Albany, NY October 8, 2013 – After more than 13 years successfully leading the organization, Kevin O’Connor, founder, President and CEO of FirstLight Fiber (formerly known as Tech Valley Communications), has announced his retirement.  O’Connor will remain on the FirstLight Board of Directors and focus on continued mergers & acquisitions. FirstLight Fiber, a facilities-based telecommunications service provider, operates fiber optic networks in Upstate New York and Northern New England with connectivity to Canada.

“I am proud of what the employees and Board have accomplished since we started the Company over 13 years ago.  Where many others have tried and failed, FirstLight succeeded in growing into a regional telecom powerhouse,” said Kevin O’Connor.  “As a founder, employee and shareholder, it is gratifying to see how far we have come and know that now is the right time for me to make this change.  I have every confidence that Kurt Van Wagenen is the right guy to take FirstLight to the next level.  His industry experience, local ties and business acumen make him the perfect successor and next leader of the Company.”

“On behalf of the Board and all the employees, I would like to thank Kevin for his many years of success building FirstLight into the strong organization it now is,” Steven F. Kaplan, General Partner at Riverside Partners and Chairman of FirstLight’s Board of Directors.  “Under Kevin’s leadership, the Company overcame tremendous economic challenges, completed three significant acquisitions and grew significantly to become one of the leading fiber optic-based telecommunications companies in the Northeast.  We are sorry to see Kevin leave, but are pleased that he has agreed to remain on the Board and work with us on mergers and acquisitions,” concluded Kaplan.

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