Jeff Ross

Jeff Ross

Interview Date: Monday, July 29, 2019
Interview Location: Chicago, Ill, The Independent Show
Interviewer: Lela Cocoros
Collection: Hauser Collection

LELA COCOROS: Hello. I’m Lela Cocoros for The Cable Center. It’s July 29th, 2019 and we are here in Chicago at The Independent Show. This is the oral history of Jeff Ross. He’s president of Armstrong Utilities, Inc., and an NCTC [National Cable Television Cooperative] board member. And this is part of the Hauser Oral History Program. So welcome, Jeff.

JEFF ROSS: Thank you, it’s great to be here, I’m honored.

COCOROS: So let’s start out with your background, like your early life, and just a little bit of where you’re from and your educational background.

ROSS: OK, great. Well, I was born in Buffalo, New York. And my family moved for me at a very young age to Wilmington, Delaware, and I grew up really in Wilmington, Delaware, and then just over the border into Pennsylvania, into Chester County, Pennsylvania. Educationwise I’m an electrical engineer. I have my associate’s degree from Penn State University. I went there for two years. A funny story about that. My grades in high school were not awesome, and so I had to get an associate’s degree before moving on to get my bachelor’s degree. My dad once joked that he wanted to know whether Penn State would accept tuition by the week instead of by the semester. Not necessarily a vote of confidence. But they did have a lot of confidence in me and encouraged me. But then I went on to get my bachelor’s degree at Northeastern University in Boston. And then after that I got my MBA at Clark University while working at Nynex New England Telephone.

COCOROS: Well, there you go. And yeah, Penn State University, the original home of The Cable Center and its collection.

ROSS: That’s right, WE ARE!

COCOROS: Very cool. So you started in the telephone industry, right? And working for Nynex. And then you went over to Time Warner Cable. So what was it about the cable industry that attracted you to make that move from the telephone industry?

ROSS: Yeah. Good question. I didn’t really even set out to join the telephone industry when I graduated from college. It just sort of happened. But I was working in Boston, Massachusetts as a manager of an outside plant engineering group. And this was in the late ’80s, early ’90s. And part of my responsibility was to approve the pole attachments for all the cable companies that were building networks. And my group also was responsible for approving attachments and conduit entry in downtown Boston for all of these new telecom companies that were coming up after telephone was deregulated, or the Bell System was broken up actually. And these new telecom companies were kind of kicking our butt. And it looked like a good time. These companies were growing, we were shrinking. And it just looked like a lot more fun to be on that side of the business than on the side that I was on. So I started looking around. I had seven years with New England Telephone, Nynex, and had some pretty interesting experiences being in downtown Boston, in that competitive area, the Central Artery Project, and all of that stuff. And I used to get the trade magazine which I don’t even think exists anymore. It was called Telephony magazine. And I saw an ad in the back of that magazine that said, “Looking for directors of engineering and operations. Opportunities all over the country. Apply here. P.O. Box blah blah blah.” I had no idea what company it was. And so I sent them my resume. It turned out to be a recruiter firm, Warren, Morris & Madison. And they were recruiting. Time Warner was recruiting. And I took an interview and ended up working for Time Warner Cable in Raleigh, North Carolina, at kind of the beginning of when telecom, telephone, and cable started to get together.

COCOROS: That’s great. So you worked in Denver as well, didn’t you?

ROSS: I did. So I was at Time Warner for — it was four or five years. And so started first in Raleigh and then I moved on to their centralized operations center. That’s when I became a vice president. And I ran that centralized operations organization in Denver, which was a great experience.

COCOROS: That’s great. And then you moved overseas.

ROSS: Yeah. So I was happy in Denver. If you’ve ever lived in Denver, I guess you —

COCOROS: I lived in Denver for 33 years, so —

ROSS: OK, yeah, there’s a lot to like about Denver.


ROSS: And we were there about a year. And the guy that hired me in Raleigh, North Carolina took an overseas assignment working for United International Holdings, which is now Liberty Global. And he started talking to me about maybe joining him in Amsterdam. And I had no interest in it whatsoever because we loved Denver. I just got this huge promotion and was really enjoying life. But he was persistent. His name was Joe Webster. And he kept on trying. And then I think it was probably Memorial Day weekend, leading up to that, he said, “Just come over to Amsterdam and check it out. You can do it over a long weekend. You only need to take a day off. And see what you think of it. And you can get back to work by Monday and nobody will ever know.”

