Jeff Buckingham - President
With over 25 years of experience in the telecom industry, Jeff brings extensive knowledge and leadership skills to Blue Rooster Telecom. Jeff began his career in 1983 when he joined Call America - just as the Bell System was broken up. He began as the company's first sales person and led the company to many successful and profitable years as its President.
Jeff transitioned to Vice President / General Manager of GST Call America when he and his partners sold Call America to GST Telecom. He then became VP of New Edge Networks and helped them to build their network in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara Counties.
After a brief stint as a full-time rancher, Jeff and his long-time business partner, Cheryl Lovell, founded the "new" Call America in 2001. The company provided telephone and Internet service to business customers on the Central Coast. Call America grew to 25 employees serving more than 2,000 customers when he left the company in May of 2009.
In September of 2009, Jeff co-founded Blue Rooster Telecom with his business partner Cheryl Lovell. Jeff's passion is with helping customers solve problems they face, and he couldn't wait to get back into the day-to-day telecom business he loves so much.
Jeff has served for 2 years on the national Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel) board of directors where he helped to shape the national policy before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Congress, and the White House.
Jeff is also a board member and past President of CALTEL (The California Association of Competitive Telecommunications Providers) CALTEL represents the concerns of telecommunications companies at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Legislature. In 2009 CALTEL presented Jeff with a Champion of Competition award for his contributions to the telecom industry.
Jeff is an active member of the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and is a past board member and former Board Chair of the SLO Chamber of Commerce. Jeff also serves on the Cuesta College Foundation Board, the SLO County Farm Bureau Board, and the Farm Supply Company Board.
Jeff and his wife Joan, children Leslie and Lochlan, 2 tortoises, 2 roosters, 5 dogs, 15 cats, 4 horses, 2 bulls, 42 cows live “off the grid” on a ranch near Los Osos, CA.
Cheryl Lovell - Vice President
Cheryl began her career in telecommunications in 1991 with the Central Coast's original Call America. As the company grew to 6 offices and over 200 employees, Cheryl took the position of Director of Administration. She was responsible for managing regulatory compliance, legal affairs, telecom facilities, human resources and interdepartmental projects.
Cheryl then went on to work with New Edge Networks - a carrier that offers wholesale digital subscriber service (DSL) to small and mid-sized communities nationwide. After New Edge, Cheryl joined Wynd Communications as Finance Manager to provide wireless services for the deaf and hard of hearing.
In 2001, Cheryl, and her business partner Jeff Buckingham, reentered the local communication business on the Central Coast and co-founded the second Call America. As Vice President and Founder, Cheryl directed the daily operations of the company including; financial, billing, provisioning, regulatory compliance, and customer service. Under Cheryl’s leadership and management, the company grew to support over 2000 business customers generating over $6.5Million in annual revenues.
Cheryl and Jeff have now embarked on a new adventure, the launch of Blue Rooster Telecom where they are committed to bringing the best in value and quality in telecommunication services to business customers on the Central Coast.
Cheryl lives in San Luis Obispo with her husband Russ. They have two children, Brandon and Spencer.
Bill Schwoerer - Director of Sales
Bill has an unwavering commitment to his customers. He strives for excellence and values performance, integrity and respect in every situation. His sales and management experience is diverse, ranging from the pharmaceutical industry to global agricultural companies. Given the Blue Rooster hands-on philosophy, Bill’s agricultural background makes him a great fit for the Blue Rooster team.
Bill’s excitement for growth in the telecom industry stems from his diverse experience including his recent work at the largest, independently owned seed company in the world, where he grew fiscal sales year over year. He earned an MBA in 2001 from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida by completing his final three courses at Cal Poly and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. He is also a founding board member of the Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access, Inc.
In his free time, Bill is an avid sports fan, has coached youth sports and enjoys outdoor activities with his wife, Laura, two sons, Carlson and Bowen, and their sheltie, Shelly, but no farm animals, yet.
Karen Libby - Business Development Representative
Karen Libby loves that Blue Rooster Telecom puts customers first, from its attention to the smallest detail to the big differences the company makes for each customer’s telecommunications needs. As a former small business owner, Karen understands what local businesses need and the challenges they face in selecting phone and Internet services. Her passion is to help her customers with solutions tailored to their individual needs.
Karen’s outgoing sense of humor and optimistic attitude will add a lot to her role as the business development representative for Blue Rooster. In the ‘80s, Karen spent a few years on the road as keyboardist in a rock band, and followed up that gig with an MBA from Cal Poly. She is connected to the business communities of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and thrives in an entrepreneurial, fun and enthusiastic work environment, which means she fits right in at Blue Rooster Telecom.
In her free time, you can find Karen exploring Central Coast wineries with her husband of 25 years, enjoying their empty nest (with both kids in college,) but still sharing the house with two very large, but lovable, dogs (a Newfoundland and St. Bernard).
