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Doug Adams

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.

Tegene Baharu
DEPUTY CTO of ICT, Office of the Chief Technology Officer-DC Government

Tegene is an accomplished technologist and visionary thought leader who has taken the technology infrastructure in Washington DC’s District government and has made it private sector savvy. From leading teams developing and managing critical enterprise applications to building a shared services model crossing barriers into private sector and Federal agencies, Tegene has managed full-lifecycle IT functions and tremendous teams. The recipient of many prestigious awards to include the Community Network of the year from NATOA and Top 10 Digital Cities to the White House’s coveted Champions of Change, Tegene’s vision has landed him high profile projects like DC-CAN. The Open accessibility wide broad network has made broadband affordable to anchor Institutions and residents alike. This project put the District on the map as the first 100 GB city in the US.

In Tegene’s portfolio of oversight are Network Operations, Citywide IT Security Operations, Telecom Governance, and DC-Net (SOC, Email, Data Center Facilities). Tegene’s operations serve 96 District agencies and several Federal Entities leveraging his technology shared services model.

Tegene serves as an Information and Communication Technology SME to the District, several Think Tanks, and International Governments globally. A dynamic speaker and lecturer in his own right, Tegene has led several critical projects delivering regulatory expertise and ICT architecture work in the areas of ICT and Telecommunications. Tegene serves as a pioneer and critical contributor to many global and national initiatives and organizations to include GENI (NSF), First Net, OMB, US Ignite and others.

An engineer by trade, Tegene’s journey as a thought-leader was paved with his ability to consume, architect, and deliver technical projects. His engineering background gives him tremendous credibility with his teams and stakeholders. Tegene serves as the executive sponsor and liaison for several executive relationships with vendors, lawmakers, and government agencies alike. Tegene is passionate about diversity and is a very hands-on technology leader.

Jim Baller

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, including more than 50 fiber projects. 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 also worked with Google on its Fiber for Communities initiative and is currently involved in several Gig.U projects.

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." In 2012, Jim received the Fiber to the Home Council Chairman's Award "for his relentless promotion and pursuit of community broadband and of faster networks for everyone. His efforts have paved the way for the deployment of all-fiber networks across the country."

Jim is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School.

Cheryl Beranek

Clearfield, Inc. President and CEO Cheri Beranek is a founding member of the company. She is considered a visionary in the telecommunications networking industry, and has extensive leadership experience in the field of emerging high-tech growth companies.

In July 2003, she joined APA Enterprises as President of its subsidiary APA Cables & Networks. In June 2007, she was appointed President and CEO. Previously, Ms. Beranek served as President of Americable, for which she had previously been its Chief Operating Officer.

Throughout her career, Ms. Beranek has held a variety of leadership positions with emerging high-growth technology companies, including Transition Networks, Tricord Systems; and Digi International. She also has extensive non-profit experience including: the City of Fargo, the Metropolitan Planning Commission of Fargo/Moorhead, and North Dakota State University (NDSU).

Ms. Beranek has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2012 Women in Wireline from Fierce Telecom, 2012 regional finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Stevie Awards for Business in 2011 as a finalist for Best Executive for non-services businesses and the 2009 Turn-Around of the Year, as well as the Twin Cities Business Journal’s Industry Leader Award in 2009 and Women to Watch award in 2004.

Joshua Broder

Joshua Broder is the owner and CEO of Tilson, a Portland, Maine-headquartered IT and telecom consulting and implementation company with five national offices and 100 employees.

Tilson helps industry and government build cellular networks, smart grids, broadband networks and IT business systems, and has been on Inc. Magazine’s list of America’s fastest growing companies for the past four years.

Josh got his start in technology leading an Army communications unit that built IT and telecom networks in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, including Afghanistan. During the ARRA years, Josh led several BTOP and Department of Energy-funded network deployment projects in New England. Josh also serves on the boards of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and of HealthInfoNet, and is a corporator for Bangor Savings Bank.

Josh has a BA from Middlebury College and lives in Portland with his wife Eliza and 2-year old son Clayton.

Senator Beth Bye
Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee, State of Connecticut

On November 2, 2010, Senator Beth Bye was elected to represent the citizens of the 5th Senate District which includes the Towns of Bloomfield, Burlington, Farmington and West Hartford. Beth is the Senate Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee and is Vice Chair of both the Education and Higher Education & Employment Advancement committees.

Beth received her BA and MA in Child Development from the University of New Hampshire, and is widely recognized as one of the state’s leading authorities on early childhood education. Beth has been a program director at Capitol Region Education Council, The University of Saint Joseph and Trinity College. She has a strong interest in program and facility development and had a role in the development of four model preschool programs in the Hartford region over the past 10 years, serving a combined 750 children.

Beth received a “Friend of the Family Award” in 2013 from the Connecticut Family Resource Alliance in recognition of her advocacy on behalf of quality early childhood programs in Connecticut. Beth also received “Legislator of the Year” awards in 2009 and 2011 from the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. She has been named an “Environmental Champion” by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters and was also named one of Connecticut Magazine’s “30 Young People of Influence.”

Prior to the State Senate, Beth served as Vice Chairwoman of the West Hartford Board of Education for five years and represented the 19th House District for two years. She has coached various youth sports and is an active member of the West Hartford Unitarian Universalist Church.

Beth lives in West Hartford with her wife, Tracey Wilson. In 2008, they were the first gay couple to be married in Connecticut. Beth grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and has five sisters, one brother and 24 nieces and nephews. She and her family enjoy tennis, skiing, the beach and entertaining friends and family.

Shari Cantor
Deputy Mayor, West Hartford, CT

Shari Cantor is a life -time resident of West Hartford, CT. She graduated from the University of Connecticut, magna cum laude in Accounting. She became a CPA and worked at Coopers and Lybrand in Audit and Tax and then at Cigna in Real Estate Investments, efficiency studies with McKinsey and Company and then Group Health Underwriting.

Shari is currently in her third year as Deputy Mayor of West Hartford and has been a member of the Town Council since 2004. She chairs the Finance and Budget Committee and serves on the Human and Leisure Services Committee, the Education Liaison Committee and the Government Liaison Committee.

Shari received a Gubernatorial appointment to the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees in July 2013. She serves on the Joint Audit and Compliance Committee, Financial Affairs, Institutional Advancement and Student Affairs Committees. She is the past Chair of the UConn Hillel Board of Directors and is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association.

Ms Cantor is also a member of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation Board of Directors and serves on the Governance Committee. Governor Malloy appointed her to the board of directors for the American School for the Deaf in 2012. Shari is also a member of the Foodshare Board of Directors. Ms. Cantor and her family are active supporters of the Connecticut Children Hospital Cardiac Care Unit.

She has been married to her husband Michael Cantor for 29 years and they have four sons.
Michael is co-managing Partner of CantorColburn LLp, with a national and global practice. He is also chair of Connecticut Innovations, a quasi public venture capital arm of the State.

Jonathan Chambers

Jonathan Chambers, as Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning at the FCC, works with the Chairman, Commissioners, Bureaus, and Offices to develop strategic plans and help identify the agency's policy objectives. He joined the Commission in May 2012 after working, since 1995, primarily for companies in the start-up stage of their businesses in the wireless and cable television industries. He worked both in the U.S. and in Europe in legal, regulatory, business development and strategic planning roles.

His previous government experience was with the U.S. Senate, where he worked from 1987-1994 for Senator John C. Danforth (R-MO) as legislative director, for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as a professional staff member, and for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation as the Republican staff director.

Jonathan has a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center, an MA in international affairs from Columbia University and the Harriman Institute for Soviet Studies, and a BA in economics from Yale University.

Drew Clark
Of Counsel, Kirton McConkie

Drew Clark is Of Counsel at Kirton McConkie, a law firm based in Salt Lake City. He is a member of the Corporate and Government & Utilities industry sections, with experience at the intersection of law, media and internet infrastructure.

Clark founded the Broadband Breakfast Club, Washington's premiere monthly forum on broadband. An early advocate for better broadband data, he worked with the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce on a prototype model for the National Broadband Map. Then, under Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Clark ran the State Broadband Initiative in the nation's fifth-largest state. As Executive Director of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, Clark led a combined federal and state effort of more than $350 million in fiber-optic and wireless infrastructure investments. The partnership bridged regional divisions within Illinois, enhanced the economic development efforts of the Broadband Deployment Council, and connected communications providers and users of internet services. Under his direction, the state launched the Illinois Broadband Innovation Fund and the FCC awarded one of its first broadband lifeline grants to rural Western and Southern Illinois.

His legal practice specializes in information technology, telecommunications, intellectual property, public utilities, and contract drafting and negotiations. He also works with state, municipal and rural broadband leaders to capture broadband benefits of job creation, telemedicine, online learning, public safety, energy, transportation and eGovernment.

