Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Tobey Johnson

Another fun bio to share from the Broadband conference coming up on Wednesday:

Tobey Johnson

Tobey Johnson is one of the original members to form PacketFront, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of PacketFront AB, with over 10 years experience in telecommunications networks. His accomplishments include developing converged voice, video, and data management solutions throughout the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Tobey also has a strong economic background, having worked in the capital markets at Merrill Lynch. Within PacketFront, Tobey created and manages the Collaborative solutions strategy, ensuring that PacketFront develops an array of strategic alliances which include service providers, construction and engineering firms, financing partners and independent consultants. It is Tobey’s belief that the collaboration of all these intricate relationships, responsibilities, and services, need to be comingled to mutually support the success of a broadband network. Tobey, his wife, and son, currently reside in the Denver, Colorado area.

Broadband Conferernce: Speaker Intro: Peter Walsh

Here’s another speaker bio for the upcoming Minnesota Broadband conference

Peter K. Walsh; Home and Community Options, Inc

Peter K. Walsh M.S.W. Mr. Walsh has a varied background including serving as the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona (8 yrs), and an Associate Professor of Social Work at the College of St. Teresa (5 yrs). Mr. Walsh was the founder and president of Walsh & Associates of Winona, Inc. and BurOak Business Systems Consulting, Inc. (15 yrs.), technology system integration firms. Mr. Walsh was responsible for marketing, sales, software design and the management of the development and implementation of custom software applications for some 100 companies. Currently Mr. Walsh is a Coordinator with Home and Community Options, Inc. of Winona, MN (5 yrs.) and has experience in various aspects of the agency. Mr. Walsh has three grown daughters; he and his wife Kay are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this December.

Broadband Conferernce: Speaker Intro: Ben Gould

Ben GouldHere’s another speaker bio for the upcoming Minnesota Broadband conference

Ben Gould brings to Mstar more than 18 years of corporate experience with special emphasis in marketing and operations. Gould has developed numerous corporate, product, sales, and branding strategies and campaigns. His hands-on management style and strategic initiatives have taken Mstar from an Internet service provider of dial-up and DSL services to a full provider of services over fiber-to-the-home networks.

Gould started at Mstar in December of 2005. Since that time the Company has added Internet services with residential speeds up to 50Mbps for $39.95 per month; telephone services with every available feature, unlimited local and long-distance calling throughout the U.S. and Canada; and IPTV service offering more than 200 channels including high-definition, video on demand, local content channels, and support for digital video recorders. The company offers 24 X 7 support and has in excess of 16,000 subscribers.

Before joining Mstar, Gould worked for DynamicCity, Inc., as the company’s corporate vice president and chief marketing officer. While affiliated with DynamicCity, Gould was instrumental in gaining the necessary support for UTOPIA and in minimizing anti-UTOPIA legislation. Prior experience includes chief executive officer for Apollo Health, Inc., a privately held manufacturer of medical devices, where he increased revenue by 70 percent. Other experience includes working as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of iLumin Corporation, a leading provider of enterprise message management tools, and vice president of operations Innovus Corporation and multiple management positions at Novell and WordPerfect.

He has been quoted nationally in media outlets such as CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, AP online, The Industry Standard, Business 2.0, InfoWorld, eCompany Now, Inter@ctive Week, Broadband Properties and numerous other media outlets.

Broadband Conferernce: Speaker Intro: Representative Al Juhnke

Rep. Juhnke believes the 2007-08 sessions are “all about the three Rs: renewables, research and resources.” Juhnke is excited about the nationwide spotlight on alternative fuels, Minnesota as a leader in biodiesel and ethanol mandates and cellulosic ethanol research and development. “Minnesota should be America’s energy leader,” says Juhnke.

Rep. Juhnke has had a keen interest in telecommunications. Having served on committees dealing with this regulatory industry over the years, he has become recognized as one of the legislative go-to’s for important initiatives. He recognizes the need for a strong back-bone infrastructure in all of Minnesota as it pertains to our future.

In 2000, the “common sense”-oriented Juhnke gained international fame on CNN World, the BBC and other nationwide media for the “Hotdish Bill,” which protected potlucks from government regulation. In 2003, he authored the “Pickle Bill” freeing small jarring operations from state health department oversight. “I seem to pick food fights,” he jests.

Rep. Juhnke and his wife Claire are proud of their son who is in the MN Army National Guard and their daughter who is currently attending to University of Minnesota-Morris. Juhnke enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing, 1970s rock & roll and acting.

