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Utility Broadband Workshop

 

Utility Broadband Workshop

As the US recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, broadband access remains a key national priority. Between the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), the American Rescue Plan, and the numerous infrastructure packages being debated in Congress, literally hundreds of billions of dollars could soon be available for broadband funding. Is your utility in a position to take advantage? How can your utility tap into state broadband funding from the American Rescue Plan? What new technologies can assist your deployment strategies? What hurdles could impede utilities from connecting their unserved and underserved communities to robust, reliable, and affordable broadband services?

UTC’s Utility Broadband Virtual Workshop on June 22-24, 2021 will help answer these questions. Our agenda addresses the key issues for federal and state funding, new technologies, and the latest developments in Washington. If your utility is pursuing broadband programs, you won’t want to miss this!

  • Date: June 22- June 24, 2021
  • Location: Virtual

Agenda

Agenda – Click Here

Sponsorship Information

Sponsorship Contract – Click Here

Questions? Please contact Cheryl Stratos in Sales at cheryl.stratos@utc.org

Registration Rates

  • $200 | Member Rate
  • $300 | Non-Member Rate
  • $100 | Government Rate*
    *Contact support@utc.org to receive the government rate.

Cancellation Policy:
Cancellations received by Tuesday, June 1, 2021, will receive a refund of less than a 25% cancellation fee.  There will be no refunds issued after June 1st; however, substitutions may be made without penalty. Cancellations must be received in writing to support@utc.org

SPEAKERS

David Allen
David Allen
Vice President, Regulatory & Gas Operations, Midwest Energy and Communications

David H. Allen is Vice President, Regulatory & Gas Operations for Midwest Energy & Communications (MWE) in Cassopolis, Michigan.  Prior to joining MWE in 2008, Dave spent three years as Vice President, Business Development Officer/Commercial Lender for First National Bank in Three Rivers, three years as Executive Director for the St. Joseph County Economic Development Corporation, one year as Manager, Business Retention with Southwest Michigan First in Kalamazoo and fourteen years with SEMCO Energy in both Three Rivers and Battle Creek.  When he left SEMCO Energy in 2001, Dave was Manager, Central District Operations & Public Affairs.

A native of Battle Creek, Michigan, Dave received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983 and his Masters of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University in 1986.  He currently serves on numerous local, state, and national boards and committees including UTC’s Utilities Broadband Council.

Lee Ayers
Lee Ayers
VP of Engineering, Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative

Lee Ayers received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University in 1982. From 1982 until 1986, he worked for Central Electric Power Cooperative in Columbia, South Carolina. Since 1986, he has been employed with Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative in Lexington, South Carolina, where he currently serves as VP of Engineering, managing system planning, power supply, substations, metering, system control, and dispatch, and outside plant fiber optic communications and technology. He has worked extensively with electric service rate design and implementation. Presently he is managing MCEC’s FttM (Fiber to the Meter) project that will enable internet service to the MCEC’s entire membership along with system-wide electric distribution automation and data collection, as well as real-time electric service usage data to consumers.

Ron Bilodeau
Ron Bilodeau
Director, Strategic Solutions, Osmose

Ron provides solutions to the utility and broadband industries on wide-ranging topics including joint use, and wireless collocation programs and processes. Ron has more than 35 years of management experience in the telecom and electric space, he earned an MBA from Western Governors University and a BA from the University of Las Vegas Nevada, and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Gary Borgeson
Gary Borgeson
President & CEO, CVEC & CVSI

Gary Wood is the President and Chief Executive Officer at CVEC & CVSI.  He earned a BSEE from the University of Virginia as an electrical engineering undergraduate and an MBA from Auburn University.  He has 30 years of experience at CVEC, with the last 12 as CEO.  He has previous experience designing campus and institutional electric, communications, and alarm systems as a consulting engineer.  He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Virginia.  Mr. Wood worked on projects for CVSI and later served as a board member for the organization when they offered ISP service to members from 1997 through 2010.  He has been chosen to serve on the audit and finance committees of the statewide electric cooperative organization and the Blue Ridge Power Agency, both of whom are affiliates of CVEC.  He has broad and deep experience in building infrastructure, operating an ISP business, and managing projects and businesses.  As CEO of CVEC and CVSI, he leads the efforts to build and operate the physical plant and manage the overall construction of the fiber network.

Mr. Wood and his wife, Debbie Harvey, live in Nelson County. They have a son and a daughter.

 

Tom Breuckman
Tom Breuckman
Manager of Facility Attachments, Xcel Energy

Tom has thirty years of electric utility experience including over 15 years managing and administering the licensed use of Xcel Energy’s electric utility assets to communication companies.

