ACAC’s Top Awards Given Out At 17th Independent Show at Walt Disney World Resort

July 25, 2022

Lake Buena Vista, Fl., July 25, 2022 – ACA Connects today honored several prominent leaders and their companies in recognition not just of their close involvement with ACA Connects but also the steps they have taken to improve the quality, availability and affordability of broadband Internet access at a time when the importance of this technology has never been more sought and valued.

“I am so pleased that ACA Connects is again highlighting the hard work and dedication of these winners. They bring tremendous benefits to their difficult-to-serve local communities.” ACA Connects President and CEO Grant Spellmeyer said. “I thank them all for their service and commitment.”

ACA Connects award selections this year serve as role models whose influence is felt and respected throughout the entire ACAC membership footprint — which includes operator members in all 50 states – and the telecommunications industry.

“Along with the ACAC Board of Directors, I’m pleased to give a big thank you to those who continue to support ACAC’s government advocacy, who care about the advancement of their employees and who are always there for their neighbors in a time of great stress and need such as was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Spellmeyer said.

ACAC’s annual awards presentation took place today t ACAC’s annual Members Meeting at the 17th Independent Show at Walt Disney World® Resort. At the same meeting, ACAC’s Members re-elected Patricia Jo Boyers, President/CEO & Co-Founder of BOYCOM Vision, as Chairman, and Mike Bowker, COO of Cable One, as ACAC’s Vice Chairman.

The Independent Show is a special occasion that unites a range of industry participants, including company leaders, informative speakers, tech vendors and various supporters of the independent video and broadband industry. As in the past, this year’s show was co-sponsored by the National Content & Technology Cooperative (formerly the National Cable Television Cooperative) and ACA Connects – America’s Communications Association.

ACAC’s top honors were presented as follows:

ACAC PAC LEADERSHIP/COMPANY

Astound Broadband, EVP & CAO John Gdovin

This award recognizes Astound for greatly increasing PAC contribution totals and significantly increasing the number of ACA PAC donors in the past year.

ACAC EAGLE AWARD

James Gleason, President & CEO of Vexus Fiber 

Presented for making outstanding contributions to independent cable operators and providing critical leadership to help build support for new laws and regulations designed for smaller, full-service communications providers.

LYN SIMPSON GRASSROOTS SPIRIT AWARD 

Marty Carollo, All West Communications

Presented to a company or individual embodying the passion and commitment that Lyn brought to the small operator community in her role as an ACAC founding member in the early 1990s. The award underscores the value of commitment, dedication, and sacrifice to the independent video and broadband business.

ACAC PARTNERSHIP AWARD

OpenVault Founder & CEO Mark Trudeau

This award is for partnership, commitment and support for ACAC and independent video and broadband businesses everywhere. OpenVault is a market-leading source of broadband technology solutions and data-driven insights into worldwide broadband consumption patterns. 

ROB SHEMA SERVANT LEADERSHIP AWARD

Mike Bowker, COO of Cable One, ACAC Vice Chairman
Pat Thompson, President of Pat Thompson Co. LLC 

This award is given to an individual who through his or her career has put selfless service to others above themselves. The first winner of the award was its namesake, Rob Shema, who served at ACA Connects for 15 years as its EVP of Membership and Finance. 


About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 600 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their businesses.