Zaza Tugushi Named 2016 Socketeer of the Year!


Zaza Tugushi


12 years ago, Socket’s owners decided to award one of our monthly You-Make-The-Difference winners with Socketeer of the Year. The Socketeer of the Year award goes to someone who embodies Socket’s Core Values and Beliefs. We are pleased to announce this year’s recipient, Zaza Tugushi!

Zaza became a Socketeer in March of 2008. He came to Columbia from the country of Georgia, studying at Columbia College before getting his MBA at Mizzou. He started, first in residential customer service and sales before moving to the business center in 2009. He now manages the provisioning department.

“Zaza more than exemplifies Socket’s core values and beliefs through his obvious dedication, professionalism, and clear-cut commitment to providing both the best possible service to Socket’s customers, and outstanding support of the staff he supervises,” said a coworker who nominated him. “It goes without saying that Zaza deserves this award.”

When he’s not at work, Zaza enjoys spending time with his wife, Molly, and 2 children. He also enjoys tinkering with home improvement projects, cars, and computers.

Zaza brings an unparalleled passion for customer service to the office every day. As the Georgian nears his 9-year anniversary of working at Socket, he says the enthusiasm comes from his coworkers: “My favorite thing about working at Socket is definitely the people. Socketeers work together to make things happen for our customers. I like that even though we’ve become more structured and mature as we’ve grown, we’ve maintained the flexibility to go out of our way to help customers in need.”


Carl Blank was also honored for his dedication to Socket’s Core Values and Beliefs.

Carl began working at Socket in 2014 after over 45 years in the telecom industry. His valuable experience and knowledge has helped him become the beloved leader of Socket’s Field Services team. When asked about this year’s runner up, one of his Field Services technicians said Carl was “without a doubt, the best boss I’ve ever had”.

But managing Field Services isn’t the only hat Carl wears, he is also in charge of Socket’s ever-expanding fleet of vehicles. This extra duty matches up perfectly with Carl’s life-long love for cars. He spends plenty of time on the weekends going to races and swap meets. Carl even lists “buying cars with Socket’s money” as one of his favorite things to do, along with travel and spending time with his wife, Charlene and his two daughters.

“Carl’s a great resource for installations, technical issues, and a whole host of other things,” said a coworker who nominated him. “We’re really lucky to have him here at Socket!”