AT&T Partners With State Tech EffortPosted: Updated:
AT&T Indiana has become one of TechPoint's "Pillar Partners." The state's tech sector growth initiative says AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards has also joined its board of directors.
August 15, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind. -- AT&T Indiana has signed on as a TechPoint Pillar Partner, joining the ranks of donors who contribute $25,000 or more annually to the state's private, nonprofit tech sector growth initiative. AT&T Indiana cited recruitment of tech talent and promoting Indiana's thriving tech sector as key reasons the company has chosen to support TechPoint.
AT&T has invested nearly $1.75 billion in its wireless and wired networks in Indiana since 2011, and the company employs 4,800 people throughout the state -- including hundreds of information technology-related workers such as software developers, engineers and network technicians.
“When I moved back to my home state of Indiana last year, I immediately noticed that our tech sector had grown by leaps and bounds," said Bill Soards, president, AT&T Indiana. "We have a huge opportunity to be a leader in the transition to the digital economy, and TechPoint, with its efforts to attract highly-skilled talent to our state, is a key organization in harnessing the power and passion of the tech community.
"We are very proud to be a new Pillar Partner, to help grow Indiana’s tech sector, and work together on a ensuring a fully connected future," Soards added.
Soards has also joined the TechPoint Board of Directors. He was appointed president of AT&T Indiana in October last year, and is responsible for external affairs for AT&T in Indiana, including: state and local government relations; community affairs; regulatory and legislative activities; and, initiatives before the Indiana General Assembly and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).
"Bill's experience and expertise in telecommunications and state government make him an invaluable voice on the TechPoint board of directors, especially now as complex regulation issues are being decided statewide and nationally," said Mark Hill, chairman, TechPoint. "His proven leadership on the passage of telecom reform in 2006 continues to attract jobs and investment to this day, and that’s exactly the kind of visionary thinking we appreciate."
Soards began his career in public policy as a partner in Indianapolis’ Livengood Soards & Associates, an association management and government relations firm. He joined AT&T (then SBC Ameritech) as Director of Government Relations in 2000, and helped lead the effort to de-regulate the telecom industry and establish a statewide system for cable video competition.
With AT&T, Soards has also served as Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs for the Midwest region in Chicago, where he coordinated policy campaigns, research, messaging, third parties, and foundation activities in five states. In April 2009, Soards was appointed President of AT&T Colorado, a position he held until he returned to the Hoosier state in 2013.
Public service has always been a part of Soards’ life, as well. His father, the late State Senator Bill Soards, served 20 years in the Indiana General Assembly before retiring in 1994. The younger Soards was elected and served on the Indianapolis City-County Council for four years before relocating to suburban Boone County, Indiana, where he then served as a member of the County Council.
Soards earned his Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Telecommunication Arts from Butler University in Indianapolis. In 2004, the University honored Soards with both the 50 Under 50 Top Alumni Award and the Hilton U. Brown Alumni Achievement Award. He also studied abroad at The University of Westminster in London, England, focusing on political science and playing on the school’s basketball team.
Soards and his wife Ann reside in Zionsville with their two daughters, Katelyn and Allison.
TechPoint is Indiana's technology growth initiative focused on being a powerful voice for Indiana’s tech sector through marketing and thought leadership, and being a catalyst for strategic growth initiatives – specifically talent recruitment, entrepreneurship, and marketing tech and health information technology (HIT) cluster development. Visit www.techpoint.org for more information.