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Basic Nominee Information
 
Full Name Forbes Mercy
Title/Position President
Company Name Washington Broadband, Inc.
City/State Yakima, WA
   
   
Member Company Background
Are you a full-time employee at a WISPA member organization? Yes
How many full-time staff are employed by your company? 4
Briefly describe your company's business (services offered, client base, areas of coverage). Fixed Wireless Internet, Web Hosting, 700+ customers serving an area over 300 square miles with 100,000 potential customers.
   
   
Professional Background
How long have you held your current position? 10 (units unspecified)
How many years of experience do you have in the wireless Internet industry? 10 (units unspecified)
Describe your primary job responsibilities. As President of the Corporation I built this company from scratch after opening the first dial-up Internet company in my market in 1994.  Besides administrative, financial, and other management duties, I design and build the network performing tower construction duties, program radios/routers, and market our product to potential customers while serving existing customers.
   
   
Individual Qualifications
Why do you want to become a member of the WISPA Board of Directors and what do you hope to achieve through your leadership experience? I have set a clear agenda of items I want to accomplish, while not wanting to stay on the board forever I am now the Legislative Chair and Vice President of WISPA.  I am preparing to start an Advocacy Day in Washington DC to meet with key legislators and provide a path for members to more easily contact their own legislators.  The FCC is starting to be heavily micro-managed by Congress, to ignore that body of rule makers and stick to our course of FCC only work would be short sighted. Also it is important to make alliances with similar groups to strengthen our position.  I want to finish what I started in making our Legislative goals complete.
   
Please describe your experience and current involvement with WISPA, including participating on WISPA committees. If elected this will be my third term in WISPA, during the first term I brought the Promotions Committee introducing our first Trade Show in the form of the Regional Meeting, formed the Ambassador Program for members to travel on behalf of WISPA interests and started regular press releases to make WISPA more accessible to the public by educating them to our profession and capabilities.

As the Legislative Chair I have made another dormant committee active in the sense of building our political influence in Congress.  We have had direct results from our efforts and now with our first budget established for next year my intent is to lead WISPA into a dominant role to be recognized by representatives and lawmakers.  Without this effort we will be stomped on my Mobile Wireless and major carriers who now feel they should own all spectrum whether they plan to deploy on it or not.
   
Please explain strengths that you possess that would be of particular benefit to WISPA through your service on the board (e.g. leadership, areas of specialty, industry relations, etc.) I believe I have proven a valuable board member by action rather than words, spending close to two hours a day on this effort I have never charged WISPA one penny other than airfare, hotel and an occasional rental car.  Other board members charge for much of their time spent but I feel the members dues are better spent on actual improvements to WISPA's standing in our industry.  I am a fiscal conservative and take great pride in conserving members funds to be used in productive growth of WISPA.
   
Please describe any current or previous leadership experience with non-profit organizations and your role: I have a long history of working with non-profit groups such as the American Red Cross, various local groups from the museum, humane society, and local symphony. The past two years has been mostly WISPA and related groups.
   
In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing the wireless internet industry, and how do you believe WISPA should address them? Much like the problems that happened to Dial-up the lack of organization and a uniform message allowed the phone company to lock ISP's out of the market.  WISP's now face the same challenge from AT&T, Verizon and other major carriers who don't care about rural America but want to own the spectrum just so they don't have competition.  WISP's have a inherent desire to serve the public while major players only care about serving themselves.  We need to keep pushing the FCC and Legislators to remind them they serve our goals more than self-serving corporations or we will lose potential spectrum and face stiff rules aimed at forcing us out of the industry.