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Commerce and Community: Oct. 10, 2013

Commerce and Community: Oct. 10, 2013

New3s and notes from around the business community

Van Wagenen to succeed O’Connor at FirstLight

ALBANY — Kevin O’Connor, founder, president and CEO of FirstLight Fiber (formerly known as Tech Valley Communications), has announced his retirement after more than 13 years of leading the organization. The company’s board of directors has appointed Kurt Van Wagenen as its new president and chief executive officer.

O’Connor will remain on the FirstLight Board of Directors and focus on continued mergers and acquisitions. FirstLight Fiber, a facilities-based telecommunications service provider, operates fiber-optic networks in upstate New York and Northern New England, with connectivity to Canada.

“I am proud of what the employees and board have accomplished since we started the company over 13 years ago,” O’Connor said.

In addition to becoming president and CEO, Van Wagenen will become a member of FirstLight’s board.

Van Wagenen was president and chief executive officer of FiberTower from April 2008 to November 2012. Prior to that, he was the president and CEO of NEON Communications. He also served as president and chief operating officer of Globix Corporation.

Van Wagenen began his career at Verizon Communications and its various predecessors, holding positions of increasing responsibility. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is also a chartered financial analyst.

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