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Broadband ReConnect Workshops: Meet the Speakers

By March 22, 2019No Comments

Meet the Speakers


Kenneth Kuchno

Assistant Deputy Administrator, Rural Utilities Service

Mr. Kuchno is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1980. Mr. Kuchno started his career with the Rural Electrification Administration (now Rural Utilities Service) directly after graduating from Penn State in 1980 as an engineer in the North Central Area.

In 1990 Mr. Kuchno was chosen to be a General Field Representative for the Rural Utilities Service covering projects in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Hawaii, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Saipan and Marshall Islands. During the next seven years Mr. Kuchno traveled extensively assisting companies in a wide variety of activities from inspection of construction to the development of financial projections to support of a loan application. His time in the field allowed him to experience firsthand the day to day operations of a telecommunications company.

In 1997, Mr. Kuchno became the Engineering Branch Chief for the South West Area for the Rural Utilities Service. As Engineering Branch Chief, Mr. Kuchno was responsible for overseeing the engineering activities associated with the approval and monitoring of loans for a twelve-state area and the Agencies Pacific Rim projects.

In 1999, Mr. Kuchno was selected for the position of Director, Eastern Area, Rural Utilities Service. He was responsible for administering the Agency’s loan portfolio for all projects located east of the Mississippi River.

In 2003, Mr. Kuchno became the Director for the Rural Utilities Service’s Broadband Division. Mr. Kuchno is responsible for the development of the processes and procedures associated with implementing the Rural Broadband Access Loan Program

In July 2014, Mr. Kuchno was chosen to become the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy and Outreach.

Trevor Bonnstetter

Chief Executive Officer, Telecom Management Services

Trevor Bonnstetter serves as CEO of Telecom Management Services (TMS). TMS operates WK&T Telecommunications and Ardmore Telephone Company, providing advanced telecommunications services to approximately 20,000 customers in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

Mr. Bonnstetter has been active in several industry committees on the state level, working with telecommunications associations in Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky and Tennessee during his career. He has also served as president of both the Kentucky and Tennessee Telecommunications Associations and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC).

In addition to his management responsibilities with TMS and its related companies, Mr. Bonnstetter serves on the board of directors of iRis Networks, the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), along with many local community boards.

Mr. Bonnstetter earned a BS in Business Administration from Mid-Continent University, an MBA from William Woods University and a Ph.D in Management from Walden University. He and his wife, Tami, reside in Mayfield, Kentucky with their children.

James Wilson

General Field Representative, Rural Utilities Service

Mr. Wilson joined the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Telecommunications Program in January of 2005.  He is the General Field Representative for the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. Prior to this, Mr. Wilson worked 14 years as a consulting engineer for KY, WV, OH and TN ILECS.

His consulting experience included designing outside plant facilities, fiber optic networks and central office switching deployments. Mr. Wilson is a 1990 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering.

Hilda Legg

Kentucky State Director, USDA Rural Development

Hilda G. Legg was appointed by the Trump administration as State Director for USDA Rural Development in Kentucky in November 2017.

Legg previously served a key role at USDA Rural Development during the George W. Bush administration as Administrator for Rural Utilities Service. At the national level, she prioritized investing portfolio assets in rural areas across the country critically needing broadband and other utility services.

Prior to her appointment as state director, Legg ran a small business advocating the need to bring broadband access to rural residents. Utilizing the knowledge gained over her career on the variety of complex methods available to fund and operate broadband across the country, Legg consulted leaders of rural communities and telecommunications providers across rural America on efficient and effective means to bring broadband to their constituents.

A native of Adair County, Kentucky, where she is co-owner of the family farm, she currently resides in central Kentucky with her husband Michael and son, Dane.

Jim Tracy

Tennessee State Director, USDA Rural Development

Jim brings 13 years of experience serving as Tennessee State Senator for the 14th Senatorial District where he was a strong advocate for rural and agriculture issues. Jim’s ties to agriculture began in his youth when he was active in 4-H and on the family farm. He grew up in West Tennessee where his father was a county extension agent.

Tracy also has 24 years of experience as a small business owner and early in his career, he taught Agricultural Education in high school. Jim and his family reside in Shelbyville, TN.

Larry Combs

Broadband Implementation Manager, The Center for Rural Development

Larry Combs currently serves as the Broadband Implementation Manager at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, KY.

Larry has over 35 years of experience in the information technology field. He is on the Center’s management team and has taken a lead role in the Center’s efforts to study the broadband access issues in Southeastern Kentucky. Larry has been working closely for past year with the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s team on the KentuckyWired broadband project and currently serves on several of the project committees.

Registration is closing soon!
The last day to register is 3/25/19!

You are invited to attend the upcoming Broadband ReConnect Workshops. Two free workshops will be held near the end of this month.

  • The first will take place on Tuesday, March 26th, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT, at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, KY, for interested parties in Eastern Kentucky.
  • The second workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 27th, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT, at the WK&T Technology Park in Mayfield, KY, for interested parties in Western Kentucky.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn about grant funding to bring high speed broadband to your community. Bring your ideas, your draft applications, your network area data, and your questions, and leave with answers from the experts!

See the agendas and register below.