Satnews Daily
December 15th, 2015

GVF's New Board Elected Executives Ensure Industry Initiatives 

[Satnews] The international satellite communications industry has confirmed leading executives to serve on GVF’s Board of Directors where they will help to lead the association as it continues to create greater awareness of the commercial, economic, political and technological advantages provided by satellite broadband and broadcasting solutions.

Joining the Board, for a two-year term of office, is Tracey Haslam of Harris CapRock Communications, where she serves as President of the Company. Re-elected to the Board of Directors, to serve a further two-year term of office, is Simon Gray, Field Support Manager, Eutelsat. They join incumbent members, Michael DeMarco, Senior Vice President, Operations, Intelsat;  Jonas Eneberg, Vice President, International Spectrum Management, Inmarsat; Nancy Eskenazi, Vice President Legal Service, Global Regulatory, SES; Yasir Hassan, Director of Transmission Operations, ARABSAT; and Arunas Slekys, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Hughes Network Systems.

"As the satellite communications industry addresses major challenges and opportunities, the need for a strong, well-credentialed GVF Board has never been greater,” said David Hartshorn, Secretary General of GVF. “The industry has chosen Tracey Haslam to join the GVF Board, and re-elected Simon Gray, based upon their outstanding track records, as well as their vision and commitment to strengthening every link in the global satellite industry’s value chain.”

The GVF Board election was held at the Annual General Assembly on December 2nd in London at the Strand Palace Hotel, in conjunction with the GVF High Throughput Satellite Roundtable. Delegates participated in an open-forum discussion on new trends, opportunities and challenges that are key priorities on the Board of Directors’ agenda.  Those priorities include the following:

  • Cyber-Security Best Practices: To strengthen defences against growing cyber threats, GVF has been making strides in advancing a ‘culture of security’, establishing security guidelines for operators and enterprises, and developing processes based on cyber-security best practices for the satellite communications sector. 
  • Promoting Quality Products:  As satellite communications have become increasingly popular, the industry has seen tremendous growth in terminal manufacturing, with a proliferation of product types becoming available. GVF’s Quality Products Framework facilitates effective testing and type-approvals processes, while promoting best practices in design and production.
  • Disaster Preparedness & Unitarian Assistance: The satellite sector is systematically part of the first responder team to help support global natural disasters as the industry provides immediate communication links to support the logistics, deployment and coordination of relief efforts.  GVF is committed with the United Nations, NGO, and satellite communities to enhance connectivity in emergencies. 
  • Improved Market Access and Regulation: GVF works with governments wherever new reforms are needed to enable a more cost-effective operating environment, and to facilitate expanded market access to affordable satellite-based services. The GVF Regulatory Working Group is diligently working to promote progressive reforms to insure affordable, easily accessible service for users worldwide. 
  • Protecting Satellite Spectrum: Following governmental re-affirmation of the importance of satellite spectrum during last month’s ITU World Radiocommunication Conference, GVF will continue to co-ordinate with national administrations and other communications stakeholders to increase global advocacy, and continue to preserve critical spectrum for use by the satellite communications industry and end users. 
  • Capacity Building: Improving the skills and knowledge of technicians and operators is a strategic necessity for the industry and its customers.  With tremendous gains in the number of earth stations now being installed each month, the need to train and certify technicians is increasing exponentially. GVF’s Certification programme has already enrolled more than 11,000 trainees worldwide, and is expanding to provide training for broadcasting, maritime, oil & gas, emergency management, and other user groups. 
  • Improving Operational Effectiveness:  As the satellite industry has grown with unparalleled demand for mobility, high-throughput and other state-of-the-art satellite solutions, GVF has been driving satellite-industry programmes to implement network validation, benchmarking and other interference prevention and mitigation initiatives that are designed to enhance signal quality and operational effectiveness.
  • Industry Advocacy & Outreach: From disaster preparedness to community connectivity, and from oil & gas to maritime, mining, military and bridging the ‘Digital Divide’, the importance of effectively communicating the satellite industry’s value and contributions is greater than ever before. GVF is elevating the industry profile through events, the media and online platforms. 