COCOROS: What year was this?

ROSS: This was 1998. And so I went over and I took that trip and it was an amazing opportunity. And I spent the whatever, 12 hours, on the airplane on the way home thinking about how I was going to talk my wife into moving to Amsterdam after we’d just moved to Denver, Colorado.

COCOROS: So how long were you overseas?

ROSS: I was there for five years. I spent three years in Amsterdam and then the last two years in Paris.

COCOROS: So compare and contrast for me the difference between US cable at the time and European cable at the time.

ROSS: Yeah, I would probably actually — if I could go back a little bit —


ROSS: Just to talk about the original experience. I think what was attractive to me when I first looked at the opportunity is this was almost like a start-up in cable. When I visited Joe and looked at the opportunity, I think there were probably — and I won’t get these numbers exactly right– but there were probably 10 or 15 Americans working in this office in downtown Amsterdam. They had just spent a few years acquiring these cable companies all across Europe. And they had about 7 million customers. And it was just a wonderful opportunity to kind of get in at the ground floor of something. Because we hadn’t gone public yet. And we were about ready to go public. And it was just this again amazing opportunity to get into something that was risky. It was definitely risky to move overseas and do all of that stuff. But it wasn’t like they didn’t have any customers. So those early days were a lot of fun, just trying to figure things out. So what’s different? Back then, this was really at the beginning of when Internet was getting going. A lot of these companies were formerly owned by the countries. It was a state-run cable network in the Netherlands. And so they were just recently privatized. The Internet was just getting going. And telephone was also still very heavily regulated. And at that point in my career I was still very much working on telephone type things. And so back then it was entrepreneurial, but these things didn’t get started by entrepreneurs. They were really started by other folks. In some cases around Europe they were entrepreneurial at their origin. So I would say that was one of the main differences. And the cultural differences, the language differences. Those are the obvious differences. But at that age for me, and at that point in my career, it just looked like incredible challenges. Fun things to do. Fun things to figure out.

COCOROS: Any big surprises along the way?

ROSS: This is going to sound funny but surprising how little I knew for how big a job I had. So that’s easy to say.

COCOROS: You can say that in retrospect.

ROSS: I think so. Now when I look back, some of the things that we were trying to figure out and things we were doing. I certainly had a lot of relevant experience, but looking back now, yeah, surprised about how little I knew. But we accomplished a lot. That was a great time in my career. And I’m so glad that my wife and I had the courage to do it.

COCOROS: Yeah, definitely. That’s a great experience. So then you went from there to Armstrong, is that correct?

ROSS: Yeah. So I had a few jobs at — UPC was the operating company for United at the time. But my last job there was actually running the French MSO, which has now become Altice. And what is Altice has become here in the US. And that’s a whole other story maybe for another day. But I was running the French MSO at the time. I was five years into it. I originally had a three-year contract and did a two-year renewal. And I was at that point where I had to decide whether this is where I wanted to be forever or for the next long period of time. My family was young. And needed to think about what’s next. So I started looking for opportunities in the US. I had a pretty big job with the French MSO thing. So I wrote letters to the CEOs of the top 20 cable companies in the US and just said basically, “I’d like to come home. And do you have any opportunities?” And my resume landed on Kirby Campbell’s desk at Armstrong at the perfect time and this opportunity was created. Feel very lucky to have been able to do that.

COCOROS: So what struck you about running a smaller cable company, having worked for much larger ones?

ROSS: Yeah, I often get asked that question. It’s usually worded like this. You were working in Paris, France. What about Butler, Pennsylvania attracted you? But it was like coming home. I had grown up part of my life in Pennsylvania, went to school at Penn State. It was a way to come home, and it felt like it was a good opportunity for my family too, being just north of Pittsburgh there, is a great part of the country to raise a family. But this was 2003 and this company had gone through a lot of change, had launched Internet, had launched digital cable. They were thinking about launching phone and that was part of my responsibilities at UPC. And I had a lot of experience with that. So that was going to be interesting for me to do that there. And just the ability to take what I learned in Europe and along the way to apply it to this company. It’s also a family-owned, privately held company. That was attractive to me. UPC became a public company while I was over there, and there are definite benefits to being private and more long-term thinking. Interviewing for the job, too, meeting the Sedwick family and Kirby Campbell also. I could see that I’d be able to work around some great people. And it just felt like a good fit, it really did. And obviously it was. I’ve been there now over 16 years.

