Wireless Tech & Policy Summit Speakers and Moderators


Anna GomezAnna M. Gomez
Title: FCC Commissioner
Presenting: Keynote - 1:05p to 1:25p

The Honorable Commissioner Anna M. Gomez is the first Latina-American to be confirmed to the FCC in over two decades.  Commissioner Gomez is committed to ensuring we have a vibrant, strong, competitive telecommunications and media marketplace that promotes U.S. economic prosperity and security while also meeting the needs of all consumers.   
Commissioner Gomez brings over 30 years of public and private sector experience in domestic and international communications law and policy to her position. She previously led U.S. preparations for the International Telecommunication Union World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 for the State Department.  Commissioner Gomez has held numerous leadership roles in the federal government, including Deputy Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Deputy Chief of the FCC’s International Bureau, and as Senior Legal Advisor to then-Chairman William E. Kennard.   
Born in Orlando, Florida, Commissioner Gomez spent her childhood in Bogota, Colombia before her family relocated to New Jersey.  Commissioner Gomez earned her B.A. in Pre-Law from Pennsylvania State University and her J.D. from George Washington University Law School. 

Jim Bugel
President, FirstNet and Public Safety
Company: AT&T
Presenting: Keynote - Fireside Chat 9:05a to 9:25a

For over 20 years at AT&T, Jim has provided cutting-edge communication tools and solutions to first responders across the nation through the FirstNet network, a nationwide mobile broadband network. He's worked with his team at AT&T to support legislation to create the First Responders Network Authority. In 2017, he and his team played a pivotal role in winning a 25-year contract with the FirstNet network to build a network dedicated to public safety needs. As President of the FirstNet program at AT&T, he's committed to building upon our partnership with the First Responder Network Authority and continue delivering America's best and highest-performing public safety network. These tools provide life-saving connectivity for public safety heroes, from hurricane recovery in Florida to wildfire response on the West Coast.

Lori Alhadeff
Company: Make Our Schools Safe
Presenting: Keynote - 9:25a to 9:40a

Lori Alhadeff was raised in New Jersey and lived there for over thirty eight years. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education and a Master of Arts in Education from Gratz College.

She is a former K-12 Health and Physical Education teacher. Lori obtained her certification in Health and Physical Education in the State of New Jersey and her certification in Health and Physical Education in the State of New York. She was employed four years at Union Township School in Hampton, New Jersey where she coached volleyball, cheerleading and softball. She also has experience as a Health & Physical Education teacher for children with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities at Windward School.

For fourteen years, Lori was a stay at home mom of her three children. When her daughter, Alyssa, was tragically killed at Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, she founded Make Our Schools Safe, dedicated to protecting students and teachers at school. She founded the 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization with her husband of 17 years, Dr. Ilan Alhadeff, and became a school safety advocate. In 2018, she was elected to The School Board of Broward County, Florida and currently serves as District 4 Board Member. She is also a fundraising volunteer for the Parkland Soccer Club.


Seth Buechley
Title: CEO, Cathedral Consulting. Founder, Safer Buildings Coalition
Company:  | SBC, Cathedral Holdings, Cathedral Partners
Presenting: Moderator

Seth Buechley is a serial-entrepreneur and business founder focused on connecting high-potential leaders with the ideas, resources, and people they need to grow their enterprise and have lasting leadership impact.

Currently he serves as Chairman and CEO of Cathedral Consulting (www.cathedralconsulting.com) leading a team of consultants focused on providing financial systems, strategy, and merger & acquisition support to emerging businesses and non-profit under $20M in sales.

In his previous role as President of SOLiD USA, Seth led the company to annual sales of nearly $60 million before selling to firm to a venture partner. SOLiD's technology delivered cellular and public safety radio coverage to some of the most recognized venues in America, including the Empire State Building, the NY Subway, Moscone Center, and Daytona International Speedway.

A recognized TEDx and keynote speaker, Seth loves to deliver motivational and leadership training to audiences across the U.S.

Seth is the founder of the Safer Buildings Coalition (www.saferbuildings.org), a co-founder of Umpqua Strong (www.umpquastrong.org), and a member of Young President Organization (YPO) (www.ypo.org).

John Chiaramonte
Title: President
Organization: Mission Critical Partners

John is president of Mission Critical Partners’ consulting business where he leads more than 80 dedicated and specialized public safety professionals in improving our clients’ emergency response outcomes. An emergency communication, 911 and Next Generation 911 (NG911) SME and executive leader, John brings three decades of experience in mission-critical industries.

