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Our Team

Eric Frederick

Vice President, Community Affairs

Eric Frederick is the Vice President, Community Affairs, and is responsible for managing the development and implementation of Connected, Connected Nation’s community engagement strategy, across the United States.  This position develops and maintains all Connected partner relationships in support of Connected Nation’s mission.  In addition, Eric provides primary management, oversight, and support for Connect Michigan’s state strategy as a context for advancing methodologies relevant to Connected.

Prior to his role of Vice President, Community Affairs, Eric served as the Executive Director for Connect Michigan, a subsidiary of Connected Nation working to bring the benefits of universal broadband to Michigan.   In this role, he developed relationships with statewide, national, and international groups that are partnering with CN to solve problems of connectivity, and to bolster the value of internet connections.  Eric also led a nationally recognized team that produced the nation’s first Certified Connected Community. 

Eric holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Planning and a Minor in Geographic Information Systems from Northern Michigan University.

Dan Manning

Community Technology Advisor

Dan Manning serves as Community Technology Advisor for Connect Michigan. Dan coordinates and manages the activities of regional planning teams across the state. Dan provides “train-the-trainer” activities to the regional planning teams on the broadband landscape to spur digital literacy activities in each region. In addition, with assistance from Connected Nation’s communications staff and the volunteers of the regional planning teams, he works to increase regional and local awareness of the planning teams, the planning process, the benefits of increased broadband adoption, and Connect Michigan through the media and local organizations.

Prior to joining Connect Michigan, Dan worked at Blue Kairos, LLC where he founded and launched a new digital marketing firm that provided internet marketing, social media and consulting services for small and medium businesses. He sourced and developed new client relationships, prepared and sold services proposals and developed / maintained currency on latest technologies and strategies in the online marketing area. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science, Mathematics from Western Michigan University.

Tom Stephenson

Community Technology Advisor

Tom Stephenson serves as Community Technology Advisor for Connect Michigan. Tom coordinates and manages the activities of regional planning teams across the state. Tom provides “train-the-trainer” activities to the regional planning teams on the broadband landscape to spur digital literacy activities in each region. In addition, with assistance from Connected Nation’s communications staff and the volunteers of the regional planning teams, he works to increase regional and local awareness of the planning teams, the planning process, the benefits of increased broadband adoption, and Connect Michigan through the media and local organizations.

Before joining Connect Michigan, Tom worked as a Project Manager / Data Manager / Designer at Martinrea, Inc. in Reed City, MI. In this role, Tom managed all incoming and outgoing electronic data, trained CAD designers and toolmakers, traveled offsite for customer visits and managed outsourcing projects. Tom holds both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.

Heather Gate

Manager
Digital Inclusion Program Development

Heather Gate is responsible for managing the development and implementation of Connected Nation’s digital inclusion programs. This position provides high-impact project management services including day-to-day program management and funding research. Heather also helps to maintain existing program partner relationships and assists with identification of potential new partners or innovative business opportunities which are in line with program missions.

Heather earned a second Master’s degree in Computer Science from Kentucky State University (KSU). She previously received a Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from KSU. As a graduate assistant at KSU, Heather helped in the implementation of several projects at the university including the implementation of the video-based e-learning system designed to help personnel development.