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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.

David (Dave) E. Bartlett
Vice-President, Land for Brookfield Residential Properties

David (Dave) Bartlett is the Vice-President of Land for Brookfield Residential Properties of Southern California. Over the past 30 years, he has guided the successful entitlements of many residential, mixed use and commercial projects throughout southern California. He joined the Brookfield executive team in 2004 and is currently responsible for entitlements, pre-development and development operations for over a 10,000 lot portfolio in southern California.

Mr. Bartlett currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Business Council, the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Southern California and is past President of the Orange County BIA. He also serves as a Planning Commissioner for the County of Orange, representing the fifth District.

Dave attended the University of Arizona, in Tucson and majored in Geography and Regional Development/Urban Planning.

A native of Nebraska, Dave and his wife Anne Marie have three daughters and have lived and enjoyed life in southern California for over 25 years.

Anton D. (Tony) Batalla
Information Technology Manager, City of San Leandro, Calif.

Tony Batalla serves as the Head of Information Technology for the City of San Leandro, CA. Since his appointment in February, 2014, he has helped launch a 10 gigabit internet connection at City Hall and a free, public Wi-Fi system utilizing the City’s fiber optics network. He oversees all aspects of technology, including infrastructure, service delivery, and data management and acts as the senior advisor to City Council on technology policy. He is also the Co-Chair of the Global Cities Team Challenge Public Wi-Fi SuperCluster. He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a BS from the University of San Francisco.

Anthony Bednarczyk
Broadband Engagement Leader, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.

As a broadband engagement leader at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc., Anthony works with customers and manages internal teams to win network services business, then serves as the primary point of contact with new customers. Anthony’s experience in business strategy, disruptive technology, network design, integration, and operations has given him insights that help maximize the value of networks, deliver key strategic direction to customers, and build and maintain strong partnerships.

Anthony has worked with global technology companies in a variety of roles including mergers and acquisitions, data analytics and software development, and business development. He holds a MBA from University of Texas at Austin, as well as a bachelors of business administration in finance and a bachelors of science in economics from Southern Methodist University.

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

Eric Brown
President, California Telehealth Network;
, OCHIN Broadband Network Services (OBNS)

Eric Brown is the President of OCHIN Broadband Network Services (OBNS) which is one of the largest consortia of safety net clinics and hospitals in the nation that participate in the FCC Healthcare Connect Fund broadband subsidy program. OBNS provides broadband and virtual care technology services to rural and medically underserved communities nationally. OBNS also operates the California Telehealth Network and the California Telehealth Resource Center (CTRC), which provides federally funded technical and programmatic assistance to California healthcare providers interested in telehealth adoption or expansion.

Mr. Brown was initially appointed President of the California Telehealth Network (CTN) in 2010 after a distinguished career building and running broadband telecommunications systems in urban and rural communities around the country. In May, 2017, CTN became part of the OCHIN family of nonprofit companies which is when Brown was appointed to his current position. Brown has served on the Board of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), currently serves on the Board of the Schools Health and Libraries (SHLB).

Brown is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a bachelor’s degree in political science and holds a master's degree in business administration from the Darden School of Business Management at the University of Virginia.

Jonathan Chambers
Partner, Conexon

Jonathan has worked for over thirty years at start-up telecommunications companies and in the U.S. Government. Prior to joining Conexon, Jonathan served as Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning for the Federal Communications Commission. Jonathan was part of the senior leadership at the FCC that reformed $12 billion in annual federal spending, including the rural and high cost fund, e-rate, telecommunications relay services and the lifeline programs. For the majority of his career, Jonathan has worked with companies building broadband networks. Jonathan left the FCC to help electric cooperatives bring fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband to rural areas throughout the country.

Jeff Christensen
President, EntryPoint, Salt Lake City, Utah

Jeff Christensen is the President/CEO of EntryPoint Networks and oversees ongoing Research & Development, manages strategic partnerships, oversees manufacturing collaboration, client relationships and deployments, business development, customer support, strategy development, and has been the Principal Investigator for a Department of Energy grant: Edge Intelligence for Virtualization and Security in Open Networks. Prior to EntryPoint, Christensen was Vice President, Operations at Emdeon (2010 – 2012).

Christensen’s TEDx Talk, The Internet Disruption Every City Needs can be found at:

William P. Cune
Vice President, Network Architecture, Corning Optical Communications

Bill Cune is the Vice President of Network Architecture in Corning’s industry-leading Optical Communications sector. This sector covers the full spectrum of fiber connectivity solutions for carrier and enterprise networks for a variety of applications including in-building LAN and cellular, outdoor connectivity for wireless densification and fiber to the home, as well as the data center. It also includes Corning’s suite of active networking solutions in LAN, cellular small cell RAN, and distributed antenna systems. In this role, Cune is responsible for understanding the intersection between market needs and technology trends to define, create, and evangelize new approaches to deliver future ready connectivity solutions. This includes identifying and collaborating with key ecosystem players and customers to deliver differentiated optical solutions that create value within the marketplace. Prior to this role, Cune was the VP of Market Development, In Building Networks where he led the creation of new solutions through early stages of innovation and product conceptualization. Cune’s wide-ranging industry expertise provides him a broad perspective from which to evaluate new trends in the market and in technology.