As manager of Facility Attachments, Tom is responsible for the management of over 1 million communication attachments to Xcel Energy’s 1.5 million distribution poles, street lights, and transmissions structures throughout Xcel Energy’s eight-state service territory.

 

Joshua Broder
Joshua Broder
CEO, Tilson

CEO of Tilson, which under his leadership, has grown from less than 10 employees to nearly 600, earning a top spot on the Inc. 5000 list for the past ten years. Josh led several large, successful Recovery Act-funded technology infrastructure projects for Tilson that included fiber optic broadband and Department of Energy-funded grid modernization network deployments. Josh cut his teeth in leadership as an Army Signal Officer on missions in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan running the tactical communications network for US forces. Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. He is a graduate of AT&T’s Opera.on Hand Salute at JFK University with a certificate in entrepreneurial studies. Josh serves on the boards of Versant Power, Skowhegan Savings Bank, Kleinschmidt Associates (a mul.-national engineering firm), and VETRO Fibermap, a cloud-based fiber mapping tool.

Michael Brown
Michael Brown
Vice President of Engineering, NRTC Broadband Solutions

Michael Brown leads NRTC’s Engineering Team and is responsible for strategy, market growth, and technology innovations for Broadband customers in the Electric and Telecommunications markets. He brings 41+ years of strategic planning, next-generation network innovations, vendor technology integration, and scalable, repeatable deployments across service provider and enterprise domains. His record of solid accomplishments stems from his hands-on experience across multiple disciplines from drafting to developing technical strategies that produce significant business results.

Prior to joining NRTC, Mr. Brown spent 10 years at the Science Application International Corporation (SAIC) directing architecture, solutions, and successful implementation of multiple LAN, WAN, and unified communication transformation projects for Federal clients including NASA, DHS, and DOD.

Before SAIC he was acting CTO of FairPoint Communications where he executed a technical strategy to modernize the regional network infrastructure in Northern New England to support a $1.7B acquisition of landlines from Verizon. This technical strategy resulted in over $300M of new annual revenue through the introduction of new Carrier Ethernet and Video services and positioned FairPoint as a telecommunications leader in their market.

Mr. Brown has a passion for developing technical teams to meet objectives, providing career and personal mentorship of young people watching them grow in capability and character. The building is another passion, whether decks, homes, landscaping, technical infrastructures, highly skilled teams, doesn’t matter what it is, he just loves to build stuff.

Jimmy Carr
Jimmy Carr
Chief Executive Officer, All Points Broadband

Jimmy is the Chief Executive Officer of All Points Broadband.  In this role he is responsible for the Company’s strategic direction and is focused on expanding All Points’ portfolio of public-private partnerships to provide fiber-to-the-home access to currently unserved areas in partnership with investor-owned and cooperative electric utilities.

All Points has announced partnerships with five electric utilities across nine counties that will provide universal access to fiber-to-the-home broadband in each partner jurisdiction.

After growing a successful rural-focused internet service provider in another market, he founded All Points to bring state-of-the-art connectivity to underserved communities in Virginia, Kentucky and throughout in the mid-Atlantic. Jimmy is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association and oversees the association’s policy agenda as Chairman of its Legislative Committee.  He represents the rural broadband industry on the Virginia Broadband Advisory Council and has testified before the U.S. Senate as an expert on rural broadband deployment.

Before joining the telecommunications industry, Jimmy was an associate with the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. He previously served as Virginia’s Assistant Secretary of Transportation in two administrations, directing legislative and regulatory affairs for six agencies with an annual budget in excess of four billion dollars. He is also the founder and principal architect of the public-private partnership to build the 55-mile Virginia Capital Trail.

 

Jimmy earned a law degree and an MBA at the University of Virginia, where he was the Managing Editor of the Virginia Law Review, President of the JD/MBA society and inducted into the Raven Society. He is an Order of the Coif graduate of the law school and received the business school’s Shermet Award and Faculty Award for Academic Excellence. Jimmy graduated from Davidson College cum laude and with departmental honors.

 

Jonathan Chambers
Jonathan Chambers
Partner, Conexon

The world is interconnected in many ways, and the future of information, education, work, health care, social connection and entertainment are all tied to broadband internet access. The COVID-19 crisis accentuates a point we have known for some time. For our kids to have the same educational opportunity, for our young adults to find work without moving away from the community, for our elderly to receive quality health care, rural America needs fiber broadband service.

