CNI / Independents Fiber Network Hire New CEO

Com Net, Inc. (CNI) announced today that its board of directors has unanimously chosen Robert (Rob) Shema as the company’s next chief executive officer. Shema, who currently serves as American Communication Association’s executive vice president of member services and finance, will join CNI on March 23, 2020. Shema will, also, serve as CEO of Independents Fiber Network, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of CNI. 

“Rob is the best choice from a deep pool of interested and highly qualified candidates,” said Preston Meyer, president of the CNI board of directors. “He’s been a successful executive in our industry. Rob has a track record of strong leadership within the communications’ industry, which makes him uniquely qualified to lead CNI and its Shareholders successfully into the future. He’s a great fit to support our company’s core competencies, and we’re delighted that he’s accepted the position.” 

“I am so very excited to be joining the fantastic team at CNI,” said Shema.  They have an incredible foundation and are a terrific organization that delivers excellent shareholder value by providing top notch customer service and fiber data delivery throughout the mid-west.  I look forward to working with the team to continue to deliver on being the premier Operations Support and Development Center for next generation Broadband Service Providers and growing CNI for the future.”  

Shema holds a bachelor’s in Public Relations from Duquesne University in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Villanova’s Paralegal Program. He joined American Cable Association (ACA) in 2004. He worked for Comcast from 1995 until 2004 when he joined ACA. In 2018, he was extremely honored to be inducted into the 52nd Class of the Cable Pioneers. He is most proud of his wife Brenda and their daughters, Lindsey and Taylor. For media inquiries, contact Diane Kahn, CNI Chief Compliance Officer, at 419-739-3121.  

About CNI:

Established in 1993 as an Ohio-based company, CNI was formed through a collaboration of 17 Ohio independent local exchange companies (ILECs). Today, after 26 years of service, CNI has grown its ownership to 21 ILECs and one electrical cooperative. While still based in Ohio, they have extended well beyond their local service providers, to communication providers located throughout the United States. 

About Independents Fiber Network:

Independents Fiber Network was established in 2003 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNI. Independents Fiber Network is an Ohio-based company that brings high performance, high capacity Ethernet-over-Fiber solutions including voice, video, and data services to better serve our customers. By operating a fiber optic backhaul network dedicated to serving rural and underserved communities in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, Independents delivers connectivity you can count on for mission critical operations ensuring business continuity and access when you need it most. For more information, please visit Independents Fiber Network’s website at or call us toll-free at (800)634-4032.

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