Chris Alberding is a seasoned executive with responsibility of more than $1 billion in annual business-to-business product revenues in the high-tech IT service and telecom industry. Combining solid strategic and tactical expertise in operations, sales operations, product marketing and product management, Alberding is an expert in planning and executing strategic product visions across multiple sales channels including, direct, indirect, inside and VAR teams. Alberding has a proven track record in successfully formulating go-to-market strategies and working with cross-functional leadership to execute that vision and over-achieve forecasts and budgets for growth products, including hosted IP voice and MPLS, in a highly competitive, nationwide market.
Prior to joining FairPoint in 2012, Alberding worked for EarthLink, Deltacom and AT&T in a variety of product management, marketing and sales positions. He studied business management at the University of Texas and is a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Chris Ancell is CEO of XO Communications, a leading nationwide provider of advanced IP communications, intelligent networking and cloud computing services for business, large enterprise and wholesale customers. Ancell is leading the strategy behind a multi-year $500 million expansion of the company’s award-winning network that currently serves more than half of Fortune 500 companies. He joined XO after a career encompassing nearly 30 years of operational and sales leadership in the communications and technology services industries. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of Sales and Sales Engineering for CoreSite Realty Corporation. Prior thereto, Ancell was president of the Business Markets organization of CenturyLink, Inc., which generated more than $4 billion in annual revenues through delivery of a comprehensive portfolio of data and voice networking communications solutions across North America, Europe and Asia. Before CenturyLink, Ancell served as executive vice president of Qwest's Business Markets organization, where he was responsible for sales, marketing, product development and delivery of voice and data communications to large business and government customers. Prior to that, he held various sales roles at Qwest including vice president of Sales, Western Region and vice president of Hosting Sales. He has also held management positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers and with Oracle's Telecommunications Consulting Practice. Ancell earned a B.S. in economics from the University of Denver.
Louis Archbold is a security expert and has 30 years of corporate and government experience including e-discovery, internal investigations, cyber security, fraud, PCI and supply chains security/audits. In his role at Verizon, Archbold analyzes security trends, threat considerations, hacker activity and preparedness tactics. Prior to joining Verizon, Archbold served as investigator and security consultant at Global Security Group, where he provided security and safety consultations; investigated white collar crime, corruption and cyber crime; and provided forensic consulting. Archbold has an extensive law enforcement background, having started in 1986 as a deputy probation officer in San Diego County and working in Lake County, Illinois, as a senior probation officer and special investigator for the state attorney’s office. Archbold served as a Police Commissioner for the village of Wauconda, Ill., from 2004 until 2014. He earned a B.S. in Administration of Justice from Southern Illinois University.
Jack Beech, vice president of Business Development for SoftLayer, an IBM company, is a seasoned Internet entrepreneur and experienced amateur poker player. He founded DFW Internet Services, an ISP in 1993 prior to the Internet boom, and led the company to positive cash flow after only 12 months in business before selling the company to MobilePro Corp., a publically traded telecom company in 2004. Beech then served as MobilePro's vice president of Technology and president of its ISP division. After MobilePro, Beech served as CTO of Progames Network and led its efforts in the mobile entertainment content and online gaming space. In 2008, he joined Masergy Communications, an intelligent networking company located in Plano, Texas, where he was tasked in revamping the global services department to align with the company’s new vision and goals. Beech left Masergy after its successful sale to Abry Partners in 2011, then went back into the startup world to run operations for a cloud-based financial company before joining SoftLayer. Beech also served on the advisory board of the computer games department at George Mason University and studied at Texas Wesleyan University.
Aaron Blazar is a senior partner at ATLANTIC-ACM, a Boston based strategic consulting firm that serves telecom operators, infrastructure providers, vendors and investors. Blazar has led a wide range of engagements with a focus on opportunity identification, market entry, expansion, go-to-market strategy, competitive positioning and investment due diligence. His market analyses have appeared or been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Crains Business Journal, Bloomberg, Boston Globe and Capacity Magazine. Blazar has also moderated and participated in a multitude of C-Level industry thought leader panels. Blazar earned a B.A. in Economics from Colby College.
Jeff Brown is responsible for all product development, product management, and marketing for the Carrier Solutions business unit of Windstream. Brown joined Windstream in 2013. Previously he spent more than 20 years in the telecom industry, including leadership roles at Covad and Sprint.
Sean Buckley is the senior editor of FierceTelecom. He joined the FierceTelecom staff in July 2009 and is responsible for covering news and trends in the wireline section of the telecom industry. Before joining the FierceTelecom staff, Buckley was editor-in-chief for Telecom Engine from 2006 to 2009, overseeing both the former print publication Telecommunications Magazine Americas and its transition to a web-based publication. Sean returned to Telecommunications in July 2006 after a brief one-year stint covering the public sector IT and mobile network infrastructure trends as a senior analyst at Current Analysis.
Joe Cavender is vice president and assistant general counsel for Federal Affairs at Level 3 Communications, LLC, where he leads the U.S. federal public policy team. Before joining Level 3 in March 2013, he worked at the FCC, primarily in the Wireline Competition Bureau’s Telecommunications Access Policy Division. Prior to his government service, Cavender was an associate at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP in Washington, D.C. Cavender earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. James B. Loken on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Sprint President and CEO Marcelo Claure is committed to offering the best value in wireless to all Sprint customers. He joined the company in August 2014 after serving on the board of directors since January 2014. Prior to Sprint, Claure was CEO of Brightstar, a company he founded in 1997 and grew from a small Miami-based distributor into a global business with more than $10 billion in gross revenue in 2013. The World Economic Forum named Claure a Young Global Leader, recognizing him as a “bold, brave, action-oriented and entrepreneurial individual committing both time and talent to make the world a better place.” Looking out for our future begins with our youth, including empowering the world’s poorest children through education and programs such as One Laptop Per Child. Claure co-founded and is passionate about this organization, which aims to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, connected laptop. He also actively promotes the use of technology in the classroom. Claure is on the board of directors of CTIA-The Wireless Association and is a member of its 2015 Executive Committee. He is on the Wall Street Journal CEO Council and serves as the vice chairman of Barcelona’s Mobile World Capital Advisory. He’s also a member of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame and in 2010 was included in the Global Telecoms Business 40 under 40. Soccer is another priority in Claure’s life – he owns Bolivar, the most popular soccer team in Bolivia. In February 2014, together with David Beckham and Simon Fuller, Marcelo became a principal partner in Miami Beckham United, a venture to establish a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise in Miami. He also serves on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility. Claure earned a B.S. in Economics and Finance and an honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science from Bentley University in Massachusetts.
