About Val

Meet Val the Phone Gal

Cabling Maui’s phones and computers since 1995.

I am often asked how I got into this non-traditional field, so here’s the story:

My little sister, Melanie, had gone to a Telecom school in Montana to learn the trade and she thought it might be something I would enjoy doing and might be good at.  She was right.  At the time, it was one of the only telcom training schools available, if you were not associated with  “the phone company”.  They taught the basics of everything from climbing poles to central office wiring.  It was a great course and I picked up some formal training on different jobs, and the rest I learned by being thrown to the wolves.  I acquired some good experience working on a few good-sized jobs such as wiring a hospital, doing the service and repair for Continental Airlines at Stapleton Airport in Denver for years, working on the crews that installed 12,000 new phone jacks at Colorado University, and I worked in the Telcom Division at the gas & electric company in Colorado, to name a few.  I also oversaw the telemetering project with that same utility company while Denver International Airport was under construction, before moving to Maui.  Then I started up here as Val the Phone Gal.  It has been very different here, no working in skyscrapers, much smaller businesses, and lots of jungle jobs.  It’s a great job, so interesting and something different every day.  It’s a never-ending learning process that I really enjoy.  My Dad and brother are both Machine Maintenance  guys so I must have inherited that troubleshooting and repair gene.

I love working for all the small business owners that I get to work for.  So many great, hard working people out there.  I have worked for them when they were starting out in home offices and then when they grew to larger office spaces and added more employees.  I have helped many to downsize to smaller offices in this economic downturn and hope to be able to see them grow again in the near future.  Unfortunately, I have lost many great clients in the downturn and hope to see them return to their businesses soon.  I also work for many non-profit agencies, doctors, lawyers and just about any kine business you can think of. The residential jobs are great because I get to see so many beautiful neighborhoods all over Maui and meet such nice people while doing it.  I enjoy trying to save my customers money and finding the right solutions for their individual situations.

My favorite part while driving around this beautiful island everyday??  There are no freeways!!!

And…..NO SNAKES!!

Business Phone/Voicemail Systems Installation, Service, and Repair

 

Don’t be talked into getting rid of your trusted, reliable phone or voicemail system just because you need more phones and have been told you can’t get them any more, or because you don’t know how to change your voicemail greetings!!  I see this all the time and  I can help you with your existing systems.  Often the system was installed a while back and the only people who knew how to use it or program features are long gone.  I can “re-train” you and your staff to customize the phones and mailboxes, change those company greetings and directories that have been wrong for months or years, and get those buttons on your phones to actually do what they are labeled as.

I have been working on Nortel systems for years and I know a lot of you have them in your offices. The phone companies all over the country sold Nortel for a couple of decades, so there are a lot of them out there. The good thing about that is that most phone guys (and gals), know how to work on them.  So you will not be left without support just because the phone company stopped servicing them.  Think twice before buying a system that only one technician can work on.  What if the person leaves the island?  I have seen this many times.  It is good to think about what your needs really are; are they already being met but just need some tuning up or a few new parts??  I can service most brands of phone systems out there, so give me a call.

If you are just starting up or moving into a new office, let’s sit down and figure out just what you need to operate efficiently in your business.  I can install your wiring for phones and computers, sell you the right phone and voicemail system that best suits your needs, and also troubleshoot and repair any problems you might have in the future.  Let’s get your business working at the optimum level now!!

Home Office Networks

 

“COPPER IS MORE RELIABLE THAN AIR”

When you get frustrated with the unreliability of your wireless network, consider WIRE!!  If you are trying to get the internet from your main house to the ohana, garage, barn, etc., and it only works well when the wind isn’t blowing, it’s not raining, there are no trees in the way, etc., let’s look at your options for running cable to connect to your high-speed network router.  If you want to wire another room for a computer,  add a Wireless Access Point to another part of your house, or to get your new TV on the internet, call me to check out your options.  Whether you are building a new home or remodeling, it’s a good idea to think about wiring before you close up those walls.  Did your electrician run all the wires for your new house but didn’t hook them up??  I can make all those connections for you.  Computer, phone and CATV.  If you need an IT tech to help you set up your computer network after you are wired, I can recommend one to fit your specific needs.   Think of me when upgrading your home network.

Business Networks

Turn that into this with Val the Phone Gal

“COPPER IS MORE RELIABLE THAN AIR!”

When you are ready to move into that new office building or upgrade your network,  I can help.  Whether you are adding just 1 or 50  new computer network locations.  If your electrician wired your new building but the wires are still hanging there, call me to make all those connections for you.

If you have been running your office network on wireless, consider upgrading to copper wire.  Wireless networks can have reliability and security issues, and as I like to say, “Copper is more reliable than air”.  It really is much more stable and not affected by other frequencies, concrete or steel walls, and other forms of interference.

I work side-by-side with quite a few IT technicians. They often recommend to their customers to call me in to install new, or clean up the existing wiring.  So many problems can be eliminated just by improving your network wiring.  Call me for an estimate on your next wiring project.  If you need an IT tech to handle the software portion of your project, I can recommend the right one for your needs.  If you already have a trusted professional, I will be glad to work with him to get your project wired up just right!

Existing, remodel and new construction projects welcome.

Home Phone

Yeah, yeah, I know;  NOBODY has land lines anymore.  EVERYBODY has cell phones.  NOT TRUE!!  There are still plenty of land lines out there and plenty of things that can go wrong with them.  Especially here on Maui where there is so much humidity.  Corrosion is one of the main reasons your home phone line has all that static, rings those short little half rings, or maybe just a half a ring and that’s it.  You may think that those phone jacks you don’t use anymore can no longer be an issue now that you have all those cordless phones.  But if you had 20 phone jacks and only one of them is compromised; it can and will affect the whole system.  There are also miles and miles of wiring out there that may have been installed decades ago and it is just finally time to replace it.  I can troubleshoot and repair these problems for you.  I can also add wiring for new jacks you might need, help you plug in all those cords, or just organize them for you.  If that ugly tangled mess of wires outside (or inside) makes you nervous knowing your whole system is dependent on it, Call Me.  I can help.

I can also  consult with you on running some new heavy duty phone wire through the jungle after your old wire has been weed-whacked, lawn-mowed, chewed by rats, ran over, etc., just one too many times.  I stock wire for this purpose  and can get you up and running again so you can get reliable phone and internet. As you know, the phone company only services to a certain point and then you are on your own in those more rural areas.

So call me first, before the phone company, so we can determine if the problem is on their incoming line or if it is an inside wiring problem that I can repair. But whatever the problem is, give me a call.  I can most likely be of assistance.

Existing, new construction and remodel projects welcome.