Ross Announces Five New FirstNet Board Members, Reappointment

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross today announced the appointment of five new members of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board and the reappointment of board member Neil Cox, the chairman of the board’s Technology Committee.

The appointments bring the board to a full complement of 15 members for the first time since the end of 2016, when Barry Boniface resigned.

“I am proud to announce the selection of these highly qualified new Board members, whose experience in public service and the private sector will ensure FirstNet continues to provide the world-class communications network our emergency responders need,” said Secretary Ross, who last month reappointed Edward Horowitz to the board and designated him as chairman (TR Daily, Sept. 5). “I thank our new members for their willingness to join the Board and guide FirstNet in its mission to save lives and keep our communities safe.”

The five new board members, each of whom was appointed to a three-year term, are: Richard Carrizzo, chief of the Southern Platte Fire Protection District in Kansas City, Mo., and lead fire representative on the policy board that manages the region’s 911 system; Welton Chase Jr., a retired Army brigadier general who led the Army’s largest theater information technology organization, which supported more than 430,000 Army users across 81 data centers in 38 states; Brian Crawford, chief administrative officer of Shreveport, La.; Billy Hewes, mayor of Gulfport, Miss.; and Paul Patrick, division director-Family Health and Preparedness for the Utah Department of Health, past president of the National Association of State EMS Officials, and interim director of the FirstNet board’s Public Safety Advisory Committee.

“I want to thank and welcome all of the new board members and congratulate Neil Cox on his reappointment,” said David Redl, administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, where FirstNet is housed. “I am confident we have the right board in place, under the leadership of Ed Horowitz, to guide FirstNet as it deploys around the country and connects our first responders.”

“I am pleased to welcome our newest members to the FirstNet Board,” said Mr. Horowitz. “Each are experts in their fields – from local leaders to public safety officials and business and technology executives. I want to thank Secretary Ross for supporting FirstNet with these new appointments and the reappointment of Neil Cox. With these accomplished leaders on board, we are set to drive FirstNet’s success – now and in the future.”

Mr. Horowitz added, “I also want to thank our outgoing members for their service to FirstNet and the public safety community; Kevin McGinnis, who was a member of the FirstNet Board since the beginning and brought valuable emergency medical perspectives and relationships to FirstNet, and [former Houston] Mayor Annise D. Parker, who served on our Public Safety Advocacy Committee and helped us engage with local governments in the planning leading up to the early deployment of FirstNet.”

Sue Swenson and Jeff Johnson, the former chairwoman and vice chairman of the FirstNet board, resigned from the board in August (TR Daily, Aug. 20). Mr. McGinnis was term-limited.

“NLC congratulates the local officials appointed to the FirstNet board. FirstNet has the potential to be a critical resource for cities, and the local perspective is an important part of its governance. We look forward to working with the new board members to ensure that FirstNet meets the needs of the local public safety community,” said Tom Martin, a spokesman for the National League of Cities. —Paul Kirby,

Courtesy TRDaily