Board of Directors
Allen Hoopes, Chairman & CEO
Since 1997, Allen R. Hoopes has served as the Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Star Communications. Upon earning his Bachelor of Science in Finance, Marketing, and Operations from Brigham Young University in 1986, Allen held the position of Assistant Manager of Silver Star from 1986 to 1992. In 1992, he was promoted to Vice President of Operations and General Manager of Silver Star Telephone Company, Inc. and Columbine Telephone Company; a position that he held until 1997. In 1997 Allen assumed the role of President and CEO as well Board Chairman. To allow more focus on strategic initiatives for the company, Allen turned over the role of President to Ron McCue in 2012.
With more than 28 years of experience in the telephone, mobile wireless and broadband industries, Allen is extremely passionate about technology. He has held key positions in several industry associations and organizations including Director and past Chairman of the Board for the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative, Board member of the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies, past President of the Idaho Telephone Association and Board of Director of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA)/Rural Broadband Association. Allen is currently a Board member representing the NTCA’s Northwest Region – Commercial companies.
Allen is a lifelong resident of scenic Star Valley, Wyoming. He is married to Jamielyn and they are the proud parents of five children. Away from the office, Allen enjoys running, hunting, snowmobiling, camping, fishing, hiking, and water sports.
Rod R. Jensen, Board Member
Rod Jensen has been a member of the Silver Star Communications Board of Directors since April 1997. Rod is a founder and President/CEO of the Bank of Star Valley (a position he has held since 1996). His financial expertise and background complements the make-up of the Silver Star Board.
Rod also serves as Vice Chairman of the Lower Valley Energy Board of Directors, the Star Valley Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Afton Utility Board. His past activities include serving as an Afton Town Council Member.
Rod is a life-time resident of Star Valley, Wyoming but spent some time away to earn a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Wyoming.
Rod is married to Ileene Jensen and they are the parents of two children. In his free time, Rod enjoys photography, hiking and fly-fishing.
Bob Foster, Board Member
Bob Foster has been a member of the Silver Star Board of Directors since January 2007. He is a resident of Teton Valley, Idaho. Bob, an Advanced EMT, is the Director of Emergency Medical Services for Fremont County, Idaho and, after serving on the Himalayan Rescue Association Mt. Everest Base Camp Medical Team, founded a training company that specializes in wilderness and rescue medicine. He can be found working as a clinical assistant at 4 Peaks Urgent Care in Driggs in his spare time!
Bob holds Masters Degrees in Business and Industrial Management and in Organizational Behavior. After “retiring” from a 34-year career as an operations supervisor and franchisee for McDonald’s Restaurant Corporation, Bob served with many community organizations and founded the Teton Valley Business Development Center.
Bob and his wife Lisa are the parents of six children and have six granddaughters. They are dedicated outdoors-people and enjoy all of the incredible activities and adventures so readily available throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
Ron McCue, President and COO
Ron McCue currently serves as Silver Star Communications’ President and Chief Operating Officer. Having earned his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration, with honors, and graduating with an M.B.A., magna cum laude, Ron has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 37 years. Ron has been a Silver Star Senior Executive for 26 years.
Ron is a registered lobbyist in five states and has provided testimony in front of nine different state utilities commissions, the F.C.C. and both the U.S. House of Congress and the U.S. Senate. He also previously served as an advisor to the Pentagon Defense Communications Council.
Ron currently serves on the USTelecom Association’s Board of Directors and Leadership and Government Affairs Committees. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Syringa Networks. Additionally, Ron is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Idaho Telecom Alliance (ITA), on the Board of Directors for the Wyoming Business Alliance and the Wyoming Heritage Foundation.
Ron recently served as the vice chairman for UW College of Business Advisory Board. Additionally, he also served a six year term on the Board of Trustees for the University of Wyoming, two as an officer and one and one half as the President.
Originally from Riverton, Wyoming, Ron is a fourth generation Wyoming native and currently lives in beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming with his wife Gail. They have two daughters, Kelsie and Shalee who have brought Ron and Gail seven beautiful grandchildren.
In his free time, Ron is passionate about fine woodworking and enjoys many outdoor sports including snowmobiling, hunting, fishing and skiing.
Jefferson H. England, CFO
Jefferson H. England arrived in Star Valley in 2013 to accept the role of Chief Financial Officer of Silver Star Communications. Jeff is an “entrepreneurial CFO” with a business sense for taking calculated risk leading to investment and growth.
Jeff has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Masters of Business Administration from Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID. Following graduation, he worked in public accounting as an auditor for Arthur Andersen and KPMG in Boise, ID. His background includes a wide variety of industries including grocery retail, forest products, information technology, and financial services.
Jeff continued his educational pursuits by earning a Master’s Degree in Finance from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and then spent ten years as the Chief Financial Officer at K2Share, LLC, headquartered in College Station, TX. While at K2Share, Jeff helped set strategic direction and provided executive leadership for the company in the performance of professional services in the cyber security, web site hosting, and application management industries.
In addition to his professional endeavors, Jeff has served two terms as a board member for the Texas Association of Business and currently serves as Vice President of the Wyoming Telecommunications Association. Jeff also serves on USTelecom Association’s Committees for Tax Policy and National Security and Public Safety. Previously, Jeff served in a variety of volunteer positions at local charities and is a life-long volunteer leader and supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.
