Culture is relative to being number one in any industry. After all, in order to provide the very best to your clients, you need to have people who also perform their jobs at their very best. Talking to someone who has brought that amazing employee culture to the telecommunications industry, Carrie Charles sits down with Thomas Kane, the President of the site development firm, Network Building + Consulting, otherwise known as NB+C. With a 500-person team behind, NB+C has one of the best human capital department in the entire country. Here, Tom shares with us how they grew the company into what it is now and what they are doing mission and culture-wise that help them attract and retain talent. He goes further and taps into employee engagement, career path programs, and his plans for hiring for 2020 and beyond. Follow along in this great episode to learn more about the secrets to creating one of the most highly engaged companies in telecommunications.
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Creating A Culture That Attracts And Retains Talent With Thomas Kane
I am super excited to have with me Tom Kane. He is the President of Network Building + Consulting better known as NB+C. It is a site development firm serving all major carriers and tower companies in the wireless industry. With over 500 employees, they’ve been serving the industry for over many years. Tom, thanks for joining me.
It’s great to be here with you.
I’ve heard about your journey a little bit and I’ve known you for a bit here. I would love for you to start by talking about how did you get to be the President of NB+C? You could tell that story of where you started.
I’m in my many years at NB+C and it’s been the only wireless/telecommunications job I’ve had. When I’m asked about my background, I like to say it’s the timing is everything story. I started in 1997 in NB+C. The company is small then. It has around 50 people as an entry-level site acquisition specialist. That was my job. I may have been possibly the lowest paid person in the company. Those of you who are in the industry at that time and it was the go-go days of PCS. Things were happening rapidly at NB+C. I was fortunate that through a series of events, I had some project program management experience from the previous profession. I was able to utilize that fairly quickly in a new role that opened up in Philadelphia. Site acquisition was booming then and we needed a new department. The owner at the time asked me to lead that. It was a small group that I was fortunate to turn into a bigger group as PCS exploded.
The owner wanted to exit the business in 2000 and she did. I had the great experience of working for a private equity firm and in the 2000s building towers for ourselves and running all of the operations. For those of you who know the industry, from 2002 to 2003, there was a little bit of a downturn. A private equity firm asked me to take over as president during that period of time. This is all fast. I was able to turn the business around a little bit for them during some challenging times. I’ve met a lot of people then that are still with me which that’s what I think I’m the proudest of. The private equity firm wanting to exit the business in 2007 and I was able to lead a management buyout and that was a great learning experience. Timing is everything.
Even more than timing, it’s walking into that opportunity and saying yes. Was there a time when you were nervous or like, “What am I doing here?” but you did it anyway?
In 2007, I borrowed more money than I ever thought I would borrow in my entire life. For a person of my background and where I came from, it was pretty staggering. I believed in the industry, in my team and we had a lot of great opportunities in front of us. I think the important thing that happened then, and I still believe is we benefited by being the management. I thought the business was going to do better. I have nothing against GE-backed businesses. They bring a lot to the table. We learned a lot from our GE partners or Bear Capital Partners through a number of years. I know I did. I learned a ton, but I felt the businesses would benefit. It’s a long-term business, our play and we wanted a long-term focus that we could then employ for ourselves.
Tell me more about NB+C. What’s your role in 5G?
In 2007 and going back, it is a number of years now, but there’s a story there. We were at that point a site acquisition construction management company focusing on Mid-Atlantic. We saw a lot of opportunities. We added our own construction services and technical services fairly early on in Nevada in 2009. We did a lot of geographic expansion up and down the coast and deeper into the country to cover. We’d like to sell ourselves as a third in the country for a lot of our services. We have in the past few years have other services that we’re even going deeper into the United States.
