Biz Buzz: Two telecom veterans team on new project

Two local veterans of the telecommunications industry have teamed up to launch a new business in San Luis Obispo.

Jeff Buckingham and Cheryl Lovell have started Blue Rooster, a company providing local and long-distance telephone service, as well as Internet and private networks to small businesses.

Buckingham, the company’s president, and Lovell, vice president and head of operations, have established track records in the telecommunications sector. In 1983, Buckingham founded Call America, which also provided local and long-distance telephone service to Central Coast small businesses.

He sold the company to GST Telecommunications in 1997 for $16 million and then restarted the company with Lovell in 2001 when GST went bankrupt. The business partners, who have worked together since 1991, grew the company to support more than 2,000 business customers, generating more than $7 million in annual revenues.

Both left their leadership roles with Call America last year, but they retained stock ownership in the company, which is now run by Stockton-based Utility Telephone.

In addition to launching this latest venture, Buckingham serves as a member of the board of directors at the Competitive Telecommunications Association, helping to shape national policy before Congress, the White House and Federal Communications Commission. He is also a member and past president of the California Association of Competitive Telecommunications Providers. He is also active in various community organizations, including the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

Buckingham and Lovell will also work closely with Janice Petko, director of sales and marketing. Petko has more than 20 years experience in the telecom business, having worked at Call America, Digital West Networks and tw telecom.

For more information, visit www.blueroostertelecom.com or call 543-8700.

— Julie Lynem