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Home Winter 2019 Cover Stories Top 10 Women in Connectivity and Technology

Top 10 Women in Connectivity and Technology

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As someone who has been a part of the wireless industry since its beginnings, I have had a unique view of the role of women executives in our space. At the earliest trade shows in the business there were virtually no women attendees at all. As the industry developed, the number of women grew rapidly and today many of the most accomplished executives in our industry are women. The list below is by no means comprehensive but it is an attempt at recognizing the tremendous achievements of this group of Wireless Executives. I’ve personally worked alongside many of them and can tell you firsthand how smart, knowledgeable and tough they are. Kudos here ladies!

LAURIE CARUSO

LAURIE CARUSO, Founder and CEO

Laurie Caruso, Founder and CEO of Safe-Fi Technologies, brings more than 26 years’ experience in the Telecommunications Industry, having great success working on and overseeing large system deployments. Ms. Caruso has spent time working with some of the largest, most complex projects in the industry including stadiums, hospitality and commercial real estate. Her working knowledge of Wi-Fi, DAS and Public Safety deployments affords her the level of industry expertise to effectively assist her clients in getting the best solution for their venue or property. Laurie benefits from a very positive brand awareness within her extensive network, which has led to being asked to be chairperson in charge of charities for NEDAS and a member of Safer Buildings Coalition. In addition, Ms. Caruso has lent her many years of experience through countless safety panel discussions, often as moderator. Most recently Laurie was in New York City at the NEDAS Annual Convention where she led a panel discussion on Public Safety Technology. Laurie also hosts podcasts and has a local TV show that helps generate branding for small businesses to help launch their success.

NANCY TOUHILL

NANCY TOUHILL, Director of Meetings and Events

As WIA’s Director of Meetings and Events, Nancy Touhill is the driving force behind WIA’s industry leading trade show, Connectivity Expo, and various events throughout the year, including Smart Cities Week and WIA Awards. Nancy and her team are charged with the planning, marketing and implementation of these events, along with several others. She joined the Wireless Infrastructure Association in June 2008 as Manager of Marketing & Sales and was promoted to oversee the entire events department in 2012. Prior to joining WIA, she held marketing positions at The Martin Agency and The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Nancy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a Master of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Nancy and her family live in Atlanta, GA.

DARLENE POPE

DARLENE POPE, VP and Global Lead for Smart Buildings

Darlene Pope is VP and Global Lead for Smart Buildings and Digital Workplace Experience at WeWork. Ms. Pope is a globally recognized visionary, subject matter expert, consultant, author and speaker with more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate and technology. Prior to WeWork, Ms. Pope served as EVP and Global Practice Lead for JLL’s Smart Building practice, working with corporate clients around the world on holistic smart building strategies and groundbreaking projects. She was also the founder and CEO of CoR Advisors®, a woman-owned small business specializing in smart building consulting for real estate, which she sold to JLL in 2015.

KELLY BREWER

KELLY BREWER, Executive VP, Telecom

Kelly Brewer serves as Executive Vice President of Telecom for Tilson, leading a world-class team of more than 450 professionals who are designing, building and maintaining the most advanced network infrastructure for private, public, utility and government clients across the country. Tilson’s Telecom division is highly regarded as an industry standout for innovation and technologically advanced deployment methods. Brewer’s addition to Tilson in 2011 drove double and triple digit growth percentages, particularly in the areas of engineering and construction self-performance capability. Early on, Brewer established and led Tilson’s self-performing tower construction and engineering divisions serving wireline, wireless and utility customers. Today, she leads all of Tilson’s telecom business units. In 2018, Brewer was recognized by Engineering News Record as a “Top Young Professional” in New England. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and Construction Management from the University of Southern Maine and an MBA from Mississippi State University.

VICTORIA (O’KANE) LAMBERTH

VICTORIA (O’KANE) LAMBERTH, Chief Revenue Officer, Zenfi Networks

Victoria Lamberth co-founded ZenFi Networks in 2013 and currently serves as Chief Revenue Officer overseeing the company’s regional sales & marketing organization. Prior to ZenFi’s merger with Cross River Fiber, Lamberth served as Chief Operating Officer for the company. She has 10+ years of building, managing, and selling fiber infrastructure companies in the New York metro market. She relies on her proven array of experience in the telecommunications industry to drive growth and profitability at ZenFi Networks. In addition to Lamberth’s role at ZenFi, she is also a Founding Partner of Metro Network Services, LLC, a company focused on fiber optic and mobile network planning, engineering, and deployment solutions for mobile network operators, tower owners and telecommunications service providers throughout the New York metro market. She is also a Partner and Board Member at Hugh O’Kane Electric Co., a New York City telecommunications and electrical contracting firm dating back to 1946. Lamberth worked as Director of Carrier Sales and Marketing for Lexent Metro Connect until it was sold to Lightower Fiber Networks in December 2010. Lamberth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Boston College, and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

LISA LOMBINO

LISA LOMBINO, VP, Network Engineering

As the VP of Engineering, Lisa is responsible for the engineering and network performance of American Tower’s venue-based product lines. Lisa has over 20 years of experience within the telecommunications industry, including 6 years of tenure at American Tower in engineering, deployment and business development. She has also held senior manager and director level positions in engineering, construction, and revenue assurance with Verizon Communications and Connexion Technologies. Lisa received a B.S. in Civil/Environmental Engineering at the University of Buffalo and an M.B.A from Syracuse University. She holds certifications as a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute and in Revenue Assurance with the Global Revenue Assurance Professionals Association (GRAPA).