–Jonathan Chambers

Ed Diggs
Ed Diggs
Electric Distribution Program Manager, Dominion

Edward H. Diggs graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He joined Dominion Energy in 1996 and has held numerous positions in the areas of Electric Distribution Design, Distribution Right of Way, Distribution Finance, and Dominion Six Sigma. Mr. Diggs was most recently Supervisor – Electric Distribution Design for Dominion Energy Virginia and assumed his current position as Program Manager – Rural Broadband for Dominion Energy Virginia in August 2019. In this position, Mr. Diggs is responsible for establishing and managing the Rural Broadband Pilot program for Dominion Energy Virginia. In addition, he is responsible for establishing partnerships with non-governmental internet service providers where Dominion Energy would serve as the mid-mile provider to bring broadband capacity to unserved areas of the Commonwealth.

Darren Farnan
Darren Farnan
Chief Development Officer, United Electric Cooperative

Darren was appointed as Chief Development Officer of United Electric Cooperative in 2013, where he had served as Subsidiary Services Manager since 2004.  Starting with the Cooperative in 1994, Darren has also served in the roles of Energy Services Manager and Telecommunications Coordinator.

Darren led the development and operations of the United Fiber network which has grown to over 2400 miles of fiber, 40 employees, and $20 million in annual revenue since turning up our first fiber customer in 2013.  Currently, United Fiber is approaching 20,000 combined residential and commercial fiber customers.

Darren is the Chair for the UTC Utilities Broadband Committee and has done national presentations for the FTTH Council, Calix, and UTC on the United Fiber business.  He is involved in numerous local organizations including economic development and civic organizations throughout the United service area.

Darren received his BS in Business Management (1991), and MBA (1992) from Northwest Missouri State University.  He and his wife Shantel live in Maryville, Missouri.  They have two children; Brady and Maggie.

Aryeh Fishman
Aryeh Fishman
Associate General Counsel, Regulatory Legal Affairs, EEI

Aryeh Fishman earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. He serves as Associate General Counsel, Regulatory Legal Affairs, for the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and leads on various legal, regulatory, and policymakers impacting the investor-owned utility industry including issues such as pole attachments, spectrum policy, robocalls, and electric communications sector restoration practices.

 

Gabriel Garcia
Gabriel Garcia
Senior Counsel, CPS Energy
Kristie Goodson
Kristie Goodson
Sr. Dark Fiber Specialist, Tennessee Valley Authority

Kristie Goodson is a Sr. Dark Fiber Specialist for the Tennessee Valley Authority. She has spent 20+ years in the telecommunications industry. Prior to joining TVA in 2016, Kristie was in the commercial carrier space, primarily in the planning and sales engineering arenas. Her specialties include fiber network design, interconnection, and collocation in both the carrier and local exchange space.

Brad Hall
Brad Hall
VP External Affairs, American Electric Power

Brad Hall is vice president of external affairs for Appalachian Power, with responsibility for customer services, corporate communications, government affairs, economic development, community affairs, and environmental issues covering the company’s territories in Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Previously, Hall served as the director of revenue assurance and director of operations for SouthEast Telephone in Pikeville. He also was the controller and office manager of Mountain Water District. He started his career as an accountant at Eastern Telephone Company and the University of Kentucky.

Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, Ky., and a Master of Business Administration from Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky.

Trey Hayes
Trey Hayes
Connectivity Team Leader, Alabama Power

Trey Hayes joined Alabama Power’s Connectivity and Innovation Team in 2019 and currently leads connectivity efforts across the state. Having previously worked as a project manager on APC’s Economic Development team, Trey knows how important connectivity is to the new economy and its ever-increasing role in how we work, learn, and maintain our health.  He and his team are passionate about leading and partnering to help close the digital divide in Alabama.

Trey has a strong background in industrial engineering, graduating magna cum laude from the University of Alabama and having previously served as a distribution engineer in the cities of Trussville and Montgomery.

On the business side, he completed his MBA at Auburn University at Montgomery with summa cum laude distinction. This landed him other pivotal roles in the company, including commercial account manager, commercial development manager, and industrial account manager.

Outside of work, Trey is an active leader in the community. He serves on the University of Alabama’s Honors College Council and is an adjunct professor. He also is a Blackburn Fellow and works as a deacon at the Landmark Church in Montgomery.

Trey is a native of Brilliant, Alabama, and the proud husband of Amanda and father of Sam and John. His hobbies include reading, running, and becoming increasingly frustrated with the game of golf.”