Cune joined Corning in 2010, as the IDAS Program Director, to lead all aspects of Corning’s entry into the wireless distributed antenna business. As an experienced wireless leader, Cune brought a keen understanding of the market and the requirements to be successful in this business. His leadership resulted in solution improvements as well as a clear understanding of the capabilities required to create a winning market and technology strategy. His leadership contributed to Corning’s acquisition of MobileAccess Networks, iBwave, and SpiderCloud Networks. Prior to joining Corning, Cune gained 25 years of experience in the wireless communications industry including 9 years in sales and technology leadership at MobileAccess. Before that, Cune held various roles at Hughes Electronics in international marketing of cellular and satellite networks. His perspective was further enhanced through years of representing Hughes Electronics’ interests on Capitol Hill. Cune started his wireless career at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis designing complex avionics systems for advanced fighter aircraft and missile systems.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Missouri University of Science & Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree in general management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He holds several patents in the area of fiber, wireless, and data communications systems.

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.

Atif Elkadi
Deputy Executive Director, Ontario International Airport

Atif Elkadi serves as the deputy executive director of the Ontario International Airport. He has been responsible for a broad portfolio of communication activities including community engagement, social media, marketing, advertising and public relations. He will maintain his current responsibilities for marketing, communications and external affairs, the release states.

Prior to joining ONT in November 2017, Elkadi was senior corporate communications manager at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, where he developed the airports communications strategy and implemented its strategic communications initiatives, according to the release. He also managed internal communications, customer service communications and social media for Dubai International Airport.

Elkadi, a native of Napa, is married with six children. He has a master’s degree in communication management from the University of Southern California, an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Katie Espeseth
Vice President, New Products, EPB, Chattanooga, TN

Katie Espeseth, Vice President of New Products, joined EPB, Chattanooga Tennessee’s electric power distributor and fiber optics communications provider in 2004, bringing with her over 30 years of marketing and telecommunications experience with a national telecommunications carrier. As Vice President of New Products, Katie guides the company’s effort to maximize the value of its 100% fiber optic network with new and enhanced energy and communications products for both business and residential customers.

Currently, Katie serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Fiber Broadband Association and the National Cable Television Cooperative and is chair of the Fiber Deployment Advisory Group for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association.

James Fallows
National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly

James Fallows has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic for more than thirty-five years, reporting from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe and across the United States. He is the author of 12 books, including the latest, co-authored with Deborah Fallows, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America.

He has won the National Book Award, the National Magazine Award, and a documentary Emmy. He has also done extensive commentary on National Public Radio. James Fallows studied American History at Harvard and economics at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and was President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter for two years.

Deborah Fallows
Writer and Linguist

Deborah Fallows is a writer and a linguist. She has written for The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, and The Washington Monthly. She is the author of three books, including Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin lessons in Life, Love, and Language and the latest, co-authored with James Fallows, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America.

Deborah Fallows is a graduate of Harvard with a Ph.D. in theoretical linguistics. She worked previously at the Pew Research Center, Oxygen Media, and Georgetown University.

Mark Feest
General Manager, CC Communications, Churchill County, Nevada

Mark Feest is the General Manager and CEO of CC Communications, a county-owned broadband provider and incumbent local exchange carrier. During his career he has held positions including senior civil district attorney, general counsel, and director of government affairs. Mark also served five and a half years in the U.S. Army having been stationed in South Korea, Alabama, and Texas. Mark holds an MBA from Indiana University, an MS in Telecommunications management from Oklahoma State University, a JD from the University of Utah college of law, and a BS from Utah State University.

CC Communications began as the ILEC in Churchill County, NV and provides FTTH broadband, data services, IPTV, and telephone services. IN recent years the company has expanded its fiber network across Western Nevada connecting data centers, business customers, and anchor institutions between Reno, Carson City, and Las Vegas. This fiber expansion has provided the opportunity to expand services offerings to small rural communities along its long-haul path, including bringing 1GB and 10GB DWDM backhaul services to last mile providers, school districts, and hospitals.

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.

John George
Director, Solutions and Professional Services, OFS

John George has served with AT&T, Lucent Technologies and OFS in systems engineering, applications engineering, marketing, and manufacturing for 33 years. He currently directs the Solutions and Professional Services group for OFS’s optical fiber, cable, connectivity, and solutions business. John has published and presented over 30 papers on fiber optics and FTTH in trade journals and industry forums. As an active member of IEEE, TIA, ISO, and IEC John facilitated the development of numerous standards including 10 Gb/s Ethernet, Ethernet in the First mile, OM-3 optical fiber, and small form factor optical connectivity. John has been an active member of the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council from its founding year of 2001, and serving on its board of directors since 2008. John helps guide the council’s technical and conference programs, and in 2010 received the FTTH Council’s Photon Award for his leadership in this area. John has Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science in Engineering Administration and Marketing from Virginia Tech, and 6 patents.

Heather Burnett Gold
CEO, HBG Strategies, LLC

Heather Burnett Gold is the CEO of HBG Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm designed to connect people and communities with solutions for deployment of high capacity, future proof broadband networks.

Previously, Gold served as the President/CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association, (formerly, the Fiber-to-the-Home Council North America), a non-profit organization established to help its members plan, market, implement and manage fiber to the home solutions. Association membership includes companies and organizations that deliver video, Internet and/or voice services over high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber optic connections - as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks. See More

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

Gold has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, including five years as President for the Association for Local Telecommunications Services (ALTS) during the period surrounding the passage and implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. She has also served as a founding principal of The KDW Group, a telecom consulting firm, and as Vice President of Industry Affairs for Intermedia Communications. She was honored by the Washington Business Journal as one of its 2010 Women Who Mean Business. Gold received her BA (magna cum laude) and MA degrees in Economics from Tufts University. She received her MBA in Finance and Marketing from Washington University in St. Louis. Gold also completed the General Management Program of the Harvard Business School.

