Industry pride shines as Pat Cipov is selected as Wireless Hall of Fame honoree

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Wireless History Foundation will be honoring Pat Cipov on Sept. 12 when she is inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame, the most recognized and highest honor accorded to an industry leader.

The Wireless History Foundation will be honoring Pat Cipov on Sept. 12 when she is inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame, the most recognized and highest honor accorded to an industry leader.

Accolades from all quarters of the industry have been coming in for Pat Cipov who was selected by the Wireless History Foundation (WHF) last week as one of its 2018 Wireless Hall of Fame honorees – the most recognized and highest honor acknowledging the leadership, innovation and achievement of each honoree in the wireless industry.

In making the announcement, the WHF said, “ Pat’s influence on diverse components of wireless communications construction and maintenance has left an indelible impact on the safety and quality of the industry.”

“Wireless has transformed the way the world connects and these individuals have played key roles in that transformation,” said WHF Board member Rob Mechaley,  Chairman of the 2018 selection committee

Cipov, a former Chairwoman of the National Association of Tower Erectors will join 61 other industry luminaries such as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, inventor of the cell phone Marty Cooper, founder of McCaw Cellular Communications Craig McCaw and Robert Galvin who was Chairman and President of Motorola for 34 years.

Shock and awe still surrounds announcement
“I’m still in total, total disbelief; I’m still in awe,” Cipov said.

The South Carolina tower construction and maintenance business owner informed Wireless Estimator, “This would not have happened if it wasn’t for all of the people that assisted me. I didn’t travel alone in this fulfilling journey.”

Cipov said that she was mentored and assisted by so many people over the years, but one individual that provided unending leadership advice was Bill Carlson who has been acknowledged as the founder of NATE, and who is also a Wireless Hall of Fame Member.

“The one person who guided me along the way was Bill Carlson who gave me comfort and encouragement, and that has kept with me always,” Cipov said.

The kudos keep coming

Jim Tracy

Jim Tracy

NATE Chairman Jim Tracy  said that Cipov is deserving of the tribute and should be recognized because of “her unyielding resolve affected the social, economic and cultural aspects of the entire wireless community. Pat parlayed her field and back office experience into cross country collaboration that transformed generations of wireless employees.”

“She helped bring together diverse interests and defined by her exhaustive preparation became the leader our industry needed, right when we needed her the most.”

Todd Schlekeway

Todd Schlekeway

“Pat is an industry trailblazer who has broken many glass ceilings during her career,” said NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway.

“During her tenure at NATE, Pat has tirelessly contributed her time and talents to spearhead safety and quality initiatives that have served to change the culture of the industry. Pat has also mentored many of the women from the industry who are now intimately involved in leadership roles at their respective companies and with the Association. NATE offers our heartfelt congratulations to Pat and her family on achieving this prominent honor.”

Paula Nurnberg

Paula Nurnberg

NATE COO Paula Nurnberg said it has been her privilege and honor to work in various capacities with Cipov for the past 23 years.

“Pat’s passion and devotion to our industry, and for the safety of each individual working in our industry, is unsurpassed. The prestigious Wireless Hall of Fame award appropriately reflects the endless hours Pat has dedicated to the wireless industry. On behalf of NATE and the NATE Administrative Team, I wish Pat continued unlimited success in the future. She has certainly left a lasting mark in our industry,” said Nurnberg.

Shama Ray

Shama Ray

“Pat Cipov is not only an inspiration to women she is an inspiration to all. It is an honor to walk where she walked,” said Shama Ray, a committee member of the Women of NATE.

“She is a pioneer in our industry and has paved the way for many future generations to come. I will do my best to expand the limits and impact future generations as you have and still do. Myself and the Women of NATE are forever blessed by your accomplishments,“ Ray said.

The Wireless Hall of Fame dinner will take place at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles on Wed., Sept. 12. Additional information on the Hall of Fame is available on the WHF web site at For information about the dinner contact Jenifer Snyder at .

Cipov traded in her hemline for a tag line
Cipov, then Pat Turner, was working for a CPA in Orlando, Fla. in 1978 when he decided to retire. She went to work with her brother-in-law Ron Miller who had a small tower company in Sumter, SC where she met Mick Cipov.

