Fusion Connect Leadership

Management Team

Brian Crotty

Chief Executive Officer

Brian Crotty has more than 30 years of experience leading major organizations in the managed services and communications industries. Fusion Connect’s CEO since 2020 and a member of its board of director's, Brian has led the transformation from a telecommunications company into a leading managed communication service provider that helps businesses connect people, data, and devices. He was previously the chief commercial officer at Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), where he was responsible for all company revenue and focused on customer experience, customer retention, and growth. Brian also served as the president of mid-market enterprise and commercial markets at Windstream and as the chief operating officer at Broadview Networks, where he led the transformation of the business to a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) cloud solutions provider. Brian earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from St. Norbert College.

Brian McClintock

Chief Financial Officer

Brian McClintock drives financial strategy and planning while optimizing the company's capital structure. He is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience in telecommunications and technology. Brian has delivered measurable gains in revenue, profits, and market recognition as a COO, CFO, and vice president. He is also a project management expert with experience in startup, turnaround, expansion, and consolidation of business situations. He has a Master of Business Administration in Finance from La Salle University and a bachelor's degree in business management from Lynchburg University.

George Schoenstein

Chief Marketing Officer

George Schoenstein guides marketing, communications, and business development efforts while ensuring cohesive branding and effective communication with stakeholders. He has decades of leadership experience in marketing, corporate communications, and corporate strategy at technology, management consulting, cloud services, and software as a service (SaaS ) companies. He has held global executive roles at Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), CompuCom, DXC Technology, BearingPoint, and KPMG, and has continually driven transformation through innovative strategies. By leveraging his expertise in branding, messaging strategy, demand generation, and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled marketing, George contributed to significant business growth. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Finance from Drexel University, and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Stockton University.

Chris Updegraft

Chief Information Officer

Chris Updegraft oversees the information technology department, with a focus on expanding the company's Microsoft-centric solutions portfolio. With more than 30 years of experience in technology leadership, strategy, and execution, he optimizes IT services that enable businesses to rapidly scale their operations using Microsoft products. Chris has expertise in leveraging technology to drive business growth and improve operational efficiencies. Prior to joining Fusion Connect in 2018, Chris co-founded and served as vice president of IQMax for 18 years. He has a bachelor's degree in computer science from Azusa Pacific University.

Pieter Uittenbogaard

Executive Vice President, Growth and Strategy

Pieter Uittenbogaard focuses on expanding the company's Microsoft offerings, including Calling Services for Microsoft Teams, and driving product and service innovation. He has held numerous leadership roles at Microsoft over the past 15 years, was most recently the General Manager of the Microsoft 365 business in the United States, and in 2021 earned Microsoft’s prestigious Platinum Club award, a highly selective honor given to top-performing employees. Prior to that, he led the worldwide Windows Commercial go-to-market. Pieter has considerable experience accelerating growth, sparking cloud transformation at worldwide scale, and maintaining customer-centricity. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Rod Brownridge

Senior Vice President Customer Operations

Rod Brownridge is the head of Customer Experience at Fusion Connect, drawing upon two decades of experience in operations, engineering, and customer success management. Before joining Fusion Connect, he held leadership positions at Covad Communications, where he oversaw operations and customer service teams. While at Covad, Rod led both onshore and offshore organizations responsible for customer service, operations engineering, and business analysis. Prior to his time at Covad, Rod was accountable for service delivery, customer service, project management, and business analysis at MegaPath.

Mark Jeary

Senior Vice President Operations

Mark Jeary oversees Service Delivery, Network Engineering, and Access Management, concentrating on enhancing customer experience by optimizing network infrastructure, systems, and processes. With over 20 years of experience, he specializes in rebuilding and transforming corporate infrastructures and operations. Mark has held senior leadership roles at Global Crossing, XO Communications, EarthLink Business, and Windstream. He earned a masters of management degree from Nazareth University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marist College.

Lisa Matthews

Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Lisa Matthews leads all areas of human resources and has more than 25 years of experience in HR management across multiple industries, including technology and professional services. Lisa previously served as the vice president of human resources at Alight Solutions, where she developed talent strategies while navigating a significant technology transformation. Earlier, as the company's director of human resources, she led organizational design, onboarding architecture, and business integration efforts with a focus on operational success. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Georgia.