Lev Gonick
Chief Information Officer, Arizona State University

Lev Gonick is an educator, technologist, and smart city architect. He has been teaching, working, and living on the Net for more than 25 years.

On November 1, Lev became the Chief Information Officer at Arizona State University. He will lead the ASU University Technology Office that provides technology services to all students, faculty, and staff. He is also cofounder of DigitalC, previously OneCommunity, the award-winning non-profit organization enabling and celebrating innovation, collaboration, and productivity through next-generation broadband networks, big open data solutions, and IoT for public benefit.

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

Inside Business Magazine named Lev one of their Power 100 in 2015. In 2011, Government Technology awarded Lev one of their "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers in Public-Sector Innovation."​ In the same year, Crain's Business Cleveland named Gonick one its "10 Difference Makers"​ in Northeast Ohio, and Broadband Properties honored him with their Cornerstone Award for "using fiber to build an inclusive society and empower individuals."​ In 2010, he received recognition as "Visionary of the Year" from NATOA. Lev has been recognized by ComputerWorld as a Premier 100 IT leader and honored by CIO magazine with a CIO 100 Award.

A frequent invited speaker and consultant on Smart Cities, Lev currently serves on the Boards of Monarch Teaching Technologies (software for special needs children), DecisionDesk, Groundworks Dance Theater, Jewish Family Services, and Cleveland Independents (Restaurants).

Specialties: Smart City Solutions, Smart City Architecture, The Future of Education, Broadband, Social Networking and Network Economy, Fiber to the Home, Innovation and Technology, Smart and Connected Communities, Internet of Things, Programmable City, City as an Operating System, Political Economy and Information Technology.

Paul Hamrick
Interim Executive Director, The Community Economics Lab

Paul Hamrick hails from Albuquerque, NM where he currently serves as Interim Executive Director for the Community Economics Laboratory or CELab, a non-profit think-tank focused on tackling the most daunting, long-range issues facing economic and workforce development in the 21st Century. His time at CELab has been highlighted by his role in the initiation and coordination of a brand-new job creation program called SoloWorks. SoloWorks is focused on recruiting, training and placing people in positions they can perform remotely, from home or other mobile platform. Paul was intimately involved in the development of the SoloWorks program model and bootstrapped the program pilot located in Cibola County, NM in 2016 as a part of a taskforce assembled by CELab. In 2017, he was commissioned by the NM Small Business Development Centers to co-author a course on how to be successful as a Solopreneur. He since has continued to assist the SoloWorks program in Cibola to gain traction and scale and has been an ardent advocate for remote work as a solution for economic development both in New Mexico and nationally.

Bryon Horn, CISSP, PMP
Chief Information Officer, Information Services Department, City of Fresno, Calif.

Bryon Horn is a 25+ year veteran in Information Systems & Information Technologies. He has experience in a multitude of technologies and industry concepts. As a team player and believes in fostering teamwork and developing team players, he understand how to make a business run efficiently and effectively from an IT perspective.

Bryon’s specialties are in IT Project management, budgeting, problem solving, teamwork, technology implementation and act as a liaison between departments, with vendors and other agencies.

Bryon’s background and experience in Information Technology is well rounded as he has worked in a number of different industries such as Software Development, Health Care, Telecommunications, Market Research, Manufacturing, Food Processing, Government and Consulting Services. His expertise ranges from networking, support, analysis, desktop issues, programming, IT budgeting, Security, market research, Project Management as well as many other IT related areas.

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.

Ron Ivie
Director, IM Services Group, City of Ontario, Calif.

Mr. Ivie has extensive experience in the development, creation and successful deployment of telecommunications and energy management projects. Working with a range of clients from investor-owned utilities, CLECs and private enterprise, government agencies, to small cooperative utilities, he has taken projects through the courses of conception to operations, starting with the initial planning and strategic analysis and progressing through implementation and operations. Mr. Ivie’s background and 25+ years in the communications industry forms the solid foundation from which he is able to analyze, market against and operate the business. Mr. Ivie has acted as Regional Director for large integration firms and Program Manager for numerous large projects throughout the United States, Canada and Caribbean.

  • Project Management and Client Coordination
  • Extensive Knowledge of City and Utility Government Sector
  • Conception-to-Operations Experience with $60+ Million
  • Business Development, Operational and Marketing Focus
  • Established Contacts with Key Vendors and Partners
  • Strategic Relations and Unique Project Development
  • Extensive Knowledge of Broadband Business Models & Agreements
  • System-wide Planning & Detailed Engineering
  • Business Planning and Master Plan Development

Gail Karish
Partner, Best Best & Krieger

Gail A. Karish is a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP who focuses on telecommunications, assisting clients in California and across the country with a wide range of regulatory and transactional matters involving broadband and fiber networks, cable and telecom franchising, wireless communications and public-private partnerships.

Gail’s clients are mainly public agencies, such as local governments, water districts and municipal utilities. Public agencies can serve a variety of roles in relation to telecommunications infrastructure – regulator, owner, service provider, customer, partner – and Gail’s clients come to her for advice and guidance on issues that arise in all these contexts. She also represents some cooperatives, nonprofits and small competitive providers.

Prior to her private practice, Gail worked in-house at a Miami-based long distance telecommunications carrier that was a subsidiary of Entel-Chile, where she was responsible for state and federal licensing and regulatory compliance matters, and corporate and commercial contracts associated with the company’s launch of retail and wholesale telecommunications and Internet services serving the U.S. Hispanic market.

Gail started her legal career in infrastructure in Canada at Ontario Hydro, a large government-owned electric utility where she initially represented the utility at environmental and rate tribunals. She then assisted the utility’s international division to develop and implement an investment strategy, focused on privatization opportunities in Latin America, and was instrumental in the company’s 1994 acquisition and management of a Peruvian electric utility.

