Presenters 2017-08-15T13:20:59+00:00


Susan Elliot- Keynote Speaker 

As a civic leader, Susan has worked toward successful passage of state legislation designed to improve communication access, education, and quality of life for Colorado’s deaf and hard of hearing citizens. In 1989 as US WEST Outstanding Teacher she brought attention to the telecommunication needs of the deaf and worked toward passage of SB 121 establishing the Disabled Telephone Users Fund that continues to support communication access today.

Frances Koncilja- Welcoming Address 

Frances A. Koncilja was appointed to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission by Governor John Hickenlooper in January of 2016 and confirmed by the Colorado Senate in February with almost unanimous bipartisan approval. Her four-year term expires in January of 2020.  Frances, originally from Pueblo, has practiced law in the Denver area since 1972. She began her career with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, and later worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She entered private practice in 1978 and in 1993 founded the law firm Koncilja & Associates, which Frances closed as the result of her appointment to the PUC.

Claude Stout

Claude Stout has served as Executive Director with Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) since January 1997.  He is Chair of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network, a national consumer coalition of eleven organizations representing deaf and hard of hearing citizens.  Mr. Stout holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, and a Masters of Business Administration in Management, both from Gallaudet University.

Ryan Odland 

Ryan Odland is an Outreach Consultant representing deaf-blind stakeholders with the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Prior to working at the Commission, Ryan was a Regional Representative serving two regions with Helen Keller National Center. Ryan, who is deaf-blind with Usher syndrome, holds a bachelor degree in psychology from Rochester Institute of Technology and a masters degree in deaf education from Gallaudet University, where he taught a course on the methodological applications of the deaf-blind experience. He has advocated for deaf-blind awareness and program development at local, state and national levels.

Blake Reid

Blake E. Reid studies, teaches, and practices at the intersection of law, policy, and technology. He’s an Associate Clinical Professor at Colorado Law, where he serves as the Director of the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic (TLPC) and a Faculty Director at the Silicon Flatirons Center. Before joining the faculty at Colorado Law, he was a staff attorney and graduate fellow in First Amendment and media law at the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown Law and a law clerk for Justice Nancy E. Rice on the Colorado Supreme Court.

Linda Vandeloop

Linda Vandeloop has 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Linda has held a variety of positions at AT&T, primarily in the Regulatory and Financial Management organizations. She currently works in AT&T’s Federal Regulatory organization in the Washington D.C. office. In her current position she is responsible for consumer and accessibility federal regulatory issues.

Bill Levis 

Bill Levis is a volunteer legislative advocate for AARP. He previously was Colorado’s Consumer Counsel where he represented residential, small business and agricultural consumers in energy and telecommunication proceedings before the state Public Utilities Commission. Bill also was the consumer advocate on the eight member Federal-State joint board on universal service and the interim executive director of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates. He currently is chair of Rocky Mountain Health Care Services in Colorado Springs and was president of the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado.

Beth Slough

 As Hamilton Relay’s Director of Account Management and Compliance Manager, Beth has oversight of the account management and bid writing team, as well as compliance related actions of all Relay employees to ensure regulatory compliance.  Beth oversees the development and implementation of Hamilton Relay programs to ensure compliance with TRS and Captioned Telephone requirements established by the FCC, State Regulatory Bodies, Contract Administrators and as contained in contracts and RFPs. As a result of more than 19 years’ experience in Telecommunications Relay Service, she possesses a well-rounded, diverse knowledge of Relay, CapTel and deaf culture.  Beth has in-depth knowledge of Federal and State TRS and CapTel requirements and utilizes that sophistication to ensure compliance and to assess quality and customer care in Hamilton Relay programs.  Beth has played a key role in the growth of Hamilton Relay.

Bruce Romero

Bruce Romero has served in Public Safety Communications for 29 years.  Twenty one of those years have been served in the Colorado 9-1-1 community. Bruce’s accomplishments are many, and he is a proven leader in Public Safety Telecommunications.  He isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and tackle difficult issues.  Bruce’s deployment of the first text-to-911 system in the State of Colorado was wildly successful.  He has since consulted with many PSAPs across the country regarding their Text-to-911 implementations. 