LISA R. YOUNGERS

LISA R. YOUNGERS, President and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association

Lisa R. Youngers is the President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), the largest and only trade association in the Americas dedicated to the pursuit of all-fiber-optic network infrastructure to the home, to the business and to everywhere. The Fiber Broadband Association empowers providers to have informed decisions about how, where, and why to build better broadband networks with fiber optics. These networks will form the backbone of our future, fueling everything from 5G to the Internet of Things. With more than 25 years of industry experience, including as former CEO of NextLink Wireless, Vice President of Policy and Strategy at XO Communications and Counsel to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Ms. Youngers is a telecom vet with deep familiarity with 5G, spectrum policy, infrastructure deployment and our next generation of networks.

DARLENE BRAUNSCHWEIG

DARLENE BRAUNSCHWEIG, Industry Veteran

Darlene Braunschweig is an Industry Veteran with a unique combination of wireless infrastructure experience, business savvy and sales acumen. She has amassed more than 20 years of experience, including 17 years served in various leadership roles. Her vast experience has helped her build solid C-level relationships with Carrier executives, as well as with a number of neutral host companies and OEMs such as Corning, Solid, Commscope, Ericsson, and Nokia. The majority of Darlene’s career has been focused specifically on the enterprise venue end customer.

Currently Darlene is leading business development efforts for a wireless infrastructure company developing the enterprise “venue pays” market strategy in launching a strong growth strategy, specifically aimed at the enterprise market. Prior to this effort, Darlene was responsible for defining and executing a diversified high growth revenue strategy for JMA Wireless focused specifically on the enterprise venue space, including the development of a team of highly skilled Business Development representatives across the country. Darlene was engaged by JMA Wireless to build a strategy focused on diversifying revenue and creating a dynamic team of skilled business development individuals. This engagement led her to build an A+ team focused on building a strong pipeline of commercial/ multi-dwelling REIT, public safety, carrier, tower and fiber company opportunity.

Darlene has amassed a number of executive relationships among some of the largest nationwide DAS and Public Safety OEMs, Fiber Companies, Integrators, Electrical Contractors, REITs, and distribution company services in the in-building and small cell industry, as well as a proven candidate pool of experienced industry professionals.

JENNIFER FRITZSCHE

JENNIFER FRITZSCHE, Managing Director

Jennifer Fritzsche is a Managing Director and Senior Equity Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities where she has focused on the Telecommunication Services and Tower sectors since 1999. Jennifer started in telecom equity research in 1996 with EVEREN Securities, where she was promoted to senior analyst after serving two years as an associate analyst on the telecom research team. In 2000, she tied for second in the “Best Up and Comers” category in Institutional Investor’s annual vote. In 2006, Forbes magazine recognized Jennifer as one of the top ten stock pickers from a universe of 4,500 sell-side analysts across all industry sectors. In May 2011, Jennifer was recognized as the No. 1 earnings estimator for wireless telecommunication services by Financial Times/StarMine, a leading provider of objective ratings of equity securities analysts. Jennifer was recognized by StarMine and received the 2014 No. 3 stock picker ranking for the diversified telecom services sector. In June 2017 Jennifer was again ranked the No. 3 stock picker in the diversified telecommunication services sector in the Thomson Reuters’ StarMine analyst awards. Jennifer ranked as a Runner Up in the 2017 Institutional Investor annual rankings in the Communication Infrastructure sector. Jennifer makes numerous media appearances and has often been a guest on Bloomberg and CNBC. She also speaks at many of the industry and trade conferences and often is asked to participate in many Washington, D.C. regulatory telecom seminars and events. Jennifer earned a BA in history from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts where she graduated summa cum laude.

LYNNE HOPKINS

LYNNE HOPKINS, SBA Communications Corporation Director, Corporate & Brand Communications

Lynne Hopkins is the Director, Corporate & Brand Communications, for SBA Communications, where she develops and executes the strategy to align the SBA brand, messaging hierarchy, digital platforms and creative direction that extends the reach and impact of the brand to all stakeholders. Ms. Hopkins is the Spokesperson for SBA, a publicly traded company on NASDAQ (ticker symbol: SBAC) and part of the S&P 500 Index and Forbes Global 2000. In addition, she spearheaded the first philanthropic program of the organization “SBA Cares,” which benefits dozens of nonprofit organizations in numerous communities through volunteerism and charitable giving.

Prior to joining SBA, Ms. Hopkins held executive positions in Marketing Communications and Interactive Marketing with Office Depot, Agency Solutions International and TNS NFO (global market research). The South Florida Business Journal named her one of the Top 25 Most Influential Business Women of 2013.

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