Gail speaks frequently to organizations on telecommunications topics, including the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and its regional chapters such as SCAN-NATOA, WATOA, SEATOA, the League of California Cities and the Alliance for Community Media. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California. She was licensed but is now inactive in the Province of Ontario, Canada.

John P. Keisler
Economic Development Director, City of Long Beach

John Keisler is the Economic Development Director for the City of Long Beach. The mission of department is to increase economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs in Long Beach through workforce, business, and property development programs.

After completing bachelor degrees in Philosophy and Religion at St. Olaf College, he joined Teach For America, teaching middle school literacy and civics in Newark, NJ. To address the chronic community challenges facing his students, he turned to a career in city management, working with the League of California Cities and completing his MPA at the USC Price School of Public Policy.

In 2005, John was hired as a Management Assistant by the City of Long Beach, and rotated through four departments. Over the next decade, he led multiple change-management projects throughout the City, serving as the Animal Care Services Bureau Manager, Business Operations Manager for the Parks, Recreation & Marine Department, CFO for the Police Department, and the City’s first Innovation Team Director.

John lives in Long Beach with his beautiful wife Laura and his two sons Christopher (8) and Benjamin (11), where he serves on a number of civic boards and coaches youth sports.

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.

Diane Kruse
CEO, NEO Connect

Kruse is a thought leader in the ever-changing broadband industry. At NEO Connect, she consults with electric companies and local governments on feasibility, strategy, design and financial impacts of gigabit broadband networks. She has founded four successful telecommunication companies and has 35 years of telecommunications and energy industry experience, the last 25 years as an entrepreneur starting and managing successful telecommunication, energy and startup companies.

Mark Lautman
Founder, The Community Economics Lab

Mark Lautman is a founding director of the Community Economics Lab, a private not-for-profit think tank innovating new approaches to economic development that work in a labor and capital constrained economy. His consulting practice is conducted under Lautman Economic Architecture LLC.

He is a frequent conference speaker and author of "When The Boomers Bail: A Community Economic Survival Guide."

Since becoming a professional economic developer 27 years ago, Mark has designed and managed four economic development programs. Under his direction, these programs procured more than 80 corporate locations accounting for more than 15,000 new jobs, 6 million square feet of industrial space, and $11 billion in new investment. Most recently, Mark was Vice President of Economic Development at Forest City Enterprises and Covington Capital. His business unit was responsible for the design and execution of an economic development master plan to meet the developer’s commitment to create 30,000 net, new economic base jobs for their Mesa del sol project in Albuquerque NM

Previous economic development assignments included Santa Teresa, NM, Rio Rancho, NM and Grants, NM. He is Chair of the New Mexico Economic Development Commission.

Mark is a 1971 graduate of the University of New Mexico in Economics, Architecture and Geography and a former Peace Corps Volunteer.

Mark can be reached via e-mail at: or by phone at: 505.818.8218

Specialties: Economic Development, Workforce Development

Ben Lewis-Ramirez
Business Development Leader, Foresite Group

Ben is the Business Development Manager at Foresite Group, Inc. He has worked in almost every facet of the OSP engineering world, from field work, to design engineering, to permitting and project management, giving him a holistic view of large scale network deployments. Ben lives in Boulder CO with his wife and two children.

Hon. Lloyd Levine (ret.)
Senior Policy Fellow, UC Riverside School of Public Policy

Recently appointed Senior Policy Fellow at the UC Riverside School of Public Policy, and formerly a member of the California State Legislature, Hon. Lloyd Levine (ret.) is President of Filament Strategies, LLC., a Sacramento-based consulting firm with extensive experience in politics, public policy, public affairs and communications. Filament Strategies provides services to clients in a variety of industries, with an emphasis on technology and "green" issues.

Prior to founding Filament Strategies, Mr. Levine served in the State Assembly in 2002. As a Member of the Legislature he represented the approximately 450,000 people living in the West San Fernando Valley. Mr. Levine was engaged in decision-making at the highest level of state government, collaborating with legislators, the Governor, and other interested parties to shape California policy.

While in the Legislature, Mr. Levine served as the Chair of the Committee on Utilities and Commerce and he has continued to work on issues related to energy, telecommunications, technology issues and environmental issues.

Both in the Legislature and now with Filament Strategies, Mr. Levine utilizes his significant experience in media relations and outreach. Mr. Levine is skilled at crafting messages and using public affairs to shape perceptions and impact public policy. Mr. Levine is frequently a subject matter expert for state, national, and international governments, business, and news outlets. Mr. Levine is adept a legislative and regulatory policy as well as political and communications strategy.

Specialties: Public Affairs, Public Policy, Strategic Communications, Strategic Planning, Legislation, California Government, regulatory and statutory issues surrounding energy, electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, video service, plug-in electric vehicles, Internet gambling.

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.

Helen McAlary
Executive Director Community Life & Culture, City of Ontario, California

Helen McAlary is the Executive Director of Community Life & Culture Agency (CLC) in the City of Ontario. CLC strengthens the community through art, learning, leisure, health & heritage and includes departments for Library, Museum, and Recreation. Helen served as the Library Director for the City of Ontario from 2010-2017 and served in San Bernardino County as a Library Regional Manager, Branch Manager, and in Youth Services and Adult Literacy. Most recently, under her leadership the Agency opened the new Lightspeed makerspace at the Ovitt Family Community Library and held the inaugural Ontario Festival of the Arts both of which were met with significant community enthusiasm.

