Archived First Event of the Series - Danville, VA       Back to Magazine Home
Keynotes/General Track Program
Track 1
Track 2
Exhibit Hours
Food/Social Functions
Registration Hours


Tinley Park Convention Center
18451 Convention Center Drive
Tinley Park, IL 60477

Subject to change
Tuesday, November 5
11:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration Open (South Pavilion Foyer)
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Exhibitor Move In (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
  WORKSHOPS - A (South Pavilion 1) WORKSHOPS - B (Samuel Tinley Room)
Tuesday, November 5
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sponsored by COS Systems

Financing Networks & Hands-on Financial Modeling

Learn what investors want. Be able to speak their language.

Participants will come away with working financial models, an understanding of what investors look for in a business case, and greater insight into the "language" of finance.

Broadband Communities' corporate editor, Steve Ross, whose decades of university-level teaching experience includes Columbia and Harvard, will lead this workshop.

This in-depth session for network builders, public officials, consultants, private cable operators, CLECs, ILECs, and economic development officials will explore both public and private financing options and show attendees how to use the Broadband Communities FTTH financial modeling tools

(Download these excellent tools for free at

Tools include financial models for revenue, cash flow, rural and municipal networks.

Perfect your pitch and understand options to consider when looking to secure capital.

Leader: Steven Ross - Corporate Editor, Broadband Communities

Thomas J. Asp - Principal Analyst and Engineer, CTC Technology & Energy
Tony Q. Smith - Practice Leader/Executive Vice President, SB FRIEDMAN DEVELOPMENT ADVISORS
Mike Wilson - Vice President, Professional Services – CostQuest Associates

Innovations in Telemedicine: An Economic Development Concept
Learn how telemedicine is creating jobs and reducing costs in rural communities with fiber based broadband networks by removing geography and time as a traditional barrier to required care, all while also improving the economic health of a community.

Leader: Roger Holloway - President and CEO of the Illinois Rural HealthNet.

Stan Krok - CIO, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital
Jim Mormann - SVP & CIO, OSF Healthcare System
Lori Williams - VP, IL Hospital Association

Tuesday, November 5
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Precision Agriculture: Fiber to the Farm
Precision Agriculture, utilizing high levels of broadband connectivity (both wired and wireless), is a new phenomenon sweeping the world as the planet becomes more crowded, and the number of starving humans increases exponentially each day. Utilizing technology to improve productivity is our hope for the future…and that hope is based on the deployment of more fiber deep into rural America and other breadbasket nations.

Gary Evans - Former President & CEO, Hiawatha Broadband Communications

Jason Portner
- Regional Manager, Precision Planting
Mark Erickson - City Manager & Economic Development Director, Winthrop, MN
Milda Hedblom - J.D, Ph.D, Dain International Services
Chris Ohnysty - Global Tactical Marketing Manager, John Deere - Intelligent Solutions Group
Connect ED & Distance Education
This workshop will provide lessons from people who have connected schools to a statewide broadband platform. Learn from them about financing, cloud services initiation, teacher training, student assessment, statewide telehealth networks and technology-based economic development initiatives.

Leader: Jane Patterson - President, The View Forward

Myra Best - Executive Director, DigiLearn
Phil Emer - Director, Technology Planning and Policy, The Friday Institute
Mark Johnson - Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Data Architecture, MCNC
Frank Odasz - President, Lone Eagle Consulting


Tuesday, November 5
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

How Does a Community Maximize the Value of Its Local Seniors?
Seniors can contribute immensely more to a local economy when equipped with technical skills.

By training seniors to use the Internet so they can be working and volunteering, even a mid-size community can create a million of hours of new productive labor per year. This is not just bridging the Digital Divide. It is bringing new labor talent to the local community.

This panel will present strategies to work with other community organizations tomobilize and train local seniors for work and volunteering, using offline and online Internet and workforce development training.

Leader: Don Samuelson - Principal, DSSA Strategies

Pierre Clark - Co-Director, Southside Broadband Expansion Collaborative
Tina James - Greater Southwest Development Corp.

Bruce Montgomery - Board Member, Broadband Illinois
Amy VanDeVelde - National Connections Program Manager, The OASIS Institute
Warren Walker - CEO, Atmosphere Communications

Taking Charge of Adoption
What do you do once your network is built? Most businesses and individuals need to be convinced of the value of high-speed services before uptake and its accompanying economic benefits occur. Learn how to demonstrate the concrete benefits of broadband to drive mass adoption of your network. This workshop is a must-attend for economic development officers, elected officials and community stakeholders who want to learn how a broadband investment can pay off.

Leader: Michael Curri - Founder & President, Strategic Networks Group

Doug Adams - VP, Communications, Strategic Networks Group
Amber Hayes - e-Solutions Adoption Business Coach, Strategic Networks Group

Kyle Hollifield - Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Magellan Advisors

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Welcome Reception - Exhibit Hall (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
Co-Sponsored by Smart Chicago Collaborative
Wednesday, November 6
7:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration Open (South Pavilion Foyer)
7:30 am - 9:00 am Continental Breakfast - Exhibit Hall (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
Wednesday, November 6
9:00 am - 10:00 am
General Session #1
(South Pavilion 2)

Economic Revival: The Chicago Southland Fiber Network Story

The new 144-strand fiber trunk from downtown Chicago down the I-57 corridor is almost complete – and will connect dozens of educational, community and medical institutions. But that’s only the beginning, as fiber community networks branch off the trunk in the years ahead - local employers are counting on it.

Welcome: Ed Zabrocki - Mayor, Tinley Park

Leader: Rusty Winchel - Project Coordinator, Chicago Southland Fiber Network

Bruce Montgomery - Board Member, Broadband Illinois
Ed Paesel- Executive Director, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association

Wednesday, November 6
10:10 am - 11:10 am
General Session #2
(South Pavilion 2)

Communities Will Drive America's Global Competitiveness

Our Blue-ribbon speakers argue convincingly that much of the nation’s economic growth will be centered in broad metropolitan areas and smart cities, and that this growth will be driven and supported by reliable, fast fiber infrastructure. They also make a clear point: With the federal government hobbled and state governments in poor financial condition, cities and towns must take action themselves and in concert with private network providers to get the job done.

Leader: Lev Gonick - CEO, One Community

Mark Ansboury - CEO, Gigabit Squared
Rollie Cole - Senior Fellow, Sagamore Institute for Policy Research
Lydia Murray - Chief Information Officer, Cook County Government
11:10 am - 11:30 am Networking Break (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
Wednesday, November 6
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Lunch Activities/Keynote Address
(Exhibit West Hall)
Sponsored by Fujitsu

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony:
Marking the Lighting of the Chicago Southland Fiber Network

Welcome Remarks: Conference Chairman, Jim Baller - President, Baller Herbst Law Group
Award Presentation for Governor Pat Quinn: Gigabits For Growth Award -- See Award Info

Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Paul Fagan – Fujitsu Network Communications,Inc
Keynote Address:
Dan Seals - Illinois Dept of Economic Opportunity

  Track 1
(South Pavilion 1)
Track 2
(South Pavilion 2)
Wednesday, November 6
1:40 pm - 2:40 pm
How an Early Focus on Economic Development Helps Broadband Projects Get Started, Find Funding and Launch Successfully
Vision, money, organizational tools, and more. This session will provide communities the building blocks they need to get started, focusing on the essential role that economic development plays in successful fiber projects.

Leader: Diane Kruse - CEO and Lead Consultant, NEO Fiber

Aaron Gadouas - Senior Vice President, Stern Brothers & Co.
Heather Gold - President, FTTH Council
Sharon Stroh - Director of Communications & Business Relations, Indiana Metropolitan Area Network (IMAN)

Using Broadband to Drive Economic Development and Create Jobs: Successful Local Approaches
The Midwest Region is rich in examples of local projects that are using advanced broadband networks to retain and strengthen existing employers and attract new ones to the community. This session will examine several examples.

Leader: Christopher Mitchell - Director, Telecommunications as Commons Intiative, Institute for Local Self Reliance

Larry Gates - Director of Utilities, City of Chanute (Kansas)
Kent Halder - Communications Sales Manager, Cedar Falls Utilities
Chris Schweitzer - City Manager, Auburn Essential Services (Indiana)
Mike Smeltzer - Director of Community Projects, UC2B (Illinois)
2:40 pm - 3:40 pm Networking Break - Exhibit Hall (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
Wednesday, November 6
3:50 pm - 4:50 pm
Making Broadband Projects Sustainable - Fostering Economic Growth is Key to Building Robust Revenue Streams
The fiber will last 30 years, but will the network? In this session, our panel of experts will examine key economic-development-driven steps that communities can take to enhance revenues, control costs, and make their networks sustainable.

Leader: Drew Clark - Chairman and Publisher,
Broadband Breakfast


Eric Frederick - Executive Director, Connect Michigan
John Honker
- President, Magellan Advisors
Bernadine Joselyn - Director, Public Policy & Engagement, Blandin Foundation
Tom Weisner - Mayor, Aurora, Illinois

Using Broadband to Drive Economic Development and Create Jobs: Successful State Approaches
The Midwest Region is equally rich in examples of successful State economic development initiatives. This session will examine ways in which these programs are guiding, coordinating, and supporting local economic development efforts.

Leader: Lori Sorenson - Chief Operating Officer, State of Illinois CMS


Charlotte Narjes - Special Projects Manager, State of Nebraska
Damon Porter - Director, MoBroadbandNow
Mike Waldner - State Broadband Capacity Manager, Bureau of Information and Telecommunications South Dakota
Don Welch - President /CEO, MERIT Network, Michigan
Wednesday, November 6
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
By the Numbers: Documenting Broadband's Contribution to Economic Development
We all know that fiber networks both drive and support economic development, but what do the numbers say? This session will focus on those numbers, including those that show up on the network builder’s financial statements and those that do not. We will also hear about a unique data base and program that enables states, communities, and businesses to measure the impact of broadband and compare themselves against similarly-situated entities.

Leader: Joanne Hovis - CEO, CTC Telecom & Energy

Michael Curri - Founder & President, Stragetic Networks Group
Michael Render - President, RVA LLC
Using Broadband to Drive Economic Development and Create Jobs: Successful Regional Approaches
Regional approaches to economic development have many virtues, including diversifying community support, pooling of resources, and enabling greater scale and diversity. They can also be much more complex and time consuming. This session will explore what is working well -- and what isn’t.

Leader: Essam El-Beik - Consultant, Illinois Century Network

Tim Berelsman - CEO, ComNet
David Lois - Executive Director, WiscNet
Mark Shlanta - CEO, SDN Communications

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Cocktail Reception - Exhibit Hall (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
Sponsored by Gigabit Squared
Thursday, November 7
7:00 am - 12:30 pm Registration Open (South Pavilion Foyer)
7:30 am - 9:00 am Continental Breakfast - Exhibit Hall (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
Thursday, November 7
9:00 am - 10:00 am
General Session #4
(South Pavilion 2)

Lessons From Kansas City: Before and After - The Economic Impact of America's Highest-Profile Gigabit Fiber Network

The world is eagerly awaiting news of the economic impacts of Google’s first gigabit network in Kansas City: new jobs, new companies, new ways of doing business. This session will bring us up to date on developments in Kansas City, through the first-hand experiences of the local team that is helping to make these developments happen.

David Sandel - President, Gigabit Communities and Smart Cities, Sandel & Associates

Mike Burke - Co-Chair, The Mayor's Bistate Innovation Team
Aaron Deacon - Managing Director, KC Digital Drive
Steve Fennel - Director, Telecom Outreach, University of Kansas Medical Center
Rick Usher - Assistant City Manager, Kansas City

  Track 1
(South Pavilion 1)
Track 2
(South Pavilion 2)
Thursday, November 7
10:10 am - 11:10 am
How Vendors Can Help Communities Choose the Right Technology to Maximize Economic Development
Consultants and vendors explain that different kinds of fiber networks work best in different communities and attract different kinds of economic activity. They also show how network builders can shape their projects to maximize economic benefits and cash flow while minimizing costs.

