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Dina Ealey

Dina picking apples

The Network Operations team are the brains that are constantly monitoring our towers remotely to prevent, detect and resolve outages.

Network operations ensures all of the equipment that customers are connecting to is functioning properly.

“What I do is make sure my teams are doing that. I support them in every way I can, ensuring they have the proper knowledge to troubleshoot outages on fixed wireless, fibre or satellite,” said Dina Ealey, Xplore’s Manager of Network Operations.

Dina started her career at Xplore in July of 2016 as a technical support specialist. A year later, she joined the network operations team and has since been promoted from specialist, to team lead to manager.

“It’s awesome that Xplore has those opportunities to go forward in your career. You’re not always stuck in one place. There are so many things we can do,” Dina said.

She found her time in tech support very rewarding and was excited to apply her skills to resolving network issues right at the source.

“I like to help people and I like to fix problems,” she said.

Day to day, she and her team interact with Xplore’s Customer Care department to provide network updates so that they can keep customers informed.

When needed, they also contact field operations to initiate teams on the ground to repair technology for the issues that cannot be resolved remotely.

Lastly, they might work with an outside vendor like a utility company so that network issues due to local hydro outages can be resolved quickly.

Her leader, Brock Nason, who nominated her for the Top Xplorer award, said that that in Dina’s mind “there’s no room for anything than what’s best for her customers.”

Her favourite aspect of her role is the knowledge she gains daily.

“Every single day I learn something, and I think a day without learning is a day wasted so that’s one of the things I really enjoy,” she said.

It’s not surprising that Brock said that there is no one more equipped than Dina to prepare the Network Operations team for what's ahead.

He told a story about a time when all hands were on deck, and Dina gathered information and used her acquired knowledge to help her team.

“During Hurricane Fiona she organized the entire operation, ensuring we had proper staffing, bringing the team food in the office and working with field operations to ensure they're fully kept up to date, and more importantly safe. She organized daily calls and then after it was all done, used all of her learnings to develop new processes and help orchestrate a network-wide review of every generator to ensure that everything is optimally configured,” he said.

Each day is fulfilling for Dina because she knows that what she is doing has a great impact on people’s lives.

“It’s so important. Many people work from home now. Thirty minutes offline is 30 minutes of your work day. I understand that because I am an Xplore customer and I work from home. If there’s a problem with my tower, I want it back online as soon as possible. We bring that mentality to every customer. They are always the first thing on our minds,” she said.

Dina lives on a hobby farm in rural Carleton County.

She and her husband have 25 acres where they care for a dozen sheep, a cow, 80 chickens, a couple dozen ducks, and some turkeys.

“We raise our own meat. In the summer we garden so we produce a lot of our own food and we cook pretty much everything from scratch. We even make our own mayonnaise,” she said.

Having spent some time living in the city, Dina can confidently say that country living is for her.

“It’s awesome to watch the animals or take a walk in the woods on our property. All things we could not do if we lived in town,” she said.

Despite what you might think, Dina didn’t have any farming experience when she got her chickens – which she referred to as the “gateway animal.”

That said, growing up she seemed to have a knack for it.

“I loved carrots so when I was 10, I made my own garden of just carrots,” she said.

Her younger self would be proud of her plentiful gardens today!

Dina has Xplore’s fixed wireless service on the farm.

“We have never had any issues. It’s been really good and I’ve been very happy. We can stream, work from home and do our regular research - how to do this and that,” she said.

Outside of work, Dina enjoys crochet, cooking and just being on the farm.

“Being with my animals is very fulfilling. Whenever someone at work has a baby, I crochet them a baby blanket – they think it’s so nice but really it’s selfish because I just love to do it,” she laughed.

Michelle Berry

Michelle by the ocean

In her 16 years at Xplore, Michelle Berry has held many roles including technical service representative, technical trainer, portal specialist, process specialist and project manager.

“I’ve gotten to know pretty much every area of the business,” she said.

The knowledge and skillset she gathered in that time, and the network of connections she’s made in the process, has set her up perfectly for her current role as Manager, Program Management & Release Strategy.

Managing projects involves coordinating internal and external teams so that all the ins and outs of a project are completed efficiently and thoroughly so that the initiative is executed successfully.

Michelle was the project manager behind Xplore’s rebrand last year, which involved juggling a vast and complex array of changes that touched every corner of the company.

She also managed the Service Assure Program that introduced diagnostic tools to help Xplore understand the customer experience better.

“A lot of the programs that I work on are about adding new functionality or services that help the company better understand the customer experience or to implement ways to improve the customer experience or even enhance communication with our customers,” she explained.

And, she oversees the implementation strategy for all Xplore IT releases to implement new products, functionality and features for internal and customer-facing applications. An example would be something like an upgrade to the MyXplore customer portal.

