North Georgia Network
Bruce Abraham is the President and CEO of the North Georgia Network, a non-profit communications company that is building 1,000 miles of fiber optics network through north Georgia. The project was funded by a $33 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a $2.5 million grant from the OneGeorgia Authority and additional funding from local utilities and communities.
He is formally the Executive Director of the Lumpkin County Development Authority, where he launched the network project as an economic development effort to bring high-tech jobs to north Georgia. He previously served as Economic Development Director of Dekalb County and was instrumental in starting the Dekalb Workforce Center.
His previous work was in commercial real estate development, where he was a manager with Mobil Land Development which developed Windward in North Fulton and then Crescent Resources, the developer of Sugarloaf in Gwinnett County. In his early career he was a communications professional with the Fulton County Board of Education.
Bruce is a graduate of Georgia State University and has been married for 32 years and has four children. He was selected as Volunteer of the Year for Forsyth County Schools and Walt Disney Partners in Education, and coached youth sports for 15 years.
Director Marketing & Communications
Strategic Networks Group Inc.
Doug Adams oversees SNG’s Communications efforts, which includes serving as the editor for our monthly Bandwidth newsletter.
Located in Boulder, CO, Doug joins SNG after serving as Director of Marketing for OneCommunity and the Knight Center of Digital Excellence. He oversaw strategy and execution of marketing, communications, public relations and brand initiatives – taking the Knight Center from idea to national thought leader in 18 short months.
Doug has a long track record of success developing marketing strategies and positioning for entrepreneurial organizations in a variety of industries, including technology, market research, and publishing. Previously, Doug developed online strategies for GIE Media, established go-to-market strategies and products for now industry-leading online market research firm InsightExpress, and developed marketing solutions for products and services mired in an inability to fully communicate their value and compete in the marketplace.
With over 20 years technology marketing experience, Doug is uniquely qualified to help products and services move across the technology adoption lifecycle and “cross the chasm” to become widely adopted.
Doug received his M.B.A. in marketing from the University of Connecticut and holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from DePauw University, where he was awarded the Most Outstanding Radio Documentary in the State of Indiana by the Associated Press.
General Manager, Greenlight
City of Wilson
Will Aycock is currently the Operations and IT Manager for Greenlight Community Broadband in Wilson, NC. Mr. Aycock has served in this position for 3 years.
Prior to taking this position, Mr. Aycock has served as an Assistant Director of ITS, GIS manager and GIS consultant.
Mr. Aycock is a graduate of both Appalachian State and East Carolina Universities and holds a Government Chief Information Officer Certification from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Baller Herbst Law Group, PC
Jim Baller is the president of the Baller Herbst Law Group in Washington, DC. He represents clients in a broad range of communications matters nationally and in more than 35 states. He was the founder and president of the US Broadband Coalition, a consortium of more than 160 organizations of all kinds that helped build a national consensus on the need for a comprehensive national broadband strategy and recommended the framework that is reflected in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan. He has been working with Google on its Fiber for Communities initiative, and he is the co-host of BroadbandUS.TV’s broadband television policy series, “Inside Voices on Critical Choices.”
The Fiber to the Home Council has recognized Jim as "the nation's most experienced and knowledgeable attorney on public broadband matters." In 2001, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors designated him its Member of the Year. In 2007, Washingtonian Magazine listed Jim as one of "Washington's Best Lawyers," and NATOA made him its first “Community Broadband Visionary of the Year,” for "almost single-handedly putting the need for a national broadband strategy to the forefront of public consciousness." In 2009, Ars Technica included Jim on its list of the 25 “Top Names in Tech Policy,” and FiberToday named him as its “Person of the Year.”
He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School.
Scot Bohaychyk, Clearfield market manager, has nearly 30 years in the Telecommunications industry. Scot’s background includes serving in The White House Communications Agency, providing communications infrastructure support for then President Ronald Reagan and his White House staff. Scot’s private sector experience includes OSP field and engineering experience as well as market development and sales work in the fields of blown and pushable fiber for long haul fiber installations both in the United States and overseas.
Founder and Executive Director
Wally Bowen is founder and executive director of the nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) in Asheville, N.C. Bowen is a nationally-known advocate for local self-reliance and social capital formation via local ownership of media infrastructure.
MAIN provides high-speed wireless Internet access and webhosting, operates a low-power FM radio station (MAIN-FM 103.5), and was instrumental in obtaining public, education and government (PEG) cable TV channels for Asheville and Buncombe County. MAIN was recently elected to the national Media and Democracy Coalition.
Bowen was an early advocate of locally-owned “middle-mile” fiber networks, such as ERC Broadband and Pangaea, while representing western North Carolina on the N.C. Rural Internet Access Authority. He is the author of “Local Network Cookbook” (2009).
He has spoken on media reform at the Aspen Institute, all three National Media Reform Conferences, and most recently at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), the New America Foundation, and the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communications. In 2008, he was one of three media reform advocates featured in Google's launch of a “Free the Airwaves” campaign for reform of U.S. spectrum policies.
President and CEO
Design Nine has become one of the best known broadband planning and project implementation firms in the U.S. The company specializes in municipal and community broadband planning and build outs; Danville, Virginia (www.ndanville.net), Palm Coast FiberNET (http://www.ci.palm-coast.fl.us/PalmCoastFiberNET/) and The Wired Road (www.thewiredroad.net) are three of the firm’s recent community broadband projects.
He was the Director of the world renowned Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) at Virginia Tech from 1993 to 2002. In the nineties, Blacksburg became widely known as the "most wired community in the world.”
He is a widely published writer, and author and co-editor of the popular book about Blacksburg (Community Networks: Lessons learned from Blacksburg, Virginia). His numerous papers and reports are widely circulated, and his technology news blog (www.designnine.com/news) has thousands of readers per month.