John has expertise in large-scale and complex public safety systems consulting and implementation. Prior to joining MCP, he worked at Booz Allen Hamilton and Northrup Grumman. His career began as a 911 telecommunicator and volunteer first responder. He has served numerous state and local governments, as well as federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Steve Devine
Title: Chief Technology Officer
Organization: APCO

Stephen Devine is the Chief Technology Officer for APCO International. As CTO, Mr. Devine leads APCO efforts related to Next Generation 9-1-1, Cybersecurity, Standards Development, Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) and other Emerging Technologies. He is further responsible for developing new business strategies related to all APCO technical services.

Mr. Devine has nearly 40 years of experience in public safety communications spanning from dispatch operations, spectrum management, Project 25 and LTE/5G technologies. His longtime focus has been to ensure the technologies available to public safety agencies meet the operational needs of First Responders and Emergency Communications Centers while continually working to introduce improved technologies, solutions and services. He is a Life Member of APCO and committed to APCO’s success and affirming its role as a leader in advocating next generation public safety communications capabilities.

Mark Fletcher
Title: Vice President of Public Safety
Organization: 911Inform

Since 1980, “Fletch” has contributed in various roles in the Public Safety / Telecommunications industry. Initially serving as a Police Dispatcher and Special Officer for several years in New Jersey, with the remainder of his career telecom related. As a resident technician, maintaining large private corporate voice networks, he navigated the Y2K remediation and delivered the transition from TDM to VoIP, SIP; and then WebRTC. Working with the Office of the CTO at Nortel and Avaya, Fletch holds 14 US Patents focusing on collecting and delivering NG911 additional data to PSAPs, as well as multimedia call handling functionality for emergency call takers.

Recognized for his customer advocacy, and his work on Public Safety Standards, he was honored by the NG911 Institute in 2013, being awarded the Industry/Technology Professional Private Sector Award by Congress. In 2015 he received the NENA President’s Award for his work on Kari’s Law, and on February 16, 2018, with the Hunt family, was in the Oval Office to witness the President’s signing of the Kari’s Law Act of 2017, authored by him, into the law of the land.

A year later. on February 6, 2019, as Avaya’s Chief Architect for Public Safety, he designed the world’s first Enterprise NG911 Additional Data Repository in a partnership with RapidSOS that delivered additional location data details and floorplans to the PSAP. Currently, Fletch is Vice President of Public Safety Solutions at 911inform, Fletcher expands that capability with a two-way data flow between the Enterprise and the 9-1-1 PSAP demonstrating their digital transformation roadmap and ensuring the NENA i3 standards are implemented for the Enterprise.

Fletch is a regular keynote speaker at industry events worldwide and maintains a popular Blog and Podcast series at http://Fletch.TV. Over the past several years, he has published several articles in Network World covering Public Safety and Emergency Communications.

Fletch is a member of NENA, EENA, and APCO International, where he has contributed to several standards committees, both here and abroad. Current positions include the NENA Northeast Region Director, the RapidSOS Technical Advisory Board, the SCTC VP of Education, The Kari Hunt Foundation Board and the Denise Amber Lee Foundation Board.

Previous roles include the NENA Institute Board, the iCERT Industry Alliance Board with previous appointments including the APCO Standards Development Committe. Previous FCC Federal Advisory roles.

John Foley
Title: Managing Director
Company: Safer Buildings Coalition
Presenting: Moderator - Noise and Interference in PS and Cellular Comms: Are networks at risk? 2:25p to 3:05p

John serves as Managing Director of the Safer Buildings Coalition. John serves the SBC mission through policy, regulation, and code development, by solidifying member services and value, and by establishing a strong operational and financial base as tools to propel SBC’s mission.

John has held key business development, operations, engineering, and executive roles at telecom service companies such as Level 3 Communications, MFS, and MCI. John was a co-founder of XO Communications where he was VP of Operations and Engineering, and later VP of International Network Development. John led dark fiber provider City Signal Communications in the position of President and CEO. John served as Capture Director for specialty construction firm Henkels and McCoy, a leading DAS Integrator. John also spent several years in television and video production services with PMTV, developing and managing complex video production projects including sports and corporate simulcasts and broadcasts. John participates on the TIA Smart Buildings Working Group and Public Safety Sub Group, and the Smart Cities Council/WIA City Networks Task Force.