Jeff is married to Cindy, his wife of 21 years. They have five wonderful children and together, they enjoy all of the outdoor adventures found in the mountains near their home in Wyoming. In his time away from work, Jeff is passionate about soccer and is an enormous fan of Manchester United. He also enjoys hunting, snowmobiling and riding dirt bikes with his family.
Barbara Sessions, Director of Engineering & Operations
Barbara Sessions is Silver Star’s Director of Engineering and Operations and has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2002. Barbara earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wyoming (U of W) and will receive her M.B.A. from UW in 2015.
Barbara currently sits on USTelecom’s Engineering & Technology Policy Committee and acts as a telecommunications consultant on the FirstNet Committee which whose mission is to build, operate and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Additionally, she sits on the Competitive Carriers Association’s Wireless Regulatory committee. Barbara is also very active in the community, having served on the Afton Planning and Zoning Committee and on the Star Valley Economic Develop Board.
Barbara is married to her husband Rick and together they have three amazing children. In their free time, Barbara and her family enjoy camping, 4-wheeling and traveling to new places.
Kurt Garrard, Accounting Manager
Kurt Garrard is Silver Star’s Accounting Manager and has been employed with Silver Star since 2007. Since earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the Utah State University, Kurt has gained 22 years of accounting experience in diverse industries including trucking, farming, ranching, oil/gas and telecommunications.
Kurt began his career in the telecommunications industry in 1997 as a plant accountant, then accounting manager and eventually controller of a telephone company in southern Idaho. In his various roles that have progressively increased in responsibility, Kurt has gained vast experience in cash management, cost recovery, and developing and implementing financial reporting standards. He has played an integral role maintaining Silver Star’s financial records by furnishing the company’s monthly, quarterly and annual reports to local, State and Federal government.
Originally from Burley, Idaho, Kurt and his wife Gwenna moved to Star Valley, Wyoming in 2006. They have been blessed with three wonderful children and enjoy spending their time coaching and caring for them. Kurt enjoys volunteering his time for causes such as “Relay for Life” and mentoring Scouts. In in his free time, Kurt and his family enjoy traveling, camping, fishing and embracing all of the beauty that Star Valley has to offer.
George Scherer, Director of Human Resources & Support Services
George Scherer joined Silver Star Communications in 2008 as the Director of Human Resources and Support Services. George is responsible for company recruiting, employee effectiveness, safety, training, buildings and grounds, and staff satisfaction.
George grew up in Cedarburg, Wisconsin and attended Marquette University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He is certified as a management trainer and has numerous human resource certifications.
George has held various human resource positions prior to joining Silver Star. He has worked as a training manager, employee relations manager, HR manager, and HR director in several different industries including: Best Friends Animal Society, Master Lock Company, Clark, PageNet, and APAC.
George is married to Katie and they enjoy living in beautiful Star Valley. In his free time, he is passionate about animal welfare work, vegetarianism, collecting and refurbishing bicycles, Electric Vehicles (EV), sustainability and looking for treasures in second hand shops.
Todd Pence, Director of Sales & Customer Service
Todd Pence joined Silver Star in 2014 as the Director of Sales & Customer Service. Todd graduated from the University of Dayton with his Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Todd then served as a Captain in the U.S. Army and was awarded U.S. Army Commendation and Army Achievement medals while successfully completing the prestigious Airborne and Air Assault Schools. Subsequently, he earned his Masters of Science in Management degree from Troy State University.
Todd began his career in telecommunications in 1987 and he brings a wealth of knowledge to Silver Star’s growing communications and technology initiatives. Prior to joining Silver Star, Todd held several roles such as V.P. of Sales at Hargary Communications, Director of Business Services at Comcast and General Manager for Centel Cellular.
Originally from California, Todd has spent most of life in the Southeastern U.S. with the past 13 years living in Hilton Head, SC. Todd is married to his wife Judy and together they have five children. In his time away from the office, Todd and Judy enjoy the outdoors and traveling throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Eric E. Gewiss, Director of Marketing
Eric Gewiss arrived in Star Valley by way of the Pacific Northwest in 2014 as Silver Star’s Director of Marketing. A graduate of Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing, Eric has over 20 years of marketing experience in several industries including high-tech, mobile communications, commercial real estate and manufacturing.
Prior to working for Silver Star, Eric was the Marketing Manager for SawStop LLC., a woodworking machinery company that developed ingenious technology that prevents serious table saw injuries. Most recently, Eric was the Brand Manager for Sage Fly Fishing where his campaigns helped the company win top industry awards five years in a row. As an artist and designer, Eric has won three Central Oregon Ad Federation Awards and one Pacific Northwest ADDY award.
In 2015, Eric was appointed as an External Affairs committee member of the USTelecom -The Broadband Association. The committee focuses on media advocacy, public relations, and strategic communications. Eric is also a member of the American Marketing Association.
Eric is married to WendyKay and they have a yellow Labrador retriever that loves tennis balls in the snow. He and WendyKay are both passionate about working with nonprofit organizations and enjoy helping them succeed. Away from the office, Eric enjoys fly fishing, painting, skiing and hiking.