Brian Snider – CEO
Brian is the Chief Executive Officer for Lit and has previously worked as Director of Fiber Delivery at Byers Engineering in addition to creating the Network Design Practice Area at Foresite Group. Brian started out working in drafting and design at the Dothan Technology Center and interned at an architecture firm in Dothan, AL while pursuing an early golf career. Brian shifted to the telecommunications industry in 2003 working as a drafter and quickly grew to managing all aspects of the project as a contractor for AT&T in Birmingham, AL. Brian has over 15 years of experience in wide area network deployments, having led the build outs of the entire Southeast US for AT&T’s Uverse release, Google Fiber’s builds in Austin, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Huntsville, Verizon’s network densification in Seattle, San Francisco, Cleveland, Nashville, and Knoxville, in addition to numerous municipal projects throughout the country. Brian has worked with a core team to create the process that brings community broadband into the 21st century. Our team started on a mission 4 years ago to connect people; to information, to ideas, and to each other and Lit continues to carry that torch to each Community we work with.
Ben Lewis-Ramirez – CMO
Ben is passionate about bridging the digital divide through building open application networks in under-served communities, and was one of the Avata Networks co-founders. He has over 10 years of executive management experience in the outside plant engineering and construction industries, with a focus in business development and strategic planning for the past 3 years. Ben is a vocal advocate for the open application business model, and has published numerous magazine articles and blog posts on the subject, in addition to speaking about it at conferences and other events around the country. Ben brings an entrepreneurial mindset to his work, from co-founding a rainwater collection and landscaping company, to becoming an ISA Certified Arborist to create, implement, and manage tree survey programs for large scale FTTX builds in both Google Fiber and AT&T markets. Ben has worked with some of the best companies and people in the OSP industry in a variety of capacities, from field work, to design engineering, to overall project management. This experience has given him a holistic and comprehensive understanding of wide area network and FTTX deployments.
Lauren Bender – COO
Lauren has worked in the Outside Plant telecommunications industry for 6 years in a variety of different roles ranging from design engineering, to project management, and business development. Her passion for Open Application Networks led to her becoming a co-founder of Lit Communities, and she helped to develop strategic, technological processes and operating procedures to first engage municipalities on the topic of broadband, and then successfully implement plans to bring these communities into the digital era. With a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning and Geographic Information Science (GIS) certification from Texas State University – Lauren has a unique approach to working with communities on their broadband efforts, one that is open and engaging to the public, yet backed by data analytics and thoughtful planning on the private side. Through Lit Communities, Lauren will be living her dream of bridging the gap in the digital divide!
Rene Gonzalez – CSO
Rene Gonzalez is the Chief Strategy Officer and a co-founder of Lit Communities and leads the development of long-term strategic planning efforts across all business areas, strategies in potential markets and integration with project partners and vendors. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 2004 and a Master of Science in Project Management from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas in 2008. Rene has over 16 years of experience in project management, strategic planning, project development and federal and state grant consulting for public works and infrastructure projects. He has worked in both the private and governmental sectors, which provides a unique ability to strategically align the needs of clients with opportunities to leverage financial assistance from the federal and state governments. Over the course of his career, he has assisted various municipalities and government entities on obtaining more than $38 million in grant funding for critical infrastructure projects. Rene is a strong supporter of efforts to curtail the digital divide in communities across the United States and is a Steering Committee member of the Digital Inclusion Alliance of San Antonio.
Medina County, Ohio
Lit is working with Medina County and Medina County Fiber Network, the counties’ open access middle mile network, to build last mile fiber to the home and business to 45,000 locations. Read More.
While at their previous employer, members of our executive team worked with Huntsville Utilities, Google Fiber, and The Broadband Group to plan, engineer, and construct to ~110,000 premises. Read More.
Members of our executive team worked with the City and County of Broomfield to develop their Fiber Master Plan which was completed in March of 2018. Today Broomfield is implementing that plan by constructing their own backbone network. Read More.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Members of our team worked with multiple departments in the City of New Orleans to develop a Master Broadband Plan, starting with connecting all anchor institutions and City facilities with a robust backbone network. Today, we work with Delgado Community College, where Lit executives helped implement a Fiber Academy program, to train students on all facets of network deployment. Read More.
Atlantic Tele-Network International
Members of our team worked on this project with their previous employer where they performed comprehensive grant consulting services and assisted with the formation of the vision, goals and objectives for the broadband grant funding strategy. We prepared detailed grant program synopses for nearly 20 funding programs. Read More.