Oregon Broadband Advisory Council

The Oregon Broadband Advisory Council (OBAC) and a Broadband Advisory Council Fund were created in the 2009 Legislative session to help ensure the implementation of statewide broadband strategies.

The mission of the council is to encourage coordination and collaboration between organizations and economic sectors to leverage the development and utilization of broadband for education, workforce development and telehealth, and to promote broadband utilization by citizens and communities. The council members represent Oregon's cities, counties, telecommunications service providers, Tribes, educators, economic development organizations, public safety agencies, healthcare providers, the state CIO, the Public Utility Commission, the state House of Representatives and the state Senate.

The council is charged with reporting to the Legislative Assembly on the affordability and accessibility of broadband technology in all areas of the state and on the extent of broadband technology use in healthcare, energy management, education, and government.

Council Members

Joseph Franell

Chair
Reappointed January 2018
Term expires December 2021
Blue Mountain Networks

Joseph Franell is the President of Blue Mountain Networks, a rural competitive Internet service provider and telephone company which includes Eastern Oregon Telecom and Gorge Networks.  Blue Mountain Networks (BMN) serves residents and businesses in Northeastern Oregon, Southeastern Washington, and the Mid-Columbia River region.  The Oregon Business Magazine called Joe, “The Rural Connector” because of his effective leadership in bringing broadband to rural markets in the Pacific Northwest.

Joseph’s initial appointment by the Governor to the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council (OBAC), was in 2009.   He has served as the chairman of the Council since 2010. 

Prior to coming to work at BMN, Franell was the Director of Information Technology for the city of Ashland, Oregon, where he was responsible for the Ashland Fiber Network, a municipally owned and operated broadband telecommunications company. During his tenure there, Ashland was selected as one of the Intelligent Communities Forum Smart 21 Communities for 2007 and 2008, because of its innovative and visionary use of broadband technologies.

Joseph has been active as a speaker, writer, and guest on local and national radio shows.  He also serves as the Master of Ceremonies for the Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference.

Jospeh Franell is a ten-year veteran of the US Army, is happily married, and has one daughter.

Katie Latimer Cox

Appointed January 2020
Term expires December 2023
Representing Consumers and the Public-at-Large

Katie Latimer Cox is a GIS Technician at Consumers Power, Inc., where she maintains GIS systems for 3,141 miles of overhead and underground electrical facilities and manages organization-wide project management software for process improvement. She has also worked with the Oregon State University Foundation and she volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Santiam, the East Linn Christian Academy, and the OSU Foundation Women's Giving Circle. She has a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology degree from Oregon State University.

Kurtis Danka

Appointed November 2019
Term expires December 2021
Office of the State Chief Information Officer

Kurtis Danka is the Chief Technology Officer within Oregon's State Chief Information Office. His focus is to help the state of Oregon align technology with the strategic business direction—leading strategy, architecture, and planning. Kurtis has more than 20 years of public sector experience within the state of Oregon focused on Information Technology. His experience includes: serving as the Chief Information Officer at the Oregon Department of Transportation, IT operations and administration as the Deputy Administrator the State Data Center, strategic planning, process and policy development, and program development.

Kurtis holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on fiber optics from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.

Miles Ellenby

Reppointed January 2018
Term expires December 2021
Oregon Health and Science University

Dr. Miles Ellenby is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Doernbecher Children's Hospital OHSU, and the Medical Director of the Pediatric Telemedicine Program. Dr. Ellenby graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1991, trained in Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and in Critical Care at the joint UC San Francisco, Children's Hospital of Oakland program.

Dr. Ellenby holds both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, informing his research interests in cardiovascular monitoring, biological signal processing and complex systems analysis. Dr. Ellenby has been at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital for 10 years.

Michael Heffner

Appointed January 2020
Term expires December 2023
Office of the State Fire Marshall

Michael Heffner is an Assistant Chief Deputy with the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM). He joined OSFM in 2016 where he oversees a number of programs including the regional HAZMAT response teams, the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), local emergency planning committees (LEPCs), the HAZMAT by Rail program, and the Agency Operations Center. His professional background includes over 20 years of field experience working as a firefighter, paramedic, HAZMAT technician, and fire captain. Michael earned a Master of Science degree in Emergency Services Administration from California State University Long Beach and serves as an adjunct instructor at Eastern Oregon University teaching in the Fire Service Administration program.

