With the acquisition of several large grants and the development of a comprehensive implementation strategy, the regional broadband network proposed by Region 10 is becoming more of a reality by the day.
As this project accelerates, the need for a high level of detail and technical knowledge to implement the strategy are the utmost importance. Region 10 created a position dedicated to this very need and recently filled the opening.
Chris Kennedy, the new regional broadband project director hired by Region 10, brings over 25 years of experience in integrating telecommunication technology systems and developing successful models of implementation.
Kennedy's background is a robust mixture of public service and entrepreneurialism. Kennedy's public service spans from his time serving in the U.S. Marine Corps to his current role as councilman at large with the City of Grand Junction.
Kennedy's tenure in the private sector has centered on telecommunication technology. With a resume that boasts titles such as director of engineering with Charter Communications, systems integration manager with CompuCom and technical operations manager with Bresnan Communications, Kennedy has dedicated the bulk of his professional career to proliferation of information technology. He also started his own business -- Kennedy Telecom -- which has an 11-year track record of delivering information technology solutions to small businesses in western Colorado.
Approaching a professional crossroad, Kennedy needed to determine if he wanted to continue down the road of his corporate path or to do something with a deeper impact on his community.
"I wanted to do something more altruistic with an NGO or nonprofit that focused on improving quality of life and entrepreneurial opportunities in the broadband space," Kennedy states.
Kennedy was introduced to the state and local efforts to expand broadband on the Western Slope during a conference in Vail last year. As a result of this networking event, Kennedy learned about Region 10, and kept close tabs on the organization's efforts. Once the broadband project manager position was created, Kennedy knew that he was the right fit for the job.
"Region 10 is pleased to have someone with Chris' experience in both the private and public sectors, as it serves the overall mission and intent of the Region 10 project in the best possible way," states Michelle Haynes, executive director of Region 10. "We are looking forward to having Chris' expertise to lead the implementation of the Region 10 project, as well as assist our local governments to leverage the project as it works best in their local communities."
Kennedy will serve as the primary liaison for all of the existing partnerships -- including Region 10 municipalities and county governments, internet service providers, utility coops, and a plethora of engaged community stakeholders -- that are driving the construction of the new network.
Kennedy is passionate about the delivery of broadband throughout communities in need to adapt to a 21st century economy. "My vision is to get as much affordable, high-speed data access to as many people in as many places as is economically feasible," he comments.
As the new public face of broadband, Kennedy will face the daunting task of coordinating the existing broadband implementation strategy, which includes the buildout of middle-mile infrastructure designed to deliver affordable, abundant and redundant internet service to the six-county region served by Region 10.
The position is funded in part by a $75,000 grant awarded to Region 10 by the El Pomar Foundation for two years.
Only a few days into his first week, Kennedy hit the ground running. Region 10's broadband committee is currently reviewing requests for proposals for construction on the first phase of the network's buildout, which covers Delta County and parts of Montrose County.
He can be reached at email@example.com and 970-765-3139.
Calling all volunteers! Fort Uncompahgre on the Old Spanish Trail has received six new tipis that will be used as outdoor classrooms in conjunction with the Nature Connection. John Hardy has volunteered to lead a group of folks who are willing to learn how to set up the tipis and pitch in where necessary.