Visionary Team


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Visionary Team

Virtela was founded by a team led by Vab Goel — including Ron Haigh, Jian Li, Ted Studwell, Mark Hansard, Jane Morrissey, Andy Funk, Jason Redisch, Nathan Wilkes and many others — who together in the past helped create some of the industry’s most advanced Internet-based networks. At Virtela, the team is focused on creating a disruptive model for virtualized network services that transforms enterprise IT architectures via the cloud.
      • Ron Haigh, President and Board Member

        Ron, one of the founding team members of Virtela, is president of the company and a member of the board of directors. Ron has an extensive background in developing breakthrough technology solutions in the fields of cloud computing and high performance networking. Prior to Virtela, Ron was a senior member of the technical staff at Qwest and a R&D group leader at Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL). While at Qwest, he drove the industry’s first all-optical network strategy and solution. During his years at LLNL, he led R&D projects for multiple DoE, DoD, and DARPA programs and received DOE’s Award of Excellence. He holds five patents. Ron holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla.
      • Vab Goel, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board

        Vab focuses his efforts on systems, services and Internet investments. He serves on the boards of Ravello Systems and Virtela, and works closely with Pontis, Apigee and Veveo. Learn More or email
      • Ted Studwell, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Operations

        Ted, one of the founding team members of Virtela, is responsible for delivering expertly designed networks and services to Virtela customers including responsibility for the company’s 24×7 Network Operations Center. Previously with Qwest, Ted led the planning and engineering of the company’s data products. He drove the design and construction of Qwest’s Frame Relay and ATM network and helped Qwest gain market share with major corporate customers. Earlier, Ted was responsible for budgeting, planning and engineering Sprint’s data networks, and leading the company into new data and Internet service markets. He led the effort to grow Sprint’s Frame Relay network, managed the growth of the company’s Internet network, and managed the first widespread use of packet over SONET. Ted was also responsible for building the first private IP network used for Intranet services. Before joining Sprint, Ted worked in communications systems at Aeronautical Radio, COMSAT, and General Electric. He has served the U.S. Navy in active and reserve capacities as a submarine officer for over 25 years, achieving the rank of Captain.
      • Jian Li, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Technical Solutions

        Jian, one of the founding team members of Virtela, is responsible for Virtela’s IP-based network architecture and customer network design services. He ensures that customer technology requirements are met and identifies new and emerging technologies for the company’s service portfolio. He also is responsible for channel partnerships in the Asia Pacific region. Before joining Virtela, Jian was senior director of IP engineering and emerging technologies at Qwest, where he founded the IP architecture team and led the design of the company’s OC-48 and OC-192 nationwide IP backbone. Previously, Jian was a principal architect of Sprint’s IP service backbone. He also designed and built Global One’s international IP service backbone. Earlier, Jian held network architect positions at Rice University and the University of Kansas. He was also a major contributor to the design and deployment of the first commercial Internet network in China, sponsored by China Telecom in 1994.
      • Mark Hansard, Vice President, Security and Systems

        Mark, one of the founding team members of Virtela, is responsible for creating Virtela’s world-class network management, business systems and information technology security practices. Previously, during a 15-year tenure at Sprint, Mark established the enterprise-wide security architecture for Sprint’s local, long distance, and PCS networks and systems environments. He also created Sprint’s IT security policy and security requirements for the company’s major initiatives. Mark built the team responsible for network and systems support for the company’s Internet/Intranet IP services, leading the design of Sprint’s first Web hosting systems architecture. He also led the team that created Sprint’s LAN/WAN support systems, private line services center, and customer service management center. Earlier with Sprint, Mark was responsible for systems design and analysis for network services provisioning. For GTE Sprint, he led the project to integrate SPC Communications and GTE’s regional network service.
      • Andy Funk, Vice President, Global Access Strategy