Craig Johnson – Sales Support Representative
Craig is the wind beneath Blue Rooster’s wings, always there to keep our sales staff in flight. As the sales support representative, Craig is always there to lend a hand, assisting the sales team with everything from gathering information, drafting service orders and maintaining the excellent customer service expected from Blue Rooster Telecom.
While studying computer science at Cal Poly SLO, Craig worked as an installer for the university’s IT department. He would install cables and switches throughout the campus that provided phone lines, Internet access, and cable television. As a former customer care representative at Utility Telephone, he helped troubleshoot and resolve customers’ technical issues. With his friendly demeanor and telecommunications background, Craig is the perfect complement to our sales staff.
A native to San Luis Obispo for more than 20 years Craig enjoys watching movies, spending time downtown, and relaxing with friends on the Central Coast.
Johanne (Jo) Mercier – Operations Manager
Jo is the ultimate customer service expert. She is the cog that keeps Blue Rooster Telecom operational. Not only does she care about and understand the needs of our customers, but as operations manager she also has a wide range of responsibilities at Blue Rooster that are critical to fulfilling the company’s mission.
Jo started working with Jeff and Cheryl at the original Call America 24 years ago, and continued her telecommunications professional development in project management, customer service and sales. She thrives on helping telecom companies build infrastructure such as customer service, sales teams and billing. She has managed sales teams all over the Central Coast and Central Valley helping retain monthly revenue of more than $2 million. Her extensive experience in the telecom industry is an invaluable asset to Blue Rooster, but more than that, she has a big heart and personality to boot.
Jo loves exercising her mind and body – you can often find her at the gym, working on crossword puzzles or riding her bike around town. She and her husband Bruce have been married for 31 years and they live with their two dogs, Atticus and Winston. Their two grown daughters now live their own successful lives in Manhattan and San Luis Obispo.
Jill DeCristofaro – Customer Service, Provisioning Coordinator
Jill brings many years of telecom experience, first with Wynd Communications and later with Call America, to the team at Blue Rooster. As our industry has changed over the years, great customer service has become critically important. Jill is prompt, efficient, and knowledgeable about all the services we offer and most importantly, makes sure that the friendly, personal voice you expect from Blue Rooster is always there.
A huge NASCAR fan, the only thing Jill thinks is missing from her life on the Central Coast is that at least one NASCAR race should be held here!
Chrissy Cooper – Customer Service
Chrissy adds a friendly, positive and high-energy personality to Blue Rooster Telecom. She expects quality customer service in her everyday life, and she aims to provide that for Blue Rooster Telecom customers. Outgoing and social, Chrissy enjoys speaking with customers and brings a personalized service to each account.
Chrissy takes the time to truly understand the customer’s problems and needs and enjoys being able to help fix those problems. Five years providing service in the telecom industry has given Chrissy the experience to troubleshoot technical issues and address customers’ questions before they become problems. As the first point of contact for customers, Chrissy recognizes how important it is to be understanding and helpful. Her passion for excellent customer service makes her a great addition to the Blue Rooster team.
Chrissy is originally from Arroyo Grande and loves the San Luis Obispo area. She spends her free time hanging out with family and friends, reading and fishing.
Stacey Tourdot – Bookkeeper
As an accountant, Stacey approaches each customer with understanding and professionalism. She has a unique way of putting herself in the customers’ shoes and works with our customers to provide the best outcome for everyone involved. Stacey provides the quality service people have come to expect from Blue Rooster Telecom by expressing true compassion for customers and their feelings.
Stacey has 17 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, and she brings her expertise to all aspects of Blue Rooster Telecom, not just in the accounting department. Having worked with Jeff and Cheryl for many years, Stacey has a true understanding of how the whole business works and is happy to bring her skills to the team.
Stacey loves spending time with her husband Paul and their son, Jackson, walking her dogs, and reading.
Chelsea Franza – Marketing Specialist
Chelsea brings a fresh approach to marketing at Blue Rooster Telecom with her fun and creative ideas. She enjoys connecting face to face with Blue Rooster Telecom customers and the San Luis Obispo community by visiting clients with the company mascot, Blue Roo. She values the local, community-focused atmosphere of Blue Rooster Telecom, especially the support provided by the Community Partners Program.
With a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Cal Poly, Chelsea is new to the telecom industry but has worked as an intern for Blue Rooster Telecom since the spring of 2012. As a student, Chelsea was involved with Cal Poly Greek Life holding positions within her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and serving as vice president of Philanthropy and Community Service for the Panhellenic Council. While in school, she also interned for the San Jose Sharks and Verdin, a full-service marketing firm in San Luis Obispo. Chelsea utilizes her leadership and intern experience to promote Blue Rooster Telecom’s motto “the most fun you will have with a telecom company.”
Originally from the Bay Area, Chelsea now calls San Luis Obispo home. She enjoys working in marketing and hopes to eventually obtain an MBA in management. In her free time, she likes to practice yoga, hike the beautiful trails along the Central Coast, volunteer with local nonprofit organizations, and play with her cat, George.