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Keith B. Adams
Assistant Administrator Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, USDA

Keith B. Adams has been Assistant Administrator for the Telecommunications Program in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) since July 2013. In this role he manages the Telecommunications Program's loan and grant programs, with an annual budget of almost $1 billion and a $5 billion loan portfolio.

The Telecommunications Program was expanded in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which authorized $2.5 billion in budget authority for RUS to provide additional broadband funding through the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). Under Mr. Adams management, the program awarded more than 95% of the funding and returned more than $100 million back to the U.S. Treasury.

Mr. Adams tenure with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) first began in 2001 as a Marketing Specialist with the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). His experience also includes time with the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mr. Adams holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Shepherd University, where he majored in Marketing and received his Master of Science (MS) degree from the University of Maryland.

Keith is active serving faithfully at his church and in his community serving as Board of Director for his Homeowners Association. He resides in the suburban Washington DC Metropolitan area with his son who is in college.

Don Atkinson
Chief Executive Officer, South Georgia Governmental Services Authority

Don Atkinson is the CEO of the South Georgia Governmental Services Authority serving the Cities of Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie and Thomasville. Atkinson served in the United States Air Force before joining the City of Thomasville in 1979. Atkinson recently retired with 37 ½ years of service with the City. Atkinson’s position at the end of his career with Thomasville was Assistant City Manager/Assistant Utilities Superintendent which he served in since 2005. Utilities included electric, water, wastewater, natural gas, compressed natural gas, telecommunications, telephony, internet and video services. Atkinson was involved with the buildout of CNS (Community Network Services) in Thomasville followed by deployment from one common headend to Cairo, Camilla and Moultrie. Atkinson currently serves on the Board of Directors for Georgia Public Web and the Thomasville YMCA.

Charlie Auvermann
Chairman of the Board, NGN Connect

A true global soul, Charlie retired from Chevron Corporation after 3 decades of international operations work in the oil industry. He started his career in oceanographic technology and computer research with San Francisco based Chevron advancing through various management levels in strategic and scenario planning, international operations management, corporate public relations, international joint-venture development and international government relations. Charlie has lived and worked in over 2 dozen different locations worldwide spending the last 9 years of his oil career working in Russia just after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He became the Executive Director of the Development Authority of Dawson County, Georgia in 2006. Over the next 11 years Charlie helped install multiple projects with a total capital investment stack in excess of $145 million. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of North Georgia’s Mike Cottrell College of Business where he taught international business, operations management and small business management.

Long a strong supporter of innovation, advanced research and technology, Charlie is a member of the Board of Directors of HackAugusta - a business incubator and makerspace located in Augusta, GA; has consulted on the Digital Economy and speaks on innovation and future disruptive trends. In 2013 Charlie was one of 3 Georgians invited to the White House “National Champions of Change” Program because of his work on the National Day of Civic Hacking.

Today, Charlie is the Chairman of the Board of the NGN Connect which supports the NGN providing world-class fiber broadband in North Georgia. He recently started the Rural Predictive Project with the goal of quantifying and reducing the rural digital divide.

He helps mentor students as part of the Next Generation Youth Development program; a youth STEAM based makerspace directed by his wife Bindy. Their son Kelton is working toward his FAA commercial pilot’s license.

Will Aycock
General Manager, Greenlight Community Broadband Wilson, North Carolina

Aycock has served as GM for Greenlight Community Broadband for three years. Previously, he was an assistant director of ITS, GIS manager, and a GIS consultant. He is a graduate of both Appalachian State and East Carolina Universities and holds a Government Chief Information Officer Certification from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Paul M.A. Baker, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Research and Strategic Innovation, Georgia Tech’s Center for Advanced Communications Policy

Paul M.A. Baker, Ph.D., is Senior Director of Research and Strategic Innovation and principal research scientist at Georgia Tech's Center for Advanced Communications Policy; he's also an adjunct professor in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His research focuses on include connected and online communities, higher education and disability policy, workforce development and collaborative workspaces, accessible/usable information technology, and networks of innovation. Baker has a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Mason University. Contact him at

Jim Baller
President, Baller Stokes & Lide, PC

Baller represents clients in a broad range of communications matters nationally and in more than 35 states. He was the founder and president of the US Broadband Coalition, a consortium of more than 160 organizations that helped build a national consensus on the need for a comprehensive national broadband strategy and recommended the framework reflected in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan. He also worked with Google on its Fiber for Communities initiative.

In 2001, NATOA designated him Member of the Year and in 2007 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 2012, Baller received the FFTH Council Americas Chairman’s Award “for his relentless promotion and pursuit of community broadband and of faster networks for everyone.” He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School.

Gary A. Bolles
Co-Founder, eParachute
Partner, Charrette LLC

Bolles is a San Francisco–based consultant and entrepreneur focused on initiatives with impact, who writes and lectures frequently on the future of work and learning. He is a member of the steering committee for the People Centered Internet Coalition, a collaboration with the U.S. State Department, the White House, and the World Bank co-founded by Vint Cerf, to help connect the next 1.5 billion people using a people-centered approach. He was a founding member of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, an initiative to recommend a broadband strategy for the United States and the former co-producer of the MuniWireless conferences, focused on promoting community broadband. His recent writings are available at

Erik Brinke
Director of Economic Development, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC)

Originally from Murphy, North Carolina, Erik is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has extensive experience in workforce and economic development. He has administered federal job-training programs (JTPA/WIA), managed the Southwestern Regional Economic Development office for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and currently serves as Director of Administrative Services & External Relations for Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, a member-owned electric cooperative serving the Western North Carolina and North Georgia region.

In his work at the Cooperative, Erik manages all fleet/garage, facilities, Information Systems, Communications, and Economic Development activities. In addition to his involvement in electric utility management, Erik also has extensive experience in facilitating broadband network design, grants acquisition, and network implementation/development, and has played a foundational role in the deployment of two major regional fiber-optic networks, as well other regionally based public/private network projects. Erik understands the critical role of partnerships in solving the most difficult broadband challenges, and always promotes regional cooperation. Erik is a graduate of the UNC-Institute of Government County Administration program, the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, the UNC-Basic Economic Development Course, and is trained in Continuous Quality Improvement and skilled facilitation. He is a member of both the Georgia and North Carolina Economic Developers Associations (GEDA & NCEDA), serves on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Rural Economic Development Cabinet, is an appointed member of the Cherokee County (NC) Economic Development Commission, is a member of the CSA Technology Advisory Board, a member of the TVPPA Fiber Deployment Advisory Group, and serves on the Young Harris College Board of Associates and the University of North Georgia Campus Leadership Council.

Erik’s leadership experience includes having served as a two-term Chairman of the Cherokee County (NC) Board of Education, as Vice-Chairman of the Smoky Mountain Development Corporation (SBA 504 CDC), as Secretary & Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the North Georgia Network Cooperative (NGNC), as a Board Member of the Western NC Regional Economic Development Commission (AdvantageWest), as President of the United Way of Cherokee & Clay Counties in NC, and as a member of the NC Statewide Cooperative Extension Advisory Council.

Erik is a Guardian Ad Litem and enjoys coaching high school football, fishing, camping, and working in his fruit and vegetable gardens. He and his wife Paige, their 14-year-old son, Asher, and 10-year-old daughter, Anna, reside in Murphy, NC.

Lee H. Brown
General Manager of Erwin Utilities, Erwin, Tennessee

Lee H. Brown is the General Manager of Erwin Utilities, a municipal electric, water, wasterwater, broadband, and VoIP phone service provider to the Town of Erwin and Unicoi County, TN. Brown has over 36 years experience in the electric utility industry. Prior to his appointment as General Manager in 2006, he has worked as a lineman, served as Director of Operations, and Assistant General Manager. He is currently the driving force behind Erwin Utilities’ phased broadband deployment. Erwin Fiber offers Gigabit Internet services to the residents, businesses, and industries within Erwin Utilities’ service area. The phased build out is 50% complete and more than 1,100 customers are connected to Erwin Fiber.

Brown has served for many years and is the Chairman of the Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County, President of the Northeast Tennessee Valley Regional Industrial Development Association, and President of the Unicoi County United Way Board. He serves on the TVA Regional Resource Stewardship Council, board member of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence, member of the Erwin Kiwanis Club and former Director and a member of the Unicoi County Community Hospital Board.

Brown served 18 years as a member of the Unicoi County Commission, a former member of the Tennessee Job Training and Safety Advisory Committee promoting and directing a state wide safety program for Linemen. He attended Tennessee Technological University and is an Advanced Certified Power Executive through the Tennessee Valley Public Power Associations’ Public Power Academy.

Jonathan Bullock
Vice President, Corporate Development & Government, Hotwire Communications

As Vice President of Corporate Development & Government at Hotwire Communications, Jonathan Bullock leads the company’s cable and satellite content acquisition, governmental partnerships, and its corporate development functions. Hotwire Communications is an all-fiber service provider, primarily located in the Southeast, and was named PC Magazine’s Fastest ISP of 2017. Jonathan is an advocate of sustainable fiber deployments and enjoys working with both public and private partners to bring fiber to underserved markets.

Working closely with economic development teams, Jonathan helps communities use fiber connectivity to encourage job and business growth. Among his projects was the relocation of Hotwire’s own corporate headquarters from Philadelphia to the burgeoning uptown area of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a move that garnered national press and led to the re-envisioning of the area as a Technical Corridor.

Prior to joining the Hotwire team, Jonathan served for five years as Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Connexion Technologies, a private equity funded startup that built fiber networks and provided services in all fifty states.

John Burchett
Director, Public Policy and Government Relations, Google Access and Google Fiber

Before moving to Access/Fiber, Burchett led public policy for Google in the United States, Latin America and Canada. Prior to joining Google, he was chief of staff for Governor Jennifer Granholm, acting as COO for the state of Michigan.

A Michigan native, Burchett has lived in Washington for most of the last 19 years. He was a White House Fellow in 1997–1998, a special assistant to the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, an assistant management officer for the DC Control Board, and a management consultant specializing in state and local government, business planning and business process reengineering. Burchett earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Heather Burnett Gold
President and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association

Gold is president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association, formerly the FTTH Council Americas, a nonprofit organization established to help members plan, market, implement and manage fiber to the home solutions. Membership includes entities that deliver services over direct fiber optic connections as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks. A 30-year-plus industry veteran, Gold most recently served as a senior vice president of External Affairs and Access Management for XO Communications. Gold holds B.A. (magna cum laude) and M.A. degrees in economics from Tufts University and an MBA in finance and marketing from Washington University in St. Louis. She also completed the General Management Program of the Harvard Business School. She was honored by the Washington Business Journal as one of its 2010 Women Who Mean Business and was recognized by Fierce Telecom as one of its Women in Wireline for 2013.

Stacy Cantrell
Vice President, Engineering, Huntsville Utilities

Cantrell has worked in the utility industry since 1989. Starting at Florida Power and Light, she served in several engineering roles over seven years. In 1995, she relocated to Huntsville Utilities, initially working in the electric engineering department and then expanding to water and gas engineering. Her current projects include Huntsville Utilities’ advanced metering infrastructure system and fiber network expansion for internal communications and for lease. She lives in Huntsville, Alabama, and attended North Carolina State University.

Suzanne Coker-Craig
Town Council Commissioner, City of Pinetops, NC
Owner, CuriosiTees of Pinetops, LLC

Suzanne Coker Craig was born and raised in Pinetops, NC and has been a Town Commissioner since 2009. She led the town board and its citizens in their legislative fight to maintain high speed internet service. Suzanne has a B.S. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from North Carolina State University. She spent 18 years with the North Carolina Hospital Association as Director of Advocacy Programs, running the association’s grassroots advocacy programs and political action committee. In 2010, Suzanne and her husband Doug started a small business in downtown Pinetops, which she now manages.