John Devolites oversees the product management teams responsible for Neustar's Order Management Services (OMS), Addressing and Routing Services, as well as supporting Neustar's Information Services, Analytics strategy and Transformation. Prior to joining Neustar, Devolites served as general manager at TEOCO, as well as group president for Telcordia Technologies. He is the author of four patents focused on cloud storage for wireless and broadband, intelligent data extraction, passive geo-location and telephone number mapping. He earned an M.B.A. in Information Systems Management and a B.S. in Information Systems Technology.
Network planning expert Mike Dienhart has guided U.S. Cellular’s strategy in migrating to Ethernet backhaul concurrent with the deployment of 4G LTE services. Leading a network team that has nearly completed this massive transition provides Dienhart with a wealth of insights into how CLECs can partner with wireless carriers. Dienhart has 20 years of experience with wireless service providers in roles spanning operations, engineering, planning and strategy. He is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management and serves on the Board of the Kellogg Alumni Club of Chicago.
Dow Draper, President – Sprint Wholesale & Prepaid Services
Brandon “Dow” Draper is president – Wholesale and Prepaid Services for Sprint, responsible for acquisition, retention, sales and marketing for the company’s prepaid products and services as well as the relationships with Sprint’s wholesale and MVNO customers. He was appointed head of Prepaid Services in September 2013, expanding the contract-free business with dramatic changes to keep the company’s Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint Prepaid brands value-driven and competitive. In late 2014, Draper added business development for Sprint Wholesale to his responsibilities, managing sales of Sprint’s leading-edge, award-winning assets in white-label form to hundreds of partners worldwide. Before joining Sprint, Draper was senior vice president and general manager of Retail for Clearwire. He also has served as senior vice president of Marketing and Products for the company. Before Clearwire, Draper held various roles at Alltel Wireless including senior vice president of Device and Data Services and senior vice president of Financial Planning and Analysis. He also played a central role in the sale of Alltel to TPG and Goldman Sachs. He held executive positions at Western Wireless and McKinsey and Company. Draper is a graduate of the University of Colorado - Boulder and earned an M.B.A. from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
As the director of Technical Marketing, Simon Dredge is responsible for positioning and promoting the entire Metaswitch product portfolio. From optics to applications, Dredge has more than 25 years of experience spanning almost all areas of the communications industry and across disciplines ranging from network design and engineering to support.
Don Eben is a forward-thinking business leader and seasoned executive with more than 20 years of experience in IT and telecommunications. He is well versed in the areas of network planning and optimization, vendor and cost management, implementation, and strategic sales support. He also maintains a proven track record of growing business teams while increasing operations efficiency and achieving greater bottom-line results. Prior to founding TXW, Eben served as President and COO of Lone Star Corporate Services, where he was responsible for overall direction and day-to-day operations of the company. During his tenure the company significantly expanded its U.S. engineering and professional services offerings, resulting in increased sales and brand awareness. Eben also served as the vice president of Network Planning and Vendor Management for Matrix Telecom, and director of Network Planning for Paetec, Inc. and McLeodUSA. Before joining McLeodUSA, he held various network planning roles at both WilTel Communications and WorldCom. He earned an M.B.A. from Oklahoma City University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from John Brown University.
Ben Edmond is chief revenue officer at Global Capacity, with responsibility for all aspects of Global Capacity’s revenue generation, including sales and marketing. Edmond has more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, encompassing broad expertise in the areas of sales, marketing and managerial experiences. He joined Global Capacity in 2012. Prior to joining Global Capacity, Edmond was president of Sales and Marketing at FiberLight, where he led a national carrier and enterprise sales team in 15 metro markets and conducted daily operations in customer and account development and service as well as implementation of product development and all marketing activities. Earlier in his career, Edmond owned Telecom Inventory, a consulting firm focusing on services for large enterprises requiring better access and use of telecommunications information. Edmond’s telecom experience includes eight years with Xspedius Communications (formerly ACSI), where he held several leadership positions. Edmond earned an M.S. in International Business from St. Louis University and a B.S. in International Business & Finance from Northeastern University.
Matthew Erickson serves as the president of Physical Infrastructure at Zayo Group, a global provider of Bandwidth Infrastructure services, where he is responsible for Zayo’s Metro and Long Haul Dark Fiber, Colocation, and Mobile Infrastructure strategic product groups, which includes small cell, fiber-to-the-tower and distributed antenna systems. He also oversees Zayo’s operations and outside plant organizations. Erickson joined Zayo in 2006 and through May 2010, he held various roles, including senior vice president of Corporate Development & Strategy and vice president of Marketing & Product Management. Since June 2010, he has served as president of various segments throughout Zayo. Before joining Zayo, Erickson worked at ICG, where he was vice president of Marketing & Product Management from 2004 to 2006. Earlier in his career, Erickson was at Level 3, where he held various roles including Internet, transport and infrastructure product management and corporate strategy/development. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the audit and financial advisory services groups.