Daryl Branson 

Daryl Branson is a Senior 911 Telecom Analyst with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Daryl has previously been a 9-1-1 dispatcher and call taker in Missouri, a 9-1-1 call center shift supervisor in Wisconsin, and a 9-1-1 call center director in New Mexico. Previous to his employment with the Commission, Daryl served as the Executive Director of the Colorado 9-1-1 Resource Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing support to the local 9-1-1 governing bodies of the state of Colorado. He currently serves as the Secretary of the Colorado Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), and he is a member of the national Next Generation 9-1-1 Institute Board.

David Rolka 

President of Rolka Loube Associates since it was founded in 2007.  The firm has been selected by the FCC to serve as the Administrator of the TRS Fund since 2011.  Prior to the establishment of Rolka Loube he served as President of a consulting practice founded in 2000 for the law firm of Rhoads and Sinon LLP, through which he worked with USAC on the implementation of the high cost fund.  He also served as Chairman of the PA PUC, Administrative Director of the PA OCA, and Chief of staff to a PUC Commissioner.  His experience includes the Three Mile Island accident, the breakup of AT&T, and the restructuring of the electric, natural gas and telecommunications industries.

Dominic Gagliano

Dominic Gagliano, VP of Sales for HumanWare has 28 years of experience in assistive technology industry. He has conducted many training workshops, seminars and presented at many international disability and assistive technology conferences such as AER, AFB Leadership, CSUN, ATIA and Closing the Gap as well as numerous regional conferences throughout the US and Pacific Regions. He served on the board for the Deaf Blind Citizens in Action and currently manages all sales and marketing activities for blindness, deaf blind and low vision for HumanWare in the US and Canada.

Jennifer Kirkland

Jennifer Kirkland, ENP, CPE, RPL,  is the 9-1-1 Operations Administrator for the Vail Public Safety Communications Center. She has 16 years of experience in the field, starting as a dispatcher and rising through the ranks, including serving as interim director. She is a member of NENA’s Education Advisory Board as well as a NENA instructor, Senior Consultant with Fitch &  Associates, APCO Executive Council Representative for the Colorado Chapter, and Secretary of the Colorado Training Standards Committee.

Niklas Cassel

Niklas Cassel is co-founder of nWise and its CEO since 2008. In his career he has mainly worked  with Business Development and Management within Telecoms, IT and Space Industry. Under the management of Cassel, nWise has become a world leading supplier of platforms for accessible communications.

Paul Buckrell

Paul is an engineer who worked in development within the Ericsson Group in Norway before returning to New Zealand where he was marketing manager and company secretary for Ericsson.  This was followed by leadership of a telecommunications consulting practice that delivered solutions in New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific, South East Asia and the Middle East for 30 years during which time he and his firm were recognised with numerous awards.  He was the part-time New Zealand TRS Contracts Administrator for 14 years during which time he was instrumental in developing the service beyond just text based relay with a Video Interpreting Service and CapTel.  He is now the International Business Coordinator for T-Meeting Global headquartered in Sweden that specialises in advanced solutions for people with communications and other disabilities.

Paul Buckrell

Shirl is very active, in Emergency Preparedness, on so many levels. She is involved from ‘Neighborhood Safety Days” to local, county, state and regional “Community Preparedness Advisory” boards. She is active with the North Central Region’s Access and Functional Needs Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council. She also serves on the Colorado Public Utilities Commission 911 Task Force, and the Next Generation 911 Authority Board. She is a strong proponent for “Text-to- 911”.  Shirl is certified by FEMA to be a “Community Emergency Response Team Instructor”! She has instructed for Denver. She is credentialed with Red Cross, where she has served on the “Disaster Preparedness Team”, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer. Shirl was recently appointed, as Red Cross’s Regional Disability Integration Specialist. She covers from Denver to Northern Colorado and all of Wyoming, as an Access and Functional Needs Advisory.

Thor Nielson

Thor Nielsen has worked in the area of Relay Services and accessibility in telecom since 1997. He is responsible for Global Sales at nWise, who have delivered their communication platform to 15 countries worldwide. Thor gives a non-technical perspective to national needs in the area of accessible communication. He does this by examining local needs while accommodating them to technical specifications for accessible telecommunications. His goal has been to identify how nWise should customize and deliver technical solutions that meet the needs of end users.