Scholarship Committee

Patrick Murphy founded Murphy Tower Service, LLC along with siblings Clyde Murphy and Lin (Murphy) Sheehey in 2004 after working in their father’s construction company, Murphy Construction, Inc. Pat is currently the CEO with 19 years of experience in the telecom industry, doubling as a tower climber in his first 10 years. Prior to working in telecom, Pat worked in pharmaceutical research and development for 12 years at the University of Iowa’s Pharmaceutical Service Division where he was the Quality Control Laboratory Manager, leading a group of chemists performing contract R&D for pharmaceutical companies from all over the world, including U.S. government agencies such as National Institutes of Health (NIH) & National Cancer Institute (NCI). Pat earned his BS in 1991 and his MBA in 2001, both from the University of Iowa.

Pat and his wife Jane, who also works in the family business, just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and have three kids (two in college and one in high school). Pat likes to spend his free time with his family and also enjoys fishing, bow hunting, skiing, mountain biking and hitting the gym.

Seth Buechley is board-level strategist and active investor in the wireless and broadband sectors. Drawing from his experience building and selling multiple companies, he serves as the Chairman of Cathedral, providing advice, capital, and M&A support to growth-oriented leaders.

Seth’s roles in the wireless communication industry span 30 years as a tower climber, spectrum owner, DAS system integrator, DAS OEM, and industry thought leader. As President of SOLiD USA, he helped bring cellular and public safety radio coverage to some of the most recognized venues in America including the Empire State Building, the NY Subway, Moscone Center, and Daytona International Speedway.

In 2011, Seth founded the Safer Buildings Coalition, the world’s leading organization focused on making people and first responders safer inside buildings through the use of wireless technology.

His book AMBITION: Leading with Gratitude, tackles the plaguing question of why ambitious people struggle to find satisfaction and provides a framework for leading from a position of gratitude. Seth is a TEDx veteran and popular public speaker specializing in conference keynotes and inspirational messages about the power of gratitude and mentoring. 

Mark Ciarfella joined SBA in 2007 and currently serves as Executive Vice President, Operations. He is responsible for the domestic tower operations, engineering, network operations center, services business, new tower development activities, and all new indoor and outdoor connectivity and data center businesses. Mr. Ciarfella manages an organization of approximately 700 employees and corresponding SG&A, opex and capex expenditures. Before this, he served as Vice President, New Builds, managing the organization’s strategy and execution of building new cell towers.

Prior to joining SBA, Mr. Ciarfella was the co-owner of a Florida-based site development services company that provided site acquisition, zoning, construction management and program management services to the wireless telecommunication industry. He has over two decades of experience in the wireless telecommunication business working directly with PrimeCo Personal Communications and as a consultant for multiple other carriers and tower companies. Mr. Ciarfella has a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs from Florida Atlantic University. He is Vice Chairman of the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA).

Mike Clementi is a telecom veteran and has been in the industry for over 20 years.  He has served in various roles has such as business development, Operations and senior leadership.

He has a great passion for the industry, helping customers and solving problems in the wireless world.

When Michael isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his family.  He is also active in his local community.   

Ryan Ford is the current National Vendor Manager for DISH Wireless, he also leads the Vendor Safety Team for DISH Wireless. He has been with DISH for 12 years and with DISH Wireless since its inception in 2018. He currently works with our construction vendors and DISH market teams to ensure that we meet our build goals in a safe, timely and cost effective manner.

He is married to his wife Audra, they will be celebrating their one year anniversary in September. They have three children Liberty (21), Lincoln (13) and McKinley (11). He enjoys time with the family, snorkeling, golf and a good sci-fi book. He currently lives in Parker, CO and works out of DISH Wireless Headquarters in Littleton, CO. He is very passionate about the charity work that DISH Wireless can do to help those in need in our industry. 

Dr. Gemma Frock has been engaged with the telecommunications industry since 2012 in her role as the Vice President of Education and Training at Aiken Technical College. She led the efforts to develop and implement a series of stackable certificates for a tower technicians’ program at the two-year community technical college. Students were able to earn certificates that led toward an Associate of Applied Science in Telecommunications Technology. Currently, she serves as a Workforce Consultant with NATE and in this capacity chairs the NATE Workforce Development Committee.

Gemma has worked in education and training for over 40 years with experience in the K-12 public education sector where she worked at a vocational technical education center, the Department of the Army, and in post-secondary education at a comprehensive community and technical college. During her tenure in post-secondary education, she held positions in workforce development, continuing education, academic affairs, and institutional effectiveness.

Further, she worked closely with the Aiken Technical College Foundation and the other key divisions of the institution. Additionally, her experience with the Army Education System included serving as an education and transition counselor at an education center. She is actively involved in supporting veterans through local community boards and supports the telecommunication industry by serving on the Board of Directors of the National Wireless Safety Alliance and the Written Exam Management Committee for Tower Technicians I and II exams.

Tara Kathleen Rand has spent her entire 30+ year wireless career at 4 industry leaders in the New England market — Verizon Wireless, Crown Castle, SAI Group and currently at Blue Sky Towers LLC headquartered in North Reading, MA.

At Verizon Wireless, Tara played key roles in the early years designing, permitting and ground leasing core tower infrastructure throughout New England.  While at Crown Castle, Tara was part of the National Sales Team responsible for the lease up and services revenue generation of all infrastructure in New England, Connecticut, portions of Upstate New York and Canada as well as nationally for emerging technologies clients.  At SAI Group as Senior Manager-Business Development, she was responsible for cultivating new business and broadening existing partnerships with existing clients.  In Tara’s current role as Senior Director of Business Development, Client Relations & Strategic Partnerships at Blue Sky Towers LLC, Tara is responsible for tower development, acquisition and leasing in addition to client relations.

Tara graduated from Regis College in Weston, MA with a BA in Political Science/Communications and Boston University’s School of Real Estate. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a holds her MA Real Estate Salespersons License.

Tara was elected President of the New England Wireless Association in 2015 and previously served as Vice President for many years prior. She is a member of the NEWA Scholarship, Membership and Finance Committees and is also Co-Chair of the annual NEWA Charity Golf event.  The Tower Family Foundation recently appointed Tara to their Scholarship Committee as well.  Tara served two years as the Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum City Rep-New England/CT and was a Women of NATE Mentor for many years.  “Giving Back” is of utmost importance to Tara both personally and professionally.