SHLB Coalition Announces Additions to Board of Directors and New Officers
January 17, 2018


For Immediate Release:
January 17, 2018

Amy Robinson
Communications Manager, SHLB Coalition
(202) 261-6599


Washington, DC (January 17, 2018) - The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition announces the addition of six new members to its Board of Directors, as well as one new Officer for 2018.

Paula Boyd (Senior Director, Microsoft Corporation), Rachelle Chong (Law Office of Rachelle Chong), Jane Patterson (President, Broadband Catalysts), Rebecca Manna (Chief Policy Advisor for Government Relations, Kalispell Regional Healthcare), and Tracy Weeks (Executive Director, SETDA) were appointed to the SHLB Board, and Debra Kriete (Policy Council, State E-rate Coordinators Alliance) was elected to the SHLB Board by SHLB Members. All new Board members will serve three-year terms that began January 1, 2018.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome these six new Board members,” said Crosby Kemper III, SHLB Coalition’s Board Chairman. “I am confident their diverse expertise and specializations will position SHLB well for the future."

“These new Board members’ broadband knowledge and experience will significantly strengthen SHLB’s advocacy and contribute to SHLB’s forward-looking and innovative mission,” said John Windhausen, Jr., Executive Director of the SHLB Coalition.

The SHLB Coalition uniquely brings together a variety of stakeholders in the broadband ecosystem, all of whom support open, affordable high capacity broadband for anchor institutions and their communities.  The new SHLB Board members have experience with schools, health providers, E-rate consultants, commercial broadband providers, and state and federal government.  

“As a former FCC Commissioner who served on the original Federal State Joint Board that oversaw implementation of E-rate language, it’s a pleasure to join the SHLB Board,” said Chong. “Having also served as a Commissioner to the California PUC, I hope to bring my unique regulatory expertise to help our nation’s educators, libraries and rural health care companies improve their broadband connections.”

“I am delighted and honored to join the SHLB Board,” said Kriete. “I hope to contribute to the organization's continued success in promoting policies to facilitate broadband access to communities through their anchor institutions.”

"SETDA and SHLB have been strong partners in promoting education technology, and my new position as a SHLB Board member will further strengthen this partnership and advocacy,” Weeks commented.

While the SHLB Board is diverse in respect to geography, gender, ethnicity, and political affiliations, all Board members are united by a commitment to SHLB’s mission and future.

"I strongly believe in SHLB's mission of connecting anchors to high-capacity broadband,” said Boyd. “I’m looking forward to working with other Board members and contributing a cloud service provider perspective to advance this goal.”

“I am very pleased to join the SHLB Board of Directors, a robust and influential organization,” said Patterson. “This organization will be crucial in shaping a path forward for our schools, health and libraries institutions.”

"SHLB has been leading the charge in reforming the Rural Health Care program, and I'm looking forward to fostering this health advocacy momentum as a Board Member," said Manna.

In addition, the SHLB Coalition announced that Elwood Downing of ELAE Enterprises, LLC has been elected as Treasurer of the SHLB Board for 2018.  Crosby Kemper III (Kansas City Public Library), Bob Collie (Parana River Group), and Denise Atkinson-Shorey (COSN) were re-elected as Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary (respectively).  


Additional information about the new Board members is below:

Paula Boyd, Senior Director, Microsoft Corporation
Paula leads the Microsoft’s communications Internet policy engagement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Congress and the Administration on broadband, spectrum, Internet protocol voice, video and text issues. She advises and briefs executives and colleagues on regulatory issues and Federal legislation. Lastly, she advances the company’s communications Internet policy objectives with key industry trade associations and think tanks and advocates the company’s position on policy panels and with policy stakeholders. Before joining Microsoft, Paula was Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Subcommittee on Communications. She advised Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings during his time as Chairman (2001-2002) and Ranking Member (1997-2001) of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and advised Democratic Committee Members on communications policy. She oversaw the full range of Federal communications issues including telephone, broadband, spectrum, cable and broadcast policies.

Rachelle Chong, Law Office of Rachelle Chong
Rachelle Chong is a nationally recognized authority on broadband policy issues. Commissioner Chong served as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (President Clinton appointee), during the era of the 1996 Telecom Act, the first wireless auctions and creation of many new wireless services, and the digital TV transition.  After her federal service, Commissioner Chong then led broadband initiatives in California starting in 2006 when she was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as a Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission. After serving on the Governor's California Broadband Task Force, Commissioner Chong created the California Advanced Services Fund at the California PUC to bring critical broadband infrastructure to rural areas with no broadband or slow broadband. After her CPUC term, she worked for two years as Special Counsel at the California Technology Agency on statewide Digital Literacy efforts and helped bring major federal economic stimulus dollars to California for broadband and Smart Grid projects. Ms. Chong has been a partner in two international law firms (Graham & James and Coudert Brothers in San Francisco). She has served as Vice President of Government Affairs for Comcast’s California Region, and General Counsel for two Silicon Valley tech start-ups, Broadband Office and Sidecar. She has also served on various boards, both of publicly traded companies, nonprofit organizations working on broadband issues, and with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area. Currently, she runs the Law Offices of Rachelle Chong, where she is a strategic consultant, regulatory lawyer, and registered state lobbyist headquartered in San Francisco, California. She works primarily in the broadband, telecom, transportation, and energy spaces, representing competitive carriers, app-enabled providers of ridesharing and ferry services, and nonprofit organizations working in the broadband space before the FCC and the CPUC.

