CCA’s Steve Berry to retire at year-end

Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) President and CEO Steve Berry will retire at year-end after 13 years of leading the organization. Berry will be replaced by Tim Donovan, currently the SVP of legislative affairs with the CCA. In addition, Lucy Hodas, SVP of media and communications with the organization, will be promoted to chief operating officer.

Berry, who is recovering from some recent health challenges, will not attend the CCA’s annual convention that takes place later this month in Portland, Oregon.

Berry joined the CCA in 2009 when it was still known as the Rural Cellular Association. The RCA was started by a handful of small wireless operators that believed smaller carriers needed a stronger voice in Washington, D.C.  Berry helped transform the organization from what he called an “excuse for a golf event” into a major advocate for small operators.

Initially, the RCA bylaws specified that the group was for wireless carriers with fewer than 10 million customers. However, in 2012 RCA altered its bylaws to support larger operators, added new nationwide members such as Sprint and T-Mobile, and changed its name to the Competitive Carriers Association to acknowledge the shift.

Berry said that he’s proud of the many accomplishments of the CCA, noting that one highlight for him was calling attention to the harm to consumers when large operators negotiated exclusive handset deals with manufacturers because those types of deals made it impossible for consumers in rural areas to access some of the most popular handsets like the Apple iPhone, which was exclusive to AT&T when it first launched. 

“We brought small carriers together and launched an advocacy effort,” Berry said. “We have given a voice to competitive carriers.”

Like Berry, Donovan joined CCA in 2009 and the two worked closely on building the association. Donovan has been in charge of the day-to-day Congressional advocacy. Prior to joining CCA he worked for the Direct Marketing Association.

“Steve transformed the association into the strong, leading advocacy organization that it is today, and CCA has benefited tremendously from his leadership, passion for the issues, and forward-thinking mentality,” said CCA Chairman of the Board Mark Nazé in a statement.