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Basic Nominee Information
 
Full Name Victoria Proffer
Title/Position President/CEO
Company Name St. Louis Broadband, LLC
City/State Farmington, MO
   
   
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? 5
Briefly describe your company's business (services offered, client base, areas of coverage). St. Louis Broadband, and its new affiliate STLWiMAX, are currently positioning our assets for the first offering of Fixed WiMAX Broadband in the St. Louis business market.  Our unique offering of DIA service, QoS, and VoIP products, coupled with our high rise rooftop and tower locations, has positioned us for explosive growth.  This summer, with our deployment of our hybrid network of fiber and Fixed Wireless WiMAX, our vision for our network is finally coming to fruition. 
   
   
Professional Background
How long have you held your current position? 8 Years
How many years of experience do you have in the wireless Internet industry? 11 Years
Describe your primary job responsibilities. As founding member of St. Louis Broadband, LLC and CEO, I seem do it all!  I believe it is important for an organizer to know, and be familiar with all tasks of the business; including, and not limited to, running cable, negotiating bandwidth and rooftop rights, understanding industry issues, and be directly responsible to our individual clients and specific needs.
   
   
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? In a nutshell, I would like to complete what I started as a WISPA board member, and because WISPA is my hero!
 
My life as an ISP started in 1994.  I, among other ISPs were involved with the Internet when it was commonly referred to as the “Wild West”.  Many of those same pioneers chose a similar path, which in turn founded and developed our industry, Fixed Wireless Broadband.   Today, the Internet is much more developed than in those days, but it is yet in its infancy, as is WISPA. 
 
It was important to define key issues in our bylaws that represent what WISPA stands for: "terrestrial fixed wireless broadband". 
 
To me WISPA stands for much more than an industry association, to me it is an eclectic group of American heroes! 
 
WISPA has helped to restore communications during the Katrina incident; we have also, donated time and monies to help repair storm damaged WISPs. 
 
With the main focus of battling the FCC, and the tax-funded, dollar-laden LECs; in my mind there is nothing more American than reaching out and helping our neighbors in these times of need, as well as helping to develop broadband for rural America.
   
Please describe your experience and current involvement with WISPA, including participating on WISPA committees. During this last year I have had the pleasure of working with my fellow WISPs as the Chairperson of the WISPA Bylaws Committee.  I am pretty sure I gained a streak of new gray hair from this experience!  But I have to say that it was rewarding, and I am proud of the work the committee tenured on behalf of the membership.
 
We were able to define the direction of our industry, within the definition of our organization.  There were many heated conversations where the voice of the membership was heard loud and clear with the adoption of our position on who WISPA is and what we represent.
 
This last year I was also able to help develop two new committees, the Disaster Committee and the State Coordinator Committee. 
 
Although many state coordinators' were already in position prior to the official establishment of the committee.  As well, many state coordinators, under the supervision of the WISPA Executive Director, are already forging ahead with state activities.
 
This committees has yet to have details fleshed out that I believe will be important to the future growth of WISPA.  If elected, this would be my focus.  I believe that it is important to be organized as an industry association, on the most basic level; this is what I believe the State Committee could be. 
 
The Disaster Committee arose due to a series of horrific natural disasters that have occurred.  First a tornado struck wiping out an entire town in Alabama, then another in Joplin, MO.  Prior to this there were major flooding occurring within the Midwest.  The WISPA Executive Director called upon the membership for volunteerism and support, the membership unselfishly anwsered.
 
I proposed the Disaster Committee and was unanimously voted as the Chairperson of this committee. I believe the Disaster Committee and State Committee could be a vital resource for our industry.   Should a WISP be affected by catastrophic circumstances, a disaster relief fund could be available to our membership.  Properly organized, this could allow for tax deductible donations for our members at large, as well as other sympathetic donors outside of our organization.
   
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.) My strength would be my experience. 
 
I am an experienced WISP operator of eleven years and have been a faithful WISPA member since the inception of WISPA.  I have also been and ISP for seventeen years and considered one of the first woman ISPs in America.
   
Please describe any current or previous leadership experience with non-profit organizations and your role: Many years ago I worked with a Children’s organization where I preformed the duties of the Executive Director. 
 
St. Louis Broadband has been associated with the St. Louis chapter of the American Red Cross, through our tower collocation, for the last eight years.  We have also been known to work with them in times of disaster and plan to do so in the future.
   
In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing the wireless internet industry, and how do you believe WISPA should address them? WISPA faces the untruths of the Mobile broadband provider and its lobbyists. As we battle for this new frontier, that is now become a national issue, it is incumbent upon us to make it clear there is a difference between fixed wireless broadband and mobile wireless broadband. 
 
In many ways the FCC is yet to realize this difference, that fixed wireless broadband is far superior to its wireless counterpart, mobile wireless broadband.  It is important that not only do we make them realize this difference; but it is also our duty to our industry, that we make this information known to the public at large.