Our leadership team is the most experienced group of professionals that have come together in the private sector to support FirstNet. Our leadership team has years of experience commencing from the beginning of the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST). All of our leadership have held significant roles within the Public Safety Alliance which was the public safety coalition responsible for the creation of FirstNet. Every team member has years of experience in the private sector supporting the evolution of FirstNet, State Opt-In and user adaptations.
Al H Gillespie - President, FirstNet Association
Chief Al H Gillespie served the fire service for almost 40 years including 15 years as the Fire Chief of three large city fire departments. He also served as the Interim Executive Chief of East County Fire and Rescue. Chief Gillespie served as the President of the International Association of Chiefs (IAFC) 2011-12 and, as all past IAFC Presidents, serves on the President's Council. During his tenure as President he was instrumental in helping the fire service and all public safety, through Congress, acquire the D-Block bandwidth. Chief Gillespie serves as the Principal of Executive Fire Consultants working with a major multi-national communications company and on firefighter health and safety issues.
Al was a key participant with the Public Safety Alliance representing the fire service on a number of key issue in Washington D.C. during his term as President and Board Member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Al has a bachelor’s degree in fire services administration from Eastern Oregon University and has a Fellowship for Harvard University. He is a Graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officers Program and has been an instructor in the Program.
Raymond Flynn - Vice President, Secretary, FirstNet Association
Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn retired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after 32 years of service. Ray served as a key member of the Public Safety Alliance, which was responsible for the creation of FirstNet, representing the Major County Sheriff’s Association. After the passage of the law that created FirstNet, Ray has served on the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee, SAFECOM Executive Committee, and the Federal Communications Commission Emergency Response Interoperability Center Public Safety Advisory Committee. Ray also served Nevada by being a member of the Nevada Communications Steering Committee and the Interoperability Working Group of the Nevada Homeland Security Commission.
As an Assistant Sheriff he was the third highest ranking member of one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the United States. He has extensive experience in serving on boards, commissions and governing bodies. Ray holds a Master’s Degree in the Administration of Justice, and attended the FBI National Academy and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Program for State and Local Executives.
Richard A. Mirgon - Vice President, Treasurer, FirstNet Association
Richard Mirgon, a founding member of the Public Safety Alliance, which was responsible for the reallocation for the “D block” broadband spectrum and the legislation that created FirstNet. Richard has over 30 years of public safety experience with the last 20 years in the public safety technology field. After retiring from government service in 2009 he has been providing consulting service to the private sector, state and local government. He is a Past President for the Association of Public Safety Officials International (APCO). He is currently the co-owner of Next Paradigm Consulting, LLC and Richard Mirgon Consulting LLC with his wife Shari.
Richard has participated in several national and statewide activities to include the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, SAFECOM Executive Committee, and the Commercial Mobile Alerting Services Committee. In December of 1999 he was appointed by Governor Guinn to the State Emergency Response Commission and served as Co-Chair from March 2001 until March of 2006. Additionally, he served as Co-Chair of the WMD/Homeland Security Steering Committee from 1999 thru the fall of 2003.
Richard holds a BA in Political Science and Public Administration.
Martha Ellis - Executive Director, FirstNet Association
Division Chief Martha Ellis has been a public servant since 1993. She started her
career as a hotshot firefighter/EMT with the National Forest Service then moved
into her twenty-two year career as a structural firefighter with the Salt Lake City
Fire Department. Her career experience includes operations, training, ARFF, and fire
prevention, as well as serving as the Salt Lake City fire marshal for over five years.
She concluded her exemplary career as the Division Chief over the Logistics,
Emergency Management, and the Fire Intelligence Liaison programs for Salt Lake
As the five-time world champion and world record holder in the Firefighter Combat
Challenge, Martha earned a national reputation as an advocate for firefighter health
and fitness. Chief Ellis served as the fitness editor and monthly columnist for Fire
Rescue Magazine for five years, and has presented on the topic of fitness, nutrition
and the politics of fitness standards across the country. She has been dedicated to
the health and wellbeing of all first responders for decades.
She is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and served on
the IAFC Constitution, Bylaws and Resolutions committee for eight years, in addition
to serving as the Chair of the Salt Lake Urban Area UASI Communications
Chief Ellis has an Associates degree in Fire Science, a Masters in Homeland Security
from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution
and Mediation and is currently enrolled in a Masters in Legal Studies and the
University of Utah Law School.