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Delta Regional Authority Broadband Summit with MoBroadbandNow

Delta Regional Authority Broadband Summit

October 22 and 23, 2012

View an archived recording of the event here.

The Zone, FedEx Institute of Technology, University of Memphis
356 Innovation Drive
Memphis, Tennessee 38152

Delta Regional Authority Broadband Summit

Through partnerships with the Delta region’s eight state broadband advocacy groups, the Delta Regional Authority will be hosting the DRA Broadband Summit.  Summit discussions include Gigabit cities in the Delta states, successful statewide broadband initiatives, economic growth and opportunity through broadband in the Delta region and more.

“A more connected Delta region is a more productive Delta region,” DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said. “Broadband availability in our communities connects our people to increased educational and professional opportunities and creates jobs in the region.”

The eight participating states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.


8:00 – 8:45 am  

Summit Opening and Welcome

Announcement with Zach Leverenz, CEO, Connect 2 Compete


9:00 – 10:00 am

Panel 1 – Public Policy and Broadband

Moderator:  Chris Masingill

Panelists: Ted Abernathy, Executive Director, Southern Growth Policies Board; Rich Usher, Assistant City Manager, City of Kansas City, MO; Zach Leverenz, CEO, C2C


10:15– 11:30 am

Panel 2 – DRA State Broadband Update

Moderator:  Craig Settles, Gigabit Nation

Panelists from:  Alabama, Jessica Dent; Arkansas, Marie Bruno; Illinois, Drew Clark; Kentucky, Rene True


11:30 am




11:50 am

Luncheon Keynote

Tony Wilhelm, Director, Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce


12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Panel 2 Continued:  DRA States’ Broadband Update

Moderator:  Craig Settles, Gigabit Nation

Panelists from: Louisiana, Brad Smith; Mississippi, Dr. Dan Brook; Missouri, Damon Porter; Tennessee, Deanna Ward


2:00 – 3:00 pm

Panel 3 – Broadband Impact on Jobs and Education

Moderator:  Drew Clark, Partnership for a Connected Illinois

Panelists: Kathy Lively, Executive Director, Connect SI Foundation; Al Lind, Vice President for Technology and eLearning, State of Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Learning; State Senator Linda Chesterfield, Co-Chair, Arkansas General Assembly Joint Committee on Advanced Communication and Information Technology, topic K-12; Michael Dumont, Vision Perry, Gibson County, TN


3:15 – 4:15 pm    

Panel 4 – Broadband Funding for City and County Projects

Moderator:  Marie Bruno, Connect Arkansas  

Panelists:   Mary Campanola, Special Projects Coordinator / Telecommunications Program, USDA Rural Utilities Service/Rural Development;  Raquel Noriega, Chief Policy Counsel, Connected Nation; Jessica Dent, Executive Director, Connecting Alabama, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs


4:15 pm