- Member Impact
- Rural Connect
NRTC is guided by an experienced leadership team well versed in technology, including smart grid, broadband, wireless and video. More importantly, they drive NRTC’s member-driven attitude.
Tim Bryan serves as the Chief Executive Officer of NRTC. Prior to NRTC, Bryan served as the Chief Executive Officer of ICO Global Communications, a next generation satellite and terrestrial wireless company; the domestic portion of ICO was sold to DISH Networks for $1.4 billion. Prior to ICO, Bryan served as the Chief Financial Officer of Craig McCaw’s Eagle River Holdings. Bryan also served as the President of United Pan Europe Communications (UPC)(now Liberty Global) which was the largest private cable/telecom provider in Europe and as Chief Financial Officer of UnitedGlobalCom, also now Liberty Global. Before that Bryan was the Vice President/Finance and Treasurer of Jones Financial Group and Jones Intercable (now part of Comcast), at the time one of the ten largest domestic cable television operators. Bryan began his career in banking, including as the Vice President and Manager of the Communications Division at NationsBank Corporation (now Bank of America).
Bryan has served on the Board of Directors of Nextel Communications, Clearwire Communications, OpenTV (a Liberty Media affiliate), Telekabel, ICO, A2000, and UPC. He has served on the Boards of the Samaritan Institute and the Jekyll Island Foundation as well. From August 2012 to August 2015 Bryan served on the Board of Directors of FirstNet (a national wireless network to be constructed for use by the nation’s first responders) after appointment by the Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce. He chaired the Finance Committee of the Board for that FirstNet. Bryan currently serves on the Board of Directors (and is a member of the Audit Committee) of Arris Group, a $5 billion public company engaged in the sale of telecommunications equipment and services to the broadband industries on a global basis.
Bryan graduated from Duke University in 1983 and is married with three children.
Greg Santoro is chief marketing and strategy officer for NRTC where he is responsible for strategy, marketing, business development, and IT. He joined NRTC from NII Holdings where he was responsible for corporate marketing and branding, product and device development, and strategic planning for a Latin American wireless company.
Santoro has spent his career in the telecommunications and computer industries building and managing innovative new products and services holding senior positions at Nextel, Sprint, and Bellsouth.net.
Santoro has an MBA and MS in Engineering Management from Northwestern University, and a BS in computer science from the University of Vermont.
All of NRTC’s legal functions flow through Bob Fuhrer, including transaction details, contract negotiations, litigation and corporate governance. His chief mission: aggregating the purchasing power of NRTC members to get the best terms possible as they invest in broadband Internet, smart grid, multichannel video and other telecommunications businesses. Fuhrer has been leading or assisting in all NRTC legal activities since joining the cooperative in June 2000 as associate general counsel. He held the title deputy general counsel from 2004 until becoming general counsel in 2011.
Fuhrer spent five years with Bell Canada International, Chantilly, VA, before joining NRTC. As senior corporate counsel for the largest Canadian telecommunications company, he handled U.S.-related legal work for equipment company Nortel, then a Bell Canada International subsidiary, as well as for other Bell Canada products and services. Earlier, he worked for General Physics Corp., a professional services company/defense contractor in Columbia, MD, and served as an associate in a Washington, DC, law firm.
He graduated from The State University of New York, Albany, in 1987, and completed work at the Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC, in 1990. He also holds a degree from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in DC. Fuhrer is married with two daughters, and enjoys travel, skiing and scuba diving.
Terry Gilmore works every day with NRTC’s leaders on overseeing the financial results of NRTC, including planning for future distribution of existing products and new product development. Current priorities include improving marketing and communications activities covering all NRTC products.
Gilmore joined NRTC in April 1996 as manager of member accounting. In that position, he oversaw accounting for NRTC’s DBS service, including the establishment of call-in accounting customer service, member accounting training and automated accounting tools. He quickly rose to director, accounting and billing, and by 2000, NRTC named him VP and controller.
He was a good fit for NRTC from the beginning because he had worked for a variety of service-based organizations in different regions of the country. Gilmore was assistant controller and accounting manager for Pioneer Technologies, an electronics company in Gaithersburg, MD, before coming to NRTC. Earlier, he held similar positions for Fleming Foods in San Antonio, TX, and the Santa Fe Railroad in Topeka, KS.
Gilmore is a 1978 graduate of Texas A&M, College Station, with a Bachelor of Business and Accounting degree. He is also a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager. Gilmore is married and has a grown son and daughter who both have engineering degrees. He often commutes to work on a bicycle and relaxes by reading, playing golf and playing with his grandsons.
Edward Drew, NRTC’s vice president of Utility Solutions, develops the strategic business direction for the Utility Solutions division, including advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and smart-grid technologies. Drew’s knowledge and experience help boost NRTC’s ability to serve its electric cooperative members engaged in deploying the smart grid and other mission-critical products and services.
Drew has decades of experience in the electric utility market and telecommunications industry. Prior to joining NRTC, Drew served as director of the National Utility Market Development for Kore Telematics and held positions with Corporate Systems Engineering, LLC, CURRENT Group, LLC, Alcatel and Texas Instruments Semiconductors. In addition, he served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Nuclear Submarine Force.
Drew earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD and is a qualifed Nuclear Propulsion plant Engineer.
Jason McGinnis is president of NeoNova. He has more than 20 years of experience in operations, with a commitment to quality customer support, efficient IT operations and effective security management.
Prior to NeoNova, he worked for Perimeter E-Security in an operations role preceded by operations roles at IBM, American Express, and Wal-Mart. He holds a BS in Business Management from Nova Southeastern University and an MS in Management Information Systems from Florida International University.
McGinnis is an avid word game enthusiast and enjoys skydiving.
Eric Freesmeier is the President and CEO of Pulse Broadband LLC, a Broadband Communities Fiber-to-the-Home Top 100 company. Pulse Broadband works with providers in rural America to design, build and operate gigabit fiber and FTTH broadband networks.
Prior to Pulse Broadband, Freesmeier was the Chief Administrative Officer for Broadstripe, a cable and telecommunications company and also ran the company’s Mid-Atlantic Region. Before joining Broadstripe, he was President/Founder of Deepwater Enterprises, which advised and helped fund startup and emerging businesses across multiple industries. At Deepwater, Freesmeier also provided consulting services to large companies including Bright House Networks and UniGroup, parent company of United Van Lines. Before that, Freesmeier was Senior VP, Human Resources and Administration, for Charter Communications.
Freesmeier has over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications, retail and direct response marketing industries. He holds BS degrees in Marketing and Industrial Relations from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Management Degree in finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Curtis Knobloch, who was one of the founding members of Telispire in 2000, has over 25 years experience in the wireless telecom industry. His management and operational experience includes wireless voice and data, video, long distance, paging and internet services.
He has chaired several committees and participated on numerous panel discussions regarding industry challenges and opportunities. Knobloch is a sought-out speaker on key industry trends and innovations.
He holds a BBA from Midwestern State University and an MBA from the University of North Texas.