Leadership

Eric Haskin – President/CEO

Eric literally grew up in the Telephone Company. When he was younger, the Company was actually located on the back porch of the house, until the new office was built north of the village in the early 1960’s. Eric was very active in the Boy Scouts and obtained the rank of Eagle Scout the highest rank in scouting. His Grandfather, Alton E. Farr, started the Scout troop in Waitsfield. While in his last two years of High School, Eric worked as a technician and drove an installer’s van so he could repair troubles after school.

After Graduating from Harwood Union High School in 1979, Eric moved to Casper, Wyoming and graduated from the Certified Welding and Trade School. Not long after, Eric enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed aboard the USS Constellation (CV-64) an aircraft carrier based on Coronado Island. Upon his discharge in 1982, Eric moved back to Waitsfield and returned to the telephone company. Over the years, he has held several positions within the company and is currently in charge of the network, buildings, fleet, energy, warehousing and safety. Eric is a member of the Company Board of Directors and serves as Corporate Secretary.

In his spare time, Eric teaches Hunter Education, enjoys boating on Lake Champlain, plays golf and continues to be active in the Waitsfield-Fayston Volunteer Fire Department. Eric was awarded the Community Service Award by the Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association (ITPA) in 2001 and the 2015 Vermont Governor’s Service Award, for lifetime of service.

Jim Lavoie – Vice President of Information Systems

Jim Lavoie joined Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom in 1996 as the Information Systems Administrator. Today he is the Vice President of Information Systems and is responsible for all aspects of Information Systems technology including Customer Care, Billing, Financial, and Data Access systems. He is also chiefly responsible for maintaining the corporate network and Green Mountain Access Internet services.

Prior to his arrival, he spent several years with Digital Equipment Corporation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont holding positions in Purchasing, Materials, and Information Systems Management. He has extensive project management experience with business critical software applications including Managed Healthcare, Production and Inventory Control, and Telecommunications systems.

Jim received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Operations Management from the University of Vermont in 1982. He has extensive credits in Computer Sciences from Saint Michael’s College and is certified in Production and Inventory Management by the American Production and Inventory Control Society.

Roger Nishi – Vice President of Industry Relations

Roger is heavily involved with the regulatory and legislative activities of the Company, as well as in accounting. He is also involved with strategic planning, new product development, rate and tariffs, and the pricing of various services. He is the current President of the Telephone Association of Vermont (TAV) and an Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) Board of Director serving as its 1st Vice Chairman. He currently participates on various industry committees dealing with Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation at the national, regional and state level and is a member of the National Exchange Carrier Association’s (NECA) cost issues task group. He is a past Telephone Association of New England (TANE) Board of Director and past chairman of its L&R committee. Prior to coming to Vermont, Roger was a senior manager with the telecommunications consulting group at the accounting firm of Ernst & Young. Roger holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Central Washington University.

Kurt Gruendling – Vice President of Marketing and Business Development

Kurt joined Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) in June of 1996.  While at WCVT, he has been responsible for all facets of marketing, public relations, strategic planning, and business development activities.  Kurt holds a Bachelor of Science from S.U.N.Y. Plattsburgh, and a MBA from Monmouth University.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and is a past Board member of the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as past president of the Chambers Valley Economic Development Committee.  Kurt currently serves on the Marketing and Public Relations Committee of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) and is past Chairman of the Marketing Committee for the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO).  He is also a past board member and past president of the Vermont Telecom Advancement Center, and taught business courses at the Community College of Vermont for more than 10-years.

Lee Cheney – Vice President of Network Operations

Lee joined Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) in 1994 and brings over 30 years of experience to the telecommunication industry. Throughout his telephony career, Lee has been appointed to progressively more responsible positions culminating in his promotion to Network Manager in August 2016 and to his current position as Vice President of Network Operations in 2018.

Lee’s extensive knowledge of the telecommunications industry, along with his varied skill set, continues to be an asset to the organization. Lee manages all network operational functions for WCVT. He is responsible for all aspects of strategic planning and decision making to ensure proper network operation and reliability.

Lee holds an Associates of Occupational Studies in Electronic Drafting from S.U.N.Y. Delhi. He currently serves on the Technical committee for TANE as well as past Secretary of the Siemens Northeast User Group.  Lee was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development to perform in-house engineering services relating to design, installation, inspection and closeout of Central Office/Network equipment for the WCVT Broadband Initiative Program Award.