2020 MTA Convention and Trade Show — Speaker Bios

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Breakout Session Speaker Bios

Shaun Carlson, Arvig 

Shaun Carlson is the Director of Research and Development for Arvig. On the side, he is a Major in the North Dakota Air National Guard where he's been a member for 23 years. He has a Masters in Business Administration from The University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from North Dakota State University. He's been in the Telecommunication industry for almost 20 years and a technology enthusiast for much longer!

Alan DiCicco, Calix

Alan DiCicco is a solutions architect and technology evangelist responsible for helping service providers create new services and deliver exceptional return on their investment. Alan leverages a breadth of experience in optical networking technologies, Wi-Fi and 5G wireless solutions, and Software Defined Networking to bring value to service provides and ecosystem partners. Alan’s 25 years of networking and communications system experience includes senior roles in solutions marketing, product management, and business operations, during which time he defined product strategies and network architectures for commercial and residential service providers. He also spent the first few years of his communication career working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA) and is passionate about planetary exploration.

Adam Hennen, Olsen Thielen

Adam Hennen is a principal at Olsen Thielen CPAs experienced in auditing and accounting, general business consulting, and presenting financial statements and financial projections to boards and management. Adam has over 15 years of experience working with businesses in the telecommunications industry.

Lana Gill, ISPN

Mrs. Gill has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing. Since 2000, she has worked with the ISPN team, assuming roles in project development, sales management and client partnerships. She received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Speech-Language-Hearing and Spanish from the University of Kansas and her MBA from Rockhurst University. Currently, she works with ILEC/CLECs, Cable Operatives, WISPs and Hotels nationwide, and is the Director of Business Development at ISPN. She is actively involved with youth outreach in her community, enjoys running, reading and creating art. She currently resides in San Diego, CA with her husband and 3 young children.

Chris Konechne, Finley Engineering

Christopher Konechne, PE. Project Engineer at Finley Engineering. Chris has worked with a large number of clients designing fiber and wireless networks and assembling the associated opinions of cost and is heavily involved in engineering, project management, budgets, schedules, strategic planning, and government loan and grant applications. He has experience working with a variety of clients such as cities, counties, telcos, coops, and others. Chris served in the US Navy as an electrical technician. He has a BS in electrical engineering technology from South Dakota State University with a minor in business.

Steve Meltzer, JSI 

Steve Meltzer is JSI's Senior VP and oversees all of JSI's cost study, forecasting, and financial strategy work. He also manages JSI's Regulatory, Network Services, Management Services, and Separations and Settlements departments. Steve is a member of NECA's Cost Issues Task Group and its Rate Development Taskforce, and is an active participant in the Rural Association Group working on regulatory and settlement reform with the FCC. In addition, Steve serves on the Board of the Foundation for Rural Service.

Tom Revnew, Kappenman & Anderson

Tom Revnew has been practicing labor and employment law for 25 years throughout the country. He is a frequent presenter on labor and employment law matters.

Mark Mrla, Finley Engineering 

Mark Mrla joined Finley Engineering Company in 2008 and works out of their Minnesota office. He currently serves as Director of Strategic Operations and is responsible for business development, and various aspects of project management, engineering, budgeting, scheduling and client relations. Mark also coordinates teams and processes for client loan and grant applications for various government programs. Prior to joining Finley, Mark served in various management and technical positions at MidAmerican Energy Company, Gateway, Inc., and owned and operated a private technology consulting company. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Iowa and has served in numerous leadership positions on various community and professional boards of directors and committees. Mark is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in 13 states.

Carissa Swenson, Consortia  

Carissa Swenson is involved in the rural telecommunications industry in multiple capacities from her home in rural North Dakota. She is a consultant for Consortia Consulting and a Director for Consolidated Telecom Cooperative. She earned bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Business Education and a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology. She is an expert at presenting information about the Internet and the devices connected to it in an easy to understand manner. Last, but not least, she is the wife of a 6'10'' cattle rancher and the mother of two energetic boys.

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