The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) has appointed several industry representatives to its Board of Governors, including Bernard Borghei, Executive Vice President – Operations and Co-Founder of Vertical Bridge, Doug Dickinson, Western Region Environmental Health & Safety Manager at Ericsson, Bruce Eades, President of USA Telecom Insurance Services, Pat Moore, Field Service Specialist at Stainless, Paul Roberts, Vice President of Compliance for American Tower Corporation, Jose Tarafa, Corporate Operations Manager at Mastec Network Solutions and Gary Trent, Quality Assurance Engineer for U.S. Cellular.
NWSA, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, is a national non-profit assessment and certification organization established to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and recognize the skilled professionals who work on towers and other non-standard communication structures.
The NWSA Board of Governors consists of representatives from a broad cross-section of the industry and is tasked with developing policy and overseeing the activities of the various committees that will serve under their jurisdiction.
“NWSA is thrilled to welcome the expertise and talents of Bernard, Doug, Bruce, Pat, Paul, Jose and Gary to the Board of Governors,” said Executive Director Duane MacEntee. “The Board of Governors continues to play an integral role in the organization as NWSA certification requirements become commonplace in the marketplace and as the industry continues to evolve,” added MacEntee.
NWSA currently offers two industry-wide certification programs: Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 (TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2). Additionally, an NWSA Task Force is currently in the process of developing a new certification and credential for Telecommunication Tower Foreman. This new certification will create a credentialing system for industry workers who supervise crews that work on communications structures, whether they are antenna and line crews, construction crews, or structural modification crews.
Other assessment and certification programs NWSA will likely unveil in the future include Rigging, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.
“NWSA’s nationwide and portable certification offerings are a game-changer for the industry and the new members of the Board of Governors will have a major impact in terms of shaping a skilled and safe workforce who are capable of meeting the industry’s intense buildout demands,” stated Board of Directors President Don Doty.
Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org to learn more about the organization and how to begin the process of obtaining certification.
Bernard Borghei is the Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Operations of Vertical Bridge. He is responsible for Vertical Bridge’s daily operations, regulatory compliance, vendor management, engineering services, human resources and emerging technologies.
Borghei has over 24 years of experience in wireless industries and before co-founding Vertical Bridge, he served as Senior Vice President and Partner at Global Tower Partners (GTP), where he oversaw domestic and international market operations, including a portfolio of more than 6,500 towers and 12,000 managed properties.
Borghei has also held executive and senior management positions in operations, engineering, sales, supply chain, site development, and customer care at several wireless operators and service providers including SkyBitz, Wireless Facilities, Inc., Western Wireless International, and at Triton PCS where he successfully ran operations across 24 different countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North and South America.
Bernard has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University and an MBA in global management from the University of Phoenix. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Villanova University School of Engineering.
Doug Dickinson oversees all environmental, health, and safety issues for Ericsson’s western region locations to include Ericsson and customer offices, warehouses, switches and cell sites. Doug’s responsibilities include writing policies, practices, and procedures, conducting audits and inspections and facilitating employee safety training.
Bruce Eades has been serving the insurance needs for the telecommunications industry for over 20 years. He consults regularly with telecommunication executives across the country to help executives understand how risk management concepts can impact their business and to give them a better understanding of the current commercial property and casualty trends. He is very active in NATE and is currently serving on the Trade Show Committee. He is also active in most of the state wireless associations. Bruce is currently President of USA Telecom Insurance Services and the Georgia region of Insurance Office of America as well as serving on the Board of Directors for Insurance Office of America (IOA).
A veteran of the insurance industry since 1984 he was raised in Gainesville, Georgia, Bruce continues to live in Gainesville with his wife and three children. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He received his Accredited Advisor of Insurance designation in 1996 and received his Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 2005. Bruce was IOA’s 2009 agent of the year and was appointed to IOA’s Board of Directors in 2010. He is active in his local church and currently serves on the North Georgia Mountain’s YMCA Board of Directors.
