Seeking season-appropriate fashion turned out to be a primary concern for a Midwestern “cable girl,” Vicki Marts realized upon taking her first job as a cable installer in blustery Kansas. “[One of] the challenges I found early on was working in the cold and finding clothing that was [appropriate] for a Kansas winter,” she said.
Marts, who took her first job in cable in 1985, currently serves as director of video engineering at Cox Communications Inc. in Wichita. Though she realizes that as a woman in her field, she was and continues to be a minority, she doesn’t think it limited her achievement. “It’s really not as difficult for a woman to succeed in this industry as it is unusual,” said Marts, who was recently honored as the 2006 Women In Cable & Telecommunications/Society of Cable Telecommunications Women in Technology Award winner.
From her early days as an installer, she worked her way up the ranks as a service technician, systems technician, technical supervisor and digital services supervisor. She joined the SCTE’s Wheat State Chapter in 1989 and has been a member of its board of directors, representing Kansas, for the past eight years, two of which she served as chapter president. She became the first woman to certify in SCTE’s BCT/E certification program. “I always thought it was a little bit strange,” she said. “I mean, who was the first male to certify?”
Marts had been technical supervisor for Multimedia Cablevision for fifteen years when Cox bought the Gannett-owned firm. Now, Marts couldn’t be happier working for Cox. “Corporate is amazing,” she said. “They prevent me from having to re-create the wheel every time we want to launch a new service. I have so much support.”
In her free time, Marts relaxes on 18-acre “hobby farm” near Valley Center with her husband, where they raise Missouri Foxtrotter horses.