2018 Annual Meeting and Expo Speakers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

BRUCE E. BEARD
Cinnamon Mueller 

Bruce Beard is the managing partner with the law firm of Cinnamon Mueller, and head of the firm’s St. Louis, Missouri office.  He is an expert with over twenty-seven years of telecommunications law experience involving regulatory advocacy and compliance, transactional expertise, litigation and operational matters.  His experience includes telephone, wireless, video and broadband.

Mr. Beard’s practice focuses on representing cable, wireless, broadband and landline telecommunications companies on a wide variety of operational, compliance and transactional matters. He also assists the firm’s advocacy for the American Cable Association.  Mr. Beard provides M&A assistance for buyers and sellers of cable systems. To date, he has assumed full deal responsibility and served as regulatory and consent/assignment counsel on over 75 transactions. Some of these deals have involved more than 125 franchises.

Mr. Beard also provides comprehensive FCC and contractual due diligence reviews associated with sales, financing and corporate compliance matters.   On operations, he advises clients on retransmission consent contracts, programing agreements, compulsory copyright compliance, infrastructure agreements, pole attachment agreements, leases, sales agent agreements, non-compete agreements and other contractual matters. He provides representation at every stage of the customer relationship, ranging from service contracts and privacy matters to compliance with regulatory obligations.

He has over fifteen years of experience in counseling clients on franchise matters, leased access matters, rights-of-way issues, must-carry requests and local origination programming matters.  This representation has brought Mr. Beard before the FCC, the Illinois Commerce Commission, Missouri Public Service Commission and other state agencies.  He also advises companies on the launch of VoIP services and compliance with voice related regulatory requirements such as Universal Service obligations.  He also represents companies and individual land-owners in tower leases. 

 

MARILYN A. BLAKE | AU, CRM, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER & CORPORATE SECRETARY
Telcom Insurance

Since they refuse to pay her to be the “Telcom Cruise Director”, she concentrates her efforts in the areas of risk management, corporate operations management (including licensing and professional memberships and social activities), human resources, benefit planning, and meeting seminar planning. She directs Telcom Risk Management, which focuses on all claims, safety issues, education, training, risk management assessments, and loss control programs. She coordinates the content and design of all advertising and marketing products and serves as editor for all Telcom publications. On a personal level, her favorite things other than the Cowboys—specifically Troy Aikman, are her spoiled bichon dogs—Bella and Frosty, her nieces and nephews (this fun-Aunt thing is the way to go), and the “tiny condo” in Myrtle Beach.

 

BRIAN BLOGET
NGT Technologies

 

 

BRENT CHRISTENSEN | PRESIDENT
Minnesota Telecom Alliance

Brent J. Christensen is the President/CEO of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance.  He is responsible for administration and operation of a state trade association that represents 44 independent telecommunications companies, over 40 affiliate telecommunications companies, and over 180 associate members.  Christensen advocates on behalf of MTA members at the state and federal levels.  He has testified before numerous state legislative committees, before Congress and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.  Prior to this position, Christensen served 6 years on the MTA Board of Directors, including 2 years on the Executive Committee.  He also served as Chair of the Legislative committee and as a member of several other MTA policy committees.

Prior to his position with the MTA Christensen was the Vice President/General Manager of Christensen Communications Company, a family owned ILEC located in Madelia, MN.  Christensen began his employment with Christensen Communications in 1979, as a summer intern.  He returned in 1996 as a telephone technician.  Prior to returning to the company, Christensen lived in Austin, Texas and was employed by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Personally, he is married to wife Anne.  Together they have four children and five grandchildren.

 

KEVIN CONDON | DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives

Kevin is Director of Government Relations for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives. Kevin joined IAEC in 2016 and began his seventh legislative session as part of the Iowa Lobby when the Legislature reconvened this past January.  

Prior to joining IAEC, Kevin most recently served as Director of Public Affairs for the Iowa Communications Alliance from 2014 to 2016 as well as Director of Government Relations for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry from 2011 to 2014. Before entering the association world, Condon served as an aide to former United States Senator Tom Harkin for six years in various capacities working both on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and in the Senator’s Des Moines Office.

