TIS17 Speakers

Special Guest Speakers

We are excited to announce the following guest speakers will be joining us for this year's conference! Hear their full stories when you come to The Independent Show.

Monday Lunch
Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart

Driver, Owner, Philanthropist

Sponsored by MAVTV Motorsports Network

Since first wheeling a go-kart in 1978 at a Westport, Indiana, racetrack, Tony Stewart went on to score 12 driving championships. His most widely-known titles are the three he scored in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is the first and only driver to win championships in stock cars, Indy cars and open-wheel Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown cars.

Connect with Tony:         
Tuesday Lunch
Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern

Host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods

Sponsored by Scripps Networks Interactive

Andrew Zimmern is a three-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer, teacher, culinary explorer, and is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. He is the creator, host and co-executive producer of multiple shows on Travel Channel.

Connect with Andrew:         
Tuesday Evening
Anthony DeVito

Anthony DeVito


Originally from New Jersey, Anthony is a NYC based comedian, who recently made his network television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Anthony can be seen on TVLand’s Jim Gaffigan Show and has regular appearances on Fox News Channel’s Red Eye. Devito can be heard on NPR’s This American Life, Sirius XM’s Bennington and on his highly rated weekly podcast the Rad Dude Cast. You can see Anthony on the upcoming season of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents.

Connect with Anthony:         
Wednesday Breakfast
Keith Gabel

Keith Gabel

US Paralympic Snowboarder

Sponsored by Vubiquity

Keith is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie who began snowboarding in 2000. In 2010 he got involved in competitive para snowboarding. He progressed quickly through the international ranks, earning a spot on the 2014 Paralympic Team heading to Sochi, where he won a bronze medal in the sport’s Paralympic debut.

Connect with Keith:         

Keynote Speakers

Susan Brooks

Susan Brooks

U.S. Rep, (R-IN), U.S. Congress

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks represents the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight urban, suburban and rural counties in Central Indiana, including the north side of Indianapolis. She currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the Communications and Technology, the Health, and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees.

Connect with Rep. Brooks:       

 Post-Session Interview: Rep. Susan Brooks

Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer

CEO, The Palmer Group

Shelly is CEO of The Palmer Group, a strategic advisory, technology solutions and business development practice focused at the nexus of media and marketing with a special emphasis on machine learning and data-driven decision-making. He is a trusted strategic advisor to the C-Suite of leading digital media, content, broadcasting and technology firms and a key driver of market, technology and strategic direction, as well as acquisition strategies, for his clients.

Connect with Shelly:         
Michael Powell

Michael Powell

President & CEO, NCTA

Michael is the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where he served as a member of the FCC for eight years. During his time as FCC chair, Chairman Powell oversaw the rapid transformation of communications markets into the Digital Age. In his current at NCTA, Michael leads one of the largest trade associations in Washington, D.C., representing the communications and content industries.

Connect with Michael:     

Speakers & Panelists

Basil Badawiyeh

Basil Badawiyeh

VP Video Product Development, Charter Communications

Basil has over 19 years of executive, product management & engineering experience in web, video infrastructure & advertising, 14 of which in the cable space. Basil oversees product development for inventory, data & the advanced advertising platforms including market launches for Spectrum DAI & Linear Addressable advertising, which were widely recognized for their seamless integration with Charters’ subscriber data platforms.   

Mark Barber

Mark Barber

VP Cable Development & Integration, TDS Telecom

Mark has been on the cutting edge of the communications industry for more than three decades. He has worked with several organizations including Charter Communications, Comcast International, Hauser Communications and Cobridge Communications. In his current role Mark is responsible for all business development, acquisition and integration of cable operations for TDS Telecom.   

 Post-Session Interview: Mark Barber & Andy Kober

Dwayne Benefield

Dwayne Benefield

VP, Head of Playstation Vue, Sony Network Entertainment Int'l

Dwayne Benefield is Vice President, Head of PlayStation Vue, Sony Interactive Entertainment, with P&L responsibility for PlayStation Vue, the pioneering cloud-based TV service, including oversight of strategy, programming/content acquisition, service operations and product management.    

Andy Berke

Andy Berke

Mayor, Chattanooga, TN

Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Andy served as State Senator for Tennessee’s 10th District from 2007 to 2012 before becoming the 65th Mayor of Chattanooga in 2013. Known as the Gig City, Mayor Berke has worked to maximize Chattanooga’s high-speed fiber optic infrastructure, establishing the first Innovation District is a mid-sized city and concentrating his efforts on digital equity.

