Reflections from the 2023 VETRO All Hands Summit

Will Mitchell, CEO

Last week VETRO gathered the entire team in person in Portland, Maine, for a long awaited in- person all hands summit. With so many people now on the team located across the country and beyond, spanning eight time zones, it is a big undertaking to make this happen. But it was worth every mile traveled and every minute logged.


There is much to reflect on, build on, and selectively recap or share. Here are a few callouts:

  1. VETRO’s People. Bringing the right people together on a team can create a very powerful force. It’s been years in the making, and we have certainly had our fair share of growing pains and evolution, but the creativity and tenacity that got us this far has been augmented with dozens of talented new contributors. All of the building we’ve been doing is beginning to deliver “compounding interest” on the tech stack and beyond. In Maine we like snow, and the talent and experience on this team is snowballing. We will continue adding great people to the team as we move into our next phase of growth ahead. The VETRO team is very special. At this gathering, along with the rich work content, we managed to have a ton of fun with team building and social events. Lobster bakes, scavenger hunts, brewery parties, company values awards, and one-of-a-kind bird team patches were just a few of the highlights.

  2. VETRO’s Product. The VETRO platform is unique, differentiated, moving forward fast, and, downright impressive. We’ve been successful signing up customers who love simplicity and efficiency in fiber design and documentation. Lately, we’ve entered into a brave new world of digital transformations. Network owners and operators, both old and new, are rising to the moment and racing to deploy fiber and they understand the need to modernize their systems There is unique and very real value in software-as-a-service in this market space, and VETRO is on the S-a-a-S forefront. Our product team previewed a wide array of works in progress, all of which will flow out into the world for VETRO users seamlessly. And as we have continued investing in expanding our in-house development teams, we have achieved that somewhat elusive modularity, modality, and scale that allows us to multitask and advance many features in parallel. They say in Maine, if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour. Well, we aren’t quite deploying hourly, but in software terms, innovative advancements are raining down here at VETRO.

  3. VETRO’s Customers. Our passionate team continues to fanatically focus on building the fiber management software that will help our customers succeed. The VETRO family grows every week as new companies, of all shapes and sizes, sign up. And we are learning, iterating and growing together in all cases. One of the highlights of the summit was hosting a customer panel. We had three dynamic CEOs agree to spend their valuable time talking to our team about how the VETRO platform has helped their ISP businesses grow and thrive. Special shout outs to Dee Anna Sobczak, CEO of Think Big Networks in Maryland, Jeremiah Sloan, CEO of empower, delivered by Craighead Electric Coop in Arkansas, and Ted Schremp, CEO of IQ Fiber in Florida. Ted had to rain check but the panel was informative and fun! Being referred to as “a partner, not a vendor” was a real affirmation of how we roll. What these folks are doing is incredible and it is a true honor to support them with our product and team.

L to R: John Gniadek, SVP of Customer Success at VETRO, Jeremiah Sloan from empower, Dee Anna Sobczok from Think Big Networks and Will Mitchell, CEO of VETRO

4. VETRO’s Leadership. Michaela Goodwin (CFO), JD Doyle (CTO), Jim Freeze (CCO), and Brian Mefford (VP Strategy) make up an incredible executive team and watching them develop their areas of the business into well-oiled machinery has been inspiring. In addition to a great leadership team VETRO is fortunate to have a Board of Directors and industry advisors that help us tremendously. The amount of telecom market insight and scaling business wisdom packed into a short talk with Josh Broder, VETRO Board Member and CEO of Tilson, is astounding. Special thanks to board member Chris Rhodes, co-founder at Resolve Growth, for sharing scaling SAAS perspectives with the team. And to board chair Corky Ellis who’s software success story translates to ongoing leadership for us. And to other advisors who were able to join us including among many others Tom Daly, CEO of Big Network.

Michaela Goodwin, CFO of VETRO with her daughter, Halston, during opening remarks at the State of the Company

5. VETRO’s Market. The energy and excitement about the coming decade of fiber build is tremendous. VETRO already plays a market leading role in fiber design, cost estimation, planning, and inventory for operators. Many of those operators are privately funded and growing aggressively. Layering public funding on top of this is a market moving lever. And building the ‘game board’ on which public dollars are deployed and invested is another place VETRO delivers value. We reviewed our exciting new funding area tools designed for State Broadband Offices, backstopped by our data lake and fabric datasets, and emerging as a new way for both grant makers and grant chasers to ride mapping into connectivity success. The team and product set here is ready for BEAD Billions!

6. VETRO as System of Record. The physical outside plant (OsP) system of record (SOR), built as a Fiber Management System (FMS), blended in a Geographic Information System (GIS), and delivered as a scalable platform is crucial to efficient and effective fiber design, deployment, documentation, and ongoing operations. As we unpacked our product strategy it is clear that we are in a new era of digital everything and end-to-end ecosystems in fiber related software. Adjacent solutions serve very important roles in design, in construction management, and in operations. And across this spectrum the underlying SOR is a primary player, as both the source and the sink for network data. The most successful deployments start with VETRO FIRST! By homing planning and design in the VETRO platform, serving data out for collaboration and construction, and accepting well-managed changes back, builders can achieve incredible seamlessness and efficiency, avoiding transitions altogether by leveraging VETRO as the SOR.

In all, the 2023 All Hands was a resounding success, leaving a lasting impact on the entire team. The gathering brought together talented individuals from all over the world, reinforcing the power of assembling the right people. The event was not only focused on work but on fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie through fun and engaging team-building activities. It highlighted the significance of VETRO’s role in the market, where the excitement around fiber build projects is palpable and our leading position in fiber design, planning and management is recognized. The all hands served as a catalyst for continued growth, innovation and success for the company and our customers.

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