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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 various positions within the company including roles in leadership, the network, buildings, fleet, energy, warehousing and safety.

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 VP of Industry Relations at Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom and has over 36 years of industry experience. Roger currently serves on the board of directors for the Telecom Insurance Group and is an active member of NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association’s Industry and Regulatory Policy committee and NECA’s Cost Issues Task Group. He is the past president of the Telephone Association of New England and former chairman of NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association’s Industry and Regulatory Policy committee. In 2007, he had the honor of serving as the Chairman of the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO), after several years of active involvement on the Board. In 2012 and 2013, Roger was an integral member of the team dealing with the merger of NTCA and OPASTCO into one common national organization. Locally, Roger is a Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Director and is a past treasurer and current secretary.

Roger is a member of the company’s senior leadership team and is actively involved in many aspects of operations. Roger represents the company’s interest on regulatory and political issues at both the state and federal level. He is also involved with strategic planning, new product development, rate and tariffs, and the pricing of various services. Throughout his career, he has chaired and participated on numerous industry committees representing the interests of small rural companies, specifically Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation at the national, regional and state levels. Roger has testified before the Vermont State Legislature and Public Service Board, State Members of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service and Congress. 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 an MBA from Monmouth University. He currently serves on the Executive Board of Directors and is the immediate past Board Chair of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and is a past Board Director 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 Committee of NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association where he served as Committee Chair and currently serves as Vice Chair of NTCA’s Foundation For Rural Service Board of Directors. In addition, he is past chair 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.