Lorna Borenstein

Lorna Borenstein

CEO & Founder, Grokker

Lorna Borenstein is an internet veteran who began her career launching eBay Canada out of her guestroom with a newborn in tow. After 15 years in high-profile roles at eBay, Inc., Yahoo!, and Move, Inc., Lorna challenged long-held beliefs about business culture and wellness, and decided to start her own company focused on pursuing your best self, Grokker.       

Dan Buchanan

Dan Buchanan

VP, Member Services, NCTC

Dan is a 25 year veteran of the cable television industry first starting with Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI). At TCI he was responsible for Merger and Acquisition related activity. He then transitioned into an operational role with Comcast as General Manager of their Denver system. After Comcast, Dan went to Charter where he was responsible for Call Center operations before landing in his current capacity with the NCTC as VP, Member Strategy where he focuses on current initiatives impacting the membership base.   

Patrice Carroll

Patrice Carroll


Patrice has been a leader in the telecommunications industry for more than 25 years. She has served as GVP of Business Development and GM of Advanced Technology Services at McLeodUSA, SVP of Communications Services Engineering at WorldCom, and Vice President of Enhance Service Engineering at MCI Communications.    

 Post-Session Interview: Patrice Carrol

Charles Cheevers

Charles Cheevers

CTO Customer Premises Equipment, ARRIS

Charles has worked for the last 14 years in the cable industry developing DVB and DOCSIS HeadEnd and CPE solutions and products, most recently focusing on convergent solutions for the Network and Home through IP delivery. At ARRIS, Charles is responsible for the 2-5 year technology vision of ARRIS CPE Business and the evolution of Home Gateways , STB and User interaction with Digital Services.   

 Post-Session Interview: Charles Cheevers

Steve Cochran

Steve Cochran


Steven is responsible for WOW’s mergers and acquisitions strategy and has been the architect of several critical acquisitions over the past decade. CableFAX Magazine named Steven the 2012 Independent Financial Executive of the Year. WOW! has consistently delivered industry-leading financial performance throughout Steven’s tenure. His leadership has created unprecedented value for employees and shareholders.    

 Post-Session Interview: Steve Cochran

Tom Cohen

Tom Cohen

Partner, Kelley Drye Warren LLP

Tom is a partner in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. His practice focuses on matters involving communications, including telecommunications, wireless and media, the Internet, privacy and government relations. Tom has more than 30 years of experience in the communications and telecommunications industry sector.    

Dave Despain

Dave Despain


A 42-year veteran of motorsports television, Dave Despain made his debut with ABC “Wide World of Sports.” In more than four decades since, Despain has brought his depth of racing knowledge and opinionated style to virtually every broadcast and cable network that covered motorsports, including his current home MAVTV.

Sean Doherty

Sean Doherty


Sean has been a pioneer in the cable industry since 1995. His career started as the founding COO of the @Home Network and now includes founding and leading Wurl, producing and distributing new linear channels to cable and OTT services.    

Ben Dold

Ben Dold

Sr Director of Central Operations, Midco

Ben Dold leads the customer experience, operations analytics, supply chain, and consumer product management teams at Midco. Prior to his current role he led the marketing insights and consumer sales teams. Dold earned an MBA from St. Cloud State University and a bachelor’s in economics at St. John’s University. In 2015, he was named to Prairie Business Magazine’s top 40 under 40.    

Joe Duggan

Joe Duggan

Co-Founder & Chairman, DH Capital

Joe has more than 20 years of experience providing financing and advising companies in the Target Industries. Prior to founding DH Capital, Joe was a Partner with Waller Capital Corporation, an investment bank serving the cable television industry. While at Waller Capital, Joe completed several billion dollars of transactions and capital placement assignments for cable television companies and broadened the firm’s industry expertise to include other telecom sectors.    

Barbara Esbin

Barbara Esbin

Partner, Cinnamon Mueller

Barbara has over 25 years of experience in communications law and policy, and she represents ACA and communications companies before the FCC, Congress and in the courts. Barbara joined Cinnamon Mueller in 2010 after an extended tenure with the FCC. At the FCC she served in the Enforcement, Media, Cable Services, Wireless Telecommunications, and Common Carrier Bureaus, including four years as Associate Chief, Media Bureau.    

Katie Espeseth

Katie Espeseth

VP, New Products, EPB Fiber Optics

Katie joined EPB in November of 2004, bringing with her over 30 years of marketing and telecommunications experience with a national telecommunications carrier. Katie guides the company’s effort to maximize the value of its 100% fiber optic network with new and enhanced products for both business and residential customers.    

