Frankfort Plant Board Assistant General Manager John Higginbotham retires effective Nov. 1. During his 23-year career at FPB, he has ascended through the ranks, worn many hats and has been a part of many positive changes that have affected the community.
Higginbotham joined FPB in 1994 as a Program Director for Cable 10 Community TV, then a Director from 1995 to 1998. Since then, he has served as Director of Marketing, Community TV & Special Projects, Director of Advertising and Programming, Director of Media Services, Superintendent of Cable/Telecom, and has been in his current position since 2014.
“When John leaves today, he takes with him a vast knowledge of this company and the experience of updating our cable and telecom systems through the technological advances of the past two decades,” said FPB Finance Director David Denton. “Not only has he been a valuable asset to FPB, but he has also contributed greatly to this community. We wish him and Jan the best!”
During his career, Higginbotham helped take Cable 10 from a one-camera Standard Definition set-up to a three-camera full High Definition studio. He initiated the multi-camera “Game of the Week” high school sports productions, initiated the first production trailer and subsequent trailer upgrades to a full HD multi-camera production trailer, and conceived and oversaw the startup of the Cable Advertising Department.
“From the beginning of my career at FPB – and it holds true to this day – my supervisors encouraged me to learn new things, test innovative ideas, think big and take big risks,” Higginbotham said. “My goal has been to instill that same opportunity and trust in the cable-telecom staff, and in my opinion, our subscribers have benefitted from this management style.”
Under Higginbotham’s leadership, FPB launched many new services that are now considered necessities to operate in today’s society including Internet access, digital cable, security systems, local telephone service, HD service, DVR service, and Video On Demand services. He also conceived and helped execute the Digital Terminal Adaptor project so that all customers would have access to digital programming.
In addition to his day-to-day work, Higginbotham also contributed to professional and community service organizations. He was on the Board of Directors of the National Cable Television Cooperative, a member of the American Cable Association and served as chair of the Telecommunications Committee for the Kentucky Municipal Utilities Association. He also served on the boards of the American Red Cross, the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce and is a past president of the United Way of Franklin County.
Higginbotham retires as FPB is exploring future upgrades to the cable/telecom infrastructure.
“Our infrastructure is aging as the telecom industry is going through a revolution in access to information,” Higginbotham said. “The board and staff have important decisions to make in the coming 12 to 18 months while being mindful of additional debt to the ratepayers. My experience says there is more than one way to solve a problem, and with the extensive training and experience of the FPB staff, there is no doubt in my mind the right solution to our customers’ needs will be met for years to come.”