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Basic Nominee Information
 
Full Name L. Elizabeth Bowles
Title/Position President
Company Name Aristotle Inc.
City/State Little Rock, AR
   
   
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? 78
Briefly describe your company's business (services offered, client base, areas of coverage). Aristotle is a full-service interactive media agency and WISP.  We offer hosting and email services in addition to connectivity and have roughly 1000 wireless broadband subscribers.  Our wireless broadband services cover the Central Arkansas area. We still offer dial-up services nationwide as well and have roughly 8000 dial-up subscribers.
   
   
Professional Background
How long have you held your current position? 10 years
How many years of experience do you have in the wireless Internet industry? 5 years
Describe your primary job responsibilities. I am responsible for the strategic direction of Aristotle.  In addition to being President, I am also General Counsel and in that capacity am responsible for any legal issues affecting the company as well as legislative and regulatory compliance and strategy.
   
   
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 served on the Board of WISPA for the last two years and during that time, I have watched the organization start to make major inroads in influence and significance at the national policy-making and regulatory level.  When I first ran for the board, I stated that one of my personal goals for the industry was to achieve a position of significance.  We are very close to attaining this goal, and I would like to continue to work towards that end by remaining on the board.
Although I do not often post to the lists, I remain in touch with the conversations taking place on them and work diligently to address issues that call for board involvement.
   
Please describe your experience and current involvement with WISPA, including participating on WISPA committees. This immediate past year I served at President of WISPA.  I headed up the search for Executive Director, which search ultimately resulted in the hiring of Rick Harnish.  (Which in turn has resulted in a significant increase in revenue for WISPA as well as resulted in more opportunities - via trade shows - to come together as an industry).  This year, I worked on the group insurance product.  Unfortunately, I was not able to bring that to conclusion, as finding a provider has proven difficult.  Therefore, the insurance process is ongoing (another reason I would like to continue to serve on the Board).
   
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 have served in a leadership capacity in many organizations, including WISPA.  In each of those positions, I have done my best to improve the organization and - if the position is a short-term or limited one - I try to leave the organization better than I found it.  I have worked on several boards of directors and understand how to navigate difficult personalities to achieve a desired and/or professional result.  My legal experience has proved valuable to WISPA on a number of occasions, since I can review contracts - making it unnecessary to hire an attorney to do so.  Many times in discussions on the board, legal-related issues arise, and my experience helps the board to address these efficiently.  Finally, I have experience with government and lobbying, which allows me to provide a neutral, yet experienced, analysis of proposals by WISPA's legal and other strategic advisers.
   
Please describe any current or previous leadership experience with non-profit organizations and your role: I am currently President of WISPA.  In addition, I serve on the Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau and on the Executive Committee of that board.  I have served in a leadership capacity for the Rotary Club of Little Rock (Club 99), the Central Arkansas Executive Association, and City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock.  While on the board of the latter, I chaired the organization's fundraiser - the first Red Jacket Ball.  The target fundraising goal for that event was $50,000, which we exceeded by a factor of over 50%.
   
In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing the wireless internet industry, and how do you believe WISPA should address them? When I first ran for the board two years ago, I identified three major challenges.  While we, as an industry, have made a lot of progress in some areas, I believe the challenges remain roughly the same.

(1) Ensure that we are "at the table" when regulations/legislation affecting our industry are being considered.  WISPA has made great strides on this front, and we are now approached directly by regulators seeking the perspective of our industry.  Most recently, we were directly contacted by the Wireline Bureau of the FCC.  These are huge gains, but we still have a long way to go to ensure that our voices are heard in Washington and elsewhere. 

(2)  Public opinion of the wireless industry.  In rhetoric, on TV, and in public opinion, "wireless" is synonymous with "mobile."  Although WISPA has, again, made some gains in changing this mentality at the government agency level, the Chair of the FCC, the press, and the general public often refer to "wireless" and "mobile" as if they are one and the same.  This means that the general public often don't understand what WISPs are or do.  It is critical to the achievement of both (1) above and (3) below that we continue to re-educate both the government and the general public about fixed wireless and our industry.

(3) Access to affordable backhaul and other benefits.  CLECs, ILECs and other telephone providers have access not only to low rates for backhaul but also to pole attachment rights, trenching rights, and other access rights that are not afforded to WISPs.  Given the goal of universal broadband in the United States, WISPs should be provided the same access and on the same basis as other broadband providers.