[bctt tweet=”Different perspectives can help lead you down a better path.” username=”rcrwirelessnews”]
Now we have eight specific offices/warehouses. We also bought small engineering firms so that we can do our own civil structural fiber engineering. It’s been great many years. We are excited about the opportunity of 5G as we sit in 2020. Delving into that, what that means for the industry, for NB+C and relative to our conversation about workforce is that it has been said by a lot of people in the industry smarter than me. I’ll follow on their footsteps that it is the hardest G, there’s no doubt about it.
All the Gs have been hard. It’s a complicated business, but this one brings an entirely new level of complexity to the equation. We have to modify every cell site that exists for every carrier so that needs to occur on top of moving and developing a tremendous amount of new wireless assets into a new infrastructure. The right of way, the street level, lower and closer for the propagation signals, meaning for millimeter wave and others. Everything we all know is happening. What we see relative to work for us is we’re asking for a lot of new things.
We’re asking the entire industry. It means our customers are asking us for a lot of new things, including our opinion is a lot of more creative thinking and problem solving because in the right of way, there is no cookie cutter and no pure roadmap. You go from an area in North Carolina that a carrier asks us to work in to an area in greater Philadelphia, to a rural area in New England. We have some stuff out in the Ohio Valley. Every single one of those small cell projects we have as a completely different roadmap. The utility handles it differently. The department of transportation handles it differently. The zoning and permitting department handle it differently.
I think my friend Marc Ganzi calls it the first inning. We’re in a first, second inning. Maybe we just finished the first one somewhere around here. Your readers know all the stats. We have probably somewhere around 700,000 to 1 million small cells we need to develop. That’s what we see about 5G that makes us so excited. The volume, the complexity, the carrier needs and the consumer needs. For me, I’m also excited about the new uses of 5G that we’re going to start seeing as people that are on the front lines. The conferences you and I go to, and we see each other at. We have a lot of cool panels that come up and talk about telemedicine, gaming, 4K video, public safety, traffic control, etc., and those conversations also then take you to what’s that killer app. No one knows yet. It’s got to be something cool.
It’s going to be something that brings a tremendous amount of information together in a short period of time on a mobile device for a human decision that will then lead to an AI decision. We do a ton of fiber engineering. As you know, small cells in entire ecosystem, the 5G demands are fantastic. We’re working for every carrier. We’re excited about the new team mobile. Another layer of complexity. Let me throw one more thing out there. We’re excited about the new facility space entrant in dish.
I remember going back to those early days of PCS launch markets for fun. They’re different and challenging. The industry needs to launch a new carrier that nationally hasn’t been done in a long time. That too brings a whole other level. It’s not modifying the site to 3G or 4G and doing a small level of macros for a carrier. It’s a whole different game, a whole different level of talent, a whole different mindset that we need. I know a lot of my friends in the industry are talking about as well for the 5G.
You talked about talent, let’s move into that a little bit. There was an interview and a WIA article where you were featured, How Infrastructure Companies are Addressing the 5G Skills Gaps. What are your thoughts on this? What skills are in high demand? What’s scarce?
I was honored to help our association. WIA was asked to chair a workforce development committee that reports to Jonathan Adelstein, his team and I’m up to the board about these topics broadly throughout the industry and many different types of organizations. What we can all do as an industry and an association to get in front of that. They’re fortunate to grab a lot of professionals throughout the country in prominent roles in some of the biggest organizations we have in the industry to help the overall industry deal with that. There’s a lot of commentary and press and reporting in the industry on the tower skills gap.
We need more tower technicians and better train tower technicians. Part of the reason for that is the volume we’ve mentioned for 5G. The other part of the reason for that is these installs and the modifications of going from 4G to 5G are getting much more complicated on a site by site basis. Our tower technicians to take the site from 1G to 2G, 2G to 3G, if you went back and looked at those schematics and their plans, they’re not easy, but there are a lot more cookie cutter than what we’re dealing with, what our field folks have to deal in 2020 with on these modifications and installs for 5G. That’s one. At NB+C, we’ve set a specific strategy to address the white-collar skills gap that we see also exists because we’re predominantly a development firm.