 

David Hoover
David Hoover
Principal, The Ferguson Group

David Hoover is a Principal at The Ferguson Group (TFG), where he provides strategic counsel on technology and telecommunications policy issues to clients. The firm specializes in securing policy and regulatory changes, federal funding, grants, and authorizations for counties, municipalities, public utilities, cooperatives, non-profit organizations, and private companies.  He also serves as Legislative and Policy Manager for the National Association of Towns and Townships.

Mr. Hoover is an accomplished government relations and public policy executive with more than 20 years of experience leading advocacy campaigns, conducting research, analyzing federal policies, and building relationships with members of Congress, federal agencies, industry, and public interest groups. Prior to joining TFG, Mr. Hoover served as vice president of legislative affairs at NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, where he planned and implemented a federal legislative strategy on behalf of the association’s more than 800 independent, community-based telecommunications companies.

Previously, Mr. Hoover was director of government affairs at CTIA-The Wireless Association, where he lobbied on a variety of issues including spectrum, taxes, telehealth, and universal service. He also served as policy director for the trade group. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hoover was director of research at NCTA – The Internet & Television Association and also covered the telecom and media industries as an analyst with The Precursor Group®, Legg Mason, and the Schwab Washington Research Group.

Mr. Hoover earned a Master of Arts in Telecommunications from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Ohio University.

 

Scott Jackson
Scott Jackson
National Market Manager – Broadband Graybar

As National Market Manager of Broadband Markets & Applications for Graybar, Scott has been actively involved with the Fiber Broadband Association and Utilities Technology Council for several years.

Scott has more than 20 years of technology and business modeling experience in Broadband, IT, and telecommunications applications in the industry.  In his current role at Graybar, Scott focuses on Broadband networking and applications for broadband network operators, utilities, wireless, and contractors. His past roles include Service Provider, Smart Grid, and Smart City as a market and business development manager.

He is currently his companies’ representative for the Utilities Technology Council, Fiber Broadband Association, National Rural Electric Association, National Association of Tower Erectors, and Wireless Industry Association.  Scott has served as various industry technology committee chair and board of director and officer/chair positions.  He also serves, or has served on various industry task forces from time to time; currently on the Wireless Industry Association’s Smart City Task Force and as a former active participant on the Smart Grid Task Force submittal of Electri International and Michigan State University School of Planning, Design, and Construction.

Michael Janson
Michael Janson
Director, Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force, FCC

Michael is the FCC’s Director of the Rural Broadband AucPons Task Force, overseeing the development and implementation of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and the 5G Fund for

Rural America, and Assistant Chief of the Office of Economics and AnalyPcs. While at the FCC,  Michael has managed a number of makers and proceedings in the Wireless

Telecommunications Bureau, the Enforcement Bureau, and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. Michael was previously the Deputy Director of the Task Force.

Elin Katz
Elin Katz
Managing Director, Utilities & Associate General Counsel, Tilson

Elin Swanson Katz is serving as VP of Utilities for Tilson. Elin works with clients in both the public and private sectors on broadband deployment strategies and developing both wired and wireless communication networks. She leads Tilson’s Utilities practice focused on the telecommunication needs of u.lity companies, including private LTE, AMI, and grid modernization. She is passionate about supporting utilities that seek to support middle-mile and last-mile broadband service to underserved areas. She also works on consumer and stakeholder engagement and education. Elin previously served as Consumer Counsel for the State of Connecticut, as well as President of the Na.onal Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, and brings her consumer-oriented perspective to her work at Tilson.

Dustin Keith
Dustin Keith
Wholesale Account Manager, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga

Dustin Keith joins the EPB Broadband Solutions team as a Wholesale Account Manager with over a decade of technical experience under his belt. Dustin works closely with municipals and co-ops to help them reduce costs and optimize their speed to market as they endeavor to build thriving communities with future-proof infrastructure. Before he joined the EPB Broadband Solutions team, Dustin served as the Senior Supervisor of EPB’s Network Operations Center (NOC). He also developed advanced technical documentation and used his skills to train Tier 3 Network Operations Engineers. Dustin has first-hand experience in fiber deployment and backend business practices that he acquired while working in EPB’s Residential Tier 2 Call Center and Field Services department. This background enables him to help EPB’s partners craft thorough business plans that set them up for success. His enthusiasm and determination to help American communities thrive with future-proof network operations make Dustin an integral part of the EPB’s Broadband Solutions team.

Mike Keyser
Mike Keyser
General Manager, BARC Electric Cooperative

Mike Keyser is the chief executive officer of BARC Electric Cooperative and its wholly-owned fiber subsidiary, BARC Connects. In 2017, BARC was one of the first Virginia cooperatives to deploy fiber-to-the-premises. The project began in Rockbridge County providing world-class Internet service to residents and businesses and that work continues, expanding into Bath, Augusta, and Botetourt counties. Mr. Keyser serves on several boards including the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) board and both the Virginia Maryland Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives and the brand new association of broadband cooperatives board. Mr. Keyser was appointed to the Virginia Broadband Advisory Council by Governor Ralph Northam in January 2020.

