On 4 June, 1997, leading members of the satellite communications industry arranged a meeting in London, where they agreed that the industry had been fragmented for too long and that a unified voice - a non-profit, international association - was needed globally to represent the interests of VSAT system and service providers, as well as end users. The promotion of the technology and the services it supports was also seen as an important role for the industry's new organisation.
On 31 March, 1998, the Global VSAT Forum was officially launched during an International VSAT Congress held in Rome, Italy, where the association's first permanent Secretary General, David Hartshorn, was introduced to the Membership by the Acting Secretary General, Simon Bull of COMSYS.
Since then, the GVF has become the single and unified voice of the global satellite communications industry. It brings together organisations engaged in the delivery of advanced broadband and narrowband satellite services to consumers, and commercial and government enterprises worldwide.
Headquartered in London, with a regional office in Washington DC and global affiliates, the GVF is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organisation with 200+ members from every major region of the world. The broad-based membership represents every sector of the satellite industry, including fixed and mobile satellite operators, satellite network operators, teleports, satellite earth station manufacturers, system integrators, value added and enhanced service providers, telecom carriers, consultants, law firms, and users.
The GVF Secretariat consists of David Hartshorn, the Secretary General; Martin Jarrold, the Chief of International Programme Development; and Liz Grimm, the Director of International Programmes.
David HartshornSecretary General
David Hartshorn is Secretary General of GVF. Mr. Hartshorn leads the Forum's efforts to facilitate the provision of satellite-based communications solutions throughout all nations of the world. In particular, Mr. Hartshorn works closely to support national-, regional- and global-level policy makers as they formulate state-of-the-art satellite regulatory frameworks.
He is also responsible for creating greater awareness of the commercial, economic, political and technological advantages that satellite-based communications provide.
Mr. Hartshorn also currently serves on various public and private-sector advisory boards, committees, working groups, and project teams where he is involved in facilitating satellite-enabled disaster preparedness, community engagement, financially sustainable business, health, education and more. He is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Satellite Professionals International, and is Founder of its UK Chapter.
Mr. Hartshorn has worked in the satellite communications industry for more than 20 years, serving in sales, business development, publishing, and association offices based in North and Southeast Asia, North America and Western Europe.
He has been published in hundreds of editions of magazines and newsletters, and has spoken and chaired at conferences and seminars in every major region of the world.
Martin JarroldChief of International Programme Development
Martin Jarrold has worked for GVF for more than 10 years, having been appointed GVF Chief of International Programme Development in June 2001. His particular responsibilities include outreach to the member organisations of the GVF and for the further development of the profile of the Forum within the satellite communications industry, and across the global telecommunications policy and regulatory community. This extends to the development and delivery of programmes focused on extending the understanding of, and promoting the use of, satellite-based communications in various key end-user vertical markets.
Mr. Jarrold is Chairman of the GVF Oil & Gas Communications Conference Series, and of the GVF Broadband Maritime Conference Series, which combined have produced 17 conferences in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, and South America (as of 1st July 2011). The Oil & Gas Communications Series is expanding into the Angola market in 2012. Mr. Jarrold is also Co-Chairman of the GVF Maritime Satcom Forum.
Mr. Jarrold is a frequent contributor to various telecommunications and other industry publications. In addition he regularly chairs and contributes to a wide variety of telecommunications conferences, symposia, and workshops around the world.
Previously, Mr. Jarrold was Commissioning Editor and Head of Research for Space Business International magazine. His earlier career was predominantly in teaching and writing. He holds an honours degree in History and Politics.
Liz GrimmDirector International Programmes
Mrs. Liz Grimm is the newest addition to the GVF Secretariat, coming on board as the Director of International Programmes. She is responsible for assisting and promoting current members, reaching out to international organisations, and creating new member benefit opportunities for GVF Members.
Mrs. Grimm graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts in Italian Literature & Language and International Affairs. Liz also brings a focus on military policies and international relations to her position in GVF. She has experience in member recruitment and outreach for not-for-profit organisations in Washington, DC.
Liz merges her experience in non-profits and knowledge of the international community in her position with GVF and encourages any potential members or organisations searching for more information to contact her.
GVF Board of Directors
Chairman: Arunas Slekys, Hughes
Arunas Slekys is vice president of Corporate Marketing a nd OM of the Russia & CIS Business for HUGHES, responsible for managing all of HUGHES marketing communications and advocacy initiatives worldwide, and the company's broadband satellite business in Russia and the CIS countries.
Mr. Slekys began his telecommunications career more than 25 years ago at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked as a digital communications research engineer, developing deep space network and pulsar tracking systems. He later joined Bell Canada Systems and subsequently Bell Northern Software Research, managing switched-network related systems development and advanced technology programs.