Founder and CEO
Strategic Networks Group Inc.
Michael Curri founded Strategic Network Group, Inc. (SNG) in 1998 and as President he leads an experienced team of specialists on a wide range of broadband and economic development initiatives. Michael brings a unique strategic focus to accelerate both the deployment of critical broadband infrastructure and its use by local businesses, organizations and industry to drive innovation, economic growth, and community vitality.
Michael’s approach is based on his experience that for broadband to be effective and transformational, it is critical to make sure that it is being utilized – driven by compelling and powerful e-solutions. With a vision to revitalize communities and regions to more effectively participate in today’s economy, Michael has consulted and led on projects across Canada in the US, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia.
Michael has a Master’s in Economics from the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is based in the European office of SNG in Paris. SNG is headquartered in North America. www.sngroup.com
Appalachian Regional Commission
Mark DeFalco has worked in the Telecommunications Industry for over 30 years. He has worked for a regional Bell company, a rural telephone holding company, a large inter-exchange carrier and several competitive local exchange carriers. Mark specialized in competitive market entry and inter-carrier compensation issues. He has testified before state Public Service Commissions and state legislative committees in over 20 states.
He currently works at the Appalachian Regional Commission addressing rural telecom and broadband issues.
President and CEO
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC)
Tad Deriso is the President & CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) with offices in Richmond and South Boston, Virginia. Over the past 20 years, Tad has helped rural, under-served communities and telecommunications companies with planning and coordinating broadband telecommunications networks. He has developed technology-based economic development strategies as well as performance based management structures and viable operational business models.
In 2003, Tad helped form MBC, a not-for-profit organization that has built an advanced open-access fiber optic network in Southern Virginia. The network, which is now in it’s 4th full year of operations, is cash flow positive, is helping to generate new jobs and investments in the region, and is a successful model of how public/private partnerships can work to extend advanced fiber optic middle-mile networks to under-served communities.
Prior to forming MBC, Tad was a senior consultant with expertise in telecommunications infrastructure design and deployment for rural regions, ICT assessments, middle-mile and last-mile broadband planning, business plan development, and financial modeling for open-access fiber network planning.
Tad has spoken at many Local, State, National and International conferences on the importance of open-access fiber networks, the role those networks play in economic development for data center recruitment, and how national and regional governing bodies can implement similar models to boost broadband access and enhance economic dividends for rural communities.
Tad holds a BBA in Management and International Business from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Director, BTOP Infrastructure Projects
Laura Dodson is currently the director for the BTOP infrastructure projects at NTIA. She has more than 12 years of experience building and managing teams in dynamic organizations. Her diverse experience includes telecommunications sales and business development at Level 3 Level Communications as well as public policy with the Internet Innovation Alliance and US Telecom Association.
Golden LEAF Foundation
Dan Gerlach is president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, which utilizes one-half of North Carolina’s share of tobacco settlement funds to assist the state’s tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and rural communities. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded 1124 grants totaling more than $496 million to 501(c)(3) nonprofits and governmental entities. After working as a budget analyst for the New York State Assembly for 5 years, Gerlach spent 14 years as the director of the NC Budget and Tax Center and the Senior Fiscal Advisor for Gov. Easley. He currently serves on Gov. Perdue’s Budget Reform and Accountability Commission, and is treasurer of the NC Network of Grantmakers Board of Directors.
Dan holds a M.P.A. in state and local public finance from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and bachelor’s degrees in economics and English from the University of Notre Dame. He has served as an adjunct instructor of public administration at UNC-Chapel Hill and NCSU.
Network Engineer Manager
Alpha Natural Resources
Jonathan Hall has been in the IT industry for the last 10 years. He is currently serving as the Network Engineering Manager for Alpha Natural Resources. Prior to Alpha, Jonathan was the Senior Network Engineer for Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, VA. Jonathan received the majority of his IT training while serving in the U.S. Army. He holds a degree in Computer Science from East Tennessee State University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Information Assurance from University of Maryland. Jonathan maintains professional certifications from many of the industry’s leaders in network technology and is currently pursuing his Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Certification (CCIE).
Johnny Hill is the chief operating officer of Clearfield, Inc. Formerly the vice president of engineering and product management, Hill is considered a longstanding leader and a founding member of the company.
Hill has more than 15 years of strategic and hands-on experience in the telecommunications networking industry. During this time, Hill expanded his experience with positions in sales, product management and engineering and was promoted to his current position as COO of Clearfield in 2009. During his career, Hill has amassed a national reputation within the telecommunications industry on such issues as fiber management, harsh environments, network design and transport, fiber and copper connectivity, network security, premise network equipment, structured wiring, among others.
Chairman, FTTH Council, NA
VP Marketing and Business Development, Bristol Virginia Utilities
Hollifield, is a 25-year veteran of the telecommunications industry, is the vice president of marketing and business development at Bristol Virginia Utilities, a municipal electric company known for being a global pioneer in triple-play, and all-fiber broadband.
Hollifield oversees marketing and development strategies for the utility and its OptiNet division. His position includes business oversight of BVU FOCUS, a division of OptiNet that provides advanced telecom consulting and management services to other municipal entities seeking to launch broadband networks.
A native of Tennessee, in 1988, Hollifield co-founded KS Telecom Inc. a successful West Palm Beach, Fla., telecom design, OEM manufacturing and distribution company that achieved $10 million in annual revenues in less than four years.
In addition to serving in the U.S. Air Force, Hollifield studied business management and marketing earning a marketing and business degree at the University of Tennessee and currently is completing his Masters in IT at Virginia Tech.