COCOROS: And that leads me to ask you what’s been happening lately at Armstrong. I know you had an initiative called the Customer Effort Score that you championed. And can you tell us a little bit about that? Plus just what innovations Armstrong has had over the past few years.

ROSS: Yeah. We’re a funny size. We’re a little over 300,000 customers. We’re too big to be small and too small to be big. And that’s a nice size to be. You can get suppliers to pay attention to you because you’re big enough but you can still be very agile. And I think our company over the years — and our company is an old company. I’ve only been around for the last little bit of it really, 16 years when you look at our history is not that long. But we’ve always been on the front end of a lot of technology. We’re usually not first but we’re always early. And so we launched telephone long before a lot of the big guys did. And we launched Internet in 1997 before DOCSIS and all of that stuff. We’ve always been early on a lot of things. But another thing I think that’s unique about our company — and I would attribute it really to our family ownership. There’s a lot of pride in providing good customer service. It is at the core of our culture, and I think the way it ties to the family ownership piece is that family lives in the community where we operate. They go to church and the grocery store and all of that. It’s very important to all of us, all of our team, to make sure that they’re always proud of what we’re doing. And not be in a situation where those folks feel like they are being pointed at as the evil people that run the cable company.

So customer service is super important to us. We started with Net Promoter Score. Gosh, it’s probably over 10 years ago. As a means of measuring loyalty. And it’s always helped us keep our eye on how we’re doing around customer service. But most recently we’ve been looking at how we can get to the next level. So we found this thing called Customer Effort Score and we thought that it worked well with what we were doing with Net Promoter Score. So Net Promoter Score is primarily a method of measuring loyalty. What Customer Effort Score does is it helps you find parts of your business where you are maybe difficult to do business with. And the reason why that’s important is that there’s a reasonable degree of correlation between being easy to do business with and high loyalty. But there is a very large correlation between being difficult to do business with and low loyalty. So what we set out to do is try to find where we’re not easy to do business with and improve that as a means to improve our loyalty. In this business loyalty is very very important. It’s hard to get customers. If you have to replace customers that you’ve lost because of mistakes that you’ve made or being difficult to do business with it’s very expensive. And again customer service is so important to us. We just want to do a good job.

COCOROS: So who are the people in the industry that influenced you most?

ROSS: Boy. There have been so many people that have helped me along the way and have shaped what has become my leadership style or the way I do business. It might be cliche to say this, but I would start with my parents frankly. My dad had a very good work ethic and very strong work ethic and has always been nice and fair to people. Everybody likes my dad. And my mom, she was a chemist. College graduate chemist back in the early 1960s. Back then females weren’t entering technical fields like they do today. And so I feel like I get my technical abilities from my mom and my work ethic and my fundamental belief in fairness from my father. But along the way workwise in my early days I’d say Peter Lojko and Henry Gamsby from New England Telephone took an interest in me when I was young and stupid and immature. They saw something in me and invested in me and gave me opportunities. When I worked in the Boston area these guys would probably laugh if they heard that I mentioned them, but Bruce Bader and Joe Bucciarelli. These guys scared me to death when I was a young manager but I learned about being assertive and pushing things through and just relentless pursuit of pursuing your goals.

From my Time Warner days, I would say Randy Fraser in Raleigh, North Carolina, he was our division president back then. We were kind of a start-up that took a lot of time and money away from our core cable business. And he was very careful and very disciplined financially. And it used to drive my boss crazy, but I always admired it while it was happening. My boss would come in. I was working for Joe Webster then. And he would sometimes complain about Randy. And I hope these guys wouldn’t mind me saying this stuff. But I would be like, “No, Randy is right.” And Randy had an impact on me. And then with Time Warner Telecom in Denver, Colorado, Larissa Herda. She’s an amazing leader. And I just observed again that drive for success and getting the team to follow your mission. She was very clear in what she projected to the team, and that I think helped everybody. And she communicated great. Some of the things I do today I stole from her. Again, an amazing leader. In my UPC days, Gene Musselman, an incredible operator. I don’t know whether he has an oral history at The Cable Center. He should. He’s incredible at what he does, and he taught me a ton. John Reardon. Again a visionary. Learned a lot from him. And then I’d be remiss in not mentioning my current folks I work with at Armstrong. The Sedwick family. Jay Sedwick, Dru Sedwick, really believe in their people and are so supportive in what I do. And Kirby Campbell also. Just so many people. And I should write it down. So many people have helped me.

