November 19, 2015 — Reacting with disbelief and sorrow, the industry paid tribute this week to Connie Durcsak, a well-respected wireless industry association executive who passed away suddenly last weekend. She had served as president and CEO for the Utilities Telecom Council since 2011 where under her leadership, UTC expanded its global membership and expanded the scope of its advocacy, according to Ron Taylor, chairman of the Board of UTC.
“She set a new vision for UTC as the source and resource for the industry on all matters related to communications and information technologies for utilities, pipeline companies and other critical infrastructure industries,” Taylor said. “Her professional leadership on utility industry issues such as spectrum management, cybersecurity and utility modernization combined with her ability to set the strategic direction of utility advocacy efforts has moved the whole industry forward.”
Before joining UTC, Connie served as an executive at PCIA – the Wireless Infrastructure Association for more than a decade.
“We note with great sadness the death of Connie Durcsak … who was a dear friend, a dedicated professional and a true leader in the wireless industry,” said Jonathan Adelstein, PCIA president and CEO.
Durcsak may best remembered by the wireless industry as the originator of the DAS Forum in 2006, the membership section of PCIA that has grown from a handful of members into the HetNet Forum whose expo garnered 750 attendees this year.
Ed Donohue, Donohue & Stearns, worked with Connie as a founding member of the DAS Forum. He described her as a visionary and charismatic leader that was the driving force behind the DAS Forum.
“Connie came up with the idea, made space at PCIA for it and allowed American Tower, Crown Castle International and others to create the DAS Forum,” Donohue said. “She was clearly the driving force throughout that period. She was the catalyst that launched the group and allowed it to become what it is today. We are all indebted to her.”
Allen Dixon, H&M NetWorks, worked with her as the first president of the DAS Forum and he remembered her ability to bring brought together competitors and skeptics around a common cause.
“Connie was a galvanizing presence in the industry. She had a knack for drawing people together by focusing on their talents and what they had in common,” Dixon said. “When we formed the DAS Forum – now the HetNet Forum – Connie took a group of competitors, skeptics, and supporters and created a unified coherent strategy and message. The industry will miss her energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence. But mostly, we will miss her.”
Funeral services was held at 11 am, Nov. 20 at Murphy Funeral Home in Arlington, Virginia. Connie is survived by her husband David and two daughters. Liz Hill, American Tower, also a founding member of the DAS Forum, expressed her condolences to the family.
“While Connie will be missed within our industry for her calm leadership and boundless enthusiasm for broadband, what I loved most about Connie was her passion for her children. My thoughts & prayers are with her family,” she said.