CTC Technology & Energy
Joanne Hovis is President of Columbia Telecommunications Corp. (CTC), a national, public interest, communications engineering and consulting firm. She is an attorney with a background in communications and commercial litigation. Ms. Hovis is a recognized authority on the broadband market and community broadband topics—and on the evolving role of government in the provision of communications services to the public.
Ms. Hovis is in wide demand as a speaker and expert source on broadband deployment issues. In recent months, she has been interviewed by publications including BusinessWeek, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun. She has been featured as a guest on the C-SPAN show “The Communicators.” She has provided expert presentations to the National League of Cities, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, Technology Policy Summit, the University of Illinois, ARCEP (the French communications regulatory agency, equivalent to the FCC), and the Congressional Internet Caucus.
Ms. Hovis recently testified on the economics of broadband deployment before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law. Ms. Hovis’ testimony was presented on behalf of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), the National Association of Counties (NACo), the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), and the National League of Cities (NLC).
Ms. Hovis is widely recognized for her recent policy analysis and recommendations (published by the New America Foundation) regarding the Recovery Act’s broadband programs.
She has advised numerous foundations and policy non-profits regarding broadband, including the Ford Foundation; the Humboldt Area Foundation; Redwood Coast Rural Action; OneCommunity; the Knight Center of Digital Excellence; the William Penn Foundation; the Institute for Next Generation Internet at San Francisco State University; and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Ms. Hovis leads the CTC team that advises the cities of San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Seattle regarding fiber-to-the-premises networking. She also advises a number of universities regarding broadband planning, including the University of Illinois and Case Western Reserve University.
At CTC, Ms. Hovis leads the company’s work for non-profit associations and oversees CTC’s educational offerings and training programs, which are offered by several universities. Ms. Hovis has authored extensive white papers on communications topics for government agencies (including the Internal Revenue Service) and non-profit organizations (including the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, Free Press, Media Access Project, the Institute for Next Generation Internet at San Francisco State University, National Public Lightpath, the William Penn Foundation, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the American Civil Liberties Union).
Ms. Hovis also oversees all ongoing research and analysis for local government clients and frequently provides business planning and analysis for communications networking initiatives such as San Francisco’s planned fiber network and the regional, interoperable public safety communications network currently under development in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Ms. Hovis serves as President-Elect on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), which represents local governments and promotes community interests in communications matters.
Ms. Hovis previously worked as an attorney with Jenner & Block, in Chicago, and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo P.C., in Washington, D.C. At those firms, she worked on complex communications and litigation projects for such clients as Salomon Brothers, AOL, and Turner Broadcasting.
Deputy Secretary of Technology
Commonwealth of Virginia
Karen Jackson serves as the Deputy Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In this capacity, she serves as a senior advisor to the McDonnell Administration on technology matters including modeling and simulation, telecommunications, and telework. Ms. Jackson is responsible for leading modeling and simulation, broadband and telework policy and legislative initiatives, as well as developing programs to facilitate collaborations, technology development and adoption. Prior to her current appointment, she served as Deputy Secretary of Technology and director of the Commonwealth’s Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance for the Kaine Administration.
Ms. Jackson has been actively engaged in the federal policy initiatives including the development of the National Broadband Plan. She has represented the National Governor’s Association on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s broadband panel related to proposed selection criteria, and participated in the FCC‘s National Broadband Plan workshop on State and Local government best practices. She received a 2009 IP3 award from Public Knowledge for her work in information policy and was named to Government Technology’s 2010 list of the top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers.
Ms. Jackson serves on a number of Boards including the Virginia Telehealth Network, the Information Technology Advisory Council, the policy committee of the National Modeling and Simulation Coalition and the National Center for Collaboration in Medical Modeling and Simulation. She holds a bachelor's of science in business management at Christopher Newport University and a master's of business administration from The College of William and Mary.
VP, Network Infrastructure, Chief Architect, NCREN
Tommy is MCNC’s Vice President of Network Infrastructure Initiatives and Chief Architect for the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN).
During his 19 years with MCNC, Tommy has been involved in the development and expansion of NCREN from a T1 (1.54Mbps) based microwave network to an optical DWDM-based backbone operating at core speeds up to 100Gbps. He currently manages all core L1, L2, and L3 engineering and architecture aspects of NCREN, video network engineering, network management, and facility engineering. Tommy began his journey at MCNC as a student intern while studying electrical engineering at N.C. State University. Throughout the duration of his career, his hard work, dedication and innovative approaches to networking technologies have yielded significant advancements on NCREN over the years. In his current role, Tommy also has primary oversight for the $144 million Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative which aims to further expand broadband connectivity on NCREN by serving community anchor institutions in rural and underserved areas throughout the state.
Tommy has a BS in Electrical Engineering from N.C. State and is married with two children.
Director of Fiber Technology
Colman brings more than twenty years of experience in IT and project management to his role as our Director of Fiber Technology at EPB. He is an expert on the EPB Fiber Optics network – from the initial business planning and technical architecture to software implementation. He has a degree in Business Administration from East Tennessee State University, is a Certified Public Accountant, and has earned 6 Sigma Black Belt Certification.
City of Danville
Joe King is City Manager of Danville, Virginia.
He holds bachelor and master's degrees in urban affairs from Virginia Tech. His 36 years of local government experience took him to cities and counties in Virginia, New Mexico, Washington, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
Danville is an old industrial city on the Virginia – North Carolina border. Experiencing loss of its traditional textile and tobacco industries, Danville has made significant use of nDanville, its open-access fiber optic broadband network, to attract high-tech industries that are turning the region’s economy around.
Danville has been designated by the Intelligent Community Forum as a “Smart 21 Community” poised for success in the 21st century.