COCOROS: As a board member of NCTC, what are the biggest challenges you see facing the membership?

ROSS: Our industry is changing. And we used to be cable TV companies and that is what has built our industry, really started with that. We’re broadband companies now. And that change, it’s not something that has just happened recently with all of the over-the-top options that customers have. It’s something that’s been going on for quite some time as the financial contribution of Internet has overtaken the video contribution. That happened a while ago in most of our businesses. So I think the challenge for us is how do we evolve as well to support our members in their pursuit of broadband as they deemphasize TV, which saddens me greatly. I grew up with cable. I remember the first time I saw MTV in 1981 or 1982, and it has made my career and fed my kids and put them through college and all of that stuff. So it pains me a bit to deemphasize video. But our evolution to supporting Internet and broadband I think is key.

COCOROS: What impact do you think the cable industry has had overall on the country and on the world? What contributions do you think the industry has made?

ROSS: Oh my gosh, yeah. There’s so many. I love this industry. I happened into this industry. Even my telephone company job, as I said earlier, that’s not where I set out to be. And I feel so blessed to be part of it. So I think just in the ability to communicate. Think about back — I don’t know how old you are, I’m not going to guess. But I remember when all we had were the broadcasters and PBS. And I’m a news junkie. So much of my life has been influenced by the things I’ve seen on TV, and primarily around education and news and all of that. So there’s that element of it. People are so much more informed now than they were back when I was young. And I think cable TV has helped with that. And how that media industry has now transformed into what is now over the Internet. I think all the content that you see on the Internet, I think its origin really came from the creativity and everything around cable TV.

COCOROS: Yeah, I agree, I think you can really draw a direct line from what we grew up with with television, with broadcast, and then the cable networks came in, and then the Internet came in. And the cable industry, broadband, has been part of all of that.

ROSS: Yeah. Absolutely. And then there is just broadband. When I joined Time Warner in 1994 the Internet was not even really a thing. I remember my first Prodigy account, dialing in and doing all of that. We weren’t really thinking of broadband Internet back then. What the cable modem has done, and DSL to some degree. At that point there was parity between the products. But the cable industry I think, it didn’t invent the Internet, it was already invented, but we brought the Internet and what is now broadband to all these homes in the United States. And it’s fundamentally changed how we consume media, how we learn, the educational aspects of it. I look at our employees as they use our tuition reimbursement program. Most of them are doing it online. And that online experience in the early days was going in and reading things. And taking tests online. It’s not that way anymore. I watched one of the guys that works for me who’s getting his MBA, he’s basically sitting in the classroom with the professor across from him. And all his classmates showing up on the screen. And you raise your hand. And the professor picks you. It’s almost like being there. And broadband has made that happen. And our ability to offer these speeds and the capacity. I think all of that really comes from the entrepreneurs that created our industry.

COCOROS: What’s your outlook for the industry longer term?

ROSS: I’m bullish on it still. I believe in this industry with every fiber of my body. I think that broadband keeps on going. I don’t know what the next thing is. But frankly in ’94, going back to that, I didn’t really know that cable modems were going to come along in ’96 and ’97. So I don’t know what the next big thing is. But I think all of these folks, many who are here at The Independent Show this week, we’re going to figure it out. And it’ll go on long into the future. Count me in as a believer.

COCOROS: That’s good to hear. Anything else you want to add? Or any stories you want to tell?

ROSS: No. You’d asked me about what we’re doing around customer service at Armstrong. That’s certainly a subject. There are other things that we’re doing that I think are notable and timely also. There’s a tremendous push in the US right now to get broadband into rural communities. And because of all the things that we just talked about. It’s practically an essential service now. And there’s so many parts of the US that are still unserved or grossly underserved. And Armstrong has always operated in these rural communities. We serve communities in West Virginia and Kentucky that the big guys don’t want to serve. So we’re big believers in that. There’s a lot of things that are going on now with the federal government and states to fund broadband projects. And we’re involved with that. So we’ve got a big project right now in New York along the Southern Tier. Many folks in the US think about New York as New York City. And there’s so many parts of New York that are actually more rural than even our systems in Kentucky and West Virginia. So we have a 4,000-mile project that we’re working on right now that covers much of the Southern Tier of New York. It is being done in partnership with the state of New York, with a state broadband fund. And I think it’s really going to help the folks that live in that part of the country. I think it’s a good model. And other states are looking at it and the federal government is looking at it too. So I think there’s a lot of opportunities for our industry to partner with government, to bring broadband where it doesn’t exist today. I’d qualify it a little bit just to say that I think we have to be careful about how we do those types of things, using federal or state money to create companies that compete with businesses that were created with private funding and equity and sweat equity. I don’t think it’s —

COCOROS: Public-private partnership.