  • Immediately prior to joining Kirton McConkie, Clark was Opinion Editor of the Deseret News. He was responsible for its editorial voice, cultivating national and Utah columnists, and working with the Editorial Advisory Board.
  • As Assistant Director of George Mason University School of Law’s Information Economy Project, he brought telecom policy into the realm of law and economics.
  • Clark represented the National Journal Group for eight years as Senior Writer, Columnist, Moderator and Editor for publications and forums including National Journal magazine, Congress Daily, Technology Daily, and National Journal Live.

Clark earned his Bachelors of Arts (with Honors) in Philosophy and Economics from Swarthmore College, his Master of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and his Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law. He has written widely on the politics of technology, entertainment and telecommunications for Ars Technica, GigaOm, National Journal, Slate, the Washington Post, and the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property. He serves on the board of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. You can find him on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIN.

Andrew Cohill

Dr. Andrew Michael Cohill is the President and CEO of Design Nine. He is a broadband architect with an extensive background in broadband network design and broadband planning.

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 (, Palm Coast FiberNET ( and The Wired Road ( 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 ( has thousands of readers per month.

Rollie Cole

Rollie Cole, PhD, JD is a policy analyst and lawyer who has worked for several think tanks and several law firms and taught in Schools of Public Policy, Business, and Law at three major universities – the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, and Indiana University. He was the co-founder and first president of the international Association of Personal Computer User Groups and was for many years the Executive Director of the Software Patent Institute. He also serves as Director of Technology Policy for the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research and a subcontractor to Thomas P. Miller & Associates. His degrees are from Harvard University. His latest book is Wholesale Economic Development: Volume I: Approach, available from Amazon. You can find out more about Rollie and his related efforts at his own web site:

Ron Corriveau

Ron Corriveau is the Vice President of Business Development for COS Systems, a maker of OSS software for broadband networks, based in Umeå Sweden. COS Systems is the maker of COS, a self-service solution marketplace that makes it easy for network subscribers to shop for and buy services from multiple providers. COS makes it easy for service providers to add and manage their services, subscribers and network access on MSO and open access networks.

In his role at COS Systems, Ron is responsible for forging partnerships with FTTX equipment providers, software vendors and fiber network owners and operators. In this role, Corriveau is working with both multi service network owner/operators and open access networks to deliver advanced self-service solutions on broadband and fiber networks. He is focused on bringing proven solutions that enable multi- provider FTTX networks that currently enable the management of nationwide open access networks in Sweden to the North American marketplace.

Throughout his career, Ron has worked in executive business development roles at IBM, EMC, Legato Software, OTG and CA Technologies. In these roles he established and grew partnerships with software and networking industry leaders, consultants, resellers, integrators and outsourcing partners to deliver leading edge solutions to network communications, computing and storage challenges.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Corriveau is a member of the Boston Harbor Angels and serves on the board of Social Venture Partners of Rhode Island, a non-profit organization that enables the incubation and growth of social enterprises in Rhode Island.

Ron is an avid sailor and lives in Newport, Rhode Island with his wife Carole where they enjoy their time on the water and inventing new recipes with fresh local seafood and sustainable local produce.

Susan Crawford

A visiting professor at Harvard Law School and co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Susan Crawford is co-author of The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance. She served as Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy in the Obama administration (2009), a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation, and a member of the board of ICANN.


Matt Crocker
President, Crocker Communications

Sheila Cuddy

Sheila Cuddy joined the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation in 2008. She functioned in several capacities with the organization including Loan Program Manager. In 2013 she was chosen to be the Executive Director following the retirement of the organization’s founder. Sheila’s background is in banking and her previous experience includes management responsibilities in lending, credit policy and retail sector banking. She resides in Warren, Massachusetts.

Michael Curri

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.

Kevin Dellicker

Kevin Dellicker is co-founder and Manager of Dellicker Strategies, LLC. Since 2005, Kevin has helped educational institutions, healthcare organizations, economic development groups and businesses develop effective new ways to use technology.

As the chief executive officer of the business, Kevin oversees a team of highly experienced and specialized consultants. His primary area of expertise is in telecommunications infrastructure, and he specializes in organizing large, regional projects that require the development of new broadband facilities. Since 2005, he has overseen the successful launch of more than $140 million in new telecommunications projects for Dellicker Strategies clients.

Prior to starting Dellicker Strategies, Kevin was a senior consultant at Affinity Group of Harrisburg. He also was Executive Director of Project e-Quality, a non-profit education and advocacy group dedicated to fighting Pennsylvania’s digital divide.

Kevin previously served as technology and economic policy adviser to Pennsylvania Governors Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker. He was instrumental in cutting business taxes and creating tax-free zones for entrepreneurs. He also was responsible for creating and overseeing several electronic government initiatives, including Pennsylvania’s electronic signatures law, the award-winning PA Open for Business website and the nation’s first online government procurement auction.

In addition to his civilian career, Kevin serves part-time as a Major in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. He has been deployed four times to the combat zone for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Kevin has a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse University, a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State and a B.A. in History from Penn State. He is active in the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce as a member of the Public Policy Committee and serves on the Sunset Task Force of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

Tad Deriso
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.

Peter d’Errico

Peter d’Errico is a member of the Town of Leverett, MA, Select Board, a town government elected executive board. He is also a consulting attorney on indigenous peoples’ legal issues. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1968, was a staff attorney in the Shiprock office of Dinebeiina Nahiilna Be Agaditahe Navajo Legal Services, 1968-1970, and taught Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1970-2002. He is a columnist for Indian Country Today, a national media platform for Native voices and issues.

Linda Dunlavy

Linda Dunlavy has worked for the FRCOG since 1993 and has led the organization as Executive Director since 1999. During her tenure as Executive Director, the FRCOG has grown to 45 employees with an operating budget of $4 million, and is recognized as a leader in regionalism across Massachusetts.

Through her work, Dunlavy has served on a variety of regional and statewide committees and commissions. Since its inception in 2003, Dunlavy has been Co-Chair of Pioneer Valley Connect, an effort to bring broadband access to the three western Massachusetts counties that are known as the Pioneer Valley. She has served on several statewide transportation-related committees including the task force that created the award-winning MassHighway Design Guidebook. She currently serves on the Town of Hadley School Committee; the WGBY Public Television Board of Tribunes; the Board of Directors of Rural Development, Inc.; and the Board of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College. Before working for the FRCOG, Dunlavy worked in the mental health field in Boston, managing programs that support disadvantaged individuals in obtaining job and life skills.

David Epstein

On September 10th, 2013, WiredWest formally engaged David Epstein in the capacity of Executive Director.

David has 19 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, with a strong record of entrepreneurial leadership. His first venture was JavaNet, one of western Massachusetts’ first internet service providers (ISPs), which he founded in 1995, and which became one of the most successful ISPs in the Northeast. When JavaNet was acquired by RCN in July 1998, David was named President of RCN’s Internet Division and oversaw all aspects of the company’s $100M Internet business, including product development, implementation and support. By 1999 he had grown the subscriber base 43% to over 500,000 subscribers making RCN the nation’s seventh-largest ISP at that time.

In mid-2000, David became President and CEO of Connecticut Telephone and facilitated their acquisition out of bankruptcy. He then focused on restructuring the company to achieve profitability, which included acquiring Connecticut Broadband, a statewide broadband network. He led the reengineering of that network to provide enhanced services while reducing carrying costs more than 50%, and ultimately increased overall gross margins from 26.5% to 34%.

In 2003 David founded BroadVoice, a VoIP service provider that was named as WIRED Editor’s Pick for “Best VoIP Full Phone Service Provider” the following year. In 2006, he started FreeConferencePro which operates the top user-rated free conferencing service.

David has also consulted for select clients, from new ventures to providing growth strategies for established businesses. As part of that work, he conducts rigorous financial and market assessments, leads operational and regulatory due diligence, assesses and deploys technologies, and authors and implements business and strategic plans.

David grew up in Ashfield Massachusetts and attended The Academy at Charlemont, where has served on the board for the last 12 years, currently as Chair. He now lives in Hartford, CT with his wife Angela and their daughter Isabella and son Gabriel.

Paul Fagan

Paul Fagan is senior vice president of sales and marketing at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc., leading the sales, sales operations, and marketing departments. Paul joined Fujitsu in 1997, as sales director. He was later promoted to eastern region vice president of sales, responsible for a wide cross-section of telecommunications customers.

In 2000, he left Fujitsu and spent four years in a start-up environment, introducing new high-speed Ethernet over copper technologies to carriers. He returned to Fujitsu in 2004 as western region vice president of sales and later resumed responsibility for the eastern region.

Prior to joining Fujitsu, Paul spent 15 years with IBM in a number of sales and marketing leadership positions, providing solutions to North American telecommunications customers.

Paul is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and holds a B.S. in biology.

Erik Frederick
Vice President for Community Affairs, Connected Nation

Eric joined the CN team in July 2011 as the State Program Manager for Connect Michigan. He has built and led a nationally recognized team that has produced the nation’s first Certified Connected Community. Eric has developed relationships with statewide, national, and international groups that are partnering with CN to solve problems of connectivity, and to bolster the value of internet connections. Eric works with communities and stakeholders across geographies and sectors to accelerate the expansion of broadband access, adoption, and use for improved community and economic development. Additionally, Eric leads the efforts of Connect Michigan providing opportunities for continued implementation of the CN’s Connected Community Engagement Program.

