Richard Brown, Chief Executive Officer
Richard Brown has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board since the company's inception in 1996. As a company founder, Mr. Brown is a seasoned telecommunications professional acquiring industry experience since 1987. Prior to starting the company, he served as the Executive Vice President of Finance for BTI, a facilities-based CLEC with operations throughout the east coast. During his tenure there, Mr. Brown helped to grow the organization from its start-up phase with $2.2 million in sales to reach over $120 million and from 15 employees to over 500. Mr. Brown joined BTI in 1986 as Controller. In 1993, Mr. Brown also helped found Optex, a telecom billing company in Dublin, Ohio that specialized in developing software for switchless resellers. He served on the Board until Optex was sold in 1997 to Clairmont Technology and ultimately to CBSI, a publicly traded worldwide provider of information technology services. Mr. Brown is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA in Accounting.
Robin Byers, Chief Operating Officer
Robin is one of the founders of Access Point, Inc. He is the Chief Operating Officer and has served on the company’s Board of Directors since its inception in 1996. Robin has close to 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, where he has held a series of management and sales executive positions with companies in both the wireless and wireline business sectors prior to starting Access Point, including turns at BellSouth, Mobilecomm and BTI. Currently, his main areas of focus at API are in driving growth, affecting convergence of old and new telephony in the customer base and leading the Sales, Marketing and Customer Service initiatives of the company. Robin attended the Ohio State University, studying in the Fisher College of Business and is a longstanding member of the OSU Alumni Association and American MENSA.
Gregory Taylor, Vice President of Information Systems
Mike Newkirk, Chief Technology Officer
Mr. Newkirk has an impressive track record of more than 30 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, business unit development, project and product management, and system engineering strategies. Mr. Newkirk served as President and Chief Operating Officer, Member of the Board of Directors for BTI Telecom, a dynamic facilities based communications provider with more than 5400 route miles of fiber. During his tenure, he grew revenues from $8 million to $350 million annually and led an unparalleled team of nearly 1400 professionals. Prior to joining Access Point in 2015, Mr. Newkirk headed up his own consulting firm where he provided CBO-level corporate strategy, business development, product commercialization, and strategic marketing consulting to startup and high-growth companies across a broad spectrum of industries. Also during his career, Mr. Newkirk was President of Fiber South Communications, one of the nation’s first successful (CAP) Competitive Access Providers, serving 12 Southeastern Metropolitan Markets with nearly 500 route miles of Distribution fiber. Mr. Newkirk is a co-founder of ACCA (Associated Communications Companies America), incorporated in 1993, a consortium of 10 industry leading communications companies representing 20 billion in annual revenues, he currently serves as its President. Mr. Newkirk served for 5 years as a Board Member of Comptel/Incompas as well as numerous technology company and industry boards and has several times been recognized as one of the “Top 25 Telecommunications Executives” by Phone+ magazine and “100 Top People to Watch” within the telecom industry. He has also been recognized by Business North Carolina as "Top 100 Executives" as well as one of the "Top 40 under 40" by the Triangle Business Journal.
Mr. Taylor has over 20 years of industry experience and is responsible for the Information Technology, Information Systems, and Operational Support Systems teams at Access Point. Prior to joining the company in April 1999, he held the position of VP of Operations with Topcoat Software, Inc., a company that he helped form in 1998. Before the formation of that venture, he was with BTI for a period of six years, beginning as a Cost Analyst in 1992 and rising to the position of Cost Accounting Manager in 1997. In 2001 Mr. Taylor left the company for a period, working for Convergys – Information Management Group in the implementation of their billing and order management applications. He then re-joined Access Point in 2002 to head up the development of the company’s next-generation OSS. Mr. Taylor received a BS in Accounting from East Carolina University in 1991.
Robert Buffa, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Mr. Buffa heads up all Sales & Marketing efforts, bringing over 25 five years of telecommunications industry experience to Access Point. Prior to Joining the company, Mr. Buffa served as Vice President of Sales & Partner Development at Broadsmart, a nationwide provider of Cloud Telephony. Mr. Buffa oversaw an alternate channel sales force that was one of the first in the nation to offer Sip Trunking and Hosted IPPBX services to SMB and enterprise clients alike. Prior to Broadsmart , Mr. Buffa spent over a decade at BTI where he rose from the Regional Vice President of Florida to the VP of all channel sales, running a $70 million dollar per year division for the $350 million dollar per year nationwide CLEC. Mr. Buffa’s roots in the telecommunications industry stretch back to the late 1980’s where he owned and operated TTI, Telso ,Paycom & Interloop, a group of payphone and long distance companies with his family. Mr. Buffa is a speaker and panelist at Broadsoft Connections, Channel Partners Conference & Expo, and various agent events across the country.
