JSI Names Dan Freiman as CFO

2020-07-02T16:33:20-04:00June 1, 2020|News|

JSI is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Freiman as our corporate CFO effective June 1, 2020. Dan is responsible for all aspects of finance, as well as IT and human resources.

Prior to joining JSI, Dan was the CFO of NII Holdings (formerly Nextel International), a $620 million provider of wireless communications in Latin America. Dan brings over 25 years of experience in finance, including nearly two decades in telecommunications, and has served in many positions including CFO, Vice President & Treasurer, Vice President & Controller, and Director of Investor Relations. Dan started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dan’s extensive background in M&A and strategic & financial options will help drive JSI’s growth and expansion efforts.

“We look forward to leveraging Dan’s expertise to expand JSI and position us to capture new opportunities as the broadband and communications sector continues to evolve,” said Tasos Tsolakis, CEO, JSI.

Dan is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA with a concentration in finance. Dan is also a CPA. He was recognized by Treasury and Risk Magazine in October 2010 as one of the 40 top business leaders under the age of 40. Dan resides in Potomac, MD with his wife Shari and son Andrew. He enjoys traveling, playing tennis and spending time with his family.

JSI Introduces its COVID-19 Financial Impact Model

2020-04-01T15:32:33-04:00April 1, 2020|News|

The JSI team wishes its clients, their families, and members of their organizations well during this very trying time. Over the course of the last week or so, many clients have indicated concern surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the potential disruptive effects it could have on their finances, and have reached out to engage us to either conduct an analysis or validate their own forecasts.

With the prospect of the magnitude of the disruption all businesses face in 2020, JSI has created an insightful tool that allows your company to easily and rapidly:

  • Model a range of varying impacts, of both magnitude and timing, to end user-based revenue streams;
  • Understand at what displacement levels falling below minimum desired levels of liquid working cash and/or negative cash flow are experienced;
  • Model what impact scenarios result in debt service coverage falling below acceptable levels;
  • Define impact on EBITDA and cash flow at varying levels of service disruption in absolute terms, and in relation to budget;
  • Model an array of contingency “what-ifs” that dynamically illustrate the foregoing stats based on varying levels of assumed:
    • Pre-planned investment elimination / deferral; and,
    • Accounts payable deferrals – level and timing
  • Produce a number of pre-formed illustrations and graphs identifying the forecasted impact as netted against modeled contingencies for you to use as management/Board briefing/planning material.

We’re facing extraordinary times and an unprecedented level of uncertainty. JSI’s COVID-19 Impact and Contingency Response Template represents a simple, yet insightful, tool to both understand the range of potential impacts to your financial position in 2020, and easily model contingency plans addressing the impacts forecasted. The model can either be purchased and self-populated or we can assist in running the models.

If you would like to know more about the tool or are interested in having us model potential impact scenarios for you, please call Steve Meltzer at 240-556-1248 or reach out to Dave Lewis at 941-257-4291 or Bhavini Sokhey at 240-556-1251.

JSI Celebrates Clients’ Outstanding ReConnect Round One Success

2021-04-05T15:06:18-04:00January 30, 2020|News|

Prepared to Assist Companies with Round Two Applications Due March 16

JSI congratulates the rural companies it helped to apply and land more than $116.2 million in grants and loans so far in the first round of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) ReConnect Pilot Program. The program distributes funds to build broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities throughout rural America. Of the companies JSI worked with in round one, more than 60% of them were successful. USDA began naming the ReConnect first round winners last fall and continues to publicize new winners, but several JSI clients’ awards have not yet been formally announced.

So far, seven of our clients’ first round awards have been announced:

Star Telephone Membership Corporation will use its $23.7 million grant to build over 535 miles fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband facilities in North Carolina, which will pass 4,462 possible service locations consisting of farms, businesses, residential and critical community institutions.

Wabash Telephone Cooperative, Inc. in Illinois will use $12.8 million split 50/50 between a grant and a loan to deploy 298 miles of fiber-optic cable in unserved areas of Jefferson and Wayne counties. This investment is anticipated to reach 1,684 households, 31 farms, 29 businesses, nine educational facilities, two critical community facilities and one health care center.

Home Telephone Company will use its $8.1 million grant to deploy 96 miles of fiber-optic cable in unserved areas of Charleston and Berkeley counties in South Carolina. Home will provide matching funds to complete the project, which includes 3,780 households, 19 educational facilities, and eight critical community facilities spread out over 219 square miles.