Prior to joining Connected Nation, Eric worked for LSL Planning, Inc. as a Project Planner. In this role, Eric was responsible for comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance development, transportation planning, economic development, and grants related projects, all for various municipalities throughout the mid-west. Eric is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional with the United States Green Building Council. He holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Planning and a Minor in Geographic Information Systems from Northern Michigan University. Currently, Eric is pursuing a Ph.D. in Planning, Design, and Construction with a focus on information and communications technology and the global knowledge economy from Michigan State University.

Sharon Gillett

Sharon Gillett focuses on connectivity policy and strategy for Microsoft. Prior to joining Microsoft, she was Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where she accomplished significant reforms to support broadband Internet access through the Universal Service Fund, and led staff work on numerous issues including the phone to Internet transition and network neutrality. Previously, Sharon served as Massachusetts’ first Commissioner of Telecommunications and Cable and the first Director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute. She was a Principal Research Associate at MIT where she researched and taught communications policy and served as Executive Director for an industry partnership program. Sharon earned an MBA (Sloan) and an MS in Technology and Policy from MIT, and an AB in Physics from Harvard. She has been dedicated to expanding the reach of connected computing ever since her first job writing software for the ARPANET.

Heather Burnett Gold

Heather Burnett Gold is the President of Fiber-to-the-Home Council Americas, a non-profit organization established to help its members plan, market, implement and manage fiber to the home solutions. Council membership includes companies and organizations that deliver video, Internet and/or voice services over high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber optic connections - as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks. The Council was created over eleven years ago to share knowledge and build industry consensus on key issues surrounding fiber to the home deployment.

Prior to joining the Council, Gold served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs for XO Communications, a $1.5 billion telecommunications company, where she was responsible for the creation and execution of a comprehensive public policy strategy and regularly interacted with Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the White House and state lawmakers and regulators. Gold was also responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s Cost of Service strategy, including vendor selection and management for an approximately $600M annual budget.

Gold has more than 29 years of experience in the industry, including five years as President for the Association for Local Telecommunications Services (ALTS) during the period surrounding the passage and implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. She has also served as a founding principal of The KDW Group, a telecom consulting firm, and as Vice President of Industry Affairs for Intermedia Communications. She was honored by the Washington Business Journal as one of its 2010 Women Who Mean Business. Gold received her BA (magna cum laude) and MA degrees in Economics from Tufts University. She received her MBA in Finance and Marketing from Washington University in St. Louis. Gold also completed the General Management Program of the Harvard Business School.

Jessica James Golden

Jessica James Golden manages the first, targeted outreach initiative at NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, building strategic relationships with over 90 national organizations and federal agencies focused on education, health care, public safety, utilities, small business, and agriculture—any group whose constituents recognize the importance of broadband in rural communities.
Jessica travels the country regularly to address stakeholders and NTCA members on the association’s federal, legislative and third party advocacy efforts. She has created and led educational sessions on community engagement and represents NTCA at monthly rural coalition meetings in Washington, DC. Jessica also represents NTCA on the board of the National Rural Economic Developers Association, co-chairing the Strategic Alliances Committee.

Through the NTCA outreach initiative, Jessica has aided in coordinating various broadband-centric summits including two Broadband Adoption Summits (2011 and 2014), Smart Rural Community Summit (2012), and an Educational and Broadband Event (2014) each of which has pulled together over 50 national organizations, Capitol Hill staffers, and federal agencies for discussions on the role of broadband in creating smarter, more sustainable rural communities.
Jessica is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

Lev Gonick

Lev Gonick is co-founder of OneCommunity and became CEO July 1, 2013.

In 2011, Government Technology awarded Lev one of their “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers in Public-Sector Innovation.” In the same year, Crain’s Business Cleveland named Gonick one of its “10 Difference Makers” in Northeast Ohio; and Broadband Properties honored him with their Cornerstone Award for “using fiber to build an inclusive society and empower individuals.” In 2010 he received recognition as “Visionary of the Year” from NATOA. Lev has been recognized by ComputerWorld as a Premier 100 IT leader and honored by CIO magazine with a CIO 100 Award. Northeast Ohio’s Inside Business has also recognized Lev as one of their Power 100.

Lev was CIO at Case Western Reserve University from 2001-2013.  He and his colleagues were internationally recognized for technology innovations in community engagement, learning spaces, next generation network projects, and organizational development. Lev’s innovations, including the Case Connection Zone, catalyzed national projects including US Ignite and Gig.U.

A frequent international speaker and consultant, Lev currently serves on the Boards of Monarch Teaching Technologies (educational software developers for persons with Autism), DecisionDesk, EGenio, Groundworks Dance Theater, and Cleveland Independents (Restaurants).

Paul Griswold

Paul Griswold is President and CEO of Finger Lakes Technologies Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies. FLTG was formed in 1995 in order to offer deregulated telecommunications services. Paul also serves as President and CEO for Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies in Central New York State. Both companies have been owned and operated by the Griswold family for over 92 years and 5 generations.

Paul studied Marketing at the Rochester Institute of Technology and has completed Graduate work at the University of Kansas School of Telecommunications. Paul's certifications include: Cisco Certified Channel Sales Expert and Cisco Certified Selling AVVID Architecture.

Paul began his career in the telecom industry working for Rochester Telephone’s subsidiary, RCI Long Distance, in 1985. Paul began his career with Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone in March of 1987.

Paul is very active in industry associations, and community and business organizations. Paul chaired the New York State Telecommunications Association's (NYSTA) MIS Committee and spearheaded the establishment of both NYSTA's video conferencing network and its Local Area Network. He has also been active on NYSTA's Customer Services, Government Affairs and Inter-Company Operations Committees. In 2008, Paul was elected to the Board of Directors for NYSTA.

Paul and his wife Julie reside in Victor with their two children, Brenden and Ashley. He enjoys golf, camping, scuba diving and spending quiet times with his family. Paul also loves to read about and experiment with the latest and greatest technologies, habits that have earned him the nickname "Gadget Man."

Tim Haas

Tim Haas is Chief Engineer of the Telecom Division of Holyoke Gas & Electric. A lifelong resident of Western Mass with more than 24 years of telecommunications and networking experience, he is Leverett Project Manager, with responsibilities including management and supervision of a talented team of engineers, administrators, analysts and technicians in support of public utility networks, municipal networks, public safety networks, public education networks and commercial high-speed network service offerings within the Massachusetts cities of Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield and throughout the Pioneer Valley. This includes analysis, design, engineering, budgeting, implementation, debugging, maintenance and monitoring of these networks, systems and applications using optical fiber, optical switching, Ethernet and IP technologies in order to deliver robust, secure, reliable services and the best possible user experience.

RCDD, Registered Communications Distribution Designer since 1998 current Dec 2014
NTS, Network Transport Specialist since 1999 current Dec 2017
ITS Technician since 1996 current Dec 2014

Cisco Systems
CCDP, Cisco Certified Design Professional since 2000 current April 2016
CCNP, Cisco Certified Network Professional since 2000 current April 2016

Massachusetts D Systems Technician #2605 since 1995 current July 2016
Massachusetts C Systems Contractor #1335 since 1996 current July 2016
Connecticut C5 Limited Electrical Contractor #0181749 since 1997 current Sept 2015

Kyle Hollifield

Kyle Hollifield, is SVP at Magellan Advisors, a top broadband planning and consulting firm, managing scores of broadband projects worldwide. Kyle joined Magellan after retiring from a successful tenure as VP of Bristol Virginia Utilities, (BVU) one of the nation’s most successful and highly touted community owned broadband networks. Prior Kyle served in executive positions with Alcatel-Lucent and Standard Telephone and Cable Labs, one of the first fiber optic research and deployment companies, and home of Dr. Charles Kao. Currently Kyle also serves as Vice-Chairman of Broadband Communities and magazine, and also has served as Chairman of the Board for The FTTH Council, Americas. Kyle holds degrees in Business and Marketing from the University of Tennessee.

John Honker

Mr. Honker is a seasoned executive with 18 years experience in management within the broadband telecommunications sector. He has been instrumental in developing IP and broadband services for emerging markets in the United States and across 17 countries internationally. John is President of Magellan Advisors, a broadband consulting firm specializing in advanced broadband development for the public and private sectors. Magellan provides comprehensive broadband planning, implementation and management to public agencies and private telecoms as a turnkey solution to expand advanced broadband services in communities across the world. Magellan has consulted with hundreds of clients that want to utilize advanced broadband to enhance economic development and quality of life in their communities. Through Magellan’s support, hundreds of millions of dollars of broadband investments have been made worldwide.


Duke Horan
Telecom Program Management, Henkels & McCoy – Western Region

Duke Horan has been in telecommunications construction for over 16 years, and has worked with all types of providers, carriers, municipalities, and other network owners across the United States, becoming intimately involved with the success of these entities. He has been involved with various telehealth networks over the years, including projects in Nebraska and Montana that have become success stories for the RHCPP, and are flagships for public/private partnerships. Both of these networks have enabled next generation services to be provided to areas where private sector investment alone could not support the services.