Theresa Collington
Executive Producer of Digital, WorkingNation

Theresa Collington is known for her expertise in digital media and re-aligning traditional business workflows to include digital content gathering and production. She has a reputation for generating high traffic and engagement to content published on digital platforms through thorough analysis of digital metrics. She is sought after for her C-Suite level coaching and advising, and strategies for overseeing enterprise digital concepts and ideas through to execution and success.

Theresa oversees Digital and Content Partnerships for WorkingNation and is proud to be part of a team of Academy Award-winning directors and producers dedicated to creating a wide range of compelling content and programming that explains the high stakes of Structural Unemployment and investigates potential solutions to the problem. She also teaches Advanced Interactive Reporting for the University of Florida, Master’s level digital media courses for National University, and various advanced workshops for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

Prior to joining WorkingNation, Collington served for over 14 years as the Director of Digital Content and Operations for the CBS affiliate in Tampa Bay. In this role, she transitioned the staff and products from traditional television to multi-platform content production and distribution, and built all of the station’s digital and social platforms - leading them to become the #1 trafficked properties in the market among television properties. Collington designed and implemented television-to-digital transition coaching plans for the entire station staff that were cloned throughout the company. She developed all strategies for content, advertising, production, social media, mobile and app development, and digital content distribution for a network of over 49 digital properties that included entertainment, social commerce, social media, news, hyperlocal content, and a conversation platform for moms.

Theresa started her broadcast career at as a Regional News Producer ABC News in New York, ran a segment of ABC’s network in North and South Carolina, has won several awards, and has held several top-level television, news and digital positions. She earned a Master’s Degree from USF, is an avid yogi, blissfully married to an aviation buff, and loves her three rescued Shih-Tzu’s, her friends, meditation, travel, and sunshine.

Michael Curri
Founder and President, Strategic Networks Group Inc.

Michael Curri leads a team of experienced specialists to help clients create measurable economic impacts and jobs by using broadband as a platform for innovation and community vitality. SNG, which he founded, is recognized as an industry leader in broadband econometrics and has developed a unique set of tools to assess the economic and community benefits from broadband infrastructure, as well as programs to drive the use of online business applications.

Curri’s approach is based on his experience that for broadband to be effective and transformational, it is critical to personalize the value of broadband to individuals and ensure they have the tools they need to use broadband as a platform for new opportunities and growth. With a vision to revitalize communities and regions to more effectively participate in today’s economy, Curri has consulted and led on projects across North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. He has a Master’s in economics from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Cynthia Curry
Director of IoT, Ecosystem Expansion, Metro Atlanta Chamber

As Director of IoT Ecosystem Expansion with Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), Cynthia Curry is passionate about strengthening and expanding Metro Atlanta’s IoT ecosystem. She helps to drive collaboration and engagement within the IoT community to propel Metro Atlanta’s position as a technological powerhouse. She helps lead, IoT.ATL, a consortium of business, government, and non-profit leaders united to help Metro Atlanta to become a globally recognized leader in IoT innovation. She leads the MAC IoT Leadership Council, who implements the guiding principles of IoT.ATL by helping build our Smart City of the future and pushing IoT innovation in the region.

Cynthia has helped nurture Atlanta technology companies for over 20 years. Before joining Metro Atlanta Chamber, she partnered with companies across the city to advise them on their talent acquisition strategy to help them acquire the talent necessary for success. Her passion for strengthening the Atlanta technology community has shaped her career and drives her future.

Cynthia’s lives in Decatur, and has been in Atlanta for over 30 years. She is committed to giving back to the community and serves as the Communications Liaison for Georgia Tech’s CDAIT (Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies). She serves as a Board Member of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the TAG (Technology Association of Georgia) Mobility Board. She is a mom, wife, cyclist (road & MTB), a runner, a hiker, music lover, and a food fanatic. Her passion for Atlanta, technology and IoT fuel her goal of helping MAC and Atlanta do great things.

Nicolette Darjean
Engineering Academy Department Head, David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy, Lafayette, LA

Nicolette Darjean is the Engineering Academy Department Head for David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy in Lafayette, La. She is FRC Robotics Lead Coach as well as Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Engineering teacher. She has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a CAD/CAM specialty from University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL). After working as an engineer for five years in a prior career, she has been educating students for the last 16 years in Physics, Chemistry, General Science, and Engineering in both St. Landry and Lafayette Parishes. She is the mother of two amazing children, Victor who is currently a senior in mechanical engineering at ULL and Victoria who is currently a junior in the biomedical sciences pathway at DTSMA.

Doug Dawson
President, CCG Consulting

Doug Dawson has worked in the telecom industry since 1978. He has both a consulting and an operational background and helps clients realize their potential through detailed needs assessment and strategic planning. He helped devise strategies enabling clients to survive and thrive during the telecommunications industry slowdown and brings a broad background to his work with experience in telephone accounting, engineering, and regulatory and business planning. He is directly in charge of all client consulting at CCG, the largest telecom consulting firm in the country in terms of clients, helping more than 800 carriers in the last decade. CCG offers a full range of telecom services, including engineering, regulatory, business planning, strategic planning and implementation services.

Aaron Deacon
Founder and Managing Director, KC Digital Drive

KC Digital Drive was designed to drive innovation and collaboration in Kansas City and capitalize on next-generation infrastructure. Deacon was instrumental in helping Kansas City prepare to be the first market for Google Fiber. He helped create the Building the Gigabit City community brainstorming session; led the Give Us a Gig initiative for neighborhood education, engagement and advocacy; and organized the Gigabit City Summit to explore city infrastructure issues around next-generation networks and help cities develop community playbooks to take advantage of ultra-high-speed broadband. Founder and principal of the research and strategic planning agency Curiolab, Deacon has a master’s in social science from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s from the University of Dallas.

Mark DeFalco
Manager, Appalachian Regional Commission

Mark DeFalco has worked in the telecommunications Industry for more than 30 years. He has worked for a regional Bell company, a rural telephone holding company, a large inter-exchange carrier and several competitive local exchange carriers. He specialized in competitive market entry and inter-carrier compensation issues and has testified before state public service commissions and state legislative committees in more than 20 states. At the Appalachian Regional Commission, he addresses rural telecom and broadband issues.

Harold DePriest
Former CEO & President, EPB, Chattanooga, TN

Harold E. DePriest was the sixth CEO of EPB (Electric Power Board of Chattanooga); appointed to this position October 1, 1996, and retiring September 1, 2016. A native of Linden, Tennessee, Harold graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In 1999 the company launched a competitive local exchange carrier offering telephone and Internet services to local businesses, increasing the utility’s scope of expertise while offering more options for Chattanooga companies. Today, the fiber optic network constructed for the purpose of powering the most automated smart grid in the country has also served to expand EPB’s communications service offerings to include residential customers throughout the service area. Currently offering Internet speeds up to ten gigabits-per-second, the communications services offered by EPB Fiber Optics also include IPTV services and phone.

Matt Dunne
Founder and Executive Director, Center on Rural Innovation

Matt has focused his career on the intersection of rural policy and technology. He served 11 years in the Vermont House and Senate, enacting the first state’s first broadband grants. He was the Associate Director of the Rockefeller Center on Public Policy at Dartmouth College, and was appointed director of AmeriCorps*VISTA under Clinton, where he led PowerUp, one of the first national efforts to bridge the digital divide, and launched an Entrepreneur Corps to focus on micro-finance in high need communities.

In 2007, he started Google’s Community Affairs division out of a former bread factory in White River Jct, VT, where he led all local US philanthropy and engagement, including the Google Fiber rollout and orchestrating educational and development initiatives in Google’s data center communities across rural America. Matt also currently has an appointment at the MIT Media Lab.

Jennifer Eddy
Chief Strategist, Eddy Communications

Eddy is an experienced marketing strategist specializing in global government, IT, consulting, and health care markets. In 2011, she established Eddy Communications to gather the best marketing talent to provide growth strategy, marketing execution and measurable results for high-growth firms. Eddy Communications offers experienced perspectives, reliable services and competitive pricing.

Eddy started her career in journalism and has married her interests in sociology, communications and complex selling environments to develop highly sought after expertise in growth strategy and marketing services. She splits her time between Washington, D.C., and Roanoke, Virginia.

Ken Fellman
Attorney, Kissinger & Fellman, P.C.

Ken Fellman is a partner in the Denver law firm of Kissinger & Fellman, P.C. His practice emphasizes local government representation, particularly broadband communications, utilities and general local government law. Ken has represented local governments, state government, non-profit organizations and governmental associations nationwide in connection with cable television franchising, deployment of community broadband networks, tower and antenna siting, rights of way management, public safety communications issues, communications service contracts, and gas and electric utility franchising. He also works with local governments in connection with communications and utility related litigation and administrative proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Public Utilities Commission.

Clients include the Colorado Communications and Utility Alliance, a statewide organization of Colorado local governments, and the Colorado Government Association of Information Technology. Ken provides communications and broadband consulting services to state chapters of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) in Colorado, Washington and New Jersey, and has worked on communications matters for the Colorado Municipal League, the Association of Washington Cities, the Association of Idaho Cities and the National League of Cities. In his general municipal government practice, he has served as a city, town and county attorney in multiple Colorado jurisdictions. He is also an adjunct professor at the University Of Colorado College Of Law, where he periodically teaches Telecommunications Law and Policy.

Ken served as Mayor of Arvada, Colorado from 1999–2007, and as an at large member of City Council from 1993–1999. He received the Pioneer Award from the Arvada Chamber of Commerce in 2011, recognizing exemplary contributions to the community over an extended period of time. In 2004 during Arvada’s centennial celebration, Ken was chosen as one of the 100 most influential citizens in the City’s history. Ken has been named nine times as one of Law & Politics’ Colorado Super Lawyers, a list that represents the top 5 percent of Colorado attorneys. He has also been recognized by 5280 Magazine as a Top Lawyer in Communications, Technology and Media Law in 2014-2017.

Appointed in 2011, Ken currently serves as a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee. Previously, he served as chair of the FCC’s Local and State Government Advisory Committee from 1997-2003. Ken was appointed as a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program in 2017. He has testified on telecommunications matters before the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and the Colorado General Assembly. Ken has also served as chair of the National League of Cities Information, Technology and Communications Steering Committee, and as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Transportation and Communications Committee. He is a past chair of the Metro Mayors Caucus and the Colorado Municipal League’s Attorneys Section. He currently serves as President of the Board of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. In his spare time, Ken enjoys playing the guitar, and while he has occasionally joined friends and colleagues in public performances, he is often advised to keep his day job.

Ken received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978 from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and his law degree in 1981 from the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law. He can be contacted at (303) 320-6100; facsimile: (303) 327-8601; e-mail:; Twitter: @kenfellman. Ken’s publications and public presentations can be found on the firm’s website at, under the “News and Resources” icon.

Isak Finér
Chief Marketing Officer, COS Systems

Isak Finér holds a position as Chief Marketing Officer at the strongly expansive company COS Systems where he is responsible for the sales and marketing of COS Service Zones - an innovative cloud based solution for demand aggregation and analysis of the expected costs and revenues of fiber roll-out in different zones. COS Service Zones™ is the ultimate decision support solution when planning roll-out of fiber networks. Isak has previously worked with business development and sales management at a number of global companies, as well as with sales and market analysis. He holds a MSc degree in Industrial Engineering and Management at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and has further academic experience within economics and entrepreneurship from Stanford University, CA-U.S., University of California Berkeley, CA-U.S. and Uppsala University, Sweden.

Alan Fitzpatrick
CEO, Open Broadband, LLC

Alan Fitzpatrick is a technology entrepreneur and a strong advocate of broadband infrastructure. He co-founded the not-for-profit organization Charlotte Hearts Gigabit, helping attract Google Fiber to Charlotte, NC. He later co-founded the state wide effort: NC Hearts Gigabit.

As an entrepreneur, Alan founded and successfully exited two software companies. He is currently running his third startup, Open Broadband, an ISP providing broadband service to underserved communities. His corporate experience includes roles as COO of DC74 Data Centers, COO of VoIP Services at ACN Inc., and SVP of Engineering for US LEC Corp.