Helen is the Immediate Past President of California Library Association. During her tenure she planned the Annual Conference which surpassed attendance records from previous years. Helen recently completed a term on the Califa Board of Directors and is a member of her local Soroptimist International Service Club. Helen is a former Fellow and Mentor from the prestigious Eureka! Leadership program and has served in leadership capacities regionally through the Inland Library System. Helen is part of a team that plans and implements the Serving with a Purpose Conference, held annually in Ontario. Helen and her husband Ryan are parents of Henry, a delightful 2 year old.

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.

Kevin Meredith
Co-Founder, The WESEE Collective

Kevin Meredith is a co-founder at The WESEE Collective – a united set of endeavors that are committed to find, foster and enhance the meaning and outcomes of value around the world by simultaneously advancing Wellness, Education, Society, Ethics and Environment. Kevin directly leads The WESEE Collective’s Fourth Sector Innovations (4thSI) business. This advisory service is focused on understanding and unlocking their client’s value creation potential through organic innovation.

Kevin’s approach to innovation was forged while working at Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, as an enterprise leader of organic innovation. In this role, Kevin conceived, developed, and scaled a small pilot program into a company-wide network of connected employees and businesses that spanned the globe. His perspectives on value creation were further enhanced when Kevin spent two years in Boeing’s corporate venturing group where he was responsible for early stage pipeline development and acceleration.

In his nearly 13 years at Boeing, Kevin supported amazing technologies that push the limits of possibility while accumulating a diverse set of experiences in program management, engineering, supplier management, process improvement (six sigma and lean), supplier-quality, human factors and auditing.

Kevin received his engineering degrees (BS/MS) from the Industrial and Systems Engineering department at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a business degree (MBA in Entrepreneurship) from Pepperdine University.

Kevin lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids and their dog RB.

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.

John M. Nachbar
City Manager, City of Culver City

John Nachbar has been serving as the City Manager of Culver City since August 2010. Mr. Nachbar has over 35 years of experience in public policy and city management. He previously served as the City Manager for the City of Overland Park, Kansas, a position he held for over a decade. Mr. Nachbar’s long, distinguished resume, includes serving as City Manager for the California cities of Albany and Patterson and Deputy City Manager for the City of Tucson, Arizona.

In his role as City Manager, Mr. Nachbar has dedicated his efforts to manage Culver City in the aftermath of 2008’s Great Recession, which was related to the US financial and subprime mortgage crises. Additionally, 2012’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies throughout the state brought an end to more than a thirty-year history of successful redevelopment activities within Culver City. Mr. Nachbar worked to ensure that Culver City’s economic development efforts would remain strong, City services would continue, and layoffs would be prevented.

In an effort to attract and retain vibrant, tech-savvy businesses in the new economy, Mr. Nachbar is leading efforts to provide a municipal fiber optic network to the private sector. Culver City’s implementation of a municipal fiber network is a partnership with stakeholders to provide high-speed and high-quality Internet access to local businesses and the Culver City Unified School District.

As City Manager, Mr. Nachbar is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the City of Culver City, which includes implementation of City Council programs, ordinances and policies and the oversight of all City departments, over 700 employees, and a budget of more than $200 million.

Scott Ochoa
City Manager, City of Ontario, California

Scott Ochoa began his career in local government as an intern with the City of Monrovia in 1993, while in his senior year at Claremont McKenna College. In 1996, Ochoa earned his MPA from USC with an emphasis in public sector entrepreneurship. By 2004, he had risen through the organization and was appointed City Manager by the Monrovia City Council. During his tenure as City Manager, the City continued its aggressive economic development program, dealt with the impacts of the Great Recession, and worked to balance development pressure while maintaining the community’s quality of life.

In January 2012, Scott moved to the City of Glendale to serve as their City Manager for nearly six years. During his time in Glendale, Scott evaluated and streamlined City operations, and forged community partnerships as he worked to keep Glendale on a trajectory toward sound financial management, innovative and resourceful leadership, and outstanding public services. He also was keenly focused on utilizing economic development and leveraging private investment as a means of creating place value as well as new revenue for City services. This success was evidenced in the more than 4,100 new multi-family units that were delivered and/or being constructed since 2012; the attraction of new and exciting business tenants to downtown Brand Boulevard; and the reinvestment in both public infrastructure and quality of life amenities. During Scott’s tenure, Glendale emerged from the Great Recession trim, efficient and balanced.

In October 2017, Scott was appointed to serve as City Manager for the City of Ontario. In coming to Ontario, Scott plans to utilize his range of skills, abilities and experiences to continue the community’s forward progress toward achieving the vision and goals established by the Mayor and City Council. Balancing business needs with residents’ high standards and expectations, Scott seeks to maximize the effectiveness of an expert and high-performing City staff. In doing so, he believes that Ontario will preserve its standing as the leader of the Inland Empire and continue to be recognized as one of the best municipalities in the State.

Scott’s management philosophy is predicated on exceptional customer service, values-based management, and precision execution. His focus on building leadership capacity at every level has been an essential part of ensuring the organization’s ongoing success. Throughout his career, Scott has been engaged in the communities he serves, participating in local service clubs and community organizations. Scott also strives to stay at the forefront of local government issues. He is a member of the International City/County Management Association and serves as an adjunct instructor and lecturer at USC’s Price School of Public Policy. Scott and his wife of 21 years, Sophia, have two children, Nicolas and Tessia, and the family has four dogs.