While gaining a knowledge of the challenges faced with the implementation of the network, Duke has also learned some of the solutions that lead to success and sustainability for non-traditional networks. Being involved from inception through to operations, gives a unique perspective on the truly important details to create value in the networks as they are built and operated.

Joanne Hovis

Joanne Hovis is President of CTC and directs all work in the areas of business consulting, strategic planning, market assessment, and management consulting. 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 serves as President of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), the national association that represents local governments and promotes community interests in communications matters. She is also a member of the Benton Foundation's Board of Directors, and a charter member of the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project's Task Force on Community Anchor Network Economic Models.

Ms. Hovis oversees all ongoing CTC research and analysis for local government clients and frequently provides business planning and market 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. She advises not-for profit and public entities regarding strategic and business considerations for building community broadband networks, both in the "middle" and "last" mile areas, and provides guidance in the areas of funding opportunities including the federal E-rate and other Universal Service Fund programs.

Ms. Hovis is in wide demand as a speaker and expert source on broadband deployment issues. 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 guidance to the National League of Cities, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, Technology Policy Summit, Google, ARCEP (the French communications regulatory agency, equivalent to the FCC), and the Congressional Internet Caucus.

She has advised numerous foundations and policy non-profits regarding broadband, including the Ford Foundation; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Humboldt Area Foundation; Redwood Coast Rural Action; the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; 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 teams that advise the cities of San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. regarding fiber-to-the-premises networking. She advises a number of universities regarding broadband planning, including the University of Illinois and Case Western Reserve University.

Ms. Hovis leads the company's work for not-for profit entities 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 previously worked as an attorney with Jenner & Block in Chicago and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, & Popeo PC in Washington, D.C. At those firms, she worked on complex communications and litigation projects for such clients as Salomon Brothers and Turner Broadcasting.

Elin Swanson Katz
Consumer Counsel, State of Connecticut

Elin Swanson Katz was appointed Connecticut’s Consumer Counsel by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in October 2011, and confirmed by the Connecticut House of Representatives on February 23, 2012 for a five-year term. She heads the Office of Consumer Counsel, an independent state agency that advocates on behalf of consumers in matters relating to electricity, water, natural gas, and telecommunications. The office has served as an independent voice for Connecticut’s residents, municipalities, and businesses since 1978, working for high-quality utility service at a reasonable cost, sensible public policies and legislation, and, particularly in recent times, effective utility storm response.

Ms. Katz brings her experience from her prior work in both the public and private sectors to the office. Under her leadership, the OCC has been instrumental in the investigation of the historic power outages following 2011’s Tropical Storm Irene, the 2011 Halloween Nor’easter, and 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, and the crafting of recommendations and legislation to improve Connecticut’s storm response and communications. She also negotiated the settlement of the Northeast Utilities-NStar merger with Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and other state officials, which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits to Connecticut ratepayers. The OCC also continues its advocacy on behalf of ratepayers in the development of the State’s Conservation and Load Management Plan, the Integrated Resource Plan, and the Comprehensive Energy Strategy.

Ms. Katz also serves ex officio on the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board, chairs the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board, and serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.

Ms. Katz graduated from Cornell University and received her J.D., cum laude, from Boston University School of Law. She also holds a Master’s in English with honors from Trinity College. Prior to joining the OCC, Ms. Katz practiced at law firms in Washington, D.C.; Boston; and Hartford. She also served as Assistant Counsel at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, taught at Trinity College in Hartford, and presently serves as Vice-Chair of the West Hartford Board of Education.

Ashlea Kenalty
Consulting Assistant, GVNW Consulting, Inc.

Ashlea works in the Southwest Division of GVNW Consulting in the Regulatory and Rural Economic Development departments. She assists in the management of Rural Telephone Providers Federal and State Regulatory affairs, Rural Healthcare and Telemedicine, USAC Schools and Libraries fund administration, and works closely with National Associations such as the National Rural Economic Developers Association, and the Western Telecommunications Association. As part of her work she helps clients develop growth within their communities to help create, or sustain a prosperous environment for all residents.

Ashlea has a B.S. in Political Science from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Her work experience outside of the Rural Telecom Industry includes campaign and advocacy work for State Representatives, business incubation management training, public speaking, and logistical planning.

Douglas Kinkoph
ACTING ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR, Office of Telecommunications and Information (OTIA), NTIA, U.S. DEPT. OF COMMERCE

Mr. Kinkoph is the Acting Associate Administrator for the Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications (OTIA) for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Office of Telecommunications Information and Applications at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In this capacity, Mr. Kinkoph leads the $4.3 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), resulting from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which funded the deployment of broadband infrastructure, public computer centers, sustainable adoption of broadband service, and the statewide broadband planning and data collection initiative, leading to the creation of the National Broadband Map. Mr. Kinkoph also directs NTIA’s post-BTOP Strategic Initiatives to promote broadband deployment and adoption across communities nationwide. Prior to this role, Mr. Kinkoph managed the OTIA team responsible for overseeing the BTOP broadband Infrastructure grants.

A telecommunications policy expert, Mr. Kinkoph has more than two decades of experience in the public and private sectors. Mr. Kinkoph held multiple executive roles in the communications industry before joining the Department of Commerce. Most recently, Mr. Kinkoph was Vice President of Operations at Soundpath Conferencing, responsible for all Sales, Marketing and Customer Service operations. His private sector experience also includes serving in senior regulatory and policy roles at XO Communications, Nextlink, and LCI.

Mr. Kinkoph earned his M.A. in Administration from Central Michigan University and his BS in Telecommunication Management from Ohio University.

Diane Kruse

Diane Kruse, the CEO and Lead Consultant for NEO Fiber, has been involved in many projects that fall under the NTIA's BTOP Program. This year, Kruse has written business and financial plans, appraisals on in-kind contributions and has provided project and program management for many of the BTOP and BIP grant recipients including the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network, Sho-Me Technologies, Bluebird Networks, the Florida Regional Broadband Alliance and UC2B. She has worked with Atlantic Engineering Group and Gigabit Squared on many of their projects and continues to consult with grant recipients and companies providing fiber optic infrastructure. Recently Kruse has also been providing business and financial consulting to companies in the solar and green energy business.

Kruse has (25) years of telecommunications industry experience, the last (15) years as an entrepreneur starting and managing successful telecommunication companies. Prior to NEO, she was the CEO of Zoomy Communications, a leading firm in the FTTH industry for Greenfield real estate development projects and FTTH design, engineering and construction for municipalities and rural telecommunications companies. Zoomy designed and built fiber optic and FTTH networks for municipalities and real estate developments and owned and operated several FTTH networks throughout the country. During the economic downturn, Kruse sold all of Zoomy's fiber optic network assets, as the housing market showed little improvement likely to happen in the next few coming years.

Kruse was peer-elected and has served as Chairman of the Board of the Fiber to the Home Council, a world-wide non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, educate and accelerate fiber optic broadband and Fiber to the Home deployments. She is a frequent speaker at national telecommunications conferences on community broadband networks and FTTH networks and was the Master of Ceremonies for the Broadband Properties National Summit in April of 2010. Kruse has been a leader in rural broadband initiatives such as the Stimulus Program (ARRA) for broadband, the country's National Broadband Plan, and has been a spokesman for Broadband Communities.

Prior to Zoomy and NEO, Kruse provided consulting services for AT&T, Verizon, Qwest, 360 Networks and Level 3 Communications, where she wrote business and financial feasibility plans, negotiated interconnection, collocation, and IRU agreements, provided network valuations and appraisals, designed Partner Programs, wrote RFPs and negotiated their vendor contracts.

Stephen Kulik

Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in October, 1993. He is now in his 12th term representing the 19 towns in the First Franklin District, located in the western Massachusetts counties of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin, and geographically the second largest House district in the state. Prior to entering the legislature, Steve served 11 years as a selectman in the town of Worthington, where he was active in many regional and statewide organizations promoting the interests of municipal government, especially small towns. He is a past president of the Massachusetts Selectmen's Association and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

During his time in the legislature, Steve has been a leader on issues of importance to his district, including public education, the environment and energy, economic development, health care, food and agricultural policy, and municipal government. Among his many legislative accomplishments, he has authored successful legislation to reform health insurance for municipal workers, strengthen and fund the Community Preservation Act (CPA), establish a statewide Food Policy Council, and create a state tax credit for donations of land for open space and conservation. Steve was also a member of the Dairy Farm Task Force, which wrote and passed major legislation in 2007 to stabilize strengthen the state's dairy farms.

Steve is presently the Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, an influential position with responsibilities that include helping to craft the state's annual budget. As Vice-Chair, he sits on the six-member conference committee of the House and Senate which reconciles the two versions of the budget for presentation to the full legislature. He has also served as a negotiator for the House on many other conference committees, including the 2014 Transportation Bond which provides a multi-year plan for a $13 billion investment in the state's transportation infrastructure.

