steve and Bonnie officially retired and the company was sold to three of the existing managers, Bruce Jones, Shane Taylor and Randy Harris. Bruce and Shane continue to own and manage the company. Owner Randy Harris passed away in April of 2011 after working for ProTel for 25 years.
Bruce Jones – President/Owner Partner
Bruce began his career with ProTel as the first full time employee, over thirty years ago. Bruce has been directly responsible for installing, servicing and managing phone system (both TDM and VoIP), structured cabling system, data and wireless network systems, security systems, CCTV systems (analog, digital and IP) and sound system projects for ProTel.
Bruce has served as a technician, our service manager, an account executive, a major projects manager and as a senior executive. And since 2008 as President and co-owner. There is no aspect of the company that Bruce does not have a hands-on involvement with, in fact, you may from time to time still see him in the field on a customer's jobsite.
When Bruce is not at work, he enjoys playing golf and spending time with his grandchildren.
Shane Taylor – Vice-President/Owner Partner
Shane has been with ProTel since 1998. Shane started on the phone as an outbound sales agent with another company before he became a ProTel employee and has 18 years of sales experience. Since 1998 he advanced in the company holding many positions, including Sales Manager, Floor Manager and Call Center Director. In 2008 Shane became co-owner of ProTel along with Bruce and Randy.
When Shane is not at work, you will find him entertaining family and friends at his home. And when in season, catching a football game (Shane is an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan)!
Randy Harris (1952 – 2011) Gone But Never Forgotten
Randy was an integral part of ProTel Systems from the time he began working for Steve Thompson in 1985 as a technician, to the many years he was our valued Service Manager, to 2008 when he became one of the three owners. We miss him every day!
Kimberly Taylor – QA Manager
Kim has been with ProTel since 1999. She started on the phone as an outbound sales agent and has 17 years of sales experience. Kim has held many positions during her time with ProTel including Order Processor, Office Administrator and QA Manager. Since 2008 when she and Shane became co-owners of ProTel, Kim has attended various AT&T boot camps and management training seminars.
When not at work, Kim enjoys crocheting and spending time with her family.
Sheila Wise – Operations Manager
Sheila has been with ProTel since 1987. A valuable member of our team, Sheila has a wealth of knowledge that can only come from years of experience in the communications industry. As Operations Manager, Sheila is responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of the company. She is also currently acting as our Customer Service Manager and our Sales Manager. When not busy multi-tasking at work, Sheila is multi-tasking on the hundred plus acre farm she lives on in Fordland.
Scott Sales – Service Manager
Scott has been with ProTel since April 2006. Scott started as a Senior Tech and is now our Service Manager. As Service Manager, Scott likes to describe his role as problem solver and solution provider. He is responsible for managing the service techs and their daily schedules, working directly with customers in engineering solutions and yes, sometimes you will still encounter him running the occasional service call.
Scott holds many certifications relevant to our field including Toshiba VoIP Expert, Ubiquiti Wireless Broadband Administrator, S2 Access Control, ONSSI Surveillance and several other cabling and design certifications.
When he is not at work, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife Madeline, their 4 children and 6 grandchildren. You will frequently find them burning gas in the Jet Skis's at the lake. Scott is also an avid golfer.
Shiela Mize – Billing Administrator
Shiela has been with ProTel since Oct. 2001. She has held multiple positions through out her time here from working on the phones in our call center, to order processing for AT&T. She is now our billing administrator and lead customer service representative. Shiela is also the one you will see on our customer sites giving them the best indepth training on the use of their Toshiba telephone equipment. When Shiela is not working, she loves to spend her time camping with her husband Jerry and their 3 fur babies.
Stephanie Lindsay – Finance Manager
Stephanie joined ProTel in Nov. 2016. As Finance Manager, Stephanie oversees payroll, accounts payable/receivables and human resources. She also provides strategic analyses for senior management. Stephanie has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a Master's Degree in Public Administration.
When she is not at work, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her family, scrap booking, crafts, learning new things, helping others, and being a professional photographer.
Our Network Staff
Ken Curtis – Manager of IT Services/Lead Technician
Ken started in the telecommunications industry in 1976 setting up phone communications for the United States Army. Ken has been with ProTel since October 2002. During his time with ProTel he has been our lead service technician, Service Manager and now our IT Manager. During a stint in Alaska, Ken operated a branch office for ProTel, where he sold, installed and serviced our Toshiba Business Telephone product line.
When he is not at work, Ken can be found working on his house, enjoying a movie with his wife Dorothy or playing around with some of his magic tricks.
Kevin Long – Manager of Network Services
Kevin has been with ProTel since 2000 and has experience in many areas of technology. Kevin is responsible for ensuring that both ProTel's and our customer's networks are working for and not against them!
When not at work Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife Constance and their fur babies. Kevin spends his spare time in the outdoors, hiking, camping and enjoying primitive technologies, such as making fire from rocks and sticks.