Axcess Ontario Names New Board Chair, Unveils New Website

Mike Ward is VP of Information Technology at Ultralife Corporation
Canandaigua, N.Y., June 27, 2011  — The Vice President for Information Technology at Newark-based Ultralife Corporation, Mike Ward, has been appointed as the new chair of Axcess Ontario, the public benefit corporation that oversees the 200-plus-mile fiber optic ring. He will serve a one-year term.
The organization also announced its new website,, which went live late last month.
“I am very excited to lead such an active board with a great organization,“ Ward said. “With the fiber ring completed and eight service providers signed on to the ring, Axcess Ontario has enjoyed incredible success in recent years. I look forward to accomplishing even more for our community in the months and years to come as we transition from a startup to a fully operational corporation.”
Ward replaces Ontario County Administrator Geoff Astles, who stepped down from his chairmanship with Axcess Ontario in part because he is set to retire from his county position on June 30. Astles still remains a member of the board of directors with Axcess Ontario.
“As Vice President of IT at Ultralife Corporation, Mike brings significant private-sector experience to his role as board chair at a time when our organization needs that type of expertise to grow into the future,” said Ed Hemminger, CEO of Axcess Ontario. “At the same time, we are grateful to Geoff for his leadership over the past six years — since our organization’s founding — and are delighted that he will remain an active member of the board until his retirement.”
Ward has more than 20 years of experience in information technology and has held a variety of IT management positions with Bausch & Lomb and Constellation Brands, prior to joining Ultralife. He is also a board member of Victor Community Baseball & Softball and is active in coaching youth sports in Victor, where he resides with his family.
The new website is a critical public information and marketing tool for Axcess Ontario. The site includes information specific to telecom carriers and Internet service providers, as well as information for local businesses and residents. Public documents, such as board meeting minutes and state authority filings, are also available on the website.
“We are proud of our new website, which helps explain who we are and what we do to a variety of audiences, including the telecom industry and the general public,” Hemminger said. “This site shows what fiber can do for them.”
About Axcess Ontario
Imagine where fiber technology can take us. Axcess Ontario has. With an open-access, dark-fiber infrastructure and a non-profit approach — serving as an example for a national model — the 200-plus-mile fiber ring has Ontario County on the fast track to greater economic development, better quality of life, and global competitiveness. By providing this critical source for advanced connectivity and increased flexibility through quicker, more affordable broadband, businesses and organizations, as well as residents, will have improved capabilities like never before.
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Axcess Ontario is a is a not-for-profit development corporation created to develop and manage an open-access fiber-optic backbone initially in Ontario County.

Finger lakes regional telecommunications development corporation