On September 1, 2012 John Lawlor was named President and CEO of Telemedicine Management Inc. and SwiftMD, one of the best established brands in telemedicine. SwiftMD provides 24/7/365 access to Board Certified Emergency and Family Practice Physicians for treatment of common acute illnesses and Primary Care triage. John brings more than a decade of experience in the emerging telemedicine sector, specifically in the critical areas of physician recruiting and business development.
In 2001 he was brought on by the telemedicine startup Rapid Remedy, Capitol Radiology and S&D Radiology to build a network of telemedicine physicians and create a Business Development/Sales program. In 2010 John was responsible for bringing Johnson & Johnson and Aon Inc. on as telemedicine clients for Rapid Remedy. He has an outstanding reputation in telemedicine with established positive relationships with many of the “Best of The Best” brokers in the Healthcare Benefits arena and with over 50 Private Equity Firms.
John’s work in telemedicine is a powerful extension of his career in Physician Recruiting. John was the founder and President of Lawlor and Associates, Inc., specializing in Physician and Healthcare Executive Search and Healthcare Consulting. He has nearly 25 years of Physician Search experience in all aspects of the healthcare industry including academic, managed care, university systems, executive and private practice, and of course, telemedicine. The L&A Marketing Division established in 2000 has provided Business Development and Sales consulting to healthcare entities and start-ups including Rapid Remedy.
Prior to founding Lawlor and Associates, Inc. in 1992, Mr. Lawlor spent four years with Jackson and Coker, the nation's largest Physician Search firm and fifth largest Executive Search firm. At Jackson and Coker John was recognized for his achievement as the top recruiter nationally and was promoted to the Vice President of Marketing. In addition, he became a member of the President's Advisory Council.
John is experienced in creating strategic growth plans and network development strategies. He is an active member of the National Association of Physician Recruiters (NAPR), a membership organization consisting of over 400 physician recruiting firms, hospitals, medical groups, individuals, and vendor organizations that oversee the standards and ethics of the physician recruitment industry. He has been an active member of the American Telemedicine Association since 2005.
John earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Richmond in 1982.
Dr. Franklin Maddux
Executive Vice President for Clinical and Scientific Affairs & Chief Medical Officer
Fresenius Medical Care North America
Frank Maddux is Executive Vice President for Clinical and Scientific Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of Fresenius Medical Care North America, the largest provider of services to patients with End Stage Renal Disease. Dr. Maddux has more than 25 years of health care experience, including the practice of nephrology. He is a founder of Specialty Care Services Group, the leading U.S. provider of perfusion services to hospitals and founder of Health IT Services Group, a leading edge Electronic Health Record (EHR) software company which was acquired by Fresenius Medical Care in 2009. He also serves as clinical associate professor of Medicine at the University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. Until 2005, he practiced nephrology at the Danville Urologic Clinic and served as its president from 1995 to 2005.
Dr. Maddux also founded and remains a principle shareholder of a technology integration provider in Danv ille, Virginia. He has served on numerous boards and committees involved in developing technology initiatives in both the medical and regional economic development arenas. He continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Renal Physicians Association, Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition, American National Bank & Trust (NASDAQ: AMNB), and Averett University. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Vanderbilt and an MD degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed his internship, residency, chief residency and nephrology fellowship.
Dr. H. Gilbert Miller
Vice President and CTO
As Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Noblis, Dr. Miller is responsible for advancing the Noblis science, and technology base to meet the future needs of client work programs and corporate initiatives. Noblis is a nonprofit science, technology and strategy organization working at all levels of government, in private industry, and with other nonprofits in areas that are essential to our nation's well being. The Noblis science and technology base includes telecommunications and networks, computing and software, data and knowledge management, information and network security, biometrics and imaging, modeling and simulation, and life and environmental sciences. Dr. Miller executes the Noblis research and development program. Most recently, he led a unique public-private initiative establishing the Center for Applied High Performance Computing.
Dr. Miller brings over 30 years of experience in large-scale systems engineering and acquisition projects spanning nearly every federal government agency. He has served as a voting member on and advisor to numerous source selection boards. He has testified before source selection protest bodies such as the General Services Administration (GSA) Board of Contract Appeals, has represented federal clients with members of Congress and their staff, and has served as advisor to several GSA administrators. He is a recognized expert in information technology, networks and telecommunications, and acquisition strategy.
Director, Telecommunications as Commons Initiative
Institute for Local Self Reliance
Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative with the New Rules Project of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
Mitchell has spoken at conferences across the United States on the subject of publicly owned broadband, occasionally to directly debate opponents of public ownership. He maintains a comprehensive map of publicly owned networks and has been published in a variety of publications such as NATOA Journal, Ars Technica, Municipal Advocate, and Broadband Properties.
On a day-to-day basis, Mitchell runs a website dedicated to community broadband issues at http://www.muninetworks.org. His research and reports are available online at http://www.newrules.org/publications/information. In May, 2010, he published a comprehensive report on publicly owned broadband networks titled “Breaking the Broadband Monopoly: How Communities Are Building the Networks They Need.”
He earned a Master's degree in Public Policy from the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Macalester College.
The New Rules Project seeks to change the rules that undermine the strength of local economies and the long-term vitality of communities. We make the rules and the rules make us. Information networks are essential infrastructure for communities and should be managed for the benefit of the community.
He is also a sports photographer, shooting regularly for Minnesota’s Golden Gophers, and an avid rock climber. In the future, he plans to continue doing policy work when it does not conflict with the World Cup – men or women.
