Small towns and rural communities are essential to our national identity. Whether rural and remote or suburban and growing, America’s hometowns are the fertile ground where millions of Americans put down roots, stretch their legs and live their dreams.
From coast to coast, hometown pride holds America together, and T-Mobile is proud to join in.
We recently announced our latest Un-carrier move. We call it 5G for All. With it, we’re rolling out America’s most expansive 5G network, spanning 1.6 million square miles — with 1.45 million of that coverage in small town America — an area the size of the entire Midwest … plus Texas!
AND we’re bringing high speed internet to 10 million households in small towns and rural areas across the country, many that currently have limited access to broadband or none at all. We’re also offering to upgrade everyone in America with a working cellphone to a 5G phone FOR FREE! Because we mean it when we say #5GForAll.
Team Magenta has a lot of hometown pride — and that’s particularly true for our leadership team, many of whom come from unsung places across America. With all the support we get from the farthest corners of the country, we figured we’d give some back. Below you’ll find shout-outs from some of our executives to the hometowns that raised them. As you can see, we’re literally all over the map with a lot of love for our roots.
Mike Sievert, Chief Executive Officer
Hometown: Canton, Ohio
Best thing about my hometown: The friendliest people
Town’s claim to fame: Pro Football Hall of Fame
Unofficial mascot: Did I mention footballs?
Must-visit spot: Hey, have you been to the football museum with the football-shaped roof?
Celebrity: Not really
Iconic restaurant/meal/food item: Anything Greek or Italian
Only locals know: It’s called “pop.” Soda is that clear, bubbly stuff you put in vodka.
Closest road trip destination: Cedar Point, greatest roller coaster park on Earth
What you will find: Locals aren’t nosy, they’re friendly, OK?
What you won’t find: Mountains. Or oceans.
Bonus: Follow me on Twitter, where I’ll be asking followers to “tell me you’re from a small town without telling me you’re from a small town.”
Peter Osvaldik, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Hometown: Bellingham, Washington
Best thing about my hometown: Great outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, biking, boating
Town’s claim to fame: The annual Ski to Sea race
Unofficial mascot: Rain?
Must-visit spot: Chuckanut Drive
Celebrity: Hilary Swank, Ryan Stiles
Iconic restaurant/meal/food item: Potato burrito at Casa Que Pasa
Only locals know: Teddy Bear Cove
Closest road trip destination: Mount Baker
What you will find: Laid-back people who love nature (and beer)
What you won’t find: Easy parking
Jon Freier, Executive Vice President of Consumer Markets
Hometown: Odessa, Texas
Best thing about my hometown: The people are incredibly friendly and brutally honest.
Town’s claim to fame: Odessa is known for its cowboys and roughnecks and is at the center of the Permian Basin, which pumps out 4 million barrels of oil A DAY.
Unofficial mascot: Jack Ben Rabbit (see below)
Must-visit spot: Our replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Globe of the Great Southwest. Also, our high school football stadium, Ratliff Stadium, was in the movie Friday Night Lights.
Celebrity: Kelly Schmedes, who last played forward for the Boston Breakers of Women’s Professional Soccer and was a member of the U.S. women’s national team. Roy Williams, former NFL wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears. And First Lady Barbara Bush and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. H.W. Bush was quoted as saying, “At Odessa, we became Texans and proud of it."
Iconic restaurant/meal/food item: The Barn Door, Johnny’s Bar-B-Q, La Bodega, Dos Amigos, Big Daddy's Catfish and Chicken (Somebody can’t pick just one!)
Only locals know: Odessa was supposedly named by railroad workers who thought the area resembled their home in Odessa, Russia.
Closest road trip destination: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which you pass when going through Loving County, Texas, the least-populated county in America.
What you will find: The world’s largest jackrabbit, named Jack Ben Rabbit. The Meteor Crater at Odessa, one of the nation’s largest known craters. And the Odessa Chuck Wagon Gang, which serves as a goodwill ambassador known for cooking up Texas barbecue for large crowds.
What you won’t find: Rain. Odessa gets only 13 inches per year — about a third of the U.S. average.
Dow Draper, Executive Vice President of Emerging Products
Hometown: Castle Rock, Colorado
Best thing about my hometown: Stunning scenery right outside your front door, with an average of 243 sunny days a year!
Town’s claim to fame: Castle Rock rhyolite, a greyish-brownish volcanic stone that’s found throughout the area — and nowhere else. At the turn of the last century, Castle Rock rhyolite was used to construct buildings throughout Colorado.
