CompTel/ASCENT Alliance members have elected the 2004 board of directors, and Lightyear Communications president and CEO Sherman Henderson is the new chairman of the Washington D.C.-based trade group.
Henderson is stepping in for nii Communications Ltd. president and CEO Richard Burk, who has been named vice chairman of the CompTel/ASCENT Alliance. Joe Ambersley, president of PAETEC South for PAETEC Communications Inc., will return as vice chairman and treasurer.
The election was held after the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel) and the Association for Communications Enterprises (ASCENT) merged in November 2003.
Henderson says CompTel/ASCENT Alliance members will have to fight harder than ever to preserve competition. Many member companies were founded after Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
We have an unbelievable opportunity and challenge in the years 2004-2005. The challenge is keeping America competitive, he says. If you think about it, telecom is the last monopolistic bastion weve been breaking. [Competitors] have to understand its going to be a battle. We have to work like we have never worked before.
The CompTel/ASCENT Alliance named a total of 12 directors to represent medium-sized and large service providers. The board members hail from such companies as AT&T Corp., MCI, New Edge Networks and Xspedius Communications. Nine directors were elected to represent small companies with annual revenue of less than $25 million.
The trade association also named member company representatives to serve on its executive committee. Executive committee members include Drew Walker, president, business services, ITC^DeltaCom; Jerry James, president of Grande Communications; Joseph Gregori, CEO of InfoHighway Communications Corp.; and Thomas Coughlin, chairman of Alliance Group Services Inc.
Beginning this year, CompTel/ASCENT Alliance board members will serve staggered terms ranging from one year to three years.