John comes from a family with a tradition of first-responder service, with his grandfather, great uncle, brother, and son all serving in the Philadelphia Police department.

Patrick Halley
Title: President & Chief Executive Officer
Organization: Wireless Infrastructure Association

Patrick Halley is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA). WIA represents over 140 companies that develop, build, own and operate the nation’s wireless infrastructure and is the leading authority on all things wireless.

Mr. Halley joined WIA in August of 2022. Prior to joining the association, he was the Senior Vice President of Policy & Advocacy and General Counsel at USTelecom – The Broadband Association. There he led the association’s policy development and advocacy efforts in Washington, DC, and the states. He also served as an officer of the Industry Traceback Group, LLC, an organization that traces, sources, and ultimately works to prevent illegal robocalls.

Prior to joining USTelecom, Mr. Halley was a partner at the communications law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP (WBK), where he advised communications providers and trade associations on strategic, policy, and legal matters. During that time, he was the Executive Director of the Next Generation 911 Institute, a not-for profit organization supporting the work of the Congressional Next Generation 911 Caucus to modernize the nation’s 911 system. 

He previously served at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in numerous roles, including as a legal advisor to an FCC Chairman and two Bureau Chiefs, as Associate Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, and Acting Director of the Commission’s Office of Legislative Affairs. Before joining the FCC, Mr. Halley was the Director of Government Affairs for NENA – The 911 Association where he served as the association’s liaison with Congress, the FCC, and other government agencies.

Patrick graduated magna cum laude from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. He received a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.

Donny Jackson

Title: Editor
Company: InformaTech | IWCE’s Urgent Communications
Presenting: Moderator - User Equipment Evolution – 11:15a to 11:55a

Donny Jackson is editor of IWCE's Urgent Communications, generating content about the critical-communications arena for almost two decades and contributing to the annual IWCE conference program. Jackson won the 2013 Jesse H. Neal Award in the "Best Subject-Related Series" category for public-safety broadband coverage associated with the establishment of FirstNet. Before joining Mobile Radio Technology--the previous name for IWCE's Urgent Communications--in 2003, he covered telecommunications for four years as a freelance writer and as news editor for Telephony magazine. Prior to that, he worked for suburban newspapers in the Dallas area, serving as editor-in-chief for the Irving News and the Las Colinas Business News in the 1990s.

Jeff Johnson
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Western Fire Chiefs

Chief Jeff Johnson has an extensive public safety background, with broad experience at the local, national and international level. Chief Johnson rose through the ranks to become the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Fire Chief for 15 years retiring in 2010 after a 32 year career.

Chief Johnson has authored 2 books, “Making the Pieces Fit” – A book on merger and consolidation and Recruiting, and “Training and Maintaining Volunteer Firefighters”, both with Jones and Bartlett publishing.

 Chief Johnson served as the Vice Chairman of FirstNet who is deploying the world’s first nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety and national security users. Chief Johnson has served as President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), President of the Western and Oregon chiefs and is currently the Executive Director of the Western Fire Chiefs Association which serves fire chiefs in the 11 western states from Guam/Saipan to Utah.

Chief Johnson also has an extensive private sector background serving as an advisor or board member to numerous technology companies. Chief Johnson is also the principal at Sisters Meat and Smokehouse which launched in August of 2016. Chief Johnson is a graduate of Concordia University and the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program.

Nathan Leamer
Title: CEO
Organization: Fixed Gear Strategies, NATE Government Relations Team

I started my public policy career after graduating Calvin College as a staffer in the Michigan state legislature and then when my boss won his Congressional race I went with him to work in the House of Representatives. After several years, I went to a grassroots advocacy organization working on a campaign to make it easier for craft breweries to come to market. From this experience I joined the R Street Institute, a think tank in DC, as a Senior Fellow and Outreach Manager, helping to build out their tech policy program. When FCC Chairman Ajit Pai took office I served his team as a Policy Advisor working on a host of exciting initiatives and projects. After three years at the Commission I left to work at Targeted Victory, running their telecommunications practice as a Vice President of Public Affairs. Most recently in June of this year, I started my own boutique consulting firm, Fixed Gear Strategies, helping clients navigate the intersection of tech policy and messaging.

