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CCA Announces 2020 Annual Achievement Award Winners

Washington, D.C., October 6, 2020 – Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) today

announced the winners of the 2020 Annual Achievement Awards honoring companies and individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service and contributed time and resources to the wireless industry, their local community, and to CCA. The award categories include: Distinguished Leadership; Outstanding Achievement; Neko Hamlett Associate Member of the Year; Outstanding Service; and Industry Innovation.

“This past year truly has highlighted the innovative spirit of the wireless industry, and the many people who have gone above and beyond to offer their time and generosity to the community during a challenging time,” said Steven K. Berry, president and CEO of CCA. “The winners of CCA’s Annual Achievement Awards demonstrate the best our industry has to offer from corporations and individuals who are working tirelessly to bring wireless connectivity and broadband access to all parts of this country, particularly to areas still in need. A heartfelt thank you and my congratulations to this year’s winners!”

CCA’s 2020 Annual Achievement Award winners include:

Distinguished Leadership Award

Willy Pirtle, Shentel

Having served as CCA’s Chairman of the Board since 2018, Willy has demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to CCA. His respected insight, thoughtful guidance, positive demeanor, and good humor have made him a true leader within the association and has allowed CCA to continue its success on behalf of competitive carriers across the country. CCA looks forward to another year of Chairman Pirtle’s leadership.

Outstanding Achievement Award

Nathan Sutter, Nex-Tech Wireless

As CCA’s representative on the Board of the Secure Telephone Identity Governance Authority, Nathan has represented CCA members’ interests in establishing the industry-wide framework for call authentication. He also greatly contributed to engineering discussions on the broadband mapping issue – one of CCA’s biggest policy initiatives for the past year.

Neko Hamlett Associate Member of the Year Award

Lisa Murray, Interop Technologies

A long time and active member of CCA and the Events Committee, Lisa regularly participates in creating valuable content and recruiting speakers for CCA’s conferences. Whether lending her voice for a marketing video or sharing best practices with fellow members, her experience and willingness to lend a hand is appreciated by everyone.

Outstanding Service Award (Carrier) - Two Winners


Cellcom has gone above and beyond the normal call of duty for CCA grassroots advocacy. Over the last year, they have sent nearly 1,500 letters to Members of their congressional delegation regarding a public C-band Auction and using new mapping data for the FCC’s proposed 5G Fund. Their engagement has been pivotal to CCA’s work on Capitol Hill.


At the onset of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, HTC stepped in to ensure that hundreds of students in Horry and Georgetown Counties in South Carolina had free Internet access at home. Within seven business days, HTC successfully connected almost 700 residences and installed Wi-Fi hotspots at community centers and high schools throughout both counties.

Outstanding Service Award (Associate)


During the COVID-19 shutdown many families in Rutland, Vermont were faced with limited resources, so the Rutland City Public Schools contacted Vermont Telephone (VTel) to help provide students access to a computer and high-speed Internet. VTel brought in Ericsson to install their fixed wireless access to quickly bring broadband services to Rutland students. In less than 10 days, Ericsson expedited the installation of next generation 4G/5G wireless radios and antennas, and VTel and sister company VTel Wireless delivered wireless modems and routers to homes, providing students with free Internet service. This is a shining example of a great team effort by Rutland Schools, VTel and Ericsson to bring connectivity to rural customers and keep America running.

Industry Innovation Award

Chip Damato, Inland Cellular Inland Cellular wanted to expand its ability to meet new connectivity needs in the community including smart homes, connected farms, smart enterprises, private LTE, and other services. To maintain its network services edge, Chip was instrumental in making sure the 4G/LTE network was updated to provide better coverage and enable new services with Open RAN architecture, being one of the first ones to deploy it in the US and run live traffic. Inland Cellular also leveraged virtualized, cloud-native and software-defined solutions to provide better coverage and service for its customers.

About CCA

CCA is the leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. Members range from small, rural carriers serving fewer than 5,000 customers to regional and nationwide providers serving millions of customers, as well as vendors and suppliers that provide products and services throughout the wireless communications ecosystem. CCA’s 2021 Mobile Carriers Show will take place March 29-31 in Louisville, Kentucky and CCA’s 2021 Annual Convention will take place September 20-22 in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit Twitter: @CCAMobile #CCA2020

Media Contact:

Cheryl Delgreco

Media Strategies


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