As of 2004
Name: Keith Cheshire
Spouse: LaVerne Villeneuve
Living In: East Palatka, Fl
school, some may remember that my major interest was the field
of telecommunications. Telephony was my target vocation when I
entered the U of F after high school graduation. Unfortunately,
my old “do what is necessary to get by” study habits from high
school were not tolerated at the U of F and after a year or so,
I returned home.
Next, I joined the Florida Air National Guard where I received
training in aviation electronics. I returned home, and to my
joy, I was soon offered a technical job with a telephone company
in N. FL. I moved back to North Florida, took the job and
shortly afterward, married my college girlfriend from
Gainesville, LaVerne Villeneuve. (38 years and counting!)
LaVerne encouraged me to return to school and I began night
courses at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville while
working days at North Florida Telephone Company. When I
completed my AA, I went part-time with the phone company and
re-enrolled in the U of F to continue my education. In 1972, I
received my BSBA in Business Administration and shortly
thereafter, I advanced into a managerial position at the North
Florida Telephone Company (now ALLTEL FL) in Live Oak, FL. Three
years later, I was promoted to Chief Engineer, truly my dream
job. In the late 70’s the company moved us to Charlotte, NC
where I supervised engineering and long range planning for
Mid-Continent Telephone Corporation’s six state Southern Region.
(Mid-Continent later became ALLTEL Corp.)
Overall, I spent 16 ˝ + years with that group of affiliates, but
the bug to do something “on my own” bit me and we left North
Carolina, moved back to the Gainesville, FL area and opened
“Cheshire Electronics & Communications” in High Springs, FL. We
(LaVerne and I) operated our business for three years until I
received an opportunity to join Nortel Networks, a very large
telecommunications manufacturer in Research Triangle Park, NC.
I spent the next 20 years with NT where I worked as a Technical
Support Manager and later Director providing telecommunications
consulting support to our sales staff. In my positions at
Nortel, my principle job was to provide technical updates and
network design recommendations to the engineers, managers and
owners of telephone companies large and small across the U.S.
and Canada. Over the past 30+ years, I have given hundreds and
hundreds of customized presentations and/or formal speeches to
telcos large and small. I love telephony and always enjoyed
discussing it with others.
I truly enjoyed my roles, both at North Florida and at Nortel; I
was blessed with almost a 40-year career in my chosen field. In
fact, it has been more of a hobby experience than a job, but
despite my love of telecommunications, I know I could not have
achieved those successes without the support and encouragement
of my family.
LaVerne and I retired 1n 2002, departed NC and returned to Fl.
Although we still have a cabin in Zionville, in the NC
Mountains, we now live on the St. Johns River near Palatka, FL.
We have two children, a married daughter Cheryl Cheshire
Stallworth who is a medical technician at RTI in Alachua, FL and
a son Coye who is completing his PhD. in Sociology at Leland
Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.