In his spare time, Alan enjoys teaching entrepreneurship and technology courses as an Adjunct Professor for Central Michigan University and Johnson and Wales University.

Alan has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.

Michael Foor
Vice President, Market and Member Services

Michael has over 20 years of leadership experience in areas including finance, economic development and low voltage / telecom distribution and manufacturing. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated success in building strong relationships and fostering collaboration between organizations and communities.

As Vice President of Market & Member Services for NGN, Michael works closely with the NGN family of companies to develop and implement corporate initiatives and promotional plans that achieve the company’s goals and growth objectives, focusing specifically on the areas of infrastructure financing, economic development, corporate readiness, and workforce development.

Prior to his role at NGN, Michael served as President and CEO of Georgia Communications Cooperative and was instrumental in providing North Georgia consumers with alternative broadband solutions. He has also served as Director of Business & Economic Development for Habersham EMC, President of a privately held low voltage and telecom company, and CFO of a multi-million-dollar distribution company.

Michael is heavily involved in community service, serving as the 2015-2016 President of the Rotary Club of Habersham and Vice Chair of the Development Authority of White County. He is also active with the food and children’s ministries at his church, The Torch. He demonstrates a cooperative mentality in his focus on driving community, economic and educational improvement.

Michael’s education includes a B.S. in Business Administration with a Minor in Economics from Youngstown State University and a Master in Business Administration from Brenau University.

Lewis Foster
Broadband Utility Manager, Columbia County Georgia

Lewis is currently leading Columbia County Community Broadband Utility (C³BU) for Columbia County Georgia after receiving a $13.5 million broadband stimulus grant (BTOP) in February 2010. Prior to leading C³BU, Lewis successfully started and managed the Columbia County Information Technology department for almost 25 years. Since the second year of operation, the C³BU network has been cash flow positive.

C³BU directly serves Community Anchor Institutions (CAI) which consists of government, education, public safety, and non-profit facilities. C³BU currently partners with six service providers to provide service to commercial and residential customers. C³BU is currently expanding the network into Augusta-Richmond County to connect key communication and data center facilities in downtown Augusta.

Lewis is currently Secretary Fiber Network Owners Alliance (FNA) a non-profit membership organization focused on aligning their fiber network resources for the purpose of providing a unified platform to create an entrepreneurial spirit that formed our country and that is necessary for America to remain the greatest country in the world.

Lindsey Frost
Program Director, Mozilla Foundation

Lindsey Frost is a Program Director at Mozilla Foundation where she oversees a portfolio of technology innovation programs including the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund and the NSF-WINS competitions. A native of the original Gig City of Chattanooga, Lindsey has previously worked with the University of Tennessee, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Public Education Foundation, and Toshiba America Foundation. She is a graduate of Columbia University.

Gary Fuller
City of Opelika, Alabama

Mayor Gary Fuller was President and CEO of Fuller Broadcasting Company, Inc., for some 13 years, where his six stations received numerous awards and accolades for community service and local news coverage. In 1988, WZMG and WKKR became the first stations in Alabama to earn the National Association of Broadcasters Crystal Award for community service.

He began his political career serving on the Opelika City Council from 2000 – 2004 and was first elected Mayor August 24, 2004. He was re-elected on August 26, 2008; and, unopposed for the 2012 election, was declared elected to an unprecedented third term by vote of the Opelika City Council on July 17, 2012. He was sworn in at an oath-of-office ceremony as mayor to his fourth term on November 7, 2016.

He has held many leadership roles in the community – from President of the United Way of Lee County and the Opelika Chamber of Commerce to Director of Opelika Main Street and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lee County, just to name a few. He has served on numerous boards over the years and dedicated his time and energy to making Opelika and Lee County a better place to live.

He and his wife Laura have two grown children, Ginny and Gary Jr. and are active members of First United Methodist Church of Opelika.

Sen. Steve Gooch
Senate District 51, State of Georgia

Senator Steve Gooch was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2010. Senator Gooch is a Republican representing the 51st District, which includes Fannin, Union, Gilmer, Lumpkin, White, Dawson and parts of Pickens and Forsyth counties.

Senator Gooch was elected as the Majority Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus in 2014. Prior to serving as the Senate Majority Whip, Senator Gooch served as the Secretary of the Senate Majority Caucus and as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Senator Gooch serves as Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee and will serve this year as Secretary of the Appropriations Committee. Additionally, he serves on the Finance and Regulated Industries and Utilities Committees and as Ex-Officio on the Rules Committee.

Senator Gooch graduated from North Georgia College and State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He currently serves as the Executive Director for the Development Authority of Lumpkin County and is a former Georgia Department of Transportation board member. Prior to being elected to the Georgia State Senate, he served as the sole Lumpkin County Commissioner.

Senator Gooch and his wife Shannon have three children: Samuel, Seth, and Sawyer.

Kristie Goodson
Sr. Dark Fiber Specialist, Tennessee Valley Authority

Kristie Goodson is the Sr. Dark Fiber Specialist for Tennessee Valley Authority and has over 20 years’ experience in the fiber and telecommunications space. Prior to joining TVA in 2016, Kristie spent 19 years in the competitive carrier space, most recently with EarthLink. Her specialties are network and fiber interconnection with a concentration on dark fiber arrangements, including design, contract negotiation, and deployment. Kristie also has extensive experience in customer management for telecom services, having spent several years managing the carrier sales engineering team at EarthLink, with a focus on content, social media, and data center companies.

Keith Harless
Town Manager, Pennington Gap, VA

Graduate of Pennington High 1998.

Attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

Afterwards, he owned and operated a construction company for 21 years.

Keith was elected to Pennington Gap Town Council in 1998 at the age of 27 where he remained on the council for 18 years until being appointed to his current position as Town Manager for The Town of Pennington Gap.

Keith is the President of the local Lion’s Club chapter in Pennington Gap. He also serves on the Virginia Association of Fairs board of Directors.

Ken Hays
President & CEO, The Enterprise Center

Ken Hays is President and CEO of The Enterprise Center, a non-profit entity tasked with establishing Chattanooga as the first mid-sized city with an Innovation District, leading the development of the Edney Innovation Center, and starting Chattanooga’s first digital equity initiative, Tech Goes Home.

Mr. Hays helped Chattanooga become an original US Ignite Smart Gigabit Community, and has forged other national partnerships bringing attention and resources to Chattanooga’s Gig City status. Mr. Hays served as Assistant Chief of Protocol in the Carter White House; then as Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee. He returned to Tennessee in 1983 to become a partner in the development firm Leonard Kinsey & Associates, which evolved into Kinsey Probasco Hays. When Jon Kinsey was elected Mayor of Chattanooga in 1997, Mr. Hays served as Chief of Staff.

During his tenure as President of River City Company, Mr. Hays was the coordinating developer of Chattanooga’s $120 million 21st Century Waterfront Plan, and helped revive the downtown residential market.

Mr. Hays attended Auburn University and George Washington University, majoring in Public Affairs.

Peter Hirshberg
Co-author, Maker Cities

Peter Hirshberg serves as an innovation advisor to cities and companies. He has created two centers of urban innovation from scratch: Maker City Project and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts.

He’s a founder of the Maker City Project, the national organization tasked with helping cities and towns reclaim manufacturing prowess by leveraging the Maker movement.

His research on the Maker City is available in the best selling book – Maker City: A practical guide to reinventing our cities – funded by the Kauffman Foundation. This book was created in collaboration with White House where it was launched in 2016 and with the Brookings Institution, where Hirshberg is an author.

As Chairman and Co-founder of San Francisco’s Gray Area Art and Technology Theater, he’s been instrumental in building one of San Francisco’s most vibrant and civic-minded arts organizations, a center for digital media education, incubation, performance and exhibition. He spearheaded initial fundraising, provides strategic and operational guidance, and helps pioneer internationally recognized programs including Urban Prototyping, a global movement that engages citizens in the co-creation and co-planning of their cities. As part of this work Hirshberg pioneered the open data movement to foster transparency and innovation in cities, leading dozens of hackathons and open data events in San Francisco, Singapore, New York, Hong Kong, and London.

As CEO and founder of the Re:Imagine Group, he consulted with executive teams at Best Buy, Sony, IBM, Verizon, Time Warner, Unilever, GE, Estee Lauder, Telefonica, and many others on their innovation and digital growth strategies.

During his nine-year tenure at Apple Computer, Hirshberg headed Enterprise Marketing, where he grew Apple’s large business and government revenue to $1 billion annually. Subsequently he was CEO of Elemental Software (sold to Adobe), (Estee Lauder), and he served as Chairman of Technorati, the pioneering social media search engine and advertising network with over a billion monthly page views.

Peter is cofounder of City Innovate foundation, an organization formed with The San Francisco Mayor’s office, UC Berkeley and the MIT media lab to promote a network of global civic innovation centers.

As an advisor to United Nations Global Pulse he’s addressed the General Assembly real-time data for international development and is editor of, “Taking the Global Pulse.”

Peter is a sought after technology and innovation speaker, having presented at TED, the World Economic Forum, DLD, The Aspen Ideas Festival, E.G.,Techonomy, CeBIT, WEB 2.0 Summit, and many other events.

His board and advisor positions have included Active Video Networks, Technorati, Build Public, The Computer History Museum, and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. He is a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy and a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and received his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Cullen Hoback
Investigative Filmmaker

Investigative filmmaker Cullen Hoback has a successful history of illuminating the relationship between technology and civil liberties. His film, Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013), was a New York Times Critic’s Pick, and has been seen by millions. Released before the Snowden leaks, his film documented the relationship between major online corporations and the government, revealing how privacy is being eroded via 1s and 0s. Hoback has written op-eds for many journals including The Guardian, presented as faculty at The American Bar Association Anti-Trust Conference, and has appeared as a privacy expert on networks and shows including MSNBC, CNN, NPR, Huffington Post, Stossel, Glenn Beck and The Young Turks. His latest investigatory feature-length doc, What Lies Upstream, will be released theatrically and is slated to air on PBS Independent Lens.

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

Hollifield is senior vice president at Magellan Advisors, a top broadband planning and consulting firm, managing scores of broadband projects worldwide. He joined Magellan after retiring from a successful tenure as vice president of Bristol Virginia Utilities, one of the nation’s most successful and highly touted community-owned broadband networks. He has served as chairman of the board for the FTTH Council Americas (now the Fiber Broadband Association). He holds degrees in business and marketing from the University of Tennessee.

Brian Hooker
Executive Director, McPherson Implement Local Redevelopment Authority

Brian Hooker serves as Executive Director of the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (Fort Mac LRA), the organization planning and executing the redevelopment of Fort McPherson, the 486-acre former Army post in the underserved Southwest Atlanta community that closed in 2011. Brian is accomplishing this through public private partnerships that will deliver mixed use, mixed income developments anchored by a creative hub and featuring new multi-use trails, educational facilities, a career development center and new utility infrastructure including an open access fiber optic network.

Previously, Brian served as the Director of Real Estate for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., the historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown Atlanta that has attracted tremendous economic development.

Brian has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He serves nationally on both the Urban Land Institute’s Public Development and Infrastructure Product Council and as Co-Chair of the Association of Defense Communities’ LRA Directors Council. He also serves on the Southwest Atlanta Partnership Board of Directors.

Brian hails from Southwest Atlanta where he graduated from Benjamin E. Mays High, and where he now lives with his wife and family.

Joanne Hovis
President, CTC Technology & Energy

Joanne Hovis is president of CTC Technology & Energy, where she directs the firm’s work in network business planning; market analysis; financial modeling, policy, and strategy; and management consulting. Joanne advises public sector clients regarding how to build strategy and opportunity for public–private partnerships in broadband. She led the CTC teams that developed first-of-their-kind partnerships for the Commonwealth of Kentucky; the City of Santa Cruz, California; the City of Westminster, Maryland; rural Garrett County, Maryland; and the Champaign-Urbana Big Broadband consortium. Joanne co-authored “The Emerging World of Broadband Public–Private Partnerships: A Business Strategy and Legal Guide,” which was published by the Benton Foundation (

An attorney with a background in communications and commercial litigation, Joanne is also the CEO of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC), and former President of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Fiber Broadband Association and the Benton Foundation.