Joe Kohegyi
Joe Kohegyi
Director, Marketing Channel Activation, Calix

Joe Kohegyi is a marketer, product developer, and business strategist with a love for understanding consumer behavior and connecting brands and products. With over 15 years of B2B and B2C marketing experience across multiple industries including telecom, Joe helps service providers quickly go to market as Calix’s Director of Marketing Channel Activation.

Sherry Lichtenberg
Sherry Lichtenberg
Deputy Director and Principal for Telecommunications Research and Policy, National Regulatory Research Institute

Dr. Sherry Lichtenberg is NRRI’s Deputy Director and Principal for Telecommunications Research and Policy.  She is a recognized expert on key telecommunications issues, including deregulation, competition, and universal service.  Sherry’s telecommunications background includes competitive advocacy on the state and federal levels, operational support-systems design, performance metrics, contract arbitration, program management, training, and third-party testing. Sherry supports state public utility commissions, industry, and others in understanding key telecommunications issues.  She has published numerous papers on telecommunications policy, including a yearly review of telecommunications legislation and studies of quality of service, competition, carriers of last resort, state universal service funds, and broadband service quality.  Sherry received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Tom Magee
Tom Magee
Partner, Keller & Heckman

Tom Magee is a Partner with Keller and Heckman who has been advising investor-owned electric utilities,

electric cooperatives, municipalities, and other infrastructure clients for decades on a variety of

telecommunications makers before the FCC, federal and state courts, and state and local regulatory

authorities.

Christopher A. McLean
Christopher A. McLean
Assistant Administrator, USDA Rural Utilities Service

Chris also serves as the Assistant Administrator for Electric Programs (AAE) at the RUS. He was named to that position on January 11, 2015. This is Chris’s third time at the agency. As AAE, Chris presides over a $46 billion loan portfolio. In recent years the RUS annual lending budget has been in excess of $5 billion. The agency makes low-interest loans for rural electric infrastructure, renewable energy, smart grid, and energy efficiency.

Prior to his return to RUS, Chris was the Acting Director of the Program Planning and Accountability Division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) at the United States Department of Agriculture. He came to OASCR in 2013 as a civil rights fellow in the Policy Office.

From 2010-2012, Chris served as a senior advisor to the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

Chris was in private practice from 2001-2010. He was the co-owner of e-Copernicus, a consulting firm that specialized in telecommunications, transportation, and technology policy. Chris is also the former Executive Director of the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition (CERC). Mr. McLean is a former RUS Administrator and former Governor of the Rural Telephone Bank. He was appointed DeputyAdministrator in January 1998. In 2000, he was the first person nominated and confirmed for the position of RUS Administrator. Prior to joining RUS,

Mr. McLean worked on Capitol Hill for more than 15 years. Mr. McLean hails from Omaha, Nebraska. He received an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from GeorgetownUniversity in 1985, a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 1982, and a degree in Business Administration from Creighton University in 1980.

Christopher Nelson
Christopher Nelson
Chairman of South Dakota Public Service Commission and Chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Broadband Expansion Task Force.

Chris Nelson is currently chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Chris was appointed Jan. 8, 2011, by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to fill a vacancy on the commission and was elected by South Dakota voters in November 2012 to continue his service for the remaining four years of the term. He was re-elected to a full term in November 2016, garnering the highest electoral percentage ever for a contested statewide race. Chris served as the PUC’s chairman in 2012, 2015, and 2016 and as vice chairman in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2019, and 2020.

He is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners serving on the association’s Board of Directors, chairing the Broadband Expansion Task Force, co-chairing the Washington Action Program, is a member of its Investment Committee, and is a past chairman of its Committee on Telecommunications. He has been appointed by the Federal Communications Commission to the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, representing the interests of NARUC as state chairman of the board. Chris is on the board of directors for the National Regulatory Research Institute.

Previously, Chris served as South Dakota’s secretary of state, having been elected in the 2002 general election. Chris was unopposed for re-election in 2006, which was the first time the office was unopposed in the history of South Dakota.

Prior to becoming secretary of state, Chris held the position of state election supervisor in the secretary of state’s office for 13 years and was a uniform commercial code supervisor in the same office for two years.