Brian O'Hara
Senior Director Regulatory Issues, Broadband & Telecommunications, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

Brian O'Hara joined NRECA in October 2017 as Senior Director Regulatory Issues focusing on telecommunications and broadband issues. In this position, he will develop and direct association regulatory policy on telecom and broadband issues for over 900 electric cooperatives, many of whom are offering, deploying or exploring broadband business opportunities. Brian has more than 20 years of telecommunications and broadband industry experience. Brian has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from St. Mary's College of Maryland and a Masters in Government from Johns Hopkins University.

Angelina Panettieri
Principal Associate, Technology and Communications
Federal Advocacy,
National League of Cities

Angelina Panettieri is Principal Associate, Technology and Communications for the National League of Cities, which represents the nation’s 19,000 cities, towns, and villages. Angelina manages telecommunications and technology issues for NLC on Capitol Hill, the FCC and other federal agencies. Prior to serving in this role, Angelina worked in grassroots advocacy and public affairs for a variety of Washington, DC-based associations. Angelina holds a bachelor’s degree in government and a master’s in public administration from George Mason University.

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.

Staci Pies
Senior Public Policy and Government Relations Counsel, Google

Staci Pies is Senior Public Policy and Government Relations Counsel at Google, where she represents Google before policymakers on global connectivity issues such as high speed broadband deployment and adoption, telecommunications regulation and innovative spectrum management.

Previously, Staci was Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Microsoft, which she joined after three years at Skype when Microsoft purchased the company in 2011.

Staci is the President of the Voice on the Net (VON) Coalition, the premier US Coalition advocating for policies that support the deployment and adoption of Internet communications applications, products and services. She has served as President and former Chair of the VON Coalition since 2004. In these roles, Ms. Pies has testified before the United States House of Representatives and various state legislatures.

Before joining Skype in January 2008, Ms. Pies was VP of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs for PointOne, a small wholesale VoIP provider, and Director of Federal Regulatory Affairs for Level 3 Communications.

Staci also held a number of positions at the FCC including Deputy Division Chief, Network Services and senior attorney in the FCC’s former Common Carrier Bureau.

Staci lives in Rockville, Maryland with her husband and dogs. On occasion her son returns to visit from his studies at the University of Michigan.

Frank Pineau
General Manager, Highlands Fiber Network, Issaquah, Washington

Frank Pineau is a 50 year veteran in telecommunications, and is the General Manager at Highlands Fiber Network (HFN), a community owned fiber to the premise network in Issaquah, Washington. Frank has held this position for the last four years after leaving Frontier Communications in 2013. No stranger to building and maintaining FTTP networks, Frank worked for GTE and Verizon Communications prior to Frontier purchasing several of the Verizon territories. As part of the Verizon team, Frank helped build Verizon’s Fios networks in seven states.

Frank’s current position reports to a community-based Board of Directors and has overall responsibility to ensure the network runs efficiently and is profitable. Frank oversees two active contracts which provide construction activity and system connectivity.

HFN serves a planned urban community with a mixture of single family, multi family, apartment and retail/commercial properties. There are currently ~3,320 customers on the network. HFN currently provides 3 plan levels, 10/10mbps, 100/100mbps and GigE, at $50, $60 and $70 respectively.

Jeff Reiman
Principal, The Broadband Group

Jeff brings a comprehensive understanding of technology, capital market structure, and entrepreneurial leadership to assist clients in building structures that advance broadband network deployments and IoT implementation strategies for cities and large-scale development projects.

Prior to joining The Broadband Group, Mr. Reiman worked in the Boston office of Credit Suisse investment bank, on the Equities Sales and Trading Floor. Additionally, he has served on the International Sales & Marketing Team of Wave7 Optics, a Fiber-to-the-Home equipment supplier, 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. He currently serves as President-elect of the Harvard Club of Nevada.

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

Rinehart runs the tech policy program at the American Action Forum, which analyzes federal and state policy related to broadband deployment, privacy, artificial intelligence, innovation, and emerging technologies. He comes to the forum from TechFreedom, where he was a research fellow. He previously directed operations at the International Center for Law and Economics. In 2009, he was a Koch Summer Fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, concentrating on advertising policy and internet governance, and in 2008, he was a research associate at the Illinois Policy Institute, where he studied state-level budget, energy and tax issues. Rinehart is currently a Fellow at the Internet Law & Policy Foundry and serves on the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Committee and Consumer Advocacy Committee.

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

Catharine Rice is Project Director for the Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC), and consultant with Broadband-Matters. For more than a decade, Catharine has been a cable and 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 contributing to the development, implementation and now current promotion of North Carolina’s first community-owned, fiber-to-the-home Gigabit network Wilson, North Carolina, and community organizing for small town broadband projects. Ms Rice is known for her grassroots lobbying to defend local community authority to offer broadband services in North Carolina between 2007 and 2011. She is as former Board member of NATOA, the President of its Virginia Chapter, VATOA, Chair of the City of Alexandria, Virginia’s IT Commission, and a founding member of NC Broadband Matters, a nonprofit and chapter of CLIC. She holds a Masters’ Degree from the Annenberg School of Communications and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Graham Richard
Owner, Graham Richard Associates, LLC

A former Indiana state senator and business entrepreneur, Graham Richard brought his expertise in both politics and best business practices to city government in 2000 when he began his first term as mayor of the second-largest city in Indiana (Fort Wayne). During his two terms, he helped turn the Fort Wayne city government into a lean, results-producing, customer-focused driver of an economically thriving city. As Mayor, Graham helped taxpayers save more than $31 million while improving city services. The story of that experience is captured in his new book Performance is the Best Politics.

In 2007, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored Richard by naming him "Government Leader of the Year." During Mayor Richard's tenure, the City of Fort Wayne won national awards for the #1 Fleet Operation in the nation, and best Public Works and City Utilities Department in the country.