We do a lot of our own engineering and site development work out in the field and white-collar positions with a lot of program management. We’re doing a lot of turnkey for our customers so that we’re bringing every single skill along the ecosystem together. It requires a white-collar skills force. Let’s go back to what you and I talked about at the start of this conversation is where are we going to have the critical thinking, the leadership and the problem solving? In addition, to all these complexities, we talked about on a site basis to go into the right of way and to deal with all this, there’s no cookie cutter. There’s no perfect training. I cannot give a program, meaning a perfect roadmap. It doesn’t exist.
They have to be fluid, be creative thinkers, be problem solvers and to lead their team as such. In addition to all that happening, we have an environment where the carrier customers are under a lot of cost challenges. In addition to get a lot, deploy, get a lot of it deployed fast, the carriers have to pay attention to their CapEx. We have to answer the CapEx. We have to figure out ways to be more efficient. We can’t turn into working our people to death. “You used to do this four years ago. Now, do these times 120% for generally the same amount of money.” That doesn’t feel good to me as a business leader. It doesn’t feel successful.
You take all that conversation that you and I had. It started with us realizing this a few years ago, us saying to ourselves, “We need a sophisticated Human Capital Department.” We’re proud of our Human Capital Department. I’ll brag a little bit here that for a 500-person company in our industry, I think we have the best Human Capital Department in the entire country. It’s led by Kara Silbert. We asked her to lead the department.
Our learning and development in this avenue, we talked about white-collar, it was basic. It had a long way to go. It’s one of those things where when you rip off the Band-Aid and you realize that there’s a lot more opportunity than we even thought. Having Kara come in, we’re starting to have meaningful conversations with employees about the general workforce and bringing that into the executive room was like, “We have a lot to do.” I’m proud to say we started getting in front of them about 3 to 4 years ago. She has setup program management training and project management training initiatives on those themes we talked about. She has set up and led new business manager training. We have business managers around CapEx for our customers in addition to production managers.
Conlon McCarthy, one of our absolute top professionals in our organization makes us such a great organization. He says it well. Years ago, 2G, 3G, maybe even 4G, you take your carrier customer schedule. You deploy on that schedule and you’re successful. Nowadays, you have to do that but our frontline professionals also have to pay a lot of attention to costs added to 2G and 3G. We’ve got to answer that challenge. We need to train them. That business manager training is doing that.
Kara has done a lot of other cool things as well. Within that project management group, there’s a cool book club. There’s a little story I like to tell about how different perspectives can help lead you down a better path. Kara and her team picked a great book by Brené Brown Dare to Lead, which spoke to current topics around empathy, vulnerability, and being great managers. I’ll be honest about this. I would have picked that book. Not that it’s not a great book, its different people brought in new perspectives into our training that resonated and our employees that were in a program management track, they love that book.
They thought it did so much for them by way of, it talks about daring leadership. That’s one of Brené’s quotes in the book. It resonates with our mission in our brand and that was huge. The other last piece I’d add to the puzzle there and it’s a compliment back to our association with WIA, right when Kara was starting to put a lot of us together about a couple of years ago is when WIA came out with the Telecommunications Education Center or TEC.
We’re huge fans. I have to give them a compliment because it’s so fit into what we needed to do. In about 2.5 years, we’ve moved 55% of our employees through one model or another. A lot of these modules are put together by my friend Rick who does a lot of consulting work at WIA. I will admit, I was a little skeptical at first. We have tried in the past to do some of our own in-house training. It had not gone well, probably because I tried to do it myself and it hadn’t gone great. Kara wanted to do it to them. In a lot of conversations with TEC, “Let’s give it a shot.”
It has been fantastic and a game changer for us. It has answered the call of what our employees want to get ready for 5G. We’ve used their 5G training modules, small cell training modules, and macro training modules. They have wireless one-on-one which is great for some of our newer to wireless folks that we’re bringing up through the organization. The TEC part of that, I want to compliment that organization and what they’ve accomplished and it has been meaningful for NB+C.