Darryl F. Howard
Founder, Space Logix

Howard currently is the Founder and operator of Space Logix, a coworking facility located in Greensboro, NC. Prior to this position he was the Founder of Cypress Equipment, a technology integration company. He has held previous positions in Engineering, Sales and Management from organizations including Sprint, Harris Corporation, Nortel and Anixter. He has designed and implemented numerous converged large-scale communications networks worldwide for Fortune 500’s, local and state government, major transportation hubs and higher education facilities. Presently he is involved in the startup “Old Mill Outfitters” which concentrates on brownfield commercial real estate development and their use of Internet technologies to attract tenants, increase rental and retention rates. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rollins College as well as several technology certifications from major network equipment manufacturers.

Rebecca Hunter
Government Relations Manager, Crown Castle

Rebecca Hunter works within Crown Castle’s Corporate Development & Strategy group focusing on External Affairs and Strategic Communications. In this role, Rebecca focuses on leveraging Crown’s extensive infrastructure resources and deployment experience looking toward emerging technologies and expanding customer opportunities. She represents Crown Castle at various associations including NLC, NaCo, SHLB and TIA.

Rebecca has over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of wireless deployment – macros, small cell and fiber. She has worked throughout the United States on local, regional and national scale projects for most of the major wireless carriers and service providers. She has always had a strong focus on government relations and policy, bringing municipal and industry partners together to find mutual solutions to common issues.

Rebecca holds a BA from University of Florida and an Executive MBA from University of Washington.

Terry Huval
Utility Director, Lafayette Utilities System
Lafayette, LA

Terry Huval is the Director of Lafayette (Louisiana) Utilities System (LUS), a position he has held since 1994. He is responsible for the overall management of the city’s electric, water, wastewater and telecommunications services for a city of 130,000.

In 2004, he introduced the LUS Fiber-to-the-Home initiative to the community. Despite the number of attacks from incumbent providers, and a state law that created significant hurdles for the system, LUS Fiber has succeeded in serving over 40% of its service territory. It had a 2016 gross revenue of over $35 million, which generated net cash of over $8 million to reinvest and expand its system. The system has met all of its debt service and expansion obligations without exception.

Terry is a registered professional engineer in the states of Louisiana and Texas. He currently serves as the Vice-Chair on the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Surveying Board and has previously served as Board Chair for the American Public Power Association.

Douglas Jarrett
Partner, Keller and Heckman

Douglas Jarrett represents associations, corporations and entrepreneurs before the FCC on policy making, licensing and enforcement matters. He is expert in domestic telecommunications regulation and wireless matters, representing critical infrastructure associations and companies on a range of telecommunications regulatory and transactional matters, including broadband regulation and spectrum acquisitions.

His clients include specialized domestic and international services providers, dark fiber and related telecom infrastructure firms, broadband providers and companies whose critical operations are dependent on internal wireless communications. Douglas represents services providers on Universal Service Fund contribution matters and in connection with the major USF-supported programs.

He represents enterprises in negotiating domestic and global telecommunications services agreements with the major wireline and wireless carriers. Douglas also advises enterprises on transactional and regulatory matters associated with M2M services and IoT deployments, particularly those in the “Industrial Internet,” and represents MDU owners and developers in negotiating Internet and video access agreements and agreements for in-building wireless deployments.

Mr. Jarrett is a frequent speaker at technology and telecommunications conferences, publishes articles in leading telecommunications publications and is a contributor to BeyondTelecomLawBlog. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Federal Communications Bar Association and the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Mark Johnson
Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Data Architecture, MCNC

Mark Johnson’s career encompasses over 25 years of leadership experience in the management, engineering, and operations of Internet technologies. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Data Architecture at MCNC.

During Johnson’s tenure at MCNC, he has overseen the transformation of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) from a simple series of point-to-point links to a sophisticated network of gigabit class connections, optical rings, and regional points of presence. During that same time period, he has managed a 1000 fold increase in Internet usage. Johnson also has led MCNC’s regional and national networking activities as a founding member of the North Carolina Networking Initiative. In addition, Mark has been involved in Internet2 since its inception, serving in a variety of member leadership positions. He is a past Chair of The Quilt, a national consortium of regional research and education network operators. From 2011-2012 Mark served as the Interim Executive Director for the US UCAN project intended to help connect the 200,000 U.S. community anchor institutions like public libraries, schools, community colleges, research parks, public safety and health care institutions across the country to next-generation Internet-based applications.

Mark also led a local team that developed the initial concept for the NLR Experiments Support Center and won the competition for that service. He also led the local team who combined with Indiana University and the MAX GigaPoP to create the Internet2 Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) support center.

Vince Jordan
President & CEO, Lobaki

49 years of entrepreneurial experience, business creation and management. Specialties: New venture initiation and start-up, Social Entrepreneurism, Imagineering, Metaverse Curator, Business development, Partnership development, Advanced systems design and development, Network Development and Management.

Wes Kelley
President and CEO, Huntsville Utilities, Huntsville, Alabama

Wes Kelley is the President and CEO of Huntsville Utilities. HU provides power to more than 180,000 electric, 93,000 water, and 51,000 natural gas customers in Huntsville and Madison County, Alabama. HU is currently building a city-wide fiber-optic infrastructure used by Google and others to provide high-speed telecommunication services to the community. Prior to coming to Huntsville a few months ago, Wes led Columbia Power & Water Systems and Pulaski Electric System, both in middle Tennessee. Wes is a member of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association’s Board of Directors and chairs the Regulatory Advisory Group. He is also serves on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Regional Energy Resource Council and the Customer Planning Council.

Prior to moving to the Tennessee Valley in 2005, he worked with the Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities in Michigan, and served as the city’s economic development director.  He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political economy from Hillsdale College.

SeonAh Kendall
Economic Health Manager, City of Fort Collins

SeonAh Kendall, CPA serves as the City of Fort Collins’ Economic Health Manager, where she focuses on business retention and expansion, talent development/recruitment and special projects to ensure a vibrant Fort Collins economy. SeonAh is the project manager for the City’s broadband strategic plan.

SeonAh has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in financial and tax accounting from Colorado State University.

SeonAh serves on several boards such as Front Range Community College Foundation, the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Sustainability Committee and the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC). She is also members of the Economic Development Research Partnership (EDRP), IEDC, EDCC and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

Max R. Kipfer
Executive Vice President and Regional Manager, Hotwire Communications

Max R. Kipfer, an American pioneer in the development of fiber-to-the-home broadband networks, manages Hotwire’s mid-Atlantic and southeast regions. Prior to Hotwire, Kipfer had a successful 25-plus year executive career in the cable television industry. He was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Benchmark Communications, Inc., a multiple system cable television and Internet service provider with more than 100,000 subscribers nationwide. After selling Benchmark, he established the full-service communications consulting firm Maxco LLC, with an emphasis on educating master plan developers on the benefits of FTTH networks.

Kipfer is a 1979 graduate of Valparaiso University. He and his wife, Bridget, reside near Raleigh, N.C.

Bob Knight
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Harrison Edwards Strategic, Inc.

Bob Knight is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Harrison Edwards Strategic Communications in Armonk, New York. Bob oversees the firm’s strategic planning and is heavily involved in the company's key sectors including broadband/small cell, economic development, government, healthcare, nonprofits, and utilities. Bob and his team work with communities, providers, and public-private entities to build awareness and demand to help move broadband and small cell projects forward.

Prior to joining Harrison Edwards in 2004, Bob worked for the nation’s largest radio broadcasting companies, successfully developing programming in major markets including Chicago and San Francisco. He served four terms as Chairman, Economic Development Commission, Town of Ridgefield, Connecticut, and in 2017, was named to the Regional Plan Association’s Connecticut Committee to help shape the Fourth Regional Plan for the New York Tri-State Area.

Bob lives in Connecticut with his wife and two school-aged children.

Mike Knotts
Vice President of Government Affairs, Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

Mike Knotts is the vice president of government affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, one of the largest trade associations representing rural and suburban Tennesseans. He is responsible for communicating with the Tennessee General Assembly, as well as Tennessee’s U. S. senators and representatives in Congress, to ensure the interests of electric cooperatives and Tennessee’s rural communities are understood and protected.

He began his career working in government affairs with the Tennessee Valley Authority, has operated his own consulting business where he managed political campaigns, and served as District Director on the staff of a United States Congressman. In 2008, Mike received a Presidential Appointment to serve at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, where he assisted in overseeing the back-office functions of one of the largest departments in the federal government.

Mike enjoys golf, politics, aviation, and coaching youth sports. He and his wife Jen live in Franklin with their four young sons and they are members of Christ Presbyterian Church, where Mike serves as a Deacon. He is graduate of Belmont University with a degree in Business Management, has completed the Robert I. Kabat Management Internship Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Business, and holds NRECA’s Director Gold certification.

Chitra Kumar
Director, Federal & State Division, Office of Sustainable Communities, US Environmental Protection Agency

Chitra Kumar is the Director of the Federal and State Division of US EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities, managing a team dedicated to locally led, community-driven processes to community revitalization. The Division coordinates with federal, state and local agencies and EPA program officials to develop environmental strategies for land use, building and community design, economic and community development, infrastructure, and transportation investments -- with a special emphasis on small towns and rural communities. Chitra has over 15 years of experience working on environmental policy and planning issues through a variety of regulatory and non-regulatory programs. In 2013-2014 Chitra served as the Deputy Associate Director for Water at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where she contributed to high-profile water-related federal policies, including implementation strategies for clean water, water infrastructure finance, green infrastructure, and freshwater climate change resilience. Chitra’s experience includes working on source water protection, hydraulic fracturing and drinking water, Urban Waters, Clean Air Act emissions trading programs, building the Community Action for a Renewed Environment grants program, and promoting integration of environmental justice in federal programs. Chitra holds a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University.

Gregory E. Kunkle
Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP

Gregory Kunkle practices in the area of telecommunications, with an emphasis on assisting corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission.

Mr. Kunkle regularly counsels clients regarding FCC wireless licensing and compliance issues. He assists clients in identifying and acquiring wireless spectrum through a variety of means, including spectrum leasing, purchase and sale of licenses, and the FCC's auction process. His spectrum acquisition practice spans all of the FCC’s wireless frequency allocations. Mr. Kunkle assists clients with complex compliance matters before the FCC including issues regarding USF and related issues and has aided a variety of clients, including carriers and end users, with telecommunications transactional matters.

Mr. Kunkle is the former President of the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) and a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association.

Debra Lam
Managing Director, Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation, Georgia Institute of Technology

Debra Lam is the Managing Director of Smart Cities and Inclusive innovation for Georgia Tech, a newly created role to drive smart cities and urban innovation work across the university and beyond. Prior to this, she served as Pittsburgh's first ever Chief of Innovation & Performance where she oversaw all technology, sustainability, performance and innovation functions of city government. She crafted the city's first strategic plan for innovation, Inclusive Innovation Roadmap. She has been a receipt of various awards, including one of the top 50 Women in Technology nationally. She has worked and lived in New York, the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and University of California, Berkeley.

Kevin Larson
CEO/General Manager, Consolidated Telephone Co. (CTC)

Kevin Larson has been the CEO/General Manager for Consolidated Telephone Co. (CTC) for the past 16 years. Kevin has over 35 years of combined experience within all aspects of the telecommunications industry. Over those years, Mr. Larson’s telecommunications experiences have been in the public, private, municipal and cooperative business environments.

Mr. Larson has served on numerous local, state and national committees and boards of directors within the industry. He currently serves as a Trustee of the NTCA Retirement and Savings Plan Trust Committee, Chairman of the Board for Pinnacle Marketing and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Rural Telephone Finance Corporation (RTFC).

