The name ACA Connects reflects the work of its members in building networks that connect Americans. The connections they provide to the communities they serve go beyond the bits and bytes that flow through their networks. Their local presence enables the human connection that really matters.
For 25 years, as ACA Connects president and CEO, Matt Polka, reflected the work of his members by helping them connect to each other and to the folks in Washington. As heard in the above interview, Matt is quick to give praise to both his ACA Connects teammates as well as the ACA Connects members. As he puts it, this extended family inspired him and made him better.
He points out that the friendships and family-like atmosphere were a blessing during his long tenure at ACA Connects. A lawyer by training, he never intended to have a career in the cable television industry. It is somewhat ironic that the 1992 Cable Act (PDF) led to his career calling, where his people, communications, and legal skills were extremely valuable.
In the above interview, he briefly opines on retransmission consent and the long time efforts to try to change it. He cautions against the potential overbuilding of existing broadband networks using government funds. Polka also expresses concerns about the threat of regulation and the effect it could have on broadband build-out.
A Season of Service
In her interview at TIS22, Boycom president and ACA connects Chairman, Patty Boyers, describes how giving one’s time and contributing changes with the seasons of life. In a follow-up conversation with Matt, his retirement could be described as a season of service.
His volunteer and class activities include:
- Service — Light of Life Rescue Mission (Dinner service for the homeless)
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry — John Mark Comer
- Soul Care — Dr. Rob Reimer
- Practicing the Presence of God — Brother Lawrence
- Men’s Bible Study — Weekly
- Sunday Growth Group — Weekly
Serving the needs of others, he is also on the boards of:
- Bongolo Friends – a Missionary hospital in Gabon, West Africa, has helped improve the mortality rate for children under 5 from 60% down to 4.1%. There is still work to do as that is 65x the U.S. rate of 0.63.
- Christian Counselors Collaborative (Christian counseling services in the Pittsburgh area)
With his appointment to the board of NCTI and the good work they are doing to train tomorrow’s telecom workforce, he still has a foot in the broadband industry. And with his continuing service as a board member for the Cable TV Pioneers and Christians in Communications, we are sure to see Matt at future events.
[Authors Note: Thanks, Matt for the images, the update, the refinements to the above, and all the great times in the past and those yet to come.]
ViodiTV coverage of TIS22 is courtesy of TIS22.