Home Image sidebar

Knowles Named TTA Executive Director

December 1st, 2012 by Carrie Huckeby

State telecommunications group streamlines operation, contracts with TMS for lobbying, advocacy and administrative services

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Telecommunications Association (TTA) will streamline its operations in the new year to better position the state’s independent telecommunications service providers to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing industry.

The trade group’s board of directors voted last month to contract with Telecom Management Services (TMS) to focus on lobbying, regulatory and advocacy issues on behalf of its membership. As part of the agreement, TMS Chairman Levoy Knowles will serve as executive director for the association.

These changes take effect January 1, 2013.

In his new role, Knowles will work with Tennessee’s elected and regulatory officials to develop relationships and foster a deeper understanding of independent telecommunications issues among policymakers. “Cooperatives and independently owned telecommunications companies have an important mission,” Knowles says. “They provide critical connections to millions of people across Tennessee, many of whom reside in low-density areas where there are far fewer customers per mile of line than in the larger cities. These companies are delivering the advanced services that fuel economic growth, support community services and enable a better overall quality of life for their customers in these small towns and rural communities.

“And yet the companies who comprise the membership of TTA face a unique set of challenges in today’s environment,” Knowles continues. “Regulatory and legislative measures are placing undue burdens on the ability of independent telecommunications companies to fulfill their mission. It’s important for these companies to speak with a unified voice and present their concerns to officials on matters that impact their subscribers. TTA is the vehicle that can provide that strong voice.”

As part of these changes, TTA will transition to a virtual operation. The association will close its office in downtown Nashville, saving rent, utilities, parking and other expenses. The existing staff will be dissolved. The TTA phone and fax numbers will ring into Knowles’ office in McMinnville, Tenn., and he will receive administrative support from his TMS team.

“It will be a seamless transition,” Knowles says. “As part of the contract with TMS, my staff will provide administrative support, such as answering phone calls and inquiries, organizing meetings and managing financial reports. This will be in addition to the lobbying, regulatory and advocacy services I will provide.”

James Garner, vice president operations for TEC, is the current president of the TTA board of directors. “The TTA membership is excited about the new direction of our association,” Garner says. “By streamlining the operation, we will be able to place a greater emphasis on activity that will have the most impact on our companies — keeping our cause in front of lawmakers, staying on top of regulatory measures and advocating for the subscribers at the end of the line. Ultimately, TTA is their voice.”

Garner says the board made the decision to contract with Knowles because of the experience and talent he and his team bring to the association. “Levoy is an industry veteran with a track record of success in this state,” Garner says. “He is already well-known and respected among policymakers, and he has built a solid team that will do a great job supporting his work and helping him be effective as the association’s executive director.”

TTA members provide an array of communications services to homes and businesses throughout Tennessee. These services include broadband Internet access, cable and digital TV, wireless phone service, and local and long distance phone service.

  • Posted in News
  • Comments Off

Comments are closed.