Wilkes Telephone Membership Corporation Inc. will use a $48 million loan to construct a FTTP network throughout 1,847 square miles in nine Virginia counties. The service area is expected to reach 22,604 households, 19 educational facilities, eight critical community facilities and one health care center.

Green Hills Telephone Corporation in Missouri will use a $2.6 million grant to expand its FTTP network to rural areas in Caldwell and Livingston counties. This investment is expected to reach 20 pre-subscribed farms, 20 pre-subscribed businesses, 546 households, a fire protection district and two educational facilities.

Duo County Telephone Cooperative Corporation Inc. in Kentucky plans to use its $18.7 million grant to deploy a FTTP network in rural Adair, Cumberland and Russell counties. The funded service areas include almost 3,650 households spread over 45 square miles.

Thacker-Grigsby Telephone Company Inc. will use a $2.3 million grant to deploy a FTTP network in rural Breathitt County in east Kentucky. The funded service area includes 637 households spread over 109 square miles.

Looking Ahead to Round Two
The second round of the ReConnect program kicks off on Friday, January 31, with the opening of the application window. USDA will distribute $550 million in additional grants and loans during round two. Applications are due March 16, 2020.

JSI will once again assist companies compete for ReConnect funds. We can help with all aspects of project applications and planning, including mapping of potential funding areas, preparing the required financials, performing a competitive analysis of the potential areas, and shepherding clients through the full application process.

If your company is interested in applying for a ReConnect award or if you have any questions about the program, please contact Valerie Wimer at 301-459-7590 or Lans Chase at 770-569-2105. JSI also held a free webinar in December on ReConnect Round Two. If you missed it, you can request a copy of the recording by emailing Janee Devis.

JSI-MD Donates to Local Toys for Tots Program

2019-12-16T11:58:20-05:00December 16, 2019|News|

JSI's 2019 Toys for Tots DonationThe staff in JSI’s Maryland office donated hundreds of toys, games, and coats to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. This is the office’s 14th year collecting toys and warm clothing for a local charity. The local Toys for Tots program is coordinated by the Prince George’s County Police Department. The donations will be distributed to needy families in PG County, Maryland, where JSI’s headquarters is located.

JSI filled most of a truck with the donated items, including bikes, games, scooters, dolls/action figures, art supplies, Play-Doh, coloring books andcrayons, stuffed animals, baby toys, sports equipment, books, snowboards, coats, and backpacks.

JJSI's 2019 Toys for Tots DonationToys for Tots, a 70-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness and hope to disadvantaged children during each Christmas holiday season. The toys, books and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition, confidence and a positive memory for a lifetime. It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community. Last year the Marine Corps fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 7 million less fortunate children in 792 communities nationwide. Since 1947 over 244 million children have been assisted. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.

Happy holidays from JSI!

JSI Clients Granted Waivers by FCC on HUBB Deadline and RBE Locations

2019-12-09T11:18:54-05:00December 9, 2019|News|

JSI applauds the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) two recent affirmative decisions regarding waiver petitions that JSI filed on behalf of several clients. On Monday, December 2, the FCC granted a petition for waiver to six rural rate-of-return companies who were financially penalized for confusion about the March 1, 2018, High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) data filing. Absent granting of the JSI waiver, these six companies – Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc.; Manawa Telephone Company; Sand Creek Communications Company; Telephone Electronics Corporation; Westphalia Telephone Company; and West River Telecom – would have forfeited $558,000 in USF payments. The second JSI waiver granted was on behalf of Consolidated Communications Networks, Inc. (CCNI) and recognized the company’s service area had fewer available locations under the Rural Broadband Experiment (RBE) program’s broadband buildout obligation than was originally required.

In the HUBB deadline waiver, JSI demonstrated that there was significant confusion and late guidance about the new filing requirements. JSI and company representatives also met with FCC staff to explain the situation and request reimbursement of the USF payments. The FCC rarely grants waivers for missed deadlines, but it confirmed that the six companies had good cause to seek a remedy in this case.

Last month, the FCC granted a separate waiver petition that JSI filed on behalf of CCNI. As part of the RBE rules, recipients were required to deploy broadband to a specific number of locations and keep a Letter of Credit open until all locations had been deployed and verified. CCNI, like other RBE recipients, came up short on available locations – the actual number of locations was smaller than the required number. With JSI’s assistance, CCNI proved that it had met its broadband obligation by deploying broadband to every possible location in the funded area and therefore could close its Letter of Credit.

