Oregon Broadband Advisory Council Welcomes New Members
The Oregon Broadband Office (OBAC) welcomes nine new members to the Broadband Advisory Council. The council consists of 13 members, 11 of which are appointed by Governor Kate Brown, along with one representative each from the state House of Representatives and the state Senate.
OBAC’s mission is to encourage coordination and collaboration between organizations and economic sectors to leverage the development and utilization of broadband for education, workforce development, and telehealth, and to promote broadband utilizations by citizens and communities.
This year, House Bill 4092, 2022 was approved and signed by Governor Brown on March 23; this bill modified the composition and duties of the council in preparation for historical federal broadband investment. Some of the modifications includes new representation for rural businesses, urban businesses, telehealth, and digital equity interests of historically disadvantaged communities.
Regarding duties, the council shall:
- Advise the Oregon Broadband Office on the development and implementation of Oregon’s broadband strategy.
- Advise the Oregon Broadband Office on the scalability, resilience, and sustainability of Oregon’s broadband infrastructure.
- Assist the Oregon Broadband Office in developing ideas to streamline deployment of broadband infrastructure and in ensuring continual progress toward achieving state goals.
- Review and update state goals regarding broadband service speeds in consideration of federal requirements and to ensure that Oregon residents and businesses are prepared for future needs.
- Advise the Oregon Broadband Office on best practices to guide the development and implementation of state grant programs, including project review, opportunities for appeal, and project accountability.
- Support local governments, providers, and stakeholders in project planning and development.
- Champion equitable statewide access and adoption of broadband services.
- Establish a grant application review committee for each grant cycle.
The new council members will work with the Oregon Broadband Office to complete planning and policy work, begin robust public engagement, and develop the BEAD Five-year Action Plan, BEAD Initial Proposal, and a State Digital Equity Plan. These plans are federal deliverables that will open the door for substantial federal investment. The OBAC meets every three months and the council containing the new members will have its first meeting on August 25, 2022. More information about the OBAC including agendas and materials from past meetings is available on Business Oregon’s website.
The State of Oregon has not yet received any federal broadband funds. The Oregon Broadband Office has not received any funding for any of the programs, nor has any award program been finalized. The Oregon Broadband Office is actively applying for BEAD, Digital Equity, and ARPA Capital Projects federal grant funding and is continuing to scale up the office to be ready for the funds when they arrive.
The 12 confirmed OBAC members are listed below. One member appointment is still pending.
Term: January 2022 – December 2025
County Commissioner, Tillamook County
David Yamamoto was elected as Tillamook County Commissioner in November 2016 where he and his wife, Terrie, reside in Pacific City. David spent 20 years as a long-term care specialist after which he became an Oregon Real Estate Broker. Prior to that, David worked in the forest products industry for more than 20 years.
David feels it is important give back to his community and enjoys his many volunteer activities, some of which include: Chair, Pacific City/Woods Community Advisory Committee and Chair of their Land Use Committee; Chair, Tillamook County Futures Council; Citizen at Large, Oregon Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee; Citizen at Large, NW Area Commission on Transportation; Pacific City-Nestucca Valley Chamber of Commerce 2012 Volunteer of the Year; and Tillamook County Economic Development Council Small Business Advisory Committee. David graduated from college in California with a BA in psychology.
Term: June 2022 – December 2025
City Council President, City of Sherwood
Tim Rosener is passionate about local government and bringing broadband services to all corners of our communities. As Sherwood City Council President, he has promoted and helped guide the expansion of Sherwood Broadband Services throughout the Community, including rural areas around Sherwood, and is working on expanding services into surrounding cities. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, he has spent most of his career delivering innovative technology and consulting services to over 900 local governments across the United States. Tim currently serves on the National League of Cities Internet Technology and communications Policy Committee and the League of Oregon Cities Telcom Policy Committee.
Term: March 2019 – December 2023
President and Chief Executive Officer, Casco Communications, Inc (PEAK Internet)
Rick Petersen is President and Chief Executive Officer for Casco Communications, Inc. (doing business as PEAK Internet). Casco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consumers Power, Inc., a member owned electric cooperative. Rick has worked in the utility industry for over 44 years including over 20 years of experience with an Oregon independent telephone company with interests in cable TV, broadband, business telephone systems and cellular licenses. Rick serves on the board of Directors of the Northwest Telecommunications Association (NWTA), CoEnergy Propane, Linn Benton Community College Foundation and the Linn-Co Federal Credit Union. Rick is a lifetime resident of Oregon.
Telecommunications Service Providers
Term: May 2022 – December 2025
Executive Vice President/General Manager, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative
James Rennard is the Executive Vice President and General Manager at Pioneer Telephone Cooperative in Philomath. He has 30 years of experience in rural telecommunications working as a CPA, financial and regulatory cost consultant to companies across the country and the CFO for another large Oregon rural telecommunications cooperative. James has also been the CFO for two large non-profits. As an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow, he values collaborative approaches to problem-solving. He believes that incorporating diversity and inclusiveness into the decision-making process results in more effective solutions.