He has received national awards for his technology leadership, including the Fiber-to-the-Home Council's 2005 Star Award for being a leader in broadband technology. He was recognized as one of the top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers by Government Technology magazine for his significant contributions to the digital government movement. In addition, the Public Technology Institute awarded Mayor Richard with the 2006 Tech Leader Award. In September 2006, KillerApp magazine recognized Mayor Richard with the KillerApp Trailblazer Award for being a leader in broadband services.

Graham has become a popular speaker a national conferences. In December 2005, the Brookings Institution hosted Mayor Richard for a presentation on "Fort Wayne: Wired and Inspired to Compete in the Flat World." Mayor Richard also addressed the Winter 2006 U.S. Conference of Mayors. Other Keynote addresses in 2008 include: The Broadband Properties Summit, DOD Lean Six Sigma Breakthrough Conference, Mayors' Technology Summit, and Defense Business Agility Forum.

Graham has been a business owner, state senator and community leader. He is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Nathan Rosenberg, Jr.
Vice President of Business Strategy, The Broadband Group

Nathan Rosenberg, Vice President of Business Strategy for The Broadband Group, has been active in the Telecommunications and Cable industries since 2008. He brings a range of experience, having worked with Tier 1 Carriers, National Cable Multiple System Operators (MSO), and Millimeter-Wave Wireless Service Providers, as well as publicly-traded REITs, and Master Planned Community Developers.

Prior to joining The Broadband Group, Nathan served as a consultant at Insigniam, a management consulting firm, where he advised and supported leaders across sectors, including Broadband Service Providers, Real Estate companies, and Government Agencies focused on regulatory issues, technology projects, strategy, and asset management. Prior to Insigniam, Nathan served in business and government sales leadership roles at XO Communications, a Tier 1 Telecommunications Carrier.

Nathan began his career as an economic analyst, researching urban and regional development. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

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.

Craig Settles
President, Gigabit Nation

For more than 30 years, Settles’s workshops, consulting services and books have helped public, private and nonprofit organizations worldwide use technology to cut costs, improve business operations and increase revenue. His many in-depth analysis reports and books, including “Building the Gigabit City,” establish him as a prominent thought leader on business strategies to deploy broadband. His clients include Ottumwa, Iowa; Benicia, California; Glendale, California; and the State of California. Settles also hosts the radio talk show Gigabit Nation and is director of Communities United for Broadband, a national grass-roots effort to help communities launch their networks.

Michael Sherman
Director, Sun Corridor Network

Michael Sherman serves as the Executive Director for the Sun Corridor Network; Arizona’s gigabit speed higher education research and education network.

Most recently before joining the Sun Corridor Network, Michael served the State of Arizona as Executive Manager of the Arizona Department of Administration’s Broadband Planning & Public Safety Communications department, where he led the 911 Administration Office, the Digital Arizona Program, and the FirstNet public safety wireless broadband initiative.

Before the Arizona Department of Administration, Michael spent 27 years at the Salt River Project. Most of his tenure there was as Director of SRP Telecom, where he had P&L and general management responsibilities for the utility’s commercial telecommunications business unit. While at SRP, he has also managed various marketing functions including market research, strategy development, marketing communications, direct marketing, and product and service development.

Prior to joining SRP, he spent seven years in advertising management in both corporate and advertising agency environments, including as an account supervisor at the San Francisco Office of McCann-Erickson, an international advertising agency where his clients included Wells Fargo Bank, Chevron, and Fireman’s Fund.

Michael holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon and an Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University. He and his wife Kirby are twenty-nine year residents of Scottsdale.

Michael’s industry and community involvement history includes board membership on The Quilt, the Susan G. Komen Central Arizona Chapter, Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, Utilities Telecom Council, Arizona Telecommunications & Information Council, and the Banner Health Foundation Golf Council.

Dr. Javeed Siddiqui M.D., M.P.H
Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer, TeleMed2U

Dr. Javeed Siddiqui is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer for TeleMed2U, a 100% telemedicine based multi-specialty clinical practice. Dr. Siddiqui has been actively involved in telemedicine since 2002 and has been recognized as a national thought leader in the field. Dr. Siddiqui served as the Medical Director of one the nation’s top telemedicine programs at the University of California, Davis.

In addition to being an Infectious Diseases physician, Dr. Siddiqui is a recognized medical technologist who has previously held an appoint at the School of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley and served as the first Medical Director of California’s Institute for Science and Innovation, The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society [CITRIS].

Dr. Siddiqui co-found TeleMed2U in 2011. TeleMed2U has pioneered work in developing and implementing telemedicine services and programs to hospitals and outpatient clinics. In 2012 the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recognized the telemedicine based anti-microbial stewardship program developed by TeleMed2U as an innovative program in health care.

Dr. Siddiqui has lectured throughout the United States and Internationally on telemedicine and serves as an advisor and board member to a number of telemedicine and healthcare technology companies.

Dan Sivils
Chief Operating Officer, IsoFusion/GigabitNow

Dan Sivils is Chief Operating Officer of GigabitNow a developer and operator of fiber to the home networks for communities and municipalities of all sizes. Dan is also the Chief Operating Officer and board member of GigabitNow’s parent company, IsoFusion, a Seattle-based Internet Services and Colocation company in business for over 25 years.

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 180 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 in Boston 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.

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.

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.

Claire Ward
Marketing and Communications Manager, Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet)

Claire Ward is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) who works with individuals and communities to help them move closer to their community broadband goals.

Claire views broadband as an essential utility and enjoys leveraging industry knowledge and resources to develop unique broadband approaches for each community she engages with. She has been instrumental in supporting communities in Washington State to implement demand aggregation tools, drive community support for broadband projects and support public education around broadband initiatives.