Broadband Conferernce: Speaker Intro: Mayor Graham Richard

Mayor Graham RichardWired and inspired. That’s the mantra of Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard. Wired, because Fort Wayne is becoming one of the most technologically connected cities in America. Inspired, because Richard has been on a mission to turn city government into a lean, results-producing, customer-focused driver of an economically thriving city. Graham Richard is completing eight years of public service as mayor of Fort Wayne, the second largest city in Indiana. Richard has helped taxpayers save nearly $30 million in city government services.

Under Mayor Richard’s leadership Fort Wayne has been recognized as a high performance city. Crime is at the lowest rate in 27 years. Over $30 million has been saved using business improvement practices including Lean Six Sigma. Potholes are filled in 4 hours instead of 4 days. Permits are granted in days not weeks. The Fort Wayne Public Works Division and the Fleet Management Departments have been named as number one in the country.

Mayor Richard has received national awards for his technology leadership, including the Fiber-to-the-Home Council’s 2005 Star Awards, the Public Technology Institute’s 2006 Tech Leader Award and the 2006 KillerApp Trailblazer Awards. Mayor Richard recently completed his first book, Performance is the Best Politics, which features the story of Fort Wayne’s transformation to high performance government. Mayor Richard is a long time local business owner and former state senator. He is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Broadband Conferernce: Speaker Intro: JoAnne Johnson

Here’s another speaker bio for the upcoming Minnesota Broadband conference… 

Joanne JohnsonJoAnne Johnson 

Short Bio
JoAnne Johnson, Central Region Manager of Government and External Affairs, based in Minnesota and covering 7 states. I’ve been in this position for almost 6 years with Frontier Communications (formerly known as and still owned by Citizens Communications). Frontier is the second largest phone company in MN and most of it’s territory is rural. Before coming here, I worked in community development and government relations for Onvoy, as a staffer for Congressman Collin Peterson in northwestern MN and as the Director of a nonprofit association focused on getting dial up Internet connections and computer labs into K-12 schools. That was the early nineties, but seems like a lifetime ago.

What aspects of broadband are on your mind these days? (Or what info do you hope to impart at the conference?) 

It seems to me, more and more lately, that broadband discussions are slipping into arguments over fiber and the rhetoric from all sides precludes some collaboration that could and should be happening. We’re arguing about fiber to the home in Eagan when Hastings is still waiting for DSL. Cities are concentrating on fiber builds, while those folks outside the city limits are left in the lurch. I’m looking for a better way to raise everybody’s boat, remembering that first you have to have a boat.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference? 

I’m looking forward to hearing the all the answers to the “hard questions” at the preconference and I always benefit from talking to many friends who have different roles than mine in this dance. And I’m hoping to learn some substantive info that can help our rural communities in economic development efforts. I often quote Randy Young, who now heads up MART, and who said back in the early years “If you have a bad school and you put computers in it, you have a bad school with computers”. It’s a transferable truism I believe. “If you have a faulty economic development plan and add fiber…..” So I’m hoping for some really good discussions on how to leverage our efforts with city efforts for our exchanges.

Broadband Conferernce: Speaker Intro: Jeff Lueders

Here’s another speaker bio for the upcoming Minnesota Broadband conference… 

Jeff Lueders

Short Bio

Jeff Lueders, the Manager of Video Services for the City of Lakeville, MN and current President of the Minnesota Association for Community Telecommunications Administrators (MACTA) is involved in the on-going telecommunications legislative discussions at the local, state and federal levels. He brings a clear message of keeping communities safe by maintaining local regulatory authority, fostering competition, preventing a digital divide and he is an advocate for the many benefits of Community Television. He draws upon his experiences including: 12 years as District TV Coordinator for the Rochester Public Schools; 10 years as the Manager of Video Services for the City of Lakeville; and 28 years as a volunteer in Community Television.

In addition, as a Past member of the Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO) and the Minnesota Two-way Interactive Television Directors, Jeff was instrumental in the advancement of educational access and two-way interactive television in Rochester, MN.

The City of Lakeville convened a Business Telecommunications Technology Task Force in 2007 and is in the final stages of the review and report process. In addition to the creation and playback of award winning cable programs on the Government Access channel, the City of Lakeville Video Services department offers all of their programs on the city web site and recently began pod casting City Council and Planning Commission meetings.

What aspects of broadband are on your mind these days? (Or what info do you hope to impart at the conference?)

We are in the midst of a broadband revolution whether we choose to recognize it or not. The question is: Will this country and the state of Minnesota in particular, advance into a position of competitive neutrality or advantage? Or, Will we fall further from the leading broadband countries and cause innovators and high bandwidth users to leave our state and country? I look forward to the discussion.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

Along with learning what others are doing to maintain or increase the telecommunications capacity within their communities, I am hoping to learn why so many people tie the speed of deployment of fiber with franchise agreements?