Madeleine Findley

Madeleine Findley

Deputy Bureau Chief, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau

Madeleine Findley serves as Deputy Bureau Chief in the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau, where her portfolio includes a range of broadband deployment, universal service, and other complex policy issues. Ms. Findley previously served as Associate General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel. Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Findley was a partner with Wiltshire & Grannis LLP (now Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP).    

Scott Friedman

Scott Friedman

Partner, Cinnamon Mueller

Scott works with cable, broadband, and telecom companies in all facets of their businesses, especially the impact of law and regulation. He joined Cinnamon Mueller, ACA’s outside counsel, in 2006 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He grew up in the cable industry – both his father and grandfather operated small cable systems.    

Ellen Garshick

Ellen Garshick

Program Analyst, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, NIST

Ellen has served on the Baldrige staff since 2007, leading several projects including Baldrige Excellence Framework revision. She has worked in a range of Baldrige Program activities, including serving as a monitor and technical editor for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award process. Most recently, she led the teams that developed the Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder and the Baldrige-based Communities of Excellence Framework.    

Bo Gresham

Bo Gresham

Vice President, Ervin Cable Construction

Beginning as a lineman in the field, Bo’s entire telecommunication career has been spent with Ervin Cable. Progressing through the management ranks to his current position, Bo has been instrumental in managing the growth of Ervin’s construction and engineering capabiliti8s to meet the increasing demands of multiple customers in the FTTH/FTTN markets. His ability to navigate through the impediments to rapid deployment of todays’ network placements is a key component of Ervin’s success.    

Lizzy Hanna

Lizzy Hanna

General Manager, Engine Media

Lizzy leads the agency business within Engine Media Group, overseeing client services, media strategy and planning as well as activation and analytics. Lizzy joined Engine Media from Mullen Lowe Profero New York, where she served as Head of Media. She was responsible for media planning and buying across global and US clients such as Western Union, T. Marzetti and CFA Institute.    

Jason Hansen

Jason Hansen

EVP & CFO, RevGen Partners

Jason is a co-founder of RevGen Partners, a business and technology consulting firm. He is actively engaged in work with local, regional and global cable and telco providers. Jason has spent most his 20-year consulting career focused on driving bottom-line improvements within the cable and telco industry identifying and fixing revenue leakage across organizations.    

Martha Heller

Martha Heller

Chief, Policy Division, Media Bureau, FCC

Martha Heller is currently Chief of the Media Bureau Policy Division at the Federal Communications Commission. She previously held several other positions at the FCC, including Assistant Chief in the Enforcement Bureau Front Office and Deputy Chief of the Media Bureau Industry Analysis Division. She also has served as the Acting Media Advisor for FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.    

Jeremy Hitchcock

Jeremy Hitchcock

Founder, Minim

Jeremy co-founded Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company, as a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2001 working with the biggest web properties online. Jeremy is an angel investor and modern education/workforce development proponent. He was a leading voice behind the pioneering STEAM Ahead NH initiative bridging K-12 and postsecondary education. He also developed Dyn Hackademy, educating the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.  

Glenn Hower

Glenn Hower

Senior Analyst, Parks Associates

Glenn Hower leads Parks Associates' research in entertainment content production, delivery, and service subscriptions and provides insight to companies on how to sell and deliver valued experiences to their entertainment consumers. Parks Associates is the leading market research company studying the IoT, smart home, and connected entertainment.    

Ron Insana

Ron Insana

Senior Analyst & Commentator, CNBC

Ron covers the most pressing economic and market issues of the day. He also delivers The Market Scoreboard Report to radio stations around the country. For nearly three decades, Ron has been a highly respected business journalist and money manager, who began his career at the Financial News Network in 1984 and joined CNBC when FNN and CNBC merged in 1991.    

Greg Jackson

Greg Jackson

Senior Cybersecurity Analyst, Dynetics

Greg is a cybersecurity and compliance professional with over 20 years of experience in the field. Greg has worked with DoD, Commercial, and State & Local Government organizations to perform risk assessments and develop enterprise cybersecurity and risk management strategies, programs and processes. He manages a team of security professionals that engage in black-box penetration testing and development of enterprise solutions designed to thwart cyber aggressors.


Todd Juenger

VP, Senior Analyst, US Media, Sanford C. Bernstein

Since 2012 Todd has been a senior analyst covering U.S. media companies. He was previously the head of TiVo’s Audience Research business from 2005-2011. Prior to TiVo he spent nearly 20 years at companies including Procter & Gamble, McKinsey, Primedia and Cerberus Capital.. 


