Groves said goodbye, but comes back again

Cecil Groves, former president of Southwestern Community College, is the new CEO of BalsamWest FiberNet.

Groves, who had moved to Texas to be near family, replaces David Hubbs, who announced he was leaving to pursue personal

interests. BalsamWest is a fiber optic-based telecommunications carrier. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Drake Enterprises, headquartered in Franklin, jointly own the company.

The mission of BalsamWest, which Groves helped establish while at SCC, is to bring 21st century communications to Western North Carolina, which has previously not been available to residents there. The company is focused on the six counties west of the Balsams: Jackson, Macon, Swain, Cherokee, Clay and Graham.

“When David came on board BalsamWest, he took a group of individuals and built them into a team,” said Jennifer Dills, vice chairman of the BalsamWest board. “This team, including David, was able to strategically guide the company into new markets and bring more options to customers of BalsamWest.”

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