As secretary of state, Chris received the 2010 Excellent Service to South Dakota County Officials award from the South Dakota County Officials Association, the 2004 Hazeltine/Taylor award from South Dakota Kids Voting, and the 2003 Excellence in South Dakota Municipal Government award from the South Dakota Municipal League. In 2005, Chris was appointed as a National Governors Association representative on the United States Election Assistance Commission Board of Advisors.

Under Chris’ leadership, the secretary of state’s office was awarded the Election Center’s 2009 Professional Practices Program State Award. This annual award is given as recognition for the most outstanding election administration professional practice in the nation. The award recognizes the 2008 development and implementation of a new central election reporting system for the state.

Following graduation from White Lake High School, Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science, with the highest honors, from South Dakota State University in 1987.

Chris is involved in his church and counts agriculture and hunting as two areas of personal interest. He maintains a part-time cattle operation. Chris and his wife, Penny, reside in Pierre. Their daughter, Rebekah, is a nurse in Sioux Falls.

Kathy Nelson
Kathy Nelson
Principal, Energy & Utilities

Kathy has over 27 years of utility experience in telecommunications. She spent 25 years at Great River Energy (GRE) where she focused on telecommunications strategy, designing and deploying wireless systems such as Field Area Networks (FAN)s, land mobile radio, SCADA, distribution automation, connectivity to DER devices, etc.

During her time at GRE, Kathy served on the board of directors of Utilities Technology Council (UTC) for nearly 10 years where she led the Public Policy Division, advocating for utilities’ access to broadband funding, spectrum access for utilities, among others. She was the founding board member of the UTC Foundation whose mission is to encourage young people to enter technology fields in utilities. Her tenure on the board culminated with serving as Chairwoman from 2017—2018.

Brian O’Hara
Brian O’Hara
Senior Director Regulatory Issues – Telecom & Broadband, NRECA

Brian O’Hara, Senior Director Regulatory Issues – Telecommunications & Broadband, 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 posi8on, develops and directs association regulatory policy

on telecom and broadband issues for over 900 electric cooperatives, many of whom are offering, deploying, or exploring broadband business opportuni8es. Brian has more than 20 years of telecommunications and

broadband industry experience. Brian went to St. Mary’s College of Maryland for undergrad and Johns Hopkins University for a Masters in Government.

Jonathan Pollet
Jonathan Pollet
Founder, Executive Director, ​​​​​​​Red Tiger Security

Jonathan Pollet, Founder, and CEO of Red Tiger Security has over 22 years of experience in both Industrial Process Control Systems and Cyber Security. After graduating from the University of New Orleans in Electrical Engineering, he was hired by Chevron and designed and implemented PLC and SCADA systems for onshore and offshore processing facilities in the 1990s. In 2001 he began to publish several white papers that exposed the need for security for Industrial Control Systems (ICS). He is one of the initial charter members of the ISA99/IEC62443 standard, assisted in the drafting of several NERC CIP standards and advisories, and was also on the drafting team for the GIAC GICSP certification. He is still active in the research of vulnerabilities within real-time ICS systems today. Pollet and his team have conducted over 300 security assessments of live Industrial Control Systems around the world in the past 18 years.

Throughout his career, he has been involved with SANS, IEEE, ISA, ISSA, EEI, UTC, CSIA, NERC, and several other professional societies.  Pollet has developed and presented workshops on ICS and SCADA Security to the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, UK CPNI, Canadian PSEPC, and Australian Ministries of Defense for Critical Infrastructure, and has spoken in over 200 conferences and workshops around the world. He has also been featured on Fox News, CNN, CNBC, Vanity Fair, Popular Mechanics, CIO Magazine, and several security publications.

Anna Read
Anna Read
Manager of Broadband Research Initiatives, Pew Charitable Trusts

Anna Read leads Pew’s efforts to examine how the federal government and states are working to connect millions of Americans to high-speed, reliable internet as part of the Trusts’ broadband access initiative. Her work focuses on research and promising practices that will help legislators and other policymakers expand connectivity and close the digital divide.

Before joining Pew, Read was a senior research associate at the American Planning Association. She also worked as a project manager on regional broadband planning efforts for Missouri’s Office of Administration and for the International City/County Management Association, where her work focused on smart growth and rural communities.

Read holds a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and a master’s degree in regional planning from Cornell University.

Peggy Ruddock
Peggy Ruddock
Regulatory Consultant, Ameren

Margaret “Peggy” L. Rudock is an internal Regulatory Consultant with Ameren Services, coordinating the corporate-wide legislative and regulatory advocacy of Ameren in support of the company’s broadband initiatives.  In this capacity Ms. Rudock coordinates with state and federal legislative and regulatory teams at Ameren, she provides reports and guidance to leadership and engages in advocacy with outside organizations.

