Meet the Team
When selecting a service provider for your lit or dark fiber network, we think it is important to know the team you are counting on. Here’s a little more about the Velocity Fiber team members who will be working diligently to build and operate your new fiber solution, and we look forward to getting to know you and your organization!
Founder & CEO
Darren Bonawitz has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications and data center industries, including time serving entities such as Internet2, state, and regional education networks. Prior to launching Velocity Fiber, he co-founded and was the original investor in an E-rate fiber service provider that grew to provide leased lit fiber solutions in 13 states during his tenure.
Over the years with these two E-rate fiber companies, he has gained extensive experience working with school districts across the country as they work to connect children to online learning opportunities and provide them a world-class education.
Before working with K-12 districts, Darren was co-owner and CEO of 1102 Grand (now Netrality Data Centers), and under his guidance, the carrier hotel and cloud on-ramp facility became one of the most network-rich ecosystems in the Midwest and one of the most prominent cross-country interconnection point in the United States.
Emily has almost 25 years’ experience in the construction and construction engineering fields. Her practical knowledge of the industry is well rounded and stems from operating within a variety of roles, including proposal writing, project administration and management, project auditing and reporting, and full cycle accounting functions.
Prior to Velocity Fiber, she handled day-to-day accounting and telecommunications compliance filings for a Midwestern CLEC and E-rate Category 1 Service Provider, working with local municipalities and government and regulatory officials in 14 states. Her multifaceted experience has provided her with the balanced insight needed to successfully negotiate both client and vendor relations.
Cynthia B. Schultz, Esq.
Federal Regulatory and Compliance Counsel
Cynthia served as Director of Service Provider Support for the $4.0B E-rate Program at USAC, where she managed compliance issues and advocated on behalf of over 4,000 service providers nationally, and as Director of Compliance and Audits for the $4.7B Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) at the National Telecommunications & Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
She was also a Partner at Patton Boggs, LLP in Washington D.C., where she specialized in technology and communications law with a focus on FCC USF Programs such as E-rate and Rural Healthcare and other federal and state technology grants.
Vice President of Sales
Zach Cole has 25 years of experience in the telecommunications and fiber infrastructure industry. His expertise ranges from planning and designing networks for carriers to sales, business development, and solutions engineering supporting various customer entities.
Zach is a strategic thinker who enjoys solving problems for customers he works with. Whether a school district, state or local government, or another communications provider, he will work to find win-win solutions and quickly become a partner you can trust.
Director, Fiber Infrastructure
Mary began her professional life in public education working with children with disabilities. It was in this space that she saw firsthand the influence that technology and access to it has on a student’s and/or teacher’s success in and out of the classroom.
After several years in public education, Mary transitioned to the telecom sector by joining Zayo Group. As a member of the E-rate team, she was able to blend her passions and was heavily involved with network implementation, design, estimation and project management of fiber networks for school districts across the country.
Steve owned an outside plant (OSP) construction company for 22 years. What started as a small, 2-person company eventually grew to 50 employees with annual revenue of nearly $10 million, building communication networks in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, as well as multiple states throughout the Midwest.
Since selling his company, Steve has spent the past 10 years focused on the design and construction of E-rate eligible WANs for K-12 school districts in nearly 20 states. His knowledge of FCC guidelines and NEC specifications coupled with his hands-on experience with project planning and execution is part of the reason he is recognized as an expert in the industry.
Enough About Us!
We would like to learn more about you! Give us a call or send us an email about any upcoming fiber projects your organization is contemplating or planning, technology initiatives that require bandwidth you would like to brainstorm on, or feel free to reach out if you are a member of the industry and just want to connect with us for the future.