Patrick Moore is a Field Service Specialist at Stainless. Patrick assists in field specialist crew selection, timing, rigging plans, allocation and equipment coordination for all field projects. Pat has worked very closely with the field personnel to help understand the challenges of multi-tenant broadcast tower sites. Starting in the tower erection business in 1976, Pat has performed in every area of broadcast tower related service. In 1995, Pat was one of the first members of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) Safety & Education Committee, of which he is still a member. In 2000, Pat joined Stainless during the hectic DTV (digital) transition period assisting in very complicated projects. Pat was also a member of the team that created the TIA-1019A gin pole standard which later was moved into ANSI A10.48.
Paul Roberts is the Vice President of Compliance for American Tower Corporation. In this role, Mr. Roberts guides the Environmental Compliance, FAA/FCC Regulatory Compliance, Safety and Health initiatives of the company as well as regulatory advocacy. Mr. Roberts is actively involved in advocacy efforts across all federal agencies that both regulate and support the telecommunications industry and has been a key voice in helping to shape rulemakings that affect us all. With 15 years managing telecom regulatory operations rooted in legal, systems safety and quality engineering principles, Mr. Roberts brings valuable insight and perspectives that will contribute to the NWSA mission.
Jose Tarafa manages corporate operations, which includes Safety, D.O.T., Quality, Integration, Mobility Maintenance, Systems and Analytics, Disaster Recovery, Small Cell Process, and Special Projects. Jose joined MasTec Network Solutions in 2014, after a long telecommunications career with AT&T where he led teams in varied disciplines including, Engineering, Planning, Construction, Central Office, Mobility Implementation and Field Operations, Digital Electronics, and Technical Support.
Jose emigrated from Cuba when he was eight years old. He has lived in the Miami area ever since, and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Miami. Jose was one of the first engineers to introduce digital electronics into the field of telecommunications at Bellsouth in the eighties. He is just as excited about the future of telecom now as he was then. “Telecommunications not only changes lives; it changes everything. I don’t know what’s coming next, but it will revolutionize the way we live, work and play. It all hinges on the next big development in communications.”
In 2009, Jose was part of an engineering team that built and maintained broadband telephone facilities at Bellsouth, now AT&T. He was asked to pivot to mobility field operations and embraced the new challenges of a combined broadband and wireless network. No matter how the industry changes over the years, Jose leads by encouraging transparent communications and relationship development.
Throughout his career, Jose has been routinely asked to transition into under-performing operations and takes pride in his track record of managing those organizations up and turning them into high-performing groups. He carries that leadership skill into community improvement endeavors. Jose was a board member of the Junior Achievement for Greater Miami for 20 years, and has recently joined the board of directors for the Hispanic Unity of Florida charity. He enjoys offering guidance to minority, impoverished or disenfranchised youth.
Gary has worked in the communication industry for 35 years and has seen the industry evolve as the United States migrated from wireline to wireless; Gary started his career in long distance communications with Microwave Communications Inc. (MCI), installing telephone switching equipment and building telephone offices throughout the United States. Gary then joined MCI Metro installing fiber optic equipment and deploying fiber rings around all major U.S. cities, for local and long distance telephone service. For the last 15 years Gary has been with U. S. Cellular writing policies, procedures, standards, and quality assurance auditing.
June 13, 2017 —
The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) plans to develop a new certification and credential for Telecommunication Tower Foreman. The new certification will create a credentialing system for industry workers who supervise crews that work on communications structures, whether they are antenna and line crews, construction crews, or structural modification crews.
“The development of the Telecommunication Tower Foreman certification program is the next logical step for NWSA in our progression of offering nationwide independent and portable certification credentialing to the wireless industry’s workforce,” stated Executive Director Duane MacEntee. “The Foreman credential will complement our existing NWSA Telecommunications Tower Technician I and II certification offerings and provide a continued upward path of professional certification for workers as they gain experience.”
NWSA will be announcing an application process in the near future for interested industry subject matter experts to participate in the official Telecommunication Tower Foreman Task Force. Consistent with ANSI accreditation requirements, Task Force participants will be involved in the psychometric processes and test development activities of the NWSA’s Telecommunications Tower Foreman certification program.