Erickson earned a B.S. in Accounting from Colorado State University.
Deborah Gainor joined TMI in September 2014 as a member of the firm’s consulting team. Prior to joining TMI, Gainor held several positions of distinction with CenturyLink, including area operations manager, managing local operations, sales, customer and community relations; and as director of Long Distance, overseeing the migration of long-distance traffic from two acquired companies and migration from TDM to IP switching infrastructure. Gainor’s areas of expertise include identifying and implementing cost savings and selecting/deploying software applications, as well as negotiating and securing network vendor contracts and ILEC interconnection agreements.
Mike Gallagher is a 25-year telecommunications industry veteran who has the ability to both operate complex entities and devise strategic direction. Gallagher currently consults for various private equity clients, most of whom were at one time investors in his entrepreneurial telecom enterprises. He most recently wrapped up an assignment for Pamlico Capital, where he became CEO of IBBS Technologies Gallagher restructured IBBS starting in late 2011, and sold the company to Momentum Telecom in early 2014. He currently sits on the BOD of Momentum and consults for the company. From 1998 to 2010, Gallagher was the founding CEO of FDN Communications, which eventually merged into NuVox Communications in 2007. The combined entity was successfully sold to publicly traded Windstream in 2010. Metro Access Networks (MAN) was Gallagher’s first entrepreneurial endeavor and immediately preceded FDN Communications. He co-founded and ran this Texas focused local fiber venture, which built over 300 metro fiber route miles in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston markets. MAN was founded in 1993 with a $40 million equity investment from Centurylink and was sold in 1997 to Brooks Fiber Properties, netting investors an eventual 8x return. The early part of Gallagher’s career was spent in direct sales, selling data or metro fiber networks to Fortune 1000 customers. At Williams Telecommunications (Wiltel), where he worked from 1988 to 1993, Prior to Wiltel, he worked at local fiber provider Intermedia Communications, which along with MFS Communications, was one of the country’s first Competitive Access Providers. Gallagher earned a degree in Mathematics and Physics from Rollins College and has attended a certificate level course in Data Communications from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to Momentum Telecom, he also serves on the board of backup power firm C&D Technologies and is the owner of a telecom-focused consulting firm, Eldora Partners.
Amy S. Gross serves as regulatory policy consultant and in-house counsel for TMI, working in concert with all TMI departments and having responsibility for overseeing the regulatory and legal contents of TMI's services and numerous nationwide publications. In addition, she monitors rule changes, docket activity, and legislative activity at the FCC and all 50 states, and provides in depth, customized research on regulatory issues. Prior to joining TMI in 1998, Gross served as vice president and general counsel to AMNEX, Inc., representing the company and its subsidiaries before state and federal regulators and federal courts on a variety of issues of importance to the competitive interexchange and public communications industries. Gross is a member of the COMPTEL Regulatory Affairs Committee, and served for seven years on the COMPTEL Board of Directors and three years on the Executive Committee. Her prior 19 years of experience includes employment with NYNEX Service Company, Bell Communications Research, Inc. and the National Telephone Cooperative Association.
Brian Gustas has more than 25 years of telecommunications industry leadership experience in executive management, operations, merger and acquisition and sales. Prior to joining Impact, Gustas spent nearly eight years in a variety of business development, sales and operational leadership roles with Matrix Telecom. In conjunction with Matrix’s purchase of Excel Telecommunications in 2010, he became senior vice president of Sales and Business Development, where he was responsible for the direction and management of all wholesale sales and general business development operations, such as strategic partnerships, merger and acquisition due diligence and acquisition integrations. Gustas was president and CEO of Zenex Communications Inc. from 1999 to 2002 and helped lead Zenex to receive the Oklahoma Quality Foundation’s award for excellence in 2000. From 1996 to 1999, he was president and CEO of Comsource Inc. and from 1989 to 1996 he was regional sales manager for Westel Communications, Inc. Gustas is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, a former Board Member of TEXALTEL, and has served as a speaker, moderator or panelist at several COMPTEL PLUS events.
Shiraz Hasan, Area Vice President, Industrial IoT Solutions, Internet of Things Solutions Group, AT&T
Shiraz Hasan brings more than 15 years of expertise in developing and implementing strategic business solutions, managing process improvement initiatives, technology integration, building industrial IoT & mobile applications solutions. Hasan serves as an area vice president for Industrial IoT Solutions Business development for AT&T’s Enterprise customers, where he runs a team of IoT subject matter experts around the globe who help customers across many industries develop and deploy IoT solutions and applications. Prior to this current role, Hasan led the Mobile Applications Development Practice in the Central U.S., responsible for mobile application and M2M solutions for the AT&T business customer segment. His team worked with line-of-business, IT and vertical industry executives to define, design and deploy business solutions that helped corporations wirelessly enable their business applications.
Prior to AT&T, Hasan led Gateway Computer’s Business Professional Services Team as the national director of Business Enterprise Solutions, and held several other positions with Gateway, including director of Emerging Technologies. Hasan earned a B.S. in Business Management with specialization in Computer Information Systems and Telecommunications Analysis from Cal Poly Tech.
Jake Heinz is senior vice president, Marketing and Product for XO. Previously, he served as vice president of the small business group for XO, where he managed all aspects of sales, marketing and acquisitions to build lasting relationships with XO small business customers, and before that was vice president of Marketing and Product. Heinz has more than 18 years of experience in technical leadership roles and working with IP-VPN, VoIP, hosted PBX, cloud computing, cybersecurity and managed services. Before joining XO, Heinz served as chief integration officer at MegaPath Inc., leading a three-way merger of telecommunications companies (Covad Communications, MegaPath and Speakeasy). Before joining MegaPath, he held the roles of vice president and general manager of VoIP services, and vice president of customer operations, for Covad. Heinz earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and an M.B.A. from Duke University.