[bctt tweet=”There’s a lot of progress in front of us. We need to continue to push the envelope and figure out better ways to reach for that.” username=”rcrwirelessnews”]
You talked a bit about the NB+C mission and culture. Let’s dig into that a little bit. Tell me more and any other programs that you have to attract and retain talent.
You learn a lot going from 200 to 300 to 500 people and growing. We want to keep growing. Good and steady growth pace for us has been excellent. We want to keep doing that to give. Mostly, our employees continued opportunity for growth in their own professions. Let’s go back to 2007 a little bit. We liked back then thinking about becoming management owned and we did. Back then, the entire executive committee came from the field. We knew exactly what it was like to do the job we were talking about. A lot of our executives that are still with us have started in the field in their background.
We’ve certainly added other professionals to our executive team in the past many years that didn’t come from that. It became the start of our culture that we’ve continued to refine over the last many years. My friend come and says, “We don’t make anything. We don’t have any antennas. We don’t have a software gadget for 5G that’s our biggest value or some special IP. It is truly our people.” We believe that and know that now like we knew that in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010. We have to continue to walk it like we talk it. We make it an employee-focused organization. Our culture is one where we continue each year to focus on employees and employee-focus. That start with, we want to be a destination employer.
We want to continue to support, promote and figure out systems that are about teamwork. One of the cool things we did and our Human Capital Department did a few years ago is we have a lot of recognition around performance to the customer. Customers are happy when somebody gets recognized. We have a lot of recognition around P&L group for profit organization. We want to recognize a student in solid P&L. We talk about teamwork a lot, “Let’s do something about it.” They developed a Totally Committed Award. It’s is our tagline.
Once a quarter, someone in the organization out of 500 people is selected as being the person that promotes teamwork the best through their actions, nominated by the folks on their teams. Many times, we encourage teamwork within a team. It’s branching out. Someone in this division needs help. Somebody in that division needs help. I’m going to do that because there are no silos NB+C. We want that teamwork to be a part of our culture. Other important facts of our culture are the fact that it’s competitive out there.
There are lots of people that want the services and offer the services at a high level that we offer. To continue that growth and be a great place for people to work, we want to be number one. We talk about the fact that if you’re on a given project, you are doing fiber design, site construction, site acquisition, structural engineering in any one of our services or one of those projects where those services are coming together as a turnkey, be the best number one vendor. Your customer can pick month in, month out, quarter of a quarter.
We need to be honest with ourselves. We have big egos, like many folks in the industry because we think we’re good at what we do, but we’ve got to look in the mirror and be like, “In this project, we’ve got room for improvement. We’re not number one. What are we going to do to get to that top spot?” That’s what we want our professionals thinking about. As you then accomplish those things, relative to culture, talk a lot about recognition and appreciation. We do a lot of great appreciation events, things like the Totally Committed Award and things like quarterly recognitions. We’re proud of our employee events that we put together. This has been a bad year for our employee events.
It’s a reinvestment or rewards for our folks that have done a great job. We’d go to Major League Baseball in the summer. It’s been a hard year. I think all of us miss that. We had to skip all of our spring appreciation events, skip all of our summer appreciation events and we have to think about our fall and it’s probably not going to be what we want it to be. We can’t wait to get back to that. Back to culture, that becomes an important part of supporting our culture and then the last thing I would say is we worked hard with communication and transparency.
We’ve realized how much because we’ve done more and more of that in our folks and in our culture that want to support that NB+C brand. They want even more information and that would be my advice out there to other talent professionals and leadership. I’ve come to realize in the last eighteen months, they want even more information than I thought they wanted because they love the company. How can you not get behind that?
I think that you have one of the most highly-engaged companies in telecom. I want to know how you do that. One thing you had mentioned to me awhile back is that you or your team put together an employee engagement survey. Let’s talk about that because that huge employee engagement is usually low.
