James S. Cownie

Co-Founder and past President, Heritage Comm., 2009 Cable Hall of Fame



Born Des Moines, Iowa, 1944

Dowling High School, 1962

University of Notre Dame, 1966 (B.B.A.)

Married Patty Hines in 1967; five children, ages 28-40

Hobbies: Bird hunting, fishing, golf, handball



• 1971-1990: Co-Founder/President, Heritage Communications, Inc.

• 9th largest cable TV operator serving 1,000,000+ subscribers in 22 states.

• Largest systems: San Jose, Wilmington, Dallas, Central Iowa

• 1,600 employees and $350 million in revenue.

• 1991-1996: Chairman, New Heritage Associates

• 1996-Present: self-employed investor

• 2006-Present: Chairman/Owner, WestWind Logistics LLC/WWL Holding, Inc.

• Board Director: Da-Lite Screen Company; MARKETLINK, Inc.; The Macerich Company



• National Cable Television Association– Board member and chairman.

• C-SPAN–Board member

• NFL Football Consortium–Co-Chairman

• Customer Service Standards, Ad hoc committee chairman


• Dowling-St. Joseph Foundation, (Chairman, 1990)

• Des Moines Diocesan Development Committee; Chairman of $20 million fund raising effort, 2001

• Mercy Hospital (1997-present; Vice Chair 2005-2006)

• Des Moines Development Corporation, (Chairman, 1991 & 1992)

• Greater Des Moines Committee (Chairman, 1993)

• Metro YMCA, Chairman, 1993-94

• Des Moines Vision Plan, Co-Chairman

• Greater Des Moines United Way (Campaign Chairman, 1992)

• Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, Chairman (2000-2003)

• Convention & Visitors Bureau

• Downtown Partnership, Inc.

• Youth Homes of Mid-America

• Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (Advisor)

• J.N. “Ding” Darling Foundation

• Greater Des Moines Partnership (Chairman, 2007)



• Challenger Award for Young Leadership, National Cable Television Association, 1985

• President’s Award, National Cable Television Association, 1990

• Catholic Honoree, National Conference of Christian & Jews, 1991

• Distinguishing Alumnus Award-Dowling High School-1991; St. Augustin Grade School, 1994

• Entrepreneur of the Year “Sociably Responsible” Award, 1992

• Community Involvement Award, Des Moines “Business Record,” 1992

• Honorary Chair Variety Club of Iowa Telethon, 1996

• National Society of Fund Raising Executives “Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser,” 1997

• Commencement speaker, Grand View College, 2001

• Inducted into Iowa Business Hall of Fame, Greater Des Moines Committee, 2001

• Service to Mankind Award, Sertoma Club of Des Moines, 2001

• First Civitas Award, Dowling High School, 2004

• Iowa Parks & Recreation’s “Ahrens Community Service” Award, 2004

• YMCA Service To Youth Award, 2004

• Association of Fundraising Professionals’ “Spirit of Philanthropy” Award, 2004

• The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Star Award, 2005

• Iowa Soccer Association’s Hall of Fame, 2005

• United Way Alexis Tocqueville Society Honoree, 2006

• Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau Civic Friend of Hospitality, 2006

• Greater Des Moines Partnership “Quarterback Extraordinaire” Award, 2007

• Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute “A. Arthur Davis Leadership” Award, 2008

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Gibbs Jones

C5 Emeritus
Owner (Spartanburg)

ARCpoint Labs

Gibbs is a customer experience executive with over 25 years of customer experience leadership and expertise in the design, optimization and implementation of customer contact operations. Gibbs has combined skill in the human and technology side of customer contact operations, including the procurement and installation of ACD equipment, workforce management and CRM systems. He has directed the start-up of multiple customer contact operations, with industry expertise in consumer electronics, communications, retail, manufacturing, financial services, banking, and direct sales.

Gibbs has over ten years experience in the Cable Industry. Most recently Gibbs was the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Suddenlink Communications. Gibbs worked with Suddenlink’s six regional senior vice presidents and the managers of its customer-contact call centers in Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia to measure and improve Customer Satisfaction through transactional and relationship Net Promoter Programs and JD Power Research Studies.

Gibbs was also responsible for the company’s social media strategy where he made sure Suddenlink was active in the major social networking channels and found new ways to improve customer loyalty in this space.

Currently Gibbs owns two ARCpoint Labs locations. ARCpoint is a leader in the B to C and B to B drug and alcohol testing industry. Additionally, Gibbs has a consulting practice that helps companies improve their customer experience.

Gibbs is a Certified Net Promoter® Associate and has been a speaker at various conferences and is frequently called upon to discuss considerations related to measuring and improving the customer experience, exceptional contact center management, and optimizing the employee experience.


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