Jason Houx is a consulting systems engineer at Cisco Systems, working in the service provider vertical and focusing on large carrier networks, cloud providers, NFV and automation. He is a 15-year veteran of the service provider community and has been with Cisco for eight years. Before joining Cisco, Houx managed multiple teams for a Tier II service provider, building and deploying services.
Dane Jasper is co-founder and CEO of Sonic, a facilities-based telecommunications and Internet access company. Jasper has more than 20 years of industry experience in all aspects of data and voice networks. He has extensive experience and expertise in wireline copper and fiber optic networks. Jasper serves on the CALTEL and FISPA board of directors, and is an active participant in regulatory issues related to the telecom industry.
Rochelle Jones is currently serving on the USAC Board of Directors while exploring an encore career. She formally held the titles of senior vice president and vice president of Regulatory and Public Policy for tw telecom, which was acquired by Level 3 Communications in late 2014. While at tw telecom, she was responsible for both state and federal regulatory matters as well as contractual issues with incumbent carriers. Earlier in her career, Jones was employed by Southern New England Telecommunications Corporation (SNET). She started with SNET after graduating from Smith College. Jones held a variety of positions at SNET, including district manager of Investor Relations, assistant corporate secretary and director/division manager of State and Federal Regulatory Matters.
Angie Kronenberg is chief advocate and general counsel at COMPTEL, where she oversees the COMPTEL policy team, with a focus on the association's regulatory affairs and priorities at the FCC. Kronenberg was named a "Rising Star in Wireline" by FierceTelecom in 2014. Before joining COMPTEL, Kronenberg served in an advisor role for FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Prior to that, she was a special counsel in the Spectrum and Competition Policy Division of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. She also practiced telecommunications and media law in the Washington, D.C. office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP for more than a decade. Kronenberg earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America, where she also earned a certification from The Institute for Communications Law Studies, and she earned a B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Baylor University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Ray LaChance is the co-founder, president and CEO of ZenFi Networks, a regional fiber network provider, delivering specialized solutions with a core focus on enabling mobile network densification and solving problems created by the proliferation of mobile data. With LaChance at the helm, ZenFi is developing customized and unique solutions throughout the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. In addition to his role at ZenFi, LaChance is also a co-founder of Metro Network Services, LLC, a company that provides network planning, engineering, deployment and maintenance services to telecommunications companies. A technology industry veteran, LaChance has more than 25 years of experience managing teams to design, build and operate complex, high-capacity networks. Prior to ZenFi and Metro|NS, LaChance was president and CEO of Lexent Metro Connect, LLC (sold to Lightower in 2010) and co-founder of RealTech Systems Corp., where he served as president and CEO. LaChance earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Albany.
Jack Laskowitz and his team contribute to the success of the AT&T Partner Exchange Program by developing products and processes with a focus on automation, simplicity, and speed to serve its members. The AT&T Partner Exchange, launched in 2013, is designed to best serve mid-market companies through solution provider program members. Laskowitzled efforts to build and launch the mobility resale platform in 2013, and was listed on CRN’s 2014 list of 100 People You Don’t Know but Should. Prior to his time with the AT&T Partner Exchange, Laskowitz served in AT&T’s company-owned retail organization, managing retail districts in south Texas and the greater Kansas City area. Previously, he spent time with AT&T U-verse, AT&T Signature Client Group enterprise sales, and AT&T Network Construction & Engineering.
Andrew Lipman has spent more than 30 years developing Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT) Group into one of the largest practices of its kind in the nation. He practices in virtually every aspect of communications law and related fields, including regulatory, transactional, litigation, legislative and land use. The TMT Group is international in scope, representing clients in the U.S., Central and South America, Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. Lipman has been involved in nearly every new legal and regulatory policy at the FCC, at state public service commissions, in Congress and before courts to open the U.S. local telephone market to competition. He also helped shape crucial provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and has used similar approaches to promote the opening of foreign markets. He obtained one of the first competitive local service and interconnection agreements in continental Europe and the first competitive fiber network application in Japan. Lipman’s expansive practice includes the strategic analysis of companies’ telecom user agreements, including renegotiating existing agreements, and when necessary, negotiating new, more favorable telecom user agreements. A frequent author and speaker on telecommunications-related topics, Lipman has published more than 170 articles and is the author of five books, including two Dow Jones books on telecommunications. He has appeared as a commentator on National Public Radio, C-SPAN, Bloomberg News Network and ABC News.
Richard Lukaj has more than 20 years of investment banking experience having originated, structured and executed more than 200 deals totaling more than $100 billion of transaction value. Lukaj is a founder of Bank Street and aspires with his partners to create a premier middle market investment banking franchise focused on growth sectors of the global economy. He has executed hundreds of transactions over the course of his successful investment banking career, ranging in variety from mergers and acquisitions, underwriting of debt, equity and derivative securities, restructurings, exclusive sales, and other financial advisory mandates. During his career at Bear Stearns, he contributed meaningfully to the development of one of the strongest investment banking franchises on Wall Street. Although heavily weighted towards the media, communications and technology industries, he also has a very broad industry experience in industrial, consumer, retailing, energy, aerospace, specialty finance, real estate and natural resources arenas.