Term: July 2022 – December 2025
Krystal Stone, an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes, was born and raised in Oregon and now resides near her tribal homelands in Chiloquin. Krystal began her career in telecom in 2013 with Astound (formerly CoastCom), and still works with the company today. She participates in and advises the Oregon Broadband Action Team, Oregon Connections Conference Planning Committee, Oregon Universal Service Fund Advisory Board, and Chairs the Lake and Klamath County Broadband Action Team. Krystal is seen by her peers and mentors as a local champion for broadband and she truly believes in digital equality for all communities regardless of size. She has seen firsthand the stark contrast between a served and unserved/underserved community.
Outside of telecom, Krystal runs a junior high football team, is helping create a food co-op in Chiloquin, builds affordable housing in her community, and works with South Central Oregon Economic Development District (SCOEDD).
Term: April 2020 – December 2023
IT Director, Intermountain Education Service District
Cheri Rhinhart is the Information Technology Director at Intermountain Education Service District (ESD) serving in this role since 2005. Intermountain ESD IT covers a substantial geographic area serving eighteen component districts throughout Umatilla, Morrow, Union, and Baker counties, and a partnership for technology services for eight school districts in Malheur County. Cheri became a Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) in 2016 and serves on the CoSN Policy and Rural Initiatives Committees, and also serves on the Board of the Association for Computer Professionals in Education for Oregon and the state of Washington.
Rural Business Rep
Term: May 2022 – December 2025
Founder and President, Catalyst Public Policy Advisors, LLC
Nick Green is the former City Manager for the City of John Day and Executive Director of the Grant County Digital Network Coalition, Grant County’s public broadband consortium. Prior to joining John Day, he was a Senior Associate with consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where he managed a multi-billion-dollar technology investment portfolio. Nick has also worked as a Project Manager with Jacobs Engineering and as an intelligence analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Nick is the founder and president of Catalyst Public Policy Advisors, LLC, which he started in March 2022 to provide consulting services for rural agencies. He is a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences on technology policy and innovation and strives to bring his expertise in technology entrepreneurship and public policy to advocate for rural-frontier communities throughout Oregon. Nick has a Masters in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and a Certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Brigham Young University.
Urban Business Rep
Term: May 2022 – December 2025
Director, Broadband and Regulatory Policy, Intel
John has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and has been working for over 40 years on various Spectrum, Broadband, and Regulatory policy matters. Over the last 15 years, he has met with hundreds of global broadband and spectrum policy makers and led dozens of group discussions on broadband strategies, including the effective use of broadband subsides to connect and equip the underserved, e.g., in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Indonesia, Philippines, and India, and in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. He contributed to Rwanda’s national broadband strategy and has authored several articles in the Broadband Commission Annual Reports on broadband deployment and adoption. John has also authored or co-authored several articles on radio frequency (RF) emissions in technical journals from the IEEE. John has chaired several industry working groups and is currently a Co-Convenor in an IEC/IEEE standards working group, and vice chair of the 5G Automotive Association policy working group. In his current role as the Director of Broadband and Regulatory Policy in Intel’s Global Government Affairs organization, he continues to focus on enabling the benefits of broadband and ICT for the un and underserved, to ensure digital equity for all.
Term: July 2022 – December 2025
Rural Population Health Program Manager, Oregon Office of Rural Health
Stepha Dragoon, LMSW, MPAff (she/they) is the Rural Population Health Program Manager with the Oregon Office of Rural Health where they focus on initiatives related to population health in rural communities. Prior to this position, Stepha conducted research at the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas at Austin, where they also received a Master of Public Affairs and a Master of Science in Social Work. Stepha is committed to health equity by centering underrepresented voices in the policy process and has over a decade of experience in community-based programming and social impact initiatives across the United States.
Digital Access for Disadvantaged Communities Rep
Term: July 2022 – December 2025
Founder, USBS Cloud Consulting
Marti Gaiter is the Founder of USBS Cloud Consulting. He is a Digital Accessibility ADA/WCAG Sherpa; a Thought Leader for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Strategies; and a MC, DJ, Fun Director. His passion is building, growing, and connecting long-term business and personal relationships while removing roadblocks with a fresh set of eyes. Marti is an Airforce Veteran living in Lane County, where he serves on various Committees with Lane Transit District and The Springfield Chamber of Commerce. His mission is to make the internet accessible to everyone.
Consumer and the Public at Large
Representative, State of Oregon
Representative Pam Marsh was first elected to House District 5 in southern Jackson County in November 2016. She has been a member of the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council since 2017 and received the Excellence in Telecommunications Policy/Legislation Award from the Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference in 2019. She authored House Bill 2173 (2019) to establish the state Broadband Office and House Bill 4092 (2022), which set Oregon’s course for broadband expansion, and she has been Chief Sponsor of bills addressing broadband infrastructure challenges. Among several current legislative committee appointments, Pam serves on the Joint Committee on Information Management and Technology.
Sen. Lee Beyer is the Senate’s liaison to the Broadband Advisory Council. The Senator has served in both the House and Senate for a total of 21 years of legislative service. In his private life, Beyer worked in commercial and industrial development. He also served as the Chair of the Oregon Public Utility Commission for almost a decade. As part of his PUC responsibilities, he regulated telecommunications services.
For more information about the Broadband Advisory Council, visit biz.oregon.gov.