Debra Kriete, State E-rate Coordinators Alliance (SECA)
Debra Kriete has been involved with and an advocate for universal service for more than 30 years. She first served as assistant consumer advocate with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, representing consumers’ interests in state telecommunications regulatory proceedings. She then became chief counsel to a PUC Commissioner helping to shape policy recommendations concerning all aspects of universal telecommunications service. In 1996, Debra was appointed to the staff of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, the group that recommended to the FCC the rules and policies for implementing all USF mechanisms, and in 1998 she was appointed as the first General Counsel to the federal E-rate administrator. After leaving USAC, she provided legal counsel to service providers and applicants until being retained as the South Dakota State E-rate Coordinator – a position she has proudly held for the past 14 years. In this capacity, she operates an E-rate help desk and provides in-person and virtual training for the state’s schools, libraries and service providers to help them achieve E-rate success, and also is responsible for filing the E-rate applications for South Dakota’s statewide broadband and Internet consortium applications. Debra also is an active member of the State E-rate Coordinators Alliance.

Rebecca Manna, Chief Policy Advisor for Government Relations, Kalispell Regional Healthcare
Rebecca Manna has held the office of Chief Policy Advisor for Government Relations at Kalispell Regional Healthcare since August 2007. Prior to this, she served as a consultant to KRH and authored a rural health care pilot proposal funded by the Federal Communications Commission to construct a 432-mile, dedicated fiber network in northwest and north central Montana to improve health care access for rural and frontier Montanans. She has served as a past Director with the KRH Foundation Board for more than seven years. Previously, Ms. Manna served U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), as Senior Policy Advisor for Montana Issues and Rural and Environmental Healthcare for more than eight years. She has held leadership positions with non-profit organizations in Montana, specializing in fundraising, planned and major gifts. Ms. Manna received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from University of

Jane Patterson, Broadband Catalysts
For eleven years, Jane Smith Patterson served as executive director of the e-NC Authority, an organization with a goal of bringing affordable high-speed broadband Internet access to citizens, businesses and institutions, particularly in rural and lower income urban areas. Prior to taking this leadership position in 2001, Patterson worked for North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt through his four terms in office, first as secretary of administration, then as chief advisor for policy, budget and technology, and finally as senior advisor for science and technology and director of the office for technology. Patterson served as a member of the Clinton Gore National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council and was co-chair of the applications committee, and later served as chair of the Rural Telecommunications Congress completing her term in 2015. Patterson’s background also includes working in the private industry as vice-president of ITT Corporation- Network Systems Group, of ITT-Alcatel and Alcatel, NA. She has served as a vice chancellor at UNC-Wilmington and in positions with research programs at the University of Pennsylvania and UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been an advisor to many countries in the world in planning for deployment of national information infrastructure.

She serves on a number of boards for nonprofit organizations, including as a member of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Patterson was a founding President of the establishment of two nonprofit organizations that are still operating, the NC Aquarium Society and the North Carolina Health Communications Information Alliance. Patterson has worked as an advisor on digital communications, and science and technology issues in countries in Asia, North America, Europe, and Scandinavia. With ITT Corporation (International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation-a multinational corporation) and ITT-Alcatel and Alcatel, Patterson held Director and Vice-President positions that oversaw operational activities worldwide.

Tracy Weeks, Executive Director, SETDA
Dr. Tracy Weeks is the Executive Director for the State Education Technology Director’s Association (SETDA). Prior to joining the team at SETDA, she served as the Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the first senior state leadership position of its kind in the nation. In that role, Dr. Weeks oversaw the areas of: K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, Career and Technical Education, Exceptional Children, and the North Carolina Virtual Public School. She also served as the state agency lead on the development of the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan. From 2008-2014, Tracy led the North Carolina Virtual Public School, the second largest state-led virtual school in the nation as the Chief Academic Officer and subsequently the Executive Director. She holds a bachelors degree in Secondary Math Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology with a Statistics minor and a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from NC State University. She is a NC Teaching Fellow, NC Education Policy Fellow, and a member of Phi Kappa.




About SHLB:

The SHLB Coalition is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-capacity broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, DC and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States.  To learn more, visit


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