President and Chief Executive Officer
After being named GVTC's president and chief executive officer in 2003, Ritchie Sorrells led a change in business strategy and corporate culture to evolve the company from a monopolistic telephone cooperative to a highly competitive, full-service communications provider. The cornerstone for this strategic shift was a multimillion dollar investment to replace much of its copper network with cutting edge fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technology. As a result, the company is now the leading provider of FTTH to residential and business customers in far North San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.
Traditional telephone companies are faced with the challenge of finding new sources of revenue to replace dollars lost to steadily declining landline sales, due to wireless substitution. Under Sorrells' strategic vision, GVTC was among the first to anticipate this shift in the marketplace. The company responded by leveraging its fiber network to create an array of value-added products for its customers. GVTC's extensive fiber network is also positioning the company to capitalize on a rapidly growing market for providing data backhaul for wireless companies.
Mr. Sorrells is also leading GVTC through a growth strategy that involves expanding its fiber network into the cities of Gonzales and Blanco. Revenue from additional products, services and new customers diversifies GVTC and best ensures its long term viability.
GVTC's commitment to excellence is recognized through a variety of awards, which include being named a Broadband Communities Magazine Top 100 Broadband Provider, the past five years. The San Antonio Express-News and San Antonio Business Journal have also named GVTC as an exemplary employer. The company was honored with the Fiber-to-the-Home Council's Chairman's Award, received a NTCA TeleChoice Award and twice named winner of the Broadband Multimedia Marketing Association's Marketing Excellence Award.
In 2007, Mr. Sorrells established The GVTC Foundation to enhance the quality of life throughout the communities it serves. In 2013, The GVTC Foundation reached a significant milestone by surpassing more than $1,000,000 in donations to local nonprofits. The Foundation is enthusiastically supported its employees. More than 85 percent contribute through payroll deduction. The Foundation is managed exclusively by GVTC employees, who volunteer their time to serve this organization.
Mr. Sorrells began his telecommunications career with ALLTEL in 1977 and advanced through the corporate ranks ultimately managing regional assignments throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas.
An Arkansas native, Mr. Sorrells holds a bachelor of science in education from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Chief Financial Officer
Mark Gitter is chief financial officer for GVTC and is responsible for accounting practices and internal controls, preparation of financial statements and tax returns and management of the company's treasury and investments.
Since joining GVTC in 2004, Mr. Gitter has modernized the company's budgeting, treasury and financial-management practices and brought state-of-the-art business intelligence and project management tools to the company. Mr. Gitter was also responsible for creating and implementing the strategic planning process. He supervises accounting, human resources, information technology, project management and strategic planning for the company.
Mr. Gitter has extensive financial experience in the telecom industry, serving most recently as CFO for nii Communications. He was also CFO for Digital Express Communications. Both companies were competitive telecommunications providers.
Additionally, Mr. Gitter held a senior-level management position with real estate company Hines and worked as an auditor for public accounting firm Arthur Andersen. He has both mergers-and-acquisitions and business-valuation experience.
Mr. Gitter holds an accounting degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and is a certified public accountant. He also is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and of the Texas Society of CPAs.
Vice President - Regulatory Affairs and Business Operations
Robert Hunt, GVTC's vice president regulatory affairs and business operations, oversees the company's public policy strategy, carrier interconnection, business operations and billing areas.
In addition to his executive duties with GVTC, Mr. Hunt holds board positions with a number of prominent telecommunication organizations.
Mr. Hunt is a current board member and past chairman of the board for the Texas Telephone Association (TTA). In 2011, the TTA recognized Mr. Hunt with the Neville Haynes Award — the highest honor given by the renowned association. The Haynes Award recognizes exceptional service by an individual to the TTA and the Texas telephone industry.
Mr. Hunt is a founding board member of the Texas Lone Star Network, a partnership of 38 Texas communications companies that provides wholesale telecommunications services throughout the United States. He also serves as a board member of the USTelecom Association.
Through his service to those organizations, Mr. Hunt works for policy changes that benefit GVTC and its customer members.
In July 2009, Mr. Hunt was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve as board member of the Texas Department of Agriculture's Texas Broadband Taskforce, formed to focus on broadband deployment and adoption in Texas.