Sr. Program Director
Mr. Montgomery is the Senior Program Director for ICF's Broadband team and offers a deep understanding of the economic challenges faced by rural America, as well as the trade-offs between technology options available for deployment. Mr. Montgomery has 32 years of experience in the telecommunications and technology industry, including more than 15 years of CEO, COO, CFO and CIO experience with international and domestic telecom and technology companies. Prior to joining ICF, he served in executive level positions for iTown Communications, CLEAR Communications (New Zealand), and Concert Communications, and held senior management positions for MCI’s finance, network and revenue divisions. He managed the finance and engineering team's design and implementation of the Rural Utility Service Broadband Initiatives Program feasibility review program and was the task leader for post-award activities. Mr. Montgomery has developed broadband fiber, wireless, and satellite feasibility studies and business plans for fiber-to-the-home, WiMAX, wireless, whitespace, and combined solutions in over eleven states; directed city, regional, and national broadband network design and construction projects; and managed finance and back-office operations. He is also an expert consultant at completing technology and market assessments for broadband networks and services. ICF’s current projects involving broadband adoption include evaluation of critical elements required to expand telemedicine in rural communities, Universal Service Fund reform assessments for counties and states, wireless spectrum analysis and mapping for specialty and commercial networks, broadband assessments for tribal areas, local network designs for fiber and wireless network deployments, and economic impacts for small business adoption of broadband.
Howard H. Baker, Jr., Center for Public Policy
Eric Ogle has served in an outreach and research capacity at the University of Tennessee since 2003. Mr. Ogle’s research interests are mostly where technology creates economic and social benefits at the community level, and Eric takes special interest in projects where the application of technology and smart policies improve the quality of life in rural areas through improved performance of local organizations.
Realizing that adoption of technology is a critical piece of the rural sustainable development puzzle, Mr. Ogle has become an advocate of advanced telecommunications for rural communities. Since 2005, Eric has been an officer of DiscoverET.org, East Tennessee’s nonprofit community network that works to insure every business and organization in East Tennessee is engaged in the digital economy. Since 2003, Eric has been an officer with the national Rural Telecommunications Congress, which promotes progressive broadband policies and highlights best practices by hosting an annual conference in a rural American community each fall.
Through his work with these and other organizations, Eric works to raise awareness of broadband benefits in Tennessee and beyond, and along with his work in areas of community and economic development he continues to develop policies and strategies that encourage broadband utilization and application development. Eric holds a BS in Marketing, Logistics and Transportation, and a MS in Planning, each from UT.
The View Forward - Go Forward
At the beginning of 2012, Jane Patterson launched a new organization, The Way Forward, to promote broadband in rural areas. Until the end of 2011, she served as executive director of the e-NC Authority….
Jane Smith Patterson served as executive director of the e-NC Authority, an organization with a goal of bringing affordable high-speed Internet access to the citizens, businesses and institutions of North Carolina, particularly in rural areas. Prior to taking this leadership position in 2001, Patterson worked for North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt through his four terms in office, first as secretary of administration, then as chief advisor for policy, budget and technology, and finally as senior advisor for science and technology and director of the office for technology.
Patterson’s background also includes working in the private industry as vice-president of ITT Corporation- Network Systems Group, of ITT-Alcatel and Alcatel, NA. and has served as a vice chancellor at UNC-Wilmington and in positions with research programs at the University of Pennsylvania and UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been an advisor to many countries in the planning for deployment of national information infrastructure.
Patterson has served in many positions that have direct impact on the growth of Geographical Information Systems technologies including chairing the founding year of the Global Spatial data Initiative. Patterson consistently leads focused efforts, both for her state and nationally to improve technology and its application, in order to enhance the economy of North Carolina and the United States as well as to advance educational opportunities for future generations.
Jane is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has completed post-graduate degree work at N.C. State University and additional studies at Harvard University. She serves on a number of boards for nonprofit organizations, including the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Dr. Chris Payne, D.D.S.
Danville Dental Associates
Dr. Chris Payne is a native of Danville and a graduate of Tunstall High School. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1998 with a B.S. in Biology. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from VCU School of Dentistry in 2003 and began private practice in Danville. He married his wife Han in 2003 and they have 2 sons and 1 daughter.
Dr. Payne is a member of the Danville Regional, Piedmont, Virginia and American Dental Associations. He earned his Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2007 having completed 500 hours of continuing education since graduation. His course studies include seminars in root canal therapy, Lumineer veneers, in-office bleaching, esthetic partials, implant supported dentures, Invisalign, and a “multi-month” continuum course in orthodontics. Dr. Payne is a general dentist with a majority emphasis on treating patients involving orthodontics. His greatest satisfaction comes from interdisciplinary cases using tooth movement to enhance restorative treatment.
Dr. Payne treats the entire family’s dental needs, and believes children should first visit a dentist at around two years of age. He has worked closely with Head Start and has participated in the Southwest VA Mission Of Mercy (MOM) project to provide dental care to adults and children who may not have access otherwise. Dr. Payne helped organize GiveThanksforSmiles.com to facilitate donating dental services to help local charities. He particularly enjoys being able to help people with dental pain get relief. He is a life-long member of Trinity United Methodist Church and an past President of the Piedmont Dental Society and of Kiwanis Club of Danville.
Grants Program Director
Virginia Tobacco Indemnification & Community Revitalization Commision
Tim Pfohl has served on the staff of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission since 2002, overseeing implementation of grant programs that to date have invested more than $900 million of tobacco settlement funds in local and regional economic revitalization projects in Virginia’s tobacco-growing regions. He and the TICR regional field staff provide grant recommendations and monitoring to the 31-member Commission and its Economic Development, Education, Agribusiness, Megasite, R&D and Special Projects programs. The Commission’s efforts have helped create thousands of new jobs in the region, attracting globally-recognized corporations including Amazon, IKEA, Microsoft and Tempur-Pedic. Other signature efforts by the Commission include state of the art broadband and wireless connectivity, partnerships with Virginia’s educational institutions to expand access to career training, developing world class tourism destinations, and assisting entrepreneurs and researchers in taking innovations to commercialization.
