Advisory Council

The WiredWest Advisory Council will provide expertise, advice and serve as advocates for WiredWest. Its members were chosen for their long-term commitment to the project, and expertise of value to the WiredWest venture. They were officially voted to the Council by the WiredWest Board of Directors.

Richard M. Allen

Richard M. Allen retired from Cravath’s Corporate Department in 1997. Mr. Allen specialized in structuring and implementing large and complex project and lease financings, often involving multiple U.S. and offshore parties and multiple levels of debt and equity investments. His clients included almost all the major financial institutions that invested in such financings, including GE Capital (for whom he was the primary outside counsel), Ford Motor Credit, Chrysler Capital, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors, and many others. Mr. Allen opened and ran the Cravath Hong Kong office, the Firm’s presence in Asia, from 1994 to 1998.

Mr. Allen is an honorary life member of the Duke University Law School Board of Visitors and an emeritus member of the American College of Investment Counsel. He was a co-founder of Environmental Advocates, which he has served as president, chairman and chairman emeritus, and from whom he received its lifetime achievement award. Now living in western Massachusetts, he founded and is president of the French Park Fund and the Southwest Berkshire Housing Coalition.

Mr. Allen received a B.A. from Purdue University in 1963 and an LL.B. from Duke University School of Law in 1966, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and was the Articles Editor of the Law Journal. He joined Cravath in 1966 and became a partner in 1975.

Bob Armstrong

Bob is a former member of the WiredWest Steering Committee.

He designed computer systems for Digital Equipment Corporation including implementations of the PDP-11 and VAX architectures. In 1980 he moved to Western Mass and wrote CAD software from home for automatically placing and routing Digital and Compaq Printed Circuit boards. In 2002 he retired from Hewlett Packard and wrote business application software and web applications for Blue Fox of Shelburne Falls. He then worked for the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval at UMass under a DARPA grant.

Bob is currently chair of the Conway Broadband committee negotiating Conway’s Cable relationship with Comcast. He served on the committee to develop the computer strategy when Conway built it’s new elementary school and provided many years of computer support for the school and Conway community.

Bob has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from MIT.

Seth Isman

Seth Isman is Economic Development Director of the Hilltown Community Development Corporation. He works with small business-owners to start, grow and stabilize their businesses. He serves businesses in twenty hilltowns, including 15 WiredWest charter towns.

Seth has served on non-profit boards and counseled local businesses since he moved to Western Massachusetts in 1972. He has been Treasurer and board member of food co-ops, daycare centers, private schools and the Northampton Downtown Business Association. Many years before joining the staff of Hilltown CDC, he was a member of the CDC’s board and a member of its Business Development Committee. He was the chair of Chesterfield’s Finance Committee for four years.

Seth owned his own businesses from 1974 to 2006. He has been a toy store owner, a studio potter, a production stage manager, a Peace Corps Volunteer and a Foreign Service Officer. He is the author of Play for Profit: A Retail Business Plan for Toy Stores, distributed nationally by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.

Seth believes that nothing will do more for the region’s small businesses than the success of WiredWest.

Nathaniel W. Karns

Nat is the Executive Director of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

Nat is responsible for operations and initiatives of BRPC, which include economic and community development; transportation planning; and regional planning and policy development for Berkshire County.

He has been directly involved with the issue of closing the digital divide in Western Massachusetts, both in his role at BRPC, as well as his position on the Board of Western Mass Connect (formerly Berkshire Connect). Nat is a strong advocate for WiredWest solution and has served informally as an advisor to WiredWest since the initiative began in 2010.

Nat has a Master’s degree in Planning from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and a Bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Virginia. He also holds the AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) designation.

Larry Klein

Larry is a former member of the WiredWest Steering Committee and the past Chair of the WiredWest Technology Committee.

Klein had a distinguished career in the engineering and technology sector that included senior positions at Sperry Systems Management Corp., where he was responsible for computer and digital systems design and integration, from 1960 to 1982. He then went on to co-found Robocom Systems International, a company specializing in the Automation of Warehouses and Distribution Centers, where he served as Executive Vice-President prior to his retirement. During his tenure at Robocom, the company grew in international sales and went public. He consults from his home in Monterey, which he finds challenging given the restrictions of Satellite internet access.

An avid pilot and former Navy Carrier Based Flier, he is also building an Experimental Vans RV10, four place, high performance aircraft in his garage. He also devotes much time and energy to local interests, and is an active board member of a number of community and town organizations, including the Monterey Planning Board and the Southern Berkshire Technology Committee. Klein has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and a Masters of Business Administration, Finance.