Kevin holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Iowa with a double major in Political Science and English as well as a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from Iowa State University. Kevin grew up on the family farm near Barnum, Iowa in Webster County. He and his wife, Rachel, are the parents of two sons and reside in West Des Moines.

 

THOMAS CONRY | GENERAL MANAGER
Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Company

Tom has 37 years of Telecommunications experience in Iowa Independent Telephone Companies in all aspects of  Telecommunication service offerings.  He served 9 years on the Rural Iowa Independent Telephone Association (RIITA) Board of Directors and served as President.  Additionally Tom served for 6 years on The Iowa Telephone Association (ICA) Board of Directors.  He has also served on numerous committees for both Associations, USF,  Industry,  Convention, CATV, Golf.  I am currently serving on the Industry Committee for NTCA. 

 

DUSTIN CURTIS
RVW Inc.

 

 

CURTIS DEAN
SmartSource Consulting

 

 

DOUG EIDAHL | VP OF REGULATORY & LEGAL
Vantage Point Solutions

Doug is the VP of Regulatory and Legal for Vantage Point Solutions where he works on a wide variety of legal, regulatory, business and strategic planning issues, financing and mergers and acquisitions for RLECs, CLECs, CATV and wireless providers.  Doug holds a BS, MPA and Law Degrees from the University of SD.  He was the former General Counsel for the SD PUC and CEO for an ILEC and CLEC in Aberdeen, SD before joining VPS in 2003.

 

KENNETH FERNANDES | PRODUCT MANAGER
ADTRAN

Kenneth has 17 years experience in networking and security. Since 2007, he has been focused totally on wireless networking and security. Kenneth currently serves as a Product Manager at ADTRAN where he oversees the wireless product lines such as the Bluesocket virtual Wireless LAN (vWLAN). Prior to joining ADTRAN through the acquisition of Bluesocket, Kenneth held several increasingly responsible positions with Bluesocket such as Principle Technical Support Engineer and most recently before acquisition, Director of Customer Support. In addition, Kenneth has held positions with Vanguard Managed Solutions (formerly Motorola Multiservice Networking Division) and Motorola MND (contract). Kenneth is considered an “engineer’s engineer” by his peers and an authority on Wi-Fi technology. Based out of the Boston, Massachusetts area, Kenneth considers himself a Wi-Fi Enthusiast and is passionate about Wi-Fi.

 

DAVID FRIDLEY | PARTNER/OWNER
FARR Technologies

David Fridley is a Partner/Owner of FARR Technologies.  FARR Technologies provides consulting and regulatory assistance for ILEC/CLEC clients, primarily in the upper Midwest.

Fridley is a native of South Dakota.  He has been working with ILEC clients as a consultant since 1986.  He has prepared specifications for over 500 digital and next generation switching systems, plus hundreds of specifications for electronics equipment.  Fridley has designed many regional networks and was the lead for electronics equipment procurements for multiple statewide networks when they were built.  Iowa Network Services (Aureon) was one of those projects.  He also assists clients with long range planning and management assistance, as well as assisting with FTTP designs and implementations.

 

MIKE GATES | UC SYSTEMS ENGINEER
Redcom

Extensive knowledge of computer and telecommunications network architectures with more than 20 years of hands on experience using different types of platforms, interfaces, protocols, and test equipment. Accomplished UC systems engineer solving critical equipment integration issues. Experienced staff member with a strong customer perspective and a proven multi-tasking skill set. Skilled technical trainer providing training to current and prospective customers as well as fellow employees. Talented technical writer authoring instructional processes and configuration guides.

 

JAN S. HERTZBERG | CIPP, CISA
BKD CPAs & Advisors

Jan has more than 30 years of experience providing IT audit, risk, cybersecurity and privacy compliance services.  This includes extensive experience in identifying and managing IT internal control risks and recommending solutions that apply cybersecurity and privacy frameworks (including COBIT, NIST, GAPP, ISO and AICPA Trust Principles) to implement leading practices and help clients meet compliance requirements.

Prior to joining BKD, Jan held positions with Fortune 100 companies and, most recently, led the cybersecurity/privacy practice for an international public accounting firm, providing services to clients that included national and international companies in the health care, financial services, professional services, not-for-profit, higher education, retail and manufacturing industries.

Jan is a frequent speaker and moderator on cybersecurity and privacy compliance topics and has written and lectured extensively on board-level awareness of cybersecurity risks and approaches to avoid, accept, mitigate and transfer them.  He also serves as an adjunct professor of IT audit/cybersecurity at DePaul University.

He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Privacy Professional IT (CIPP) and is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, ISACA (formerly Information Systems Audit and Control Association), International Association of Privacy Professionals and Partners of the Americas Illinois-San Paulo Chapter. 

Jan is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, with a B.A. degree in history, an M.A. degree in Latin American history and an M.S. degree in computer science.

 

GERI HUSER | CHAIR
Iowa Utilities Board


 

KARLIN S. KELLEY | PRESIDENT
HunTel Engineering

Karlin was raised in Brooklyn, IA where his father was the GM of the local phone company.  Karlin worked for the phone company while in high school and on summer breaks while in college.  Karlin, his wife and two children have lived in the Blair, NE area since 1990.

In 1990, Karlin took a position with HunTel Engineering as a CAD (Computer Aided Drafter) Tech where he was responsible for the development and implementation of a new CAD system.  In 1992 Karlin accepted the position of CAD Manager where he was responsible for all drafting and database administration.  While managing the CAD department Karlin developed a tabulation system for use with project contracts which later added Contract Administrator to his title.  In 1998 Karlin accepted the position of General Manager where he was responsible for all the CAD, ROW (Right of Way), Contract Administration and Outside Plant personnel.  In the spring of 1998 Karlin helped with the design and implementation of the first FTTH (Fiber to the Home) deployment in Nebraska.  In 2002 Karlin received his Level Three PON Design Certification for FTTH and has continued to stay current with new technology by attending BICSI Certified course work.   Presently, Karlin has worked on over 80 FTTH design and builds in the states of Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.

 

THOMAS LAMPE | BUREAU CHIEF 
Department of Public Safety

Lieutenant Thomas Lampe is the Bureau Chief of the Department of Public Safety Communications Bureau and Chairman of the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications Systems Board. He has been a state trooper for 29 years and a supervisor for 17 years. Tom is now stationed in the Department of Public Safety Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tom is the Iowa State Point of Contact for the National Public Safety Broadband Network (FirstNet). He also serves on numerous committees relating to broadband. He is currently assigned to the Commissioner’s Office in the Iowa Department of Public Safety and works closely with the Governor’s office as they move forward with FirstNet in Iowa. Tom serves as the Project Director of the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System, (ISICS) currently under construction and scheduled to be live in the fall of 2018.

 

HEATH MALLORY | GENERAL MANAGER 
WiaTel

 

MICHAEL MCCAPLIN
Calix

 

MELANIE A. MCMULLEN
Cinnamon Mueller   

Melanie McMullen is a partner in Cinnamon Mueller’s Kansas City office. She has more than 25 years of industry experience and has been recognized as a Pathfinder by the Mid-America Cable Telecommunications Association for the significant impact she’s made on the industry. She brings a unique mix of business and legal experience to her practice, with significant expertise negotiating video distribution agreements, advanced media rights and broadcast retransmission consent. She also advises clients on cable franchising, regulatory due diligence, transactional and operational matters.

Practice Overview

Ms. McMullen’s practice focuses on securing video content rights and helping video and broadband companies understand the legal issues that inform the business decisions related to the provision of multichannel video and broadband services. She serves as outside General Counsel to the Mid-America Cable Telecommunications Association and has represented a top 10 CLEC’s video interests for several years, including through two substantial acquisitions valued at $2 billion and $10.5 billion, respectively.  She is particularly adept at analyzing carriage rights and obligations to assist clients with the integration of new systems, the standardization of channel lineups and the creation of new product offerings and, for some clients, essentially serves as their Programming department. She also advises new and existing video providers on a variety of operational matters, including entry into the video business, pole attachments, bulk and commercial service contracts, customer and regulatory notifications and marketing disclaimers.

