CTAM Chapters – The Early Years

Interview Date: Thursday October 06, 2011
Interview Location: New York, NY
Interviewer: Brad Samuels
Collection: CTAM Collection

CTAM Chapters – The Early Days (1984-1994)

Brad Samuels, Moderator
Glen Friedman, Ideas and Solutions
Skip Harris, Harris Communications
Joe Rooney, Cox Communications

BRAD SAMUELS: Hi, I’m Brad Samuels and I’ve very pleased today to being leading the discussion about the history of CTAM chapters. CTAM, The Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing has been a driving force in the cable industry for over 30 years supporting excellence in marketing in the cable TV industry. Shortly after the inception of CTAM, chapters were founded and became a very big part of the cable industry, the careers of many of the top executives in the industry and the growth of the business overall. At the end of 2011, based on changes in the structure of the industry both at the programmer and operator level, it’s been decided that CTAM chapters will no longer exist. So we thought that it was important to capture some of the moments in the early days of CTAM Chapters. Today we’re going to focus on the period from 1984 to 1994, which was a very exciting time in the industry and really the very beginning when CTAM chapters began to rise around the country and play a critical role in the development of the industry.

So today I’m very fortunate to have three executives who have been in the cable industry for a little while and were there at the time in the late 80s when the business was really exploding. These gentlemen played key roles in several of the bigger businesses in cable growing them and also very much so, in CTAM particularly, at the chapter level. So today we have in the first seat, the hot seat, Glen Friedman. Glen was in New York at the time of the period we are discussing late 80s with Manhattan Cable. Building out one of the biggest cable systems in the country, of course. Now he runs his own company called Ideas and Solutions which does marketing consulting for many media businesses based out of LA. In his career in the cable industry he worked for companies including DirecTV, Century Cable and of course Manhattan Cable. Welcome, Glen.

We also have in the middle, Skip Harris. Skip, thanks for joining us. Skip was with the Disney Channel in Los Angeles when the Southern California Chapter first originated and played a very big role in the leadership of that chapter over the years. He currently runs his own consulting company, Harris Communications and was at different times in his career the executive director of the Los Angeles Marketing Co-op, as well, as an executive at Disney, at Cox and also at Falcon Communications. Thanks for joining us today, Skip.

And last, and certainly not least, Joe Rooney. Joe has been nearly 25 years with Cox Communications and a great career in marketing in the cable industry. He played a role in many chapters around the country as he moved into different parts of the country in his career. At this period, he was mostly in Los Angeles in the late 80s and early 90s. The Midwest and then Los Angeles towards the end – let me correct that. Joe currently is the senior VP of branding and advertising of social media at Cox Communications at the corporate level. He has served in many roles both at the region and corporate functions at Cox over the years.

So let’s do a little bit of dial back in time to get our heads back into the period that we are going to discuss. I thought we could just remind ourselves of the some things that were happening in the country politically, socially and culturally as well to try to get our heads back into what was happening in the cable industry from 1984 to 1994. As you look back, what occurs to me is just that it’s an incredible period of change both in the country and in the industry. Certainly growth was significant in cable. In 1984, Ronald Reagan was the president and then George H.W. Bush and we finish the period with Bill Clinton. So from Reagan to Clinton, obviously a big turn in the events of the political sphere. It would have been a very good time to have been investing in the stock market during those ten years. The Dow Jones Index started at just under 1300 in 1984 and grew all the way to 3800 by 1994. A good year for Wall Street, a good period for Wall Street. The best picture Academy Award winner in 1984 was Amadeus and by ’94 the winner was Forrest Gump. Two pretty different movies. Musically, Madonna had the number one hit in 1984 with “Like a Virgin” and by ’94 it was Boyz to Men with “I’ll Make Love to You.” Which definitely had a different feel to the song as well. So that’s what was happening out in the world – to get our heads back into the time.

