Our Leadership Team is Second to None
Our leadership team drives our strategy and guides our vision and values to accelerate Network Connex’s positioning as a global leader in communications infrastructure design, implementation, and future proofing. Comprised of highly experienced executives from diverse backgrounds, the team’s common purpose is to deliver real and sustainable value to our customers, partners, vendors, and employees. Get to know each member of our leadership team below.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Christopher Larocca, President & Chief Executive Officer
As President and CEO of Network Connex, Chris is focused on working closely with the company’s leadership team to accelerate Network Connex’s positioning as a global leader in communications infrastructure design and implementation. He has more than 20 years of experience successfully leading and managing highly profitable and growth-oriented companies. Prior to joining Network Connex, Chris was the President and CEO of Nortek Control, a global leader in artificial intelligence, facial recognition, smart connected systems for security and home automation, access control, and digital health markets. Chris led the company through a hyper-growth phase until its sale in mid-2021. In addition, he held CEO and executive management positions at Dover Corporation, General Electric, and Luminance Brands. Chris gained fiber and telecom experience as the COO of EMCORE Corporation. He holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BS in Civil Engineering from Clemson University.
Chief Financial Officer
Chad Suss, Chief Financial Officer
As CFO of Network Connex, Chad is responsible for all financial activities across the platform. Chad joined our team from ORIX USA where he was a Managing Director, Head of the Portfolio Value Enhancement team. He brings deep financial, operational, and M&A experience from prior roles in private equity, investment banking, management consulting, and corporate finance. Chad holds an Accounting Degree from the University of Wisconsin, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and is a CPA.
Chief Revenue Officer
Greg Spraetz, Chief Revenue Officer
Greg joined Network Connex as the Chief Revenue Officer to lead the sales and marketing efforts for Network Connex and its subsidiaries. Greg comes to Network Connex with 25 years of sales, marketing, and operational leadership experience across the enterprise, wholesale, data center, fiber services, cable, and wireless service providers markets. Most recently, Greg was at ExteNet Systems where he was the Senior VP and GM with overall responsibility for the indoor and real estate business unit operations. Prior to that, he was the EVP of Sales and Marketing at Conterra Broadband Services. In addition, he held various management positions at Level 3 Communications and Global Crossing. Greg has a BSBA degree with a concentration in Systems Analysis from Miami University of Ohio.
EVP South Region
Doug Wittrock, EVP South Region
As EVP South Region, Doug is responsible for ensuring that our customers in the South Region receive maximum value from the solutions we provide. In late 2019, Network Connex acquired VERTICOM, where Doug was employed since 2003 and served as Vice President from 2010 till 2021 when he was named President of Verticom. He has more than 25 years of extensive experience in the deployment of wireless and broadband networks. Prior to VERTICOM, Doug gained experience in operations management, service development, program management, and customer support with various customers. He worked as a Project Manager for a nationwide telecom construction and equipment installation company. He has also managed telecom construction and installations across the country for multiple customers including US Unwired, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, Nortel, Lucent, and Ericsson. He holds an AAS degree in Telecommunications Technology/Technician from Des Moines Area Community College.
Lewis Kessler, President NTI
Lewis is President of National Technologies (NTI), a Network Connex company, and has over 25 years of proven leadership experience in the telecommunications, fiber, and broadcast industries. Most recently, he served as VP and General Manager of Small Cells and Fiber Solutions for Crown Castle. Prior to Crown Castle, he was the VP GM of Network Engineering and Operations at Sirius XM Radio and had responsibility for the Satellites, Broadcast Operations, and Ground Systems. Before joining Sirius XM, Lewis held leadership positions at Nextel, including the Regional VP of Field Operations for the Northeast, as well as the Area VP of Engineering and Operations in NY. He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University and an MBA from Long Island University.
EVP Great Lakes Region
Jim Hughes, EVP Great Lakes Region
As EVP Great Lakes Region, Jim is responsible for ensuring that our customers in the Great Lakes Region receive maximum value from the solutions we provide. Prior to his current position, Jim was President of CCSI, now a Network Connex operating company, where he had been instrumental in the building out of CCSI’s Small Cell and OSP services. He has more than 23 years of Sales and Operations experience, including management of sales and support staff and new business and program development across multiple markets. Before joining CCSI, Jim was a Strategic Consultant with Laurus Strategies Inc., a Chicago-based business consulting services provider.
