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Wanda Tankersley

Women in Fiber Spotlight - March

The fiber broadband industry is shaped by the remarkable achievements of women leaders and contributors of all levels over several decades. For the month of March, the Fiber Broadband Association’s Women in Fiber (WIF) Committee is honored to recognize the strong leadership, work ethic, and commitment to the fiber industry of Wanda Tankersley, Chief Operating Officer at Matanuska Telephone Association.

Before becoming COO in 2017, Wanda served as the company’s CFO for eight years. Since her appointment, the company experienced remarkable levels of growth, witnessing assets grow 25%; equity grow 23%; EBITDA grow 37% and operating income to operating revenue grow 7%. In 2017, Wanda led a top down initiative to adopt the Pragmatic Marketing “outside-in” problem solving framework, and attained all six of its certifications, alongside several members of her key leadership team. In 2018, Wanda oversaw the restructuring of the residential and business teams to be better aligned and more responsive to MTA’s member-owners. This involved conflating the company’s call center and retail teams into a single hybrid team with improved protocols in place to adapt to market demand. Wanda led the charge in unveiling a myriad of innovative tech solutions, including Managed Wi-Fi, Migration out of end of life products, VoIP and the suite of three cybersecurity and privacy apps called MTA Shield. Wanda also created a new Commercial Solutions team focused on creating bespoke product solutions for MTA’s Wholesale and Enterprise markets.

As a C Suite executive for a telecommunications provider, Wanda has become a beacon of hope for women in the industry, especially in Alaska. A multi-year volunteer for the Girls Who Code camps, Wanda is always first to make time to share her knowledge with young women in our community. In 2021, Wanda was the keynote speaker for the Girls Who Code Camp in her area. Wanda is also a fierce advocate for more women and girls in the esports industry. She encourages participation from women in Alaska’s largest esports tournament, put on by MTA. Through her leadership at MTA, Wanda has pioneered one of the most impactful internship programs in Alaska, creating more opportunities for young women to experience roles within telecommunications and technology.

By using a pragmatic method of leadership, Wanda empowers the executive and leadership teams at MTA to work on the projects that propel our industry forward. She gives each member of her team the tools they need to succeed, both inside and outside their careers. Wanda is fiercely passionate about the economic development of our area in Alaska. She is constantly focused on finding opportunities to pioneer small business development, women entrepreneurship, and more technology utilization and education all across Alaska. Serving on several boards and dedicating much of her time to the work of the MTA Foundation, Wanda always makes time for her community.

We believe that Wanda is an excellent example of what is possible for women in this industry. We are pleased to recognize Wanda for the leadership, expertise, mentorship and professional values that set her apart as the March Women in Fiber Spotlight honoree. We look forward to following her career and supporting her at every step.