Women in Fiber Spotlight Nominees
Congratulations to our Women in Fiber Spotlight Nominees!
Tasha Wheeler is a Senior Program Manager - OSP at KGPCo. Tasha started in telecommunications 10 years ago with CenturyLink on the OSP team and helped manage four states - Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. Her career grew as a project manager with companies like Crown Castle (OSP), Nexius (Small Cell) and then KGPCo. Tasha is widely known as a successful team builder and people manager, focusing on the needs and concerns of everyone she supervises. She is widely respected by her team and her customers.
Tasha was nominated because she possesses exceptional leadership skills and customer engagement talents. Tasha's hard work can be credited in transforming the Colorado market which was largely dormant to highly profitable in less than six months. Her efforts have also led to building a robust customer base with a pipeline of additional projects. Tasha led the team to build over 100 + miles of conduit and fiber for a major tier one provider. Her contributions to her company and her customers are considered exceptional and worthy of industry wide recognition.
Rica Edwards is a Solutions Engineer at Smithville. Rica has a passion for Data Security and has established herself as the Firewall and DDOS mitigation expert at Smithville. Data Security is a complex and ever changing and Rica works hard to stay informed on industry best practices.
Rica was nominated not only for being a pleasure to work with, but her flexibility in working through many complex projects while most of customers are sleeping. Rica never complains about late hours or problems that occur, she just works through the issues as they arise. She brings the same passion to her work whether she is working for a large enterprise customer or a residential customer in rural Indiana or Arkansas and is always the first to volunteer to assist anyone. Rica often exemplifies her military background with her willingness to whatever is needed to get the work done during challenging times.
Kristy Stone is Vice President of Care and Service Delivery at Lumos/NorthState, A Segra Company. Kristy has served in many leadership roles in the service provider space and currently leads all of the call center and service delivery operations within the Residential & Small Business segment of Segra (under the Lumos brand). This segment has over 100K+ Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) addresses passed and continues to grow connections and market share via expansions. Kristy is highly instrumental leading the provisioning and customer support activities for all the portfolio of FTTP based products serving this growing consumer segment, ensuring seamless delivery & support. She is well respected as a leader within her team and throughout the organization.
Kristy was nominated not only for her ability to be a mentor within the organization, but also for her ability to seamlessly support several cross functional teams within the company. Even the teams where she does not have direct authority, Kristy is viewed as a key influential leader within those areas including field operations, engineering, and sales support.
Cheri Beranek, is CEO, President and a founding member of Clearfield, Inc. Within 15 months of becoming CEO, Cheri converted a R&D-based corporation into a leading provider of optical fiber management and connectivity platforms. Under her direction and dedication, Clearfield has recorded 12 consecutive years of profitability and posted historic gains in both market capitalization and shareholder equity. Cheri is also recognized for her extraordinary work in running a multinational business with more than 250 employees and over 800 customers.
Cheri was nominated not only for her ability to be a high-integrity leader with a proven track record for delivering strong financial results, but her dedication to staffing women in a male dominated field. Cheri has played a key role in promoting women in science not by sticking to a political agenda but always hiring the best people with the best minds for each job. In doing so, Clearfield prides itself in being a company where all great minds have a platform to soar.
Jessie Monroe is a network operations specialist at Smithville Communications. She started her career in Tech Support, continuing to educate herself in the technology space. She is currently studying cybersecurity and for her Network + certification. Jessie is always looking for a way to support other members of the Network Operations team, either by jumping in and assisting when things are crazy busy, to mentoring when the opportunity arises. She also spends a lot of time optimizing processes within the department, and leading the way with regards to documentation the team uses daily.
Jessie was nominated due to her incredible drive to break down barriers and represent women well in the Network Operations field. Jessie continues to prove that all things are possible. She is the only woman in this department, and works easily alongside her male counterparts, where she is a respected member of the team. She has also assumed a leadership role in the company by chairing the Culture Team which is directly responsible for implementing change with leadership company-wide.
Megan O’Brien is an Applications Engineer at Preformed Line Products. Megan provides the sales force and manufacturer reps with outside plant (OSP) closures that are built and simulated with cable like it would be in the field representing many different cable manufacturers and architectures. Megan has most recently been involved in various hands-on product trainings and field trials, internally and externally, spanning from rural internet service providers (ISP) to Tier-1 multiple-system operators (MSO). She has also taken a leadership position in regards to application and training videos which has become pivotal as COVID-19 has affected the way we travel and train. As PLP continues to push the needle on the advancement of FTTH and broadband, Megan guides new product development projects to completion by helping with cable and fiber routing techniques that enhance the design of PLP’s products and ultimately the ease of use for fiber splicers in the field.
Megan was nominated due to her extraordinary patience, expertise and ability to handle and exceed in any situation that arises. In addition, she is recognized for using her spare time to train new Preformed Line Product employees. She often takes new Fiber specialists under her wing and guides them to success.