JSI Promotes Two Senior Engineering VPs

2022-01-04T14:31:21-05:00January 4, 2022|News|

Senior Ranks Expand in Response to Unprecedented Market Opportunities, Organizational Changes

January 4, 2022, Greenbelt, MD: JSI announced today the promotion of two senior members of the company’s industry-leading engineering team: Vance Gadd has been named Senior Vice President of Fiber Network Design and Implementation, and Tom Lewis has been named Senior Vice President of Broadband IP Network Design and Management, effective immediately.

“Vance and Tom are widely respected industry veterans, with several decades’ worth of experience between them,” JSI CEO Tasos Tsolakis said in making this announcement. “Our company is exceptionally fortunate to have two experts of their caliber under the same roof, particularly at this critical juncture when so many of our clients are trying to take advantage of the unprecedented state and federal resources available for the expansion and maintenance of broadband networks in the United States.”

Prior to this announcement, Vance worked for more than 34 years as a project engineer and then Vice President of Design/OSP Engineering at the premier engineering firm Mid-State Consultants, Inc., which was acquired by JSI in August 2021. Tom has 30 years of telecom engineering experience, and most recently, he served for 16 years as the Vice President of Engineering for N-Com, Inc., a full-service engineering firm focused on rural telecommunications companies, utilities, and government agencies, which JSI acquired in September 2020.

In their new roles, Vance will lead outside plant activities across all divisions of the company, and Tom will lead all broadband IP activities, while also working with other key members of the JSI team on product innovation initiatives.

Commenting on the two promotions, Tasos noted that these changes had been made not only to respond to the ever-increasing demands within the broadband market, but to further enhance JSI’s senior engineering ranks as two other members of the company’s engineering team begin different professional transitions of their own.

“Steve Kidd, President of Mid-State Consultants, has decided to officially begin his retirement on January 30, 2022, which he graciously agreed to postpone last year in order to lead the company through its post-acquisition transition period,” Tasos said. “During his tenure at Mid-State Consultants, Steve oversaw the company’s successful transformation into one of the undisputed leaders in outside plant engineering in the United States. We are grateful that he has agreed to continue providing advice on an as-needed basis, even after his official retirement date.”

“Also, Dennis Wisdom, President of N-Com, has decided to transition into a new role as JSI’s Innovation Leader for Broadband Services, effective January 1, 2022,” Tasos added. “Dennis has been the innovation engine behind many of N-Com’s leading IP network services products, so we are excited that he has decided to continue spearheading those efforts, while working with our team and our customers on a part-time basis.”

After transitioning into their new roles, Vance will continue to be based in JSI’s office in Nephi, UT, and Tom and Dennis will remain in the company’s Lubbock, TX office.

About JSI

JSI is a full-service consulting firm, providing financial, engineering, management, operational, regulatory, and strategic assistance to independent, community-based communications providers. JSI’s business knowledge, experience and proven success help its clients plan and realize long-term success and profitability. JSI has relationships with approximately 750 communications entities in 46 states and several US territories. Headquartered in Greenbelt, MD, JSI also has offices in AK, GA, HI, LA, MI, MN, NC, TX, UT, and WI. For more information, visit the JSI website at https://jsitel.com/.

JSI-MD Donates Gifts to Local Toys for Tots Program

2021-12-27T13:23:25-05:00December 27, 2021|News|

The staff of JSI’s Greenbelt, Maryland, office recently finalized their sixteenth annual toy drive for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program, which led to hundreds of gifts being donated to economically disadvantaged children in the area.

The annual holiday toy drive, which has become a long-standing tradition in JSI’s Greenbelt headquarters, is organized and operated in conjunction with the local Prince George’s County Police Department as well as the Prince George’s County Toys for Tots campaign. All gifts collected through the JSI toy drive are ultimately distributed to children in need in Prince George’s County, where JSI’s Greenbelt office is located.

This year, with the generous donations and support of numerous parties, the JSI staff was once again able to provide Toys for Tots with nearly a truckload of unwrapped gifts for children of all ages, including assorted toys, games, educational books and supplies, backpacks, and sports equipment, among other items.

First launched in 1947 by U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks, the Toys for Tots program is currently led by the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity based in Triangle, Virginia. According to the Foundation, the principal goal of the Toys for Tots program is to deliver Christmas gifts, as well as messages of hope and joy, to America’s less fortunate children. To date, the program has successfully distributed more than 604 million gifts to over 272 million children.

For additional information on the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, or to learn how to support a local Toys for Tots campaign, please visit: https://www.toysfortots.org.