I think that I always want to be surrounded by the best and the brightest in the industry and in current roles, that’s who I want to work with. We work hard to do that, find that and retain that. Not long ago, this is probably going on maybe 2018. Going back to our high level of Human Capital Department, they came into a review and said, “We want to do an employee engagement survey.” I was reluctant. I can’t remember why at this point, because it’s been great, but I remember I checked the box and said, “Let’s do this.” I wanted to learn more about it.
I was a bit skeptical and it has been amazing for me and for the organization. I’ve learned so much from the Human Capital Department, bringing in some outside resources, running a fantastic engagement survey that was tailored to our workforce. I was proud of the results at the end of 2019. They were good. We have at NB+C some high numbers which was great, but those who know me, know that I immediately focused on the lower numbers. I guess that’s my role. I know people over the last period of time as we’ve digested these numbers and had multiple meetings about the different scores that reminded me, “Don’t forget this score over here is drilling into something that’s lower than you would like it to sit.”
The exciting things we’ve done is taking all that information. We presented all of it back to our employees through a series of town hall meetings in the fall, showed them exactly the good and the areas of improvement. We showed them a lot of the survey and asked for commentary. We should have good commentary and some of the negative comments. This is stuff we are taking to heart that we need to pay attention to and be better at. We felt like we needed the people to take that information and more lead us to what we need to do. Instead of me sitting in an office, looking at the data and saying, “Here’s our strategy around this.”
We felt like it’s better to take all that information. Human Capital created five advisory groups. Every exact advisory group has all different types of people from throughout the organization because we wanted all these perspectives. The feedback from them is, “What we should do with this information has been fantastic.” We’ve already addressed some of it, some of it we still have work to do. What I heard the most was, “Let’s go back to some of our themes in our podcast now.”
We are transparent to our workforce and what’s going on. They want even more information. They wanted more about, how does the company work? How do our projects work? How are we successful? We had to take that to hard training. We’ve done a lot, but definitely through and hearing from our employees, we’ve learned even more about what we could do on training on collaboration and teamwork. We’re doing well, but we found some blind spots.
I found some blind spots and some things I had set up as the CEO relative to reporting, relative to business metrics that didn’t necessarily support teamwork. It was glaring back to me like, “You’re actually supporting the competition.” It’s a big red flag for the CEO, “Let’s figure out a way to redo that.” I don’t want to be the guy that’s saying, “Teamwork,” and I’m setting up systems that support inner department competition versus teamwork. The engagement survey has been, as you can tell from my commentary here. I’ve loved every bit of it, all the information I’ve received. It’s been huge for us in our development as an organization.
It takes us back to, “How do you have that strong culture?” Better listed more employees, make sure we’re doing everything to keep them engaged, make sure we’re pivoting where we need to pivot, make sure we’re finding blind spots, where blind spots exist, that we don’t know about to support that culture and that brand because we want to keep growing. As I’ve seen, 200 people’s one challenge, 400 people and other challenge. As we start pressing 600, 700 people, some of those culture and brand initiatives, you need to stay laser focused on.
You said, “Listen,” that’s a common thing that I’ve heard throughout this entire interview because there are times where you said, “I didn’t know,” or “I didn’t know about it, but I listened to it,” and I was like, “Yes.” Many companies don’t give their employees a voice and they don’t listen, or they might listen or pretend to listen, and then they go on and do what they want and make their own decisions. That is key, especially with the Millennial generation, the generations to come, they want a voice. You are doing that right.