Steve is also a member of several legislative caucuses which focus on issues of importance to western Massachusetts. He founded the Small Town and Rural Caucus, and is a member of the Regional School Caucus, the Regional Transportation Caucus, the Manufacturing Caucus, and the Progressive Caucus. He is also active in several regional and national legislative organizations, including serving on the executive committee of the Council of State Governments/ Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC). As part of CSG/ERC, he is an active member of Northeast States for Agricultural Stewardship (NSAS). He is presently the vice-chair of State Agriculture and Rural Leaders (SARL), a national group of legislators who work on state and federal policy issues regarding agriculture, water resources, environment, trade, and other issues of importance to rural communities.

Steve and his wife, Suzanne, live in Worthington, where they raised their two adult children, Sam and Elizabeth

Brett Lindsey

Brett joined OneCommunity in 2010, as Chief Operating Officer, to oversee the planned $100 million network expansion investment. This expansion would grow the network across 22 counties, add over 900 new customer locations and provide training, creating thousands of new sustainable broadband adopters. Multiple federal grants drove the funding required to deliver successful results over a three year period. Brett oversees the execution of all of OneCommunity’s initiatives, operations and revenue generation.

Prior to OneCommunity Brett was with Cleveland-based mobile enterprise firm Vox Mobile, where he also served as COO and oversaw the operations for this rapidly growing organization. Brett brings more than 20 years experience in successful operations management and business development efforts for venture-backed organizations to the Fortune 500. Brett has extensive experience in the telecom industry, including serving as president of Elantic Telecom, Inc. and holding a variety of executive management positions with City Signal Communications, Qwest Communications, XO Communications and Williams Communication Systems.

Casey Lide

Casey Lide is a Principal with The Baller Herbst Law Group, PC (, a national law firm based in Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, MN, that specializes in representing local governments and public power utilities in matters involving telecommunications, cable television, high-speed data communications, Internet access, wireless telecommunications, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to the public-sector entry into telecommunications.

Chris Lynch
Senior Account Manager, New England, Matrix Design Group

Chris Lynch has over 20-years of experience in high-tech communications technology. He has worked with structured cable, optical networking, and voice and data communications solutions. For the past 12-years, Chris Lynch has focused on the communications requirements of Tier 2 and 3 telcos and alternative communications providers such as municipal networks. He is an acknowledged expert in the field of IPTV. Mr. Lynch’s roles have ranged from owning his own consulting firm to managing a sales force responsible for over $53 million in yearly sales. His experience ranges from local small business deployments to Fortune 500 networks. Currently his focus is on helping communities that have been overlooked by the major telco and cable providers deploy their own FTTH networks.

Steve Manning

Professional Experience:

07-2011 – Present CEO – Southern Tier Network, Inc.

1991 – Present Director – Regional Information Center/Computer Services Center, GST BOCES

1987 - 1990 Contract Administrator, Program Office, - Dresser-Rand Corporation, Painted Post, New York

1981 - 1987 Program Management Office, Administrator – Harris Corporation, Government Systems Division, Melbourne, Florida

Service and Community Council/Committee Associations:

  • Board Member, Southern Tier Network, Inc.; A not-for-profit Local Development Corporation to create a community owned fiber optic network

  • New York State Council For Universal Broadband – 2007-2009

  • Chemung County Public/Private Steering Committee on Advanced Infrastructure and Telecommunications, Co-Chair – 2008

  • BOCES Statewide Regional Information Center’s; Co-Chair of Directors Technical Committee, 1999 – Aug 2011

  • DELL Computer, Education Council, Member - 2003

David Marble

David Marble is the President and CEO of OSHEAN Inc. in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. David brings over 30 years of experience in technology companies. He is experienced in operations planning, budget development and management as well as technical planning and project management. David is also Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Northeast Research and Education Network (NEREN) and is on the Board of Directors for the Tech Collective.

David was the co-founder and director of operations of the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL). AAEEBL established affiliations and collaborations with nearly all worldwide ePortfolio initiatives and cultivated membership of over one hundred academic institutions. He is also the founding member of MetaLearning, a strategic consulting group working in the use of technology for advanced learning environments. From 2001- 2007, David was the Chief Operating Officer and VP of Business Development for TAZZ Networks working in policy networking and prior to that was VP of Optical Networks for Lucent.

David W. Maxwell

David W. Maxwell is currently the Program Director at the ConnectME Authority, a state agency whose purpose is, in part, to facilitate the expansion of broadband services throughout Maine. Previous work assignments have included posts within the State of Maine Office of Information Technology and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Mr. Maxwell resides in Winthrop and spends much of his free time in the remote mountains of western Maine.

Jeff McCarthy
Vice President, Maine Fiber Company, inc

Jeff McCarthy has 30 years of experience in the competitive B2B telecommunications industry, focused on infrastructure creation and service delivery in predominantly rural areas of New England. Before starting his career in Telecom, Mr. McCarthy spent 5 years working as a staff psychologist for the State of Massachusetts, where he acquired skills that have advanced his career in telecom management.

His career has included a broad range of experience, including work as a Sales Agent, managing network operations for a financial institution, establishing and growing a facilities-based CLEC in Vermont, managing a 100+ person B2B sales organization, and establishing a dark fiber leasing business.

While working for one of the first true facilities-based CLECs in the US, he introduced fiber optic-based solutions for public sector and commercial customers throughout the state of Vermont. This fiber infrastructure was extended to over 400 buildings and supported the introduction of competitive voice services, commercial internet, and private IP networking, eventually becoming the dominant provider of commercial telecom services in Vermont before being sold to Level 3.

Most recently, Mr. McCarthy joined Maine Fiber Company (MFC), the recipient of federal stimulus funding for the construction of a middle-mile dark fiber network in Maine. Since joining MFC in 2011, the network has been enhanced to facilitate interconnection and longhaul transport for the 24 customers currently leasing fiber. His current focus is the development of opportunities that utilize the federally funded dark fiber to advance commercial and public sector initiatives.

Kathleen McMahon

Kathleen McMahon founded Applied Communications in 1994. Her consulting practice has focused on helping rural areas develop strategies for broadband infrastructure. She worked with the Montana Broadband program to conduct planning meetings throughout the state that resulted in 14 regional broadband action plans. Ms. McMahon was part of the project team for the broadband mapping projects in Montana and North Dakota. She speaks frequently on strategic planning for broadband and routinely contributes articles on the topic to professional journals. She is the co-author of the American Planning Publication “Planning and Broadband: Infrastructure, Policy and Sustainability”. She is the currently co-chair of the American Planning Association “Smart City Task Force”.

Ms. McMahon has a Bachelors Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois and 20 years of city planning experience. In 1998, she received a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from George Washington University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is the Chair of the American Planning Association Technology Division. She is a founding member and Past President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

Christopher J. Merdon

Christopher Merdon is the Chief Information Officer for Howard County Government responsible for all technology and communication services. He served as a Howard County Councilman from 1998-2006, serving as the Chairman of the Council, Chair of the Board of Licensed Commissioners and Vice-Chair of the Zoning Board. Chris joined Howard County Government from the private sector where he worked for JP Morgan, Computer Sciences Corporation and Xerox as a Senior Vice President or Executive Director focused on delivering information technology solutions to State and Local governments.

As CIO, Mr. Merdon has applied his entrepreneurial spirit gained from his years in the private sector towards leveraging the County’s fiber network for economic development purposes. Under Mr. Merdon’s leadership, Howard County became an Internet Service Provider and is actively marketing lit services to the public and private sectors.

Mr. Merdon received a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Temple University in Philadelphia. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife Michelle and two children April and Nicholas.

Christopher Mitchell

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 His research and reports are available online at 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.

Jeffrey Mitchell

Mr. Mitchell specializes in federal and state universal service issues with a focus on policy advocacy, applications for funding, and compliance. Mr. Mitchell has successfully represented numerous statewide and regional broadband networks seeking funding through the Rural Health Care program and in connection with the Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program.

Mr. Mitchell has also represented carriers in matters relating to universal service contribution obligations, and clients participating in the Schools and Libraries (or “E-rate”) and Lifeline programs. While an attorney at the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) from 2003-2010, Mr. Mitchell handled universal service contributions matters including appeals, audits, Federal Communications Commission enforcement referrals, universal service contributor delinquencies and bankruptcy.

Mr. Mitchell was the first director of beneficiary compliance audits at USAC and directed the broadband infrastructure investment program known as the Rural Health Care Pilot Program. Prior to joining USAC, Mr. Mitchell was in private practice in Washington, D.C., working in a variety of areas including antitrust, general litigation, and regulatory compliance.

Mr. Mitchell received his J.D. degree from the Georgetown University in 1997 and his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1993. He is a member of the District of Columbia bar, but is not currently an active member of the Commonwealth of Virginia bar.

Carole D. Monroe

Carole Monroe is currently working with the City of Keene on a Gigabit City vision. She recently completed the build of the New Hampshire FastRoads’ regional fiber-optic network in western New Hampshire to deliver gigabit broadband to community anchor institutions, businesses, and residents. Funding for this project was provided by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, Broadband Technology Opportunity Program, and a consortium of local community banks. The network connects 233 community anchor institutions and 1,300 residences and small businesses.
Currently she is working with the City of Keene on a Gigabit City vision.

