Glenn Sexton: Telecommunications evangelist

Glenn Sexton's current service as vice chair of the TIA TR-42.10 Subcommittee, which is developing specifications in partnership with the Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEP), is only the latest example of how his donations-of time, expertise and more-benefit many professionals who directly or indirectly touch structured cabling systems.

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Glenn Sexton's current service as vice chair of the TIA TR-42.10 Subcommittee, which is developing specifications in partnership with the Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEP), is only the latest example of how his donations-of time, expertise and more-benefit many professionals who directly or indirectly touch structured cabling systems. Sexton has been an active contributor to TIA standards development since the late 1990s, including multiple leadership positions in several of TR-42's subcommittees. His TR-42.10 vice-chairmanship is just one of several current commitments to TIA, which also include participation in task forces examining standards for educational spaces, security, and wireless. He also is a member of the IEEE and of the Architects, Engineers and Building Officials section of the National Fire Protection Agency.

Even if you have never met Glenn, there's a decent chance you've seen some of his work. "For whatever reason, I have become the 'go-to' expert for various TIA committees needing drawings," he says. "As such, many of the illustrations in TIA publications are from me."

Glenn has been with Northwest Information Services since 1987 and has been the company's president and chief executive officer since 1990. Before that, he explains, "Like many in the industry I cut my teeth on various proprietary transmission protocols. I left corporate America in 1990 and came to Northwest Information Services ... At NIS, we have the opportunity every day to touch the community around us in a positive way. I have been called a 'telecommunications evangelist' as I easily become animated and often share with a passion when asked: 'What exactly do you do?'"

He further explains that most of his clients are public 'and by their very nature, have small staffs and insufficient budgets. We have been able to creatively address needs for over 25 years by helping people define their communications issues and creatively address them."

Many of those clients are public school systems. Sexton has a long history of professionally and personally helping these institutions and, importantly, their occupants. "I have a real heart for K-12 schools in particular," he says. "In the past 20 years I have been in literally hundreds of schools and thousands of classrooms. If you do the math, I guess that means I've played a small part in the lives of a lot of kids as they have experienced technology in their classrooms."

In some cases, more than a small part. Above and beyond the professional work he has performed in school settings, Sexton organized "NetDay 96" volunteer efforts to bring cable and infrastructure to two underserved schools. Other volunteer efforts of his have included the design, configuration and management of the installation of a local area network for a Catholic school in his locale. Sexton negotiated significant price reductions for the PCs, free Microsoft Office software and free shipping, all from Dell. "After getting all the cable installed for labor cost only, I found a company willing to donate first-tier Ethernet switches to the school. The PCs arrived in the midst of a cold front and on an icy weekend, my wife and I led a team of volunteers who unboxed and installed all the PCs. The following Monday, the children had all new machines and solid, high-speed Internet for the first time."

Deeply devoted to his wife of 40 years, his four children and his Christian faith, Sexton says that next to those passions, "My greatest joy in life really comes from encouraging those around me. The success associated with growing a business for the past 20-plus years is attributable to the talents of those who have worked with me. It's true that a leader without a follower is just another guy out taking a walk, but I have been blessed with great long-term staff and a cadre of professional friends that have made this journey a truly remarkable experience."

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