[bctt tweet=”Leaders need to be a little better on recruitment around diversity roles within the organization.” username=”rcrwirelessnews”]
That’s the other thing you learn from the 1990s, to 2000s, to 2010s and getting into the 2020s, I don’t want to be the professional sitting there talking about the 1G and 2G. I can be guilty of that at times. Paying attention, it is a new workforce, a new generation coming up and we have to pay attention to their needs and their needs are different. We’ll probably do another engagement survey in the not too distant future. Things are dynamic and we’re growing so much. You have to do that regularly. It doesn’t necessarily have to be assertive. There are other ways to listen to workforce. We do Q&A every fall with every market in the same vein, but Q&A and a roomful of people has its own landmines associated with it. A lot of people don’t want to raise their hand, but on an anonymous survey, they’ll tell you what they think.
One other thing I wanted to ask you about was career pathing because this is important for people, especially in the past few years. A large percentage of people in the staffing world that we hear why they’re leaving their job is they don’t see a path for development, “I don’t see a future for myself.” I know that this is something that’s important to you at NB+C. Can you talk about your career pathing program?
We again realized in 2018 that modern professionals want to know their path many times upon accepting a position or even if they don’t address that upon recruitment. They’re going to probably address that fairly early on. We’ve always had a very thorough performance appraisal process that’s seasonal, that we’ve always done, but then we had to start answering the career path pathing question. Let’s go back to some of the things we’ve talked about, “Do you want to be a destination employer? You’ve got to show your employee, especially your A plus employees who are looking for more responsibility, who are looking for an aggressive path.
You better be able to answer that question and not with platitudes and some vagaries. They are looking for specificity, guidance and training along that path and everything that comes with it and honest conversations. We have employee podcasts and employee conversation. I could have many things dovetail together. It even goes back to the manager training. We have to train our managers that, “When you’re doing your appraisal at the end of the year, let’s train you on how to have this conversation about pathing.” That’s the thing we had to do, which was a huge initiative for us, specific job titles and requirements. We had to even create a few things that we were nebulous on so that it was more standardized.
When you’re a 200-person company, you don’t necessarily have internal salary ranges that are on paper. When you’re 500 people, you need to have that. In that way, you can have that conversation and then someone wants to come in, either Human Capital come to their manager, come to their director and say, “I’d like to talk about the next five years. I feel like we’ve done a lot of work in a couple of years. We have a long way to go.” That was reflected in the employee engagement survey as well. We knew a lot of this, but then it was reinforced. It’s like, “I want them to know a better answer on how I’m going to get from A to B, to C.”
One of the things we heard and we changed again, because of the employee engagement survey, people felt like opportunities were opened up into the organization and other departments and they didn’t know about it because we didn’t necessarily put those out internally. That was a quick pivot we could make in Human Capital to say, if an engineering role opens up in Raleigh, the whole organization should see it. Pathing is critical to engagement, employee satisfaction and retaining again if we don’t want our top professionals feeling that to advance, “I’ve got to get my resume out on the street.” That’s what we want and total meritocracy here and its opportunity for all. We want to support that and say, “You can have any path you want to set here and we’ll help you with that.
Conversely, once you might get to your destination role, we’re happy that we have some professionals,” and I’m like, “I’ve hit my destination role.” Maybe, I don’t want to manage. Managing people comes with its whole set. I always love talking to those folks in our organization who went from a task-specific role that they had to managing people and your whole mind opens up to everything that entails. We want to answer that destination employer challenge for ourselves and for our workforce. Just to wrap that up, I would say we’re probably halfway where we need to be on career paths. We had that much more work to do in the next years.
That was said brilliantly from a man who went from a site acquisition specialist to president of the company. That must have been your destination role and it could be others in your company. I love to hear that you’re so open and a fantastic culture, fantastic vision, mission, and everything. Tell me about your plans for hiring for 2020 and beyond?
I think that we have a lot of engineering opportunities. We are going to continue to focus on engineering, astute, good hiring. We want the best engineers. We want this to be a destination and location. Engineering in wireless has all of its own set of challenges to it. It’s not exactly for many folks, the type of engineering. They went to engineering school and got a PE4, but for others, it is. That’s going to be a key part of our hiring. Another key part of our hiring, we’re trying to meet that challenge. Something we talked about early on in this conversation is tower technicians. We want to be destination employer for everyone in our workforce. Our tower technicians get the same benefits as a PE, same benefits as me.
