Board Nominee Questionnaire
Please explain why you consider yourself an excellent candidate for the Board of Directors of the Fiber Broadband Association:
I consider myself to be an “excellent candidate” for the Fiber Broadband Association because I bring years of experience as the leader of fiber broadband companies. I have seen the transition in broadband from dial-up and modems to current fiber technology. My company was one of the first to bring fiber to the home technology in the United States and we have continued to leverage that expertise and grow our service area beyond our original cooperative footprint. I understand the cost to deploy across varied terrains, but I also understand the ongoing cost to operate, maintain and upgrade these networks to ensure the highest in customer satisfaction. Similarly, I understand the other broadband technologies and can speak to their limitations in many aspects. Not only have I had the opportunity to run a broadband company, I was directly involved in the formation of the Kansas Fiber Network, a statewide fiber network created by Rural LECs in Kansas. So, I understand the importance of fiber in the network beyond our local network. Additionally, I have created strong relationships across the telecom industry, but I have, also, developed relationships with electric cooperatives that have focused on building broadband to serve their members. In recent years, I have worked with a small group to create legislation that benefits the broadband providers in high-cost rural areas because a solid broadband network is the key to economic success, and in many ways, the continued viability of our rural communities.
How many years has your company been a Fiber Broadband Association Member?
How many years have you participated in Fiber Broadband Association activities?
Association Committees (position and years served)
I have not served on any of the Association Committees, but I have attended webinars and am impressed with the associations efforts to promote fiber broadband,
Association Contributions (activities supported, assets developed, documents drafted, etc…)
I have not been asked to be involved in Association activities since becoming a member, but I have participated in several online activities/webinars.
How many years have you been in the telecommunications industry?
How many years have you been employed by an all-fiber service provider or vendor?
How many years have you been in your current position?
Describe your current job and functional responsibilities
CEO & General Manager - I am responsible tor all aspects of the organization.
What was your previous position?
President & General Manager at Mutual Telephone Company
How many years did you hold your previous position for?
Do you have experience as a member of a Board of Directors?
Please list the entity, the provide the number of years you served and officer position held
Currently = Kansas Fiber Network – 11 years (Chairman twice, Vice Chair and Secretary), WTA – 5 years (currently Vice President), NRTC – 5 years (currently Secretary/Treasurer), Nex-Tech Wireless – 7 years (currently Chairman), Formerly = KRITC – 6 years (Chairman), LR Communications – 6 years, I am, and have been, on several advisory boards. Please let me know if you would like more information on these.
Is there any legal impediment that would prevent you serving on the Board?
Is there any legal issue of which the Association should be aware?
Being a Fiber Broadband Association Board Member requires a considerable time commitment. Please confirm that you have the support of your company if you are elected.
I have the support of my company if I am elected
Please provide a short overview of your experience with telecommunications, fiber optics, and FTTH technologies:
My telecom career started as a technician at Pac Bell, after 10 years in the Navy as an aviation electronics technician. After a couple years as a technician, I was asked to take on supervisory duties. Later, I was recruited to US West (which became Qwest) where I supervised operations crews performing all aspects of service from installation and repair to cable maintenance to engineering to network rehab to special circuits to technical and 911 support. My first GM position was in eastern Oregon before an opportunity brought me to Kansas. I was involved in the complete transformation from a copper-based telecom to a fiber-based telecom. In recent years, I have lead Nex-Tech. Not only do we provide core telecom services in Kansas, but we also provide business/IT/MSP services across the Midwest and Carrier services (NOC and CALEA) across the United States. While Nex-Tech is primarily a fiber-based company, we have used fixed wireless to edge out and build a customer base to further expand our fiber network and footprint across the state. As previously mentioned, I was directly involved in the formation of the Kansas Fiber network and continue to sit on the Board. Nex-Tech is also one of three owners of Nex-Tech Wireless which is a Tier 3 mobile wireless service provider. My company provides a significant amount of fiber backhaul for this and other mobile wireless providers across the northwest and central part of Kansas. So, in addition to understanding the necessity of fiber in the distribution network, I am very familiar with its importance in transport and middle mile applications. In the past year, I have also been involved in one of the key working groups for the FCC/USDA Precision Ag Task Force. In this capacity, I have helped to educate and stress the importance of fiber broadband for the future of precision ag technology and use cases.
Please describe the goals you would like to accomplish during your term as Fiber Broadband Association Board Member.
As a Board Member for the Fiber Broadband Association, I can help grow the associations awareness across the rural LECs through my contacts as well as to my new contacts in the electric cooperatives providing broadband. I feel I can leverage my experience in working with Members of Congress to help provide greater awareness to legislation that supports and encourages the deployment of fiber broadband networks. Not only can I share why fiber is the standard for excellence, I can back it up with examples from practical experience in the use of other technologies in a way that MOC’s and their staff can relate to and understand. Just as the interstate highway system was necessary for our country in the 50’s, a fiber-based broadband network across the United States is necessary today and in the future.
Have you reviewed the Board of Directors’ Responsibilities document, and do you understand what is required?
Please describe the level of commitment (in terms of time and effort) that you intend to make to the Association during the three-year term:
Initially, I want to learn how the Board and Management team work together. I will share my perspective and offer recommendations, and I will learn how I can best help the Association grow and evolve. I am not one that can join a Board or committee only to sit and listen. I am someone that engages, rolls up my sleeves and works to make things happen. So, you could expect an engaged Board member if I am elected to the FBA Board. Like many others on your Board, I have a busy calendar, but once I fully understand the dynamics of the organization, I can be a strong advocate and will ensure that the Association gets my attention, my time and my energy.
Please inform us of any other information, issue, or concern of which the Association should be aware.
I like to ride motorcycles across the country. Hopefully, that doesn’t count as a strike against me. But, no, I don’t have any concerns and cannot think of any conflicts.