JSI regularly assists companies with the filing of waiver petitions and participates in ex parte meetings with FCC staff seeking relief from FCC rules and requirements having adverse effects on rural companies and their customers. Please contact us for more information about either of these recently granted waiver petitions or JSI’s regulatory services.

Mark Your Calendar for JSI’s 2020 Management Seminars

2019-12-05T15:18:33-05:00December 5, 2019|News|

Preparations are well underway for our 2020 Management Seminars. We’ll be returning to our traditional locations – San Antonio, Minneapolis and Atlanta – in May. You can expect sessions from our experts on the latest FCC actions and how they’ll impact you, financial and strategic initiatives critical to your company’s future, management principles to improve your operations, and technical advice to maximize your network and services. We hope you’ll make time in your busy schedule to join us for one of these information-packed seminars.

May 4 & 5 ‒ San Antonio; May 7 & 8 ‒ Minneapolis; May 14 & 15 ‒ Atlanta

More Information Coming Soon!

Registration will open in January 2020. We’ll provide details about the agenda, cost, hotels, and CPE credits at that time. If you have any questions before the announcement, you can contact Leah Yoakum at 301-459-7590.

JSI Announces Merger of JSI Capital Advisors’ Services

2019-08-09T16:48:22-04:00August 9, 2019|News|

Incorporating Valuation and Enhanced Financial Services into the Suite of JSI Services

JS, LLC (operating as JSI), a full-service consulting firm, is pleased to announce the merger of JSI Capital Advisors, LLC (JSICA) services into JSI. Effective September 1, 2019, JSICA’s Chris Fortuna will join the JSI team and continue offering the valuation and related enhanced financial services that communications companies have relied upon for over 25 years.

William E. (Bill) King, JSICA’s President and Managing Principal, has accepted the position of President and CEO with Codero, a cloud solutions provider.

“Bill, Manny (Staurulakis) and I co-founded JSI Capital Advisors back in 1994 to offer our M&A services out of this new entity and we are very pleased with the success it has achieved over these 25 years. We are now equally excited to offer these financial advisory services once again under JSI and to fully incorporate the capabilities within the firm,” said Leo Staurulakis, JSI’s Executive Vice President and JSICA’s Chairman and Principal. Continuing on, “I’ve enjoyed working with Bill for almost three decades and value his contributions and all he has done. I look forward to our further collaboration as he takes on his new role at Codero.”

“JSICA has always had a successful partnership with JSI, and now, moving directly under the JSI umbrella, our clients will have even greater opportunities to leverage the expertise throughout the organization,” said Chris Fortuna, to be named Director. He added, “Given the fast pace of change and new initiatives being undertaken by rural companies and other communications providers, the timing makes great sense for this merger of services.”

Long-Time Industry Veteran, Andy Brown, Joins JSI Staff

2019-07-25T16:12:28-04:00July 25, 2019|News|

JSI is excited to announce that Andy Brown is joining its staff as Director – Industry and Client Relations. Andy is certainly no stranger to those in the rural telecom industry. Andy’s 38 years of industry knowledge and experience will be a huge asset to JSI and its current and future clients.

Andy comes to JSI from what’s now Inteliquent (formerly ANPI and Onvoy) where he was the company’s Vice President – Industry and Customer Relations. But he began his telecom career at NTCA in 1981, working his way up to Vice President of Association Services by the time he left the association in 1998. Since then he’s worked for two industry law firms – Blooston, Mordkofsky, Jackson & Dickens and Bennet & Bennet. And he spent several years as the Senior Vice President, Industry and Member Relations for the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC).

“Someone of Andy’s caliber doesn’t come along every day and we’re lucky to have him join JSI,” said JSI President Manny Staurulakis. “Andy has great relationships with folks in the rural telecom industry, but also in the rural electric market. We plan to leverage Andy’s knowledge and relationships to serve our current clients and to attract new ones.”

Andy’s first day will be Monday, July 29 and he can be reached at abrown@jsitel.com or 301-459-7590.

JSI Seeks Release of Glidepath Data

2019-05-22T15:50:19-04:00May 22, 2019|News|

Companies Should Know Full Extent of A-CAM II Funding and Whether or Not A-CAM II Can Benefit Them

Legacy companies are quickly facing the critical June 17th deadline by which they must either elect A-CAM II or decide to remain on Legacy support. Companies whose annual amount of A-CAM II funding is less than their 2018 Legacy support claims should be aware that the FCC has yet to provide the full amount of support these carriers will receive if they elect A-CAM II. JSI has reached out informally to FCC Wireline Bureau staff urging them to release this vital information as soon as possible.

According to Report 15.1 of the offer, for some companies, the annual amount of A-CAM II support is less than their 2018 Legacy support claims. What is not shown, however, is the amount of Legacy support these companies will continue to receive for a period of time as they “glide” down to model support if they elect A-CAM II. When this Legacy “glidepath” support plus model support is compared with a 10-year projection of potential legacy support, some of these companies may find that A-CAM II is the right choice for them. Even for those who remain on Legacy, conducting such an analysis provides assurance that the company reviewed all relevant data before making this monumental decision.

While we await the official release of the glidepath data, JSI can provide your company with an estimate of this “glidepath” funding so that you can know the full amount of funding were you to elect A-CAM II. We can also provide you with a comparison of projected Legacy support over the 10-year period and discuss other factors with you which may impact future Legacy support, such as potential increases in support due to deployment of standalone broadband (also known as CBOL) or reduction in support due to competitive overlap.

JSI also will be hosting a webinar on June 4th covering the various implementation items for ACAM II electors such as HUBB reporting, changes to tariffs and the option to elect incentive regulation for business data services.

Please contact John Kuykendall or Steve Meltzer, both of whom can be reached at 301-459-7590, if you would like our assistance with the A-CAM II analysis, would like to know more about the webinar, or have any questions about the upcoming election.

Congratulations to the 2019 Staurulakis Family Scholarship Winners

2019-05-15T16:22:38-04:00May 15, 2019|News|

The 2019 winners of the Staurulakis Family Scholarships are four exceptional students, all with 4.0 GPAs, who have excelled academically, while participating in school activities, volunteering and working in their communities. The scholarships are given out as part of the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) scholarship program. FRS awarded $ 125,000 for 54 scholarships to rural youth across the United States. These four students were selected to receive the $5,000 FRS Staurulakis Family Scholarships, which give preference to outstanding applicants with an interest in science, math, medicine, or engineering.

This year’s four winners (from left to right above) are:

Gabriel Gibson of Blocker, Okla.
Sponsored by Canadian Valley in Crowder, Okla.
Gabriel will be his class’s Valedictorian and plans to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College this fall, where he will study pre-dentistry. In high school, he participated in music, show choir, student council, Business Professionals of America and the Academic Team. In his free time, Gabriel works on his family’s ranch and learned how to artificially inseminate cows so that his family could breed award-winning Red Angus and Hereford cattle.

Elor Mayan of Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Sponsored by Horry Telephone Company in Conway, S.C.
Graduating at the top of his class, Elor will attend the University of South Carolina in the fall and plans to study nursing. Elor has been very active in the community, volunteering more than 300 hours in the last year, including with Hurricane Florence relief efforts. He plans to return to a rural community to provide quality care to an area with limited access to health services.

Kenneth Stier of Greensburg, Ind.
Sponsored by Enhanced Telecommunications in Sunman, Ind.
Kenneth also will graduate at the top of his class. He is very active in his community and church. He spearheaded a project to bring fiber connections to his town of 130 people by creating flyers and brochures that he then distributed to the entire town. He met ETC’s goal of 60 households and the telco is deploying fiber to the town. Kenneth plans to study Mechanical Engineering at Indiana University—Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) this fall.

Savannah Burris of Holyoke, Col.
Sponsored by Phillips County Telco in Holyoke, Col.
Savannah maintained academic excellence while participating in several sports and clubs, volunteering at her church and other local organizations, cleaning up local highways, coordinating Veteran’s Day breakfasts for her community, and running her own pet care business. Her experiences working at the local nursing and rehab center have inspired her to study nursing at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs this fall.

These scholarships were established as part of JSI’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2012 in honor of Manny and Leo’s parents, John and Chresanthe Staurulakis, and continue each year as part of the FRS scholarship program. FRS scholarship recipients are selected by an independent team of reviewers from the education field. To be eligible, recipients must be sponsored by a NTCA member company, and must indicate a desire to return to their rural communities once their collegiate studies have been completed.

JSI does not administer these scholarships. The program is administered by the Foundation for Rural Service. More information about both the Staurulakis Family Scholarships and the FRS scholarship program can be found here – https://www.frs.org/programs/scholarships. The 2020 deadline is March 1, 2020.


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