David Malfara directs all efforts involved in the conception and launch of new business models based on emerging technologies for ETC Group’s carrier/service provider clients. His involvement in the industry transition to all-IP networks includes co-authoring the NRRI white paper and webinar, authoring the COMPTEL white paper and webinar, and lecturing on the subject at the annual Camp NARUC, presented by the Michigan State Institute of Public Utilities. In the 30 years prior to founding ETC Group, Malfara founded and/or served as president and CEO of a number of successful service provider companies, including Remi Communications, Z-Tel Network Services Inc., Pennsylvania Alternative Communications Inc., Pace Network Services and Vector Communications, Inc. Early in his career, he held engineering and management positions at National Computer Corp., Honeywell Information Systems and GTE Telenet. Malfara served for more than 10 years as a director of COMPTEL and was founding chair of the association’s Technology Task Force. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the IEEE Standards Association, IEEE Communications Society and IEEE Information Theory Society; and is a member of the ATIS/SIP Forum joint IP-NNI Task Force, the SIP Forum, and the ATIS Industry Numbering Committee. He sits on the Executive Advisory board of multiple U.S. service providers.
Ryan Mallory has more than 20 years experience in the technology industry. His career has focused on the service provider, data center, professional services and virtualized IT environment. With extensive experience in WAN design, cloud deployment, DR strategy and application profiling, Mallory has a unique ability to envision the entire “stack” of deployment capabilities and requirements for customers, partners and vendors. With a background in pre-sales technology design, service delivery and operational support, Mallory is uniquely suited to provide strategic insight from project design and acceptance through production.
Milo Medin has been part of the Internet development community for more than 25 years. He is currently the vice president of Access Services at Google, where he oversees a number of projects to improve access to the Internet. Prior to joining Google in 2010, he was founder and CTO of M2Z Networks, a company that sought to deploy a national broadband wireless network system, and before then he was co-founder and chief technology officer of [email protected], where he led the development of the company's national infrastructure, and helped deliver the first large scale residential broadband access service in partnership with major cable operators, including the development of the DOCSIS cable modem standard. Earlier, Medin worked at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he developed the first peering point between backbone networks, and managed primary West Coast interconnect for the Internet, and architected and managed the global NASA Science Internet, including the deployment of the first Internet connections to a number of countries around the world. Medin majored in computer science at UC Berkeley. He has participated in a number of public policy forums, including two National Academy of Sciences panels, given testimony in Congress and before the FCC on broadband technology policy, and served on the PCAST working group on spectrum sharing. He holds several patents in the field of network access technology, and sits on the FCC’s Technical Advisory Committee.
Randy Minervino is a founding member of Profitec, a Connecticut-based information technology firm specializing in billing applications for the telecommunications and utility industries. As a member of the board of directors, and vice president of Sales and Marketing, he has been one of the principal architects of the company’s strategic vision. As an industry innovator, Minervino is an avid advocate for growth, and has spoken at industry trade conferences and represented the industry on panel discussions on state and federal regulatory issues for many years. Prior to the creation of Profitec, Minervino served as vice president of Sales and Marketing for Mountain International Corp.
Dave Monnier is a fellow and the director of Sales and Marketing at Team Cymru, a specialized Internet security research firm based in Lake Mary, Fla. Team Cymru specializes in understanding the economic aspects of online crime and Monnier excels at describing the complex nature of the underground economy to both executives and technologists alike.
Understanding that real-world security involves both technology and business considerations, Monnier helps organizations to fully consider their security and policy decisions in real-world terms. Monnier has traveled the world presenting security ideas and solving organizations hardest problems. With more than 15 years of experience in a wide-range of technologies, he brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding to every situation. Monnier began his career performing UNIX and Linux administration in academic and high performance computing environments where he helped build some of the most powerful computational systems of their day. Subsequent to systems administration Monnier moved into Internet security, having served as a lead security engineer for a Big 10 University and later helped to launch the Research and Education Networking ISAC, part of the formal U.S. ISAC community. Monnier joined Team Cymru in 2007, where he has served as its senior engineer and later as a security evangelist. In 2010, he was granted the title of Team Cymru fellow, a highest honor of Team Cymru. Monnier has managed multiple teams as part of Team Cymru ranging from engineering, outreach, threat intelligence, sales and marketing.
Sen. Bill Nelson, (D-FL), Ranking Democrat, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Sen. Bill Nelson is a true son of Florida, his family coming to the Panhandle in 1829, and his grandparents homesteading in the early 20th Century on land that today is the Kennedy Space Center. From a spot near there, Nelson would launch into space in 1986 and spend six days orbiting the Earth aboard the space shuttle Columbia. Nearly three decades later he still vividly recalls looking back at our planet from the window of the shuttle and not seeing any political, religious or racial divides "From that perspective, you can see how we’re all in this together," he said. "If we could just remember that, we’d sure get a lot more done." It's that kind of perspective that has earned Nelson a reputation as a thoughtful, moderate voice in an increasingly partisan political world. Nelson's public service career began in 1972, with his election to the Florida Legislature. He then served six terms in the U.S. Congress representing Orlando and the Space Coast, becoming an early champion of the environment. In 1994, Nelson was elected to the Florida Cabinet as state Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal. During his six years in the post, he showed he was a common-sense problem solver and strong consumer advocate. Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2000. Now in his third term, he's continuing to fight for lower taxes, better education, Medicare and Social Security.He's someone who thinks public service is a noble calling - which is why he's devoted his life to serving his community, his state and his country.
Mike Newkirk has an impressive track record of more than 30 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, business unit development, project and product management, and system engineering strategies. Newkirk served as president and COO, member of the Board of Directors for BTI Telecom, a dynamic facilities based communications provider. During his tenure, he grew revenues from $8 million to $350 million annually and led an unparalleled team of nearly 1,400 professionals. Prior to joining Access Point, Newkirk headed up his own consulting firm, where he provided CBO-level corporate strategy, business development, product commercialization, and strategic marketing consulting to start-up and high-growth companies across a broad spectrum of industries. Newkirk is a co-founder and former president of ACCA (Associated Communications Companies of America) and currently serves as a board member. Newkirk has served on numerous technology company and industry boards and has several times been recognized as one of the “Top 25 Telecommunications Executives” by Phone+ magazine and “100 Top People to Watch” within the telecom industry.
