Contact Us

Fiber Broadband Honorees Announced at Fiber Connect

Nashville, Tenn. (June 5, 2018) -- Yesterday, the Fiber Broadband Association commenced its 2018 Fiber Connect Conference and Expo, the largest fiber show on the continent with a record-breaking number of exhibitors this year. As part of the annual event, which brings together nearly 2,000 professionals across the fiber industry, the Fiber Broadband Association honored the extraordinary organizations and individuals who have championed the advancement of the fiber broadband industry throughout the past year.

The board of the Fiber Broadband Association was honored to present President & CEO Heather Burnett Gold with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 34 years as a leader in the fiber industry.  The award was presented at the Fiber Connect Conference on June 4th, 2018.

The Chairman’s Award singles out an individual or company that has shown tremendous effort to promote, educate, or accelerate fiber-to-the-home. The 2018 winners of the Chairman’s Award are Marc Hudson, co-founder and CEO of Detroit’s fiber internet startup Rocket Fiber and J. Michael Hill, CEO of On Trac, Incorporated.

Four years ago, Detroit had almost no fiber infrastructure and was one of the most disconnected cities in America. Rocket Fiber has fueled Detroit’s resurgence by taking a leadership position, investing in fiber broadband infrastructure to deliver affordable, high-speed gigabit internet services to Detroit’s businesses and residences while also investing in the social infrastructure of Detroit’s entrepreneurs and small businesses. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr recently recognized Rocket Fiber’s efforts. "Detroit is a great story of a comeback city that I think broadband has really played a role, helping spur some of those businesses that have come back to city," Carr said.

Mike Hill has worked in this industry since 2003 and is serving his eleventh year as a member, serving as chairman of the board three times. Mike’s company, On Trac, Incorporated was one of the founding members of the Fiber to the Home Council, which would become the Fiber Broadband Association. Mike receives the Chairman’s Award for his tireless commitment to the fiber broadband industry -- as colleague, mentor and friend.

The Star Award recognizes a person, community, or company that has gone above and beyond what is expected in the advancement of fiber to the home. This year’s recipient of the Star Award is John Cinelli, CEO of MetroNet. Under John’s leadership, MetroNet has committed to working with policymakers to turn Lexington, Kentucky into a gigabit city, planning to invest as much as $70M over the next three years to run fiber to over 90,000 homes and businesses.

The Photon Award recognizes a Fiber Broadband Association member who, through volunteer contribution, has demonstrated a high level of dedication to the organization and has contributed greatly to the industry. The 2018 winner of the Photon Award is Jennifer Wainright, Associate with Kelley Drye. Jennifer expertly organized and supported the Fiber Broadband Association’s advocacy and leadership of the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Council subcommittee on a State Model Code.

Chairman of the Board Scott Jackson received a crystal gavel to commemorate his term of service to the Fiber Broadband Association board.  


“These award recipients—as well as all of our Fiber Broadband Association members—represent some of the best and brightest in the fiber broadband industry,” said Fiber Broadband Association President and CEO Heather Burnett Gold. “We’re proud to have such outstanding people and companies with us on the path to the fiber future.”

More on the conference and a complete schedule is available at: 

Follow us on Twitter @fiberbroadband, and the hashtag #FiberConnect18 for live tweets from the conference. Read more about the Fiber Broadband Association on Medium.

Media contact:

Ellen Satterwhite, Glen Echo Group



The Fiber Broadband Association is the largest and only trade association in the Americas dedicated to the pursuit of all fiber optic network infrastructure to the home, to the business and to everywhere. The Fiber Broadband Association helps providers make informed decisions about how, where, and why to build better broadband networks with fiber optics while counting on its members to lead the organization forward, collaborate with industry allies and propel fiber optic deployment forward. Since 2001, these companies, organizations and people have worked with our communities and consumers in mind to build a better broadband future here and around the world. Learn more at




Recent Stories
Fiber Broadband Association Consumer Study Shows Changing Internet Use During Pandemic

The Fiber Broadband Association Announces New Women in Fiber Steering Committee

Fiber Broadband Association Research Shows Record Fiber Broadband Growth in North America