Carole has 30 years of technology and leadership experience, the most recent four on the New Hampshire FastRoads project, ten years as the CIO for Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H. and the previous two decades at BankBoston as a Vice President and Sr. Technical Manager Networking Services.

Carole Monroe was co-chair of Monadnock Connect, a predecessor to New Hampshire FastRoads, founded in 2001. She was a member of the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation board of directors and is the chair of the Monadnock Community Hospital board. She holds a MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Western Connecticut University.

Joel Mulder

Joel Mulder is the Senior Director of Business Development for G4S Technology LLC (formerly Adesta LLC). Joel has been in the telecommunications industry for over 30 years having worked at Motorola, NEC America and Northern Telecom prior to G4S. For the past 18 years, he has worked with multiple entities to design, construct, operate and maintain both wireless and fiber networks in all areas of the country. Many of these networks have been public/private partnerships that enabled rural areas to receive advanced communications services on an open access basis.

His background includes working with middle mile networks such as the Iowa Communications Network, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative, Maryland Broadband Cooperative, MassBroadband 123 and the EAGLE-Net Alliance. In tele-health he has worked with the Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network, Health Information Exchange of Montana and the Illinois Rural HealthNet. Fiber to the home networks include the EPB of Chattanooga, Slic Networks in New York and LUS in Lafayette, LA.

Joel has spoken at a number of conferences discussing open-access fiber networks and the applications developed from implementing a fiber backbone. G4S Technology is a founding member of the FTTH (Fiber to the Home) Council. Joel is the company representative to the Council and serves on the Government Relations and Planning Committees. He is the company representative to APCO (Assn. of Public Safety Communications Officials) and UTC (Utilities Telecom Council) as well as serving as an alternate corporate board member for the Rural Telecommunications Congress. In 2010 he was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn to the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council.

Joel holds a Master's Degree in Education from South Dakota State University.

Eric Nakajima

Eric Nakajima is Assistant Secretary for Innovation Policy in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. He leads strategic initiatives designed to accelerate the growth of the state's innovation economy, including initiatives to promote entrepreneurship, collaborative research and commercialization in the state's innovation economy. Eric led the development of the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and serves as its co-chair; among other projects he was the state's point person for development of the new Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. Eric has been involved with the planning and execution of Governor Patrick's economic agenda since 2007. Eric holds a masters in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

William “Bill” Oates

Bill Oates was named the Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In that role, he is responsible for establishing the Commonwealth’s information technology strategy, setting information technology standards and approving secretariat/department information technology plans. As the Agency Head for the Information Technology division (ITD), he is also involved in the planning, design, and operation of information technology systems and the management of central information technology services.

Prior to his appointment as the Commonwealth’s CIO, Bill served as the first Cabinet level CIO for the City of Boston, Massachusetts. Appointed to that position in 2006 by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Oates spearheaded the City’s technology initiatives and was responsible for the delivery of IT services in support of the various city functions.

Under Bill’s leadership, the City of Boston transformed the way the city used technology to better engage with constituents. The Office of New Urban Mechanics was established, now a globally recognized model for civic innovation, and launched the Citizens Connect initiative in 2009 to enhance citizen engagement and promote transparency while improving delivery of services. With Citizens Connect as the model, Bill has worked with the Patrick Administration to bring the Commonwealth Connect app to more than 55 cities and towns across Massachusetts.

In 2011, Oates was recognized as one of the “Top 25 Public Sector Innovators” by Government Technology Magazine and named the New England CIO Innovation Award winner by Mass High Tech. In 2012, Bill was inducted into the CIO Hall of Fame by IDG’s CIO Magazine and was also recognized as a finalist for the MIT Sloan CIO Award for Innovation.

Prior to joining the City, Oates served as the Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Based in White Plains, NY, Starwood is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world. Named CIO in June, 2000, Bill was responsible for delivery of the Company’s global information technology services. A graduate of Boston College, Oates is also an attorney and member of the Massachusetts Bar. He received his JD from Suffolk University Law School in Boston and was awarded his LL.M in Global Technology Law in 2005. In 1996, Oates was inducted into the hospitality industry’s “Technology Hall of Fame” for his vision in applying technology to the business.

Mr. Oates is based on Beacon Hill. A native of the Boston area, Bill is married with two children.

Joseph F. Reardon

During his recent tenure as Mayor/CEO, Joe Reardon led Kansas City, Kansas and Wyandotte County on a continued economic renaissance.

His economic development work ranged from local redevelopment to some of the most impactful projects in the country.

Joe negotiated the first Google Fiber development agreement in the country: making Kansas City, Kansas the first city to obtain Google Fiber’s ultra-high speed FTTH network. The City successfully competed against over 1,100 municipalities that had submitted proposals to Google for the project.

His achievements led to a 2013 Broadband Communities Magazine Cornerstone Award.

At MVP, Joe uses his economic development experience to help clients with complex development and real estate transactions. He provides insight and guidance in economic development incentives, land use and regulations. He understands the speed at which businesses need to move and assists clients in quickly satisfying bureaucratic requirements.

As an advocate for fiber infrastructure, Joe is able to assist clients with developing FTTH strategies and development agreements. He has made numerous presentations on the importance of fiber infrastructure to economic development. His unique balance of understanding public policy in cities with the contractual needs of both the public and private entities can help clients find success.

Joe continues to be actively involved in encouraging communities, individuals and businesses to focus on improving overall community health condition. As Mayor/CEO, he was a leader in using the social determinants of health to develop community strategies and collaborations to improve health conditions. He founded Healthy Communities Wyandotte, a long term plan to positively affect the health condition of the citizens of Wyandotte County. Joe can help clients understand and develop plans to address health conditions in cities and counties. His experience in taking planning to action and attracting nonprofit financial and logistical support can assist clients that want to move from study to actual program development.

As he practices law at MVP, Joe remains committed to community involvement. Since leaving office in 2013, he has been appointed to several public and private boards, including the Kansas Secretary of Commerce’s Start-Up Village Resource Committee, the University of Kansas Medical Center Advancement Board, the KCI Airport Study Panel, and the board of a local bank and community housing organization.

Joe began his legal career at MVP, prior to entering into elected office. He concluded his tenure as Mayor in April of 2013 after serving 2 terms.

Married to his wife Amy, they have two sons, Jack and Connor. He is a lifelong resident of Kansas City, Kansas.

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers is president of ProInfoNet, an independent telecommunications and computer consulting firm that he founded in 1995. ProInfoNet’s primary focus is to benefit medium and large enterprises in New England, although the list of over 180 clients spans the country.

In 2007, Jim founded New England Telehealth Consortium (NETC) for the purpose of applying to participate in the Rural Health Care Pilot Program. NETC is a 501c4 member organization run by a Board of Directors from among its 400 health care participants throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. The FCC awarded NETC 24.6 million dollars in the RHCPP. ProInfoNet is currently managing the implementation of the NETC network.

Jim recently created HealthConnect Networks, a company that is dedicated to helping health care systems around the country build health care networks with subsidies from the new HealthCare Connect Fund.

Prior to founding ProInfoNet, Jim spent 15 years in the private business sector, managing Information Technology and Telecommunications in Maine.

Jim has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maine. He has served as adjunct faculty at Husson University where he taught courses in telecommunications and Information Technology.

He was instrumental in the formation of the Northern Maine Telecommunications Users Group, was a member of the Maine Telecommunications Forum that recommended industry standards to guide the future of Maine Telecommunications to the governor and state policy makers, and served on the Nynex customer panel for the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Jim is a member of the Eastern Maine Community College Computer Systems Technology Department Advisory Committee and formerly chaired the Maine chapter of the Digital Equipment Corporation user’s society.

Jim has four children and resides in Bangor Maine with his wife.

Steve Ross

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. 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.

Since the dawn of the commercial World Wide Web in 1993, Ross has been conducting annual surveys on media and cyberspace, with special emphasis on how emerging technologies shape Internet use. He has consulted on these issues for the Pulitzer Prize board at Columbia and for some of the world’s largest media companies and foundations.

Ross is well known in journalism circles for his CD-ROM-based instructional software and for his expertise in distance learning and computer-assisted reporting, also known as "analytic journalism".

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.

Steve Rounds

Steve served as Flight Deck Operations in the US Navy before joining the telecommunications field nearly two decades ago. After completing a technical program in fiber optics, Steve began working as a contract splicer, performing installation, testing, and maintenance on a major utility-owned passive optical network. As an Instructor for The Light Brigade, Steve specializes in OTDR operation, FTTH/PON disciplines, dispersion testing, and emergency restoration. His outside plant experience includes G.652, G.655 and ribbon splicing, as well as cable and splice closure preparation and mid-entries.

