Business Council Hires Broadband Manager
24 Mar 2022
Cheyenne, Wyo. - The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) has hired a new Broadband Manager who will coordinate the State of Wyoming’s efforts to make high-speed broadband connections available to homes and businesses across the state. Elaina Zempel, a 15-year veteran of Wyoming economic development and former Regional Director for the Business Council, will begin her new role immediately.
The Broadband Manager plays a crucial role in leading policy development by evaluating common goals; establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with industry representatives, the Broadband Advisory Council (BBAC), and the Governor’s Office; and bringing multiple viewpoints together to accomplish innovative solutions.
“Essential to this position is having the ability and experience of driving results and engaging others to implement opportunities with a deep understanding of various rules, regulations, and policies governing telecommunications and the broadband industry,” WBC Services Director Brandon Marshall said. “As a Regional Director for the past 15 years, Elaina has done precisely this but on the scale of more commonly defined public infrastructure such as water, sewer, and business and industrial parks. This background makes her the perfect fit for this position.”
Since 2007, Elaina has championed the essential need of quality broadband for Wyoming’s economic health and sustainability. She has been involved in multiple projects that may have seemed impossible at first but through perseverance and strong relationships, meaningful results were achieved.?
“Elaina provides a passionate voice for broadband’s critical role in Wyoming’s future while having the knowledge, experience, and established relationships to get significant funding strategically focused in order to realize results for Wyoming we can all be proud of,” said Josh Dorrell, Business Council CEO.
Federal funding opportunities for broadband development have increased dramatically in the last year, specifically with the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Act. These two pieces of legislation, as well as the Federal Omnibus spending bill, have made billions of dollars available through more than 630 separate funding programs from various federal agencies.
In this new role, Elaina will collaborate with partners and stakeholders to coordinate Wyoming’s response to these funds, working closely with the Governor’s Office, legislators, broadband providers, BBAC, and communities to ensure the funding pursued fits state needs and priorities.
“To be successful in a quickly changing landscape, we need someone who understands how policy works, how it’s best delivered around the state, and someone who’s done it all before,” Josh Dorrell added. “Elaina has already been doing a lot of these things and working with broadband for a long, long time. She is trusted around the state and has the initiative to make a difference plus the willingness to step up and take on a challenge.”
He emphasized that the skills Elaina has learned and the relationships she’s built as a regional director are exactly what the state wants and needs in this role.
“The WBC Regional Team plays a critical role in helping the agency carry out its overall mission of increasing prosperity for Wyoming businesses, communities and people,” he said. “Our team stands ready to support the west central region during the transition as we begin the search for a new regional to fill Elaina’s shoes.”
To contact Elaina about broadband opportunities around the state, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-777-2802. Learn more about Wyoming broadband enhancement at wbc.pub/Broadband.