Claire holds a master’s degree in psychology has continued her education in content marketing and strategy.

Michele Williams
Chief Information Officer, City of Culver City, CA

Michele Williams has been in the Information Technology industry for over 25 years. She was appointed Chief Information Officer for the City of Culver City in May 2012. Prior to this appointment, she was the Systems Development Manager at the City for 15 years. She was previously an adjunct instructor at Chapman University teaching Software Systems Design and Analysis. As the CIO, Michele oversees and provides leadership for technology operations throughout the City including enterprise applications, network infrastructure, and technical support services. In this role, Michele has also managed the deployment of the city’s open-access fiber network marketed as Culver Connect. The goal of Culver Connect aims to facilitate quality high-speed broadband to the business community, school district, and to support municipal operations.

Michele holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and a MBA from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. She is a certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO) through Rutgers University, School of Public Affairs and also holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Jase Wilson
CEO & Founder, Neighborly

Jase Wilson is the founder and CEO of Neighborly, the San Francisco-based fintech startup modernizing access to public finance - the billion dollar per day market that funds vital public projects like schools, parks, and next-generation infrastructure like municipal broadband and community solar. The first in his family to attend college, Jase studied cities and technology at MIT. Before Neighborly, he founded Luminopolis, a civic technology firm focused on helping communities connect with citizens through open-source software. Originally from Maryville, Missouri, Jase lives in San Francisco where Neighborly is headquartered.

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.

Jory Wolf
VP of Digital Innovation, Magellan Advisors

Jory joined Magellan after 22 years as CIO of the City if Santa Monica, CA where he launched Santa Monica City Wi-Fi, which provides free internet services to the public through a network of 32 hot zones and wireless coverage in most major commercial and transit corridors throughout the city. He created Santa Monica City Net, a 100 gigabit broadband initiative to support an environment for local businesses to compete in the global economy with cutting edge network solutions. Jory has over 35 years of experience in Information Technology, including broadband, FTTH and Smart City initiatives. Jory and his teams have received over 50 awards for information technology projects during his career and in 2012 he received the CIO Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Kevin Wynne
Manager, Americas, Comsof

Wynne, who has more than ten years of experience in strategic technical roles, currently leads Comsof’s commercial business in the North American market. Comsof’s innovative FiberPlanIT software enables its users to automate and optimize the design of their fiber networks. Whether the deployment is FTTH or 5G, FiberPlanIT ensures an economical and profitable network build.

Wynne has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, an MBA, and a Professional Engineering Designation in the Province of Ontario. He is active in the broadband industry, which includes sitting on the Fiber Broadband Association’s Technology Committee.

Grant Yee
Administrative Services & Finance Director, City of Ontario, Calif.

Grant Yee has been the Administrative Services/Finance Director for the City of Ontario since 2001 and has dedicated his 30-year professional career in public service as a municipal finance officer in California. He is passionate about making an impact on people’s lives by creating a great place to work, and developing a think different organizational culture that challenges conventional mindsets and promotes innovative thinking to transform local government. Grant holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Lisa R. Youngers
Executive Director, Fiber Broadband Association

Lisa R. Youngers is the Executive Director of the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) - the only all-fiber trade association in the Americas. Ms. Youngers oversees all aspects of the association including operations, finance, advocacy and ensuring member value. Before the FBA, Ms. Youngers served as Chief Executive Officer of Nextlink Wireless, LLC, a spectrum management firm and wireless network which operates primarily in the Upper Microwave bands in both the fixed and mobile space. Ms. Youngers oversaw all aspects of the business including financial, operational and technical objectives, engineering planning and implementation, legal/compliance, M&A activity, as well as the development of policy positions and the strategic direction of the company with a particular focus on the roll-out of 5G. Prior to Nextlink, Ms. Youngers was Vice President and Assistant General Counsel - Federal Affairs/Strategy at XO Communications one of the nation’s largest competitive carriers serving business and government end users as well as carrier and wholesale service providers. Ms. Youngers was responsible for all federal policy, regulatory, and legislative matters affecting XO’s interests before the FCC, Congress, and all levels of executive administration including regulatory and legislative strategy. She also oversaw the company’s corporate PR and internal and external messaging. Prior to joining XO, Ms. Youngers was Federal Regulatory Counsel for General Communication, Inc. (“GCI”), in Washington D.C., a telecommunications and cable television provider operating primarily in the state of Alaska, whom she represented before the FCC on wireline, wireless, universal service, telehealth, and school access issues. Ms. Youngers also served as Federal Regulatory Counsel for MCI appearing before the FCC on competition policy, enforcement matters, and consumer issues. Ms. Youngers is a former Assistant Attorney General for the state of Minnesota where she served as legal counsel to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. A former television news producer, Ms. Youngers is a frequent presenter at industry events and has been quoted in several publications regarding regulatory and public policy matters. Ms. Youngers earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and received her J.D. magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law. She is a member of the Minnesota and District of Columbia Bars and currently resides in suburban Washington, DC.

Masha Zager
Editor, Broadband Communities Magazine

Masha Zager is the editor of Broadband Communities. She has contributed to many technology and telecommunications publications, including Rural Telecommunications, REALTOR Association Executive Magazine, NewsFactor Network and Call Center Magazine.

She is the former editor of Customer Service Newsletter, the author and co-author of four books and several industry studies.

Previously, she was a senior manager for several agencies of New York City government, responsible for information technology, customer service, procurement and strategic planning.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s College and did graduate work at the University of Virginia.


















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