FCC has always played a big role – at different times – bigger or smaller in cable industry and in the media business. At the beginning of the period, Dennis Patrick was the chairman of the FCC, as you guys may remember. By 1994, we had gone through also Alfred Sikes, then Reed Hundt, who was chairman of the FCC at the point of which we’re finishing in the 1990s. So again, just to [re?] in terms of the cable industry, this is a period of growth where cable operators were building out their plant in order to grow the capacity of what the system could do and as a result, programming was growing very rapidly. New cable networks were coming on at a very rapid pace and filling up this new expanded line up of both basic and premium services. That was really the core of what the business was about. Giving more choice in television to consumers that had mostly relied on over the air programming for many years up to that period in time. Now we look back and think of it as a little more simple and a little more basic but that was a big challenge. It was a big concept for the consumer to get used to and so it was customer service and it how to price these packages and how to market and re-market and how to retain customers who were now getting comfortable with these packages and pay services and so forth. Those were some of the challenges. There was growth from 28 to 79 cable networks in the 1980s and by 1995 there were 139 programming services. You can see that the choice and the types of programming that were out there were really starting to expand. A lot of discussion between the programmers and the operators about what services needed to launched, how should they be packaged, how should they be priced. So that gives you a little sense on what was happening in the business at the time. Now I would just like to have each panelist take a couple of minutes to talk about where they were in their career at this time in which they first got involved in the CTAM chapters which were just starting to launch around the country. I think there was a recognition that CTAM was playing a critical role in a bigger level in the industry but the same mission of advancing marketing and helping the industry across all the different facets of it to get better at marketing, also how to roll at a local level. And the same kinds of learnings, discussions and relationships could also be expanded on a regional or local level. That seems to be what generated these first chapters coming to be out in certain key markets where the cable community was very vital around the country. So Glen you were in New York. You were with Manhattan Cable at the time?

GLENN FRIEDMAN: I was vice president of marketing and sales for Manhattan Cable. I was really fortunate to get involved with CTAM at a very early point in my career. I think the chapter’s really important because it boosted the accessibility of CTAM to more entry level positions that weren’t necessarily fortunate enough to go to the national show conferences. My first involvement on the chapter basis was as vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter which was kind of a super regional chapter that went from New York to Baltimore. The first event I think we did was in conjunction with the Atlantic City Show which was one of the big regional shows of the time and we did a CTAM day. I remember John Malone speaking and again it was available to a much larger audience. But at the regional level it still wasn’t as accessible to people who couldn’t travel a regional show so the chapters were formed and New York was one of the first chapters. As president of the New York Chapter, we did a series of programs – I think we did 4 or 5 programs in the first year. What was really exhilarating about it was just that it was a very exciting time for the industry. Very different than it is today. There were a lot of different cable companies in the New York area. Now I think there are three, but then, I think there were 20 something and names like Namath?, UA Columbia, even TCI that no longer exists or that have been merged with other entities. There were a lot of other programmers involved in that you didn’t have the consolidation that you have today with you know – TNN was an independent network, BET was an independent network. Now, obliviously part of your former life at MTV. So it was a very exciting time.

SAMUELS: We’ll follow-up with that. The industry had a very different makeup at that time in terms of the number of different companies and the diversity of ownership. Of course, like many industries, it’s consolidated a lot particularly in the last 10 years. But this is a time when major markets had 7, 10, 15 different cable operators that had franchised local areas, a lot of different players and on the programming side as well, the ownership was spread across a lot more companies. A very entrepreneurial period for the industry before a lot of that rolled up into bigger companies. So there was a real need for people to get together to get to know each other and that’s a role that the chapters played. So Skip, you’re in Los Angeles, you’re working with the Disney Channel at this time?

SKIP HARRIS: Well, between ’84 and ’94, I was at Disney and at Falcon. We had around 15-20 cable operators in the LA market during that period. Even at Disney, we were a premium service when I was there and we were transitioning for premium to a tiered and eventually it went to basic. I left Disney and went to Falcon. I was at Falcon as the VP of marketing and sales at the time we launched the chapter and it was an auspicious launch for us – as I shared with you earlier – we had the ACE Awards. Our industry had this award for cable excellence for programmers and there was a big ACE Award event, Sunday night, January 16, 1994. Monday morning at 4:17 in the morning, January 17th, there was a huge earthquake in L.A.

SAMUELS: This is the Northridge earthquake?

HARRIS: Northridge earthquake. And that was the launch of the L.A. chapter. We had our first meeting the next day, on Tuesday and Char came to the meeting and she was still shaking from earthquake.

SAMUELS: Not a very good night sleep for anybody in that area.

HARRIS: She told has that they had all these senior executives down in the lobby of the Four Seasons in their slippers and robes. Which was a unique sight for the industry. So we had our first meeting and got launched. I think we must of 15 or 20 people at our first meeting. From all the MSOs.

SAMUELS: There seemed to be a lot interest in putting this thing together. What was the thinking about what you thought the chapter would become as far as its value to the market.

