Board of Directors

Executive Committee


ROBERT TAYLOR, Chairman
Senior Advisor, Duff & Phelps

Mr. Taylor has had extensive experience in the finance and telecommunications industry, including positions with Duff & Phelps/Chanin Capital Partners, where he orchestrated financial restructuring of over $10B in debt and securities for competitive local exchange carriers, wireless carriers, cable TV, and international satellite operators; with Teleguam Holdings, LLC, as the founder, CEO, chairman and director, where he was challenged to privatize this government-owned $150M telephone services provider, identifying new business development, market growth; and with many other items of experience.

CHARLES BENTON, Vice Chairman

Chairman, The Benton Foundation

Since 1981 Charles Benton has served as Chairman of the Benton Foundation. Its mission is to articulate a public interest vision for the digital age and to demonstrate the value of communications by solving social problems. Among its current program priorities are projects on Universal Broadband/Universal Service, Community Media/Community Development, and Digital Media Access/Inclusion. He graduated from Yale University, and did post graduate work at Northwestern University. In 1978, President Carter appointed Charles as chairman of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Mr. Benton was also a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters.

ANTHONY LICATA, Treasurer

Chief Operating Officer 
Shefsky & Froelich, Attorneys at Law 

Anthony R. Licata joined the firm of Shefsky & Froelich in 1998, and is currently is Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all day-to-day management of the firm. He serves as the Department Head for the firm’s Real Estate Group, and his practice focuses on major commercial real estate transactions and on private equity venture capital matters. Tony entered the practice of law as an associate with Sidley & Austin in 1979, in the area of real estate. In 1984, he became Vice President and General Counsel of The Broadacre Companies, a real estate developer. In 1989 Tony became the President of Broadacre Partners, Inc., with responsibility for the management of the North Pier Chicago mixed-use development. In 1992, he returned to Sidley & Austin as a partner, before joining Shefsky & Froelich in 1995.

PAT SCHOU, Secretary
Executive Director, Illnois Critical Access Hospital Network 

Pat Schou is Executive Director of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network, an organization that strengthens Illinois critical access hospitals, thereby ensuring access to appropriate health care services for rural residents. The group is strongly focused on leveraging broadband technologies for the improvement of medical care in Illinois.  

SAMME THOMPSON, Chairman, Finance and Audit Committee
President, Telit Associates, Inc.

Mr. Thompson is a Chicago resident who has a long and distinguished history of service in executive level positions in the telecommunications industry. He is currently president of Telit Associates, Inc., a financial and strategic advisory firm. He formerly served as Senior Vice President and Director of Strategy and Corporate Development with Motorola. He has also served in various positions with Kidder Peabody, AT&T, and McKinsey and Company.


Board Members

BRUCE MONTGOMERY
Chief Executive Officer
Technology Access Television


Bruce Montgomery is the CEO of Technology Access Television (TATV.org) and hosts the longest running local technology-based television show in Chicago. He is Director and Co-Founder of the Chicago New Media Summit (CNMS08), a member of the Board of the Illinois Technology Association, and a member of the Mayor Dailey’s Council on Technology Advisors (MCTA). Bruce has also been a regular participant and contributor to the Governor’s Broadband Deployment Council since its inception in 2005. He is producer and host of “Critics in Black”, a weekly entertainment review TV talk show that covers film video, music and nightlife in Chicago and around the world.

KAREN PONCIN
Operations Manager 
Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs


Karen Poncin is operations manager at Western Illinois University’s Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs. She has a MBA and a BA in Sociology from Western Illinois University. In 2007, She co-coordinated the Rural Telecommunications Congress national conference, which focused on broadband deployment as a means for rural economic development. Poncin joined the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs in May 2002. Prior to that she served as Assistant Dean of Instruction for Spoon River College.

EZEQUIEL FLORES
Managing Principal
Flying Food Concessions LLC

Zeke is the Managing Principal of Flying Food Concessions LLC. Founded in 2010 and an ACDBE-certified business, he successfully manages all operations of existing concessions and plans for future ventures. He has an impressive track-record that includes Big Five accounting firms and Sara Lee, where he oversaw projects in 14 countries and managed a $4.2 billion spin-off. In 2006, Flores founded LeadRock, a real estate development and brokerage company. LeadRock concentrated on public-private partnerships.


ELAINE LOCKWOOD BEAN
Senior Director of the Learning Market
LifeStructures Chicago

Elaine Lockwood Bean serves as Senior Director of the Learning Market in the BSA LifeStructures Chicago office. A licensed architect, she brings more than 20 years of experience in the design and construction industry. This role allows her to lead project teams that design spaces that spark innovation and collaboration where learning takes place.  Elaine was formerly an Associate Vice President for Facilities Services at the University of Chicago. Elaine earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley and Masters of Art in architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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