Canada Telecom Hall of Fame 2009 Career Service Awards
By Anthony Capkun
August 26, 2009
Canada’s Telecommunications Hall of Fame announced its 2009 Career
Service Awards will be conferred on the late Jim McDaniel of CNCP
Telecommunications and Unitel Communications (now MTS Allstream), and
on the brother team of John Downs & Paul Downs, heads of the
Nexicom Group of Companies “and leaders of Canada’s modern-day
independent telephone company movement”.
The family of McDaniel and the Downs brothers will receive their awards
at the 2009 Telecom Laureate Awards Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony
November 4 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que.
The Hall of Fame also announced the names of its first group of
confirmed sponsors for the 2009 Telecom Laureate Awards Gala event,
including three first-time gold-level sponsors (Ciel Satellite Group ,
McMillan LLP and Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP), as well as returning
gold-level sponsor Research In Motion (RIM) and audio/visual sponsor
AVW/TELAV Audio Visual Solutions.
“We are delighted to recognize the tremendous role that these Career
Service Award winners have played in advancing telecommunications in
Canada,” said Lorne Abugov, founder and director of Canada’s
Telecommunications Hall of Fame. “Jim McDaniel was a giant in the
telecommunications field who devoted his entire career to promoting
Canadian telecommunications. He made telecommunications a household
word in Canada. John and Paul Downs are worthy recipients of our Career
Service Award for their tireless efforts in growing rural telephony,
promoting independently owned telecom service firms and bringing the
highest standards of service, customer care and telecom innovation to
small town and rural Ontarians.”
The Hall of Fame’s Career Service Award was initiated in 2006 to
recognize the exemplary work, accomplishments and leadership of a
select few Canadians who have contributed to the advancement of the
telecom industry for the better part of their careers.
Canada’s Telecommunications Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit
organization with a mission to safeguard and promote the past, present
and future excellence of Canadian telecommunications. The Hall of Fame
fulfills its mission through the Telecom Laureate Program and the
Education and Outreach Program, which serve to celebrate the historical
legacy of success of Canadian telecommunications, promote current
innovation leaders within the industry and encourage Canadian youth to
consider the industry as a fulfilling career choice.
JIM MCDANIEL’s career spanned the last century’s technology revolution
from Morse code to fiber optics to the beginnings of the Internet. In
the twilight of his lengthy career, he advocated against telephone
monopoly. In the 1990s, he became a member of the senior management
team at Unitel Communications, where he helped bring competition to
Canada’s long distance telephony market.
MSSRS. JOHN AND PAUL DOWNS of the Nexicom Group of companies have
worked for the past three decades on behalf of thousands of rural
Ontario telecom users. The Nexicom companies and their predecessors
have provided telecom services to Central Ontario for over 100 years.
John and Paul Downs were literally born and raised in the independent
telephone industry, living and learning much about the early days of
telephony in Ontario from their father, Ed Downs, who worked with many
of the start-up independent telcos in the mid-1900s. After the death of
their father in 1978, the Downs brothers devoted themselves on a
full-time basis to the betterment of telecom in rural and underserved
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