Steve Augustino’s telecommunications practice is both broad and deep, ranging from regulatory, legislative and administrative law counsel to transactional advice, advocacy and litigation. An advocate since the early days of competition in telecommunications, Steve has guided clients through the shifting policies, exponential growth and extraordinary innovation in the telecommunications industry over the last 25 years. His clients include companies and organizations from developing and established markets, including major wireless service providers, manufacturers, trade associations and emerging telecom businesses. Regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Steve is involved in counseling and appeals concerning the use of auto-dialers, calls and texts to mobile telephone numbers and receipt of customer consent. Teaming with litigation colleagues in the TCPA defense practice, Steve advocates for clients in FCC petitions, waiver proceedings and declaratory ruling proceedings involving TCPA issues. Steve represented intervenors in an appeal of the FCC’s 2015 Declaratory Ruling on TCPA matters, and provides counseling and strategic advice on calling, texting and faxing practices.
Senior Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs
Paula H. Boyd is currently senior director of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Microsoft Corporation, where she partners with colleagues to develop Microsoft’s communications policy positions and advocates those positions before the FCC, Congress and the Administration. On behalf of Microsoft, Paula champions a variety of voice, video and text communications issues such as those related to spectrum, accessibility, broadband, universal service, next generation 911 and Internet governance. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2002, Paula was senior counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Communications. She joined the Subcommittee in April of 1997 and while there, she drafted legislation, developed legislative strategy, organized hearings and briefings, managed consideration of bills on the Senate Floor, and advocated the Senate position in House and Senate Conferences. She handled issues such as broadband deployment, spectrum management, digital television transition, and competition in the local telecommunications marketplace. Paula joined the Office of the General Counsel of the FCC in February 1994, where she reviewed draft orders involving broadcast issues and worked on issues involving tax certificates and preferences for designated entities in PCS. In September 1994, Paula began working with the International Bureau on satellite policy issues. Paula began her legal career at Verner, Liipfert, McPherson and Hand in 1997, where she worked on a variety of litigation, transportation and other issues.
Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
DISH and EchoStar
In 1980, Charlie Ergen co-founded EchoStar Communications Corporation as a C-Band satellite-TV distributor. Under EchoStar in March 1996, DISH Network emerged as the consumer brand providing direct broadcast satellite service to customers. In 2008, DISH Network spun off from EchoStar to separate the satellite service and technology sides of the business. Today, Charlie acts as the chairman of EchoStar and DISH.
Markham C. Erickson
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Markham Erickson is chair of Steptoe’s Internet, Telecom and Technology practice group, where he counsels clients in some of the most highly visible, complex legal matters in these sectors. Markham has represented Internet companies since the beginning of the commercial Internet, and has been the lead counsel for Internet firms in the so-called network neutrality debate since its inception. He regularly engages the FCC and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on investigations, complaints, rulemaking and proposed mergers in the communications sector, and represents technology companies on questions relating to copyright and technology. He serves as co-chair to the annual Broadband and Cable Law Seminar at the Practising Law Institute in New York City. In recognition of his authority in the field, Markham was appointed by the White House to represent the U.S. before the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on Internet speech and regulatory matters. In addition to leading the firm’s practice group, Markham is co-chair of the Steptoe’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He also is a member of the firm’s Professional Advancement Committee and its Hiring Committee.
As leader of the firm’s Communications Practice, and co-chair of the global industry sector team, Michele Farquhar helps clients with a range of global and U.S. communications policy initiatives, spectrum auctions, licensing and compliance matters, and regulatory strategy involving M&A transactions as well as litigation. Michele obtains regulatory approvals, waivers, and other licenses for many new and cutting-edge technologies. She also leads teams advising major global companies on regulatory strategy issues involving a range of international jurisdictions. Michele joined the firm in 1997, after serving as chief of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. While at the FCC, she led the agency’s new spectrum auction initiative and held primary responsibility over several major auctions and spectrum policy initiatives, as well as the bureau’s implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Previously, Michele served as acting deputy assistant secretary and chief of staff for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She played a lead role in developing the administration’s positions on telecommunications reform as well as spectrum, international, electronic commerce and other policy issues. As vice president for Law and Regulatory Policy at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, she gained industry knowledge and regulatory advocacy experience while representing cellular carriers on regulatory, policy and legal issues before the FCC. Michele also served as senior legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Ervin Duggan and as the mass media advisor to two FCC general counsels.