ROSS: I think it’s maybe unfair for the government to create competitors. And I believe in competition, it makes everybody better. But I think that we need to work on directing our funds to communities that don’t have anything before we use public money to fund competitive things. There are so many parts of the US, and I see them in our communities, that don’t have anything. And it’s hard to imagine a world where you don’t have connection to the Internet. I would imagine you at home have it. I know it would be a big problem in my household if we didn’t.

COCOROS: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Jeff, thank you very much for joining us. And I appreciate your time.

ROSS: Yeah, it was my pleasure, thank you.


Scott McArthur

Scott McArthur

Chief Revenue Officer


As CRO, Scott leads the company’s Sales, Partnerships and Customer divisions. With over 15 years of experience across consumer retail and technology sectors, Scott’s focus has always been to improve the customer experience through profitable interactions. Prior to joining Statflo, he managed Sales and Marketing teams at Telus, one of Canada’s largest Telecommunications companies, responsible for bringing innovative solutions to the frontline teams in the SMB and Consumer segments. During his career, he has built high performing teams and developed programs that drive engagement and revenue growth.

Camilla Formica

Camilla Formica

Chief Program Officer

Syndeo Institute at The Cable Center

Camilla Formica leads experiential programs and thought leadership to empower and embolden industry innovators. In collaboration with The Cable Center team, she delivers on the organization’s mandate to support leaders defining a new era for the industry.

Camilla’s career spans more than 30 years with deep experience cultivating strategic partnerships and creating programs that provide people with the skills and confidence to increase their impact. Previously, she served as Chief Revenue Officer and minority owner at NCTI and drove sales efforts at International Fiber Communications as Corporate Vice President, Sales. She also held leadership roles at Metromedia/WorldCom and ICG. She began her career at Metromedia Communications in Southern California.

Celebrated by the industry for her leadership and mentorship, Camilla was named to the 56th Class of Cable TV Pioneers and was recognized by The WICT Network-Rocky Mountain as Mentor of the Year in May of 2022. She supports women leaders as vice president of that organization and has led and served on NTCA and PACE advisory councils. A breast cancer survivor, Camilla is a Model of Courage for the Ford Warriors in Pink ambassadorship program. She remains a minority owner of NCTI and serves on the company’s board.

Mark Snow

Mark Snow

SVP, Consumer Marketing & Insights


Mark has been a marketer in the communications and broadband industry for 22 years with experience in marketing strategy, consumer insights, analytics, digital marketing and traditional media marketing. Mark is currently Senior Vice President & General Manager of Consumer Marketing & Insights for CTAM, the Cable Industry’s marketing association. In this role, he leads the MSO Marketing Cooperative, a consortium of the largest cable companies in the United States, Canada, and Europe, with a team focused on consumer marketing, analytics and consumer research. The team leads a number of councils focused on industry best practices and manages the National Mover Marketing Program for its U.S. members.

Prior to CTAM, Mark was VP of Marketing Strategy & Analytics for Swire, a Los Angeles-based boutique advertising agency. Before Swire, Mark was with Cox Communications for eight years, where he held roles of increasing responsibility in marketing. Before joining the Cable Industry, Mark spent seven years in the wireless industry with GTE Wireless, now a part of Verizon.

Mark holds a B.A. degree cum laude in Music History, Theory and Composition from the College of Charleston and an M.B.A. with honors from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

Charles Patti

Charles Patti

Senior Fellow & Cox Chair

Syndeo Institute at The Cable Center

Charles (Chuck) is the James M. Cox Professor of Customer Experience Management and Senior Fellow at The Cable Center and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Denver and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Professor Patti has deep international experience through consulting and academic appointments throughout Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia, with extensive experience in building, delivering, and evaluating curriculum in a wide range of settings, including doctoral seminars, MBA and other specialized postgraduate courses, undergraduate programs, and professional and corporate learning. He has special expertise in case method learning and has coordinated several case learning workshops, including a Harvard Business School case workshop. He was an early adopter of online teaching and learning technologies and developed several firsts in learning technology, including the first video case, the C-DIE format (interactive case learning), the online MBA (Otis Elevator Company), and most recently, the Virtual Grocery Environment for interactive learning.

