Anthony Cassara has over 35 years of management experience in the international telecommunications industry, business start-ups, and venture capital investing.
He is currently the President of Cassara Management Group, Inc. (CMGI), a privately held business counseling practice focused on the telecommunications industry. CMGI specializes in business evaluations, management recruitment & development, organizational change strategies and creating strategic business growth opportunities for telecommunications and other start-up companies.
Prior to founding CMGI, Mr. Cassara was an executive and officer of Frontier Corporation and later at Global Crossing, where he was responsible for leading a global wholesale operating unit.
In the past 15 years he has served on the Boards of Mpower Communications (a publicly held CLEC), CIMCO Communications (a privately held CLEC) , Teleglobe International, InSciTek (a privately held start-up IP technology venture), FLAG (a publicly held global telecom carrier), Eschelon Telecom (a privately held CLEC), The School of the Holy Childhood (a private school for children with special needs) and Sixteen:Fifteen (a non-profit organization focused on world missions). In addition, he has served as Chairman of the Board for CompTel (a telecommunications industry trade organization) and has served on the Board of Directors for the Rochester, NY chapter of the American Red Cross.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of ACN (a privately held Direct Marketing company operating in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia), deltathree, Inc. (a private international telecom company), Xoom Energy (a privately held energy marketing company), and You Need My Guy (a privately held social network start-up), Anovia (a payment processing company) and Cornerstone Mission (an inner city mission organization).
Mr. Cassara earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Boston College.
He lives in Rochester, NY with his wife Carol.
Human Resources Executive PartnerView Bio
Maggie CashmanHuman Resources Executive Partner
Maggie Cashman brings over 15 years of professional human resources experience as an HR business partner in multiple industries, including 12 years in telecommunications. Her expertise includes helping business leaders hire, develop, and grow their leadership teams, shaping organizational cultures, and designing HR practices in support of business plans. Maggie is certified in facilitative leadership, competency-based HR systems, behaviorally based selection, and project management. She is highly regarded for her operational focus and her ability to get results by effectively collaborating with her clients. Maggie has a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations and published, “Evaluating the HR Function” in HR Magazine.
VP - Business DevelopmentView Bio
Joe CassaraVP - Business Development
At Cassara Management Group, Joe engineers ideas to grow businesses by creating and doing. Mr. Cassara adds value by driving progress across teams. Joe specializes in business development, startups, and bringing clarity and progress to his clients.
Joe also currently serves as Managing Partner of Harvest Ventures, an early stage venture-funding firm, CEO of You Need My Guy, an Internet startup, and Managing Member of Fireside Collective, a local charity.
Before joining CMGI, Joe spent the last 6 years selling, growing, and managing large accounts for RR Donnelley. Achieving at least double-digit growth each year, Joe was responsible for managing millions of dollars of business in Upstate New York. He brought multiple accounts through successful contract negotiations and extensions, securing long-standing and profitable partnerships for the local team.
Mr. Cassara earned his BS from Syracuse University with a dual degree in Entrepreneurship and International Finance. In his time at Syracuse, Joe earned the Entrepreneur of the Year award for creating a profitable business and selling it back to the University. He was also named a Kauffman Scholar, leading teams to consult startup businesses in the city of Syracuse.
Business ManagerView Bio
Aimee EliasonBusiness Manager
Aimee Eliason is the Business Manager for Cassara Management Group, and has been with the company from its start in 2000. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the company including payroll, accounting, human resources, information technology, customer service, and various office duties.
Aimee has over 15 years of experience in administrative roles, 13 of which were spent at Global Crossing (formerly Frontier). She worked as an Executive Assistant in areas such as customer service, human resources, finance, sales, business development, and carrier services.
Sr. Vice PresidentView Bio
Lori SofianekSr. Vice President
Lori T. Sofianek, Biography
Lori is a Senior Vice President of Cassara Management Group, Inc. based in Rochester, NY. Lori has more than 28 years of experience in the telecommunications sector as well as experience in multi- level/direct marketing and retail energy services. She has spent time in a multitude of leadership roles in different areas of the business including project management, sales, sales management, sales support, marketing, customer service, order management, provisioning, call center, billing and collections.
Lori was hired in 1983 by Rochester Telephone’s long distance division, RCI, to head the first direct sales force for long distance and private line services. After years in sales, Lori followed an operations path which proved to be her passion. As Rochester Telephone and RCI acquired local and long distance companies, Lori took on roles of increasing responsibility. In her last position at Global Crossing (formerly Frontier and RCI) she was the vice president of international customer support for the wholesale division.
Throughout her 17 years at the Rochester Telephone Companies Lori had the opportunity to work at the long distance, telephone equipment and local divisions. In 1993 she was tapped to oversee all aspects of operational readiness for the first competitive local exchange provider (CLEC) in the country. The scope of her responsibilities included negotiating interconnection and collocation agreements and creating viable, repeatable and scalable processes for ordering, provisioning, repair management, operator services, moves, adds and changes, pic processing and wholesale billing. Much of what was developed in the Rochester market became the template for other larger telephone companies that opened their markets to competition.
Over the past 12 years, Lori has provided counseling to the senior leadership teams of many telecom companies, including Pangea, a European facilities based carrier, ACN a global direct marketing company for local, long distance, mobile and energy services, ION a startup addressing the NYS rural marketplace, Americatel, a reseller of long distance services in the Hispanic marketplace and WorldGate a provider of digital voice and videophone services.
In her position at Cassara Management Group, Inc. (CMGI), Lori works directly with clients on a variety of projects within her areas of expertise. Lori managed a corporate relocation of two locations in Michigan to one location in North Carolina. The project was broad in scope encompassing all aspects of the business. She oversaw the development of departmental transition plans, staffing and training plans, coordination of the construction schedule with the occupancy requirements, and led the daily meeting with the executive steering committee. She has overseen the migration of a billing platform from the US to the UK, the migration of long distance traffic from carrier to carrier and the transition of all human resource and operational elements of a business purchased by another company. Lori played a key role in writing business plans for two different companies that wanted to expand their product set to include the sale of local services (UNE-P and wholesale). In each instance, the business cases were approved by the boards of directors and Lori was retained to project manage the launch of local service. Lori has provided several custom designed leadership development and teambuilding events for C-level executives. In each case the participants requested the event be recreated for the next level of the business as well as their overseas operation.
Most recently Lori was brought into a startup retail energy company to set up the operational infrastructure, manage the outsourced relationships and project manage market openings. In less than 11 months more than 24 markets were opened resulting in nearly 100,000 orders.
Lori has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hartwick College. She lives in Rochester, New York with her husband.