HARRIS: We really believed that the mission of the chapters was to – as Glen said – allow the people who don’t get to go to the national summit to be able to get exposed to some of the speakers, some of the topics and issues that we get exposed to at the national meetings. And that was really what we felt what our mission was and I think we fulfilled that through the years. I’m still on the board of our L.A. chapter. I’ve been in and out of it. Even to this day, we still try to bring programs to people in the local market who otherwise wouldn’t get to be exposed to those topics and some of the really great speakers that came to the market.

SAMUELS: Thank you. It was interesting, I did notice when we were talking earlier, I came into it a little bit after this in the mid 90s, but you mentioned that it started as a more regional kind of a Northeast – Mid-Atlantic organization that then broke out into different chapters in the major markets. Joe, you were in Pennsylvania in the late 80s?


SAMUELS: With Times Mirror and Mid- Atlantic, Mid Lakes kind of level of the CTAM regional organization.

ROONEY: We had chapters in Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. They weren’t all doing great. Frankly, because the cable industry was – cable marketing was kind of nascent – there was a need. We had all these networks. We went from one size fits all packaged to new tiers of networks. Pay per view is new. We had never really driven premium penetration to what people had hoped for. So there was this idea of let’s get the marketers together and kind of share best practices and get smarter. So, my role – we created a Great Lakes region for CTAM. And the Great Lakes region to cover those chapters was basically to go share best practices and go help the chapters be a little better. So, it was a group of us – Susan Packard, Kevin Leddy and myself, who would go to these events and kind of say – Ok, when Ohio did this kind of event, here’s what they did to really make it go great. You can’t just focus on one part of your state. If you’re covering your state, you need to kind of alternate between parts of the state. Things of that sort. Also, back in the early 90s, they made the region chapter presidents non-voting board observers, which later became kind of the role that you’re familiar with. So I would go to the CTAM national board meetings and sit in the room and represent the chapters and sort of be a fly on the wall and watch all the activity. That was very interesting as well.

SAMUELS: That’s a perfect lead-in to what I want to talk about next. Because the chapters, I think in a lot of cases, I know for me, I moved to New York in 1993 and jumped into the New York chapter at that time because I thought it was an opportunity to get to know a lot of people that I hadn’t worked with in the past being out in Chicago. It really worked out great in that respect. I got to know the community of executives both across the content and the operations side of the business. What it also allowed for me to do was to build some leadership skills that were a little different than what I was working on day to day in my day job. I think that’s part of what, hopefully what I think the chapter involvement that you gentlemen had, meant to you. And you were giving back to the industry but it was also giving you a chance to run an organization and use some skills and develop some skills that were different than what you were doing otherwise. Was that part of what you were thinking at the time, is that why you got involved?

FRIEDMAN: It was again an opportunity to meet colleagues and to interact in a different basis as opposed to having to negotiation or a situation where someone was selling you. And to really look at what one could do boost the industry at time. I think that there was much more commonality of everybody aiming towards boosting the industry as opposed to necessarily the individual self interest at that juncture.

SAMUELS: It was like how can we add a couple of channels and raise rates – it’s now like what do we do about keeping channels and keeping our rates where there are.

FRIEDMAN: Again, we were in an expansion mode and the industry was absolutely growing and the opportunities were growing for the individuals and the companies and it was a very exciting time. In terms of leadership, I think what was exciting about it was to me is the fact that we started the New York chapter and that it still a very successful chapter today. And that we were very focused on developing future leaders of the chapter and making sure that there was succession planning in that and I think that was certainly something that’s been valuable to me both professionally and in other nonprofits that I’ve been involved in is to apply that logic and same thinking.

SAMUELS: It’s a little different when you have to ask someone to do something versus reporting to you – a little different dynamic. It is a different experience and sounds like it was valuable to all of us.

ROONEY: It is. Each chapter had its own personality. The personality of the chapter hopefully reflected the personality of the entire board for that chapter. There’s a lot of consensus building kind of leadership. I had the pleasure of being Skip’s vice president when he was president of the Southern California Chapter at the end of this period. And being able to see how Skip ran those meetings and basically got us all together to talk about what was new and exciting in this industry. I remember – what was the ISP that was first being trialed for high speed internet that Art Reynolds came out – before @Home…

FRIEDMAN: Prodigy.