Companies involved in the provision of satellite communications systems and services are eligible to join GVF to support these and other industry programmes. There are two Membership categories: Full GVF Members are eligible to nominate, vote, and to become elected to the GVF Board of Directors; Associate Members are able to participate in all other GVF activities.

The newly elected and re-elected GVF Board Members are:

  • Tracey Haslam has been the President of Harris CapRock Communications, Inc. (HCC) since January 2014. Ms. Haslam is responsible for leading HCC, the premier global provider of managed communications solutions for remote and harsh environments including the energy, government and maritime markets. Ms. Haslam has more than 25 years of experience leading businesses and teams in markets ranging from offshore oil exploration and production to defence, technology and after-market services. She served as Vice President and General Manager of Harris CapRock’s energy business.
  • Ms. Haslam received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and engineering from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and a Master’s degree in business administration from INSEAD in France.
  • Simon Gray, Field Support Manager, Eutelsat. Mr. Gray is responsible for Eutelsat’s VSAT training programme and the design of all its tools and mobile apps to help VSAT installation. His team have been responsible for the installation procedures for over 300,000 VSATs. The training programme has trained over 12,000 engineers in more than 30 countries on 4 continents. Mr. Gray is responsible for all Eutelsat VSAT level 3 troubleshooting escalation procedures and is also involved with the Eutelsat VSAT Antenna Approval procedure, which is essential to reducing interference.  Mr. Gray’s is responsible for all Humanitarian Affairs within Eutelsat.
  • The five seatedMichael DeMarco, Senior Vice President, Operations, Intelsat. Mr.  DeMarco leads Intelsat’s network engineering, network operations and information system teams, including the company’s global teleport operations. He is also responsible for the company’s information system strategy and the delivery of the company’s end-to-end service portfolio, including the integration of the Intelsat EpicNG® platform.
  • Mr. DeMarco earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a MBA from Fairfield University in Connecticut
  • Jonas Eneberg, Vice President, International Spectrum Management, Inmarsat. Mr. Eneberg has been working in international spectrum management for 25 years. He started his career at the Swedish national regulator, then part of Swedish Telecom, in 1990 and joined Inmarsat in 1995. Since 2000, he has been responsible for Inmarsat's ITU-R related activities as well as frequency coordination of the Inmarsat satellite networks.
  • Mr. Eneberg is well known throughout the industry for his role in successfully promoting satellite industry spectrum interests at World Radiocommuncations Conferences, for example in obtaining new allocations for mobile-satellite services and defending the C-band FSS spectrum. His large network of contacts will contribute to spreading GVF messages to key decision makers at national, regional and international levels.
  • Nancy Eskenazi, Vice President Legal Service, Global Regulatory, SES. With more than 20 years of experience in the satellite sector, Ms. Eskenazi brings a unique regulatory and policy perspective to GVF.  In this role she leads development and execution of regulatory and policy strategy for the Americas, Europe, Russia and Turkey.  She also manages global export control, sanctions compliance and antitrust matters.  Nancy is closely involved in regulatory, policy and spectrum matters on national, international and at the ITU levels.
  • Ms. Eskenazi holds an LLM in International & Comparative Law from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor and MS in Television, Radio & Film from Syracuse University.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Yasir Hassan, Director of Transmission Operations, ARABSAT.  Yasir Hassan has almost 20 years of experience in the Telecommunication field starting with King Fahad City for Satellite Communication in Saudi Arabia.  He joined ARABSAT in July 1998, held the position of Engineering Services Head in 2008 and was selected to be the Director of Transmission operation in 2010.
  • Mr. Hassan holds a Bachelor of Science with honour degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Eastern Mediterranean University, Northern Cyprus, and obtained his MBA from University of Leicester, UK in 2005.  He also serves as a Director on the Satellite Interference Reduction Group.
  • Arunas Slekys, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Hughes Network Systems. Arunas Slekys is responsible for managing all of Hughes marketing communications and advocacy initiatives worldwide
  • He holds a B.App.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University  of Toronto, an M.Sc. from the University of Illinois, and a PhD in computer and communications engineering from UCLA. He is co-author of a founding patent for wireless data systems (CDPD) and is a frequently published author on satellite and wireless communications. Dr. Slekys has served as the elected Chairman of the GVF Board since 2006.