Tamar Finn has over 15 years of experience representing clients on telecommunications, enhanced services and Internet regulatory issues before the courts, FCC, state public utility commissions and Congress. She advises competitive providers on regulatory compliance and enforcement, contract, and business issues. Tamar regularly counsels clients in the day-to-day management of incorporating regulatory compliance into their business. Regarding intercarrier compensation and interconnection issues, for example, Tamar works closely with clients in developing policy; implementing the policy by negotiating—and, if necessary, litigating—agreements; and resolving any subsequent contract disputes through dispute resolution, litigation, and/or comprehensive settlement negotiations. Regarding information services, Tamar counsels clients on regulatory classification and developing products to take advantage of regulatory classifications. She additionally defends those classifications before state and federal agencies, the Congress, and courts. Tamar advises clients on all aspects of universal service, including contributions to the universal service fund (USF) and distributions from federal USF programs. She assists clients with developing basic regulatory USF compliance programs, comprehensively planning to manage and potentially reduce their contributions, prosecuting appeals before both the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and the FCC, advocating policy changes, and defending companies under audits and investigations for possible violations of USF laws and regulations. Tamar is also a frequent speaker in TMT’s webinar program, covering issues ranging from intercarrier compensation to universal service. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Tamar was a partner in the corporate practice of another international law firm.
Chaitanya “Chet” Kanojia
Co-Founder & CEO
Chaitanya “Chet” Kanojia is co-founder and CEO of Starry Inc., a vertically integrated technology and internet service provider, pioneering the deployment of next generation, high-capacity, point-to-multipoint, fixed wireless broadband. Starry is reimagining how consumers connect to the internet by developing an eco-system of products designed to make broadband access simple and affordable. Prior to Starry, Chet was founder and CEO of Aereo Inc., the groundbreaking online television platform that enabled consumers to record and watch live HD broadcast television on virtually any type of internet-connected device via a cloud-based OTA antenna and DVR. Previously, Chet was the founder and CEO of Navic Networks. Like Aereo, Navic Networks addressed the challenges of today’s highly fragmented media landscape. Under Chet’s direction, Navic Networks grew to be the undisputed industry leader in advanced television advertising. Navic Networks was acquired by Microsoft in 2008. Chet holds more than 31 patents in fields ranging from robotics to data communications systems and is an innovative leader known for pushing beyond the conventional and developing breakthrough solutions. He has been recognized as one of the "Top Disruptors of 2013" by Forbes magazine, noted as part of Vanity Fair's 2013 "Next Establishment List” and named one of Inc. Magazine’s 2013 “Entrepreneurs of the Year.” Aereo's technology was also named one of TIME magazine's Top 50 Best Websites (2012) and a Top 50 Technology (2013) by MIT Technology Review. In 2019, Chet was honored with Public Knowledge’s IP3 Award for Internet Protocol for his years of work developing technology in the interest of competition and consumer choice.
Chief Advocate and General Counsel
Angie Kronenberg joined INCOMPAS in 2013 as its chief advocate and general counsel, managing the INCOMPAS policy team and its work before the federal government. FierceTelecom named Angie was named a "Rising Star in Wireline" in 2014 and one of the Top Women in Wireline in 2015 for her advocacy work on behalf of INCOMPAS members. Angie is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association and has been involved in its leadership as a former Executive Committee and Nominations Committee member. Before joining INCOMPAS, Angie was legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, where she was primarily responsible for the Commissioner’s wireline and broadband agenda, including the Commissioner’s work as chair of three federal-state joint boards. Prior to that, Angie was a special counsel in the Spectrum and Competition Policy Division of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. She also practiced telecommunications and media law in the Washington, D.C. office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP for more than a decade. Angie earned a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America, where she also earned a certification from The Institute for Communications Law Studies, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Baylor University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Co-Founder and CEO
As co-founder and CEO of ZenFi Networks, Ray applies his leadership and proven industry expertise to build and deliver innovative communication infrastructure solutions to enterprise, carrier and wireless mobility providers in the New York and New Jersey metro markets. In this role, Ray oversees all aspects of business operations for the company that recently merged with Cross River Fiber, and effectively leads a team of nimble, forward thinking experts to solve clients’ network challenges created by the proliferation of mobile data. In addition to his role at ZenFi, Ray is also a founding member of Metro Network Services, LLC, a company focused on fiber optic and mobile network planning, engineering, and deployment solutions for mobile network operators, tower owners and telecommunications service providers throughout the New York metro market. Ray is a network technology industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience managing teams that design, build and operate complex, high-capacity communication networks for large enterprises, carriers and wireless mobility providers. Prior to ZenFi and Metro|NS, he served as president and CEO of Lexent Metro Connect, LLC from 2004 to its successful sale in December 2010 to Lightower Fiber Networks. Ray was also the co-founder of Realtech Systems Corp., an enterprise network integration and professional services firm, where he served as president and CEO.
Vice President, Network Engineering and Operations
Christopher Levendos is vice president of Network Engineering and Operations for Crown Castle’s national fiber infrastructure network. Crown Castle’s comprehensive portfolio of towers, small cells, and fiber gives people and communities access to essential data, technology and wireless service and opens the door to countless opportunities and possibilities. Chris recently was executive vice president of Field Operations for Frontier Communications, where he was responsible for service delivery across 29 states. Prior to joining Frontier, Chris was an executive of Google Fiber (Alphabet), where he led network deployment and operations and helped expand Google Fiber’s network operations from three cities to ten cities. Chris also served as region president of New York City for Verizon, where he worked for 26 years. Prior to that he served as vice president of National Operations and supported Verizon’s annual capital program investments and operational process improvements. He joined New York Telephone as a field technician in Harlem in 1989, and served in positions of increasing responsibility in operations and engineering. While at Verizon, his teams led the planning, design and early build of Verizon’s fiber-to-the-home network across New York City. Chris helped lead a number of key operational innovations in fiber-optic deployment and holds two patents. After superstorm Sandy, Chris led the recovery effort of Verizon’s wireline infrastructure in Lower Manhattan, converting the entire local distribution system to fiber-optic based infrastructure within six months. Chris serves on the boards for Junior Achievement of New York, the Regional Planning Association and INCOMPAS. He also is a member of the President’s Leadership Council at Stevens Institute of Technology. Chris earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where he was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta Historical Honor Society. Chris also received a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from New York University and a Master’s degree in Telecommunications Management from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Richard S. Lukaj
Senior Managing Director
Bank Street Group LLC
Richard Lukaj has nearly 30 years of investment banking experience having originated, structured and executed hundreds of deals totaling over $100 billion of transaction value. Richard is a founder and managing partner of Bank Street and aspires, with his colleagues, to create a premier investment banking franchise focused on growth sectors of the global economy. He has executed transactions over the course of his successful investment banking career, ranging in variety from mergers and acquisitions, underwriting of debt, equity and derivative securities, restructurings, exclusive sales, and other financial advisory mandates. Although heavily weighted towards the media, communications and technology industries, he also has a very broad industry experience in industrial, consumer, retailing, energy, aerospace, specialty finance, real estate and natural resources arenas.
Mattey Consulting LLC
Carol Mattey is the principal of Mattey Consulting LLC, a Washington, D.C. metro area-based firm that provides regulatory, strategic and public policy advisory services to broadband providers, governmental entities, non-profit organizations, and others active in the telecommunications industry. Carol has more than 30 years of experience formulating, enforcing and advising on federal communications regulation. Prior to launching her own firm, Carol was deputy chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the FCC from March 2010 to February 2017, focusing on modernizing the FCC’s universal service programs, including the creation and implementation of the Connect America Fund. Before that, she served as senior attorney advisor on the FCC’s National Broadband Plan from September 2009 to March 2010. From 2005 to 2009, she was a director in Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice advising private sector clients on business strategy and regulatory compliance matters. Between 1994 and 2004, she held several management positions at the FCC, including deputy bureau chief, focusing on wireline policy issues including local competition, merger condition enforcement, privacy, and universal service. Previously, she worked on telecommunications, media and spectrum issues at the National Telecommunications & Information Administration. She started her professional career as an attorney at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale) in Washington, D.C. Carol received a J.D. cum laude and M.A. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Vice President, Access Services
Milo Medin has been part of the Internet development community for more than 25 years. He is currently the vice president of access services at Google, where he oversees a number of projects to improve access to the Internet, primarily focused on expanding the speed, robustness and pervasiveness of wireless networks. Prior to joining Google in 2010, he was founder and CTO of M2Z Networks, a company that sought to deploy a national broadband wireless network system, and before then he was co-founder and CTO of Excite@Home, where he led the development of the company's national infrastructure, and helped deliver the first large scale residential broadband access service in partnership with major cable operators, including the development of the DOCSIS cable modem standard. Earlier, Milo worked at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he developed the first peering point between backbone networks, and managed primary west coast interconnect for the Internet, and architected and managed the global NASA Science Internet, including the deployment of the first Internet connections to a number of countries around the world. He has participated in a number of public policy forums, including two National Academy of Sciences panels, given testimony in Congress and before the Federal Communications Commission on Broadband technology policy, and served on the PCAST working group on Spectrum Sharing. He holds several patents in the field of network access technology, and sits on the FCC’s Technical Advisory Committee, and Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, and since 2016, he has served on the Defense Innovation Board.
Emotional Intelligence Leadership Training Solutions, LLC
Cheryl O’Donoghue, MS, is a businesswoman, author and emotional intelligence leadership advocate. She is president of Emotional Intelligence Leadership Training Solutions, LLC, a leadership performance improvement company, and co-founder of Mission Sisters Who Work, a 501(c)3 humanitarian organization dedicated to providing grant funding to nonprofit, education and community organizations serving low-income women working or planning careers in business. She is also a guest presenter at women’s events and organizations, inspiring audiences to act in ways that give their lives more meaning and purpose. Over the years, Cheryl’s writing has appeared in numerous business publications across the financial services, contact center, healthcare, and corporate training industries. Her book, “How to Be a Woman in Business (while Being True to Yourself),” was released in February 2018. Cheryl recently published the book How to Be a Woman in Technology (while Focusing on What Matters Most).” Cheryl began her professional career working in computer magnetic storage sales while she paid her way through college. Upon graduation, she landed a job in broadcasting as a radio personality and then transitioned to business marketing and communications, and eventually to organizational development. Earlier in her career, Cheryl held the position of chief communications officer, vice president of human resources and marketing for VNA Health Care and before that senior vice president for Financial Training Resources; as well as other executive roles in technology-based learning and development, healthcare, and financial services organizations.
Executive Vice President, Technology Source
Founder, Past President Alliance of Channel Women
With over 26 years’ experience as a professional sales person, consultant and hands on executive (an Inc. 500"winner), Nancy’s passion is delivering the best business outcomes to her clients in terms of technology, cost, contract flexibility and quality. Since 2005, Nancy Ridge has built a partner program at national technology distributor Technology Source that is focused on helping agent partners take a strategic approach to grow their businesses. Nancy has focused on business plan modeling, breakthrough sales strategies, ongoing education and competitive commissions in a personalized, collaborative environment. In addition, Nancy is a professional consultant to SMB and enterprise clients. She brings value by eliminating time and risk in choosing qualified partners and technologies allowing her clients to focus on their own business objectives. Previously Nancy was vice president of sales for ATI, where she was responsible for creating and managing the indirect sales channel. In the mid to late nineties Ridge was vice president for a consulting firm and pioneered the TEM concept. She was also a principal in a demand-side energy service company for 10 years. Nancy is the founder and past president of the Alliance of Channel Women (formerly Women in the Channel), a non-profit where women collaborate to grow their businesses, support each other as women and mentor each other and young women into tech.
Vice President and Consultant
Inteserra Consulting Group
Carey Roesel’s telecommunications consulting expertise involves a broad range of services, including state and federal regulatory strategies, M&A, market entry/certification, advocacy, compliance and pricing. Carey also spends much of his time guiding intercarrier agreements and resolving intercarrier compensation disputes. Carey has provided expert testimony in numerous telecom cases, including subjects such as intercarrier compensation, tariff compliance and call completion. Carey has been a consultant at Inteserra since the early days of competition in telecommunications resulting from the 1996 Telecom Act. His initial perspective on telecom regulatory matters was formed during his tenure with the ILEC now known as CenturyLink, where he held various regulatory and business planning positions. Since that time, Carey has guided many clients through constantly changing regulatory policies and technological innovations, which have characterized the telecommunications industry over the last 20 years. His clients include large and small companies from both developing and established telecom markets, such as intermediate carriers, cable providers, wireless resellers and application service providers.
Chief Innovation Officer
Craig Sparks serves as chief innovation officer and leads the technology and product development teams at C Spire, a leading telecommunications and technology services company with deep roots and a strong commitment to the southeastern portion of the U.S. and its people. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the field of telecommunications engineering. He was recognized by Fierce Wireless as one of their “Executives to watch: 13 rising stars of wireless in 2018.” Craig joined C Spire in 2016 as vice president, Technology, coming from Sprint where he had served as a distinguished member of technical staff facilitating intra-department technology path decision making for executive business strategies at strategic planning venues, including M&A activities. His prior entrepreneur role at NetGames USA saw him lead the company as president and CEO through acquisition by Microsoft Corporation. Craig began his career as a radio frequency design engineer working on DARPA digital beamforming radio systems and later at Digital Ocean where the companies media access control IP became part of the foundation for WiFi 802.11b when acquired by Intersil. A graduate of radio frequency design and telecommunications programs at the University of Kansas, Craig holds bachelor and master of science degrees in electrical engineering from the school.
President and Consultant
Inteserra Consulting Group
Sharon Thomas provides Inteserra clients with the practical advice and support they need to operate successfully in a regulated industry, including market entry and exit strategies, FCC reporting, M&A due diligence and regulatory filings, tariff and price list planning and preparation, developing FCC compliant CPNI policies and procedures, and escalated regulatory complaint tracking and response preparation. Prior to joining Inteserra in 2004, Sharon served as director of Regulatory Affairs at Talk America Inc. where she managed the staff responsible for the company's compliance with state and federal regulations. She prepared comments before the FCC on various regulatory issues and was responsible for the development of a comprehensive complaint management system and of internal documentation required for compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley. Sharon served in a similar role as director of Regulatory and Public Policy for Advanced Telecom Group, Inc. from 1999- 2001, where she provided regulatory support to the company’s local operations in multiple states. Before joining ATG, Sharon served as director of Regulatory Operations at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, where she directed staff in developing and presenting testimony, comments, analyses and recommendations regarding matters in the telecommunications and energy industries.
Deb Ward is a seasoned and respected veteran in the telecom industry, providing leadership and strategic direction to various companies since the early 1980s, when she initially founded TMS, a Pacific Bell Joint User in California that resold local and long distance services. In 1999, she founded Televergence, a nationwide switchless reseller, reselling local and long distance services. Deb is well versed in all aspects of the business, from sales and marketing to network and product development. Today, Televergence is a facilities-based carrier providing long distance, international and toll-free services to carriers, resellers, agents and retail end users via traditional TDM and/or VoIP interconnections. Deb is one of the few female CEOs in a male-dominated and highly competitive telecom space. She is a regular contributor to various groups devoted to the promotion of females in executive leadership positions. Deb serves on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Membership Committee for INCOMPAS, and is on the board of advisors for the Alliance of Channel Women.