About NEO Connect’s Team

Our core business and planning team is comprised of seasoned executives with broad and deep experience leading public, private and non-profit provider networks, including deep expertise in federal grant compliance and business planning activities. The team possesses subject matter and technical depth, including significant intellectual capital in best practices, programs, innovations, project management, lessons learned and success stories.

We have assisted numerous grant recipients, municipalities, and service providers in business planning, IRU negotiations, modeling, pricing and consulting services. In addition to our consulting experience, our team has real world experience in owning and operating FTTP and fiber optic networks. This real world experience will assist your project in not only evaluating business models and opportunities, but also in implementing the models for true sustainability and success.

Diane Kruse

Founder and CEO

Diane is the founder and CEO of NEO. Diane has founded four successful telecommunication companies and is providing consulting services for start-up organizations, high-growth companies, and Fortune 500 companies. She has 38 years of telecommunications and energy industry experience, the last 28 years as an entrepreneur starting and managing successful telecommunication, energy, and start-up companies. Prior to NEO, she was the CEO of Zoomy, a leading firm in the FTTP industry that specialized in FTTP design/engineering and construction for municipalities, rural telecommunications companies, and real estate developers. In addition to providing engineering and construction services, Zoomy also owned and/or operated multiple FTTP networks throughout the country. Diane is an experienced leader and visionary with an excellent track record of managing complex and diverse projects.

Diane has been with the company since its inception in 2010 or thirteen years. Diane has worked with 100’s of public and local government agencies in improving broadband.

Doug Flentge

Project Manager

Doug joined NEO’s team as a Project Manager in 2022. Prior to joining NEO, Doug was the Operations/Project Manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park (GCAP). Doug was responsible for all capital improvement projects as well as all aspects of park operations including: infrastructure build-out, major and minor park remodel projects, maintenance, attractions, facilities and transportation. Doug has been involved with project management for 5 years with GCAP and was responsible for several large projects including commercial, utilities, transportation, and employee housing. Before GCAP, Doug worked for several engineering firms in design and project management. Doug holds a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles.

With NEO, Doug has been on the project team for several local government accounts, including Garfield County, Mesa County, Eagle County, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Town of Blue River, Colorado State University and its associated local governments, Region 9, Region 10, the San Luis Valley DRG, and City of Arvada. Doug’s unique strengths and qualifications include project management and the ability to oversee complex and diverse projects, expertise in RFPs and evaluations, vendor management and construction management.

Chris Stebner

Network Engineer and Project Manager

Chris joined NEO’s team as a consultant March 2023. Prior to joining NEO, Chris Stebner has over 25 years of experience in telecommunications, leading projects from conception through acquisition. He was co-founder of Cedar Holdings, a facilities-based fiber-optic carrier operating in dozens of cities across Colorado and New Mexico. While at Cedar, he led business development and government affairs and was responsible for market expansion including business-case generation, developing partnerships with local governments and anchor institutions, outside-plant design, permitting, construction management, and sales. Cedar Holdings was acquired by Tucows, better known as Ting Internet, a publicly traded company, in 2020. Chris stayed on to head Ting’s Colorado public-policy, market-expansion, and digital-equity efforts. Chris now provides his experience and expertise to NEO and its clients pursuing his passion for bringing fiber to all and closing the digital-divide.

Chris has a deep knowledge of the broadband industry, having started, and run a successful ISP. His qualifications and expertise in permitting, designing, and building fiber, wireless and Fiber to the Premise networks will be a tremendous asset to this project. Chris oversees the design, engineering, and technical aspects of our clients’ engagements. With NEO, Chris has been involved in all NEO’s current local government projects, including: the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Garfield, Eagle and Mesa Counties, City of Arvada, CSU, Region 9, the Town of Blue River and San Luis Valley DRG.