CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Joyce Arms, who’s worked for CDE Lightband for 40 years as a cashier, billing clerk and now meter coordinator, has seen an astonishing amount of change in her workplace.
“When I started, the Clarksville Department of Electricity was housed in what is now the Customs House Museum,” Arms said. “And now we are working on expanding the ‘new’ offices on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard for the second or third time.”
Arms, who started with Clarksville Department of Electricity in 1979, was among the longest serving of the 166 City employees who received pins marking service in 5-year increments. Thomas McClellan, who works at the wastewater treatment plant for the Clarksville Gas & Water Department, also joined the 40-year club this year.
For Arms, the biggest changes at CDE Lightband have been wrought by the emergence of the fiber optic network and broadband technology that the power utility decided to add in 2006.
“I remember when (then general manager) Ken Spradlin told us at an employee meeting that we soon would be using fiber optic connections to read meters and turn them on and off from the office,” Arms recalled. “I found it really hard to believe at the time, but now that’s the job that I do every day.”
Arms also remembers the challenges CDE and its staff faced over the years from major weather events, such as the ice storms of 1994, the tornado of 1999 and the recent wind storm of 2019.
“I’ve had a rewarding time at CDE Lightband,” Arms said. “At a dinner in honor of my 35th anniversary, I gave a little speech and thanked everyone. I also encouraged my younger colleagues to learn as much as they could, and to get to know their fellow employees, because we all need each other.”
Mayor Joe Pitts told the crowd gathered at the Wilma Rudolph Events Center for breakfast and pin presentations that he was honored to lead the City’s nearly 1,300 employees.
“What you do every day in service to our citizens is what’s important,” Mayor Pitts said. “I am humbled to be your mayor, and I want to thank each of you for what you do, day in and day out, to serve the citizens of Clarksville.”
Joyce Arms, a 40-year employee at CDE Lightband and among the longest-serving City employees, is congratulated Wednesday by Mayor Joe Pitts. The City presented pins marking service in 5-year increments to 166 workers at its annual employee awards breakfast.