Pat Cipove began her career in 1978 when one of her first assignments was to erect a 600-foot guyed tower in the Florida Keys with two other crew members.

Pat Cipov began her career in 1978 when one of her early projects was to erect a 600-foot guyed tower in the Florida Keys with two other crew members.

In 1980, she and Mick struck out on their own and started a successful tower erection and maintenance company. They married the following year, balancing a family and business.

Today, the company is owned and operated jointly by Pat, her son John and daughter-in-law Michelle.

In the past, she would think nothing of climbing a 750-foot high tower, operating a hoist or taming an errant tag line.

For those who know Cipov, they’ll most likely agree that she possesses a captivating blend of southern gentility and tough-minded professionalism

In 1995, Cipov Enterprises, Inc. became one of 60 founding member companies of NATE.

After joining NATE, Cipov became an active participant and took all pertinent OSHA and safety classes offered at Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. Her training was invaluable and she later became an authorized OSHA instructor.

Cipov was elected to the NATE Board of Directors in 2000 during which time she was also appointed as the Board oversight for the OSHA Relations Committee. She served on the CTS Review Ad Hoc Committee from 2003 to 2004 and again from 2013 to 2015.

In 2006, Cipov was elected to the Executive Committee as Vice Chairperson and served in that capacity until 2013.

In 2013, she became the first woman to ever serve as Chair of the Association. In her role as NATE Chairwoman, Cipov had been an influential advocate for streamlining the deployment of broadband and wireless infrastructure technologies and promoting technological innovations in fall protection equipment in order to enhance workplace safety in the industry.

She served as NATE Chairwoman until 2015. Currently, Cipov is a member of the OSHA Relations Committee and is the South Carolina State Liaison for the NATE Wireless Industry Network (WIN).

Her tenure as Chairwoman of NATE and her membership in the Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum has provided a national platform for her to be a role model to other women in the tower construction and maintenance industry.

She regularly devotes time to mentor many of the women from the industry who serve on NATE’s Standing Committees, Board of Directors and Administrative Staff.

Cipov currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer, is a member of the Exam Management Committee and the Tower Foreman Task Force of the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA). NWSA is a 501(c)(6) assessment and certification organization that was established in 2015 to develop ANSI accredited certification programs for the tower industry workforce. In addition to the Secretary/Treasurer duties, She participated in the inaugural Task Force for Telecommunications Tower Technician I & II.

Four additional nominees to be honored

This year’s inductees also include:

  • Barry A. Adelman: In the early days of the U.S. wireless industry every issue was novel: the application process, combinations into partnerships and combination of partnerships, vendor agreements, buying infrastructure, and mergers and acquisitions.  Although he represented individual wireless clients, Barry served as a powerful and essential representative of the industry as a whole. He was a central figure in creating the framework for an industry that now represents essential 21st Century infrastructure. His leadership and influence in the wireless industry have continued for decades.
  • Alain Maloberti: From 1985 to 1995, Alain served as the first chairman of the European standards group ETSI SMG2, the group that standardized the GSM radio interface. This group faced a highly technical and political challenge in navigating the selection of the narrowband TDMA technology that paved the way for the success of GSM. In addition to his work with the ETSI standards group, Alain held executive roles with France Telecom /Orange, which he joined in 1979, moving to the mobile business in 1983.
  • Liz Maxfield:  In addition to playing a key role in the preservation of the history of the wireless industry as a founder of Wireless History Foundation and the Foundation’s first Executive Director, Liz was instrumental in the early development of the cellular industry from working on many of the first FCC license filings to facilitating the establishment and operation of inter-carrier information exchanges which help lay the foundation for seamless roaming. Liz retired from her day-to-day role in the Foundation in 2016 but still serves as an instrumental volunteer and board member.
  • Ed Reynolds:  Over a career spanning several decades, Ed led the implementation of multiple wireless technologies from analog to 4G that shaped the wireless revolution. As Chief Network Officer of Cingular, he was a key member of the team that led the integration of the Cingular and AT&T Wireless networks, successfully integrating two large overlapping networks and creating the largest wireless network at the time. After his retirement, Ed was appointed in 2012 to the initial Board of Directors of FirstNet, where he served until 2018.