Mr. Larson is well networked in the telecommunications industry and looks for out-of-the-box opportunities for the CTC cooperative to review in order to continue growth along with broadband deployments across Minnesota.

Greg Laudeman
Senior Consultant, Magellan Advisors

Greg Laudeman focuses as consultant, educator, entrepreneur, and researcher on how community and technology make us more capable. He is a Senior Consultant for Magellan Advisors, a leading broadband consultancy, and the founder of Eduity, a startup company building an online social platform for workforce planning and development. Greg has worked extensively in talent- and technology-based economic development across southeast and beyond, included over a decade at Georgia Tech. He is past president of the Rural Telecommunications Congress, and has professional experience in media and telecom. Greg has a doctorate from University of Tennessee Chattanooga, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree, and he has master’s degrees from Georgia Tech and Michigan State.

Tom Leblanc
Director, Business Development, CommScope

His current focus is on providing innovative connectivity solutions for Wireline networks that serve the Wireless networks of today and the Network Convergence and Densification that will be necessary to serve the 5G networks of the near future.

With 17 years of experience in the telecom industry, Tom has held a variety of Mechanical Engineering, Product Management, Sales, and Business Development positions and has worked with Service Providers around the world to design, engineer, and manage fiber optic networks.

Hilda Legg
Former Rural Utilities Service Administrator
Vice Chair, Broadband Communities Magazines

A prominent broadband advocate and champion, Legg served as the 15th administrator of the RUS. She administered a $6 billion loan and grant program for the infrastructure needs of rural America and has a unique overview of the needs of rural America as it evolves into a diverse economy.

A long-time advocate of holistic approaches to economic development in rural areas, Legg served seven years as executive director and CEO of the Center for Rural Development, considered a national model for economic development. In 1990, President George Bush appointed her alternate federal co-chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C., representing the region’s 21 million people and assisting in the management of a $190 million budget aimed at creating jobs, building infrastructure, and establishing education and workforce training and numerous research programs relative to rural economic development.

David Little
Vice President of Network Operations, NGN

In his role as NGN’s Vice President of Network Operations, David Little oversees the expansion, operation, and maintenance of NGN’s fiber optic network. He works to expand NGN’s footprint by strategically targeting growth opportunities within the municipal, investor and customer owned utility sector.

David has spent his entire career specializing in utility broadband. He began his career in 2003 with the City of Monroe, GA, working with outside plant construction, building and splicing Monroe’s fiber optic network and assisting in construction and maintenance of the electric distribution system.

In 2007, he began studying Cisco switching and routing and laid out a plan to convert Monroe’s passive, unmanaged fiber network to an active Carrier Metro-Ethernet network. By the end of 2009, David had installed a new Cisco network and converted all of Monroe’s optical customers to the new platform.

From 2010 to 2011, he continued to grow Monroe’s fiber business by launching Voice over IP (VoIP) on the Monroe network. He expanded Monroe’s network, adding a point-of-presence at the Telx Data Center at 56 Marietta Street in Atlanta, Georgia. He established Monroe as a registered network with an autonomous system number (ASN) and filed for Monroe’s first IP allocation from the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN).

In 2012, David was named Assistant Director of Electric & Telecommunications. He continued as Monroe’s principal network engineer and managed the daily operations of both departments. In addition, David assisted in preparing Monroe’s annual budget and worked closely with the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) to manage Monroe’s power cost and secure a long-term power supply for its citizens through the purchase of an interest in generating capacity from Plant Vogtle’s new nuclear units 3 & 4.

David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, and is a graduate of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Sammy Lowdermilk
Digital Equity Program Manager, The Enterprise Center

Sammy was born and raised in Prescott, Arkansas, but has spent most of his adult life in Tennessee.

Sammy is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Upon graduation, Sammy worked for U.S. Congressman Lincoln Davis as his district director, from 2003 until 2010. He moved into the Chattanooga-area in 2004.

In 2010, Congressman Lincoln Davis was defeated in the November election, whereupon Sammy utilized his network and skillset to begin freelance consulting. From 2010 until 2012, He worked with many municipalities, private businesses and organizations to assist with marketing and grant writing.

The business accelerator in Cookeville, Tennessee, offered Sammy a position to help with public relations and outreach in 2012. While working with the accelerator, Sammy created two of Tennessee’s premier youth coding programs, Tennessee Code Academy and 100 Girls of Code.

In 2015, Sammy was offered an opportunity to work for the Enterprise Center, specifically their Tech Goes Home Chattanooga program. He served as the Program Coordinator for the program, helping grow the program from around 20 sites to now over 80 location throughout Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Sammy now manages the Digital Equity department of The Enterprise Center. He was recently asked to assist with recruiting and assisting Chattanooga’s first coding bootcamp, Covalence. Sammy now oversees the Covalence project, Tech Goes Home Chattanooga, as well as a new East Lake Neighborhood Connectivity project.

Sammy recently helped found Chattanooga’s first hip-hop collective, Hip-Hop CHA. The organization aims to promote inclusion through hip-hop centric events throughout the city. From music production classes to concerts to DJ Battles, the local hip-hop community has embraced this new collective and movement with open arms. Hip-Hop CHA will host Chattanooga’s first hip-hop festival in November of 2017.

Sammy is also a board member of the Public Education Foundation and volunteers for various community projects throughout Chattanooga.


Joan Lynch
Chief Content and Programming Officer, WorkingNation

Joan Lynch, Chief Content and Programming Officer, is a highly decorated television and film executive whose extensive background in news, digital, and sports content gives her an extraordinarily unique approach to storytelling that consistently pays off. While serving as Vice President and Executive Producer of Content Development at ESPN Inc, Joan oversaw scripted, unscripted, documentaries, and branded content. Joan, a two-time Peabody Award winner, was named to the list of Most Powerful Women in Cable in 2011 after overseeing the multi-award winning 30 For 30 series.

Lynch is known for her dedication to reaching targeted demographics of all races, ages and genders across the globe, and on every media platform. Prior to ESPN, Joan spent 10 years at ABC News and Yahoo as a producer in both digital and television.

Casey Lide
Principal, Baller Stokes & Lide, PC

Lide represents 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. He has particular expertise assisting public- and private-sector clients on contract drafting and negotiation matters, having successfully executed dozens of fiber optic IRUs and leases, easements, franchises, attachment agreements, ISP service agreements, interconnection and collocation agreements, strategic memorandums of understanding and others. He regularly works with multi-disciplinary teams of legal, financial, engineering and other technical experts, assisting government entities and utilities in making comprehensive telecommunications and cable plans, developing state-of-the-art communications systems, and complying with state and federal communications requirements. He is a frequent author, speaker and instructor on these topics.

Bento Lobo, Ph.D., CFA
First Tennessee Bank Distinguished Professor of Finance, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Lobo teaches courses at the senior undergraduate, MBA and executive MBA levels. He has a Ph.D. in financial economics, master’s degrees in economics and in management studies, and a B.A. in economics. In 2010, he received his CFA charter. His research covers theoretical and applied issues in finance and economics, and his work on the economic impact of fiber optic infrastructure has garnered global attention and served to build the case for fiber deployment in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2009, he was a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In 2013, Lobo was inducted into the Council of Scholars, the university’s highest recognition for those who research, publish and have national and international reputations in their fields.

R. Wayne Livingston
President/CEO, Diverse Power Incorporated

Employment History
• President/CEO 1987 - Present Diverse Power Incorporated, LaGrange, Georgia
• GeneralManager 1979 – 1987 Ocmulgee EMC, Eastman,Georgia
• Office Manager 1976 – 1978 Flint EMC, Reynolds, Georgia
• Office Manager 1973 - 1976 Walton EMC,Monroe, Georgia
• Office Manager, Meter Reader, Serviceman 1971 – 1973 Middle Georgia EMC, Vienna,

Georgia Education
• 2000 -2001 Kennedy-Western University, Cheyenne,Wyoming • Doctor of Philosophy of Business Administration
• 1983 - 1984 Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, Georgia • Master of Business Administration • G.P.A. – 3.75
• 1971 - 1973 Georgia Southwestern State University, Americus, Georgia • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration • Major in Accounting
• 1969 - 1971 Middle Georgia College, Cochran, Georgia • Associate of Science in Business Administration

Job Related Activities
• Director – Georgia System Operations Corporation Director/Past Chairman – GRESCO Utility Supply Chairman – Georgia Right-of-Way Company
• Chairman of the GEMC Territorial Integrity Fund Past Director – Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange
• Past Secretary-Treasurer of Georgia EMC
• Past President of Southeastern Data Cooperative
• Past President of Georgia Council of Farmer Cooperatives
• Past Representative for Region II NRECA Insurance and Employee Welfare Committee
• Past President of GEMC Self-InsuredWorkmen’s Compensation Fund Past Member of the Georgia EMC Executive Committee Past Representative for Region II on NRECAWood Quality Control Committee.

Civic Activities
• Past Chairman ofWest Georgia Technical College, LaGrange
• *Past President of Rotary Club of LaGrange Past Lieutenant governor of Rotary District 6900
• Past Vice President of The Charter Foundation, Inc.
• Past Director of West Georgia Technical College Foundation, Inc.
• Past Director for LaGrange/Troup County Chamber of Commerce Active Member of First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange
*Received the Sheffield Award for outstanding leadership as President for the year 1996- 1997.

Kathleen McMahon
Founder, Applied Communications Consulting Firm

McMahon focuses on helping communities develop strategies for broadband and the 21st century economy. She has worked on a variety of broadband projects including the State of Montana Broadband Planning Project, the Bozeman, MT Fiber Feasibility Study, the Missoula, MT fiber project and broadband mapping projects in Montana and North Dakota. She is currently co-chair of the American Planning Association Smart City Task Force and past chair of the American Planning Association Technology Division. She has 30 years of city planning experience and speaks frequently on city planning and technology topics.

McMahon has a B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois and an M.A. in Educational Technology from George Washington University.

Christopher Mitchell
Director, Community Broadband Networks, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Mitchell is a leading national expert on community networks and internet access. At ILSR, he serves as policy director for Next Century Cities, a national collaboration of mayors and CIOs seeking universal access to fast, affordable, reliable internet connections. His research and reports are available online at He is also a senior adviser to the Coalition for Local Internet Choice. In 2015, the White House used his research as building blocks in a National Economic Council report encouraging community networks. On a day-to-day basis, he runs, a comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about community broadband. Mitchell earned a master’s in public policy from the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s in political science from Macalester College.

Nishal Mohan, Ph.D
National Community Leader, US Ignite

Nishal is the National Community Leader for US Ignite and responsible for implementation of the Smart Gigabit Communities initiative. Nishal joined US Ignite after serving as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of the Assistant Director, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). He was responsible for developing and driving national initiatives in Big Data and data science, smart and connected health, smart cities and next generation internet and applications through the NSF US Ignite program.

Dr. Mohan previously served as the Director of biology policy for the Federation of American Scientists and Acting Director of Scientists and Engineers for America Action Fund. Nishal also founded and served on the board of directors as the Executive Director of the international multi-organizational Virtual Biosecurity Center. In addition Nishal founded Pandemic Academic, for emerging technology solutions to global infectious diseases. Nishal received his B.S. in biology at CUNY Hunter College and his Ph.D. in molecular biology at Princeton University.

Ben Moncrief
Vice President, Government Relations, C Spire

Ben Moncrief is Vice President, Government Relations for C Spire - a diversified telecommunications and technology services company providing comprehensive wireless communications, high-speed Internet and a range of other telecommunications products and services to consumers and businesses. In this capacity, Ben oversees C Spire’s interaction with policy-makers, regulators, consumer advocates, other industry players and the media in the telecom policy space. Ben is also involved in evaluating and executing broadband expansion opportunities for C Spire. Most recently, he led C Spire’s successful opposition to AT&T’s attempted takeover of T-Mobile, was a principle negotiator in discussions leading to the FCC’s 700 MHz Interoperability Order, and helped lead a business coalition that successfully persuaded the Mississippi legislature to repeal that state’s franchise tax.

