The next monthly meeting event for 2018 is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 5:30 pm.  The event is a dinner event, no Webex access provided, to be held at the Olive Tree Cafe in South Charleston, WV.  Cost is $20, $10 discount for Chapter membership (you must be logged into the portal using your PMI credentials when registering as an individual to receive the discount).

Topic abstract:

West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council

The mission of the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council (the Council) is to direct the development of policies, plans, processes and procedures to expand and enhance broadband access throughout West Virginia. The Council places a primary emphasis on the development of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas of the State as outlined in West Virginia Code §31G.

The Council has formed partnerships with numerous state and federal agencies, and multiple organizations united in the recognition that West Virginia deserves better access to broadband internet service. Along with the Council, these agencies understand that access to affordable and reliable broadband has never been more crucial to the economic, educational and social future of West Virginia. 

Through partnerships with the West Virginia Department of Commerce, West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES), the State Office of GIS Coordination, and the West Virginia Department of Transportation, the Council has successfully launched the West Virginia Speed Test Portal and has created the State’s first Interactive Broadband Mapping System. Through this initiative, the Council will accurately identify the presence and level of broadband internet service throughout the State.

As directed by the West Virginia Legislature, the Council is leading the expansion of broadband within the State of West Virginia, with an emphasis on unserved and underserved areas. In this mission, the Council will:

  • Encourage the development of broadband infrastructure in the State.
  • Evaluate and map the broadband infrastructure and service systems through an Interactive Mapping Program and other data collection methods. 
  • Eliminate barriers to broadband infrastructure development within the State. 
  • Engage and mobilize the expertise, funding, and partners to facilitate the creation of reliable and affordable broadband service.
  • Expand economic development and represent the State in matters related to broadband infrastructure development. 

The Council seeks to develop a core network of capacity within the State to eliminate barriers to broadband infrastructure development. Partners in this endeavor include State and Federal agencies, local governments, Regional Planning and Development Councils, Local Economic Development Authorities, service providers, and other interested parties.

The Council’s composition includes key stakeholders who represent the concerns of numerous constituencies. This structure ensures that the Council is well-equipped to represent the State of West Virginia in policy development at both the Federal and State levels. 

This session will provide an overview the Speed Test Portal and the Interactive Broadband Mapping System within the context of the State’s broadband development initiative. The session will also provide a review of project development strategies for local governments, funding opportunities and available resources. 

0.5 PDU in Strategic/Business Management and 0.5 PDU in Technical for a total of 1 PDU will be awarded for participating in this event.

Presenter bios:

Mr. Tony Simental has served as West Virginia’s State GIS Coordinator since 2009. In this role, he coordinates GIS (Geospatial Information Technology) applications throughout the State of West Virginia in the Office of GIS Coordination.

Collaborating with both the public and private sectors, Mr. Simental was instrumental in the development of both the West Virginia Water Development Authority (WDA) and the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council (IJDC) GIS system. Most recently, he led the creation of an interactive broadband mapping system in cooperation with the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council and the West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey.

Previously, he led the development of 11 Regional and a State Broadband Strategic Plans as part of the State Broadband Initiative of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Mr. Simental’s coursework in civil engineering, geography and geology contribute to his understanding of GIS, civil and environmental engineering, project management, regional planning, transportation, and geography. His work spans numerous industries, including transportation, construction and related fields in the U.S. and abroad. He was previously employed by the West Virginia Property Tax Division where he managed and administered the Mined Minerals GIS program, and has also served as Interim Public Works Director and as an engineering technician for the City of Huntington.

Mr. Simental has instructed college courses at Marshall University and the Marshall University Graduate College. He is a current member of the Geographic Information Certification Institute Board of Directors and continues to share his time as a member of several local, state, and national boards and organizations. He is a graduate of Marshall University where he obtained an Master of Science degree in Geography in 1999 and is a resident of Huntington, WV. He is married to Maria Simental, and has four children and a grandchild.

Kelly Workman serves as Community Development Manager for the West Virginia Development Office, where she has managed numerous State and Federal programs within the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

In 2017, she was appointed as the West Virginia Department of Commerce liaison to the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council to pursue the development of this industry throughout the State.

As Manager of Project Development, she coordinated infrastructure and housing construction programs funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ms. Workman has also managed the Local Economic Development and Certified Development Community programs, and related State and Federal development programs and initiatives during her 20-year tenure in the Development Office.

Ms. Workman earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Concord University and a Master's Degree from Marshall University. Prior to joining the Development Office, she held positions in the West Virginia Senate, West Virginia Department of Administration, and the Contractors Association of West Virginia.

Ms. Workman is active in numerous professional and civic organizations. Her professional background includes project management, technical writing, training, human resource management, media relations and marketing.  She resides in Charleston with her husband, Johnathan, and their daughters, Ashley and Allison.

You must register and pay in advance for this networking in person event, so click on the appropriate item under Upcoming Events and scroll down to the bottom to click the registration button. 

Hope to "see" you there!