 

JUSTYN MILLER | PRESIDENT
Aureon Technology 

As the President of Aureon Technology, Miller is responsible for the strategic leadership, business operations, and financial performance for Aureon Technology, which includes Aureon Network Services, Aureon IT, and Aureon Communications.

Miller brings more than 20 years of experience in the development and leadership of technology strategies and business operations to Aureon. He previously was the GM/CEO of South Slope Cooperative Communications for seven and a half years. Prior to that, he was a Director at the Iowa Telecommunications Association and worked for 13 years at Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company in various management positions, including the last several years as GM/CEO.

In addition, he has held many active leadership roles at both the local and state levels. He is currently the Managing Partner with the Iowa Auto Group, a member of InfraGard (FBI partnership), and a UAV/Drone test pilot. He has also been a member of the Connect Iowa Advisory Committee, Homeland Security Task Force on Communications Interoperability, a member of the Iowa Telecommunications Association, on the United States Telecommunications Association (USTA) Board of Directors, and was the Chairman of the Aureon Board of Directors. He has also served on various church, community, and service clubs.

 

DEAN L. MISCHKE | P.E., V.P.
Finley Engineering Company, Inc.

Dean has been with Finley Engineering for more than 28 years.  Dean is a BSEEE graduate of California State University, Sacramento, and earned his Professional Engineer License in 1994, maintaining active licenses in eight states where he provides consulting and engineering services.  Dean is the Vice President and Manager of Finley’s Wisconsin office. Dean has been active in designing both OSP and central office communication networks since his first project at Finley.

 

DERRICK B. OWENS | SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF GOVERNMENT & INDUSTRY AFFAIRS
WTA – Advocates for Rural Broadband

Derrick is senior vice president of government & industry affairs at WTA – Advocates for Rural Broadband.  He manages WTA’s Washington, DC office and is responsible for working with Congress, Executive Branch agencies, and the Federal Communications Commission. He is also responsible for WTA’s industry outreach efforts. Derrick serves as staff director for  WTA’s public policy committee where he works directly with the membership to develop policy positions on legislation and regulations affecting rural telecommunications companies.

Prior to joining the WTA’s staff, Derrick worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) where he served in a number of senior-level advisory positions.  Prior to NTIA, Derrick worked for his hometown congressman in Washington, DC serving as an advisor on telecommunications and other legislative matters.

Derrick has a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.  Derrick serves on several boards of directors and is a member of both his college and high school athletic halls of fame.

 

DOUG PALS | OWNER
Re:Sourceful Communications

In 2002, Doug started Re:Sourceful Communications – a marketing, product development and business cultural development company. In 1993, Doug joined Jefferson Telephone as the first independent telco marketing manager in Iowa. He’s been marketing telcos ever since.

He understands that developing the correct work environment is fundamental to success today. Re:Sourceful assists clients with a wide range of services, including marketing, business/product development, public relations, sales training and cultural change.

 

JOHN PIETILA | SHAREHOLDER 
Davis Brown Law Firm

John Pietila is a shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm and serves as general counsel to the Iowa Communications Alliance. John works extensively with independent telecommunications companies, multichannel video programming distributors and broadband service providers. He advises clients in connection with various legal, transactional and regulatory matters, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, business transactions, strategic joint ventures and federal and state regulatory compliance.

 

ALEX RAWITZ | BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Servato Corporation

 
 

MIKE ROMANO | SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF POLICY 
NTCA

Mr. Michael Romano, also known as Mike has been Senior Vice President of Policy at National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) since August 2010. Mr. Romano served as Vice President and General Counsel of Global Internetworking Inc. since July 2004. He served as Secretary of Global Telecom & Technology, Inc. Mr. Romano was responsible for oversight of the Global Internetworking Inc.'s legal and regulatory affairs, which includes negotiating commercial contracts such as sales and vendor agreements, real estate leases, nondisclosure agreements, teaming agreements, distributor contracts, and dispute settlements.