David Salway

David Salway started his career in technology and telecommunications industry more than 20 years ago. In 2008, Mr. Salway joined New York State as the Director of the Broadband Program Office, currently located within the office of Empire State Development. In his current position, he oversees initiatives of the Broadband Program Office and provides oversight for all projects for the New York State Universal Broadband Program, and the $25 million Connect NY Broadband Grant Program. In his capacity as Director, Mr. Salway serves as a broadband advisor to the Governor’s office and New York State legislators, supports broadband initiatives of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils, including the creation and adoption of comprehensive broadband strategy for each region and collaborates with Federal and State agencies on broadband programs to benefit the State.

Under his direction, the scope of the New York State Broadband Program Office was expanded to include public outreach, federal lobbying efforts, and broadband stimulus oversight. As the state’s lead on all matters related to broadband, the Broadband Program Office was instrumental in helping the State receiving over $160 million in federal broadband stimulus grant funding, and been a key player in advancing Federal and State policies on broadband issues for broadband infrastructure build-out and digital literacy efforts.

In addition to his oversight responsibilities in the Broadband Program Office, Mr. Salway was Director of the New York State Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO) from 2009-May 2012, where he was responsible for directing the activities of the EPMO, and ensuring the health of information technology projects across the state enterprise. Prior to his position with New York State he served in various positions including the Enterprise Customer Service Director for a Fortune 500 company, has been a Consultant for the Broadband and Telecom industries for over 15 years, and has prior government experience working for the New York State Senate.

Mr. Salway is a member of the Public Safety Spectrum Trust Operator Advisory Committee and the State Connectivity and Broadband Committee at NASCIO. Mr. Salway received his Bachelors Degree from the State University of New York in Albany, New York.

Craig Settles

For over 25 years Craig Settles’ workshops, consulting services and books have helped organizations worldwide use technology to cut costs, improve business operations and increase revenue.

Author of “Fighting the Next Good Fight: Bringing True Broadband to Your Community,” blogs and many in-depth analysis reports, Mr. Settles as a prominent thought leader on executing appropriate broadband strategies.

He currently is the host of Gigabit Nation, a weekly Internet radio talk show, and Co-Director of Communities United for Broadband, a national grass roots effort to assist communities launch their networks.

Catherine Smith
Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development

Catherine Smith is the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the lead state agency responsible for attracting and retaining businesses and jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, and fostering appropriate development in Connecticut’s towns and cities.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy appointed her to the position in April 2011.

Commissioner Smith’s top economic development priorities are to strengthen the state’s efforts to nurture and drive innovation; effectively promote and market the state’s many business advantages within Connecticut and beyond its borders; and place a renewed emphasis on all aspects of customer service in order to make the state more business-friendly and attractive for investment.

Her community development priorities include improving the state’s ability to redevelop brownfields, continuing the state’s commitment to responsible growth and transit-oriented development and fostering arts and culture to make our cities more vibrant and attractive. The commissioner is forging closer working relationships with private sector partners to realize these objectives and to maximize the return on state investments.

Prior to joining DECD, Commissioner Smith had a distinguished career in the insurance and financial services industry.

She began her career at Aetna in 1983 and held various management positions, including investment officer and chief financial officer for Aetna Financial Services. Later at ING she served in numerous leadership positions including chief operating officer for ING U.S. Financial Services, and CEO of the U.S. Insurance businesses.

In 2008 Smith was named CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services, one of the largest defined contribution plan managers in the United States with more than $280 billion in assets under management and administration.

Smith graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and received a Master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut.

Smith has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences and in the media and has been recognized by U.S. Banker magazine’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Nonbank Women in Finance”. Smith is the Vice Chair of Outward Bound, USA.

Gigi B. Sohn

Ms. Sohn has served since 2001 as the President and CEO of Public Knowledge and, from 2011-2013 as the Co-Chair of the board of directors of the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG). She has served on the board of the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) and on the Advisory Board of the Center for Copyright Information. In October 1997, President Clinton appointed Ms. Sohn to serve as a member of his Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters.

Russell H. Stephens
Co-Founder, President and CEO, NextGen Telecom Services Group, Inc.

Russell Stephens is a co-founder of NextGen Telecom Services Group, Inc.  The company provides network infrastructure engineering and construction services to cable/broadband and telecommunications service providers, enterprises, governmental agencies, municipalities, educational institutions medical/healthcare providers and general contractors.  The company’s primary area of focus is fiber optic networks.

Prior to NextGen, Mr. Stephens was with Stargus, Inc. where he co-founded the company and served as its President and CEO from August 2000 to October 2002.  In that capacity, he was responsible for the company’s strategy development, venture financing and business plan execution.  Stargus was a developer of network and service management software solutions designed for broadband networks.  The company was acquired by C-Cor Electronics (NASDAQ: CCBL).

Mr. Stephens joined Stargus from Pilot House Associates, LLC, where he was a principal.  PHA is a Boston based venture capital company that invests in promising, early stage Internet infrastructure, software, cable, telecommunications and network technology companies.  Stargus was a PHA portfolio company.

Previously, Mr. Stephens was Senior Vice President of MediaOne’s Northeast Region where he was the senior operating executive responsible for the company’s cable properties in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.  MediaOne was a global provider of broadband and wireless telecommunications products and services.  The company was acquired by AT&T (NYSE: T) in August 2000.   He joined MediaOne’s predecessor company, Continental Cablevision, in 1980 and held the positions of general manager, district manager and vice president of operations.

From 1975 to 1980, prior to joining Continental, he served in various operations management positions at American Television and Communications Company, a predecessor company to Time Warner Cable.

Mr. Stephens is a past director of New England Cable News and is a past president of both the New England Cable Television Association (NECTA) and Cable Television Administration and Marketing (CTAM) Society of New England.  Mr. Stephens was a 1998 recipient of the MediaOne Chairman’s Leadership Award.  He is a former Director of Jedai Broadband Networks in Red Bank, New Jersey and a past Trustee of The Pike School in Andover, Massachusetts where he chaired the Development Committee.

Sean Stokes

Sean Stokes is a principal of The Baller Herbst Law Group, a national law firm based in Washington, DC, and the only law firm in the United States to be named to Broadband Community Magazine's Fiber to the Home Top 100. Mr. Stokes specializes in representing clients on a wide range of regulatory, administrative, legislative, and judicial matters involving broadband, telecommunications, cable television, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, barriers to the public-sector entry into communications, and unfair competition issues. His clients include the American Public Power Association, regional and state utility associations and public and private entities in more than 35 states, including the majority of publicly-owned fiber-to-the-home networks in the country.

As a litigator, Mr. Stokes has been involved in numerous competition cases involving complex factual, legal and policy issues, multiple parties, and large amounts in controversy. He also regularly works with multi-disciplinary teams of legal, financial, engineering and other technical experts, assisting in making comprehensive telecommunications and cable plans; developing state-of-the-art communications systems; complying with state and federal communications requirements; and drafting and negotiating pole, fiber, and tower agreements.

Prior to joining Baller Herbst, Mr. Stokes served as the Associate General Counsel for the Utilities Telecommunications Council (UTC), where he helped develop and implement the legislative and regulatory strategy of the nation's electric, gas and water utilities regarding spectrum policy and the adoption and implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Mr. Stokes is a graduate of the National Law Center at George Washington University. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits as well as the Federal District of Columbia; and the local courts of the District of Columbia. He holds an “AV” rating, the highest peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Irv Thomae

Irv Thomae is a retired engineer and software developer, and an active community volunteer. He holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees from MIT. His professional life alternated between academia and industry. Ten years teaching electrical and computer engineering at Dartmouth College's Thayer School were followed in 1984 by seventeen years as a self employed software developer and consultant. From 2001 until retiring in 2006, he participated in research on detecting and limiting Internet malware and “phishing” financial fraud at Dartmouth's Institute for Security Technology Studies.

As a member of the elected Norwich Finance Committee for a total of sixteen years between 1990 and 2008, Irv worked closely with school board members, local and state administrators, and taxpayers. He has helped many residents avail themselves of Vermont's income-adjusted residential school property tax, and has regularly testified to legislative committees on proposed changes to school tax policy.

Irv has represented Norwich on the ECFiber Governing Board since its formation in April 2008. He was elected to its Executive Committee in May 2010, and to Chair in December 2012. In that capacity he has worked with residents, potential investors, state officials, and the Legislature. He is also a Trustee of the Good Neighbor Health Clinic, which provides free medical care to uninsured residents of NH and VT communities located within a 25-mile radius of White River Junction, Vermont.

Irv and his wife Hetty have two daughters, two sons, and five grandchildren.

William Vallee

Bill has been active since 1993 as an telecommunications attorney with the state of Connecticut public utility consumer advocate's agency, the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), where he has represented utility consumers before administrative utility regulatory bodies, the Federal Communications Commission, state and federal courts, including the state and U.S. Supreme Court.

Since 2009, he has represented the state of Connecticut as the Broadband Policy and Programs Coordinator managing the NTIA BTOP data collection/mapping and strategic five-year planning grant. He helped authored the NTIA award of $94 million to upgrade the E-911 and state Education Networks for fiber to facilitate high speed reliable broadband connectivity across the state.