Before joining C Spire, Ben served in several capacities on Capitol Hill, including General Counsel to U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL), legal counsel to U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) and as chief counsel to the Senate Aging Committee (minority staff). Before his time on the Hill, Ben was in private legal practice with the Birmingham, Alabama, based law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, where he litigated matters in the U.S., U.K, and Germany relating to securities, financial services, and large scale design-build projects. In 2007, Ben was named one of Birmingham's top 40 professionals under the age of 40 by the Birmingham Business Journal.

A native of Mississippi, Ben received his B.A. in Political Science from Birmingham-Southern College in 1999 and his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 2003. Between college and law school, he received an Masters Degree in international security studies from the University of St Andrews (UK), where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

Alyson Moore
North American Market Manager, Corning Optical Communications

Alyson Moore manages the North American market for Corning Optical Communications. With 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry, Alyson’s expertise spans a variety of network types including those operated by enterprise and carrier customers.

In her current role, Alyson focuses on the community broadband space, specifically on solutions to increase the performance, lower the costs, and improve the installations of access networks. She holds a bachelor’s in marketing and an MBA from Virginia Tech, and she is a committed fan of Hokies football.

Kevin Morgan
Chief Marketing Officer, Clearfield

Kevin leads the marketing efforts for Clearfield, Inc., the specialist in fiber management, optical pathway and connectivity platforms. He has vast experience in communications technology, fiber optic systems, and business product marketing. He began his career at BellSouth (now AT&T) leading product evaluations of broadband technologies. Later, at ADTRAN he led product management and marketing. He is well known in the industry for his roles at the Fiber Broadband Association (f.k.a. FTTH Council). Morgan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering (Auburn) and an MBA (Alabama). Kevin can be reached at and on twitter @kevinmorgan520.

Marilyn Morton
Office Administrator, MINET

Marilyn has been a resident of Independence, Oregon, for over 25 years, and has served on the Independence City Council since 2001.

After begin rebuffed by incumbent providers, in 2006 Independence and sister city Monmouth built their own high-speed fiber network. Marilyn watched the emergence of MINET, Monmouth-Independence Network, from her position on Council. In 2012, she joined the MINET staff.

She brought with her to MINET a wide array of community and local political connections which have been beneficial to MINET.

She also brought experience in running a business academy, being manager of the local Chamber of Commerce, and owning a small business for a number of years. At MINET she has brought that experience to bear as Office Administrator, a position which, she says, is often wholly comprised of “other duties as assigned.”

Marilyn is looking forward to MINET’s expansion, a natural outgrowth of the company’s excess capacity and the long-unfulfilled need for high-speed services in rural areas of Oregon.

Marilyn enjoys working at MINET, continues her high level of community and area involvement, and values the opportunity to serve on City Council.

Jeremy Nelms, P.E.
Director of Economic Development, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC)

Jeremy Nelms, P.E. serves as the General Manager for Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC), where he has had the privilege of being a team member since August of 2016. Prior to his arrival at BRMEMC, Jeremy served as the Director of Engineering and Operations at Talquin Electric Cooperative in Quincy, FL. In his role as General Manager at BRMEMC, Jeremy is the executive leader providing technical and operational expertise and guidance in all aspects of Cooperative management, process development, and strategic planning. His overall responsibility includes the supervision of 188 employees and an annual budget in excess of $85 Million, operating a 6,000-mile electric distribution system and 1,100-mile fiber network that covers portions of five counties over Georgia and North Carolina.

Additional professional credits include that of principal author and technical specialist for application development and award of the much sought after Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment funding, then awarded to only one hundred electric utilities across the nation.

Academically, Jeremy possesses both a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Wireless Engineering from Auburn University, as well as a MBA from Florida State University. A licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in both Georgia and Florida, Jeremy is also a certified Professional Distribution Engineer by the Tennessee Valley Public Power Authority.

Jeremy resides in Blairsville, Georgia with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children, Bradlee and Mara.

Don M. Patten
General Manager, MINET

With more than 25 years of experience in the technology and telecommunications industry, Don Patten joined Monmouth – Independence Networks, MINET, as General Manger in late 2013.

Don brought to MINET a history of overseeing the implementation of a wide range of video, broadband data and telephone services. His focus on building Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) networks and expanding the available applications that run on them continues quite successfully at MINET. Don is adept at exploring and securing new collaborative alliances that benefit from the deftness of MINET’s high speed fiber network.

He has functioned at many levels in the fiber environment, including executive and market director positions, consulting roles, and oversight of the spectrum of business levels from regulatory approval, design, build, and implementation to sales, marketing, customer service, financial and daily operation. Don’s experience developing a private exchange/data network for a five-state healthcare system facilitated the establishment of Oregon’s first teledentistry site at the joint Monmouth and Independence school district’s new student health center.

Currently Don and MINET are engaged in expanding the original footprint of MINET, reaching out to unserved, underserved, or overlooked rural areas of Oregon.

Don was born, raised, educated and developed much of his business acumen in South Dakota. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and has done graduate studies in marketing.

Married, Don and his wife Nancy are the parents of two sons located in South Dakota and Texas and a daughter living in Oregon.

Brian Rathbone
Broadband Planner, Broadband Catalysts

Rathbone spent most of his 25-year technology career in the private sector consulting for mid-sized companies, manufacturers, dot coms, and NASCAR teams. In 2010, he joined the nonprofit e-NC Authority as technical assistance director for 31 counties in western North Carolina. He continued this work in the North Carolina Department of Commerce Broadband Division and was a driving force behind the development of the North Carolina open-source broadband map and created the original prototype.

When the opportunity to contribute to a Broadband Planning Primer and Toolkit for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) came along, Rathbone couldn’t resist. A new company, Broadband Catalysts, grew out of this effort and now participates in the Cool and Connected program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service, EPA Office of Sustainable Communities, and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Gary Resnick
Mayor, Wilton Manors, FL

Gary Resnick is a shareholder in the law firm of GrayRobinson, PA (, based in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, FL office. Mr. Resnick chairs the firm’s Broadband Cable & Communications Practice, and represents municipalities, counties, private cable and communications providers, associations, and property owners in all aspects of communications and broadband law, including local codes and land use regulations, contract drafting and negotiation, local, state and federal regulatory issues, competition, and state and federal litigation. In 2006, Mr. Resnick was first appointed by the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to serve on the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC), where he served for 4 terms, including from 2014-2016, during which Mr. Resnick served as Chair of the IAC. In that position, Mr. Resnick worked with FCC Commissioners, senior FCC staff and state, local and tribal officials from around the country on a wide-variety of communications issues.

Mr. Resnick further represents local governments with respect to issues involving deployment of broadband infrastructure on public property and in the rights of way. Mr. Resnick is frequently requested to speak on broadband and communications issues. Most recently, on May 3, 2017, Mr. Resnick testified in the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, in a hearing titled “Investing in America’s Broadband Infrastructure: Exploring Ways to Reduce Barriers to Deployment.” In addition, Mr. Resnick represented local governments with respect to the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act (HB 687/SB 596) as well as various FCC Notices of Proposed Rulemakings addressing broadband infrastructure and local regulation.

In addition to his position as an attorney, Mr. Resnick is the Mayor of Wilton Manors, FL, having been first elected to City Commission in 1998, and Mayor in 2008. Mr. Resnick serves currently as Vice Chair of the National League of Cities Information Technology and Communications Policy and Advocacy Committee and on NLC’s Legal Advisory Committee. Mr. Resnick served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), and was one of the founders of FLATOA, the FL Chapter. Gary has been very active with the Florida League of Cities, serving on its Executive Committee and its Board of Directors since 2003, as well as the Florida League of Mayors Board of Directors. Mayor Resnick chaired the Florida League’s Technology Leadership Committee, which published “The Future Is Closer Than You Think: Cities Take On Technology.” Mr. Resnick also served on Florida’s Communications Services Tax Working Group. In addition, Mayor Resnick served as President of the Broward County League of Cities and continues to serve as Treasurer of its Board of Directors.

Jeff Reiman
Principal, The Broadband Group

Jeff brings a comprehensive understanding of technology, capital market structure, and entrepreneurial leadership to assist clients in building successful and enduring projects within a corporate or governmental structure. Having lead the ARRA Federal Broadband Stimulus division of TBG, Mr. Reiman was responsible for the analysis, management, political advocacy, and filing representation of Federal Grant opportunities. Mr. Reiman represented Broadband Service Providers, Cable Operators, Native American Tribes, and Non-Profit Organizations with the drafting and submission of nearly $90 million in Federal Broadband Stimulus Funding. All grants submitted under TBG’s guidance were successfully funded.

Prior to joining the Broadband Group, Mr. Reiman worked in the Boston office of Credit Suisse on the Equities Sales and Trading Floor working with Institutional Investment Firms based in Canada. Additionally, he has served on the International Sales & Marketing Team of Wave7 Optics, a FTTX Optical Broadband Access Systems Manufacturer, managing the Mexico, Canada, and Caribbean sales regions.

Mr. Reiman began his career at the DC headquarters of a Presidential Campaign, and is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Government.

Michael Render
President and Lead FTTH Researcher, RVA LLC

Render has conducted research on the FTTH industry in North America from its inception to the present day, documenting both the progress of fiber-to-the-home deployment and its impact on consumers’ lives. The Fiber Broadband Association, Broadband Communities and many others have relied on his research.

Render has published several articles on issues related to innovation in the practice of both consumer and business-to-business oriented market research. He has consulted with a wide range of firms ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to promising startups and served on the boards of nonprofit organizations and high technology corporations. In 2005, he received a special Broadband Communities Cornerstone Award for his contributions to FTTH research.

Will Rhinehart
Director of Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum

Will Rinehart comes to the Forum from TechFreedom, where he was a research fellow. He previously directed operations at the International Center for Law & Economics. In 2009, he was a Koch Summer Fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, concentrating on advertising policy and internet governance. In 2008, he was a research associate at the Illinois Policy Institute, where he studied state-level budget, energy and tax issues. He also worked for the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement as the research assistant in technology and civic engagement.

Catharine Rice
Project Director, Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC)
Consultant, Broadband-Matters

For more than a decade, Catharine has been a broadband consultant serving North Carolina communities in planning and deploying local broadband systems and closing the digital divide, focusing particularly on those communities in the Research Triangle area and surrounding rural counties. Highlights of her work include assisting Pinetops in its 2017 legislative effort to keep gigabit service (H396) and contributing to the development, implementation and now current promotion of North Carolina’s first community-owned, fiber-to-the-home Gigabit network in Wilson, North Carolina, working with the Town of Chapel Hill on piloting a free Wifi network to serve underprivileged public housing students with no internet access at home, assisting Carrboro in its role as a participant in the Triangle’s NCNGN project and assisting in various broadband feasibility studies. Ms Rice is known for organizing the NC Fiber lunches, and co-founding both CLIC-NC and NC Hearts Gigabit (@NCHeartsGb). She spearheaded a North Carolina grassroots effort, and lobbied against H129 to defend local community authority to offer broadband services between 2007 and 2011. She is currently the Project Director for the Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC), President for the Virginia Chapter of NATOA, and a Council delegate and Vice Chair of the City of Alexandria, Virginia’s IT Commission. She holds a Masters’ Degree from the Annenberg School of Communications and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Tonya Rideout
Deputy Director/CFO, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA)

Tonya Rideout is the Deputy Director and CFO of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), the premiere association providing support to local governments nationwide on local, state and federal communications laws and technology issues impacting local government interests. She has nearly 20 years of nonprofit trade and membership association experience focusing on association growth, marketing and strategic direction.

Previously, Tonya was the Executive Director of the Virginia Wineries Association where she worked on state and local regulatory issues and advocated on behalf of Virginia wineries for distribution, production and education on state and national levels. She was also the Executive Director of the Solar Smart Roof Alliance, promoting policies and initiatives surrounding the use of sustainable and reflective roofing systems. She is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and an avid Penn State fan.