EVP National ISP Service
Michael Thomas, EVP National ISP Service
Michael is EVP National ISP Service where he is responsible for overseeing the complex communications systems installed inside a customer’s building. Previously, Michael was the President of Fairhaven, now a Network Connex operating company. During his more than 25-year tenure in the networking industry, he managed inside and outside plant technical teams, engineering teams, vendors, call centers, interdepartmental relationships, purchasing, budgeting, and planning. After serving in the United States Air Force, Michael began his career in LAN/WAN engineering and implementation in 1992 for a private firm and then joined Southwestern Bell Telephone, now AT&T, as a field technician. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management-information technology from Western Governors University.
EVP East Region
Iris Troiano, EVP East Region
Iris is VP East Region and is responsible for operations and ensuring that our customers in the East Region receive maximum value from the solutions we provide. With 20+ years of experience and a proven successful track record in wireless network deployments and product development, She has experience in site development, growing and building successful start-up companies, and product development enabling 5G networks. Earlier positions include VP of Telecom in the East Region for Advantage Engineers, a Network Connex company, where she supported macro tower, DAS, and small cell deployments along with fiber optic and broadband network designs. She also served as a Director at CommScope for more than 17 years, as well as a VP at CityNet Telecommunications and at Wireless Facilities Inc. Iris holds a BS in Chemistry from George Mason University.
VP Human Resources
Cristina Villazan, VP Human Resources
Cristy serves as the VP of Human Resources and is responsible for all HR functions across each Network Connex business. She brings over 25 years of leadership experience redefining employee relations through team building, operational efficiency, and finding, growing, and retaining talent to drive cultural transformations. She served as the VP of Human Resources for Tradebe Environmental Services, where she directed all aspects of HR management to support US operations. Cristy has also successfully held leadership positions with Comcast, Spectrum, and Exelon. She holds a BA with a double major in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Corporate Communications from DePaul University.
Matt Prather, VP Engineering
Matt serves as VP Engineering and provides leadership in best-in-class services, with a focus on quality, speed to market, and customer satisfaction. He has extensive experience in Civil/Structural engineering in the Building and Telecom industry, including 30+ years’ experience in program management, engineering, construction of mobile wireless, broadband networks, Distributed Antenna Systems, WiMAX network deployments throughout the US. Matt was co-owner of multiple wireless infrastructure companies and sold his last company to Jacobs Engineering. He holds a BSCE, Civil/Structural Engineering from the University of South Florida, and is a Professional Engineer.
VP Northwest Region
Sean Maddox, VP Northwest Region
Sean is VP Northwest Region and is in charge of ensuring that our customers in the Northwest Region receive maximum value from the solutions we provide. He was VP, Northwest, and a Site Acquisition Director at Synergy Development, a division of Advantage Engineers, now a Network Connex company. Upon graduating with a J.D. from Willamette University College of Law in 2011, Sean began his telecom career as a Land Use Professional. Sean has successfully directed market expansions into San Francisco, Portland, Hawaii, Salt Lake City, and Hawaii during his time with the company. He is a dedicated industry volunteer serving on the California Wireless Association and Northwest Wireless Association boards of directors.
VP Southwest Region
Walter Callejas, VP Southwest Region
As the VP Southwest Region, Walter oversees the daily operations of the Southwest region to ensure our customers receive maximum value from the solutions we provide. In 2004, he co-founded Synergy Development Services, a telecommunications engineering and consulting firm serving customers on the west coast. In 2017, Synergy merged with Advantage Engineers, now a Network Connex company. At Advantage Engineers, Walter leads the site acquisition, construction management and fiber engineering teams. He has extensive telecom background and deep knowledge in the Public ROW, small cell deployments, local government negotiations, utility rules & regulations, and community outreach. Prior to co-founding Synergy, he was Operations Manager at BMS Communications Inc. Walter holds an AA, Computer Aided Drafting from ITT Tech.
Sr. Director of Training, Safety and Quality
Jonathan Meyer, Sr. Director of Training, Safety and Quality
Jonathan Meyer serves as the Senior Director of Training, Safety and Quality for all Network Connex businesses. Jonathan is responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, customers and the general public. He works to create and maintain a rich safety culture providing employees and contractors resources to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Jonathan was previously the Director of Training, Safety and Quality for VERTICOM, now a Network Connex operating company, for 5+ years prior to his current role. Prior to joining Network Connex, Jonathan gained extensive operating knowledge of the telecommunications industry as a field technician, foreman, project manager, trainer and senior safety inspector. He has worked for many of the major carriers and has executed a variety of projects across the US throughout his years of service in the wireless industry. Jonathan started his telecom career in 2004 in the public safety sector of telecom, and has been an approved trainer for many accredited third-party telecom organizations throughout his career.
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