When Michelle first started, Xplore’s Fredericton office was in a little tiny building on Queen Street with 20-30 staff.

“We’ve grown a lot. It’s been fun being a part of the growth from 2007 to now. When we hit 50,000 customers, we all got Fuji digital cameras. That was within 6 months of me starting. Now we serve over 300,000 customers!” she said.

There are also over 500 Fredericton-based employees - 10 times as many as when she started.

Michelle’s favourite part of her job is putting customers first – one of Xplore’s guiding values.

“I am always energized by wanting to help improve situations for our employees and our customers,” she said.

She also loves that with each project, she gets to meet a whole team and get to know the ins and outs of their work.

“There’s always new team members with every new project so it’s nice to be able to build new relationships each time.”

Michelle’s leader, Holly Cunningham who nominated her for the Top Xplorer award, specifically commented on Michelle’s ability to create community within the company.

“Michelle is the first to step up to support her coworkers with encouraging messages, organizing social events and providing guidance to newer members of the team,” she said.

Michelle says the team is like a family.

“We work hard to support each other and work together to do what’s best for the customer.”

Growing up in rural New Brunswick, Michelle also understands the joys of rural living.

“I love being surrounded by trees and reconnecting with nature. I love any type of water. Back home, there was a brook behind my grandma’s place where I always used to go to. I’d go for a walk and see a moose or a beaver,” she described.

Outside of work, Michelle enjoys painting and is inspired by nature. She recently painted this picture of the northern lights.

A painting by Michelle B

Michelle also enjoys volunteering. She is the admissions co-chair for Fredericton’s Harvest Music Festival.

She is inspired everyday by gratitude and curiosity.

“I’m thankful every day for the people in my life, my surroundings and I’m curious for what the day has to offer, what new people, and experiences might come out of a new day.”

This zest for life is certainly apparent in the great work she does for Xplore.

“I was so surprised and touched by all the kind words and the summary of my achievements. I just love what I do and working here, and it doesn’t always sink in until people show you like this. I couldn’t have done it without the different teams I work with daily who make Xplore what it is.”

Lee-Ann Wicks

Lee Ann and a child

As Manager of Reporting and Analytics, Lee-Ann works with a team of analysts to ensure that the company has the essential data and insights. This enables the Sales and Marketing departments to better understand and serve our rural communities. “My wife always says, “I have no clue what you do” and then when I explain it I say, “I tell stories with numbers”,” she explained.

An example would be creating an Excel spreadsheet that includes all the people who have called Xplore expressing interest in getting connected, and comparing it with the latest service availability.

“This means the people who have expressed interest will be the first to know about things like gigabit-speed fibre,” she said.

Lee-Ann has been a part of the team for 15 years, starting as a customer service representative and working her way up. She says her curiosity got her where she is today.

“I always ask why things happen. I became the inside sales administrator after being on the phones. From there I was curious why and how we were doing things. I got into reporting and had a natural inclination that made me a good fit for the role,” she said.

Lee-Ann is very proud of the fact that she is self-taught and that she worked her way into her management position in reporting without a formal education.

In her nomination form, Arax Copeman, VP of Consumer Marketing, spoke of a particular project that Lee-Ann recently completed involving automating processes. “This was a challenging undertaking and before her, people just said it couldn't be done.”

In her role, she loves working with a diverse team and having the ability to help the company grow.

“Being able to support the shift to fibre is cool. It’s a whole new world for us and I'm learning a lot. With Xplore I have the opportunity to collaborate with a talented team, take on new responsibilities, and continuously learn and grow.” she said.

In the past, Lee-Ann worked at a third-party call centre that provided customer service for a variety of companies.

She loves that every customer service representative at Xplore works directly for the company.

“With Xplore, we are part of the company providing service to the customer. Everything we do makes a difference for the end user. We all work together toward the same meaningful goal, to connect rural people to reliable Internet,” she said.

Lee-Ann herself grew up rural, in Noonan, New Brunswick. And now, she lives outside of Saint John four houses from a lake.

She loves the privacy, access to nature and tranquility.

“I love that I can bring my son down to the lake every day to skip rocks and go swimming. It’s just so peaceful. It gives Atlas more things to do,” she said.

Playing with her four-year-old son Atlas is her favourite hobby.

“Atlas is autistic so it’s very unique and interesting to watch him learn,” she said.

She and her wife have started to become more involved in the autistic community.

“Having an autistic son has made me a better person. I’ve become more appreciative to how people learn and interpret the world differently. We’ve also been introduced to a unique community and the brilliance and diversity of the people in it.”

We're so proud of our three winners and the work that all Xplore’s staff members do every day. We hope you've enjoyed learning about this quarter’s Top Xplorers. If you're ready to join the team and help us enhance rural living with leading fibre, 5G and satellite broadband options, check out our careers page today.