US Cellular Vet Grant Spellmeyer to Head ACA Connects

Grant Spellmeyer

Grant Spellmeyer (Image credit: ACA Connects)

The ACA Connects board has tapped veteran communications executive Grant Spellmeyer to succeed current president and CEO Matt Polka, who is exiting the association in July.

Spellmeyer most recently was VP of government affairs for US Cellular, bringing with him wireline and wireless legal issue experience at the local and national levels.

At US Cellular, he was responsible for directing federal and state legislative regulation for the 21-state carrier and was the company's primary contact with Congress and the FCC. He joined that company in 2006 from TDS Telecommunications (TDS) -- an ACAC member -- where he was director of legal affairs and carrier relations.

"Grant Spellmeyer’s indisputable qualifications and his understanding of smaller, independent companies made it clear to me he’s the President and CEO we need at this time," said ACAC Vice Chairman Mike Bowker. "Simply put, Mr. Spellmeyer has a reputation for getting things done – and we like that at ACAC," said ACAC Board Chair Patricia Jo Boyers. 

“Simply put,” Boyers added, “Mr. Spellmeyer has a reputation for getting things done – and we like that at ACAC.”

“I look forward to working with ACAC’s experienced staff, ACAC members, and federal and state policy makers to strengthen the position of independent companies in the communications marketplace,” Spellmeyer said in a statement. “One overarching goal is to ensure ACAC members continue to succeed in providing consumers with a variety of competitive services – regardless of company size or geography – today and in the future.”  

Spellmeyer's resume also includes telecom and corporate law at Axley Brynelson in Madison, Wisconsin. He got his bachelor's in economics and Master's in public policy and administration as well as his law degree from the University of Wisconsin. He was also a legislative staffer in the Wisconsin assembly, and was an intern to Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jon Wilcox.

“I want to thank Chairman Boyers, Vice Chairman Bowker, and the selection committee for their time and dedication to choosing the right person to be our next ACAC leader,” Polka said of his successor. “Grant Spellmeyer has an impeccable record and the essential experience needed to successfully guide the ACAC team and our members into the next 25 years.”

Polka announced his departure earlier this month, passing on to his successor a legacy of looking for common ground to achieve important goals as well as a willingness to be tapped as a resource going forward. 

"We have always sought to find people in Washington who are willing to work together to solve the communications issues facing our citizens, nation and industry," Polka told Multichannel News following the announcement of his departure. "We haven’t always agreed, but we have never been disagreeable.  It hasn’t been the easiest path, but it has been the right path, and I am very proud that we stuck to it regardless of the political winds that always swirled around us."

ACAC represents about 600 smaller and midsized cable/broadband/telecom carriers.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to both ACA and Grant Spellmeyer on today’s announcement," said Michael Powell, president of NCTA-the Internet & Television Association. "Grant is taking the helm of ACA at a very important time for the industry as we all work on the important mission of connecting every American to broadband. We wish Grant all the best on his transition to ACA and look forward to working closely with him and his team on these important issues.” ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.