Get ready for the C5 Spring 2019 Meeting
With less than two months to go, many C5ers are signed up for our first meeting outside of mainland U.S.A. And, with GCI’s two top executives presenting at the meeting, it’s shaping up to be a great one…and not to be missed!! Highlights of the full two-day meeting will include:
- Fireside Chat with Ron Duncan, CEO and Co-Founder of GCI. This session features a moderated conversation with one of cable’s top executives who explores how GCI delivers on its promise of high-speed communication and technology services to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America.
- Guest Speaker: Marilyn Romano, Regional Vice President, Alaska Airlines. Winning the J.D. Powers award for highest customer satisfaction rating for 11 years in a row, along with a cult-like following in Alaska, Alaska Airlines is a rare breed among airline operators. Propelled by a top-down, CX-driven culture, Marilyn will shed light on how Alaska Airlines’ exemplifies the (now-infamous United) slogan “fly the friendly skies!”
- Spotlight On…GCI:Greg Chapados President and Chief Operating Officer, GCI, will share the innovative developments and significant investment undertaken by GCI to provide broadband service to America’s most geographically-challenged state.
- GCI Tour: Retail outlets continue to drive traffic and, as consumer trends shift toward the appeal of the physical interactions at bricks-and-mortar locations, Maureen Moore and her team will showcase GCI’s new, bigger and better store that offers an enhanced customer experience with the addition of interactive displays such as a GCI TV TiVo Lounge.
- Innovation Showcase: Andrés Piderit, VP of Robotics and Machine Learning at Rogers Communications Inc., will share the benefits enabled by process automation to reduce effort and further evolve the customer journey. Look forward to a meaningful exchange of detailed use cases deployed across field, customer service and technical support operations with relevant KPI trends as well as a 12-month outlook for the areas of opportunity Rogers is seeking to tackle next.
- MSO Insights: A full two hours is penciled in for the Egg-Timer sessions where C5ers share ideas and learn from each other as MSO members reveal their latest CX initiatives or challenges.
- Metrics Study: Results of the continuation of the call center metrics study will be discussed, along with new directions in benchmarks for digital and retail channels.
- Association Update: Reports from NCTA, CTAM, and CableLabs will reveal how three important areas of cable—legislative, marketing, and technological—may be affecting the industry.
- C5 Hotel: GCI has organized accommodation for C5 members at the historic, luxury property of the Hotel Captain Cook. The block booking has been negotiated at the deeply discounted rates of $245 per night. The deluxe downtown Anchorage lodgings are the perfect place to unwind, with majestic views of the Cook Inlet, Chugach Mountains, Anchorage cityscape, or Mt. McKinley. Bookings can be made online, via Hotel Captain Cook reservations, using the special group code C5GCI. The special C5 rate is available from May 20 through May 25. Availability is limited, so let me know if you require additional nights outside of these dates as soon as possible.
- C5 Dinner: With stunning views of Anchorage in every direction, dinner will take place at Quarter Deck restaurant--perched on top of Tower I, on the 10th floor of the Hotel Captain Cook. Nautical touches are apparent throughout, from ribbed wood-and-copper ceilings and supports that suggest a ship’s hold, lamps made from ships’ speaking tubes, to the elevator landings that are floored with teak wood reclaimed from the decommissioned battleship USS Colorado. Join us at the GCI Cocktail Reception for few words from Todd Barber, our Silver Partner, about the latest CX solutions from CallMiner, followed by a sumptuous buffet, plus the usual fun and networking that are a feature of the C5 Dinner event!
Some other reasons why you don’t want to miss this next meeting in America’s last frontier!
- In 2019, GCI celebrates 40 years in business, from its early beginnings as a three-person start-up to one of Alaska’s largest private sector companies, with more than 2300 employees.
- GCI has the largest and most diverse network, serving 119,000 cable subscribers, 135,000 Internet subscribers, 224,000 wireless subscribers, 240+ Alaskan communities and businesses.
- GCI is committed to growing with Alaska, investing $3 billion, building where others won’t:
- More than $97 million invested in Alaska’s largest wireless network
- 1-gigabit Internet delivered to almost 80% of n Alaska’s population including Anchorage, Juneau, Mat-Su, and Fairbanks.
- $300 million investment in Terrestrial for Every Rural Region in Alaska (TERRA) network. Connects rural Alaska villages to terrestrial broadband and increased Internet capabilities, comprising 103 towers, over 3,000 miles of microwave and fiber, access for 45,000 Alaskans and four communities in western Alaska.
- GCI is a pioneer in its field, bringing telemedicine and online education capabilities to communities across the state and continuing efforts to connect the Arctic globally as well as providing strong services to consumer and business markets.
- GCI is at the forefront of telecommunications infrastructure, which is a pillar of Arctic strategy.