Vin Paladini is senior counsel, Regulatory at Time Warner Cable. His practice includes federal and state telecommunications law, accessibility, privacy, electronic payments, credit verification and other matters. Prior to joining Time Warner Cable, he was an attorney with DLA Piper LLP in Washington, D.C., and an attorney/advisor in the FCC’s Wireline Services Bureau. Paladini earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Rutgers University. He is the author of “Foreign Ownership Restrictions Under § 310(b) of the Tel. Act of 1996,” Note, 14 B.U. Int’l L.J. 341 (1996) and is admitted to practice law in Washington, D.C., New Jersey, New York and Virginia.
Joe Patton is a well-recognized figure in the telecommunications industry with more than 25 years of experience selling enterprise and telecom services. As Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Patton is instrumental in building Tower Cloud’s wholesale and enterprise business, as well as developing the company’s partner strategy. Patton came to Tower Cloud from Global Capacity where he served as senior vice president of Sales. He also held senior management positions with FiberLight, XO and MCI. Patton sits on the Technology Association of Georgia Board and chairs the Sage School board.
Adi Paz is responsible for developing and communicating GigaSpaces’ strategy and managing the company's go-to-market activities and strategic alliances. Paz brings to this position nearly two decades of experience in business management, international marketing, strategic sales, channel development and product development. Prior to joining GigaSpaces, Paz served as vice president of Marketing and Products and vice president of Business Development at Radvision, specializing in selling and marketing solutions to the developer and enterprise markets. Paz also held senior Product Management and Business Development positions at Starhome, a Comverse company, focusing on the carrier market.
Chip Pickering became CEO of COMPTEL in January 2014. Pickering was a six-term Congressman, representing Mississippi’s Third District. During this time, he served on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, where he was vice chairman from 2002 to 2006 and a member of the Telecommunications Subcommittee. He also was co-chairman and founder of the Congressional Wireless Caucus and an assistant minority whip of the House. Previously, Pickering worked for Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and served as a staff member on the Senate Commerce Committee, where he helped shape the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Because of his role in drafting the 1996 Act, he became well known as a Congressional leader on telecommunications issues. Most recently, Pickering was a partner with Capitol Resources LLC, a public affairs and government relations firm, where he represented an array of telecom clients, including wireless, cable and competitive broadband providers, as well as non-profits and companies specializing in education, energy, technology and defense. There, he also played a vital role as one of the principal negotiators in developing a wireless industry agreement for interoperability in the 700 block.
Duncan Puller is vice president of Data Center and Cloud Strategy at Ciena. In this role, he is responsible for developing strategic relationships with key data center, cloud and content providers, to collaboratively bring innovative solutions to market, strengthening Ciena’s importance in this segment.
Puller joined Ciena from Sidera Networks, where he was vice president of Cloud Services and was responsible for building strategic relationships within the data center, cloud and content ecosystem. Previously he held executive roles at Nimbus Exchange, SAVVIS, Cable & Wireless and UUNET, where he developed solutions to address complex client issues that leveraged data center and communications infrastructure at their core. Puller earned a B.S degree in Management Science from Virginia Tech and an M.S. degree in Telecommunication from George Washington University.
Necole Pynn is the managing director of Canvs, a nonprofit co-working space for tech startups located in the heart of downtown Orlando’s entertainment district. Canvs is the front door to the downtown tech community, and connects new tech companies to civic, business and educational resources across Central Florida. Necole has worked with more than a dozen startup tech companies in Orlando, assisting with communications and early-stage business development. She was the associate producer of the Orlando Rising documentary film, and has contributed articles on the local tech industry to Florida Technology Journal, Orlando Tech and others. She stays actively involved with organizations serving entrepreneurs in the local community, including Starter Studio, OrlandoiX, weVenture, and Startup Weekend Orlando, and engages with universities, businesses, media outlets and the local government to represent and advocate for startup technology developers.
Rick Reed has more than 14 years experience in the telecommunications industry working for AT&T with assignments in Finance, Consumer Marketing, Operations, Sponsorships & Advertising, Retail Sales and Business Marketing. His most recent assignment is associate director of Business Marketing in Dallas and is responsible for sponsorships, events and media strategy, as well as execution for AT&T Partner Solutions. He was recently named by CRN as one of the “100 People You Should Know in the Channel." In addition, Reed has participated in various leadership programs at AT&T including the Invest for Success Program. Reed earned B.S. in Finance from the University of Texas at San Antonio where he was in the Business Leadership Challenge Program and also a four-year starter and captain on the basketball team that went to the NCAA tournament in 1999.
Carey Roesel, vice president and consultant, joined TMI in 1996. In his role at TMI, Roesel works with a wide variety of telecommunications carriers to obtain certification and manage ongoing regulatory issues. Before joining TMI, he served as manager - Business Planning at Sprint/United, where he provided input and support to the executive team on a variety of economic and regulatory issues. From 1993 to 1995, he held the position of manager-Tariffs, in which he was responsible for interpreting and maintaining the company's access, toll and private line tariffs.
Adam Saenger is vice president, Global Product Development and Management for Level 3 Communications, with responsibility for leading all aspects of Level 3’s global solutions development in addition to lifecycle product management responsibility for the company’s customer interaction strategy and intelligent network solutions. Prior to his current role, Saenger spent 16 years in various marketing executive leadership positions at tw telecom inclusive of directing the product management and development organizations where he played a critical role defining the company’s Internet, Ethernet, managed services and intelligent network strategies.
