Keynote Speakers

Victor H. (Hu) Meena, Jr.

Chairman and CEO

C Spire

Hu Meena serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mississippi-based C Spire – one of the nation’s largest providers of broadband connectivity and managed and cloud services. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the brand and setting the vision for the company.

Prior to joining the company, Meena served as the general manager of Southland Systems of Mississippi, Inc., a long-distance telecommunications service provider.  In 1987, he became the general manager for C Spire’s (then known as Cellular South) first market on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and was responsible for the company’s start up in February of 1988.  In 1990, Meena was promoted to vice president of operations and development.  In 1997, he was named president of Cellular South, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Telapex, Inc. Under his leadership, the company has grown to become the largest privately held wireless carrier and the sixth largest carrier in the nation. Meena also led the start-up of Telepak Networks, Inc., a fiber optic based broadband networking company that today operates as C Spire Fiber and has served as a catalyst for the company’s geographic expansion over the last decade.

C Spire’s reach grew significantly in 2018 through the acquisition of Birmingham-based TekLinks.  This strategic move greatly expanded the company’s capabilities in cloud and managed services, and it signaled C Spire’s focus on accelerating its growth in innovative voice, data, IT and cloud solutions for businesses across its footprint and around the country. Just over twenty-four months later, in 2020, C Spire acquired Harbor Communications, LLC, expanding C Spire’s fiber-optic network and its ability to offer all-fiber voice and data services to consumers and businesses on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  The Harbor acquisition further solidified C Spire’s efforts to become the dominant market player in Alabama and the Southeast region.

Meena and C Spire have received numerous awards. In 2013, the Mississippi Business Journal named C Spire the Business of the Year and Meena the Business Person of the Year for the company’s cloud services and Internet technology initiatives in Mississippi. Meena received the 2014 “Mississippian of the Year” award from the Jackson chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals for technology leadership and advocacy in his home state.

 

David Pistacchio

Operating Partner

DigitalBridge

Dave Pistacchio is an Operating Partner at DigitalBridge and Chairman of Beanfield Metroconnect, working with the investment team to evaluate, manage and operate new digital infrastructure investments, with a specific focus on fiber assets. With over 35 years in leadership positions in the telecommunication and media industries focusing on technology and operations, Mr. Pistacchio has built a reputation as a experienced executive who can lead organizations to operational excellence.

Prior to joining DigitalBridge, Mr. Pistacchio served as President at Cablevision Lightpath Inc., a New York based $375 million telecom company, where he led the company through twelve years of significant growth; growing revenue, earnings, and free cash flow, while achieving industry recognition for innovation and operational excellence.

Prior to that, at Cablevision Systems Corporation, a $17 billion publicly traded media company, Mr. Pistacchio built and ran a large multi-faceted Information Technology organization that supported rapid growth in its Cable Television, Telecom, Media, Sports, Arena, Retail and Theater businesses. While there, he was responsible for delivering many industry “firsts” by effectively applying technology to business challenges.

In addition to his advisory role with DigitalBridge, Mr. Pistacchio serves on the Board of Directors of Zayo Group Holdings, Aptum Technologies, Beanfield Metroconnect (where he serves as Executive Chairman) and Storyleaders LLC.

Tony Thomas

President and CEO

Windstream

Tony Thomas is president and chief executive officer of Windstream. He was appointed to the position in December 2014. Thomas has more than 20 years’ experience in the communications industry. He was instrumental in the development of Windstream’s REIT spinoff and served as president of real estate investment trust operations at Windstream from October to December 2014.

Thomas served as the chief financial officer for Windstream from August 2009 through September 2014. During his five-year tenure as CFO, Thomas played an integral role in Windstream’s expansion by completing seven acquisitions totaling more than $5.6 billion in transaction value. In addition, Thomas has deep capital market expertise, having led almost $10 billion in debt transactions.

Thomas joined Windstream as controller following the spinoff from Alltel Corp. He held a variety of financial and operational leadership roles at Alltel after joining the company when it merged with 360 Communications in 1998. Before entering the communications industry, he was with Ernst & Young in the telecom practice. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest University and a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois.