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The city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, also known as Fiber Optic Center’s home, is a special place for many reasons.  A simple lunch stop this week at Freestones City Grill reminded me of all that our community shares with a simple window decoration there.

FOC was founded in New Bedford, “the city that lit the world”, and continues the new traditions of lighting the world, through both its global business footprint and community involvement and support. The history of the city that lit the world can be found on Our Home page.

freestones2As we headed over to Freestones City Grill for a lunch with visitors, the feeling of being ‘home’ and community was throughout the streets.  What was decorating the front window? …..“the city that lit the world”, of course, as seen in this photo I grabbed.

FOC was founded in late 1991 in downtown New Bedford, MA, USA, at least in part because of the desire to provide a convenient, safe, practical and distinctive location for employees and others with whom we would be doing business: suppliers and customers from all over the world.

New Bedford was known in the 19th Century as “the city that lit the world”, because as the active seaport which was home to the worldwide whaling industry, its products were used to light the lamps and later lighthouses throughout the U.S. and elsewhere. Whaleships were at sea for 3 or more years at a time in every direction, including both poles and everywhere in between. On returning back to the home port, goods gathered overseas were shared with others, as were stories of people, customs and cultures. Immigrants came from far places to man the ships, and many stayed and settled when their sailing days ended.

FOC continues the new tradition of lighting the world, in that the products that FOC sells are based on fiber optics or other light-centric technologies such as lasers and optical coatings. We also see the entire planet as our market and our source of supplies, and therefore select the best and highest quality to offer to those who depend on us to get their job done.

FOC is located in a 200 year old stone and brick building in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, on a cobblestone street. We look out over New Bedford harbor and the #1 fishing fleet in the U.S. (measured by the dollar value of the catch).

freestones1Fun Fact:  The building that now houses Freestones was originally built as the Citizen’s National Bank in 1877.   The Citizen’s National Bank furnished their building with a beautiful marble floor and an elegant president’s office, where there still stands a fireplace and mantle that encompasses a whole wall.  Across the room from the mantle is a mural that was added in either 1892 or 1942.  The bank is also responsible for the freestone addition to the facade of the building (the rectangular hand cut bricks on the exterior known as Long-Meadow Freestones) which was the inspiration for their name.

For information in the non-profit organizations the FOC Corporate Citizen supports, visit the Corporate Citizen page we created to bring greater awareness and support to the causes we care so deeply about.

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Kathleen Skelton

About Kathleen Skelton

Kathleen Skelton, Director of Strategic Marketing's experience includes management positions at Lightwave, KMI Research, PennWell Publishing, Beacon Communications, and Security Innovations, Inc. As a strategic marketing director, she utilizes her expertise in business development, online strategy, marketing planning, digital best practices, standard operating procedures development, and database design, management and training. Kathleen has global business and marketing experience. Outside of FOC, Kathleen is passionate about her volunteer work for several organizations and works with youth groups teaching business strategy for various community projects. In her volunteer work, Kathleen is committed to developing tomorrow's leaders through exciting, strategy-focused business education. This mission guides all of her work outside of the corporate office. Kathleen graduated from Curry College with a BA in Communications and Education and minors in English and Psychology. Kathleen resides outside of Boston, MA with her husband and four children. Follow @KATHLEENSKELTON