Much of his teaching draws from his business and consulting experience, which includes clients in the higher education sector (The Cultural Precinct, University Libraries, Bureau of Publications, Athletic Departments, Colleges of Business, Law, and Arts, and the Australian Vice Chancellors’ Committee) and in the business sector (American Newspaper Publishers Association, American Telephone Advertising, Inc., Chubb Electronic Security, Gannett, Inc., McDonald’s Corp., New Zealand Telecom, and Sunsuper, Pty. Ltd.) He has built and delivered major learning programs with consulting clients that have included Aetna Insurance, British American Tobacco, Otis Elevator, Queensland State Department of Development, Siemens, Texas Instruments, and Philip Morris. His research covers marketing communication and CE management and his work includes journal articles, book chapters, and eight books on various aspects of marketing. Recently, Dr. Patti has been conducting research on the Customer Experience (CE) Maturity Curve, CE ROI, and CE metrics. He is a past winner of the Marketing Educator of the Year Award and is recipient of the James Hershner Free Enterprise Award.

Dr. Patti holds a A.B. (history and literature), an M.S. (advertising) and a Ph.D., all from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Rodrigo Duclos

Rodrigo Duclos

Chief Digital Officer

Claro Brasil

Rodrigo Modesto Duclos is graduated in Electric Engineering and holds an MBA in Strategy and Marketing where he developed a structural analysis of the Brazilian Cable industry in 1999.

Rodrigo began his career in NET Sul, a cable start-up back in 1994 and worked for different companies in the telecom industry (Claro, Promon, LogicaCMG). Since the early days he has been involved with many innovative projects in telecommunications such as the introduction of broadband in Brazil (Cable Modems), Mobile pre-paid services, SMS, Ring-tones, MMS, Mobile Internet (GPRS/Edge, WAP), Digital TV (DVB), VOD and IP Video among others.

Currently Rodrigo is leading the digital transformation projects in Claro Brasil Group (NET, Embratel and Claro) as the Chief Digital Officer.

Bob Bartelt

Bob Bartelt

Director of Customer Experience Operations


Bob Bartelt joined Midco in 2014, and in 2018 became Director of Customer Experience Operations. In this role, Bob leads the day-to-day operations of all customer support groups ensuring that Midco is providing a world-class experience at every customer touchpoint. Bob came to Midco with 10 years of industry experience as an operations manager and site leader for a business process outsourcing company.

He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in business management and currently serves as the Board President for his local youth hockey organization. Bob is also a 2016 graduate of the Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo class through the FMWF Chamber of Commerce and was named to Prairie Business magazines “40 under 40” list in 2019.

Diane Christman

Diane Christman

President and CEO

Syndeo Institute at The Cable Center

Diane Christman leads The Cable Center’s work to build on the activation of Vision 2025, the expansion of the Intrapreneurship Academy, and the investment in creating a vibrant community for resource and idea sharing through thought leadership. She will advance the Vision 2025 strategic planning initiative implementation in collaboration with The Cable Center team and board after co-leading the effort in 2020 and 2021.

Diane brings 30 years of experience building partnerships that drive growth and create value. She is respected for her diplomatic style and global perspective, valued by an industry inventing the future of high-quality video content and Gigabit-speed connectivity for residential and business customers in U.S. and international markets. Diane joined The Cable Center in 2006 as vice president, marketing and development. She was promoted to senior vice president, programs and development in 2009 and senior vice president, development and chief program officer in 2019. She became president and CEO in January of 2022.

Since she joined The Cable Center, Diane has been responsible for creation of The Center’s $10 million Chairman’s Fund endowment campaign (approaching completion); partnerships supporting The Cable Center’s Mavericks Lecture Series, Cable Mavericks Masters Forum, and Cable Center Customer Centric Consortium (C5) initiatives; increasingly successful Cable Hall of Fame events; and organizational re-branding.