Melker Sandberg is a managing director in the FTI Consulting Corporate Finance/Restructuring practice. HE is a member of the Telecom, Media and Technology practice and is an expert in telecommunications, telecom products and go-to-market, sales effectiveness, telecom operations, network cost management, service delivery, restructuring, business turnaround and improvement, business divestiture, financial operations, financial analysis and planning, merger integration planning and effectuation, mergers and acquisitions due diligence, and business operations. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Sandberg was vice president of Finance at Level 3 Communications. Before that, he worked at Cap Gemini, Mutual of Omaha and MetLife. Sandberg earned an M.B.A. from Creighton University and a B.S. in Business Administration from University of Nebraska.
Stephan Schiffman has been a leading motivational speaker and sales trainer since 1979. He is a Certified Management Consultant, and has trained and consulted more than 500,000 professionals at a wide range of corporations, including IBM, AT&T, Motorola, Sprint, CIGNA, and a host of other organizations throughout the world. Schiffman's accomplishments include the development of highly pragmatic sales training and management programs that adapt effectively into a broad range of sales environments and industries. All of his training is based upon actual sales experiences and are proven successful. He has been rated as the number one sales expert in prospecting by Personal Selling Power magazine. Schiffman's business acumen has a solid foundation. Before founding D.E.I. Management Group, Inc., he was a broadcasting executive and an account executive for a brokerage firm. As the director of Training and Development for an international organization, he created and conducted training programs for thousands of people throughout the world. Because his programs have been integrated into the sales culture of major corporations, Schiffman is frequently asked to be a guest on national radio and television shows, including CNBC'S Smart Money, Steals and Deals, Money Talk, AP's Special Assignment, SRN's Today's Business Journal, and The Jim Bohannon Show. A prolific author, Schiffman has produced numerous internationally best-selling books. Among his more than 50 titles include: “Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!),” “Stephan Schiffman's Telemarketing,” “The 25 Sales Skills They Don’t Teach at Business School,” “The 25 Sales Strategies That Will Boost your Sales Today,” “The 25 Most Common Sales Mistakes,” “The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Effective Salespeople,” “Closing Techniques (That Really Work!),” “Ask Questions, Get Sales: Close The Deal And Create Long-Term Relationships,” “Sales Just Don’t Happen” and “The Big Bang: 15 Strategies for Taking Control of Your Sales Cycle and Beating Quota.”
John Schmitt began his FiberLight career in 1997 in field sales with ACSI, an early iteration of the company. Since then, he has served in many leadership roles within the organization, including regional vice president of Sales, vice president of Business Development and senior vice president of Carrier Sales and Business Development. He became FiberLight's chief development officer in 2013, where he is responsible for FiberLight’s strategic direction and business development management, as well as all large network expansion activities in pursuit of key projects.
Michael Shultz has more than 29 years of experience in both federal and state telecommunications issues management. He is currently vice president, Regulatory & Public Policy at Consolidated Communications and is responsible for federal and state advocacy, industry affairs, interconnection, billing operations, revenue assurance and tariffs and compliance in the company’s 11-state service area of California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition, Shultz’s experience includes separations, cost and rate development, as well as NECA pooling experience for average schedule and cost rate of return companies. Prior to joining Consolidated Communications, Shultz spent 11 years with Citizens Communications, now Frontier Communications, in several roles. As director of Regulatory and Industry Affairs, he provided the strategic direction needed to implement interconnection access and unbundled network components for the company. In prior roles at Citizens, Shultz developed regulatory processes and procedures, implemented a cost analysis and pricing strategy of network services, created price cap models for Citizens’ initial entry into federal incentive regulation. Shultz aggressively advocated and supported the company’s position on legislative and regulatory matters. He also served as administrator for carrier and industry relations and began his career at Citizens as supervisor of cost development. Prior to joining Citizens Communications, Shultz spent six years with John Staurulakis, Inc. as a consultant working with clients on settlement issues, universal services, cost studies and earnings surveillance reports. He actively participates on the ITTA, USTA’s Legislative and Regulatory committees and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Exchange Carriers Association, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas Telecommunications Associations. Also, he is the current Chairman of the California Communications Association. Shultz earned an M.B.A. from the University of Dallas, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Joe Solana is the president and COO of General Solutions Associates, LLC (GSA), a telecommunications compliance and regulatory firm based in Atlanta. GSA provides a complete outsourced turnkey solution for all matters regarding tax and compliance. Solana has served as a controller and CFO for several multinational corporations including Philips Electronics, ILD Telecommunications and Royal Ten Cate. Solana has appeared before the FCC and USAC regarding third-party audits and lifeline service matters. Solana and GSA has successfully represented many clients for USAC audits, tax audits and acquisition due diligence. His expertise includes a vast telecom regulatory understanding as well as experience with the SureTax and BillSoft tax engines, extensive billing systems and the taxing logic applied to the telecom industry. Solana earned a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of The State of New York and an M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University.
Dan Templin has more than 25 years experience in the cable and telecommunications industries and has served as senior vice president, Mediacom Business and president, Mediacom Telephony, LLC since April 2011, overseeing operations of business services clients from small and mid-sized business to enterprises. In August 2014 he added OnMedia, Mediacom’s media sales division, to his responsibilities. He joined Mediacom in May 2008 as group vice president, Strategic Marketing and Product Development. Before joining Mediacom, he served as senior vice president, Marketing and Product Management for Susquehanna Communications, with responsibility for strategy, sales, products and customer care from February 1999. Templin is a recognized voice in rural broadband initiatives and serves on the advisory boards of several leading industry organizations and companies.
Sharon Thomas is vice president and consultant with. She joined the firm in May 2004 as a consultant. Thomas aids TMI’s clients with their regulatory obligations, including entry requirements, general regulatory compliance and strategies, and rates and tariffs. She brings to TMI a wealth of experience and expertise in the telecommunications industry. Her experience includes assignments at Talk America Inc., Advanced Telecom Group, Inc. and with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.
