Board of Directors

Board of Directors
John Burke Photo

John Burke

John Burke has been one of our Directors since January 23, 2020. Mr. Burke has served since 2017 as a Managing Partner of Vetust Advisors, which provides strategic and management consulting services to a variety of businesses. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Rovi Corporation (since re-named TiVo) from 2014 to 2016, where he led the transformation of the company’s content discovery, user interface, and data analytics businesses, including the acquisition of TiVo. Prior to joining Rovi, Mr. Burke led a number of different businesses for ARRIS Group, Motorola, Motorola Mobility and General Instrument.

Charles E. Dietz Photo

Charles E. Dietz

Charles E. Dietz has been one of our Directors since September 2011. Since 2008, Mr. Dietz has been an independent cable industry consultant to various clients within the cable industry. Prior to 2008, Mr. Dietz was Senior Vice President of Engineering for 12 years at Insight Communications, a multiple systems operator, and from 2001 to 2008 served as Insight Communications’ Chief Technical Officer. Mr. Dietz was responsible for all technical aspects of Insight Communications’ operations, including technology development and implementation, system construction and maintenance, purchasing, and technical regulatory compliance. Mr. Dietz has been a member of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers since 1978, and a member of Cable TV Pioneers since 2010.

Michael Hawkey Photo

Michael Hawkey

Michael Hawkey has been one of our Directors since June 2020. Currently Mr. Hawkey is the Vice President and General Manager of 75F, a provider of advanced IoT-based building management solutions. Prior to February 2021, Mr. Hawkey served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Xperi/TiVo Corporation, where he led growth initiatives, overall strategy and product offerings across TiVo’s product portfolio. Before joining TiVo in 2015, he spent more than seven and a half years with EchoStar, rising to the level of Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sling Media. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hawkey held engineering roles with Wester Digital, ASIC Designs, Inc, and McDonnell Douglas Electronics Company. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the Rose Hulman Institute for Technology.

Steven Necessary Photo

Stephen K. Necessary

Stephen K. Necessary has been one of our Directors since January 2018. He currently serves and the Chairman of the Board of ComSonics, Inc., an ESOP-owned company that is engaged in manufacturing of telecommunications test equipment, contract manufacturing and repair of electronics used in the cable telecommunications industry. From 2015 until December 2017, Mr. Necessary served as Executive Vice President, Product Development and Management at Cox Communications, Inc., where he directed new development and lifecycle management for all products across residential and business portfolios that generated over $11 billion in revenue in 2017. Mr. Necessary retired from that position at the end of 2017, continued in 2018 on a part-time consulting basis, and completely retired at the end of 2018. From 2005 to 2015, Mr. Necessary served as Vice President, Video Product Development and Management at Cox Communications.

Robert Palle Photo

Robert J. Pallé

Robert J. Pallé has been one of our Directors since September, 1993. He served as our President from May, 2003 until May, 2019, our Chief Executive Officer from May, 2015 until December 31, 2019 and our Managing Director-Strategic Accounts during 2020, ending his service as an employee of the Company on December 31, 2020. Prior to that, Mr. Pallé served as our Chief Operating Officer and Secretary since April, 1989, our Executive Vice President from April, 1989 until May, 2003 and as our Interim Treasurer from March through April, 2001.

Gary Scharmett Photo

Gary P. Scharmett

Gary P. Scharmett has been one of our Directors since December, 1997. Since January, 1989, Mr. Scharmett has been a partner in the law firm of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, our outside counsel, and served on the Board of Directors of that firm from January, 2001 until December, 2003. He presently serves as the Co-Chair of that firm’s Finance & Restructuring Practice Group. Mr. Scharmett is a past President, and currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys, Inc., and until December 31, 2019, had served for more than the prior five years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association.

Steven Shea Photo

Steven L. Shea

Steven L. Shea has been one of our Directors since September, 2009 and was appointed to serve as the Chairman of the Board in May 2015. Mr. Shea has more than twenty-five years of investment banking experience. He was appointed to the Board of the Directors of Unico American Corp. (Nasdaq: “UNAM”) in November 2020 and became its Chairman of the Board in February 2021. In October 2021, he was appointed to the additional positions of President, CEO and COO. From January 2016 until January 2018, Mr. Shea served on the Board of Directors of TradeRiver Finance USA. From November 2013 until February 2017, Mr. Shea served as Special Advisor to Tufton Capital Management, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor (formerly known as Hardesty Capital Management, LLC). From November 2013 through May 2015, Mr. Shea also served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Hardesty Capital Management, LLC. From January, 2011 until November, 2013, he served as President of Hardesty Capital Management, LLC and Hardesty Capital Corporation, which provide investment advisory services to corporations, institutions and individuals. Prior thereto, Mr. Shea was an Executive Vice President of Ferris, Baker Watts, Inc. (“Ferris Baker”), from 1999 until the sale of such firm in 2008. Mr. Shea also served as the Executive Director of the Capital Markets Division of Ferris Baker and was a member of their Board of Directors and Executive and Strategic Alternative Committees of its Board of Directors. Prior to his position at Ferris Baker, Mr. Shea was a Vice President with Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Company from 1989 to 1993, and was a Vice President at Maryland National Bank from 1981 to 1989.

James F. Williams Photo

James F. Williams

James F. Williams has been one of our Directors since September, 1993. From June 1999 until March 2021 he served as the Chief Financial Officer and a Director of OSC Holding, Inc. and its subsidiaries, which provide demolition, environmental and civil contracting services primarily in the United States and Canada. From July, 2007 through February 2013, Mr. Williams served as a Director, Managing Member and Vice President of Buffalo City Center Leasing, LLC, which, was a lessor of electronic equipment. Mr. Williams is the nephew of James H. Williams, one of our Directors.

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