JSI Welcomes FCC Veteran Jenn Holtz as its New Regulatory VP

2021-11-05T11:27:26-04:00November 5, 2021|News|

Jennifer HoltzWe are very pleased to announce the hiring of Jennifer (Jenn) Holtz as our new Vice President-Regulatory Affairs. Jenn will be taking the helm from John Kuykendall who has headed that group since 2004. John will remain with JSI in a more strategic role as Regulatory Advisor, spearheading client advocacy initiatives as well as providing guidance and support for Jenn and the regulatory staff.

Jenn Holtz comes to JSI with a very impressive resume. Most recently she was at the FCC where she held several positions in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, including serving as the acting division chief of the Cybersecurity & Communications Reliability Division and special counsel for the Operations and Emergency Management Division. At the FCC, Jenn oversaw 911 reliability and several cybersecurity-related issues. Before moving to the FCC, Jenn was an associate at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, representing clients before the FCC, Universal Service Administrative Company, and state public service commissions on regulatory matters, enforcement actions, administrative audits, and investigations. She also spent time at the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as senior policy advisor to BroadbandUSA, which helped communities build capacity using lessons from Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), and worked closely with the National Economic Council, Council on Economic Advisors, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Jenn received her law degree from Syracuse University, but she also holds Masters’ degrees from both the London School of Economics and the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

“JSI is very fortunate to attract someone of Jenn’s caliber and experience,” said JSI President Steve Meltzer. “Jenn’s knowledge of the industry, of broadband policy and her contacts at various regulatory organizations will be a huge benefit to our clients and our staff.”

“I’m honored to join such a talented team at JSI and look forward to helping our clients bridge the digital divide and offer more services to their customers,” Jenn said. “This is an unprecedented time of growth for JSI, with the recent acquisitions of Mid-State Consultants and N-Com and a number of new senior hires, and I’m excited to help take both the firm and our regulatory offerings to the next level.”

In her spare time, Jenn serves as the Affiliate Chair for Washington, D.C.’s Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, where she’s doubled affiliate membership and participation. She became involved with the group after losing her father to the disease. She’s also active with the Federal Communications Bar Association.

Jenn Holtz can be reached in JSI’s Maryland headquarters at 301-459-7590 or via email. Please reach out and help us welcome Jenn to JSI!

JSI Numbering Expert Named NANC Vice Chair

2021-11-03T08:27:30-04:00November 3, 2021|News|

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel this week named Bridget Alexander White, staff director in JSI’s Business Development department, as the vice chair of the North American Numbering Council (NANC). She will serve as vice chair during the 2021-2023 charter. Bridget is in her second term on the Council and has been a voting member of the since 2017. Bridget’s nomination is sponsored by US Connect.

The NANC is composed of representatives of telecom carriers, regulators, cable providers, VoIP providers, industry associations, vendors, and consumer advocates. Its main mission is to recommend to the FCC ways to modernize the North American Numbering Plan. It also has been instrumental recently in the FCC’s fight against illegal robocalls, working on implementing STIR/SHAKEN and the Reassigned Numbers Database. Bridget has been involved in all of those discussions, representing the interests of small and rural carriers.

Bridget has worked in the telecom industry for nearly 25 years, much of it focused on telecom policies that drive numbering and porting decisions. She works with rural companies each day that are affected by the NANC’s decisions and provides a vital voice for them on the Council.

“I was rendered speechless when I received the call asking me to serve as vice chair! I work with a wonderful and intelligent group of people on the Council and the opportunity to serve as vice chair of the NANC is an honor,” Bridget said. “I greatly appreciate Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s appointment in recognition of my contributions to the Council and I look forward to continuing to advocate for rural carriers in the industry.”

Bridget is excited about her new role helping to lead the NANC as it tackles several big issues. She invites clients to communicate any concerns or opinions about NANC’s work to her directly by email or by phone at 301-459-7590.

Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program is now Available!

2021-11-02T12:57:27-04:00September 29, 2021|News|

The goal of the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program is to award grants that exclusively extend broadband service into unserved areas. The competitive grant process is technologically neutral and should result in awards based on objective and efficient procedures.

  • Ohio has dedicated $270M
  • Application deadline is November 8th, 2021
  • The comprehensive application includes engineering, financials and a detailed narrative.
  • “Broadband service floor” is defined as a retail terrestrial service capable of delivering high-speed internet access at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.
  • “Unserved Threshold” is defined as less that 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.

JSI has the experience and proven track record to maximize your points and for you to be awarded funding above the industry average. We’re ready to help your company with all aspects of qualifying for and winning competitive funding options including:

  • Determining available loans and grants
  • Mapping of funding areas
  • Financial analysis and preparation
  • Broadband network assessment and planning
  • Guidance through the full process

Please fill out the following form to be connected to a JSI funding expert.



