3 New FirstNet Board Members Announced
Thursday, February 08, 2018 | Comments

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross appointed four members to serve on the board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a notice seeking candidates for the board last April. The board oversees the activities of FirstNet to ensure that AT&T develops, builds and operates a nationwide broadband network that will best equip first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities, a Department of Commerce statement said.

“With all 50 states and several territories participating in FirstNet, these appointed board members will leverage their decades of experience in public service and the private sector to ensure FirstNet provides the world-class communications network our emergency responders need,” said Ross. “I applaud them for their willingness to serve on the board to help save lives and keep communities safe.”

Three individuals were appointed to the FirstNet board for three-year terms. Richard Ross is police commissioner for the city of Philadelphia, one of the largest police departments in the nation with more than 6,300 sworn members and 800 civilian personnel.

David Zolet, CEO of LMI, has more than 30 years of corporate experience and leadership roles in business development, engineering, strategic planning and customer relations. LMI is a management consulting firm that has served the federal government for 55 years, according to its website. Zolet was named CEO in June 2017 and has also worked for CSC, IBM and Northop Grumman, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Robert “Tip” Osterthaler is an independent consultant and strategic advisor, focusing on communications networks and government programs. He served for 28 years in the US Air Force, retiring as a brigadier general in 1997. From 2006 to 2015 he served as president and CEO for SES Government Solutions and worked as a senior vice president for SAIC for nine years before that, according to LinkedIn.

Richard W. Stanek, sheriff for Hennepin County, Minnesota, was reappointed to a new three-year term. Stanek serves on the FirstNet Consultation and Outreach Committee. He is a member of the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) Executive Committee and chairs the NSA’s Homeland Security Committee.

“These individuals will serve our nation well by providing expertise from both the private sector and public-safety community,” said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator David Redl. “I want to thank them for serving during this important time for FirstNet.”

Ed Reynolds, Chris Burbank and Jim Douglas will leave the board. In a statement, FirstNet Board Chair Sue Swenson said: “I want to thank our outgoing members for their service to FirstNet and the public safety community, including Ed Reynolds, who was a member of the FirstNet board since the beginning and brought extensive wireless and executive-level experience to the Finance and Technology committees; Chief Chris Burbank, who served on our Technology Committee and helped expand our relationships with law enforcement officials around the country; and Gov. Jim Douglas, who was chair of the Finance Committee and provided expert guidance on our budget and was a valuable resource throughout the state plans and governors’ decisions.”

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