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Rob Shema

Director of Business Development and Government Affairs - altafiber



Nominee Questionnaire

Please provide a short bio for voters to get to know you. Robert Shema
Director of Business Development and Government Affairs at altafiberRob Shema is focused on developing new opportunities and relationships for altafiber to continue expanding its fiber footprint beyond the Greater Cincinnati region. In this capacity he creates partnerships with government and private entities that expand altafiber’s service territory. He is extremely active in the grant process at the national, state and local levels.Shema has been active and involved in the Fiber Broadband Association since 2011 when it was known as the Fiber to the Home Council.Shema is co-founder of Hoosier Net, a middle-mile fiber network consortium comprised of 18 rural electric cooperatives and 17 telephone companies. It is a unique partnership that creates an opportunity to provide middle-mile fiber into the deepest areas of the state of Indiana and is evidence of what can be accomplished when ISPs of all sizes and types come together to further fiber expansion and connectivity.Industry Honors
2020 – Present – OhioIX Board of Directors – Treasurer
2021 – Recipient of the ACA Connects Servant Leadership Award
2019 – Mid America Cable Pathfinder Award
2018 – Inducted into National Cable Pioneers
1998-2001 – Sunshine Network Board of Directors – Secretary
1997 – NFPA National Paralegal of the YearShema was formerly Chief Executive Officer with Com Net. In this role, he directed Com Net in its efforts to provide IPTV Video, Fiber Optic Transport, Dedicated Internet Access, Authentication, Network Administration, and Call Center Support.

Prior to 2020, he was the EVP of Member Services and Finance for ACA Connects. ACA Connects represents more than 800 ISPs comprised of municipal providers, rural electric cooperatives, ILECs, CLECS, and cable companies. As EVP, Shema was responsible for all of the daily operations of the organization and for analyzing all external factors that affect the organization. He directly oversaw the development and implementation of the marketing and growth strategy for member and associate member companies. He also provided members with guidance regarding legal and regulatory issues.

Before joining ACA Connects, he spent nine years at Comcast, starting in the legal department as Comcast’s first paralegal working on issues such as pole attachment agreements, franchise agreements, financing, and various corporate filings. He also spent time in Comcast’s programming department where he was responsible for retransmission consent and was instrumental in the company receiving more than $32 million dollars in additional marketing support and programming cost savings. He ended his career with Comcast as a Regional Senior Director of Public and Government Affairs.

Shema graduated from Villanova University’s Graduate Paralegal Program. He resides in Lima, Ohio, with his wife, Brenda and daughters, Lindsey and Taylor.

Please explain why you consider yourself an excellent candidate for the Board of Directors of the Fiber Broadband Association. I have been working in the high-speed broadband industry since 1996. I have worked with all facets of the fiber industry including working to create awareness and sales opportunities for our vendor partners, without who we wouldn’t have a business. I have worked with fiber first companies, municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives, small independent telephone companies, telephone cooperatives and former cable companies. One thing is true, all of these businesses need fiber and rely on it to provide the best possible internet service to their customers. Because I have worked across so many different segments of the fiber universe, I would be able to represent and understand all of the different organizations goals and objectives and be able to translate that into Board activities that are aligned with members’ needs.
How many years has your company been a Fiber Broadband Association Member? 7
How many years have you participated in Fiber Broadband Association activities? 12
Please indicate any Fiber Broadband Association Committees or working groups you have participated on including position and years served. Public Policy Committee: 2022-Present
Conference Committee: 2014-2017 – worked to establish industry partnerships and grow show attendance.
Please list any Fiber Broadband Association Contributions (activities supported, assets developed, documents drafted, webinars presented, etc.) Fiber Connect – Advocacy Dinner at Fiber Connect – 2014-2019
Fiber For Breakfast – December 16, 2020 – Webinar – Fiber Data Delivery in the Mid-West
Regional Show – Columbus – November 3, 2022 – Panel
Fiber Day on the Hill – March 29,2023 – Sent out invitations to policy leader’s staffers to attend the event.
Fiber Connect – August 20, 2023 – Panel – Understanding the Local Political Landscape
How many years have you been in your current position? 1
Describe your current job and functional responsibilities. Expand the fiber footprint.
Seek grant funding for gap funding in the ftth business model.
Find merger and acquisition business growth opportunities.
Work with OSP team on construction modeling and cost equations on fiber builds.
Assist engineering teams on fiber builds.
Identify and develop partnership opportunities to increase fiber footprint.
Cultivate relationships with national, state and local officials.
Monitor and report on regulatory obligations and requirements.
What was your previous position? EVP of ACA Connects
How many years did you hold your previous position for? 16
Do you have experience as a member of a Board of Directors? Yes
If you answered yes, please provide the entity, the number of years served, and the officer position held. Sunshine Network of Florida – Secretary
Ohio IX – Treasurer
The bylaws prohibit convicted felons from serving on the board. Is there any legal impediment that would prevent you from serving on the Board? No
Is there any legal issue personally of which the Association should be aware? No
Being a Fiber Broadband Association Board Member requires a considerable time commitment. Please confirm that you have the support of your company if you are elected. Yes
Please provide a short overview of your experience with telecommunications, fiber optics, and FTTH technologies. My biggest asset in the fiber space is my ability to connect – connect people, connect companies, connect resources, connect government officials, connect regulatory personnel, connect vendors, and connect the fiber infrastructure investment opportunities.
Please describe the goals you would like to accomplish during your term as Fiber Broadband Association Board Member. Assist in making Fiber Connect the largest trade show in the broadband space.
Increase membership in Fiber Broadband Association (by using my connections to add industry vendor partners and ISPs that should be members but that have not yet joined the organization).
Work to add value to the membership through exploring other avenues of communication and learning for the member’s benefit.
Create the opportunity to further our thought leadership in the regulatory and governmental relationship space.
Generate sharing opportunities where members can share best practices and learn from each other not just in-person conferences or webinars.
Have you reviewed the Board of Directors’ Responsibilities document, and do you understand what is required? Yes
Please describe the level of commitment (in terms of time and effort) that you intend to make to the Association during the three-year term. I will make myself available to Gary and team as needed to work on the goals and objectives of the Association. I will be available to provide guidance and direction and use my experience from ACA Connects to share learnings good and bad on how to best serve members in the broadband association space. I will use the Board time to network and share information and ideas on how to better serve members in the broadband association univers