David Kulp

David is a former member of the WiredWest Steering Committee and the past Town Delegate Liaison for WiredWest.

He has spent 20 years involved in scientific research, software development, information technology and project management. He received his PhD from UC Santa Cruz where he played a key role in the international human genome sequencing project. He then helped start a bioinformatics company, Neomorphic, in the San Francisco Bay area in 1997. The company was acquired in 2000 by biotechnology instrumentation company Affymetrix, where he then directed the development of next generation GeneChip microarrays and related scientific tools. David joined the faculty of Computer Science at UMass Amherst in 2003, where he continued his research in genomics for several years.

Today David devotes much of his time to local interests — serving the local town government, the Ashfield Community Preschool board of directors, writing for the local newspaper, and working with WiredWest. At home now with his young daughters, he spends his time on scientific consulting and software development during the cold months of the year, and during the growing season he works a small farm specializing in small fruits and cut flowers for the local retail and wholesale markets.

Tim Newman

Tim is a former member of the WiredWest Steering Committee and the past Chair of the WiredWest Governance Committee.

Tim is an award-winning, multi-faceted and creative individual with a broad range of experience in film and the visual arts. His credits include directing, producing, writing, cinematography and editing. At the same time, he is a seasoned business executive who has partnered in, and founded production companies in New York and Los Angeles, in addition to managing large and complex multi-million dollar projects for others. His credits span advertising, marketing and entertainment. His talents have been lent to museums and public space retail concepts as a consultant, conceptual exhibit designer, and media producer.

A native Californian, Newman studied physics and economics before being lured to New York City where he abandoned his intention of a career in science, and instead began pursuing his awakening creative impulses. Since moving to the Berkshires in 2002, he transformed the closed village general store in the town where he now lives, into a thriving cafe and bistro, and community meeting place. He continues to develop creative projects for various media – most recently with a focus on local food and agriculture and sustainable living for rural communities. He envisions a time in the not too distant future when fiber-to-the-door broadband connectivity will generate an explosion in creative and entrepreneurial opportunities in rural western Massachusetts.

Ryan Shea

Ryan Shea is from Pittsfield and now lives in Ashburn Virginia, where he works for AOL as the Marketing Director for Yield Management, Pricing, Deal Evaluation and Deal Approval.

Shea supports the WiredWest initiative because he fundamentally understands how a faster internet connection to the home or business can provide transformative opportunities for the region, both for leisure and for business.

Shea studied at Syracuse University where he majored in Marketing Management.

Douglas Trumbull

Doug Trumbull is a film director and legendary visual effects pioneer. The first film he worked on was 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968. That was followed by Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Blade Runner, each of which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. Trumbull directed Silent Running (1972), Brainstorm (1983), Back to the Future, The Ride (1991) and numerous other special format films.

Trumbull has received numerous awards for his groundbreaking work, including an Academy Award in the area of Scientific and Technical Achievement; the International Monitor Award; and the American Society of Cinematographer’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for his outstanding contributions in the field of filmaking. He has been nominated five times for Academy Awards and was inducted to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2012, he received the George Melies Award in 2012 from the Visual Effects Society.

He is currently evolution of visual effects using virtual digital sets and electronic cinematography at 120 fps in 3D, and projection onto deeply curved high gain screens at extreme brightness and in 3D toward the goal of reinvigorating exhibition of motion pictures. He works out of his state-of-the-art studio in New Marlborough, with a commercial DSL connection, which is inadequate for his daily work. He is very much looking forward to having a fiber connection at his home and business.

Edward Zyszkowski

Ed is a former member of the WiredWest Steering Committee.

Edward is a highly-regarded visionary and scientific pioneer whose technical expertise is tempered with strong business acumen that has enabled him to build many successful companies. After his success in building robotics systems for the Space Shuttle during his tenure at Lockheed Martin, he went on to create many of the earliest “data mining” technologies and text search systems while at Thinking Machines. He founded and headed Torrent Systems, which was ultimately acquired by IBM and provides the basis for their Information Server system. He led and sold technology companies to both Yahoo! and Google. Mr. Zyszkowski holds a number of patents and was a very successful investor and executive in numerous technology ventures.

Ed completed his undergraduate degree and graduate studies in Biophysics at the Johns Hopkins University and his MBA at Babson College. In addition to serving as CEO of Steeplechase Networks, he is chairman of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Committee at Johns Hopkins.