ROONEY: Prodigy, yes. High speed Prodigy trial and we brought Art up from San Diego and he spoke to the L.A. chapter. And it was Oh my God, what the heck is this. Of course, that product never really launched, but it turned into a huge business for the industry with @Home and others.

SAMUELS: Let’s talk about some of the accomplishments, at least some of the bigger ones that come to your mind for your chapter. Signature events, big speakers.

HARRIS: I’ll tell you one of the big events that we did in L.A. that was sort of consistent with a sort of Hollywoodish feel. We launched a program called the Golden Palm Awards. We had so many MSOs in the market and I wouldn’t say lower level people but people who didn’t’ get the kind of recognition that you would get a national event in terms of Mark Awards. So we checked with Char and said we would like to a launch a local awards program. We wouldn’t be competing with nationals because we’re really trying to focus on the local people and their accomplishments. She said “what a great idea, let’s give it a shot.” So we launched this awards program. We had 8 or 10 categories to begin with. We recognized local cable system marketing excellence as well as local programming initiatives and marketing initiatives by the programming networks. That went on for nine years. It was a great program. Really recognized the local people. Again, we were always trying to drive the mission of the CTAM chapter back to the experience of a national show or event, but make it available for the people at the local market. For us, that was one of our biggest accomplishments. It happened while I was there and it was ongoing after I left. It was, I thought, very successful. Really paid back to the people who were participating at the chapter level.

SAMUELS: And in a very tangible way to have that event build momentum for programming in general and give people recognition and eventually build a stronger programming.

HARRIS: Absolutely. I think people really appreciated it. Members really got something back from their membership in CTAM other than newsletters and things like that. It was a great program for that chapter.

SAMUELS: Find anything in New York that pops into your mind?

FRIEDMAN: I think that we did a “Learn from the experts”. Much the same way that CTAM continues to this day – to bring people from outside the industry to help broaden ones perspective. I was looking through some old notes of things that happened during my tenure and shortly thereafter, and we did things like bring in the head of the local MTA. We talked about how to raise rates and deal with service issues. It’s a little scary that we were learning from the guys who were running the subway but the factor is that we were really trying again to build on CTAM’s orientation that not all of the good ideas come from here; we need to have a broad perspective. We did things with Nordstrom on service and the MTA and some leaders in direct marketing and brought in experts that again gave exposure to the people that got to go to CTAM as well as people who may not have had the opportunity to be exposed to that. Again it was before you had the advent of online capabilities to be able see people or even video conferencing or satellite conferencing wasn’t necessarily employed that often at that juncture. So again it was an opportunity for people to get a broader perspective both within the industry and as a marketer to refine and develop skills, an orientation they might not have had otherwise.

ROONEY: So I have a different tack that I’ll take. In was probably in ’92-93, somewhere in there, the CTAM chapters – we had a chapter leadership conference twice a year in D. C. and it was timed right around the time of the board meeting so there would be a joint chapter and national board dinner together. That carried on for a long time. The chapters were very unhappy. About half the chapters were threatening to leave and become cable clubs. I was this board observer there to represent the chapters so Char comes on board as the brand new head of CTAM, the new CEO of CTAM. At her first meeting, I have to pull her aside and say “You need to know something. The chapters are wanting to secede from the union.”

SAMUELS: Welcome to this new role. I don’t think we told you about this but…

ROONEY: It was just incredible to see her leadership and step up and say “Well, that isn’t going to happen on my watch.” So, she figured out – we worked with her to understand that there were a number of problems, part of it was representation, whether they were really being listened to and part of it was the financial situation where we were collecting a chapter fee and the majority of which was going to the national organization. Which wasn’t leaving the chapter organization enough money to really operate and put these good sessions together and all those sort of things. So completely changed all that overnight and the chapters went from ready to leave to very happy and growing. So it was really awesome to see Char step up on her first day on the job and just get that corrected.

HARRIS: I have to say that also, Char absolutely transformed the CTAM organization in incredible levels and ways. Among them really reaching out to the people at the chapter level and making programs available. Again beyond the national program because that is really what the chapters were trying to do. I think she did an incredible job. Still does today. It’s just amazing what she’s done with the CTAM.

