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.

 

Marc Ganzi

President and CEO

Digital Bridge (formerly Colony Capital)

Marc C. Ganzi is President and Chief Executive Officer of Colony Capital, Inc. (NYSE: CLNY). Colony Capital is a leading global investment firm with a heritage of identifying and capitalizing on key secular trends in real estate. The Company manages an approximately $52 billion portfolio of real assets on behalf of its shareholders and limited partners, including $30 billion in digital real estate investments through Digital Colony, its digital infrastructure platform. Prior to becoming President and Chief Executive Officer of Colony Capital & Chief Executive Officer of Digital Colony, Mr. Ganzi founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Digital Bridge Holdings, a leading global investor and owner of mobile and internet infrastructure that was acquired by Colony Capital in July 2019 as part of Colony’s transformation to become the premier platform for digital infrastructure and real estate investment. At the time of the acquisition, Digital Bridge managed nearly $15.0 billion of global digital infrastrcture assets, directly and through Digital Colony Partners. In conjunction with the acquisition, Mr. Ganzi became CEO-Elect of Colony Capital.

Prior to Digital Bridge, Mr. Ganzi founded Global Tower Partners (“GTP”) in 2003, which grew to become one of the largest privately-owned tower companies in the U.S. under his leadership before being acquired by American Tower Corporation in 2013 for $4.8 billion. At GTP, Mr. Ganzi executed a series of strategic acquisitions, build-to-suit agreements with wireless carriers and financings in the credit markets.

Prior to the formation of GTP, Mr. Ganzi worked as a consulting partner for DB Capital Partners from 2000 to 2002 where he oversaw the institution’s investments in the Latin American tower sector. Before joining DB Capital, Mr. Ganzi co-founded and served as President of Apex Site Management, one of the largest third-party managers of wireless and wireline communication sites in the United States. In 2000, Apex merged with SpectraSite Communications to create one of the largest telecommunications site portfolios in the United States at the time. 

 

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.