He works closely with several other state and federal funding agencies, and has represented the Commission on Virginia state agency workgroups for energy project recruitment, rural economic development planning, entrepreneur assistance programs and strategies for developing mega-sites and recruiting mega-projects.
Prior to joining the Tobacco Commission, Tim provided economic revitalization technical assistance and grants management for 15 years at the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development. Previous positions in urban planning and market research include the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Chesterfield County VA and M&T Bank in Buffalo NY.
He holds a BA in Urban Economics from the University of Michigan and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a graduate of VCU’s Commonwealth Management and Virginia Executive Institutes.
Project Manager, eCorridors Accelerate Virginia
Ms. Plymale has over 30 years of experience working in diverse areas of information technology. In her current role as a member Virginia Tech’s eCorridors, and Converged Technology teams, Jean is primarily responsible for managing projects focused on the development of analytic tools used in the assessment of physical and information security as well broadband deployment. Jean has served on local and national level committees and frequently interacts with community, state and the private sector to promoting the advancement and understanding of broadband technologies in underserved regions.
Prior to joining the eCorridors program Jean worked at the Virginia Tech Computing Center as a Senior System Engineer where she managed UNIX and mainframe systems and applications. Ms. Plymale has a BA, and a MA from Virginia Tech, as well as a graduate certificate in Politics and Policy of Science and Technology from Virginia Tech. Jean also holds several Global Information Assurance Certifications.
Massey Cancer Center, VCUHS
Carlin Rafie, R.D., Ph.D. is the Clinical Research Affiliations Coordinator for the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center. Dr. Rafie manages the extension of cancer information and research into the larger service community of the Cancer Center through the formation of community partnerships and networks. In this role, she assists in the development and implementation of outreach activities toaddress identified community needs related to cancer. She is/has been the Principal Investigator and/or Co-Investigator on multiple projects that used a community based approach to assess health needs and develop evidenced-based interventions to respond to those needs. She was Project Director for a cancer needs assessment performed in 4 Health Districts within the Commonwealth of Virginia as part of a Tobacco Commission funded project. In this capacity she provided oversight of the project activities, led the development of the qualitative and quantitative tools used for data collection, and managed the data analysis and project write-up. She has experience in community education and outreach, with expertise in the areas of cancer, clinical trials education, nutritional science and nutritional assessment.
Shannon W. Reber
Director, Physician and Patient Services
Shannon Reber is the Director, Patient and Physician Services for VCU Health System. She leads multiple business development units and initiatives including a statewide Telemedicine network, averaging 3000 encounters/year, an 80+/- person scheduling center where she has reduced abandonment rates and greatly improved patient and physician satisfaction. Ms. Reber has developed and implemented a Physician Outreach Program to expand referral development, enhance physician and community hospital relationships and to increase access to VCU Health System leading to departmental volume increases of 13% within the first year. She also created the Physician Access Line (PAL) to streamline and expeditephysician-to-physician access. Shannon serves on numerous committees and health system initiatives including the recent merger to create Children’s Hospital of Richmond.
Broadband Communities Magazine
Jeff Reiman, a founding member of the Nevada Broadband Telemedicine Initiative (NBTI), worked directly with the acute care hospitals throughout the State to create the federally funded statewide initiative which is connecting medical facilities with a fiber broadband network supporting advanced telemedicine applications.
Prior to the NBTI, Mr. Reiman worked in the Boston office of Credit Suisse on the Institutional Equities Sales & Trading Floor of the investment bank. Additionally, he has served on the International Sales & Marketing Team of Wave7 Optics (now Enablence), a FTTX Optical Broadband Access Systems manufacturer.
Mr. Reiman began his career at the DC headquarters of a Presidential Campaign, and is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Government.
Catharine Rice has been a cable and broadband consultant to North Carolina communities for more than 10 years, helping them plan and deploy local broadband systems, administer local cable franchises, and maintain and fund PEG channels. During this time she has assumed numerous leadership roles in educating municipal officials and advocating for local broadband and video systems. Highlights include: organizing and directing a grass-roots, pro-municipal broadband campaign for four consecutive years to protect authority of North Carolina communities to build local broadband networks which generated national-level attention, FCC and high-tech, private sector support, and which blocked incumbent-sponsored, anti-municipal broadband bills until 2011; spearheading successful passage of North Carolina PEG legislation and amendments that provide ~$100,000 annually for 3 PEG channels in a community, by writing draft legislative language and coordinating with NCLM and legislative staff; and authoring and editing various national and state publications on the importance of community fiber to the home broadband systems for ensuring that our country can compete in the global economy. Ms. Rice is President of the SEATOA, the southeastern chapter of NATOA, and is a newly elected member on the NATOA 2013 Board of Directors. She holds a Masters’ Degree from the Annenberg School of Communications and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Steven S. Ross
Broadband Communities Magazine
Steven S. Ross is a long-time technology writer and former Columbia University professor and is also the Corporate Editor of Broadband Communities Magazine. The national publication (www. bbcmag.com) is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for ultra-connected communities.
Ross is a highly respected journalist and an expert on broadband technologies. He also has domestic and international expertise in architecture, land-use planning, business, and education.
Ross holds a BS in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MS in Journalism from Columbia. He has authored or edited 19 books, including a massive, continually updated encyclopedia of computer technology and major reference books on land-use planning, product safety, and environmental issues. He has edited magazines and newsletters for McGraw-Hill, MBA Communications, Boardroom Publishing and others. He’s won numerous technical, professional, and journalistic awards.
He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists and has taught statistics in academic and industrial settings.