SAMUELS: Absolutely. The industry has been so dynamic and the way the membership and the ownership has changed. And then to also be managing this other aspect of the organization down to into the regions and coordinate to make sure that the programs made sense down to a national and chapter level and which chapters were really going to be able to exist based on the size and vitality of them. She’s just done a fantastic job. I couldn’t agree more. How about some of the challenges? Particularly when you are trying to manage some smaller market. These are small cities – Detroit – but they didn’t have as many people in the markets to obviously step up like an L.A. or New York where you had plenty of leadership ready to be on the board and to step into the bigger roles. There must have been some challenges in places like Indianapolis and Columbus or whatever in terms of just getting the right leaders in place. Talk about that a little bit.

ROONEY: There were challenges. You never want to have a party and have no one come. So everytime you put an event together, you’ve got hotel expenses, you’ve got expenses for beverage and food service. You’ve invited a speaker and you’re out there expecting people to come. So how do you make sure that you are marketing your event correctly? Those were some challenges. I mentioned in Ohio we had to get them out of Columbus. We had to say look you’ve got Cincinnati, you’ve got Cleveland, you’ve got these other markets and you’ve got to kind of take this on the road a little bit. There was also some – they didn’t call it telepresence at the time – there was also some satellite delivered ways of getting out of hosting multiple locations with one session. Later on that became a hallmark of CTAM chapters. There were a lot of creative people thinking about how do we solve this problem of most of our membership is in Chicago but there is a Springfield, Illinois and there is a Peoria, there are other parts of the state that want to participate, so how do we do that? I think going to the satellite delivered content was something that really helped as well.

SAMUELS: Anything else that you guys ran into in the bigger markets that you found particularly challenging over the years?

HARRIS: I think that was more recently than the earlier, well even some of the early years, although we were a big market and had lots of talent in terms of managing our chapter and growing it. We still had a hard time getting major speakers, national speakers to come in and work with us. One of the things we did, we actually worked with Char quite a bit to help us recruit senior executives in the industry who were willing to come out. We tried to work it around when they were going to come out and visit one of their regions in the southern California anyway. She did a really great job of recruiting fabulous, wonderful dynamic speakers for our programs. Again it got back to bringing that senior national level person who you’d probably only see at a national summit, bringing them out to the local chapters. She really nourished that and nurtured that. We’re also very grateful for that.

ROONEY: Okay, one more thing we did that was creative in southern Cal was – Skip, I don’t know if you remember the name of this product – we had a problem where we had a pretty strong base of chapter members but we wanted a more predictable revenue stream. I was in favor of this thing called the bundle. So I had sort of helped invent the bundle for Cox Orange County and I wanted to bundle the chapter membership with all the events. So we put this bundle together, Jay Tapp was my VP at the time and helped with this.

HARRIS: Masters Course? Passport?

ROONEY: Passport Plus. So you got a passport and basically you paid for the year and the four major events all with one swipe of your company credit card. So it was simple, it worked and it was a great revenue driver for us and we know our year was set when we did the Passport.

HARRIS: That’s right.

SAMUELS: It was always very interesting to see how ideas were kind of follow back and for the between the day job and the organization whether it was budgeting or packaging. Sometimes I’m sure some of the ideas that came up at board meetings ended being very valuable back at the companies where everyone worked.

HARRIS: That was a great program.

SAMUELS: That part of it was as great as well. Let’s spend a minute, certainly the chapters weren’t primarily focused on fund raising or charitable acts but one great legacy to many of the chapters was considerable amounts of money were raised and donated to some great organizations around many of the markets. Some bigger and more sustained than others but I think all chapters, at least at some point each year whether it was their holiday event or other things made sure that they gave back to the community in some of the organizations and their markets. SkiTam is probably the largest and most known of one of those kind of events which became almost its own big industry national type of event over time. I think you were there at the beginning and have always been a huge driver of that event. Talk a little bit about SkiTam.

ROONEY: This year, 2011, was our 16th year so it would have started right at the end of this period that we’re talking about here. The beginning of the next period and it was incredible. Steve Raymond started it with Chuck Ellis and [Ginny Overbaugh?]. Steve had a buddy who had fallen skiing on a hill in Vail. Steve and I were just on that part of the hill this year talking about it, but his buddy, Bob, had fallen and broken his back and become paralyzed but wanted to still be a skier and wanted to get it going with a disabled ski program. The U.S. didn’t really have a disabled ski program at the time. It had tried one and it had not gotten anywhere and was basically being disbanded. Steve said “We’ve got a great cable group in the Rocky Mountain Chapter; we can probably put a little fundraiser together.” Steve went to Char and said “Look, to put this event together, we need a loan. We need to borrow like 50 grand to get the hotel lined up, to all this lined up.” So borrowed 50, made a 150, made a 100 profit and that 100 thousand went to start the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.