Connecting Michigan Communities 3.0 Grant Application is now open!

2021-11-02T12:57:34-04:00September 29, 2021|News|

The goal of the Connecting Michigan Communities 3.0 Grant is to award grants that exclusively extend broadband service into unserved areas. The competitive grant process is technologically neutral and should result in awards based on objective and efficient procedures.

  • Michigan has dedicated $2.9M
  • Application deadline is November 15, 2021
  • The comprehensive application includes environmental, engineering, financials and a detailed narrative.
  • “Broadband service” means a retail terrestrial service capable of delivering high-speed internet access at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.
  • “Unserved area” means either a census block lacking access to broadband service from at least one ISP, an area lacking access to broadband service from at least one ISP according to the most accurate and granular data on the broadband map created by the FCC, or an area delineated through the process established in the enabling legislation without at least one provider providing broadband service.
  • Priority shall be given to projects that demonstrate collaboration to achieve community investment and economic development goals of the area impacted, that are able to demonstrate they have the managerial, financial, and technical ability to build, operate, and manage a broadband network, the likelihood the area would not be served without state grant funding, and that the project will serve a larger unserved area or greater number of locations than other proposals.
  • Initial award recommendations published in February 2022 with Grant Awards Announced in May 2022
  • All grant project work must be completed by September 30, 2025.

JSI has the experience and proven track record to maximize your points and for you to be awarded funding above the industry average. We’re ready to help your company with all aspects of qualifying for and winning competitive funding options including:

  • Determining available loans and grants
  • Mapping of funding areas
  • Financial analysis and preparation
  • Broadband network assessment and planning
  • Guidance through the full process

Please fill out the following form to be connected to a JSI funding expert.



Premier Engineering Firm Mid-State Consultants Acquired by JSI

2021-11-02T13:06:42-04:00September 1, 2021|News|

Move Builds on Efforts to Provide Complete Solutions for Rural Broadband Clients

September 1, 2021, Greenbelt, MD: JSI is pleased to announce that it has acquired Mid-State Consultants, Inc., a premier engineering firm headquartered in Nephi, Utah. The move further enhances JSI’s ability to help clients as they take advantage of unprecedented funding resources available on the federal and state levels to expand and maintain broadband networks across the country. The acquisition of Mid-State Consultants significantly grows the engineering capabilities that JSI began building last year.

“We are pleased to add Mid-State to the JSI family. Our clients now have access to more services and solutions and a talented team with the broadband technology, regulatory and business know-how,” said Tasos Tsolakis, CEO of JSI. “The broadband industry’s future is bright and JSI is well positioned to support our clients every step of the way.”

Mid-State Consultants is well known in the rural telecommunications industry and has worked jointly with JSI on several client projects in the past. The company was established in 1963 and specializes in providing comprehensive communication systems engineering, including network planning and design, outside and inside plant, field services, virtual drafting, project development, grant and loan applications, and regulatory compliance consulting. JSI and Mid-State share many common clients across the country. This acquisition expands JSI’s complete solutions into the western United States, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.

“It is an honor to join forces with JSI. Our clients and the industry at large now have the benefit of an unprecedented suite of solutions from a single company,” said Steve Kidd, president of Mid-State Consultants.

Under Tsolakis’ leadership, Steve Kidd will remain president of Mid-State. JSI President Steve Meltzer and N-com President Dennis Wisdom will remain in their respective roles.

About JSI
JSI is a full-service consulting firm, providing financial, engineering, management, operational, regulatory, and strategic assistance to independent community-based communications providers. JSI’s business knowledge, experience and proven success help its clients plan and realize long-term success and profitability. JSI has relationships with approximately 750 communications entities in 46 states and several US territories. Headquartered in Greenbelt, MD, JSI also has offices in MN, TX, GA and UT. JSI can be found at https://jsitel.com/.

About Mid-State Consultants
Mid-State Consultants provides nationwide telecommunications engineering services with a focus on rural broadband access issues, including backhaul, rural, and urban projects. Mid-State’s engineering and outside plant experience will be key as broadband providers across the country strive to meet the requirements for the upcoming broadband infrastructure grants and the subsequent implementation processes and procedures. The firm’s headquarters is in Nephi, Utah, and operates seven regional offices in AK, HI, LA, MI, NC, and two in WI. Mid-State Consultants can be found at https://www.mscon.com/.

JSI Numbering Expert Reappointed to NANC

2021-11-02T13:08:17-04:00July 30, 2021|News|

Bridget Alexander White, staff director in JSI’s Business Development department, was reappointed recently to the rechartered North American Numbering Council (NANC) by FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. This is Bridget’s second term on the Council as a full, voting member. She was first appointed in 2017 and has served on the NANC for four years. Bridget’s nomination was sponsored by US Connect.

