Blaine Yeager, 25, owns Uptime VoIP, a phone company in Coleman. He provides business phone service to companies in the area, essentially, he said, “A white-glove, locally-implemented service from dial tone to hardware.”
The business is located on North Coleman Road, just north of US-10. He’s self-employed but hires a couple of subcontractors for cabling.
Yeager’s a graduate of Coleman High School and Delta College, where he earned an associate’s degree in network administration. He and his wife, Virginia, have been married for three years. They live in Clare. She’s a certified medical assistant at McLaren in Clare. They have a “15-pound, wiener dog/Pomeranian mix.”
1. How long have you owned your business?
I started it originally as a sole proprietorship in June of 2014. That’s when I started servicing businesses in the area.
2. What inspired you to own this business?
Got tired of (technology) customers having to deal with very poor phone companies, so I created one.
I’ve always been interested in technology since I was a kid. I’d get in and break Mom and Dad’s computer, so you’ve got to get good at fixing it.
I got some opportunities at home and with the school district. The band director, Jim Burkhart, does the district’s I-T, so I got started with him. I handled a lot of the system administration by the end of high school. The superintendent, Mary Pitchford, allowed me and another student to work with them to create our own curriculum about network and system administration. For the last couple of years, I’ve gone with Jim to a state conference with all the school I-T administrators. I speak to them about getting students involved.
3. What makes Coleman a great place to own a business?
I think Coleman’s a very cool, very tight-knit community. I help my clients out, they help me. Very friendly, everybody’s extremely helpful.
4. What are some ways your business is active in the local community?
I’m donating money and materials for the community garden to help with their irrigation system. With the new phone company, I’d like to help the Humane Society, help those types of organizations.
5. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
My wife and I bought a side-by-side. We frequently go to the U.P. of Michigan. It’s a great tool to explore. We went up for 10 days over Memorial Day weekend. Saw some beautiful country. Also, like fishing, woodworking.
6. What are some local businesses that you work with that help make your business a success?
Some of the original businesses, my original client base — Lewis Bros. in Coleman — I’ve done a lot of business with them. Explore Chiropractic in Mount Pleasant, and I’ve done a lot for the City of Coleman.
7. Other thoughts?
I’ve done I-T for a large part of my life. I’ve come across a lot of customers that are less than happy with their phone company, so I created my own phone company servicing clients in Michigan and across the country.