Jim has spent the last 34 years building and running large, complex telecom networks for some of the most demanding enterprise clients in the US and abroad. As CEO of Silica Networks, Jim is responsible for the company’s strategy and development and is truly passionate about helping clients get the most future-proof network available.
Before launching Silica, Jim was Senior Vice President of Sales at Zayo Group, LLC, where he was responsible for developing strategy and managing all aspects of sales and customer relations while providing mission-critical infrastructure to many of the Fortune 100 enterprises in the financial services, content, media, healthcare and telecommunications industries.
Prior to Zayo, Jim served as Vice President of Sales for AGL Networks, a dark fiber provider with metro networks in several key data center markets that was acquired by Zayo in 2010. Mr. Nolte started his career at AT&T where he served in various strategy, sales and account management roles and earned his MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
Mark Elder has been guiding emerging, fast-growth companies for most of his career. As Chief Financial Officer, Mark is responsible for all accounting and financial matters to include establishing company-wide objectives, policies, procedures and practices to ensure our ongoing fiscal strength.
Prior to his role at Silica, Mr. Elder was the CFO of CPG Beyond, Inc., a leading data center services company, and its predecessor entity, Canara, Inc. During his 10 years at CPG Beyond, Mark oversaw the exponential growth of the business through a series of acquisitions and organic growth.
Mark began his career at Montgomery Financial Management, a boutique consulting firm in Silicon Valley, and has since held a number of CFO positions at emerging and high-growth technology companies. Mark earned his degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego.
Christopher Yost is General Counsel of Silica Networks and has been making telecom contracts as frictionless as possible for over 20 years. At Silica, Chris’ responsibilities include all commercial sales and vendor agreements, federal and state regulatory matters, underlying rights, real estate and security related matters.
Prior to Silica, Chris served as General Counsel of Zayo. During his tenure at Zayo, Chris managed all aspects of the legal department supporting Zayo’s dark fiber, wireless infrastructure, lit services, and colocation businesses. Chris led and/or supported Zayo’s substantial domestic and international M&A activity, and led legal diligence and integration of 42 acquisitions.
Early in his career, Chris served in a variety of legal and executive roles at Level 3 Communications, including Group Vice President of Human Resources (2005-2007), and Vice President of Litigation and Employment (1999-2006). Chris also spent 5+ years as a litigation, labor and employment associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, in the firm’s Washington DC office. Chris received his B.S in Political Science and Public Administration from Western Michigan University and his J.D. from Catholic University of America Law School in Washington D.C.
VP of Operations
Andy has been building fiber optic networks across the U.S. for the last 20 years. As our VP of Operations at Silica, Andy is the person that keeps our crews busy and our network running. His responsibilities include all aspects of construction management, network surveillance and service delivery.
Andy’s experience includes senior leadership positions on both the carrier and contractor sides of the industry, allowing him to gain extensive knowledge in construction management, network design and engineering. His ability to build productive relationships with vendors, service providers and especially customers are assets that will serve Silica well as we grow.
Prior to his role at Silica, Andy was Project Director for Ledcor Technical Services, a diversified construction company that builds and services communications networks. At LTS, he led operations in the execution of an ongoing design-build metro network expansion for Verizon.
Prior to Ledcor, Andy held leadership roles at OnFiber Communications, CenturyLink, Zayo, and G4S Communications. Andy is a proud supporter of his alma mater, the University of Colorado Buffaloes. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching his sons play on their various sports teams, snowboarding, traveling and maintaining his meticulously landscaped yard.
VP of Sales
Emily Bennett is VP of Sales at Silica Networks. Throughout her career, Emily has pridefully built long-lived, strategic relationships with clients such as, CyrusOne, QTS, Comcast, Cox Communications, Sprint, British Telecom, and Google by being thoughtful and delivering on her promises. At Silica, Emily is responsible for helping our customers achieve the most reliable network possible by focusing on providing them the highest network diversity and scalability available.
Prior to her role at Silica, Ms. Bennett was Director of Sales at Zayo where she constantly sought an in-depth understanding of the needs of a vital account base consisting of data center operators, cable companies, telecom service providers as well as large enterprise clients and delivered on solutions that met them.
Preceding Zayo, Emily built key customer relationships at AGL Networks, a metro dark fiber provider where she learned the value of buried infrastructure and gained her deep appreciation for telecom construction. Prior to AGL, Emily was the southeast sales director for Metromedia Fiber Network, predecessor of Abovenet, which was later acquired by Zayo.