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Management Team

Scott J. Schwertfager
President & CEO

Scott J. Schwertfager founded Ocean Networks, Inc in 2013, he is the President, Chief Executive Officer and serves on the Board of Directors. Scott has over 35 years in the telecom industry with 30 years specifically in the submarine cable system industry. Prior to starting Ocean Networks, Scott was a founder and Chief Operating Officer of Emerald Networks (now Aqua Comms). While there, he was instrumental in securing funding and the overall development of a new trans-Atlantic submarine cable system. During his career, Scott held senior level positions with AT&T Submarine Cable Systems, Subcom (Tyco), NSW (Corning) and Hawaiki Cable. Scott has been directly involved in dozens of submarine cable system installations and repair operations globally. Scott attended Pace University (White Plains, NY) and Queens College (Charlotte, NC). In addition, he completed extensive management training programs with AT&T and AT&T Bell Labs.

Robert Hildebrecht
Chief Financial Officer



Robert has been the CFO of several early-stage companies as well as regional CFO for a large international publically traded corporation, where he has been an integral member of the senior management team. He has over 20 years of experience in the telecom industry split between wireless carrier and submarine cable systems companies. Robert has held various finance roles of increasing responsibilities providing intuitive thinking and leadership linking finance with operations to accelerate growth while driving shareholder value. He has in-depth experience in strategic planning, auditing & internal controls, M&A, capital raises, tax strategies, business development, cross-border transactions, negotiating supplier and  key alliance agreements for telecom companies: GTE, BellSouth International, Sprint PCS, CANTV and Telcel (both in Venezuela), Codetel (Dominican Republic), BCP (Brazil start-up), CTI (Argentina turn-around) and other telecom companies located throughout LATAM. 

Robert has provided a host of financial and operational advisory guidance to globally recognized companies as Cargotec (Finland), Turner Broadcasting (CNN), Recall (a Brambles company), Ingenico and Andritz Group. Robert has been an active board member to the leadership team for Kalmar Mexico Equipos S.A De C.V. and Cargotec Brasil Servicos E Comercio De Equipamentos Para Movimentacao DD Cargas LTDA. 


Robert holds a MBA - International Business with a concentration in Finance from Mercer University and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Marymount College. Robert is an Adjunct Professor at Reinhardt University.

Louis Lovelady
Managing Director

Louis has over 15 years’ experience in the subsea cable industry with vast experience implementing various subsea cable projects, contracting and bidding new system builds. Most recently, Louis held the position of Director of Marine Estimates and Proposals at SubCom where his scope of responsibilities ranged from marine engineering, planning and estimating to Customer management and new business development. During his time at SubCom he also worked as a Marine Project Coordinator and Shore End and Terrestrial Cable Engineer where he managed and implemented various subsea cable deployments to include shallow water installations, shore end and terrestrial installations, repairs, splicing and testing and contract management.

Prior to working at SubCom, Louis worked for Ledcor Technical Services (LTS) where he managed all aspects related to telecommunications network and infrastructure construction to include horizontal directional drilling, civil engineering, cable station construction, outside and inside plant construction, splicing, testing and FTTH. 


Louis studied at Colorado Mesa University where he graduated with a bachelor degree in Science. In addition, Louis completed formal training from Tyco Telecommunications in subsea system engineering and fiber optic jointing and splicing.

Jose Barrios
Director - Permitting

Jose has over 18 years experience in submarine cable systems industry working for Corning (NSW) and TE Subcom. He has successfully obtained all required permits and permissions for dozens of landing worldwide, all in time and all within budget.  Jose worked with governments, legal counsels, local telecoms and the clients to secure the landing rights for major installations such as ARCOS-1, PAC, CFX-1, Sam-1, SEACom, MENA and SMPR1.  Jose international experience is in all aspects of permitting and includes landing rights, permits for marine operations and civil works construction.  Jose is fully bilingual in both Spanish and English. He has a BA in Paralegal Science from Eastern Kentucky and an AA in Paralegal Studies from Wesley College.

David A. Blau
Chief Operating Officer



David has over 24 years of experience within the Submarine Cable Systems Industry. He has successfully contributed to the negotiation and implementation of over 60 subsea cable projects with scope ranging from marine bids & proposals, cable engineering & design, survey, deep sea installation, shore ends, terminal installation, permitting & regulatory, marine project management, commercial management, jointing & testing and overall marine construction implementation and management. David has managed a large-scale global staff and has implemented unique technical and commercial solutions to ensure the quality, safety, cost effective and timely installation of the projects he managed. 


