Leadership

Jerry Howe

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Mr. Howe is the Chief Executive Officer of Big River. Mr. Howe has over 30 years experience in the telecommunications industry, including 18 years at SBC Communications, formerly Southwestern Bell. Immediately prior to establishing Big River, Mr. Howe founded Gabriel Communications, where he was the President and Chief Operating Officer. Gabriel, now Nuvox Communications, is a full service communications company providing local, long distance and Internet services in 28 markets across the Midwest and southeast U.S.

Prior to founding Gabriel Communications, Mr. Howe spent 2 years with Brooks Fiber Properties (“BFP”) as Senior Vice President – Finance. Brooks Fiber, which competed directly with the regional Bell operating companies, constructed and operated digital fiber optic networks providing reliable high-capacity voice, video, data, and other enhanced telecommunications services to business, government, and carrier customers. Mr. Howe was instrumental in establishing the financial operations of Brooks, which raised over $1.5 billion in investment capital to successfully launch the company.

During his tenure with SBC Communications, Mr. Howe held a variety of executive positions in the areas of Finance, Regulatory Affairs, Information Technology, and Customer Service. From 1993 through 1995, Mr. Howe served as the Chief Financial Officer of SBC CableComms, U.K., a competitive cable/telephone service provider in the U.K. that provided its services over a state-of-the-art hybrid fiber/coax network. Mr. Howe negotiated the sale of SBC CableComms, U.K., for over $1 billion in 1995. Prior to his assignment in the U.K., Mr. Howe was the Chief Financial Officer of Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages

Kevin Cantwell

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Mr. Cantwell is the President of Big River. Mr. Cantwell has over 25 years experience in the information/communications industry, including 11 years at AT&T. Immediately prior to joining Big River, Mr. Cantwell was the Vice-President of Emerging Markets at WorldWide Technology. At WorldWide, Mr. Cantwell developed a business unit focused on the new carriers in the telecommunication industry. His experience and industry knowledge helped formulate a thriving organization that increased its revenues from $610M in 2000 to almost $1B dollars in 2001.

Immediately prior to his stint at WorldWide, Mr. Cantwell spent 2 years with Abiliti Solutions as Vice President – Sales. Abiliti Solutions is a leading provider of Telecommunications Billing software for the competitive local telecommunications and long distance providers in the United States. Mr. Cantwell was recruited to Abiliti from Convergys. At Convergys he was the Vice President of Sales and had extensive international experience forging business relationships with PTT’s across the globe. His organization was focused on providing Operation Support Services software to Internet service providers.

During his years with AT&T Communications, Mr. Cantwell held a variety of executive positions in the areas of Sales and Marketing. He managed resources throughout the country focused on selling long distance and Internet services to corporate accounts.

Mr. Cantwell has a B.S. in Business and in Education from Central Methodist College and an MBA from Lindenwood University.

Kevin Keaveny

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Mr. Keaveny is the Chief Technical Officer at Big River Telephone. Prior to joining Big River, he was Corporate Director of Network Engineering and a co-founder of Gabriel Communications, Inc (now NuVox Communications).

Mr. Keaveny has more than 30 years experience in the telecommunications industry. During his time at Gabriel Communications he held various positions overseeing the Network Management Control Center, field operations and network engineering. At Gabriel, Mr. Keaveny oversaw the company’s network capital budget, equipment selection and procurement process and related professional services, as well as vendor relations and contract administration. He led the engineering and installation of 130 co-location sites in Gabriel Communications 13 city network.

Prior to joining Gabriel, Mr. Keaveny served as Director of Network Management for Brooks Fiber Properties where he managed the company’s two Network Management Centers. Mr. Keaveny oversaw the monitoring and technical support for more than 600 metro SONET rings, over 3000 SONET transport elements, Class 5 Switch Network and all network telemetry systems. The Network Control Centers were operationally certified by AT&T after passing rigorous network integrity and process compliance testing by company quality auditors.

Mr. Keaveny served in a number of management positions at Verizon in the areas of technical support and engineering. From 1984 through 1988, he held various engineering positions with Nortel, and prior to that, at Bell Canada in the Computer Communications Group.

Mr. Keaveny is an Electronics Engineering graduate from DeVry University at Toronto, Canada, as well as attending advanced computer and systems management courses at Maryville University in St. Louis.

John Jennings

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Mr. Jennings is the Chief Financial Officer of Big River. Mr. Jennings has over 20 years of experience in Accounting and Finance, including 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Immediately prior to joining Big River in 2002, Mr. Jennings held various management positions with Nuvox Communications, a full service communications company providing local, long distance and Internet services in 13 states. At Nuvox, Mr. Jennings oversaw various accounting and executive reporting functions, as well as, Billing, Revenue Assurance, Cost Assurance and Collections.

Prior to joining Nuvox Communications, Mr. Jennings was responsible for accounting operations at Brooks Fiber Properties. Brooks Fiber constructed and operated digital fiber optic networks providing telecommunications services. During his tenure at Brooks Fiber revenue grew from $3 million to over $200 million annually. During that period Mr. Jennings developed executive reporting and oversaw the accounting operations departments, including consolidating reporting and accounting operations for companies that Brooks Fiber acquired.

Mr. Jennings has a B.S. in Business – Accounting from the University of Missouri and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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