Ms. Rudock is an economist who has worked in domestic and international telecom regulatory policy for 20 years.  Over that time, she has been involved in the most consequential telecom policy matters, including the 1996 Telecom Act, as the telecom industry evolved from a regulated monopoly to a deregulated competitive industry.  Ms. Rudock has provided expert analysis on various issues such as price cap regulation, competitive entry, interconnection, deregulation, universal service, and network cost modeling.  She has engaged with various industry organizations as well.

Past employers are the Illinois Commerce Commission, Citizens Telecom (nka Frontier), and Strategic Policy Research, Inc, consulting.  Ms. Rudock received B.S. Business Administration, B.A. French Language and M.S. Economics degrees from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

 

Dave Sabala
Dave Sabala
General Manager, Douglas Electric Cooperative

Retiring in June, 2015, Dave Sabala worked for Douglas Electric Cooperative, Roseburg, Oregon starting as Director of Member Services in 1978.  He became GM in 1989.  He graduated from Oregon State University majoring in Business and is a graduate of the National Rural Electric Cooperative’s Management Intern Program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

In addition to being the lead person to create Douglas Fast Net (DFN), Douglas Electric Cooperative’s wholly-owned telecommunications subsidiary, Dave was instrumental in the formation of NoaNet Oregon, now LS Networks, a regional interexchange carrier headquartered in Portland, Oregon.  He also represented DFN as a founding member of Eastern Oregon Telecom (EOT), a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) headquartered in Hermiston, Oregon.

Dave was named the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s First Citizen for community service in 2001.  He was awarded the Edwin G. Parker Enduring Achievement Award – Oregon’s Telecom Hall of Fame – in 2014.

Dave is currently a member of the governor-appointed Oregon Broadband Advisory Council.  OBAC was created by the Oregon Legislature to report and advise them on the progress of broadband in Oregon.  In addition, Dave is a member of the Utilities Technology Council’s Utility Broadband Council.  He consulted for the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association on HB 2654 Broadband Easements that was recently passed into law in Oregon.

Laura Spining
Laura Spining
Deputy Associate Administrator for Broadband Programs, NTIA

Laura Spining serves as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Broadband programs at National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  She directs the BroadbandUSA program, which promotes broadband deployment and digital inclusion working with local, state, and Tribal communities.  She developed the Partnerships program to strengthen and support organizations that share NTIA’s mission to advance broadband deployment and digital inclusion. Spining leads this effort to engage Tribal leaders, federal agencies, state leaders, non-profits, and other organizations committed to high-speed, affordable, and reliable broadband. Prior to joining NTIA, Ms. Spining served as the Executive Director for the Internet Innovation Alliance, a nonprofit promoting the advancement of broadband.  Ms. Spining has extensive industry experience including working at Level 3 Communications for 10 years in network deployment, business development, and public policy.  In addition, Ms. Spining worked at USTelecom during the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  She is a native Tennessean and currently lives in Bethesda, MD.

Sean Stokes
Sean Stokes
Partner, Keller & Heckman

Sean is a partner at Keller and Heckman, LLP.  Sean represents clients nationally on a wide range of communications matters including broadband, pole attachments, fiber leasing, regulatory compliance, barriers to community broadband, and public-private partnerships. His clients include utilities of all types, as well as national and state utility associations, municipal leagues, and numerous public and private entities throughout the U.S. He collaborates with multi-disciplinary teams of legal, financial, engineering, and other technical experts, assisting clients in making comprehensive telecommunications and broadband plans.

Sean’s extensive career experience includes serving as Associate General Counsel for UTC in the 1990s. Sean is a graduate of the National Law Center at George Washington University.

Gautam Talagery
Gautam Talagery
CTO for Utilities, Ericsson, Inc.

Gautam Talagery drives Solutions and Network Transformation in his role as CTO for Utilities at Ericsson’s Emerging Markets organization.  Gautam is based in Plano, TX, and has lived in Stockholm and Bengaluru as part of his global assignments with Ericsson.  He loves science fiction, is passionate about technology and the environment.

Gautam has been with Ericsson for more than 25 years. His previous positions have been in the areas of product design, 3GPP telecom standards, Java standards, product marketing, system design for public safety solutions, and business development roles for Ericsson in both Multimedia and Wireless arenas.  He was actively involved in the launch of 3G and 4G in the US market and has advised multiple global customers in the technology evolution of wireless, multimedia, and communication as part of his global assignments with Ericsson.