Wade Holmes

Reappointed March 2017
Term expires December 2020
TDS Telecommunications (BendBroadband)

Wade Holmes has a broad background in telecommunications, broadband, data, and computing. His career has grown parallel to the internet era, beginning with rural dial-up and wireless services in the 90's and has culminated in executive leadership in communications and information infrastructure. Today Wade leads data transformation activities at TDS Telecommunications, an ISP serving more than half of the US states, primarily focused on rural broadband and associated services. Wade has an MBA from the University of Oregon, a BS in Computer Science from Oregon State University, and is a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley in Data Science.

Lonny Macy

Reappointed January 2015
Term expires January 2019
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

Lonny Macy is the Community and Economic Development Planner for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) and has served in that position for more than 5 years. Macy received his Masters Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon in 2001. He has worked in other planning positions for the CTWS as the Natural Resources Policy and Planning Manager, and the Land Services Planner.

His current position involves work in a variety of functional planning areas. He coordinates local planning groups for telecommunications, transportation, transit, facilities, and infrastructure. Recently he has helped coordinate improvements for public safety radio coverage and broadband deployment on the reservation. He also has helped establish Warm Springs Telco—the 9th tribal-owned telephone company in the United States. He also serves on the State Interoperability Executive Council, the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and the Central Oregon Area Commission on Transportation.

Representative Pam Marsh

Appointed March 2017
Term expires April 2021
Oregon House of Representatives

Pam Marsh was elected to House District 5 in southern Oregon in November 2016 after four years as a member of the Ashland City Council.

Prior to joining the council, Pam was a member and chair of the city Planning Commission and a member of the Ashland Charter Review Committee.

From 2006-2012 Pam worked as Deputy Director of a local nonprofit providing drug and alcohol prevention and treatment. She served as Executive Director of Ashland Emergency Food Bank from 2012 until December 2016.

Pam has lived in Southern Oregon since 1994, when she and her husband, Diarmuid McGuire, moved their four children from Palo Alto, California, to the mountains above Ashland. In Palo Alto, Pam worked for a state legislator, managed a cities association, and served in a variety of governmental and nonprofit volunteer positions.

For a decade Pam was actively involved in management and operation of Green Springs Inn and Cabins. Her family continues to own the business, now managed by her husband and son.

Pam ran for the Legislature because she knows from firsthand experience that government matters. Thoughtful, targeted and leveraged policies are necessary to protect our most vulnerable residents, lift our families, and assist residents as they create healthy, self-sustaining communities.

Galen Mc Gill

Appointed November 2019
Term expires December 2022
Oregon Department of Transportation

Galen McGill is the System Operations & Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) where he is responsible for implementing strategies and technology based solutions to improve the efficiency of the transportation system. Galen is a registered professional engineer in the state of Oregon. He has a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Oregon State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management. He serves on the leadership team for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Committee on Transportation System Operations as the Research Coordinator, and he serves on the technical advisory committee for the National Operations Center of Excellence.

Jeremy Pietzold

Reappointed January 2018
Term expires December 2021
City of Sandy

Jeremy Pietzold lives in Sandy, Oregon, with his wife and three young children. His professional background is in Network Engineering and designing fiber connectivity for schools, cities, libraries, and other public agencies in Clackamas County. He has been serving in Sandy for the last 12 years on the SandyNet board, 2 years on the city's Planning Commission, and 10 years on the City Council. He has been instrumental in educating the City Council on the importance of fiber to every home and business and has worked hard to keep fiber continually at the top of the city's goals. He serves on the board of directors for the Northwest Access Exchange (NWAX), Portland's public internet exchange. He also is the co-recipient of NATOA's 2015 "Broadband Hero of The Year" and the recipient of Oregon Connections 2015 "Outstanding Telecommunications Advocate of The Year."

Rick Petersen

Appointed March 2019
Term expires December 2023
PEAK Internet

As President and Chief Executive Officer for PEAK Internet Rick brings an in-depth knowledge and expertise in telecommunications and a passion for customer service. Rick has demonstrated his leadership and technical acumen in the industry for over 35 years.

Rick gained extensive knowledge of the telecommunications industry with over 20 years of experience with an independent telephone company with interests in cable TV, Internet, business telephone systems, and cellular licenses. He left as Vice President/Operations Manager.

Petersen served on the Board and was Secretary/Treasurer of Washington Oregon Wireless (WOW), a consortium of Telephone and utility companies formed to construct a $60 million cellular PCS project in rural Oregon and Washington. Rick is also President and Chief Executive Officer for Casco Communications, Inc., and is the Member/Owners Representative of CoEnergy Propane, LLC. Rick currently serves on the Board of Directors of Western Independent Networks (WIN), the regional mid-Willamette advisory Board of Umpqua Bank, the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce (past President), and the Albany Chamber of Commerce.