David has held Roles for an Industry leading supplier as:


  • Managing Director Marine Construction

  • Director of Shore ends, Jointing & Testing

  • Cable Engineering

  • Cable Installation and Testing

Cliff Miyake
Chief Strategy Officer


Cliff Miyake has been in telecom for 30 years.  He has worked for w telecom/Level 3 and Hawaiian Tel.  Just previous to Ocean Networks, Cliff consulted for: CenturyLink, DR Fortress, RTI, Peraton Government Systems, and GBS. His corporate career has included seven years at Hawaiian Tel in International and Government sales, and 20 years with tw telecom/Level 3.  At tw telecom/Level 3 he filled the C-level role with responsibilities for the overall company State of Hawaii P&L, sales and operations.  Focus was on driving business growth and maintaining customer satisfaction and retention.  

Cliff holds an undergraduate and graduate degree as well as certifications in fiber technologies and Submarine Cable System operation management system.

Vito O. Pavone
Director - Contracts

Vito has more than 30 years of experience in the Undersea Cable industry.  He has held multiple positions within the International Network Operations of AT&T, including managing the Financial Operations for the international division and managing the Consortia activities for AT&T in the Pacific and Asia-Pac region.


In the Pacific and Asia-Pac region,  Vito’s roles included the Chairman of the Management Committee for the AAG, Japan-US, APCN2 and other undersea cables, chairman/co-chairman of the Operations and Maintenance committees for multiple cables responsible for overseeing the commercial aspects of Operations and Maintenance Activities, including the annual O&M budgets for the cables, negotiating multiple vendors’ contracts for technical and operations support and negotiating the multi-year Cable Ship Maintenance Zone Agreements.


As part of the Procurement Groups of multiple cables, Vito was responsible for the installation and upgrade of multiple cables as either the Commercial chairman or Procurement Group chairman overseeing the activities of  the cable suppliers from the issuance of Requests for quotations, negotiating the terms conditions of the supply contract thru the delivery of the cable on-time and underbudget.

Ryan Headshot.png
Ryan Wilkison
Director - Project Engineering

Ryan has over 15 years of experience in the subsea cable industry shared between product development engineering and the coordinating, preparing and contracting of marine solutions for new cable system builds. In May 2024, Ryan joined Ocean Networks from SubCom where, most recently, he led the Marine Estimates and Proposals group as a Senior Project Coordinator with responsibilities of marine engineering, scheduling, planning, estimating and contracting of new undersea systems. Prior to his role in Marine Estimates and Proposals, Ryan was a mechanical engineer within the Joint and Coupling Design group of SubCom’s Research and Development organization where he focused on development engineering and qualification efforts of new undersea products. Ryan studied at Stevens Institute of Technology where he holds two degrees: Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Mechanical Engineering.

Board of Directors

Bruce C. Coles
Chairman of the Board


Mr. Bruce C. Coles serves as the Executive Advisor to Gryphon Investors. He focuses on business services. Mr. Coles served as the President of MACTEC Engineering & Consulting, Inc., an operating unit of Mactec Inc. until May 2008. Mr. Coles served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Mactec, Inc. During his 39 years in the Engineering and Construction Industry, Mr. Coles also served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Stone & Webster Inc. More...

Dr. Steven Droll
Board Member


Dr. Steven Droll has over 30 years of executive leadership in a variety of manufacturing and services companies.  Since 1986, Steven has been intimately involved in the telecommunications industry, primarily in the wireless arena.  His telecommunications career started at BellSouth in the domestic and international mergers & acquisitions area.  From 1992 – 1997, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Compania de Radiocomunicaciones Moviles, SA (aka. Movicom) a wireless telecommunications subsidiary of BellSouth International located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  From 1997 to 2005, Steven held a variety of executive positions within BellSouth International/Latin America focusing on financial planning/analysis and operational strategy.  In 2006, Steven assumed the role as Chief Financial Officer of Onvoy Inc., an integrated telecommunications company concentrating on carrier services and enterprise markets, which was sold in 2007.  As the original Chief Financial Officer of Virgin Mobile Latin America, a start-up MVNO operations in Latin America, Steven was involved in all financial operations, including funding activities.  Steven received a BS in Financial Management from Clemson University, Master in International Business Studies from the University of South Carolina and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Georgia State University, where he focused on organization leadership and theory.   

Don Granger
Board Member


Don Granger has more than thirty years senior executive level leadership in major public and private cable television and telecommunication service and manufacturing corporations. During his career Don has built and grown successful consumer focused cable and wireless telecommunications businesses in the United States and Ireland. Prior to founding Granger & Associates, Don served as President and CEO of Bellsouth Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T, leading the company’s digital cable, wireless video & data operations including their IPTV business and technology development. More...

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