There’s no differentiation. We want them to come and stay. We’re still unfortunately dealing with too much turnover in that group. We want to answer that challenge through hiring, retaining. I think some of it does come from hiring. The other point I would make and it goes back to the way NB+C is changing and taking on more turnkey work and it being asked to change to answer carrier CapEx questions. It goes back to more project management and program management roles. We’re bringing in those roles, not only in hiring, in astute interviewing. Kara Silbert, compliment to her, we do a lot of behavior-based interviewing to try to flush out. If a person’s going to fit in to our culture and the skillsets, we need for these specific roles and team leadership, the TM and business manager, sometimes that all comes together.
Those are challenging roles in our organization. We rely on those for our success. Lastly, I would say one of the things we’re focused on like a lot of organizations, and I don’t want this to come across as a knee-jerk through all the unrest that the country is dealing with because it’s palpable out there. We’ve been trying to address opportunities for women in our workforce, which our industry has been behind on and work trying to address opportunities for men, at least. We have a lot of work to do still.
We’re making progress, but progress is not done. There’s a lot of progress in front of us. We need to continue to push the envelope and figure out better ways for that. I can say I am proud of our culture that especially over the last many years. I think we support an opportunity for all type of culture, but we’ve got to continue to push the envelope on that. We have to be a little better on our recruitment around that diversity and women based roles within the organization, because you and I have talked about that before and I will say like other things we’re working on in NB+C, we still have a lot of work to do, but there were lots of things we’re committed to it.
I think every leader in the world has a lot of work to do in that area. I appreciate you bringing that up because it is such an important topic that we all need to be more concerned about. It needs to be front and center. Tom, I can’t thank you enough for this honest, inspiring conversation. It has been a pleasure. Thank you for coming on the show.
I want to thank you. I was flattered to be asked. You’ve had some fantastic speakers in 2020, starting back. I admire what you’re doing. I can’t believe the amount of content you’ve put out. To the audience out there, if you’re picking up this one, go back through the other episode. I’ve learned a lot from your speakers. I’ve learned a lot from you and it’s needed in the industry, not only what you’re doing, but also the great role you play at Broadstaff.
Thank you so much. That means a lot. Take care.
- Network Building + Consulting
- How Infrastructure Companies are Addressing the 5G skills Gaps – WIA Article
- Dare to Lead
About Tom Kane
Tom Kane has served as President of NB+C since 2003. Under his leadership, the company has experienced significant growth, launched several new business units and expanded its geographic reach.
During his tenure with NB+C, Tom has held several key positions. Success as a program manager led to his heading up the Real Estate department in 1999. In 2001, Tom was promoted to vice president of operations for the entire organization. He was also a principal in the company’s tower subsidiary, Network Towers, LLC, a development company that successfully built 90+ communications towers. The tower portfolio was sold to a public tower company in 2006.
In 2007, Tom utilized the firm’s tower development capabilities and backlog to lead a successful management buyout, creating a 100% management-owned LLC. Since 2007, the organization has expanded its customer base, opened four new regional offices, and launched new divisions providing engineering, technical and construction services to the telecommunications industry. The firm recently increased its employee count to 500 to address the customer demands of 2020 and beyond.
He is currently the treasurer of the MD-DC Wireless Association, and he served for six years on the board of directors for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) – Maryland Chapter. Tom is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Washington, DC/Baltimore chapter and he also serves as the chair of the Workforce Development Committee for WIA, The Wireless Industry Association. He was recently honored to join the Board of Directors of his alma mater, DeMatha Catholic High School, on which he is co-chairing a capital campaign.
Tom received his bachelor’s degree in English literature with a minor concentration in business management from the University of Maryland at College Park.
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