Wireless Hall of Fame Celebration Honors Four Industry Leaders

LAS VEGAS, NV—Sept. 8, 2015–Tuesday night four individuals joined the 44 wireless industry pioneers and innovators inducted into the prestigious Wireless Hall of Fame. Hosted by the nonprofit Wireless History Foundation, this celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas honored John P. Kelly of Berkshire Partners, Sue Swenson of FirstNet, Larry Movshin of Wilkinson Barker & Knauer, and Brian McAuley of pdvWireless.  These leaders were recognized for their extraordinary service to wireless at this dinner attended by 270 industry supporters from across the country. The event shared video highlights of their respective careers and the honorees were introduced by colleagues instrumental to their careers.

  • John Kelly (Introduced by Charlie Townsend of Aloha Partners) – John gained experience on the carrier side in positions as President and COO of Atlantic Cellular Company and as President and COO of Hawaiian Wireless, Inc., an affiliate of Atlantic Cellular.  In 1998, he moved to the infrastructure sector by joining Crown Castle International, where he served as President and COO (1998 to 2001) and President and CEO (2001 to 2008). Crown Castle went public the year he joined the company, and prospered under his leadership with revenue jumping 74% to $1.4 billion during his tenure.  He also played a major role in guiding the trade association PCIA through its transition from a carrier to an infrastructure emphasis and served as chairman of the organization in 2005.  He currently serves as a Director of Crown Castle, NEW Asurion Corporation, Telx and Torres Unidas, and is the former Chairman of FiberTower Corporation.
  • Sue Swenson (Introduced by George Schmitt of xG Technology) – Ms. Swenson began her telecom career with Pacific Telesis, and from 1979 to 1994 and as President and COO in 1992, PacTel Cellular became the first carrier to commit to the nascent CDMA technology.  This led to the development of CDMA as a second industry-wide standard for digital wireless systems. She also served as CEO and President of Cellular One in the Bay Area, then as President of Leap Wireless.  She followed with a stint at T-Mobile USA where she was COO, before moving to MVNO startup Amp'd Mobile.  Sue served as CEO of the software firm Sage Corp. Her board positions include Harmonic, Wells Fargo, Novatel Wireless, Spirent Communications and mBlox. She served on the board of CTIA in the early 1990s and currently serves as chairwoman of FirstNet, the First Responders Network Authority, tasked with building a nationwide LTE network for police, firefighters and other emergency responders.
  • Larry Movshin (Introduced by John Stanton of Trilogy Partnership) – Serving in the wireless industry for over 40 years Larry has represented common carriers, land mobile operators, major equipment manufacturers, trade associations and private users.  During licensing of the cellular industry, he played a critical role in the settlement process that resolved non-wireline ownership of the Round II and III markets.  He has been active in the leadership of the Federal Communications Bar Association.  His significant experiences include:  representing Graphic Scanning Corporation (the only entity to apply for cellular licenses for all of the Top  120 markets); representing Dobson Cellular Systems from its formation in 1989 to its successful sale to AT&T;  forming of PrimeCo, one of the original PCS carriers; representing the American Hospital Association and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering in the formation of the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service; representing Amtrak in acquiring spectrum for its Positive Train Control network.
  • Brian McAuley (Introduced by Morgan O’Brien and Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware) – Mr. McAuley co-founded Fleet Call (changed to Nextel Communications in 1993) and held executive positions including President and CEO.  Fleet Call consolidated numerous Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licenses and challenged the cellular duopoly structure by requesting that the FCC waive rules to permit the company to offer cellular-like service. The FCC approved the request, which allowed Fleet Call to proceed with a digital communications system marketed as a competitor to cellular providers. He founded NeoWorld Communications, Inc. and served as its President and CEO from 1999 until its purchase by Nextel in 2003. He also served as senior VP and CFO of Millicom Incorporated. Brian is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of various finance and telecommunications industry organizations and is a frequent lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Pacific DataVision.

After the reception, dinner and awards presentations, the evening concluded with a cocktail hour to toast the honorees and all the sponsors that made the event possible.  “The achievements of these individuals represent many aspects of the wireless industry, from towers to networks to risk takers behind the scenes and to those at the forefront of innovation,” said WHF Board member Rob Mechaley, CEO of Mobilesphere Holdings LLC, and Chairman of the 2015 selection committee. “We thank the sponsors for making this event possible and we are honored to have this prestigious group join the growing Wireless Hall of Fame.”

The Wireless History Foundation and the evening’s honorees thank these 2015 event sponsors:

  • Bandwidth Level: AT&T, Berkshire Partners, Crown Castle, Eagle River, pdv Wireless, and Verizon
  • Spectrum Level: Assurant Solutions, Madison Dearborn, MediaTek, Mobilitie, Telcom Ventures, and Trilogy Partnership
  • Frequencies Level: Alcatel-Lucent, Aloha Partners, Asurion, Comcast/NBC Universal, Dyna LLC, Enertech Resources, Ericsson, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Microsoft, Mosaik Solutions, Motorola Solutions, Sprint, Syniverse, T-Mobile, United Rentals, Vodafone Americas Foundation, Wilkinson Barker & Knauer, xG Technology
  • Connections Level: CFE Telecom, Chris Rogers – Lumia Capital, National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, Samsung, Tower Systems Inc., and TracFone

For additional information or to participate as a sponsor of the 2016 awards dinner, please contact Liz Maxfield at liz (at) wirelesshistoryfoundation dotorg.