Steven S. Ross
Co-Founder, Crowdfiber

Greg​ ​Richardson​ ​is​ ​a​ ​co-founder​ ​at​ ​CrowdFiber,​ ​the​ ​leading​ ​geomarketing​ ​platform​ ​for the​ ​telecom​ ​industry.​ ​CrowdFiber​ ​helps​ ​internet​ ​service​ ​providers​ ​acquire,​ ​engage​ ​and retain​ ​customers​ ​through​ ​innovative​ ​geographic​ ​marketing​ ​techniques,​ ​crowdsourcing, and​ ​the​ ​automation​ ​of​ ​sales​ ​workflows.

Prior​ ​to​ ​co-founding​ ​CrowdFiber,​ ​Greg​ ​was​ ​the​ ​founder​ ​and​ ​Managing​ ​Partner​ ​for Civitium​ ​where​ ​he​ ​served​ ​as​ ​adviser​ ​to​ ​Philadelphia,​ ​San​ ​Francisco,​ ​Chicago​ ​and​ ​other U.S.​ ​and​ ​international​ ​cities​ ​on​ ​matters​ ​related​ ​to​ ​community​ ​broadband​ ​strategy, policy,​ ​technology​ ​and​ ​communications​ ​planning.​ ​He​ ​has​ ​also​ ​led​ ​the​ ​planning​ ​and engineering​ ​efforts​ ​for​ ​the​ ​North​ ​Georgia​ ​Network​ ​(NGN)​ ​and​ ​Appalachian​ ​Valley​ ​Fiber Network​ ​(AVFN)​ ​projects​ ​--​ ​responsible​ ​for​ ​constructing​ ​more​ ​than​ ​1,000​ ​miles​ ​of​ ​fiber infrastructure​ ​in​ ​his​ ​home​ ​state​ ​of​ ​Georgia.

In​ ​2011,​ ​Greg​ ​started​ ​7hills​ ​Makerspace,​ ​which​ ​was​ ​recognized​ ​in​ ​2013​ ​as​ ​“the​ ​most beautiful​ ​makerspace​ ​in​ ​the​ ​world”​ ​by​ ​the​ ​former​ ​editor​ ​of​ ​Wired​ ​Magazine.​ ​He​ ​also co-founded​ ​Markervillage,​ ​a​ ​startup​ ​and​ ​cowork​ ​community​ ​that​ ​serves​ ​as​ ​the​ ​creative hub​ ​of​ ​northwest​ ​Georgia.

Prior​ ​to​ ​founding​ ​Civitium,​ ​Greg​ ​help​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​executive​ ​positions​ ​at​ ​Siemens, Wireless​ ​Knowledge​ ​(a​ ​joint​ ​venture​ ​between​ ​Microsoft​ ​and​ ​QUALCOMM),​ ​and​ ​Inacom Corporation.

Greg​ ​is​ ​a​ ​leading​ ​authority​ ​on​ ​how​ ​broadband​ ​and​ ​other​ ​leading​ ​technologies​ ​can​ ​be used​ ​to​ ​foster​ ​innovation​ ​and​ ​strengthen​ ​economic​ ​development.​ ​He​ ​is​ ​a​ ​regular speaker​ ​at​ ​international​ ​industry​ ​conferences,​ ​having​ ​spoken​ ​and​ ​led​ ​workshops​ ​on​ ​5 continents​ ​and​ ​more​ ​than​ ​a​ ​dozen​ ​countries.

Steven S. Ross
Editor-at-Large, Broadband Communities Magazine

Ross is a long-time technology writer, a former full-time professor at Columbia University and the founding editor of Broadband Communities Magazine, a national publication and the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for ultra-connected communities. He is a highly respected journalist and an expert on broadband technologies. He has domestic and international expertise in architecture, land-use planning, business and education and helped establish the New Jersey Environmental Education Fund in 1983.

A fellow of the American Institute of Chemists, Ross holds a B.S. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.S. in journalism from Columbia. He has authored or edited 19 books and has won numerous technical, professional and journalism awards. He has taught statistics in academic and industrial settings and has lectured and consulted in 84 countries.

Hon. Matt Schmit
Senator, State of Minnesota

Senator Matt Schmit (DFL-Red Wing) represents District 21 in the Minnesota Senate, which includes portions of Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona, and Dodge counties. Elected in 2012, Schmit serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, which oversees telecommunications issues. He also sits on the Capital Investment and Energy and Environment policy committees, as well as the Natural Resources, Economic Development, and Agriculture finance division. In addition, he holds the gavel for the Senate Fish and Wildlife Subcommittee.

Outside his official legislative duties, Schmit runs a small consulting firm, P3 Strategies, and is a member of the National Transportation Research Board. He is also active with the National Conference of State Legislatures, serving on the Nuclear Energy Legislative work group.

A lifelong resident of Red Wing, Schmit's academic background includes undergraduate studies in biology and political science at St. John's University and graduate studies in economics and public policy at the University of Minnesota.

Jasper Schneider
Vice President, NISC

Jasper Schneider is a Vice President at National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) . Schneider brings expertise in technology, law and rural issues to NISC. For six years, Schneider ran a federal agency at both a state and national level, leading USDA’s Rural Utility Service as State Director in North Dakota, and acting Administrator in Washington, DC. Schneider is also a former lawmaker, serving in the North Dakota Legislature. Prior to Schneider’s public service career, Schneider had a law practice and also started a successful technology company covering the computer hardware industry. Schneider also worked at Cisco Systems, prior to obtaining his law degree from Hamline University School of Law, in St. Paul, MN. Schneider and his wife have four children, and make their home in North Dakota.

Lori Sherwood, JD
Director of Broadband Development, Vantage Point Solutions

Lori Sherwood has actively worked in broadband and telecommunications in the municipal space for over 15 years. Lori’s prior work experience includes serving as Of Counsel with the Denver law firm of Kissinger & Fellman, P.C, where she specialized in local governments, information technology, telecommunications, community broadband networks, legislation, lobbying and federal affairs. Prior to that, Lori worked for Howard County, Maryland – first as the Cable Administrator and then as the Broadband Program Director for the nationally recognized One Maryland Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN) initiative ($100 million dollar broadband stimulus initiative). Lori is a nationally recognized leader in telecommunications and broadband policy and she is a current member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) – an association representing local government interests in telecommunications. Lori holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from The American University, and a Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, from University of Baltimore School of Law. She is Admitted to the Maryland Bar.

Grace Simrall
Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology, Louisville Metro Government, Louisville, KY

Grace Simrall was named Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology for Louisville Metro Government in August 2016. Prior to this role, Simrall served as Executive Director of Innovation at Care Innovations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, where she was responsible for the company’s innovation and analytics initiatives. In 2010, she founded iGlass Analytics, a startup focused on delivering data management and analytics solutions in the healthcare technology space. In that role, she worked with payers, providers, and accountable care organizations (ACOs) to apply enterprise data management design principles and cutting edge analytical tools to their specific challenges.

Simrall earned a bachelor’s degree in the geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering.

Brittany Smith
Marketing Director, Unified Communications Center Supervisor, Greenlight Community Broadband, City of Wilson

The role of the Unified Communications Center Supervisor is to provide leadership for both Greenlight Community Broadband Technical Support and Wilson Utilities dispatch staff. In addition, the UCC Supervisor serves as technical support for Greenlight and an emergency call-taker for Wilson Energy.

Brittany has been with the City of Wilson since 2007. She worked as a Customer Service Representative for Wilson Utilities until joining Greenlight during their launch in 2008. After serving approximately 6 years in Greenlight Customer Service, she stepped into her current role as supervisor for the UCC.

Frank Smith
President and CEO, Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority

Frank Smith is the President and CEO of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority. He has worked in telecommunications for nearly 30 years in both the commercial and government sectors including several years supporting the development of DoD related networks. Frank is a graduate of Washington & Lee University with a degree in Public Policy. He has served on the boards of the Transportation and Science museums. He is an Eagle Scout and serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 221 in Cave Spring and also serves as an Elder of Christ the King Presbyterian Church. Frank lives in the City of Roanoke with his wife and his two teenage sons.

John Robert Smith
Senior Policy Advisor, Smart Growth America

John Robert Smith is chair of Transportation for America and policy advisor for Smart Growth America. He served for 16 years as mayor of Meridian, MS, whose Union Station, his signature project, is recognized as one of the best multi-modal transportation centers in the country. Having served as a mayor of a city with a wealth of late 19th century buildings, he worked with developers to restore those buildings, and is a strong advocate for historic preservation, believing that each community must respect its past and play to its strengths in order to develop and maintain a strong community identity. He helped define Meridian’s role as a cultural center with the restoration of the Grand Opera House of Mississippi, the creation of the Riley Education and Performing Arts Center, and the selection of Meridian as the site for the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center. Additionally, he secured $17 million in HUD HOPE VI funding to develop low- and middle-income housing.

Deb Socia
Executive Director, Next Century Cities

Deb Socia is the Executive Director of Next Century Cities, a nonprofit that strives to support community leaders across the country as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet. More than 150 cities strong, Next Century Cities is committed to celebrating city successes, demonstrating the value of truly high speed broadband, and elevating the importance of next generation broadband as essential infrastructure.

Prior to her current role, Deb was the Executive Director of the Tech Goes Home program whose mission is to ensure digital equity. Tech Goes Home provides training, hardware, and low cost Internet access to Boston residents and supported nearly 14,000 participants during Deb’s tenure.

Previously, Deb spent 32 years as an educator and administrator. She was the founding principal of the award winning Lilla G. Frederick Middle School, a Boston Public School where she led the one-to-one laptop initiative.

Joe Starks
Founder and President, ECC Technologies Inc.

Joe is founder and President of ECC Technologies Inc. Additionally, Joe is a founder and partner of several successful for profit and not-for-profit technology companies. Joe specializes in the development of Broadband based partnerships between diverse entities. These partnerships include governments, educational entities, energy companies, healthcare entities and businesses both public and private amounting to greater than $7 billion dollars of investments globally.

Joe is considered a leader in the development of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for the purpose of technology-led economic development and driving broadband deployment. Joe is a pioneer in the development of Municipal based Open Access Models, community led broadband initiatives, and community-wide fiber and wireless infrastructure development. His work in rural Open Access Fiber Models have been considered an ideal model for rural communities by the Federal Communications Commission and have received national and international attention.

Ashley Stelfox
Associate, Baller Stokes & Lide, PC

Stelfox works closely with Jim Baller and other partners on community broadband matters, in particular the Coalition for Local Internet Choice. She is co-author of Economic Development: The Killer App for Local Fiber Networks (Broadband Communities Magazine, Nov.–Dec. 2016). Before joining Baller Stokes & Lide, Stelfox was a legal fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She is a 2013 graduate of the American University Washington College of Law and is admitted to the bar in Maryland.

Sean Stokes
Principal, Baller Stokes & Lide, PC

Stokes’ clients include the American Public Power Association, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, regional and state utility associations and municipal leagues, and public and private entities in more than 35 states, including most publicly owned fiber-to-the-home networks in the country. He was part of the legal team representing Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina, in their petitions to the FCC to preempt state barriers to broadband.

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; 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.

Ken Sunseri
Mayor, Haleyville, Alabama

Ken Sunseri, current Mayor of Haleyville, was elected in November of 2008 and is currently serving his third term. He is married to Kay Whitt Sunseri. They are parents of David Sunseri, Beth Moore, and Jennifer Sunseri. They have five grandchildren. He served as an Infantry Platoon Leader with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam and retired from military service as a Colonel.