        Andy, one of the founding team members of Virtela, is instrumental in growing and maintaining Virtela’s extensive global network footprint by developing and managing strategic vendor relationships worldwide. Andy drives Virtela’s value by aggressively negotiating rate structures, contract terms, and service guarantees to deliver competitive pricing and optimal network performance to customers. Since joining Virtela in 2000, Andy has held key roles including the development and management of Virtela’s network provisioning team and the design of the company’s award-winning automated provisioning system. Prior to Virtela, Andy led the access pricing strategy team for Qwest Communications. While with Qwest, Andy was also responsible for developing product strategy for Qwestlink local fiber services and designing the network architecture for Qwestlink’s 25 metropolitan markets. Previously, he was responsible for setting standard pricing and performing competitive analyses for all of Qwest’s data services (Frame Relay, Private Line, ATM, and DIA). Andy holds degrees in Finance and Economics and has an MBA from University of Denver, Daniels College of Business.
      • Jane Morrissey, Vice President, Corporate Communications

        Jane, one of the founding team members of Virtela, is responsible for directing Virtela’s communications programs, including media and analyst relations and marketing communications initiatives. Prior to joining Virtela, Jane built the technology public relations practice at Qwest (now CenturyLink), most recently serving as group director for media relations where she led media and analyst relations programs across the company’s product initiatives. Earlier in her career, Jane was a technology journalist chronicling the high-tech industry as a freelance writer and editor for publications such as eWeek (formerly PC Week), PC World, Upside, and Investor’s Business Daily. She previously spent eight years as a PC Week editor, covering business and technology news of the networking and software industries from the leading trade magazine’s Silicon Valley bureau and Boston headquarters.
      • Anu Chandra, Vice President, Asia Operations

        Anu Chandra is Vice President of Asia Operations where he is responsible for all engineering, delivery and technical support functions in Virtela’s Asian offices including Mumbai, India and Manila, the Philippines. Previously Anu served in technical and operational support roles at Virtela. Anu has also worked for Optiglobe and AJ Engineers. He has a Bachelor’s in Engineering from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune University and a Master of Science from Strayer University.
      • Ray Thietten, Vice President, Business Development

        Ray is responsible for forming new relationships with channel partners. Previously, he was the vice president of global network services for HP, where he oversaw the strategy, delivery and portfolio of the $2 billion business unit and developed strategic alliances with key IT and telecom providers. Earlier, as director of EDS’ global network capability, Ray led the team responsible for designing and deploying global network operations centers and standardizing network services delivery. In a prior position with the company, he was responsible for developing EDS’ operational readiness process and ran operational transitions for large enterprise clients. During his tenure with EDS, Ray held various management and technical leader positions in infrastructure and network services, including product management, product engineering, service delivery and operations. Ray holds a master’s degree in Management from Walsh College and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Idaho.
      • Bryan Valko, Vice President of Sales – East

        Bryan is Virtela’s Vice President of Sales with responsibility for the corporate sales organization throughout the Eastern U.S. Bryan brings over 25 years of experience, industry expertise and sales leadership within the computer and communication industries delivering world class enterprise solutions to Fortune 1000 companies. Before joining Virtela, Bryan served as Vice President of Sales Americas East for iPass Inc. with responsibility for corporate and channel sales throughout the Eastern U.S. and Canada. He has also held sales leadership positions at MCI WorldCom (via the acquisition of CompuServe), and at Unisys (formerly Burroughs Corporation). Bryan is an honors graduate of Oakland University and holds a Bachelor Science degree in Marketing.
      • Roger Goodman, Vice President of Sales – West

        Roger is Virtela’s Vice President of Sales with responsibility for the enterprise sales team in the Western U.S. Roger brings over 22 years of managed service provider and software industry experience, delivering world class enterprise solutions to Fortune 1000 companies. Before joining Virtela to lead the Western sales team, Roger held sales leadership and sales positions at Compuware, MegaPath, Netifice, Virtela and CoreExpress, along with product management and marketing positions at Cable & Wireless, working in their UK, Middle East and US divisions. Roger has an MBA from Henley College of Management (UK), and a BA Honors degree from Oxford Brookes University School of Business.

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