- GCI envisions a future where broadband is available to all communities in the Arctic and continues to work to preserve the unique cultures of the region, as well as support economic development projects such as tower construction, fiber trenching, undersea cabling, satellite projects and more.
Plan now to join us in 2019 to find out more about GCI—true pioneer that has been changing the lives of all those who live the largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state!
James M. Cox Chair and Senior Fellow
The Cable Center
Chief Customer Experience Officer
GCI is Alaska’s largest technology company and a pioneer in its field. In 2019, GCI celebrates 40 years of delivering communication and technology services to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America.
GCI completed its Terrestrial for Every Rural Region in Alaska (TERRA) project, connecting 45,000 Alaskans in 84 different Alaskan villages to the rest of the world, through high-speed land-based broadband service. TERRA forms a 2,000-mile ring, extends from Fairbanks west through Galena to Dime, where it turns south, connecting Bethel, before circling east toward Homer. Branches also extend to communities on the Norton and Kotzebue sounds, and provides broadband connectivity to the Red Dog Mine. With a price tag of more than $300 million, TERRA is one of the most expensive projects of its kind in the country. Its installation required working through challenging terrain and unpredictable weather conditions, incorporating extreme and innovative uses of telecommunications technology to construct more than 100 TERRA microwave towers across Alaska’s remote wilderness.
With a direct land-based connection to Anchorage and the Internet, the TERRA network delivers critical bandwidth to numerous public, nonprofit, and private entities such as regional health corporations, school districts, native organizations, and residents. Today, GCI has delivered on this vision in 84 communities in western Alaska. Going into tomorrow, GCI plans to expand the TERRA network to more underserved communities throughout the state.
Seven Glaciers Restaurant
The Spring 2019 C5 Dinner promises to be a truly unique Alaskan experience! Seven Glaciers is Alyeska Resort’s AAA Four Diamond award winning mountaintop luxury restaurant. Located approximately 45 minutes from Anchorage, we take a panoramic bus trip to The Hotel Alyeska. Our journey continues on a scenic aerial tram ride, taking us 2,300 feet above sea level to the mountain-top perch. Overlooking seven hanging glaciers from picturesque windows, Seven Glaciers is surrounded by nature from every direction. This means that every table features panoramic glacier and ocean views!
Hotel Captain Cook
Located in the heart of downtown Anchorage, Alaska, every one of the Hotel Captain Cook’s 546 rooms and suites offer stunning views of the neighboring Cook Inlet, Chugach Mountains, Anchorage cityscape, or Mt. McKinley. Built in 1964, the historic hotel will be ‘home-base’ for the Spring 2019 Meeting. In addition to the meeting proceedings, all meals during the meeting (breakfast and lunch) will be catered at the hotel. A perfect setting to enjoy the natural beauty and grandeur of Alaska. This luxury property is also the preferred hotel for C5ers to book their accommodation needs. Check out the deeply discounted rate for the C5 block booking (coming soon).
Flying the Friendly Skies with Alaska Airlines
For the 11th year in a row, Alaska Airlines (AA) has earned J.D. Powers highest customer satisfaction rating among traditional (non-budget) airlines. Alaska also topped the rankings in the WSJ’s airline survey and been recognized by SmarterTravel, the Points Guy, FlyerTalk, and U.S. News & World Report, as the best airline in the U.S.
As the fifth largest U.S. airline, Alaska Airlines flies to more than 115 cities in the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica, and holds a monopoly in America’s 49th state. Contrary to the “Big Four,” Alaska Airlines is still small-scale, with 1,200 flights per day. And, unlike it’s larger industry rivals, the smaller airline adheres to the belief that it's about making customers feel less like cattle, and more like individuals. Being voted the best airline in customer satisfaction for 11 years in a row is no accident…it’s starts with empowering employees and a corporate culture that puts customers first.
Another stand-out is Alaska Airlines’ loyalty program. While competitors are devaluing their frequent-flier programs, Alaska’s keeps getting better. Alaska is one of the only holdouts awarding miles based on how far you fly, no matter what you pay for the ticket, making it far easier for customers to climb the ranks—and score the perks—of a loyalty program. Maintaining reward status is also easier with Alaska than with other airlines: even in a down year, Alaska will grandfather you into your normal level of status. And, thanks to its partnerships with multiple airlines, loyalty program members are not stuck redeeming Alaska miles; they can use them to fly all over the world, with top-tier international airlines.
On top of that, little things like upgrade reliability, free cocktails, and end-of-year thank-you gifts (like tins of cookies) allow Alaska to stand out. The airline truly seems appreciative of their highest-level frequent fliers and have the best frequent perks—with no change fees! Alaska Airlines certainly has an interesting story to tell—despite its monopolistic market position, the carrier has cultivated a cult-like following among its large base of loyal customers. According to Brian Kelly, founder of the Points Guy “Airlines just make it hard for you to love them. Alaska, it seems, makes it pretty easy.”