NWSA launched two industry-wide certification programs: Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 (TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2) in December of 2016. Other assessment and certification programs NWSA will likely unveil in the future include Rigging, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.
Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org to learn more about the organization and its transformative worker certification offerings.
March 9, 2017 —
The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced the first workers to obtain NWSA Telecommunications Tower Technician (TTT) certification. The organization made the announcement at the NWSA Educational Session that was held in conjunction with the NATE UNITE 2017 Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.
Industry workers have obtained their TTT certification: Justin McKenzie, Legacy Towers, TTT-1, TTT-2; Scott Jackson, Green Mountain, TTT-1, TTT-2; David Robinson, Legacy Towers, TTT-1, TTT-2; Justin Kinney, EasTex Tower, TTT-1, TTT-2; Don Parker, EasTex Tower, TTT-1, TTT-2; Adam Johnson, Ericsson, TTT-1; Christopher Rodgers, Ericsson, TTT-1.
These individuals achieved their NWSA certification after successfully completing both a computer-based (CBT) written examination and a practical examination to demonstrate their knowledge and skills at their worker certification level.
The candidates were issued an official NWSA wallet certification card that is portable for the worker and can be authenticated through the NWSA’s online credential verification database search tool.
“I would like to congratulate the workers who have officially obtained their NWSA certification credentials,” stated Executive Director Duane MacEntee. “These professionals have the distinction of becoming the first NWSA certified personnel in the United States and will be great ambassadors for the NWSA through the quality, safety and pride they carry out their job duties with on a daily basis.”
The NWSA also acknowledged the contributions of accredited Practical Examiners Chad Alban from PEAK Career Services, Gordan Lyman of eSystem Training Solutions and Rick Teckenbrock from Heartland Solutions for taking the candidates through the fieldbased portion of the examination in Fort Worth. Additionally, the NWSA thanked
Rob Siegel and his colleagues from ENSA North America for donating the use of ENSA’s portable tower for practical examination testing purposes.
Candidates and industry stakeholders are encouraged to visit www.nws-a.org for detailed information on the NWSA certification process, applying for CBT tests and practical examinations, credential verification and for more information on new certification programs.
Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org to learn more about the organization and how they may be involved.
The Executive Director of the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA), Duane MacEntee, called on members in the industry to assist the organization as it develops certification programs for workers in the tower industry, during the NATE UNITE 2017 annual conference of the National Association of Tower Erectors, held last week in Fort Worth, Texas.
Last December, NWSA launched certifications for Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 and 2 (TTT1) (TTT2). It also offers the Signalperson and Rigger I and Rigger II certifications through a partnership with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.
In the development of TTT1 and TTT2, a group of volunteer subject matter experts, chaired by Don Doty, president of the NWSA Board of Directors, came together 18 times to write the test questions.
“Task force membership is very important to the development of consensus needed to create certifications,” MacEntee said. “For the NWSA to become accredited as a certification body, we have to show that we build consensus. The industry tells us what needs to be in our certifications.”
Along with the written exam, which is administered by PSI Exams Online, NWSA gives a practical exam where the worker is observed applying the knowledge on a tower. NWSA has accredited practical examiners. So far, 400 people have taken the TTT1 and TTT2 written exams and 60 have taken the practical exams. Many of those were task force members.
There is no shortage of work to be done. Other assessment and certification programs the NWSA is considering for future development include Antenna & Line Foreman, Certified Climber, Tower (Stacking) Foreman, Structural Modifications Foreman, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures, and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.
“Because of the composition of our Board and Board of Governors we will see what is coming down the pike in terms of the labor force,” MacEntee said. “The industry’s landscape is changing fast and furious and we will need different types of labor. New task forces will be needed to develop those certifications. Please raise your hand and help out.”
NWSA is the brain child of the Telecom Industry Safety Summit, a meeting that occurred in Dallas in the fall of 2013, which was a particularly lethal year in terms of tower fatalities. Carriers, tower owners, contractors, insurance companies and the education community came together at that meeting to find a way to make the tower industry safer by increasing professionalism.
