October 2023 TechCast | Connecting Worlds: Bridging the Digital Divide with Broadband

The October 2023 episode of the Arizona Technology Council's AZTechCast podcast featured experts including Kelly LeBlanc from IP Infusion, Seth Haller from EPS Global and Sandip Bhowmick from the Arizona Commerce Authority. These leaders joined Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Council, and...

October 2023 TechCast | Connecting Worlds: Bridging the Digital Divide with Broadband

Episode Overview

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The October 2023 episode of the Arizona Technology Council’s AZTechCast podcast featured experts including Kelly LeBlanc from IP Infusion, Seth Haller from EPS Global and Sandip Bhowmick from the Arizona Commerce Authority. These leaders joined Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Council, and Karen Nowicki, president and owner of Phoenix Business RadioX, in sharing plans that are already underway to bridge Arizona’s digital divide.

In this hour-long informative and dynamic discussion, the panel of three experts discussed the challenges of providing broadband access and infrastructure to Arizona’s diverse populations. States like Arizona with rural communities spread out over a large land mass historically have faced challenges in broadband deployment. Often these underserved communities are in outlying areas that the private sector can’t economically service. Initiatives such as the Rural Broadband Initiative can help fill in the budget gap, and help solve the access problems that the open market might be slow to address. Arizona is not unique in addressing these access challenges, and ongoing, these three and other stakeholders across the state are hoping to work more closely with these initiatives.

As Chief Marketing and Product Officer (CMO), Kelly LeBlanc is responsible for global marketing and product management at IP Infusion. Kelly is a seasoned Silicon Valley marketing executive with 25 years of experience across multiple technology markets. Most recently Kelly was the CMO of Pica8 where she managed global marketing for the company’s enterprise and data center software solutions. Prior to Pica8, she managed global marketing and business development for 6WIND, including driving the company’s transition to vRouter solutions. Prior to 6WIND, Kelly was the Head of Worldwide Marketing for A10 Networks when the company became the fastest growing Silicon Valley networking company prior to Initial Public Offering (IPO). She also held marketing positions at Fortinet and VERITAS Software. Kelly began her career at several top ten Public Relations agencies for Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Cal
Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California.

Sandip Bhowmick currently serves as the Vice President of Infrastructure and State Broadband Director at the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). He is responsible for overseeing the planning, development, and expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout Arizona. Prior to his current role, Sandip served as the Assistant Broadband Director at the ACA, further strengthening his expertise in the field. His extensive experience includes working with renowned telecommunications service providers such as AT&T and Verizon, as well as industry leading telecommunications software and equipment manufacturers like Nokia and Ericsson. Moreover, Sandip has made valuable contributions to satellite communication startups, nonprofit organizations, and local and state governments, assuming diverse roles such as Chief Technology Officer, Network Engineer, Systems Engineer, Solutions Architect, Broadband Consultant, and Government Affairs Manager, among others. Additionally, Sandip proudly served in the US Army. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Wichita State University, highlighting his strong academic foundation in the field.

Seth Haller has 30+ years of experience in sales and business development, with a background in Senior Sales Management, Senior Business Development, and Solution Development He has achieved significant revenues in excess of $100M per year and exceeded budgets of 200% to plan. Seth has earned a number of awards for work in Sales, including the Excalibur Award for 2004-2005 and the Winner’s Circle Award for 2000. He also earned the Pinnacle Club Award for work at Pinacor. Seth served in the U.S. ARMY for six years, as a Military Police officer and K-9 Handler. Seth completed the Rio Salado Organization Behavior TQM and he has also completed a 7-course plan with a certificate in organizational behavior. Seth has over three decades of experience with executive level presentations, managing and training direct reports, building high level business plans, TCO based sales, relationship-based sales, Strategic Planning, Financial planning, creating and defining value propositions, developing and executing successful marketing plans, conducting market research, high level negotiation. Seth currently runs the Southwest, West and PAC Northwest for EPS

In conclusion, these experts were hopeful about the future of broadband access across the state of Arizona. They acknowledge there are still hurdles and work to do but they are committed to doing the work to make it happen. Take a listen below to hear more of what they had to say!


Kelly LeBlanc
Chief Marketing and Product Officer
IP Infusion

Sandip Bhowmick
VP of Infrastructure and State Broadband Director, Arizona Commerce Authority

Seth Haller
Director of Sales – Western Region, EPS Global



About AZTechCast
The official podcast of the Arizona Technology Council, AZTechCast is dedicated to covering innovation and technology in Arizona and beyond. Through the art of the connected conversation, AZ TechCast’s hosts and guests share success stories, tech news and analysis about the region’s leading startups, companies and emerging technologies, as well as the latest industry trends and critical issues propelling Arizona’s growing technology ecosystem. Visit www.aztechcouncil.org/techcast to learn more or to listen to recent episodes.

About Phoenix Business RadioX
Karen Nowicki is the owner and president of Phoenix Business RadioX. Amplifying the voice of business, Phoenix Business RadioX helps local businesses and professional associations get the word out about the important work they’re doing to serve their market, profession and community. A successful author, speaker and the creator of Deep Impact Leadership™ and SoulMarks Coaching™, Nowicki is a two-time recipient of the prestigious national Choice Award® for her book and personal development retreat. In addition, Nowicki has been an expert guest on regional TV and radio shows, including Fox Phoenix Morning Show, Sonoran Living, Good Morning Arizona, The Chat Room and Mid-Day Arizona. Recognized for her leadership and business acumen, she has been a regular contributor to many print and online magazines – publishing articles and blogs for business and education.


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October 2023 TechCast | Connecting Worlds: Bridging the Digital Divide with Broadband