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NewSouth Communications Corp., a leading broadband Integrated Communications Provider (ICP) serving business customers across the South appointed James W. Akerhielm '86 as president and chief executive officer in April.

Akerhielm, with more than 15 years experience in the telecommunications industry, says his objective is to build upon NewSouth's strong foundation and rapidly accelerate the company's growth in the high-potential Southern markets, further establishing NewSouth as a profitable leader in the ICP industry. The company offers data, Internet, voice products, and other advanced communications services, as well as telecommunications equipment and cabling.

Akerhielm was president and CEO of Triton Cellular Partners, LP from 1998-2000. He built the company into the 15th largest cellular carrier in the nation, driving revenue from zero to over $170 million in less than two years. Triton was sold in 2000 for $1.25 billion. He began his telecommunications career at Bell Atlantic Corporation, working in a variety of positions. He moved to Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems in 1993 and served as regional vice president of the Southeast from 1995-98.

A mechanical engineering graduate, Akerhielm received an M.S. in technology management from University of Pennsylvania. He said he benefited in many ways from his Lafayette experience. “My communication and analytical thinking skills were nurtured through an engineering curriculum that was blended into a liberal arts environment,” he says. “My fraternity provided numerous leadership opportunities. Finally, and most important, Lafayette is where I met Karen Blinder '86. We have been married for 10 years and have two children-Nathan and Emma.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles