“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

The quote above is attributed to Jimmy Dean. Yes, that Jimmy Dean who is likely better known for his sausage empire than his quotes; but check the man out, he was pretty fascinating after a successful career as a country singer, and actor (Daniel Boone TV show AND a James Bond movie? Now that’s variety!). He also went into the food industry, became his own spokesman, and moved on to another successful career as a radio host. I guess that gives his quote even more validity given how well this strategy worked for him.

In that same spirit, to help deliver even greater benefits to our members and align our staff resources with evolving member needs, NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association has announced several strategic changes to our association’s leadership, including additions to the executive team and the promotion of senior staff overseeing member services, communications, industry affairs, internal operations, and the Foundation for Rural Service. I’m particularly delighted with our ongoing commitment to growing and promoting our current team members.

Effective March 1, Director of Member Services, April Irwin, will take a larger role as Vice President of Member Engagement and will oversee member services, training and development, meetings, and marketing. Director of Human Resources, Jennifer Jushchuk, will align NTCA HR and technology capabilities as Vice President of Technology, Talent and Consulting Services. She will also continue to play a key role in our robust executive search services as well. Communications Director, Laura Withers, will focus on strategic external communications as Vice President of Strategic Communications and oversee member communications and public affairs activities. Telling the story of rural broadband, and our challenges and successes has never been more important!

Irwin, Jushchuk, and Withers join my existing executive team that includes Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs and Business Development Michael Romano, Chief Financial Officer Mike Viands, and Senior Vice President of Benefits and Technology Les Greer. Lori Fischetti will transition into a new role as Vice President of Member Experience, with a focus on highly personalized member engagement. Lori will also utilize her vast talents in our executive recruiting efforts. There has never been a more critical time to ensure that the right folks are in the right seats for our member companies, and Lori is perfectly suited to help on the matchmaking front.

In addition, the philanthropic arm of NTCA, the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), will receive new leadership under Vice President of Legal, Jill Canfield. FRS will also pursue a new executive director upon the transitioning departure of our own Jessica Golden, longtime NTCA staffer who will be making a life-changing move of her own to the West Coast. Senior Regulatory Counsel, Brian Ford, has also been named as Director of Industry Affairs in recognition of his significant efforts to support NTCA members’ regulatory and industry priorities.

It has long been one of my primary goals to position NTCA and our members for long-term success in an industry that is ever-evolving. This refreshed organizational structure will help ensure we are putting our resources where they can deliver the best member value while continuing to develop our staff talents and assets.

So, while we can’t capture the wind, we are certainly looking for the best ways to harness that energy!

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