He holds a B.App.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto, an M.Sc. from the University of Illinois, and a PhD in computer and communications engineering from UCLA. He is co-author of a founding patent for wireless data systems (CDPD) and is a frequently published author on satellite and wireless communications. Slekys has served as the elected Chairman of the GVF Board si nce 2006; his contributions to its promotion and growth combined with an extensive background in satellite broadband and wireless systems and serv ices makes him an excellent candidate for re-election to the GVF Board.
Treasurer: Dave Bettinger, iDirect
David Bettinger joined iDirect Technologies as the Director of Hardware Engineering in 1996 and took over responsibility of all hardware and software development as VP of Engineering in 2002. In his role as Chief Technology Officer he is responsible for the oversight of all technology decisions within iDirect and serves to drive the strategic direction for product development. In addition to being the lead system architect for iDirect's flagship NetModem and iNFINITI series products, Mr. Bettinger is also active in industry standards organizations and forums and is a member of the Telecommunications Industry Association, IEEE and the IPv6 Forum.
Mr. Bettinger currently serves on the Board of Directors for the GVF and has been active in the satellite networking industry for over 15 years. Previous to iDirect, Mr. Bettinger was a senior member of the technical staff at Hughes Network Systems in the Satellite Networks Division. Mr. Bettinger is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Master's of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
Jay Yass, Intelsat
GVF Board member since 2007, Jay has been involved in several
initiatives such as spectrum management, interference mitigation, VSAT
training and the Maritime Satcom Forum.
Mr. Yass is a three decade veteran of the satellite industry beginning his career in satellite communication in 1982 at GTE Satellite Corporation (GSAT) planning the launch of Ku services on the GSTAR constellation. When GSAT merged with Spacenet, Jay was involved in the deployment of the first VSAT networks. Mr. Yass was at GTE/GE Spacenet for fifteen years focused on creating value for customers through VSAT technology.
Before joining Intelsat in 2003, Mr. Yass served as Vice President of Business Development for Spectra Rep, a DTV IP multicast service provider. At Telogy Networks, now a part of Texas Instruments, Mr. Yass was involved in the early adoption of embedded VoiP solutions with technology companies such as Cisco, NEC and Nortel. Mr. Yass began his telecommunications career at AT&T Long Lines.
Jonas Eneberg, Inmarsat
Jonas has been working in
international spectrum management for over 20 years. He started his
career at the Swedish national regulator, then part of Swedish Telecom,
in 1990 and joined Inmarsat in 1995. For the past 12 years role he has
been responsible for Inmarsat's ITU-R related activities as well as
frequency coordination of the Inmarsat satellite networks.
Jonas is well known throughout the industry for his role in successfully promoting satellite industry spectrum interests at several World Radiocommuncations Conferences, for example in obtaining new allocations for mobile-satellite services at WRC-03 and defending the C-band FSS spectrum at WRC- 07. His large network of contacts will contribute to spreading GVF messages to key decision makers at national, regional and international level. The major challenges for the industry over the next few years will be: successful defence of satellite spectrum interests nationally and internationally, dealing with convergence and evolution of satellite technology, and the need to strengthen provisions for prevention of interference between networks. Jonas will be a strong supporter of developments by the GVF in these areas, reflecting the requirements of the whole industry.
Nancy Eskenazi, SES
With 20 years of experience in the satellite sector, Nancy Eskenazi brings a unique regulatory and policy perspective to GVF. In this role she leads development and execution of regulatory and policy strategy for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Turkey and the CIS (EMEA.) She also manages global export control, sanctions compliance and antitrust matters. Nancy is closely involved in regulatory, policy and spectrum matters on national, international and at the ITU levels and works on regulatory matters related to EMEA transactions.
Nancy is currently a GVF Board member as well as a former Chair and Board member of the Satellite Industry Association. She holds an LLM in International & Comparative Law from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor and MS in Television, Radio & Film from Syracuse University. She received the Bronze Medal award for outstanding federal service from the US Department of Commerce.
Simon Gray, Eutelsat
Starting out his career at Eutelsat IGO in 1998 as a consultant engineer, Simon Gray was then offered the post of Exhibition Technical Manager which was to prove a great training ground in VSAT technology. He was responsible for the operation and installation of the whole range of VSATs destined for Eutelsat customers, at 30 exhibitions per year spanning 4 continents.
Since 2005, Mr Gray has been the head of the Eutelsat S.A training programme whereon they have trained over 2,200 engineers in face-to-face training sessions in over 10 countries. They have developed courses around 4 VSAT technologies covering topics such as interference reduction, installation, troubleshooting, etc. Since joining Eutelsat, Mr Gray has been responsible as lead Field Engineer for over 3,000 VSAT installations in 4 continents.
The introduction of multi-spot beam high throughput satellites covering 3 continents is a huge opportunity for the VSAT industry. If we are to take full advantage of this moment we, the industry, must act coherently to allow VSATs to take their rightful place. The GVF is, undeniably, an essential industry organization at this watershed moment.