Professional Staff

Michael S. Newman, President.  The founder of CSI, Mike has over 40 years’ telecommunications engineering experience in microwave and radio transmission engineering, mobile radio systems engineering, and specialized areas in telecommunications engineering, including fiber optics, and communications dispatch centers.  He has been responsible for the design and implementation of microwave systems for both Public Safety Entities and Common Carriers.  He is a Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  Graduate Electrical Engineer.  He holds an FCC General Class Radio Telephone License and is an IEEE Communications Society certified Wireless Communication Professional.

Philip M. Kane, P.E./Esq., Vice President, General and Regulatory Counsel, and Engineering Manager.  Over 50 years’ experience in communication systems design and regulatory matters, including project engineering on the first highly sophisticated military command and control system.  He has 28 years of experience in an engineering and management capacity with the Federal Communications Commission, and is a specialist in the measurement and verification of radio system parameters and compliance with regulatory requirements.  Admitted to legal practice in California and Federal venues as well as before the Federal Communications Commission, he also holds several operator licenses from the FCC.  Phil is a Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a Life Member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE).  Phil earned the Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from The Cooper Union School of Engineering and the Juris Doctor degree from San Francisco Law School.  A Registered Professional Engineer in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah, he is eligible in all other jurisdictions.

Catherine F. Newman, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President of Marketing and Sales.  Cathy joined CSI in 2008 after more than 25 years in college and professional publishing in sales, marketing, and editorial positions in science and engineering programs; most recently as Senior Acquisitions Editor at the IEEE Press.  A gifted communicator she is responsible for all marketing and sales materials, as well as the facilitator of our proposals.  She is a Member of the IEEE and holds a B.S. degree in Business.

Larry Bordoni, Principal Engineer.  Over 39 years’ experience working with private companies and public safety agencies in the design and implementation of small to large multi-jurisdictional communication systems as a Motorola Senior Systems Engineer.  He also was a Senior Sales Engineer supporting the Fire, EMS and Water markets.  He worked on radio telecommunications system designs throughout the Northwestern U.S.  His experience encompassed end-to-end communications from dispatch to radio subscriber.  This includes: power systems, dispatch centers, simulcast and RF radio propagation, antenna systems and frequency combining networks, frequency coordination with FCC and NAPCO, 800 re-banding implementation, radio interference, communication towers and site development, microwave and R.F. links, and radio telemetry.  He has a B.S in Electronic Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Tom Brinkoetter, Consultant.  Tom has over 30 years’ experience at companies such as HP, Tektronix and Anritsu.  His comprehensive work experience includes assignments in R&D, Project Management, Applications Engineering, Customer Support, and Marketing.  Throughout his career, he has worked with a wide variety of test products including: microwave sources, spectrum analyzers, network analyzers, oscilloscopes, and IP protocol analyzers. Most recently, at Anritsu, he was the Product Manager for Anritsu’s Land Mobile Radio product line and helped define and launch Anritsu’s S412E LMR Master.  Tom is both a Member of IEEE and the APCO Spectrum Management Committee.  He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Industrial Engineering.

Clayton H. Hawkins, Consultant.  Over 25 years of experience in public safety and 10 years in business administration.  Clay worked in Calaveras County for more than 25 years developing wildland fire response, management, and recovery plans, numerous federal and state grant proposals, and led complex multijurisdictional investigations of clandestine drug laboratory manufacturing cases and explosives incidents.  He also managed annual operating budgets (as high as $155 million), and the contract award and construction financing of a new 75,600 square foot $59.3 million county criminal justice center.  Clay has taught hazardous materials and explosives courses to law enforcement personnel for over 20 years.  He retired in 2012 and enjoys hiking and fly fishing in his free time.  Clay holds a B.S. in Business Administration and a M.A. in Public Administration.

