Broadband and optical movers and shakers: CHR Solutions’ Steve Eldridge retires; Lightmatter Announces NVIDIA Executive Simona Jankowski as CFO

July 5, 2024
Lightwave+BTR is tracking new executive appointments in the broadband and optical industry segments.

This week, the broadband and optical industry witnessed shifts as several companies made key management changes in their top ranks. However, the industry continues to thrive and evolve. If you have an executive at your company who has joined or has been promoted to a new position, reach out to Sean Buckley, Editor in Chief of Lightwave+BTR at [email protected]

CHR Solutions’ Eldridge Retires following 50 years of service
Steve Eldridge, Senior Project Manager of Engineering Services for CHR, is retiring after a remarkable fifty-year tenure with the company. Eldridge’s career highlights, including his work on Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loan designs for local co-ops and numerous Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) designs following the AT&T breakup, have left a lasting impact. One of his final projects, a loan design for Brazos Communications headquartered in Olney, TX, began in 2013 and its implementation and expansion continue today. Eldridge’s career began at CHR Solutions during high school, where he gained experience in surveying and drafting. After graduating from Texas Tech University in 1980 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, he continued with CHR. He moved into project management and loan design roles for several builds, such as Big Bend Telephone in Alpine, TX, and the Papago Tribal Utility Authority (now called Tohono O’odham Utility Authority) in Sells, AZ. 

Eldridge also spent seven years in Guam managing system improvements for the Guam Telephone Authority and Micronesian Telephone in Saipan, Mariana Islands. This project initially started with running fiber to the Central Offices and then expanded to eventually building out more of the network to Andersen Air Force Base and several Navy base housing areas. Additionally, while there, Eldridge played an integral role in helping to establish Guam’s first cellular system.

Lightmatter taps NVIDIA executive Jankowski to be CFO
Lightmatter, a company focused on photonic supercomputing, has made a significant move by appointing Simona Jankowski as CFO. With over 20 years of experience from NVIDIA and Goldman Sachs, Jankowski is set to drive Lightmatter’s financial functions and expansion. Her presence on the executive team will be instrumental in leading the company’s mission to transform the future of computing. Jankowski’s leadership position follows Lightmatter’s $310 million fundraising in 2023, which valued the company at $1.2 billion and comes at a time of significant growth.

ICANN names Lindqvist as president and CEO
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board of Directors has selected Kurt Erik "Kurtis" Lindqvist as the next ICANN President and CEO. Lindqvist brings more than 30 years of experience in the business development of Internet Service Providers and worldwide network carriers and deep expertise in the ICANN community. Lindqvist will officially assume the role on December 5, 2024. Since 2019, Lindqvist has been CEO of the London Internet Exchange (LINX). Earlier, he served as CEO of Netnod and advised governments on Internet governance, data retention, and broadband policy. Lindqvist has been an active member of the Internet community for more than 20 years, serving on the Internet Architecture Board and as working group chair in RIPE and the Internet Engineering Task Force. Sally Costerton will continue to serve as Interim President and CEO until Lindqvist takes over in December. Lindqvist will be based in ICANN's Geneva, Switzerland office and will spend significant time in ICANN's Los Angeles, California headquarters.

Intelisys appoints Ken Mills as New President
Intelisys, a technology services and solutions provider, has named Ken Mills its new president. Reporting to Mike Baur, Mills will lead the company’s strategic direction, focusing on driving sustainable growth for its partners and suppliers. Mills brings nearly 25 years of leadership experience to fast-growing technology companies, including Dell Technologies, Cisco and the US Department of State. He most recently served as CEO for Epic iO Technologies. In this tech-enabled SaaS company, he was instrumental in increasing revenue and shareholder value and developing partner-focused platforms to improve productivity and efficiency. Mills has a deep level of technology understanding, bringing exceptional insight into AI, IoT, and 5G, among others. Mills holds a Master of Public Administration from Clemson University and completed the Naval Nuclear Engineering Program in the United States Navy.

Troutman Pepper brings on Jeffrey Strenkowski to enhance telecom practice
Jeffrey Strenkowski, a seasoned telecommunications attorney, has joined Troutman Pepper's Washington, D.C. office as a partner in the firm's Energy Practice. He joins the firm from Uniti Group. This real estate investment trust company acquires critical infrastructure within the communication industry, where he served as VP and Deputy General Counsel of Government Affairs. He comes to Troutman Pepper with over two decades of experience in governmental and regulatory affairs. One of his critical skills is navigating complex regulatory landscapes and ensuring compliance with various governmental regulations for his clients. He has represented U.S. and international broadband, communications, and technology companies. His work primarily focuses on corporate, financial, and regulatory matters, advising clients on privacy, data security, and consumer protection issues. Strenkowski also assists clients with state and federal approvals for corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, and navigating matters before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector. Strenkowski earned his J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, and his B.A. from the University of Maryland.

About the Author

Sean Buckley

Sean is responsible for establishing and executing the editorial strategies of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report across their websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products.

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