Birch Blair

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Birch Blair is responsible for managing all legal affairs and ensuring that the company complies with relevant laws and both state and federal regulations. Birch has been with the company for five years, initially serving as Fusion Connect’s Deputy General Counsel before stepping into the role of General Counsel. Prior to joining Fusion Connect, Birch held various legal positions in the telecommunications and technology sectors, including serving as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for MegaPath Cloud Company. Birch holds a bachelor’s degree from Seattle University and a law degree from Penn State.

Board of Directors

Dudley Slater

Chairman of the Board

Dudley Slater holds several governances, operating, and entrepreneurial roles and works with investors and companies in the telecommunications, health care, banking, and media industries. His board experience includes Segra, WOW! Cable & Internet, Umpqua Bank, LS Networks, and Integra Telecom Inc., a company he co-founded in 1996. Dudley’s operating experience includes CEO and president roles in the health care technology, clinical trials, and telecommunications industries. He received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in geophysics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Brian Crotty

Chief Executive Officer

Brian Crotty has more than 30 years of experience leading major organizations in the managed services and communications industries. Fusion Connect’s CEO since 2020, Brian has led the transformation from a telecommunications company into a leading managed communication service provider that helps businesses connect people, data, and devices. He was previously the chief commercial officer at Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), where he was responsible for all company revenue and focused on customer experience, customer retention, and growth. Brian also served as the president of mid-market enterprise and commercial markets at Windstream and as the chief operating officer at Broadview Networks, where he led the transformation of the business to a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) cloud solutions provider. Brian earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from St. Norbert College.

James Morphis

James Morphis is an executive director of Morgan Stanley and a member of the Morgan Stanley Private Credit team, where he focuses on originating and underwriting investment opportunities. James joined Morgan Stanley in 2016 and has over 12 years of relevant industry experience. Prior to that, James structured, marketed, and placed private debt and equity capital as part of Houlihan Lokey’s Capital Markets Group. Prior to Houlihan Lokey, James was an assistant vice president at GE Capital Markets in its leveraged finance business, structuring, marketing, and syndicating leveraged loans. James was also an analyst at M&T Bank, where he underwrote middle market credit facilities, conducting fundamental credit analysis and performing detailed financial modeling. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and a Master of Business Administration from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Joe Harding

Joe Harding has most recently served as the vice president for product and solution marketing at Equinix. He was responsible for all product marketing globally in addition to leading regional product management. Previously, Joe served as a board member for QOS Networks and as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Windstream, where he was responsible for leading the transformation of the enterprise and wholesale product strategy as well as leading all product management and marketing efforts. He received a bachelor's degree in finance from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Richard Jalkut

Richard Jalkut is a longtime telecommunications executive and the former CEO of TPx Communications. He was previously the president and CEO of Pathnet Telecom and the president, CEO, and chairman of NYNEX Telephone Companies, where he oversaw an organization with more than 80,000 employees and 16 million customers that produced more than $12 billion in annual revenue. Richard is a past chairman of the Partnership for New York City and of the New York State Business Council, and he was a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History. He received bachelor's degrees in economics and political science from Boston College.

Colby Wheeler

Colby Wheeler has been a director at Ellington Management Group since 2020 and previously served as a principal at Bardin Hill Investment Partners. He also worked as an associate and senior associate in PGIM Fixed Income's high-yield credit group. Colby began his career as an analyst in equity research at Citigroup, where he published research on a variety of technology and telecommunications companies. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and finance from Utah State University and is a CFA charterholder and a member of CFA Society New York.

Timothy J. Bernlohr

Timothy Bernlohr is the founder and managing member of TJB Management Consulting LLC, which he founded in 2004 and specializes in providing project-specific consulting services to businesses in transformation, including in and out of court restructurings, wind downs, interim executive management, and strategic planning services. He is the former interim CEO of The Manischewitz Company, Bally Total Fitness Corporation, Parquets Marty, and BHM International, and the former president and CEO of RBX Industries Inc. Since the inception of his consultancy, Timothy has served more than 100 boards of directors in capacities that include chairman, lead director, committee chairman, strategic consultant, CEO, president, CRO, and trustee. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from The Pennsylvania State University.