Vice President, North America Enterprise Accounts
Todd is the Vice President North America Enterprise Accounts at CallMiner. Todd has held sales, marketing and leadership positions in his over 25 years in telecommunications and technology, in both Fortune 1000 companies, and in start-ups. An adept strategist with keen market sense and proven ability to close multi-million dollar opportunities, Todd has a demonstrated history of delivering and sustaining revenue and profit gains within highly competitive markets and is able to eliminate obstacles through creative and adaptive approaches. He has resolved complex problems, open new markets and achieve record sales, which include: running a $100M P&L, managing team of 60, growing revenue 60% AND improving customer satisfaction 11%; building a $30M business from $0 in 3 years, initially selling, then managing a team, then managing managers; taking a pre-revenue start-up to over $2M in bookings and negotiated 5 major contracts, in less than two years; hand-building two distinct teams in another start-up: one that delivered one-half of the company’s $15M revenues in less than 18 months, another that delivered 20% of the company’s $45M revenues in just two years.
Todd has been responsible for managing accounts with: Alcatel Lucent, AT&T, Bell, Cellular South, Ericsson, France Telecom/Orange, Leap/Cricket, MetroPCS, Nokia Siemens Networks, Rogers, Sprint, Telefonica, TMO-US, USCellular, Verizon, Vodafone, and others. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA in Marketing, Finance, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Rochester.
CEO and Co-Founder
Ron Duncan is CEO of GCI. He first came to Alaska in 1977 with some Alaska friends he met during graduate school. He moved to North Pole, Alaska in 1978, where he lived while starting a cable television company in Fairbanks. In 1979, Ron moved to Anchorage where he and Bob Walp started GCI. In the 37 ensuing years, GCI has grown to become the largest telecommunications provider in Alaska, with more than 2,200 employees and almost $1 billion in revenues.
In April of 2017, GCI and Liberty Interactive Corporation signed an agreement to combine GCI with certain assets of Liberty Ventures Group to create a new corporation with an enterprise value of $8.4 billion to be called GCI Liberty. The transaction valued GCI at $2.8 billion. Following closing of the proposed transaction, Ron will continue to run GCI.
Ron is a passionate pilot with more than 8,000 hours of flight time in everything from single engine amphibious planes to mid-size jets. He is a board member and past chairman of the National Business Aviation Association. Additionally, he serves on the boards of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and Cable Labs, which is the telecommunications industry’s technology think tank. He is a past chairman of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation and the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation.
Ron has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Harvard.
Gregory F. Chapados
President and Chief Operating Officer
Greg Chapados is GCI's President and COO. He served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since June 2012. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president since June 2006. Before joining GCI, Greg was a managing director at two boutique investment banks in Dallas, Texas, specializing in the defense and telecommunications industries and served as senior vice president, new business development at Crown Media, a cable system subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Before moving to Dallas, Greg served as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information in the U.S. Department of Commerce during the George H. W. Bush administration and chief of staff to Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK).
Chief Customer Experience Officer
In her current position, Maureen is responsible for the overall customer experience strategy of GCI. With more than 20 years of telecom experience, she previously served as Vice President of Consumer Services, with marketing and operations responsibility for GCI’s consumer products, including wireless, Internet, cable TV, and wireline services. She also served on the Alaska Broadband Task Force from 2011-2014 which produced a plan for accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband technology across Alaska. She graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Business Administration, double majoring in Finance and Management. Maureen is currently based out of Anchorage, Alaska.
Marilyn F. Romano
Regional Vice President
SIn 2011, Marilyn Romano joined Alaska Airlines as its Regional Vice-President, Alaska. Marilyn oversees public affairs, corporate giving, sales and marketing, internal and external communications, and governmental affairs in Alaska, in addition to interacting with over 1,800 employees throughout the state. In 2016, Marilyn added the great state of Hawaii to her area of responsibility.
Currently, Marilyn chairs the board of directors of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, is a board member of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Alaska Foundation board of trustees. She is also a member of the American Heart Association statewide board, and chaired the Go Red for Women event in Anchorage in 2014, and co-chaired the event in Fairbanks. .
VP, Customer Service, Planning & Delivery
As Vice-President of Rogers Customer Care, Andrés leads the Customer Care organization for the consumer segment. He leads 5500 employees and partners in multiple sites coast to coast across Canada, servicing Rogers customers across voice and digitally assisted channels. In his previous role at Rogers, as Vice-President of End-to-End Customer Operations, he has led portfolios that simplify complex operating environments, streamline go-to-market activities, billing and payment portfolios, and improve the customer experience.
Prior to Rogers, Andrés worked in management consulting, specializing in field operations, performance management and deployment of large billing, CRM and provisioning systems throughout North America and Europe. Andrés is also the founder of a hi-tech venture focused on leveraging 3D gaming technologies to deliver immersive learning experiences to large workforces.