Cheri Rhinhart

Appointed April 2020
Term expires December 2023
Intermountain Education Service District

Cheri Rhinhart is the Information Technology Director at Intermountain Education Service District (ESD) serving in this role since 2005. Intermountain ESD IT covers a substantial geographic area serving eighteen component districts throughout Umatilla, Morrow, Union, and Baker counties, and a partnership for technology services for eight school districts in Malheur County. Cheri became a Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) in 2016 and serves on the CoSN Policy and Rural Initiatives Committees, and also serves on the Board of the Association for Computer Professionals in Education for Oregon and the state of Washington.

Senator Arnie Roblan

Appointed January 2019
Term expires January 2021
Oregon Senate

Senator Arnie Roblan represents the scenic and rugged central Oregon coast comprising the 5th Senate District. Previously Senator Roblan served 4 terms as Representative for House District 9, two terms as Co-Speaker.

Senator Roblan's commitment to his community long precedes his election to public office. He is a founding board member of Friends of New and Sustainable Industry (FONSI) and has served on the boards of several local organizations, including the Coos Bay/North Bend Water Board, the Coos Educators Federal Credit Union, Belloni Ranch, YMCA Youth in Government, and the Oregon Coastal Environments Network (OCEAN). Senator Arnie Roblan also served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Southwestern Oregon Transportation and Economic Development Workgroup, the Oregon Education Accountability Roundtable, the Governance Group of the Capitol Restoration Project, the Coastal Caucus, and the Chalkboard Project.

Senator Roblan received the Milken Education Award in 1997 and, in 2002 was recognized by his alma mater as a University of Oregon Distinguished Alumnus. In 2011, the Oregon Business Association named him Statesman of the Year Award in recognition of his extraordinary achievements for public service, consensus building, and forging collaborative solutions to critical issues facing Oregon. In 2012, he was honored with the "Public Officials of the Year" awards from Governing Magazine.

Dave Sabala

Reappointed January 2018
Term expires December 2021
Douglas Electric Cooperative (retired)

Retiring in 2015, Dave Sabala served as General Manager for Douglas Electric Cooperative, a rural electric utility located in Douglas County, for almost 26 years. He was employed by Douglas Electric for 37 years and graduated in 1976 from Oregon State University majoring in Business Administration.

Prior to retirement, Dave sat on the Board of Directors of LightSpeed Networks (a statewide fiber optic interexchange telecommunications carrier headquartered in Portland), and Eastern Oregon Telecom (a CLEC headquartered in Hermiston). Dave helped create Douglas FastNet (DFN), Douglas Electric Cooperative's wholly-owned telecommunications subsidiary.

He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Douglas County Industrial Development Board, Community Cancer Center, Whipple Foundation, Umpqua Community College Foundation, and the Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County.

Dave was honored in 2001 with the Connecting Oregon Award, for his efforts to bring advanced telecommunications to rural Oregon. In 2002, he received the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce's Male First Citizens Award, for his community involvement and volunteerism. In 2014, Dave was the recipient of the Oregon Connections' Edwin B. Parker Enduring Achievement Award and the electric utility industry's Distinguished Service Utility Award.

Mark Thompson

Appointed May 2020
Term expires December 2023
Oregon Public Utility Commission

Prior to his appointment to the Oregon Public Utility Commission in November 2019, Commissioner Thompson was a partner at a small law firm that specializes in energy and administrative law, where he provided counsel and representation to energy project developers, utilities, energy consumers and other businesses involved in energy. Commissioner Thompson also previously worked as the Senior Director of Rates and Regulatory Affairs at NW Natural Gas Company, and prior to that, was Staff Counsel for the Public Power Council, where he represented Northwest public power entities (public and people’s utility districts, cooperatives, and municipal utilities) before the Bonneville Power Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Commissioner Thompson holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Lewis and Clark Law School, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation Biology from Brigham Young University.

David Yamamoto

Appointed January 2018
Term expires December 2021
Tillamook County

David Yamamoto was elected as Tillamook County Commissioner in November 2016 where he and his wife, Terrie, reside in Pacific City. David spent 20 years as a long-term care specialist after which he became an Oregon Real Estate Broker. Prior to that, David worked in the forest products industry for more than 20 years.

David feels it is important give back to his community and enjoys his many volunteer activities, some of which include: Chair, Pacific City/Woods Community Advisory Committee and Chair of their Land Use Committee; Chair, Tillamook County Futures Council; Citizen at Large, Oregon Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee; Citizen at Large, NW Area Commission on Transportation; Pacific City-Nestucca Valley Chamber of Commerce 2012 Volunteer of the Year; and Tillamook County Economic Development Council Small Business Advisory Committee. David graduated from college in California with a BA in psychology.