Unofficial mascot: The outlet mall didn’t exist when I lived there, so let’s go with the Star that sits on top of the Rock, which is the castle-shaped butte that towers above the center of town.
Must-visit spot: Rock Park, of course
Celebrity: Amy Adams
Iconic restaurant/meal/food item: Craft beer from one of the local breweries and this hip church-turned food hall and marketplace
Only locals know: Folks used to shoot July 4 fireworks from the Rock, but they stopped because the side of the hill kept catching on fire.
Closest road trip destination: Denver (go, Broncos!) and Colorado Springs are within a 60-mile drive. So are some of the world’s best ski slopes.
What you will find: Miles and miles of trails to explore — and fun, fit people excited to get out and hike, bike and ski every inch. (Personally, I prefer riding a motorcycle across the Rampart Range Road!)
What you won’t find: Cowboys or horses — at least not as many as you used to see back in the day.
Callie Field, Executive Vice President & Chief Customer Experience Officer
Hometown: Dalhart, Texas
Population: 8,244! It’s grown from around 5,000 when I was a kid.
Best thing about my hometown: The sky
Unofficial mascot: Empty Saddle monument, which commemorates the pioneers who died while settling the Texas panhandle
Must-visit spot: The Grill — best cheeseburgers of my life
Iconic restaurant/meal/food item: XIT Rodeo has three days of free food, including world’s largest barbecue, a watermelon feed and pork chops. They serve over 20,000 people in one day in our tiny town!
Only locals know: How to find arrowheads, horny toads and devil’s claws
Closest road trip destination: Amarillo, Texas — 79 miles to the closest mall
What you won’t find: Hard to come by a sushi roll or Biden yard sign
Janice Kapner, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
Hometown: Saratoga, California
Best thing about my hometown: The peach orchards that were nearby when I was a kid. I could walk to the drugstore for a snack and walk through the orchards, swinging on trees and snacking on fresh fruit — a memory I won’t soon forget!
Town’s claim to fame: It’s only 12.38 square miles and is known for being in the center of Silicon Valley, yet it began with a sawmill back in 1848 and then evolved to orchards long before it became an affluent community with a mountain winery.
Unofficial mascot: Wine glass
Must-visit spot: The Mountain Winery, which has music events and concerts with a view that cannot be beat!
Celebrity: Steven Spielberg attended Saratoga High School (so did my big sister!) and graduated in 1965.
Iconic restaurant/meal/food item: Many say The Basin, but I will always love La Fondue in little downtown Saratoga village (best hot cheese to dip that you can find!).
Only locals know: I'm told that the locals refer to the city as ’Toga, but I never heard that. Don't miss the historical walk through old Saratoga, often called Old Town.
Closest road trip destination: Cruz down to Santa Cruz with its beach boardwalk, white sands, warm weather and as down to earth as you can get!
What you will find: A quiet but lovely town with historic signs and buildings dating back to 1884.
What you won’t find: BIG nightlife. Not in this town. Head to San Jose, or better yet, San Francisco.
Mike Katz, Executive Vice President of T-Mobile for Business
Hometown: Carbondale, Colorado
Best thing about my hometown: The mountains. Carbondale is in the heart of the Rockies!
Town’s claim to fame: Mt. Sopris, the only mountain in Colorado with two peaks of the exact same elevation
Unofficial mascot: Rams! The mascot of my high school, Roaring Fork High School
Must-visit spot: The Crystal Mill, just outside of town and probably the most photographed image in Colorado
Celebrity: Trisha Bader Binford, WNBA star and current head basketball coach at Montana State
Iconic restaurant/meal/food item: The Pour House, a local’s watering hole with every bar food you could ever want
Closest road trip destination: Aspen, just 25 minutes down Highway 82
What you will find: More than 300 sunny days a year
What you won’t find: Traffic
Deeanne King, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
Best thing about my hometown: The great people, parks and family environment
Town’s claim to fame: The best city to live, work and play!
Unofficial mascot: Dorothy and Toto
Must-visit spot: OP is known for its expansive parks and green spaces. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is one of my personal favorites!
Celebrity: The three Kings of Comedy: Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle and Jason Sudeikis
Iconic restaurant/meal/food item: Barbecue (and you can’t pick just one!)
Only locals know: When the tornado sirens go off, that means go to your front porch.
Closest road trip destination: Isn’t everything a road trip in KC? My favorite summer destination are the lakes nearby in Missouri and Arkansas.
What you will find: Amazing, down to earth people and a family-friendly city. And great running trails!
What you won’t find: Mountains. Or even hills.