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?

Broadband Conferernce: Speaker Intro: Matt Wenger

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

Matt Wenger

Short Bio
Matt Wenger is President of the Americas for PacketFront, a global telecom solutions company that provides end to end business management and technology solutions for open-access community fiber networks.

Matt’s primary passion is helping communities and governments capitalize on technology to set and achieve their social and economic goals. Over the years he has received a number of recognitions for his work in North American community networking, open-access economics and policy, and ICT-based community development.

Prior to joining PacketFront in North America, Matt served as Vice-President of the Pacific Community Networks Association, as the Director of Information Technology for the Columbia Basin Trust (a large not-for-profit economic development organization) and helped found the BC Community Connectivity Cooperative. Matt also founded and served as President of the Columbia Mountain Open Network, a community networking initiative spanning 137 rural communities over 90,000 sq kms in the Canadian Rockies.

In addition to his role with PacketFront, Matt advises corporate boards and governments throughout North America and Europe on telecommunications management, economics and policy.

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

I’m really concerned about the network neutrality debate as it relates to Community networks. For the most part the debate is dominated by extreme positions held by powerful interests. The stakes are high – the future of free speech, network innovation, and consumer choice (particularly in rural areas) but yet the analysis of the issues as they apply to community networks is virtually non-existent. What is a community to do? What should they support?

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

Every region has a unique array of assets that can be poured into a successful, strong foundation for community networks. Minnesota is chalk full of well known and respected community activists and organizations. I always learn new things meeting people from different places and backgrounds who share my passion for social change via technology. This conference looks like an excellent opportunity to share across silos and brainstorm new ways forward.

Broadband Conferernce: Speaker Intro: Danna Asche

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

Danna Asche Danna Asche

Short Bio
Danna Asche, the Information Systems Director for Cook County, MN considers herself very fortunate to be active at the local, regional and state levels applying the tools of the IT trade to deliver better services to citizens and to build stronger, healthier communities; all while hailing from the beautiful town of Grand Marais. (thank you, video conferencing!)

One favorite aspect of her involvement in community is the ability to cross-pollinate ideas between the different organizations she works with. She currently has the honor of serving on the Blandin Broadband Strategy Board, the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic board and the Cook County Higher Education board as well as several other state and professional organizations.

Over 10 years ago she co-founded the local cooperative ISP in Grand Marais that now serves over 1500 members, offers many forms of broadband connections and serves as a vital communications “hitching post” for the tip of the Arrowhead communities. More recently, she has worked with community partners to explore the ideas behind community journalism, locally-generated content and Web 2.0 applications and how they might be applied to strengthen what the ISP has already built.

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

That broadband needs to be considered an important tool in every rural community’s toolbox. It really hits its stride when you hear the “non-nerds” talking about how to apply it at places like our city council meetings, clinic board meetings and school gatherings.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

I go to these conferences for two reasons: to share my enthusiasm for the power that broadband and the emerging applications that it delivers can have in solving our local problems and making local magic happen. But I also go to get re-energized. Tackling these issues and trying to bring projects home takes a lot of energy, patience and stamina. We all tend to ebb and flow in our ability to keep up with these demands. It is important that we gather, share war stories and share in each others’ successes.

Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Casey Wagner

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

Casey Wagner

Short Bio
Casey Wagner is the Technology Support Services Manager at St. Cloud State University. She is involved in many aspects of supporting the technology users on campus, including faculty, staff, and students. Casey’s team consists of the HelpDesk, Computer Store, ResNet, Computer Labs, HuskyNet accounts, and many other support areas within the individual colleges.

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

Casey’s main interest in participating in this conference is building communication between the SCSU college and community members about technology uses and needs.

Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Bernadine Joselyn

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

Bernadine Joselyn

Bernadine JoselynShort Bio
A native of Minnesota, Bernadine Joselyn spent the fifteen years of her professional life in Soviet (and then post-Soviet) Affairs. With a Master’s Degree in International Security Policy from Columbia University, she was appointed to the US Diplomatic Service, where after an initial tour in New Delhi India she served in a series of assignments in Moscow and Washington DC focused on the US-Soviet-Russian relationship. After the collapse of the Soviet Union she left the diplomatic corps to work on international academic and cultural exchange programs with the former Soviet States, and subsequently as the Director of the Moscow Office of the Eurasia Foundation, where she oversaw a $5 million annual grant program. In 2000 Bernadine returned to Minnesota to complete a second Masters Degree in Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. Since 2001 she has directed Blandin Foundation’s Public Policy and Engagement program where she leads efforts to facilitate the building of knowledge and catalyze informed and effective action around issues and opportunities that align with the foundation’s mission of strengthening rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids Area.What aspects of broadband are on your mind these days? (Or what info do you hope to impart at the conference?)

Blandin Foundation’s Broadband Initiative has three key goals:

  1. to increase public awareness and understanding of the importance of broadband to community economic vitality
  2. to increase the use of broadband
  3. to increase public and private investments in broadband access and utilization

This conference is all about helping community leaders become better aware of, and better equipped to take advantage of, tools, skills and resources that can help them achieve their community’s technology goals. One of the key messages I hope folks will take away is that local leadership matters and they can make a difference. As we are fond of saying at Blandin, “leadership is something you have to do yourself, but can’t do alone.” Our conference planning team has worked hard to bring to St. Cloud visionaries and practitioners from New England, Utah, Sweden and from across Minnesota, to share what they’re doing to make the many benefits of broadband available to their communities.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

As blog readers who have checked out the conference agenda know, the Foundation has teamed up with Minnesota’s Sesquicentennial Commission to offer a special November 7 session on Minnesota’s future that focuses on broadband access and advantages. Bill Coleman has planned an innovative scenario exercise that will involve participants in considering a wide range of perspectives, from incumbent service providers to customers and community leaders. I am particularly excited about the opportunity this exercise will offer to explore ways to partner with the telecommunications industry to help communities make their broadband visions come true.

Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Sid Boswell

Sid Boswell will be another speaker from the Blandin Broadband conference coming up next month…

Sid Boswell

Sort Bio
Sid is a Senior Broadband Analyst with Design Nine, and is currently the Project Manager for our two largest projects, which are both implementation stage and involve the design and deployment of open access, multi-service integrated fiber and wireless networks for the two communities involved. A total of 60,000+ households will receive fiber to the home as a result of these two community broadband efforts.

Boswell has ten years of experience in the information technology and telecommunications industries. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering Technology from Texas A&M. He worked for Accenture in the Communications and High Tech Industry Group, and was a Senior Manager for the company. He has consulted on network and operations project for some of the largest telecom companies in the world, including BellSouth, Comcast, AT&T, NTT, Sprint, Iridium, and 360network.

His technical skills include hands-on experience with optical networks, Voice over IP systems, TCP/IP (Internet) networks, and LAN/WAN (network) design.

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

I would like to impart on the conference that broadband is not just internet access. A common misconception of broadband is that it’s just high speed internet access which leads to the statements like, “DSL works great for me,” or, “my cable modem works fine, why should I need 20, 40, or 100 MBs.” Broadband needs to be defined as whatever amount of bandwidth is needed to support whatever needs to be done. In addition to internet, near future services to be delivered over the “broadband” networks will include high-def entertainment (video and audio), tele-health, tele-medicine, security services, etc. If communities are going to invest in broadband, the challenge of that investment is not just supporting today’s services, but supporting services which will be rolled out in the near and not-so-near future. Communities which have the ability to provide true broadband will have the ability to attract, create, and retain businesses.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

How cold does it really get Minnesota in November? Actually, I’d like to understand how rural and small towns Minnesota are developing broadband strategies and what is currently being deployed by incumbents and others.

Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Bill Carlson

Another speaker bio from the upcoming Broadband conference

Bill Carlson

Short bio
Moose Lake has always been an active supporter of technology. I am the Public Access & Technology Coordinator for the City of Moose Lake. I have been fortunate to participate in the following community projects:

• Twenty five (25) years ago Moose Lake signed a franchise agreement with a cable company to provide two-way public access television to the area. This allows us to broadcast live video protection from seven (7) locations throughout the community. The system works great without any outside intervention.
• The Moose Lake Community School was one of the original participants of an interactive television/classroom project. I was the staff member, who was responsible for the design, setup, and operation of the system for the school district.
• The Mercy Hospital & Health Care Center was part of the Rural Health School Project. They had weekly teleconference/telemedicine session with other participants. My responsibility was to setup and operate the local portion of the teleconference network. I also was responsible for the educational component to train the students on how the system worked.
• I designed, assisted in writing the grant, and responsible for the installation of the high-speed broadband network to providing internet access for the Moose Lake Public Library.
• I was the consultant for the implementation of the Moose Lake Community Broadband Network. The network includes a fiber optic backbone, a fixed wireless system, and a WiFi system.
• I am the Project Coordinator for the Blandin “Get Broadband” Project.
• I am currently working on the public community surveillance system which will be interoperable and have the ability to be monitored at the Emergency Response Center.

What aspects of broadband are on your mind these days?

Moose Lake is trying to incorporate the advantages of using broadband communications technologies into their Emergency Management Plan. The specific portion of the plan that addresses Public Notification and Dissemination of Information is where I will concentrate my remarks.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

Sometime we get so focused of our local project that we lose sight of the bigger picture. Conferences are a great way to get a better insight of what is happening in other communities.

Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Pat Wickham

Another speaker bio from the upcoming Broadband conference

Pat WickhamPat Wickham, BSN, PHN, Director of Home Care and Hospice Services for Lakewood Health System Home Care and Hospice program.

Short Bio
I have worked for Lakewood Health System for 20 years, beginning my career as an LPN in the care center setting. Lakewood Health System has been instrumental in assisting me with career goals to achieve baccalaureate education in the field of nursing and to ladder up to my current position as Director of Home Care and Hospice. Our agency is a rural home care/hospice program servicing approximately 100 home care patients and 15 hospice patients in the heart of central Minnesota on a monthly average. We provide services to home care and hospice patients mainly in Todd County, but also provide services to patients referred in Cass, Wadena, Crow Wing, Morrison, and Ottertail Counties. We employ 3 RN Clinical Care Coordinators, 6 Staff RN’s, 2 Staff LPN’s, 20 Home Health Aides, 1 Licensed Social Worker, 1 Chaplain, 10 hospice/palliative care volunteers and 2 departmental secretaries. Our main office is located in Staples, Minnesota, but we have satellite offices in Long Prairie and Pillager, MN. Our intention as a grant recipient is to learn how we can achieve an increased level of customer service and improved health status of our patients, while controlling costs and need for “hands on care” by utilizing telemedicine services through broadband applications in the rural communities we service.

What aspects of broadband are on your mind these days?

I have been thinking about the use of telemedicine services in some of our very rural communities and have been wondering is the use of these services may indeed be limited by the lack of broadband applications in those areas. This will be something that we will need to investigate as we move forward in our attempts to provide telemedicine services to patients in those rural communities.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

I am hoping to hear about all the different kinds of projects that are being initiated with broadband services. There may be some information/material that will be helpful to us in our planned telemedicine project.

Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Pete Royer

We have another Speaker bio for the upcoming broadband conference…

Pete Royer

Short Bio
Currently Director of the Little Crow Telemedia Network, a 12 school technology Cooperative with 7 associate members. The LCTN provides broadband Internet to all 19 schools as well as Email filtering, centralized servers, videoconferencing and ITV. Through our cooperative purchasing with other K12 schools and Higher Ed entities in St. Cloud we offer low cost Broadband Internet and Internet 2 access. The LCTN is in the third evolution of fiber backbone equipment now operating at a gig backbone speed. The 19 districts share 30 mbps of Internet at just over $130 a month per district after Erate discounts.

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

Learn what other people are doing, trying to do and see what aspects I can incorporate into our cooperative to aide our districts.

Relate to others how a cooperative can save districts money while providing increased Internet access, economies of scale (centralized server and services), technology integration into curriculum, cooperative training and many other benefits.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

What’s new, innovative and works!