SAMUELS: The first year made 100 thousand dollars? Wow.

ROONEY: 100,000 the first year. It was a great event out of the chute. Now, I’ve been involved the last 10 or 11 years. I wasn’t there at the very beginning. I have been the co-chair with Steve the last 8 years and the last 8 years we’ve averaged between 1.1 and 1.3 million gross revenues. We have hotel expenses and lift tickets to pay for out of that but we have been more than two thirds the funding for the Disabled Ski Team for most of the last 10 years plus. That’s a great organization and it was really one of the best examples of giving if you look back in the industry.

HARRIS: I’m sure the biggest.

ROONEY: One of the biggest. There are some other great examples of things people do but this is a really do-good, feel good event.

SAMUELS: Fantastic. Anything that you guys were involved with that comes to mind in terms of organizations that you supported? I know New York’s done a lot for Toys for Tots and some other groups.

HARRIS: The California chapter supported something some called CHOC – it was the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. We’ve done something with something called Donor’s Choose, which Comcast supports heavily. We tried to spread out our give back if you will based on what the MSOs felt was important to them. Each MSO had a favorite and we tried to do something to support them because the MSOs were very heavily invested in the local chapter.

SAMUELS: It really was a local business at that time, wasn’t it? Just made sense.

HARRIS: Very local.

SAMUELS: Just to kind of wrap up, a lot of the events had both kind of a learning component and a social component. I think that was another part of it. There were so many people in these markets that didn’t have chance to kind of get out, see each other and get to know each other. Again, in a way that wasn’t right across the table doing a deal, having to be focused on work right at the moment. I think the best events were a combination it seemed like SkiTam has become. A lot of conference discussion and panels but also just a chance for people to get together and talk casually and get to know each other a little more than they would in the day to day craziness of the business.

Any parties or events that you guys can remember that were particularly fun or that you met somebody that really turned out to be a big part of your career?

FRIEDMAN: I think again that it was a really good opportunity to get to know people on a deeper level and I think it was a very different time for the industry. It was much less combative and much more collaborative both within the operator community and within the operator/programmer community, there really was this objective to grow the business and get cable penetration above the levels that it was at that time. I think at that time was probably was in the 50 or 60 percent range of penetration with no competition. Everybody’s business was expanding and it was an exciting time. I think there was also this opportunity of people getting to know each other and people who I got to know at that point who have subsequently gone on and done tremendous things within the industry and moved to different companies. It was just an opportunity to get to know them on a different level than had the CTAM chapter not existed at that time.

HARRIS: I was going to say the same thing. We tried to set up all of our events so that there was a little bit of networking time before the event, then we had whatever it was – a panel or guest speaker. I think that it really nurtured relationships outside of the negotiating room so that when you got together across the table, the person across the table was more than somebody that you had to combat with. You had a sense of who they were and it really did help in terms of relationship building. One of the things that came out of sort of the social networking part for me was Victoria Kent was on our first board and I had known her many years ago when she had pitched MTV to Cox San Diego when I was head of marketing there. Years later we got together on this board and got to know each other socially and we got married four years later in Italy.

SAMUELS: That’s significant. Right there, if nothing else happened at the CTAM chapters that would be a great …

ROONEY: A great example of relationship driven industry…

FRIEDMAN: I was single at the time and nothing like that happened.

ROONEY: It really was and is still a relationship driven industry. I think you don’t really recognized how true that is until you bring in people from outside. We launched high speed internet in ’96, telephony in ’97, so the last 15 years I’ve hired a lot of telco people or wireless people. They come into our industry and they are like “You guys really like each other”. This is incredible, the kinds of parties, the kinds of events, the kinds of networking that we’d do was just foreign to them. You don’t see that in a telco environment. You don’t see that in a wireless environment. You don’t see that in many industries. So, we really do like each other. That was one of the great things about our industry and it’s one of the great things the chapters would make a lot of hay with as well.

SAMUELS: We’re going to wrap up. The late 80s were an extremely exciting time when the industry really started to take hold and grow and become what it was to be and many of the executives now lead companies that were just starting their careers like all of us at that time. Like you said we developed relationships that many of us value very much to this day and so I want to thank you guys for joining us today and sharing some of your thoughts about the past of CTAM chapters and helping for others in future be able to get a feel for what was going on in the industry at that time and how CTAM contributed to the success.

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