Federal 100 winner: Jiten Shah
Executive director of the Green River Area Development District
Shah overcame public skepticism and contractor turnover to see through the creation of a regional Internet broadband network that serves seven counties in western Kentucky. In championing the network, ConnectGRADD, Shah had to convince rural residents that broadband was an essential investment in their communities’ viability. He also held together the coalition of counties after the original technology provider dropped out of the project. Shah’s efforts have resulted in a significant expansion of ConnectKentucky, a statewide initiative to accelerate the growth of technology to support community and economic development.
“Because of Shah’s advocacy, rural citizens are reaping the benefits of being connected to the World Wide Web,” said Woody Maglinger, community relations coordinator at GRADD.