Small Business Owner Jeff Jones Knows Optical Fiber—and Tennis, Parenthood, Volunteering
An Expert in his field, father of five, Tennis Champion, Community Volunteer
Jeff Jones got fired by the company he was working for.
Now he knows it was the best thing that could have happened to him.
The very next day, while newly unemployed and worried about feeding his family of seven, a company he’d been installing the “Category 5" cabling in called him on his cell and asked him to come to do some more work. Instead of making $14 an hour working for someone else, now he was making $50 an hour as the lead installer—and boss.
The company he’d been working for had been bought out, resulting in the firing of a dozen employees. Jeff and two fired friends decided to work together. Their former company went out of business.
But Jeff still is in business. "Twisted Pairs Network Services” was born out of necessity and now, nearly two decades later, is still helping install voice and data networks throughout the DFW metroplex and as far as New Jersey. Jeff has installed systems in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Houston, Midland and San Antonio. He currently has a job pending in Tennessee.
Jeff attributes his success to his quick response to requests and his expertise in installing the network cabling necessary to keep computers connected to the internet and good phone connections to make calls clear.
Although Jones began his company out of necessity, working with two other co-workers who also lost their jobs when their company let them go, his friends soon moved on, leaving him as president. But Jeff keeps in touch years later with one who is now the top IT expert for Collin College.
“Twisted Pairs” was named after their then-favorite band, Twisted Sisters, and is also a nod to the four pairs of 23 and 24 gage solid copper found in Category 6 and Category 5 cables used for installing voice and data Networks.
Born in Berwyn Illinois, he's a graduate of Richardson High School.
Jeff grew up in the suburb of La Grange outside of Chicago. He was a football star as a junior, at six foot two, weighing 225 pounds. He loved catching footballs as a tight end for his team, until the day he cracked three ribs when roughly tackled by an opponent. When his family moved before his senior year to Richardson, he didn’t pursue the pigskin. Instead, he played some pick-up basketball, and got back into the game of tennis, a sport he learned from his father.
Tennis became his passion as he played on local teams out of Fretz Tennis Center, Huffines Tennis Center and now Greenhill Tennis Center. He also entered USTA tournaments. In 2013 he won the Fort Worth 4.0 Men’s Doubles Tournament with his partner, Jerone Hammond, an electrical engineer, and then the biggest tournament in the state a few months later, the “Poke-e-Joe’s Simply the Best," by-invitation-only event in November. He was ranked 4th in the state in the Men’s Doubles category that year.
And when he wasn’t playing tennis, he was running in the annual Dallas Turkey Trot, Hot Chocolate Run or Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon. He can also been seen cycling around White Rock Lake, since he lives five blocks from the lake.
Jeff feels his success in business is similar to his success on the tennis court: winning through precision, speed, and tenacity. He’s been installing Category 5, Category 6, and Optical Fiber for nearly twenty years, so is efficient and does the installation with precision and a guarantee that his work won’t have to be redone in a few weeks, months or years. He guarantees his work for 25 years.
“When you call a company to install your voice and data you typically get a technician who may have just learned the process a few weeks or months earlier.” Jeff says. “When you call me, you’ll most often get the president of the company.”
Or you may get one of his three grown sons. All three have worked with their father at one time or another, and each is now working full time in the IT industry. His second son began working alongside Jeff on the weekends when he was just 13. He now works for Capital Title doing IT work.
His youngest son quickly learned the business and did two major jobs installing nearly 300 cables each, and is now a senior network security advisor for Dell in Plano, keeping Dell’s customers safe from hackers.
Jeff doesn’t advertise his business. His work comes to him through word of mouth, from one company president to another. When companies move or merge, Jeff is called in to install new cabling to get their computers and phones up and running quickly—and perfectly. New office buildings are his favorite to work in, since they are often easier to install the Optical Fiber or Category 5 or 6 networks, but he's an expert at installing new networks in older buildings, too.
The father of five, Jeff worked long hours at many different jobs to keep his family fed when he was a young husband. His hard work ethic has kept his business successful. At times he has had to work 12 hour days to finish a job before the company can open.
He also works strange hours so he won’t adversely affect a company’s business. He’ll work late nights to update the computer and phones at Taco Diner or the local White Rock Coffee, installing new cable after the restaurant has closed to customers. Fuzzy Tacos, Jamba Juice, Cambridge Real Estate, Honeywell, and UPS Worldwide Logistics--formerly at DFW Airport--and now at Alliance Airport, are all his customers.
He also volunteers in the community when he’s not working, from delivering turkeys to Shared Housing-Dallas clients to helping neighbors install their new televisions, Fax/phones or even just cutting down the dead branches from an elderly neighbor’s tree. A few years ago he attended a high school graduation party, and noticed the family’s plasma TV was sitting precariously on top of a bureau in the master bedroom. Jeff asked if the family was going to install it on the wall. The mother of the graduate admitted they had the equipment for such an installation in a box under the bed, but the installation seemed too difficult for her. Jeff asked to see the box and, using the mother’s dainty pink tools from her “Lady Tool Belt,” had the TV up on the wall within an hour. He told the mother to consider it his graduation gift to her daughter.
Jeff is a master at figuring out the best way to approach a problem when it comes to installing voice and data networks, business phones and audio/ video for conference calls.
He prefers to install Optical Fiber, because he says, “It’s the industry standard and its the best for distances over 100 meters long—328 feet. I encourage companies to pay that little bit more, about 15%, to install fiber so their computers work fast and their phone connections are good and clear.”
He enjoys working at local businesses and restaurants, because he often refers each to his neighbors, friends and customers. It’s not unusual to find Jeff dining in a place where the voice and data system was installed by him. He believes in “going local” and making customers into friends.
Jeff Jones knows good service can result in good references, more business, and good friends.
To contact Jeff about his business: firstname.lastname@example.org or ask about his tennis adventures: email@example.com or call him at 469-446-0995.
Author Judy Porter writes about local heroes and small businesses in north Texas. Contact her at Judyfirstname.lastname@example.org