National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

Michael Mei - Candidate

I have been an NCF member since about 1994. My first active contribution to the NCF was through an equipment donation resulting from discussions with a former colleague and NCF board member, Chris Hawley. Chris put me in touch with the NCF executive director at the time, Chris Cope, and the rest as they say is history. The NCF kindly recognized me as their volunteer of the month for October 2000.

Few organizations like the NCF remain and most that remain are shadows of their former selves. The NCF has survived and thrived largely through the resourcefulness of its executive directors, competent and committed staff, generous contributions from volunteers and guidance from board members.

I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario), acquired a Computer Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo (Ontario), and began my career at Newbridge (now Alcatel) locally in 1992. At Newbridge I developed software, traveled the world supporting products, and finally promoted and planned the development of products as a product line and business manager. I acquired my Masters of Business Administration part-time from the University of Ottawa between 1996 and 1999.

What skills will you contribute to the NCF Board?

I understand both Internet technology and business issues. I am a resourceful problem solver through research and collaboration. Finally my experience as a product manager makes me think in terms of pragmatic things that can be done now that should result in improvements in the future.

What do you think are the most important functions of NCF for its members?

I think that the most important function the NCF should provide for its members is access to the Internet for anyone who needs and/or wants it. I believe that the NCF is already meeting this need effectively. I believe that important NCF access functions include providing more connection capacity during peak hours, higher modem reliability, and support for 56K modem connections. I believe that other important NCF functions include simplification of access to the Internet to bring new users on board, facilitation of communication amongst community groups much like Bulletin Board Services provided in the past, and providing access to applications that can run on modest home computers.

Why do you want to be an NCF director?

I am generally motivated by being able to make a contribution in my areas of expertise while at the same time learning new things. I believe that I have knowledge, skills, and abilities that will allow me to positively contribute to the NCF Board and I will most certainly learn as this would be my first experience sitting on a Board of Directors. Finally I will feel good about being involved with something that directly benefits the local community.

Michael Mei