The NANC’s main mission is to recommend to the FCC ways to modernize the North American Numbering Plan, but it also has been instrumental in the FCC’s fight against illegal robocalls in recent years. Bridget was on the front line of discussions about STIR/SHAKEN and the Reassigned Numbers Database during her first term and  represented the interests of small and rural carriers on the NANC on both issues.

Bridget has worked in the telecom industry for nearly 25 years, much of it focused on telecom policies that drive numbering and porting decisions. She also works with rural companies on a daily basis that are affected by the NANC’s decisions and provides a vital voice for them on the Council.

“It has been my pleasure representing rural LECs on the NANC over the years. I look forward to continually ensuring RLECs’ best interests are considered and heard in all NANC recommendations to the FCC for numbering, porting and robocall mitigation,” Bridget said about her reappointment.

The NANC is composed of representatives of telecom carriers, regulators, cable providers, VoIP providers, industry associations, vendors, and consumer advocates.

Bridget invites clients to communicate any concerns or opinions about NANC’s work to her directly. She can be reached by email or in our Maryland office at 301-459-7590.

JSI Welcomes Industry Veteran Steve Collier

2021-11-02T13:09:10-04:00July 2, 2021|News|

Steve Collier, JSI

JSI is very excited to announce the addition of Steve Collier to its staff as a senior director in its Austin, Texas-based regional office. Steve’s hiring further bolsters our firm’s abilities to assist broadband providers of all types to leverage the unprecedented federal and state funds being appropriated to expand their broadband networks to reach unserved and underserved communities.

“Steve’s addition to the JSI team is part of JSI’s commitment to be a solutions partner for broadband providers across the country. His varied experience and industry connections will provide new perspectives and resources that will benefit our clients, as well as our entire organization,” said JSI President Steve Meltzer. “This is an exciting time for our industry and we’re so pleased to have someone of Steve’s caliber join our efforts to help spread fiber-based broadband opportunities throughout rural America.”

Steve is well known throughout the rural utility industry for working with cooperatives on ways to take advantage of the latest technologies to improve their businesses and operations. He has more than 40 years of experience helping rural providers with technology strategies and planning, management, and operations. Most recently, Steve was Conexon, LLC’s Vice President of Business Development where he focused on assisting electric cooperatives as they expanded into broadband and deployed Smart Grid technologies. He has also worked for Milsoft Utility Solutions, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, and several electric cooperatives.

Steve has been a speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show, South by Southwest Interactive, and numerous rural telecommunications meetings, and keynoted the APPA annual conference and several of their other events and forums. He also has been an instructor for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Management Internship Program for more than 30 years. He earned his Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University and was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow in Engineering. He also has a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Houston.

Steve Collier is based in JSI’s Austin office and can be reached at 512-338-0473 or via email.

JSI Names Jeremiah Raya New Head of Its Austin Office

2021-11-02T13:10:46-04:00June 16, 2021|News|

Jeremiah RayaJSI is pleased to announce that Jeremiah Raya has been chosen to lead its regional office in Austin, Texas. The Austin office provides financial and regulatory services to clients throughout the Southwest and specialty services to companies throughout the nation. Jeremiah is assuming the role after Gary Smith’s retirement earlier this year.

“Jeremiah is an outstanding leader and has been instrumental in our success for some time now, making him the natural choice for this position,” JSI President Steve Meltzer said in making this announcement. “Jeremiah is very passionate about his work with rural telecommunication carriers and is always ready to assist our clients with whatever needs they have. He’ll be carrying on the JSI tradition of great customer service instilled by Jim West and Gary Smith.”

Jeremiah has worked for JSI for nearly 21 years, starting his career with the firm as an analyst in the office’s Separations department. Over his tenure he has worked on clients’ cost studies and cost allocation manuals and has assisted them with their required federal and state filings. He’s also worked with clients on forecasting and budgeting, cost recovery analysis, strategic planning and process improvement, affiliate transactions, federal and state reforms, and monitoring of their overall financial performance.

“It is with great pleasure that I assume the role of Senior Director overseeing JSI’s regional office in Austin. I am honored to lead this talented team through the next phase of growth,” Jeremiah said. “I look forward to continuing our focus on personalized service as our clients evolve and we support them in navigating the challenges ahead.”

JSI opened its first Texas-based office in Dallas in 1978 but moved the office to its current Austin location in 1988 to be closer to the state capital and public utility commission. Jeremiah can be reached at 512-338-0473 or via email.

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