Mr. Romano served as General Counsel of Global Telecom & Technology, Inc. until April 2008. He served as Chief Legal Officer of Global Internetworking Inc. Prior to joining Global Internetworking, Mr. Romano served as Legal Counsel of Level 3 Communications, the Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman LLP law firm and America Online. His duties include advising internal clients with respect to contractual and regulatory obligations as they relate to all aspects of Global Internetworking's business, including human resources matters, the structuring of transactions, and product development and deployment. In this position, Mr. Romano also participates in corporate planning activities relating to new market opportunities, internal systems development, and other strategic initiatives.

At Level 3 Communications, Mr. Romano provided legal and regulatory support and public policy advocacy in expansion of the telecom Level 3 Communications competitive service offerings throughout the United States in the areas of product and network deployment plans, commercial and corporate transactions, and oversaw negotiation, implementation, and enforcement of interconnection and traffic exchange agreements with other telecom carriers.

At Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman LLP, Mr. Romano's responsibilities included representing telecom clients before state public regulatory commissions and the Federal Communications Commission and negotiated interconnection agreements and settlements.

At America Online, Mr. Romano provided legal advice to business units and business development clients and was responsible for negotiating technology transfer and systems integration transactions, software and other intellectual property licensing agreements, and professional and technical services arrangements.

Mr. Romano received his Juris Doctor Degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College.

 

SCOTT STEVENSON | PRESIDENT
Telecommunications Association of Michigan

Scott has worked for TAM since 1993, becoming its president in 1998. Prior to joining TAM, Scott was a policy analyst in the Michigan House of Representatives and Chief of Staff for a State Senator.

Scott has been involved in many organizations that strive to improve Michigan's social and economic well-being. He was appointed by former Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Michigan Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board of Directors for two terms and currently serves on the Infrastructure Asset Management Project Stakeholder Team following an appointment by Governor Rick Snyder.

Scott earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University (Go GREEN!) and he, his wife and two teenage children attend as many MSU sporting events as they possibly can.

 

LARRY THOMPSON | P.E.
Vantage Point Solutions, CEO

Larry is currently the CEO of Vantage Point Solutions, a national provider of engineering and consulting services to the telecommunications industry.  Larry is a licensed professional engineer and has been designing satellite, wireless, and wireline broadband networks for more than 30 years. Larry received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from William Jewell College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas. Prior to founding Vantage Point Solutions in 2002, Larry held several engineering and management positions with TRW’s Space and Defense Sector, CyberLink Corporation, and Martin Group. Over the years he has helped his clients successfully manage many technical, regulatory, and financial challenges when deploying wireless and wireline networks.

Larry is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences and a frequent expert witness at utility commission and legal proceedings relating to telecommunication technology and regulatory matters.  He is also a member of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee.

 

NATHAN WEBER | P.E.
Vantage Point Solutions, VP of Engineering

Nathan Weber has been active in the industry since 2000. His primary focus is on the technical and regulatory aspects of Independent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs). From the development of feasibility studies based on site-specific cost estimates to the design and project management of several state-wide telecom network deployments, he is involved. He has designed and implemented voice, data, and video networks as well as Packet Optical Transport, Carrier Ethernet Transport, Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), Fiber to the Premises (FTTP), Digital Loop Carrier (DLC), and wireless networks.

 

KARL HOCHMUTH | SALES ENGINEER
Power Product Services

 

LYNN FOLLANSBE | VICE PRESIDENT LAW & POLICY 
US Telecom

Experienced Vice President with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunications industry. Skilled in Regulatory Requirements, Legal Research, Advocacy, Management, Broadband and Wireless Technologies, and Administrative Law. Strong community-oriented legal professional graduated from Boston College and The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.