Simón Tadeo

Simón Tadeo

Customer Experience Director

Telecom Argentina

Simón Tadeo is the Customer Experience Director at Telecom, the leading telecommunications company in Argentina. Telecom main brands are Personal (Mobile), Fibertel (Broadband), Arnet (ADSL Broadband) and Cablevisión (TV). For corporate customers Telecom main brands are Fibercorp & Telecom Negocios.

Simón began his career at Cablevision in 1998 and has held various positions, including Client Retention Coordinator, Business Analyst, Head of Administration & Control and Sales Integration Manager. In 2008, after the merger between Cablevision and Multicanal, Simón assumed responsibility for the creation and integration of the new business processes.

From November 2009, Simón led the Open Project—a three-year business transformation project that deployed a new CRM, billing system, workforce management, mobile, & BI systems in Cablevisión, Fibertel and Fibercorp. For the next three years, Simón focused on improving customer experience for Cablevisión – Fibertel, fostering Innovation across the company and leading a cross company Project Management Team. From June 2016 until January 2018, Simón was responsible for the leadership of the Sales & Customer Care management teams, which included accountability for sales and churn, contact centers, digital channels, retail stores, business processes and customer insights.

In February 2018, following the merger of Telecom and Cablevision, Simón was appointed the Customer Experience Director of the newly-formed company, Telecom Argentina.

Simón holds a degree in Business Administration from the UCA (University Católica Argentina) and studies in Marketing at UCES (University of Business and Social Sciences).

Maureen Moore

Maureen Moore

Chief Customer Experience Officer


In her current position, Maureen is responsible for the overall customer experience strategy of GCI. With more than 20 years of telecom experience, she previously served as Vice President of Consumer Services, with marketing and operations responsibility for GCI’s consumer products, including wireless, Internet, cable TV, and wireline services. She also served on the Alaska Broadband Task Force from 2011-2014 which produced a plan for accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband technology across Alaska. She graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Business Administration, double majoring in Finance and Management. Maureen is currently based out of Anchorage, Alaska.

Kimberly Gibson

Kimberly Gibson

Sr. Director Customer Operations

Cable ONE/Sparklight

Kimberly Gibson is the Senior Director of Customer Operations. As a key member of the Customer Operations Team, she is responsible for aligning strategy with company goals and objectives, testing and implementation of solutions and best practices to improve the customer experience across Cable ONE/Sparklight’s 42 systems and three inbound call centers. Kim has responsibilities for over 300 Cable ONE/Sparklight associates.

She joined Cable ONE/Sparklight in 2004 as Office Manager of Cable ONE/Sparklight’s technical Solution Center. In 2005, she was promoted to General Manager, assuming full responsibility for the day-to-day activities of the 150-seat center currently averaging 88,000 calls a month. Kim was promoted in August 2005 to the General Manager of Cable ONE/Sparklight’s national inbound Customer Care call center and was responsible for all aspects of the center’s daily operation, including but not limited to, strategy planning, leadership coaching and metric achievement. In January 2008, Kim was promoted to Director of Virtual Operations responsible for the operations of the Virtual Call centers in Cable ONE/Sparklight’s local markets.

Prior to joining the Cable ONE/Sparklight leadership team, Kim gained vast experience in the communications industry where she began her career with Qwest Communications in 1991. After advancing to a Network Operations Supervisor position in 1997, her quality focus resulted in a promotion to Network Operations Manager for Qwest’s Arizona dispatch centers.

Kimberly graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a B.S. in Hospitality Management and earned an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix.

Suzanne Foy

Suzanne Foy

VP, Customer Care Partner Management Strategy and Cox Business Support

Cox Communications

Suzanne leads Cox customer care outsource partner management, strategy, program management and Cox business customer support. Previous roles include customer support, billing and payment experiences across call center and online channels, customer-focused process standardization, user-focused knowledge management, communications and agent education.

Eric Burton

Eric Burton

Vice President, Tools, Technology, and Quality


Eric Burton is Vice President, Tools, Technology, and Quality overseeing desktop tools, customer facing support tools and content, ITGs and troubleshooting solutions, quality, performance management, and coaching. He plays an important role in developing Customer Service strategy at Comcast, working closely with his peers across the Divisions, National COEs, and Headquarters. Eric is squarely focused on Comcast’s goal to make the customer experience the best product, through ensuring that employees and customers have the best possible tools, and that quality and coaching programs reinforce and support that goal. Eric is focused on identifying winning behaviors that will help build a culture of Ownership at all levels of the organization.