Chris Kasprzak, Director of Customer Service
Mr. Kasprzak has over 20 years of telecommunications and service experience. He joined Access Point in 2000 and was promoted to Director of Customer Service in 2004. His previous experience includes ten years at GTE/Verizon, where he was responsible for major account development and management of a national Call Center. Prior to that, Mr. Kasprzak worked as a Sales and Marketing director for the hotel industry. Mr. Kasprzak holds a BA in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University.
Jared Welch, Director of Channel Development
Mr. Welch brings over 12 years of management experience to Access Point. Prior to joining Access Point, he owned and operated his own small businesses. Before becoming an entrepreneur, he worked with a telecommunications company, BTI, now known as ITC-Deltacom in their service provisioning department where he received an award for making an immediate impact in the 2nd quarter of 1999. Before joining the telecommunications industry, Mr. Welch was a Manager for Midway Airlines in their Baggage Service and Operations departments from 1996 to 1999. Mr. Welch joined Access Point in 2000 and was promoted to Local Service Manager in 2001and then on to become a Director in 2004. Mr. Welch attended the University of NC at Chapel Hill.
Jim Hart, Director of Operational Support Systems
Mr. Hart joined Access Point in 1999 after serving several years with MCI/Worldcom. After starting with Access Point as a member of the billing team, Mr. Hart rose to the position of Billing Manager and was promoted to Director of Operational Support Systems in 2006. Through his 16 years of telecommunications and service experience, Mr. Hart has successfully lead the implementation and management of multiple OSS/BSS systems. Mr. Hart received a BS in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Laura Klemick, Director of Marketing
Ms. Klemick joined Access Point in 2005 and was promoted to Director in 2010. Prior to joining Access Point, Ms. Klemick worked in the advertising, print, multimedia and television industries. She utilized both her creative and managerial skills in a variety of roles including creative director, project manager and producer. Ms. Klemick has held positions with local companies including SAS, UNC-TV, Mindworks Multimedia and UNCW. Ms. Klemick holds a BS in Communications from the State University of New York College at Brockport.
Brett Hanson, Director of Carrier Services
Mr. Hanson joined Access Point in 2014 to oversee all carrier and vendor relationships as well as managing the strategic direction regarding new partnerships in the market. His focus is to direct product and process development, while managing contracts and MSA acceptance. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Hanson spent five years at Bandwidth.com where he had P&L ownership of their internet services division, which was a wholly owned subsidiary under the name, Broadband, LLC. He has over 18 years of telecommunication and management experience with positions held at Sprint, Level 3, Motricity, and Director of Operations and Principle with US Pro Golf Tour. Mr. Hanson holds a BA degree in Communication from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.
Jason Brown, Corporate Controller
Mr. Brown joined Access Point in 2004 as member of the corporate accounting team and was promoted to Corporate Controller in 2013. During his career with Access Point Mr. Brown has held multiple financial leadership roles. Prior to being Corporate Controller, Mr. Brown was a member of Access Point’s accounting team for 9 years and rose to the position of Accounting Manager in 2008 where he successfully managed accounting operations, financial reporting, and corporate compliance. Mr. Brown received a BS in Business/Accounting from Lander University in Greenwood, SC.
Robert Alpert, Director of Service Delivery
Mr. Alpert joined Access Point in 2006 after serving several years with Business Telecom Inc. (BTI) and MCI/Verizon. After starting with Access Point as a member of the Dedicated Provisioning team, Mr. Alpert rose to the position of Team Lead and was promoted to Manager / Senior Manager in 2014. In 2018 he was promoted to Director of Service Delivery. Through his 18 years of telecommunications and service delivery experience, Mr. Alpert has successfully lead the implementation and management of multiple service products such as VoIP, Internet, MPLS and Wireless services. He has assisted with the pursuit of network expansions, build outs and new carrier onboarding. Mr. Alpert received a BA in Psychology from the University of Buffalo at Buffalo, NY.