He served as the Local Coordinator for Haleyville through the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program, where he was named 2005 Outstanding ACE Volunteer. He was the 2004 Civitan Citizen of the Year recipient and received the 2011 Haleyville High School Alumni Service and Dedication Award. He has held numerous Board positions and currently serves as the Chairman of the Haleyville Water and Sewer Board. He has received many awards, most recently the Alabama Community of Excellence 2015 Outstanding Mayor award. Sunseri has served Haleyville through many widespread agencies including President and Deputy District Governor of the Haleyville Lions Club, President of the Haleyville Chamber of Commerce, President of the Haleyville Merchants Association, Member, Haleyville Library Board, Member, Haleyville Housing Authority, Member, Haleyville Industrial Recruiting Committee, Member, Individual and Family Support Board, Board Chairman 310 Board, Winston/Marion Counties.

Larry D. Thompson
Chief Executive Officer, Vantage Point Solutions

Larry is currently the CEO of Vantage Point Solutions, a national provider of engineering and consulting services to the telecommunications industry. Larry is a licensed professional engineer and has been designing satellite, wireless, and wireline broadband networks for more than 30 years. Larry received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from William Jewell College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas. Prior to founding Vantage Point Solutions in 2002, Larry held several engineering and management positions with TRW’s Space and Defense Sector, CyberLink Corporation, and Martin Group. Over the years he has helped his clients successfully manage many technical, regulatory, and financial challenges when deploying wireless and wireline networks.

Larry is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences and a frequent expert witness at utility commission and legal proceedings relating to telecommunication technology and regulatory matters. He is also a member of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee.

Nicol Turner-Lee, Ph.D.
Fellow, Governance Studies,
Center for Technology Innovation Brookings Institution

Turner-Lee comes to Brookings from the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries. At Brookings, she researches public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the United States. Prior to joining MMTC, Turner-Lee was vice president and the first director of the Media and Technology Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the nation’s leading think tank on issues related to African Americans and other people of color.

Turner-Lee graduated from Colgate University magna cum laude and has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. She also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Steve Vail
Board Director, NineStar Connect

Steve received his B.S. degree from Purdue University and his Master’s degree from Ball State University. Steve currently serves as a director on the Board of NineStar Connect where he has been a board member since 1999. NineStar Connect is an innovative, community-minded, communications, energy, water and sewer cooperative. NineStar Connect is providing infrastructure that empowers thoughtful development in their member communities and improves quality of place in Central Indiana. Steve also serves on the boards of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation and the Indiana Electric Cooperatives. Besides being a managing partner of his family farm, Steve also provides business consulting services through his company The ETL Group.

Archana Vemulapalli
Chief of Technology, Office for the District of Columbia

Washington DC’s Chief Technology Officer, Archana Vemulapalli oversees the district’s central technology agency comprising of over 670 staff delivering services to 33,000 employees and district residents. This includes a state-of-the-art municipal broadband network with a 100-gig core, connecting 650 government buildings, serving government customers, the non-profit community and delivering free wi-fi in the city.

She has established DC as a global leader in Smart City innovation, worked to improve efficiency and productivity of the District 40,000+ workforce, and champions progressive programs to ensure all residents have equitable access to city services. She co-chairs the Council of Global City CIOs.

Archana was the recipient of the Washingtonian Tech Titan Award (2017), StateScoop’s Golden Executive of the Year Award (2017), StateScoop’s Top Women in Tech Award (2017), DC Top 50 Women in Tech Award (2017), StateScoop’s 50 Up and Comer Award (2016) and Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business (2015) award.

Ms. Vemulapalli has a master’s degree in Leadership from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in Telecommunications & Network Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Christa Wagner Vinson
Principal, Wagner Vinson Consulting

Economic developer Christa Wagner Vinson brings nearly fifteen years of experience helping regional and national nonprofits and state and local governments create innovative, community-led solutions that drive sustainable growth, most recently through her consultancy and as co-founder of NC Hearts Gigabit, a digital platform that supports the universal availability of affordable, reliable, high-capacity Internet to create thriving local communities.

Previously, she helped launch and accelerate the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, a multi-sector initiative that catalyzed global recognition for the Research Triangle region of North Carolina’s emerging clean technology sector, and was an analyst for the North Carolina Department of Commerce and SJF Institute, a positive-impact business accelerator in Durham, N.C.

Wagner Vinson holds degrees from Davidson College and UNC Chapel Hill.

Michael Voll
CEO, Frog Broadband

Michael is an innovator in the connected infrastructure space. As CEO of Frog, a boutique fiber optic gigabit+ internet provider, he provides large scale master planned communities, developments, and municipalities with Information Communication Technology (ICT) advisory services, infrastructure design, engineering, construction and management.

Previously, Michael was founder and vice president of Dais Technologies, a Tavistock Group Company, where he was responsible for all aspects of technology and telecommunications for the 7,000-acre Lake Nona Community in Florida. Lake Nona was recognized as the first Cisco S+CC Iconic Community in the US, and one of only nine globally. Other innovations included the world’s first multi-carrier neutral host community wide distributed antenna system (DAS).

William Wallace
Executive Director, US Ignite

William Wallace has more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, most recently as cofounder of DigitalBridge Communications, a startup dedicated to bringing 4G broadband wireless services to underserved portions of the United States. Prior to DBC, Wallace was co-founder and CEO of OnePoint Communications, which was purchased by Verizon Communications in 2000. Previously, he served as head of the telecommunications practice and chief operating ofcer for Gemini Consulting, where he led teams that developed strategies and improved operations for many of the world’s largest carriers. Wallace received an A.B. degree in government and economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Deborah Watts
Partner, Broadband Catalyst

Deborah Watts’ career focus is on using technology and research to spur economic and community development. Watts spent 15 years as senior partner at Technology Development Group where she was instrumental in designing, managing and evaluating technology-based economic development initiatives that spanned sectors, geographies and technologies. Areas of expertise include business incubation, technology entrepreneurialism, technology transfer/ adoption and program evaluation at local, state, national and international levels. Watts and Jane Smith Patterson authored Vision 2030, a strategic plan for region-focused, innovation-led development in NC (2000). In 2001 Watts joined the newly-established Rural Internet Access Authority and then its successors, the e-NC Authority and the NC Broadband Office, where she served as senior director of research and development. In this role Watts was responsible for designing, funding and evaluating national best practice models for increasing broadband Internet access and utilization, including business and technology development centers, transactional e-government utilization, grassroots connectivity strategic planning initiatives and strategic broadband policy planning for North Carolina. Over the past decade Watts has been especially interested in exploring through research, experimental pilot programs and comprehensive and inclusive planning efforts ways to best extend the benefits of broadband to the community through technology adoption efforts targeting underserved and vulnerable populations – rural, elderly, disabled, and economically disadvantaged. Watts has undergraduate and graduate degrees in molecular biology from NC State University and Emory University respectively, and at the University of NC at Chapel Hill has completed an MBA degree and all coursework toward Ph.D. in Operations Management with a focus on Innovation and technology. Watts has completed additional studies at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a certified NC REAL Entrepreneurship and RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship trainer.

Monica Webb
Government Relations, Ting Internet/Tucows

Webb spent her early career working in the financial services industry in Toronto, in marketing and management, where she launched channel marketing platforms that continue to dominate channel strategy in the mutual fund industry today. After moving to the Berkshires in 2002, she operated a marketing consulting agency and joined a handful of tech-savvy western Massachusetts residents in spearheading efforts to create a regional municipal fiber-to-the-premises network in towns unserved by broadband. The result was WiredWest, incorporated in 2011 under a Massachusetts statute that enables municipalities to individually or jointly finance, build and operate telecommunications networks.

At Ting, Webb works with local stakeholders in existing Ting towns and evaluates existing and prospective gigabit network locations and related business projects.

Joseph S. (Jody) Wigington P.E.
General Manager,CEO, Morristown Utility Systems Morristown, TN

Mr. Wigington is a registered Professional Engineer with 39 years’ experience in the utility and manufacturing sector.  After jobs with TVA and the BASF Corporation, he has worked for the Morristown Utility Systems since 1995 serving as General Manager since 2007.  As CEO, he is responsible for managing utility operations to provide power, water, wastewater and telecommunications services for the City of Morristown.  Mr. Wigington helped guide Morristown’s entry into telecommunications in 2006 as a Fiber to the Home community to improve broadband services, lower rates, and enhance economic development.  Most recently he has lead MUS in partnering ventures with other utilities to push FTTH technology into rural areas. Fiber infrastructure was key in developing advanced metering for Smart grid technologies utilizing the fiber network to achieve operational efficiencies and peak load reduction.

John Windhausen
Executive Director, Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition

In addition to the SHLB Coalition, a diverse coalition of community anchor institutions, broadband companies (forprofit and nonprofit), foundations (such as the Gates Foundation) and public interest groups, Windhausen represents a variety of nonprofit and commercial organizations through his consulting firm, Telepoly Consulting. 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 a staff attorney at the FCC. Windhausen graduated from Yale University and the UCLA School of Law.

Robert Worden
Head of Smart Cities and IoT, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.

Robert Worden leads Fujitsu’s Smart Cities/Internet of Things (IoT) efforts in North America. Bringing 25 years of telecom leadership to this role, Robert’s charter is to digitally transform the operations of municipalities, state and local governments, utility and transportation operations in the US and Canada. Prior to this role, Robert led Fujitsu’s participation in building and operating the first P3 broadband network in the United States: Kentuckywired.

Holding undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Calgary and the University of Leeds, Robert rose quickly through the ranks in his early career to lead global consulting and research operations with Frost & Sullivan during the Silicon Valley boom. There he led consultants worldwide, charting strategies for companies seeking niches in the memory and integrated circuits markets. During the bulk of Robert’s telecom career, he led product, marketing, sales, and finance teams for both LEC and CLEC companies across the western United States. More recently, Robert returned to technology consulting at Frost & Sullivan, providing the C-suite with keen insights on Smart Connectivity, the Internet of Things, and Big Data, producing over 30 published papers on these subjects.

Robert has served on various CalCom committees and two California community college foundation boards. A thought leader in the digital and telecom space, Robert has been an invited speaker to the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC), Next Century Cities, National Telephone Cooperative Association (NTCA), United States Telecom Association (USTelecom), Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA) and IBM Data Analytics events.

Erin L. Wynia
Legislative Counsel, NC League of Municipalities

Erin serves as the Legislative Counsel for the NC League of Municipalities and advocates on a multitude of municipal issues for League members. In this capacity, she represents the League members’ interests throughout the legislative process and in negotiations with legislators, legislative staff, and interest groups. While she has gained experience with numerous municipal issues, she has developed knowledge in development-related issues such as land use, planning, transportation, development approvals, code enforcement, utilities, telecommunications, and environment.

Also, as a member of the government affairs team, she contributes to the League's member policy development process as lead staff to the NCLM Planning & Environment Legislative Action. She also serves as a liaison to three League affiliate organizations, the N.C. Association of Resort Towns and Convention Cities, N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and the American Public Works Association—N.C. chapter. In addition, for most of her nearly nine years as a League employee, she has held an appointment to the N.C. Bar Association Government & Public Sector Section Council.

Prior to joining the League staff in January 2009, Erin worked on waterfront access policies for the N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning, and Policy Center. She also conducted research on land use topics for Clarion Associates in Chapel Hill, and served as a legislative assistant at the N.C. General Assembly for two years. Erin holds a bachelor’s of music from UNC-Chapel Hill, a master’s of music from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a juris doctor from UNC-Chapel Hill.

David P. Young
Fiber Infrastructure and Right of Way Manager, City of Lincoln

David Young is currently the Fiber Infrastructure and Right of Way Manager with the Public Works department for the City of Lincoln. He received his M.S. in Telecommunications Administration from Oklahoma State University while employed as an Outside Plant Engineer with the City of Tulsa. In 2012, Mr. Young was hired as a consultant to design the Lincoln Technology Improvement System for the City of Lincoln. Six private business-class carriers have leased the LTIS system since 2013. Mr. Young’s current project list includes the implementation the City of Lincoln Fiber to the Home initiative, ODAS and Wireless Master Planning for Sacramento, CA and serving as treasurer on the economic development board for the Northern Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. He can be contacted at























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