As director of service provider solutions for Clear2there, Kris Venturini is responsible for developing and managing ongoing relationships with service providers regarding branding, marketing and implementing the company’s smart premise solutions. Among the responsibilities are sales, training and support that ensure service providers can satisfy end-customer needs. Venturini has held management and executive positions with a variety of telecommunications equipment and solutions firms for more than 25 years, and just prior to joining Clear2there, he was president of M2M Certified, a leading provider of cloud-based M2M services.
In his role as Director of Product Marketing for Cyan, Kevin Wade is responsible for the company’s outbound, go-to-market activities. He has more than 20 years of experience launching new products into the service provider and enterprise markets, as well as successfully building their respective market shares. Before joining Cyan, Wade was senior director of Product Marketing with Force10/Turin (now Dell) and also held strategic marketing positions with Ascend (now Alcatel-Lucent) and Cabletron (now Enterasys). An accomplished technology marketer, Wade has presented at leading industry conferences including Supercomm and Cable-Tech Expo, and has published articles in trade magazines, such as Data Center Knowledge and Lightwave. Wade earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Northern Arizona University.
Deb Ward is a seasoned and respected veteran in the telecom industry, providing leadership and strategic direction to various telecom-related companies as the founder and CEO since the early 1980s. She initially founded TMS, a Pacific Bell Joint User in California that resold local and long distance services. In 1999, she founded TSI, a nationwide switchless reseller of local and long distance services. Ward is well versed in all aspects of the business, from sales and marketing to network and product development. Today, TSI (Televergence Solutions Inc.) is a facilities-based carrier providing long distance, international and toll-free services to carriers, resellers, agents and retail end users via traditional TDM and/or VoIP interconnections, with a focused expertise in call center traffic. Ward is one of the few female CEOs in a male-dominated and highly competitive telecom space and, was recently elected as COMPTEL’s first chairwoman. She participates and is a regular contributor at a high level in various organizations groups devoted to the regulatory oversight and integrity of the industry. TSI maintains membership in The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), COMPTEL, The Marketing Research Association (MRA), Professional Association for Customer Engagement (PACE), the Telecom Association and the Women in the Channel, where she participates in the Mentor Program mentoring and promoting women in leadership positions.
Sharon Warren joined Technologies Management, Inc. (TMI) in February 2014 as a consultant. Prior to that, Warren served as Project Manager for S2K Consulting and as Director, Network Costs at Cleartel Communications. She applies her extensive experience in telecom expense management and revenue assurance, as well as network provisioning to a wide variety of TMI’s telecom clients. Previously, in her capacity with FDN Communications, Warren excelled in a number of roles, including assistant manager of Network Audits; manager, Vendor Disputes; and manager, Revenue Assurance. She exhibited strong leadership skills and was an effective manager, successfully implementing an analysis team to identify revenue leakage, clarify and ascertain potential costs savings, directly impact network optimization, and execute efficiencies in billing procedures and processes.
Mike Weller is a senior business consultant and has been at EZtax Services Inc. for more than six years. Prior to joining EZtax Services, Weller was employed at Sprint-Nextel, Informix Software, Price Waterhouse and owned a consulting company advising small and medium-size companies on accounting, billing, customer relations and payroll systems. He earned a B.S. degrees in Accounting and Economics from Rockhurst University and a Master Certificate in Project Management from the George Washington University. Weller is also active in the Missouri Society of CPAs and the AICPA.
Connie Wightman is president and chairman of Technologies Management, Inc. She founded the company in 1985 after 13 years telecommunications experience with the Bell System and AT&T. She has helped hundreds of small and large carriers enter and thrive in the telecommunications business. Prior to starting TMI, Wightman was a technical manager with AT&T Information Systems in their Corporate Data Systems division. Her areas of responsibility included planning the facilities in and out of the AT&T data centers and writing tactical plans to implement the strategic directions for corporate networks.
Carol Wilson is editor-at-large for Light Reading, where she covers broadband service providers and plans content for global events. She has covered the telecom industry for 29 years, including 14 years at Telephony, eight of those as editor-in-chief. Wilson also was a founding editor of [email protected] Week and founding editor-in-chief of The Net Economy, both for Ziff-Davis Media, and also founded a news and information Web site, Broadband Edge. Prior to covering telecom, Wilson wrote about higher education, business, politics, the arts and sports for newsletter and newspaper companies. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wilson’s work has been recognized by the Computer Press Association, the American Society of Business Press Editors, the Jesse H. Neal Awards of the American Business Media and the North Carolina Women’s Press Association.
Mary Whiting is the director of Regulatory Compliance for EarthLink Business, with responsibilities for tariff filings, surcharge billing and remittances, all required regulatory reporting to the FCC and various state commissions. She also oversees the company participation in the E-Rate and rural health care programs. Whiting joined EarthLink in 1998.
Dave Zelenok is the chief innovation officer for the City of Centennial Colorado (pop. 100,000, incorporated 2001), where he leads, champions and advocates for the implementation of creative concepts and new technologies to enhance the economic development, as well as the operation and management of the City government in partnership with the private sector. In 2011, Zelenok was unanimously appointed by the City Council to serve as the Interim City Manager. Prior to that, he served as director of Public Works and led the outsourcing of the Public Works Department under his direction, in a move which is widely understood to be the largest public-to-private conversion of its kind in the nation. Prior to working for the city, he was director of Engineering for Merrick and Company, one of the largest consulting engineering firms in Colorado, overseeing civil infrastructure design and business development in their Colorado Springs office. Zelenok served 14 years as director of Public Works and Director of Transportation for the City of Colorado Springs (pop. 400,000), where his responsibilities included the construction of 400 miles of new streets and highways and associated infrastructure through private sector partnerships valued at roughly $1 Billion. Earlier in his career, he held a number of senior engineering management positions with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and on active duty in the United States Air Force.