Joel Hightower grew up in eastern North Carolina where he spent his early years working on farms. It was during those years that he learned great work ethics. While in high school Joel wanted to be a farmer, but after graduation he settled on the military. He was in the NAVY from 1982 to 1986, and made Avionics his career path. Joel moved back to eastern NC and started working for Southern Communications in Goldsboro, NC as a technician and tower climber – this began his career in the wireless industry.
During his 10 years working for Southern Communications, Joel learned a wide range of communications applications, and became skilled in all things towers. He was a bench technician, a field technician and an installation guy. While working, Joel attended night classes and earned an Associate’s degree in Electronics Engineering. In 1996, the owner of Southern Communications decided to cease the tower side of the business, and that is when Joel started Hightower Communications Inc.
Hightower Communications officially began in March 1996. With no employees, Joel would contract himself out to companies such as Cherokee Wireless and do inspections, test lines and antennas. Over the years he would pick up contracts, hire employees and take on larger projects. He landed his first big tower stack in New Orleans, and eventually ended up back in eastern North Carolina where US Cellular had started building out their cellular network. This allowed Joel more time in NC, where he built the company, became established in the region and started to build a localized cliental. Many of the customers established then, are still customers today and continue to help drive the growth of the company.
It is from this beginning that Joel has grown Hightower Communications. Today they are located in multiple states with offices in LaGrange, NC, Columbia, SC and Elizabethton, TN.
Now with Hightower Communications in their 21st year of business, and Joel in his 31st year in the wireless industry, he has acquired a wealth of wisdom and hopes to pass that along to his great leadership team. Joel is actively involved in C12; a group made up of CEO’s from various types and sizes of business; and serves on the Board of NATE; where he is currently Chairman of the trade show committee.