Gautam has a Masters of Business Administration, MSEE from the University of Texas and is presently studying Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning at the University of TX at Austin.

Todd Way
Todd Way
CEO, Douglas Electric Cooperative

Todd Way is the CEO for Douglas Fast Net, a for-profit broadband subsidiary of Douglas Electric Cooperative.  Todd is a 1995 graduate of Oregon State University with a master’s in Business Administration and a B.S degree in Construction Engineering Management.

Todd began his carrier in telecommunications in 1991 working with US West Communications in Oregon and Washington.  In 2004 he assumed the role of VP of Operations for Rio Communications, a competitive local exchange carrier located in Roseburg, Oregon.  In 2007 he took over the operations of DFN for the cooperative.

Todd is currently the Chair of the Northwest Telecommunications Association and of the Utilities Telecom Council’s Broadband Technology Committee. In the past, Todd has sat on the boards of Eastern Oregon Telecom, the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Umpqua Economic Development Partnership, and the Douglas County Development Board.

 

John Werner
John Werner
Senior Manager, Fiber & Wireless, Thayer Power and Communications
John Werner is the Senior Manager, Utilities and Communications at Thayer Power & Communication.  In this role he is responsible for the interaction of Thayer’s Power, Wireless and FiberComm divisions focused on all communication services located on utility infrastructure. John is integral to the entire deployment ecosystem – engineering, permitting, , installation, and operations.
Thayer provides services from nine offices with 800 employees and 630 fleet vehicles.  Oriented towards construction, the unique combination of Thayer’s power, fiber, and wireless skills creates a single very highly skilled and safe deliverable that has immediate support and credibility with utilities, carriers, telcos, and governmental agencies.
John represents Thayer at the Utilities Technology Council, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association, Telecommunications Association, American Public Power Association, and Heartland Joint Use.
John earned an MBA at The Ohio State University and a PMP while at AT&T Mobility. Prior to joining Thayer, John served in management positions at Crown Castle, Paul J Ford & Company, AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless.
Bailey White
Bailey White
Co-Founder, CrowdFiber

Bailey White is a co-founder of CrowdFiber and leads the entity after its acquisition by NRTC in 2020.

An industrial engineering graduate of Stanford University in 1994, Bailey led a variety of technical and research initiatives with HP, Fidelity, NBC, and Warner Brothers before beginning his work to help bring better broadband to rural Georgia in 2007.

In 2013, Bailey co-founded CrowdFiber to meet the unique needs of electric cooperative broadband service providers. Today, CrowdFiber serves broadband companies of all kinds that pass or are working to pass over 20
million addresses throughout the United States with a focus on rural America. Bailey lives in Atlanta, GA, and is originally from Nashville, TN.

Keith Williams
Keith Williams
Telecom (Colocation) Manager, Southern

Keith is responsible for overseeing the management of the Colocation program for lighting, transmission, telecom towers, and land lease for 3rd party build-to-suit. He is also responsible for all subsequent telecommunications products and services.  Keith manages the entire process from application to installation, including billing and working through several internal partner groups. He has served in this position for the past 2 years.  Prior to rejoining Georgia Power Keith served as the Southeast Utility Director at Mobilitie LLC.  In this role, he served as the utility liaison with utility companies within the Southeast region of the US. In this role, he supported and coordinated the deployment of small cell attachments and installations.

Keith joined Georgia Power in 2005 and has served in various areas of Project Management and as the Operational Performance for Southern Company.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Louisville and a Masters of Public/Business Administration from Jacksonville State University

Gary Wood
Gary Wood
President & CEO, Central Virginia Electric Cooperative and Central Virginia Services, Inc.

Gary Wood is the President and Chief Executive Officer at CVEC & CVSI.  He earned a BSEE from the University of Virginia as an electrical engineering undergraduate and an MBA from Auburn University.  He has 30 years of experience at CVEC, with the last 12 as CEO.  He has previous experience designing campus and institutional electric, communications, and alarm systems as a consulting engineer.  He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Virginia.  Mr. Wood worked on projects for CVSI and later served as a board member for the organization when they offered ISP service to members from 1997 through 2010.  He has been chosen to serve on the audit and finance committees of the statewide electric cooperative organization and the Blue Ridge Power Agency, both of whom are affiliates of CVEC.  He has broad and deep experience in building infrastructure, operating an ISP business, and managing projects and businesses.  As CEO of CVEC and CVSI, he leads the efforts to build and operate the physical plant and manage the overall construction of the fiber network.

Mr. Wood and his wife, Debbie Harvey, live in Nelson County. They have a son and a daughter.

 

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