Andy Kober

EVP & CFO, Vyve Broadband

Andy brings over 30 years of experience in telecom to the Vyve Broadband team. During his career, Andy has served as a Controller, Executive Vice President and CFO, leading companies through major operational transitions and acquisitions.    

 Post-Session Interview: Mark Barber & Andy Kober


Ted Koerner

SVP, CoBank

Ted has nearly 30 years of banking experience, including financing expertise with rural communications companies involved in wireline, wireless, cable, transport and data centers. At CoBank, he supervises and manages all relationship managers serving rural communications companies nationwide. Previously, Ted has served as a director with the Media & Telecom Group at BNP Paribas.   


Mark Lieberman

President & CEO, Viamedia

Mark Lieberman came to Viamedia as President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2014 after an extensive career in the media and technology industry. Prior to Viamedia, he was the co-founder and CEO at TiVo Research & Analytics, a leading media analytics, software, and research technology firm. He serves as Chairman of the company’s programmatic platform, Placemedia, and was named a Cable TV Pioneer in 2016.   

 Post-Session Interview: Mark Lieberman


Ross Lieberman

SVP, Government Affairs, American Cable Association

Ross Lieberman serves as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the American Cable Association (ACA), representing the interests of small and medium-sized cable operators. Lieberman is the trade association's advocate on Capitol Hill and at the Federal Communications Commission. Lieberman holds a Juris Doctor degree from American University’s Washington College of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Johns Hopkins University.   


Mary Lovejoy

VP Regulatory Affairs, American Cable Association

Mary advocates on behalf of the American Cable Association and its members before federal agencies, particularly the FCC. Mary specializes on regulatory matters pertaining to video and broadband services, with a particular focus on retransmission consent, set-top box regulation, net neutrality, and cybersecurity.   


Steven Lycans

President, Lycom Communications

Steven is a 22 year veteran who has served multiple roles in the broadband industry. He currently serves as President of Lycom Communications, Inc., an independent operator in rural Eastern Kentucky.    

 Post-Session Interview: Steve Lycans and Doug Maglothin


Doug Maglothin

Director of Product Development, Ritter Communications

Since joining Ritter in 2011, Doug has led numerous product development initiatives including FTTX networks for residential and business, Hosted PBX service, analog reclamation, IPTV service, and Hosted IT Services including IaaS, DRaaS and SECaaS. Prior to joining Ritter, Doug served in various Product Marketing roles at Verizon Wireless and Alltel Communications.   

 Post-Session Interview: Steve Lycans and Doug Maglothin


Earle MacKenzie

EVP & COO, Shentel

Earle joined Shentel in 2003 and is responsible for the company’s daily operations of its subsidiaries. Earle began his career in the telecommunications industry in 1975 as the co-founder and President of Broadslate Networks and Essex Communications. He has also served as COO of Digital Television Services and as Senior Vice President of Contel Cellular.    

 Post-Session Interview: Earle McKenzie


Joe Matarese

SVP & Executive Director, Advanced Advertising Technology Platforms, Cadent Technology

Dr. Joseph Matarese is a veteran cable and telecommunications technology executive who is renowned for his thought-leadership and innovation in the advanced advertising industry. Most recently vice president and general manager of the On Demand Business Unit for ARRIS Group, in this role Matarese was a key figure in the product development of large-scale on-demand and switched IP-based video advertising systems deployed worldwide.   


Corey McCarthy

CFO & SVP, Business Development, NCTC

Corey joined NCTC in 2007, bringing with him 24 years of diverse finance experience. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he earned his CPA. Most recently he worked in various corporate finance roles at Sprint Corporation in Kansas City, MO. In his current role at NCTC he manages the company’s finances and plays a key role in business development initiatives focusing on ways to save NCTC members operating and capital costs.   


Mike Murphy

Business Development Leader, Amazon

Mike brings nearly 20 years of professional experience as a general manager and category leader within far field voice technology, OTT TV & VOD, content security, consumer electronics and cloud computing. Mike was a co-founder of Amazon Channels and Intel’s onCue service. Currently Mike heads up Amazon Alexa’s engagements with MVPDs, carriers and service providers.    


Michael Nilsson

Partner, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis

A partner with the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, Mike advises and represents media and communications companies before the FCC, including ACA members on such topics as retransmission consent and TV stations’ transition to ATSC 3.0. From 2001 to 2002, Mike served as Legislative Assistant and Counsel, and principal telecommunications and technology adviser, to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia.    