His community government experience includes more than a decade on the planning board and environmental commission of Leonia, New Jersey, and two stints as President of New Jersey Environmental Lobby. He helped establish the New Jersey Environmental Education Fund in 1983. He has lectured and consulted in 84 countries.
Ross taught for 19 years at Columbia University. He was on the full-time faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism, which he helped computerize in the 1980s and where he established the world’s first courses in analytic journalism. He had been an adjunct there as early as 1973, when he taught the world’s first courses in environmental reporting. He was teaching online database access as early as 1979 at Columbia, in a pioneering national reporting course.
Solutions Marketing Director
David is responsible for marketing Calix’ fiber access solutions, the most widely deployed Fiber-to-the-Premises systems in North America. David has spent over twenty years in business development and marketing of broadband access systems. He joined the Fiber-to-the-Home industry in 2003 when he joined Optical Solutions, the pioneer in FTTH, which was acquired by Calix in 2006.
Atlantic Engineering Group
James Salter serves as Chairman of Atlantic, the company he founded 15 years ago.
Atlantic was an early proponent of fiber as the ultimate access technology and was a charter member of the FTTH Council, where James served as President in 2002. The company built the nation’s first FTTH city in Kutztown Pennsylvania in 2001 and has designed and built over 30 cities with FTTH networks in the past 10 years.
Today, Atlantic is leading the idea of combining FTTH and Smart Grid technologies into a single business plan for municipalities and rural electric cooperatives.
Major Accounts and Business Development
Innovative Solutions Inc.
Michael Sanders is currently the Major Account Manager and Director of Business Development for Interactive Solutions, Inc. in Nashville, TN. ISI is a video technology integration company specializing in application and integration techniques with a focus in video conferencing and Telemedicine enhancements thru customized product solutions. Michael has been with ISI for over 6 years and has worked with clients across the US developing Telemedicine Programs and working with customers to create revenue generating and sustainable networks.
Member of City Council 1996-2000, appointed to Council in 2001 to fill an unexpired term, and elected again in 2004. Served as Mayor from 2008- present.
Sherman M. Saunders, Mayor, was appointed to City Council in 2001 to fill the unexpired term of Council Member Daniel W. Marshall, III, who was elected to the Virginia General Assembly. Mr. Saunders had previously served on City Council from 1996 to 2000 and was re-elected in May 2004 and 2008. Mr. Saunders has been employed by Pittsylvania County Community Action, Inc. for thirty-two years and serves as its Executive Director. He served on the Board of Directors of the Pittsylvania Economic Development Organization and Roman Eagle Nursing Home. He is a former Board member of the Danville Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Saunders is past President of the Virginia Council Against Poverty and past President of Region III Community Action Agencies for the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Mr. Saunders currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dan River Business Development Center.
Director, Virginia Dept. of Housing and Community Development
Bill Shelton currently serves as Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and is responsible for the management and policy oversight of the agency, which provides community development and housing program support to communities across the Commonwealth. The Department also administers statewide building codes. Bill works closely with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and with the Governor to advise on community development, economic development, affordable housing, and state uniform building code issues.
Bill is an ex-officio member of the Board of Commissioners of the Virginia Housing Development Authority and serves on the board of Virginia Community Capital, Inc., the Commonwealth’s community development bank. Bill also serves as the Governor's state alternate for the Appalachian Regional Commission.
A native Virginian, born in Amherst County and raised in the Charlottesville area, Bill was educated at Washington and Lee University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Politics, and at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning.
Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative
Mickey L. Sims became the General Manager of Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative in Bracey, Virginia on March 15, 2004. In late April, 2010, BIT was awarded a multi-million dollar ($18.9 million dollars) federal stimulus grant to expand their wireless broadband and voice network into the FCC licensed service area.
Sims previously managed from 1989-99 the Poka Lambro Telephone Cooperative, Inc. in Tahoka, Texas. Among his accomplishments, Sims originated (in 1986) the telephone cooperative industry standard “optimum financial structure”—with the Cooperative as the holding company providing local exchange services and subsidiaries providing deregulated services. As General Manager of the Poka-Lambro, Sims was on the leading edge of deploying wireless services early. Mickey L. Sims was one of the co-founders of CoServ Communications.
Mickey is the youngest person to have served as President of the Washington, D.C.-based National Telecommunications Cooperative Association. He was the very first President and one of the co-founders of the Rural Cellular Association (1992-94). Also Sims served on the Board Member and as President, of the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative. Sims is a past President of the Virginia Telecommunications Industry Association, MainStreet Communications, LLC, Plains Bell Federal Credit Union, and Alamo Cellular, Inc. He is a director of the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation. He is a director of the Carolina-Virginias Telephone Membership Association and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appointed Sims to the Virginia Wireless E-911 Commission. Sims has served on the United States Telephone Association’s Small Company Committee and is a former director of the Mid-Maine Telephone Company (Bangor, Maine), National Telcom Insurance Corporation (Burlington, Vermont), Texas Telephone Association, Forte Communications, and the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council.
Regional Vice President-Americas
Ted Sojourner is the Vice President of Tubes and Laminates Business, Americas. He has been with Essel Propack since September 2007 and is responsible for leading the development and execution of strategic business plans in the American region. He is also responsible for and ensures that sales targets are met while focusing on customer-centric business growth through product innovation and development, exceptional quality, service performance and strong client relationships. Ted graduated in 1977 from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. He began his career with Procter & Gamble and has worked for companies like Nestle Foods, Schering-Plough and Rubbermaid before joining Essel Propack.
Joe Starks is the founder and President of ECC Technologies, Inc. In addition, Joe is a founder and partner of several successful for-profit and municipally based not-for-profit Broadband technology companies. Joe specializes in the development of technology based collaborative partnerships between diverse entities. These partnerships include government, educational, business and other organizations both public and private, and amount to over a billion dollars globally.
