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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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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
President and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association

Heather Burnett Gold is the President 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. The Association was created ten years ago to share knowledge and build industry consensus on key issues surrounding fiber to the home. 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 27 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


















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