Prior to joining Comcast, Eric was Group Vice President, Care Shared Services at Time Warner Cable. In that role, Eric was responsible for outsourced operations, alternative care channels, reporting and analytics, care technology, quality and customer perspective, and voice operations. Eric also held a variety of executive Operations and Technology leadership positions at Time Warner Cable, and having worked his way up through the ranks has extensive front-line leadership experience as well.

Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, is a graduate of the Tuck School of Business Executive Program, and completed the CTAM Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

He resides in his native Southern California with his wife and two daughters and enjoys time with family, trail running, mountain-biking, and generally being outdoors as much as possible.

Wyatt Barnett

Wyatt Barnett

Senior Director, Industry and Association Affairs

NCTA - The Internet & Television Association

Wyatt Barnett serves as Senior Director, Technology Enablement in NCTA’s Creative Services department. He helps the association with creative technical solutions while concurrently serving as lead curator and tour guide for NCTA’s recently renovated Public Advocacy Space.

Wyatt has worked at NCTA in a variety of technology roles since joining the association in 2000. He worked on the team that crafted the annual trade show – The Cable Show and later INTX – for over a decade, successfully delivering and scaling industry exhibits and stage presentations for high-profile audiences.

Rob Stoddard

Robert (Rob) Stoddard


NCTA - The Internet & Television Association

Following a career in journalism and government, Rob Stoddard worked for more than three decades in senior positions in communications, public relations, and public affairs serving the cable industry.

Rob’s early career found him working as a news assistant at the Washington, DC, bureau of ABC Radio, followed by stints as a news director and correspondent for radio stations in Keene, NH and Springfield, MA. He went on to work as a desk editor and regional executive for United Press International in Boston, before joining the staff of U.S. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-KS) as Press Secretary in Washington, DC. His cable career began as Washington Bureau Chief for Cable TV Business Magazine and other telecommunications and defense industry trade publications of Denver-based Cardiff Publishing Company. From there he moved on to lead public relations and corporate communications for the Cable Telecommunications Association (CATA), Continental Cablevision, MediaOne, and AT&T Broadband, then the largest cable multiple system operator in the United States. Rob’s career was capped by a 20-year run with what was then the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) as Senior Vice President for Communications & Public Affairs. After the association changed its name to NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, Rob became Senior Vice President for Industry & Association Affairs, retiring in January 2022.

Rob is a member of the Cable Television Pioneers as well as the Virginia Cable Hall of Fame. He’s been recognized with major diversity awards from the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and the Washington, DC / Baltimore Chapter of The WICT Network. He also has been inducted into the PRNews Hall of Fame. He proudly represented NCTA as a member of the industry Customer Care Committee (now C5) for nearly 20 years, from its inception at NCTA through the stewardship of CTAM and finally its permanent home at The Cable Center. In recognition of his meritorious service to The Cable Center and C5, Rob was conferred as a C5 Emeritus in 2022.

Gibbs Jones

Gibbs Jones

C5 Emeritus
Owner (Spartanburg)

ARCpoint Labs

Gibbs is a customer experience executive with over 25 years of customer experience leadership and expertise in the design, optimization and implementation of customer contact operations. Gibbs has combined skill in the human and technology side of customer contact operations, including the procurement and installation of ACD equipment, workforce management and CRM systems. He has directed the start-up of multiple customer contact operations, with industry expertise in consumer electronics, communications, retail, manufacturing, financial services, banking, and direct sales.

Gibbs has over ten years experience in the Cable Industry. Most recently Gibbs was the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Suddenlink Communications. Gibbs worked with Suddenlink’s six regional senior vice presidents and the managers of its customer-contact call centers in Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia to measure and improve Customer Satisfaction through transactional and relationship Net Promoter Programs and JD Power Research Studies.

Gibbs was also responsible for the company’s social media strategy where he made sure Suddenlink was active in the major social networking channels and found new ways to improve customer loyalty in this space.

Currently Gibbs owns two ARCpoint Labs locations. ARCpoint is a leader in the B to C and B to B drug and alcohol testing industry. Additionally, Gibbs has a consulting practice that helps companies improve their customer experience.

Gibbs is a Certified Net Promoter® Associate and has been a speaker at various conferences and is frequently called upon to discuss considerations related to measuring and improving the customer experience, exceptional contact center management, and optimizing the employee experience.


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