I live in Alexandria with my wife Amanda and our three children. When not cheering on my hometown favorite Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies, you will find me riding my bike on the roads around northern Virginia or smoking meat in my backyard.

Preston Marshall
Director of Wireless Standards and Policy | Chairman | CoChair of Spectrum Sharing Committee at Winnforum
Company: Google | OnGo (CBRS) Alliance
Presenting: TBD

Developing the policy, technology, and systems needed to create wireless abundance. Immediate focus is on the application of shared spectrum to enable massive increases in wireless capacity. CBRS is the current focus for this effort, and expanding opportunities and ecosystem support for innovative deployments, including neutral host, private, and offload networks.

To continue the evolution of bandwidth abundance and sustainable network capability, developing concepts for 6G that can enable a more integrated wireless experience that reflects the very diverse wireless and connectivity ecosystem that has emerged over the last thirty years, and resolving some of the disruptive aspects of this experience in authentication, network connectivity handovers, and integration with the wireless services.

Previously Deputy Director at USC Information Science Institute, with a personal research program in wireless technology, self-forming content delivery networks, electronic warfare, and algorithms for managing decisions in complex, ambiguous, and information-constrained environments. Participated in the Presidents Council of Advisers (PCAST) study on spectrum sharing, leading directly to the CBRS band. Was the witness to defend Administration PCAST study and initiative in Congressional Committee hearing.

Before that I was a Program Manager at DARPA managing innovations in cognitive radio, dynamic spectrum access, interference management and self-forming networking. Managed thirteen technology programs, and developed twelve new-start programs of record.

Specialties: Wireless Networking, Cognitive Radio, Spectrum Technology and Policy.

Tracy McElvaney
Title: Principal Associate Director
Organization: FirstNet Built with AT&T

Advancing public safety communication technology and operations through the realization and evolution of FirstNet, the nation's only dedicated Public Safety Broadband Network.

Heather McGaffin
Title: Director
Organization: DC Office of Unified Communications

Heather McGaffin began her public safety career when at the age of sixteen she became a volunteer EMT with her local fire department and rescue squad. She has 20 years of public and private sector experience in the industry, including as field responder and public safety communications expert.

In 2005, Director McGaffin joined the Calvert Control Center in Calvert County, Maryland as a 911 call taker, working through the ranks as a dispatcher, shift supervisor, trainer, manager, and eventually Deputy Director. From 2015 – 2020, she served as a consultant for a national public safety firm where she led projects to help emergency operations centers, localities, and state governments in restructuring, training development and implementation, and Next Generation 911 implementation.

Director McGaffin joined OUC in October 2020 as the Chief of Special Operations and Investigations and became the Deputy Director in February of 2022.

Richard Mirgon
Organization: Public Safety Broadband Technology Association

My life’s mission is this: To do all I can to improve public safety and make our communities safer. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to work toward that mission throughout my career in roles such as Sheriff’s Deputy, IT/ 911 Director, Public Safety Association leader and as a consultant.

I have a pretty good knack for seeing what needs to be done and finding a way to make it happen. As an executive leader for The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), I’m proud to have played an important role in crafting the law that later created FirstNet. Early on, I realized the need for a strong coalition and worked tirelessly to bring together people from all aspects of public safety, the private sector and government. Bottom line is that we did it. FirstNet is here. But there’s a lot more work to be done, and I’m glad to be part of leading the charge to bring FirstNet to every first responder in the nation. During my days serving as President of APCO International (14,000 members), I tapped into a combination of experience and needed to make public policy work—political, technical expertise and a keen understanding of governance.

A large part of my work today as a consultant involves helping people and companies move public safety forward. I spend a significant portion of my time providing FirstNet-specific consulting and guidance to leading technology companies, both small and large (including Fortune 20 companies). They all have a common denominator: they want to make a difference in public safety, and I help them gain market share and deepen their footprint faster. Using my vast network of contacts and expertise in public safety and technology developed over the past 40 years, I spend my time bringing together leaders from the private and public sectors to improve mission critical communications. Simply put, I work to cut through red tape and bring innovative communications technology to reality in public safety.

