January 6, 2017

Herb Kuryliw

HERB KURYLIW is the Director of Sales and Business Development for iFiber and oversees the executive client relationships with broadband businesses looking to optimize their broadband needs throughout Illinois and surrounding states. He has more than 30 years of experience in developing high-speed networks used for research advancement, administrative resources, academic initiatives and economic development. Before joining iFiber, Herb was the Director of Broadband Development at Northern Illinois University. He secured more than $120 million in state and federal grants to create open access networks by developing strategic government and private business partnerships bringing high speed open access broadband to the Northern Illinois region.

In 2010, Kuryliw was the program manager and grant writer for the iFiber grant valued at $62.5M, installing more than 900 miles of fiber to develop a 100 Gigabit network used by more than 500 community anchor institutions and several broadband carriers. When developing the model for iFiber in 2010 the NIU broadband development wanted to assure that iFiber would be a state of art network for the northern Illinois region. The idea was to bring fiber optic broadband to underserved and unserved communities and promote healthy competition from content providers that consumers could choose.

“Looking back after 10 years of successful deployments, iFiber continues to follow that model adding new content providers and giving them the opportunity to serve the rural communities where iFiber has been deployed,” Herb said. “While iFiber is not a direct retail provider of broadband services to the consumer, it is possible that the service you are getting is transported over the iFiber network.”

Other successful grants Herb has written are a $15M grant for a 143-mile fiber optic network for the DeKalb Advancement of Technology Authority (DATA) in DeKalb County and a $22M Illinois Rural HealthNet (IRHN) grant that provides a high-speed fiber optic network for State of Illinois healthcare facilities.

Herb has several years of technical, managerial and administrative experience in advanced communication networks. He represented NIU on the Governors Broadband Deployment Council, the Illinois Fiber Resource Group (iFiber) as one of the Board of Directors, the Illinois Municipal Broadband Communications Association (IMBCA) as Secretary of the Board of Directors, the Illinois Century Network Advanced Engineering Taskforce (AET), and the Northern Illinois Technology Triangle Technical Committee (NITT). Herb’s educational background includes an associate degree in Applied Sciences from McHenry County College and Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Computer Science at NIU.

When not working on iFiber and broadband projects, Herb likes to dabble in a variety of activities from programming a smart home, building a gaming console and pushing limits of technology around the house. He has a strong passion for the NIU Huskies, gardening and fishing as other past times. Recently, he’s been enjoying more time with his family and spoiling his grandson, who brings a lot of laughter and fun.

August 25, 2021

Marc Thorson

Marc Thorson is Executive Director for Regional Technology Services in Northern Illinois University’s Division of Information Technology (DoIT). He has been with NIU for more than two years. He supports iFiber in his primary role of overseeing the operations and strategy execution for NIU’s support of iFiber. Marc oversees all aspects of NIU’s broadband, Internet service, and technology service offerings to communities, school districts, and other government and nonprofits organizations. Marc wants people to know iFiber is an open-access network. This means the fiber optic cable iFiber owns and its network running across Northwest Illinois are available to any Internet, phone, and other service providers. This model lowers the barriers for any service provider to compete against much larger service provider companies. It allows those companies to invest more into the services provided. It also provides customers in the iFiber footprint to have more choices for service providers.

Prior to joining NIU, Marc worked in the local government Information Technology field in just about every capacity for over 20 years including desktop support, application developer, network administrator, network engineer, compliance lead and director. He is passionate about Information Security and data-driven decision making in environments with resource challenges. Marc is also an adjunct instructor for the nationally-ranked NIU Master of Public Administration program. The course focus is educating future local government and nonprofit leadership on what Information Technology does, why it is a critical competency for public organizations, and how to utilize it to its greatest potential in an era of shrinking budgets.
Marc has a Master of Business Administration from NIU with a focus on Management of Information Services and Marketing. He is the Marketing Director GMIS International, Committee Chairperson for GMIS Accreditation, and Past President for GMIS Illinois. On a personal note, a “fun fact” about Marc is that his uncle, Joe Parnello, was a musician and arranger/composer. He is credited with working on a few albums with Frank Sinatra and other entertainers including Jack Jones, Vic Damone, Anthony Newley, Tom Jones, Carol Lawrence, and Connie Stevens.