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FirstNet Board Members Appointed by Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank: Member Statements

Monday, August 20, 2012

FirstNet Board Statements:

Tim Bryan
CEO, National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC)
“FirstNet will provide a vital service to the country. Our first responders put their lives on the line every day and deserve the best communications tools available. I am happy to contribute to the extent that I can help our country reach that goal, and I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and all stakeholders to achieve these aims.”

Charles “Chuck” Dowd
Deputy Chief, New York City Police Department

“I’m looking forward to sharing with the FirstNet Board my 10-plus years of experience in running communications for the largest police department in the country and using new technologies for crime-fighting purposes.  The goal here is to establish for the first time a nationwide, interoperable, mission-critical network that public safety – both large and small – can rely on to save lives. While we have addressed on a local level the problems we experienced on 9/11, this network is the key to true nationwide interoperability.”

F. Craig Farrill
Wireless telecommunications executive

“Working in the wireless industry for 38 years has given me a deep appreciation for public safety and for those who put their lives on the line every day. My hope is that we can bring innovative and robust solutions to first responders all across the country and provide interoperation and integration of telecom networks that has not been experienced previously. We have an opportunity to collaborate with network, applications, and handset manufacturers; trade associations and standards organizations; wireless and satellite service providers; industry consultants, universities and many others to put together a truly innovative and comprehensive solution for our nation’s first responders.”

Paul Fitzgerald
Sheriff, Story County, Iowa

“It is a great honor to have been chosen to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for FirstNet.  As a member of this board, I look forward to bringing a voice for rural America as we work to create, build, and support a nationwide broadband network from coast to coast and border to border.”

Samuel “Sam” Ginn
Telecommunications executive

“It’s an honor for me to be appointed as Chairman of the FirstNet Board, and I welcome the opportunity to reenter the telecommunications industry because of the importance of this project.  With more than forty years of operations and management experience in the telecom industry, I believe I can make a significant contribution to the Board as we work to put a nationwide interoperable public safety network in place.  My goal is to satisfy the needs of the community we serve – the first responders – and put a system in place that allows them to do their job more effectively. We are looking forward to state input to help us understand the products and services that we are to provide.”

Jeffrey Johnson
Fire Chief, retired; CEO Western Fire Chiefs Association
Former Chair, State Interoperability Council, State of Oregon

“It’s so critical to first responders that this national public safety network is completed with their perspective in mind, and I’m anxious to fill that role. I have first-hand experience with understanding the ‘mission critical’ component and how the existing communications networks need to find a path in FirstNet. I’m looking forward to seeing this critical initiative through.”

William Keever
Telecommunications executive (retired)

“I always said that if there was an opportunity in retirement to give back in a meaningful way to my country, I would do it.  I view this appointment to the FirstNet Board as a tremendous opportunity to apply my years of telecom experience to an endeavor that will make our nation safer and more secure.  I look forward to being a member of the FirstNet Board as we provide guidance and oversight for the creation of the country’s first nationwide interoperable broadband network for first responders at every level.  The ultimate reward will be to see this network functioning when and wherever needed. “

Kevin McGinnis
Chief/CEO, North East Mobile Health Services

“The future of EMS is broadband communications. Paramedic services and the hospitals with which they interact for patient care will, in my estimate, be majority users of the public safety broadband network. I am sincerely grateful that Acting Secretary Blank has recognized EMS' place in this public safety network.  I pledge to encourage my colleagues on the Board to focus on the job of building this network faster than the seemingly common wisdom believes can happen and avoiding the distractions that await us. Patients’ lives depend upon that.”

Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Homeland Security

“We are committed to providing public safety partners with enhanced capabilities to share information and communicate during emergencies. I look forward to working with the FirstNet Board to ensure the success of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.”

Ed Reynolds
Telecommunications executive (retired)

“I had the good fortune to have a great career in the wireless industry, including overseeing the largest wireless network integration ever attempted.  I am pleased and honored to be a part of FirstNet, which I believe is a critical project for our country.  I believe that my experiences in building, integrating and operating large wireless networks can be helpful in planning, implementing, and operating FirstNet.”  

Susan Swenson
Telecommunications/technology executive

"The initial work of FirstNet must focus on building this network in the most efficient, effective and expeditious way possible. It's also critical that the network be built to meet the highest priority needs of its future customers. With years of oversight responsibility for planning, building, and managing commercial wireless telecommunications networks, I look forward to working with the FirstNet Board to realize the vision of an interoperable public safety network for first responders nationwide."

Teri Takai
Government information technology expert; former CIO, states of Michigan and California

"The Board will consider some of the key public safety network challenges facing states today.  My experiences as a CIO in both Michigan and California provide useful insights and alternative perspectives when examining these critical issues.  Certainly these issues were a high priority for me as a state CIO, and I look forward to working with the other board members with the goal of developing a nationwide interoperable broadband network for first responders. I also want to make clear that I intend from the outset to reach out to governors and other state and local officials for their input. Their involvement as we develop this national interoperable public safety network is critical."

Wellington Webb
Founder, Webb Group International; former Mayor, Denver, Colorado

“During my tenure as mayor of Denver, the city hosted the G8 Summit and Pope John Paul’s World Youth Day, and also experienced the Columbine shooting. As a result, I have first-hand knowledge of the importance of our emergency responders and public safety officials being able to communicate with each other.  Serving on the FirstNet Board is a wonderful opportunity to assist the United States in building a national communication network that benefits the public safety community.”