Carl B. “Bernie” Olson, Senior Principal Engineer and Fellow of the Technical Staff.  Over 50 years of experience in communications: U.S. Army Signal Corp., Microwave Transmission Engineer (Lenkurt Electric) and Motorola — from which he retired in 2002 as Director of Resource Development Engineering and Fellow of the Technical Staff and continued to consult for them through 2012.  Bernie has been involved in the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Mobile and Personal Private Radio Standards for the last 20 years and for 12 of those years served as chair of TR8.18 “Frequency Compatibility of Dissimilar Modulations” the standards committee that addresses the methods and procedures for system design, frequency coordination and spectrum management during the complex migration from the current 25 kHz channel bandwidths to 12.5 kHz and 6.25 kHz bandwidths.  The author of numerous internal white papers for Motorola, he also served on the APCO Public Safety Communications magazine Editorial Advisory Committee for 3 years writing articles on spectrum issues.  Bernie has been granted eleven US patents involving the telecommunications field, is a Life Senior Member of the IEEE, a Fellow in The Radio Club of America and recipient of their 2011 Fred M. Link Award, “awarded to persons who have contributed substantially to the advancement and development of land-mobile radio and communications.”  He has the B.S. degree in Electronic Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Steven J. Overacker, Project Manager.  Over 25 years of combined experience in telecommunications (radio, telephone, data), semiconductor electronics and manufacturing management. During the last 14 years, he has worked in Northern California to support public safety and public service telecommunication systems and its users for Contra Costa County and later Yolo Emergency Communication Agency.  He analyzes telecommunication problems thoroughly and is direct with management in providing technical recommendations.  He uses a business case approach to analyze the value of a telecommunications technology and its possible economic impact on a client’s budget.

William F. Ruck, Principal Radio Systems Engineer.  Over 35 years’ experience in radio frequency communications, and systems engineering and implementation.  Bill is proficient in the measurement of radio frequency signals and problem resolution.  He is the Chair of the Northern California Frequency Coordinating Committee and is a NARTE certified Senior Engineer.  He is a Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, EIBASS, and the Audio Engineering Society.  He holds an FCC General Class Radio Telephone License, was recently named Fellow for Historic Preservation by the California Historical Radio Society.  He was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2014 under the category of Engineer on September 20th, 2014.

Chris Suter, Fire Service Technology Specialist.  Over 30 years’ experience in supervision of fire suppression and emergency responses.  He is a Public Safety Technology Specialist for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, where he provides training to local, state, and tribal public safety agencies nationwide on communications interoperability issues.  Chris is a retired Communications Chief of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District, a position that involved dispatch and coordination responsibility for 16 northern California counties (Monterey to the Oregon border) for Fire Mutual Aid.  He worked for more than 32 years in the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, and rose to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief.  His responsibilities included Technology, Communications Center, Support Services, Geographic Information Systems, and the Fire Prevention Bureau.  A certified and qualified S358 COML working on Type 1 fires who also performed that function during numerous all-hazards events, Chris served as a member of the practitioner working group that developed the All-Hazards COML and COMT courses, and instructs ICS 300/400 and several Incident Management Team (IMT) courses.  He currently sits on 3 NPSTC Broadband Committees: Policy and Procedure, Operations, and Equipment.  He holds degrees in fire technology from Los Medanos College and in business administration from Saint Mary’s College.

Craig Trygstad, P.E./PMP, Principal Engineer.  Over 25 years’ experience working with public safety agencies in the design and implementation of small to large multi-jurisdictional communication systems as an engineer and project manager with Motorola.  As a Coverage Subject Matter Expert at Motorola, he reviewed and mentored other engineers with coverage prediction and simulcast design.  PMP certified and Six Sigma Green Belt, he holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UC Davis and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.

Jacques M. Verdier, Principal Video/Audio Engineering Associate.  Over 35 years’ experience in broadcast consulting, systems marketing, systems integration, broadcast production, and CD mastering.  In addition to his work for CSI, Jacques has spent the last 15 years as President of Verdier Ventures, Inc. a full service video systems planning/project management house.  He previously worked for Sony Systems Integration, Lude’ Broadcast Engineering, National Broadcasting Co. (both GE & RCA), and Star Broadcasting.

Marianne Wolf, Dispatch Center Specialist.  Over 36 years of experience in public safety communications/9-1-1 services, with the past 25 years as an Executive Administrator with independent, intergovernmental agencies serving multiple jurisdictions.  Ms. Wolf has extensive experience in project management, long range planning, system’s selection, acquisition and implementation, budget administration, and organizational development.  Ms. Wolf is a member of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).