Bill is working with UConn, the Connecticut Education Network, and the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to bring the national Gig.U ultra-high-speed broadband initiative to UConn to increase global competiveness.

In anticipation of the FirstNet project, Bill is a voting member of the state's Public Safety Interoperability Communications Council under the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Prior to joining the OCC, Bill practiced law on Wall Street (Hawkins, Delafield & Wood) and in Hartford (Halloran & Sage). Bill holds a B.A. cum laude in English from Union College and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where he was Writing and Research Editor on the Urban Law Journal.

Nicholas Vantzelfde

Nick is the Founder and Managing Partner of Communications Media Advisors, LLC (CMA), a Boston-based boutique consulting and investment advisory firm serving the telecom, media, and high-tech industries. He has extensive experience advising senior executives on strategy, regulation, and competition issues in the communications, video, and media sectors. He has worked with service providers, investors, and government agencies to assess the market for new opportunities, anticipate competitive challenges, increase marketing effectiveness, implement new technology, and evaluate potential mergers and acquisitions.

Nick has over 20 years of experience in building and assessing business cases for municipal and private broadband networks. He has evaluated businesses across all 50 states, and is currently a senior advisor on broadband and wireless-related policy issues to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the state’s economic development agency for renewable energy and the innovation economy.

He has led nearly 400 consulting engagements in all segments of the telecom, media, and high-tech markets. Nick has also participated in numerous regulatory and legal proceedings either as a direct witness or in support of direct witness testimony. He has prepared testimony for the FCC, the DOJ, numerous state PUCs, and state legislators.

Nick is a former member of the Board of Directors of iPCS, a public wireless carrier acquired by Sprint, and a former member of the Board of Sage Telecom, a private CLEC. He is the treasurer of the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation, the leading non-profit foundation dedicated to discovering a cure for carcinoid cancer, and is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Math and Science for Minority Students program at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.

Daniel R. Vortherms

Dan Vortherms is CEO of OpenCape Corporation in Barnstable, MA. OpenCape is a 501(c)3 corporation that was formed to support the access to broadband technology in southeastern Massachusetts. OpenCape currently operates over 500 miles of network in the area, including over 300 miles of new fiber optic network deployed through $40 million in federal, state, and private grants. OpenCape also operates a colocation data center with local cloud services in support of the local government, education, and business community. Prior to OpenCape, Mr. Vortherms served in various technology development and deployment roles in wireless voice, wireless data, and Internet network companies including OneComm Corp (acquired by Nextel Communications) and Verio Inc (acquired by NTT Communications). Prior to that, he was a systems engineer working on submarine combat system designs for the U.S. Navy. He is a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Captain. He holds degrees from the United States Naval Academy, George Washington University, and the University of Denver.

Kevin Warenda
Director of Technology, Town of Longmeadow Public Schools & Municipal Offices

Kevin Warenda joined the Longmeadow Public Schools as Director of Technology in 2006 after many years in Higher Education technology management and consulting work on projects in every major industry segment. Along with a passion for education and technology, a BS in Management Information Systems and an MBA in Management Consulting, Kevin brings a wealth of experience in network and systems administration, software development, web design, strategic planning, and project management to all aspects of managing an IT system. In 2010, IT Support for schools and municipal offices were consolidated into a single department.

In addition to managing the operations of Longmeadow IT services, Kevin serves on the board of directors of a not-for-profit faith-based organization currently serving the needs of the poor in Haiti and is also a member of the Massachusetts Educational Technology Administrators Association (METAA), Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE), and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

Monica Moles Webb

Monica Webb is Chair of the WiredWest Board of Directors. WiredWest is a municipal cooperative of 42 towns in Western Massachusetts working on building a regional fiber-optic network for areas unserved by broadband. WiredWest has completed comprehensive planning, including high-level engineering, pro-forma financials, mapping, and market research, and is working with the state and the municipalities to get the plan financed and implemented.

Webb spent much of her career working in the financial services industry in Toronto, progressing through leadership roles in marketing and management, and eventually joining the senior management team of a financial technology subsidiary of a major financial firm. Much of her tenure was spent at Trimark, then Canada’s largest mutual fund company.

Since moving to Western Massachusetts, Webb has operated a marketing consulting agency, built a green home and farm, and worked on local civic issues and served on a number of non-profit and town boards, including as Chair of the Town of Monterey’s former broadband committee, and Chair of the Southern Berkshire Technology Committee. At home, her best option is satellite internet, and as a result, she shares the frustration of those without high-speed internet access.

Monica has a B.A. in English from the University of Western Ontario.

Jason Whittet

Jason Whittet leads public sector business development for IDC Research. Previously, he served as the Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute from 2009 to 2013.

Prior to joining the MBI, he worked in Government and Community Relations for Comcast. He also worked on the staff of the Massachusetts State Senate Ways and Means Committee, as an AmeriCorps Volunteer with the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation and in the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

Whittet graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and from Northeastern University with a Master's degree in Public Administration. He resides in Manhattan.

Tony Wilhelm, Ph.D.
Vice President of External Relations, Affiniti Networks

Tony Wilhelm has led some our nation’s leading initiatives over the past two decades to address the digital divide in the U.S. and internationally, including recently leading the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, or BTOP, which improved broadband service to over 8,000 K-12 schools and has impacted 1 in 5 libraries across the country. Before returning to the private sector, Tony was also one of the Administration’s point people implementing President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to ensure all of our students have access to next-generation broadband in their classrooms and libraries by 2018. Tony also has deep experience with the universal service fund, having served as the #2 person with USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division which administers the E-rate program. Since the mid-1990s Tony Wilhelm has championed the causes of unserved populations and believes strongly that anchor institutions require high-capacity broadband services to help transform the lives of people in underserved and rural communities, helping unlock their full economic and social potential.

John Windhausen

John Windhausen, Jr. is the Executive Director of the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, a diverse coalition of community anchor institutions, broadband companies (for-profit and non-profit), foundations (such as the Gates Foundation) and public interest groups. Mr. Windhausen also represents a variety of non-profit and commercial organizations through his consulting firm, Telepoly Consulting. His current clients include the American Library Association, EDUCAUSE and The Quilt. Prior to opening his consulting practice in 2004, he served as President of a telecommunications trade association, as counsel and senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee for nine years, and as staff attorney at the FCC. Mr. Windhausen graduated from Yale University and the UCLA School of Law.

Lisa Wong

Lisa A. Wong is currently serving her fourth term as Mayor of the City of Fitchburg. She was first elected to that office in November of 2007 at the age of 28, and is the first minority mayor in Fitchburg and the first female Asian American mayor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Mayor Wong made fiscal stability one of her top priorities even before the global financial crisis hit in 2008. During her first two and a half years in office, she consolidated 22 city departments into 10, built up a stabilization fund from $20,000 to over $4,600,000, and balanced the budget. As a result, the city’s bond rating, a measure of financial health, has increased twice.

By managing more effectively in lean times, Mayor Wong has been able to lower crime, make significant capital improvements, and attract private investment. She is also a leader in conservation efforts, setting aside over 1,700 acres for permanent conservation and building parks and trails along the Nashua River, allowing for more tourism, as well as enjoyment by the citizens of Fitchburg.

Mayor Wong grew up in Massachusetts and attended Boston University where she received a dual Bachelor’s degree in international relations and economics, and Master’s degree in economics. She began working for the Fitchburg Redevelopment Authority in 2001 and became the agency’s Executive Director in 2004. As Director, she managed several urban renewal projects to revitalize Fitchburg, such as the redevelopment of a former General Electric facility into a modern business complex.

Mayor Wong has become known throughout the state as one of the most effective leaders in economic restructuring, environmental affairs, and redevelopment projects and was recently asked to head the Gateway Cities Initiative statewide.

William "Bill" Young

William Young came to Berkshire Health Systems in September of 2009 from Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, New York, where he had served as Chief Information Officer since 2003. During his tenure at Ellis, Young successfully managed the implementation of a multi-million dollar information systems investment plan and was involved as a senior manager in the merger of three hospitals on disparate information systems into one organization and one information system.

While at Berkshire Health Systems (BHS), Bill has developed and is implementing an Information Technology Strategy that includes implementing a Health Information Exchange throughout the Berkshires as well as a new state-of-the-art Physician Practice System for both employed and Community Based Physicians. Bill has successfully lead the Information Technology team to achieve Healthcare’s “Most-Wired” status for the past 4 years. Under Bill’s direction, BHS continues to be a leader in utilizing Electronic Health Information and has successfully attested to Meaningful-Use and achieved the ARRA Stimulus Funding for both BHS’ Hospitals and Physician Practices.

Young is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, with a degree in Technical Management and concentration in Information Systems, Economics and Business Law. He has been active in numerous professional and civic organizations. Bill is a Fellow of HIMSS (the Health Information and Management Systems Society). He has served on the HIMSS-HIE Steering Committee and has served as chair of the HIMSS-Enterprise Information Systems Steering Committee and the HIMSS-Annual Conference Education Committee. Bill was a founding member and co-chair of Health Information Exchange of NY (HIXNY) - NY Capital District Health Information Exchange.

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