Basic Nominee Information
Full Name Matt Larsen
Title/Position CEO
Company Name Vistabeam
City/State Gering, NE
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? 8
Briefly describe your company's business (services offered, client base, areas of coverage). I own and operate two WISP related companies.  Inventive Media is a management company that provides WISP management services to other WISP operations. I also own my own WISP, Vistabeam, offering services in Nebraska and Wyoming. We have about 2300 customers
Professional Background
How long have you held your current position? 7 years
How many years of experience do you have in the wireless Internet industry? 11 years
Describe your primary job responsibilities. Business management, network design and deployment, equipment ordering and basic setup, business development and marketing.
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 would like to contribute to the development of the WISP industry in a positive manner. I feel that my experience in the technical and business aspects of running a medium sized WISP operation will be valuable to the WISPA Board of Directors.
Please describe your experience and current involvement with WISPA, including participating on WISPA committees. I have been participating as a member of the Founding Board, including the position of President in 2007-2008. I have contributed to the development of the bylaws and basic business procedures and also set up the WISPA billing server that is automating the billing process and handling access for members. I have also represented WISPA at several industry events, including WISPCON, EC-Expo, WISPNOG, IT-EXPO and at the FCC. I have also put together a new version of the WISP Directory site that is the most comprehensive listing of US WISPs available, and contributed data to a WISP Mapping project.  I also publish the Wireless Cowboys blog that highlights what life is like for WISPs.
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 good relationships with many vendors and other operators and a good feeling for who the players in this industry are. I think that I have maintained a level head with regard to many of the conflicts that have come up and always try to provide a positive way of dealing with issues.
Please describe any current or previous leadership experience with non-profit organizations and your role: I was a board member of the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce, and held that position for the full term of six years. I am also part the P-16 Initiative for the Nebraska Panhandle that encourages young people to move to our area and a Board Member of Twin Cities Development, our very successful local economic development council.  I am also the president of a local food cooperative organization that is putting together plans to operate a food store carrying locally produced foods in Mitchell, NE.
In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing the wireless internet industry, and how do you believe WISPA should address them? Our biggest challenge is in presenting a unified face for the industry. WISPs are a very diverse group and some have very different perspectives on the industry. For WISPA to succeed, we need to establish a solid platform of positions and use new media methods and traditional networking to get that platform pushed out to government and the public.   We should also not be afraid to take a stand against the bad operating practices of larger telecommunications companies that put us at a disadvantage and be steadfast in our goals.