The companies Joe is credited with founding include ECC Technologies, Inc., Fiber Systems/Fibertech L.L.C., Southern Tier Network, Navigator Networks L.L.C. and Finger Lakes Regional Telecommunications Development Corporation. All of these companies are successfully operating today and amount to nearly $1 billion in total value.
Joe is considered a leader in the development of Public-Private Partnerships for the purpose of technology-led economic development. Joe is a pioneer in the development of municipally based Open Access Models, broadband initiatives, and community-wide fiber infrastructure development. His Open Access Fiber Models have been considered an ideal model for rural communities by the Federal Communications Commission and have received considerable national and international attention.
More recently Joe and ECC Technologies team has been named the commercialization partner for the $150 million MCNC/ GLRBI BTOP Round 2 fiber backbone being implemented throughout the State of North Carolina.
Martin L. Stern
Mr. Stern provides strategic and policy advice to telecommunications, information technology and media firms in the United States, Asia and elsewhere in the world. Mr. Stern assists telecom and broadband providers on all aspects of network build-out and operations. He has served as lead telecom regulatory and land use counsel in connection with numerous domestic and international undersea and terrestrial fiber-optic cable projects, as well as on permitting issues associated with the siting and deployment of wireless facilities.
Mr. Stern also handles complex regulatory issues in connection with mergers, acquisitions, financings and restructuring activities of telecom, broadband and media companies, including foreign investment in U.S. telecom providers and security-related issues with U.S. Executive Branch Agencies. He also represents clients on policy matters before the administration, Congress, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and handles the full range of FCC spectrum licensing and equipment authorization issues.
Mr. Stern has provided commercial, strategic and regulatory advice in connection with the roll-out of next-generation networks involving both wireless and wireline technologies. On the content side, he has represented both satellite programmers and distributors on regulatory, policy and commercial matters. He was recently named a “Lawdragon 500: New Stars, New Worlds,” for his great depth and experience in the telecommunication area, as well as the complexity of his work.
Guy Swindell manages applications engineering for OFS in the Eastern Region of North America. He is the author and lead presenter for the “OFS PON Design and Deployment Workshop” and has authored numerous published white papers on the subject of fiber-to-thepremise. Guy has been in the fiber optics industry since 1998, and has held positions in field engineering, applications engineering, installation project management, and business development. Guy is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
William Wallace brings to US Ignite more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, most recently as co-founder and Executive Vice President of DigitalBridge Communications (DBC), a venture-backed startup dedicated to bringing 4G broadband wireless services to underserved portions of the U.S.
Prior to DBC, Mr. Wallace was co-founder and CEO of OnePoint Communications, which was purchased by Verizon Communications in 2000. OnePoint and its successor company, Verizon Avenue, provide bundled communications services to concentrated communities nationwide, including apartment communities, military bases, and rural areas.
Previously, he served as head of the Telecommunications practice and Chief Operating Officer for Gemini Consulting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cap Gemini Sogeti group. In that role, he led teams that developed strategies and improved operations for many of the world’s largest carriers.
Mr. Wallace received an AB degree in Government and Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Commonwealth of Virginia
Mark Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008, and serves on the Senate Banking, Budget, Commerce and Intelligence committees. Halfway through his first term, Senator Warner has established himself as a national leader in efforts to find bipartisan consensus to create balanced solutions to reduce the federal debt. He also has been a champion for military men and women, their families, and our military veterans. Senator Warner also is a leader in Congress in efforts to promote private-sector innovation and to help our nation's small businesses and start-up companies succeed.
Rockingham County Business & Technology Center
Mark Wells’ career started in technology, focused on Geographic Information Sytems (GIS) along with hardware and software administration and maintenance as well as network installation and administration. He transitioned to marketing strategy and organizational restructuring for a global travel and hospitality corporation. He now combines his previous experiences in technology and business management as the Executive Director of the Rockingham County Business & Technology Center (RCBTC), an organization designed to initiate and support entrepreneurial and technology-based economic development efforts in Rockingham County, North Carolina. In 2011, the RCBTC won the Governor’s Innovative Small Business Community Award for Rockingham County.
Mark has served as President, Treasurer and Vice President of Fund Distribution for the United Way of Rockingham County and received its Volunteer of the Year award in 2008. He holds membership on the Piedmont Local Food Coalition, Inc. board of directors, the Rockingham County Partnership for Children Evaluation & Allocations Committee and the Rockingham County JobLink Leadership Team. He was named to the Triad Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 list in 2009.
Mark is an MBA graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Broadband Communities Magazine
Masha Zager is the editor of Broadband Communities. She has contributed to many technology and telecommunications publications, including Rural Telecommunications, REALTOR Association Executive Magazine, NewsFactor Network and Call Center Magazine.
She is the former editor of Customer Service Newsletter, the author and co-author of four books and several industry studies.
Previously, she was a senior manager for several agencies of New York City government, responsible for information technology, customer service, procurement and strategic planning.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s College and did graduate work at the University of Virginia.
Jessica Zufolo was appointed by President Barack Obama as Deputy Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on July 10, 2009.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Jessica served for 6 years as the Senior Policy Director for telecommunications, media and technology research for Medley Global Advisors, an independent investment research firm serving institutional investment banks focusing specifically on rural telecommunications, broadband deployment and high cost support mechanisms.
Prior to joining MGA, Jessica served for five years as Legislative Director for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). In this role, Jessica was responsible for developing and executing legislative strategy and policy for all 50 state public service commissions on Capitol Hill involving telecommunications, technology, consumer protection and water.
Prior to joining NARUC, Jessica worked on Capitol Hill for 7 years for the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York and Rep. Peter A. Defazio of Oregon handling telecommunications, technology and energy policy.