Leader: Joel Mulder - Sr. Director, Business Development at G4S Technology LLC


Bill Beesley - Principal Solutions Architect, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc
Cheryl Beranek - President/CEO, Clearfield
Ron Corriveau - Executive Vice President of Business Development, COS Systems
Mark Ansboury - CEO, Gigabit Squared
Ed Urban - President, Urban Communications, Inc.
How Fiber-Connected Community Anchor Institutions Contribute to a Local Economy
For the last decade, community fiber projects have sought to foster economic development by providing high-bandwidth services and capabilities to schools, libraries, health care facilities, and other community anchor institutions. The federal broadband stimulus programs embraced this strategy and invested billions of dollars in furtherance of it nationwide. This session will examine how well the strategy is working and what happens next.

Leader: Diane Kruse - Founder/CEO, NeoFiber

Michael Flynn - President, State of Illinois, Frontier Communications
Joanne Hovis - CEO, CTC Telecom & Energy
John Windhausen - President, Schools, Health, & Libraries Broadband Coalition
11:10 am - 12:10 pm Networking Break (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
Thursday, November 7
12:15 pm - 2:15 pm

Blue Ribbon Roundtable
South Pavilion 2)

Building The Networks of Tomorrow
The plans and actions required today to obtain the technology and results we will need in the future.

Leader: Jim Baller - President, Baller Herbst

Charles BentonChairman & CEO, Benton Foundation
Blair LevinExecutive Director, GigU
Katherine YagerDeputy Chief of Policy, Office of Mayor Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Broadband Leadership Award Presentation
Click to read award info.

12:30 pm - 2:30 pm Exhibitor Move Out (South Pavilion Prefunction Area)
  Track 1
(South Pavilion 1)
Track 2
(South Pavilion 2)
Thursday, November 7
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm
How Community Fiber Networks Can Collaborate Productively With Economic Development Agencies
Economic development organizations have a wealth of experience, strategies, and resources that can help community fiber networks succeed. This session will help communities to understand what such organizations have to offer and how best to work with them.

Leader: Charles Benton - Chairman/CEO, Benton Foundation

John Longbottom - Smarter Cities Executive, IBM Canada Ltd.
Donald Kathan - Area Director, U.S. Dept of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
Chuck Martinez - VP Innovation Services, The Research Valley Partnership, Inc.

Helping Small and Medium Businesses Grow and Prosper With Fiber
Small and medium-sized businesses account for much of America’s innovation, economic development, and job creation. This session will examine how affordable access to advanced communications capabilities can magnify this effect and what else communities can do to support and strengthen such businesses

Leader: Gary Evans - Former President & CEO, Hiawatha Broadband Communications

John Goodman
- President & CEO, A-Vu Media Corporation
Paula Robinson - President, Bronzeville Community Development Partnership
Edward VanHoose - Digital Communications & IT Manager, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives
Rusty Winchel - Project Coordinator, Chicago Southland Fiber Project

Thursday, November 7
3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Growing the Knowledge Economy Through Education and Workforce Development
Educational institutions have played a significant role in spurring and assisting communities to make advanced communications capabilities a cornerstone of their economic development activities. At the same time, workforce development programs, increasingly including those at community colleges, are critical to the success of community fiber projects. This session will help communities make the most of their educational resources.

Marty Stern - Partner, K&L Gates

Maria Alvarez Stroud - Director, Center for Community Technology Solutions, U Wisconsin Extension
John Lewis - Director, Regional Development Institute, Northern Illinois University
Andrew Pincon - President, Digital Workforce
Applications That Will Drive the Future, and Why the Future Will Arrive Sooner Than You Think
US-IGNITE, a project of the White House and the National Science Foundation, and Mozilla Corporation have joined together to stimulate the development of high-bandwidth applications that require, and will drive the need for, fiber networks. This session will highlight several of the most interesting and creative examples of such applications.

William Wallace - Executive Director, US-IGNITE

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