Mike Novak

CEO, K-Love & Air1

Mike spent several years at radio stations in Salinas, San Francisco and San Diego, CA before accepting a job at K-LOVE in 1998. From his time as a K-LOVE on-air personality and Program Director to be named K-LOVE’s Senior Vice President in 2004, Mike’s impressive radio pedigree and passion for sharing the gospel has uniquely prepared him for the role change in 2007 to his current position as K-LOVE’s President and CEO.    


Bob Ormberg

VP, Content & Product Management, GCI

Bob has been an active participant in the Cable Telecommunications industry for over 30 years. During his 19-year tenure with GCI, he has been instrumental in launching advanced services including VOD, TVE and OTT. In 2016 Bob was re-elected to the NCTC Board for a 4th term and serves a Vice Chairman.   

 Post-Session Interview: Bob Ormberg


Ryan Pearson

EVP & General Counsel, Harron Communications

Ryan has worked with Harron Communications, L.P. for 15 years. He manages programming, human resources, field operations and legal functions for the company, which currently provides service to more than 148,000 customers across five states. Ryan was recently appointed to the NCTC Board of Directors and serves on the Programming Committee.   


Andrew Petersen

VP, External Affairs & Communications, TDS

An ACA Board member, Drew joined TDS Telecom in 1997 as a member of the Government and Regulatory Affairs department. He oversees corporate communications, legislative, regulatory, and charitable giving operations. He is also responsible for developing, tracking and proactively implementing the company’s state and federal legislative policies, as well as regulatory relations.    


Matt Polka

President & CEO, American Cable Association

Matt oversees the daily operations and affairs of ACA, a 750-member, non-profit association dedicated to serving independent cable businesses and the owners of smaller cable TV systems nationwide. ACA represents its members’ concerns before Congress, the FCC, and other agencies.   

Elliott Powell

Meridith Elliott Powell

Author, Business Coach & Business Growth Expert, MotionFirst

Meridith is an award-winning author, keynote speaker and business strategist. With a background in corporate sales and leadership, her career expands over several industries including banking, healthcare and finance. Meridith worked her way up from an entry-level position to earn her seat at the C-Suite table. Meridith is passionate about helping her clients understand how to make this economy start working for them.   


Mike Romano

Sr Vice President - Industry Affairs & Business Development, NTCA

Mike Romano is the Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs & Business Development for NTCA¬¬—The Rural Broadband Association, overseeing the organization's public policy, business opportunities, and community initiatives on behalf of its nearly 850 small rural telecom provider members.    


Wayne Schattenkerk

CFO, Wave Broadband

Wayne has over 30 years of finance and operations experience. Wayne has served in a variety of roles during his career, from Corporate Controller to Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Schattenkerk serves on the NCTC Board of Directors where he is the past chairman and currently chairs the Governance Committee.    


Micah Singer

VP, Broadsoft

Micah has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 20 years at Justice Technology and Viatel before founding VoIP Logic in 2003. Prior to BroadCloud PaaS, Micah was the founder and CEO of VoIP Logic until it was acquired in 2016 by BroadSoft.   


Peter Smith

Founder & Principal, Further Lane LLC

Peter provides strategic planning and professional execution for companies engaged in content creation, distribution and monetization. Prior to starting Further Lane, Peter was Senior Vice President of Programming and Advertising Sales at WideOpenWest (WOW!) and served as a member of the NCTC Board of Directors.    


Jared Weaver

VP, The Alpine Group

Jared focuses on telecommunications and technology issues as an advisor to the American Cable Association. His broad portfolio includes work for the wireless, video, competitive broadband, and music industries. Jared served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. Anna Eshoo, whose Silicon Valley constituency is dominated by many large technology companies and thousands of start-ups.    

Ben Weingerger

Ben Weinberger

Senior Vice President & Chief Product Officer, Sling TV

Ben oversees product development, product management, programming and editorial teams. Prior to joining Sling TV in 2015, Ben served as co-founder and CEO of Digitalsmiths, where he helped pioneer the development of video discovery solutions that made it easier for consumers to find personally relevant programming at any time across multiple devices. Additionally, Ben serves on the board or advisory boards of Librestream, Wazee Digital, the Southern Illinois University Alumni Association and Council for Entrepreneurial Development.   


Harold Zeitz

President & COO, Wave

Harold brings to Wave over 25 years of experience in defining strategic direction, delivering growth and expanding market share with telecom, wireless, and data networking industry expertise as well as high transaction volume consumer web services. He carries the voice of Wave’s customers to ensure that every business group—from sales to engineering to operations and customer service —works together to deliver world-class service.