“It was a pivotal moment for safety in the tower industry,” MacEntee said. “We had a variety of stakeholders representing various interests – large program engineering companies, carriers, contractors – coming together for the common good.”
NWSA began late in 2016 taking off on a mission to provide verifiable certification to workers in the tower industry through the assessment of knowledge and skills to enhance safety and reduce risk in the workplace.
“What we are is a certification organization; what we are not is a training organization,” MacEntee said. “We encourage great training and well-trained employees. We want them to come to us and pass a rigorous series of examinations that make us confident that they are true professionals in what they do.”
MacEntee said that while NWSA is separate from NATE it shares the common goal of making the tower industry safer.
“We are trying to create a good labor force that knows the job that they are being asked to do,” he said. “Bad days happen in our industry, but elevating the professionalism in this workforce is key to avoid those type of events in the future.
The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today that Duane MacEntee has been selected as the organization’s new Executive Director. MacEntee replaces Chuck Slagle who has retired from his position as NWSA Executive Director and is transitioning to a consultancy role within the alliance.
“NWSA is thrilled to welcome Duane MacEntee as our new Executive Director,” stated President Don Doty. “Chuck Slagle’s tireless contributions and leadership abilities have been instrumental in spearheading the successful development and launch of NWSA’s first two certification programs. We are fortunate to have a leader of Duane’s caliber on board to take the baton from Chuck and continue the positive momentum NWSA has established in the communication towers marketplace,” added Doty.
Duane MacEntee is a partner at the law firm of Barker MacEntee PLLC and has served on the NWSA Board of Governors since its inception. Duane is an industry veteran who has held executive roles with large telecommunication tower companies, tower engineering and manufacturing firms, project management and field services contractors.
Earlier in his career, Duane developed and directed safety, environmental and workers’ compensation programs at the North Carolina Department of Transportation and was previously a Commissioner on both the North Carolina Radiation Protection and North Carolina State Emergency Response Commissions. Prior to that, MacEntee was an engineer at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. MacEntee earned a B.S. in Engineering Technology from the University of Central Florida, an M.B.A. from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a J.D. from North Carolina Central University.
“It is a privilege to be part of such a worthwhile initiative and I am honored to help NWSA continue raising the bar to improve safety within the wireless industry,” said MacEntee. “I look forward to working with the many dedicated stakeholders and subject matter experts who support NWSA certification and who volunteer their time and talents to establish the necessary assessment tools to properly evaluate the knowledge and abilities of workers across the industry.”
NWSA also announced the hiring of Shelly Trego as Executive Administrator and Clint Cook as Practical Examiner Accreditation Program Instructor.
As Executive Administrator, Shelly Trego is responsible for various administrative activities relating to the day-to-day operations of NWSA. Shelly works closely with the NWSA Executive Director, Board of Directors, Board of Governors and NWSA Standing Committees to assist in the overall success of developing and maintaining the organization’s certification programs. Trego’s background includes nearly 15 years in the telecommunications industry, serving as part of the administrative team at the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE).
As Practical Examiner Accreditation Program Instructor, Cook will be tasked with training and accrediting Practical Examiners to administer the TTT-1 and TTT-2 practical exams. Clint is the Safety Director at Centerline Solutions, and played an active role in the NWSA task force developing the written and practical exams. Cook has worked in the wireless industry since 2010 focusing on line and antenna work, structural modifications, and tower decommissioning.
In conjunction with the staff additions, the NWSA’s leadership also announced that its official corporate headquarters will be located in Fairfax, Virginia. The Fairfax, Virginia office location is in close proximity to Washington, D.C. and will enable NWSA to establish a strong legislative and regulatory presence in the nation’s capital.
NWSA is a national non-profit assessment and certification organization that has been established to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and recognize the skilled professionals who work on towers and other non-standard structures.
NWSA’s Telecommunication Tower Technician 1(TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2) certification programs were officially launched in December of 2016. Other assessment and certification programs the NWSA will likely unveil in the future include Antenna & Line Foreman, Tower (Stacking) Foreman, Structural Modifications Foreman, Climber Credentialing, Rigging, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.
Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org to learn more about the organization.