Alan Perdue
Title: Executive Director
Company: Safer Buildings Coalition
Presenting: Moderator - School Safety and Wireless Communications – 1:25p to 2:05p and PROPERTY OWNERS: In-Building Wireless Coverage Imperative –3:05p to 3:45p

Chief Perdue began his fire service journey as a volunteer firefighter with the Pinecroft-Sedgefield Fire Department and was employed by Guilford County Department of Emergency Services in 1979. He progressed through the ranks and was appointed Emergency Services Director in 2003 and after 34 years of service he retired in 2013. Chief Perdue is credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and Fire Marshal (FM) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission for Professional Credentialing.

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Safer Buildings Coalition, Chief Perdue currently serves as a member of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Telecommunications and Technology Policy Steering Committee, a member of the International Accreditation Services (IAC) Technical Advisory Council for Regulatory Code Programs, Underwriters Laboratories Standard #2525 Standards Technical Panel and The Center for Public Safety Excellence’s (CPSE) Appeals Committee. He is also an Elected County Commissioner in Guilford County, NC.

Chief Perdue’s past service includes serving as; the International Director representing Fire & Life Safety on the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Board of Directors , the Governor’s fire service appointee to the North Carolina State Building Code Council, a Commissioner on the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission for Professional Credentialing, a member of the International Accreditation Services Technical Advisory Committee for Fire & Life Safety Departments and a member of the International Code Councils Codes and Standards Council.

Additional career highlights to local, state and national fire service organizations include Director at Large, Vice-Chair and Chair of the IAFC Fire & Life Safety Section, four terms as a member of the International Code Councils Fire Code Hearing Committee, Vice-chair and Chairman of the North Carolina Fire Code Revision Committee, President of the North Carolina County Fire Marshal’s Association and as an advisory board member for the Guilford Technical Community College Fire Science Curriculum Program.

Cesar Ruiz
Title: President & CEO
Organization: Learning Alliance Corporation

Cesar Ruiz is the President and CEO of Learning Alliance which provides nano-learning diplomas that articulate into national apprenticeship(s) and degree pathways. His focus has been on helping veterans and underserved members of our communities obtain meaningful careers with over 2,000 graduates represented in high-skilled / high-wage targeted occupations in telecommunication, renewable energy (wind/solar), IT and manufacturing since 2020.

Ruiz’s leadership has focused on two dynamic issues that have led to the fast-paced national growth of Learning Alliance. First is a focus on the importance of bridging the gap between academic learning and Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) to create a student/employer learning plan that is cost-effective and can be achieved in under 7-weeks. Via Florida Department of Education approved programs, students earn front-loaded pre-apprenticeship Learning Alliance credentials which articulate toward a Department of Education approved diploma and paid apprenticeship placement. Currently over 1,200 students have completed the LAC pre-apprenticeship diplomas with an opportunity to articulate to paid apprenticeship solutions that align to credits toward a college degree.

Ruiz is a firm believer that access to middle class wages can be achieved if students are provided training that mimics the daily world-of-work, and where the cost-benefit is clear to students. Out of this belief, Ruiz has created the NextTech Diversity Program with T-Mobile to provide scholarships to low-income students and is proud of the 146 students that have graduated with no debt and are currently working as technicians earning a middle-income salary. With an estimated 800 graduates each year, Ruiz believes that a new age of education is required to fill the massive amounts of Blue-Collar careers that exist that do not require 4 years of academic learning and debt. To support this mission, he focuses on innovative learning, nano based diplomas, apprenticeships and earn while you learn solutions that align to AS degrees. Ruiz has also overseen the funding and creation of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems that mimic daily world-of-work and empower apprentices to learn anywhere at any time to support today’s learner with muscle memory exploratory repetition.

Ruiz is very passionate for diversity has been rewarded with a 5-year contract by T-Mobile and other telecommunication industry leaders of 2 million dollars per year to bring further diversity, equity and career laddering within the industry. The purpose of this initiative is to bring 150 additional diverse technicians per year into the industry to address the massive workforce shortage while engaging in providing a diverse workforce for the future. “There's not a lot of people that know we have a 20,000 job void and we can fill people almost immediately and we need to make sure there's the support structure, that there are loan programs, apprenticeship programs. So, I'm really proud of the work that teachers are doing here and of the LAC organization.”, said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.

Ruiz currently sits on the Small Cell & DAS Committee and Workforce Development Committee with the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) and the Wind Workforce Standards Committee with the American Clean Power Association. Ruiz was also awarded 2022 Veterans Champion of the Year by G.I Jobs Magazine.