Prior to joining GVTC in 1993, Mr. Hunt provided engineering and consulting services to the telecom industry.
A native of the Texas Hill Country, Mr. Hunt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a degree in electrical engineering.
Vice President - Sales and Marketing
Jeff Mnick is GVTC's vice president-sales and marketing and is the first company executive to serve in that capacity. He is responsible for the operations of several departments in the company including sales, marketing, customer service, public relations and corporate communications.
Mr. Mnick changed GVTC's passive sales approach to a progressive strategy utilizing multiple sales channels to get to the customer first. Since joining the company in 2004, GVTC has significantly increased its market penetration, greatly expanded revenue generating units, and more than doubled retail revenue.
Mr. Mnick leads all marketing and advertising efforts to reinforce GVTC's brand and generate sales. In 2006, he supervised GVTC's comprehensive rebranding campaign, which modernized the company's image, and transformed its identity from a rural telephone cooperative to a high-tech, full service communications provider. In addition, Mr. Mnick established the company's first corporate communications unit to expand media relations and convey expedient and consistent company messaging to employees and the public.
Mr. Mnick also serves as executive sponsor for The GVTC Foundation, the company's non-profit philanthropic partner. The Foundation serves communities across GVTC's 2,000 square mile service area and has donated more than $1,000,000, since its inception in 2007.
In the community, he's served on the board of Kendall County Economic Development Corporation since it was founded in 2005. He was also board chairman from 2010-2011.
On a national level, Mr. Mnick serves as board of director on the esteemed, Fiber-to-the-Home Council Americas from 2006 to 2010. He was the organization's treasurer and a member of the Council's Finance-Audit Committee and Marketing Committee.
His telecommunications career includes management positions with MCI Direct and Intermedia before moving into executive management with Logix and Xspedius Communications.
A native of North Carolina, Mr. Mnick holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Wake Forest University.
Vice President - Network Services
George O'Neal is vice president-network services for GVTC and is responsible for all planning, engineering and operations of GVTC's broadband, phone and cable networks. He also manages the company's service center, installation and repair teams, inventory, facilities and fleet.
Mr. O'Neal led the transition of GVTC's legacy phone network onto a more-reliable IP-based platform, preparing the company for years of future growth. He is also a key architect of GVTC's ambitious $35 million fiber network expansion. The project replaces older copper wiring with state-of-the-art fiber optics connected directly to a home or business. The fiber network enables GVTC to offer customers its full suite of services including phone, high definition cable television, high speed Internet and security monitoring.
Prior to joining GVTC in 2006, Mr. O'Neal worked seven years at Alltel, where he served in several network management positions. From 1995 to 1999, he was employed by SBC Communications Inc. and took part in the company's renowned Leadership Development Program.
In 2011, Mr. O'Neal was elected to serve a second, two-year term as board member of the internationally recognized Fiber to the Home Council (FTTH) of North America. Mr. O'Neal also serves as the FTTH's treasurer.
Mr. O'Neal is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and holds a degree in mechanical engineering.
Vice President - Product Management
Josh Pettiette is vice president-product management and business development for GVTC and oversees the planning and creation of products and services that meet both consumers' evolving digital lifestyles and businesses' demands for technology solutions.
Mr. Pettiette manages profitability for GVTC's broadband, cable, phone, and security products while ensuring that they provide the greatest value in the marketplace. He also evaluates emerging technologies to determine which best leverage the power of GVTC's fiber-to-the-home network. In addition to product management, Mr. Pettiette is also focused on pursuing and evaluating growth opportunities for GVTC based on strategic priorities from market expansion to mergers or acquisitions.
Prior to joining GVTC in 2004, Mr. Pettiette held positions at SBC Communications, including manager of TMAC provisioning, where he oversaw operations for the state of Texas account, including all state government agencies, departments and universities. He is a graduate of SBC's renowned Network Leadership Program.
In the community, Mr. Pettiette serves as chairman and president of the Bulverde/Spring Branch Economic Development Foundation.
Mr. Pettiette holds a Bachelor of Science degree in telecommunications engineering technology from Texas A&M University.