Leadership Team

Bob Udell photo

Bob Udell is the President and CEO of Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI). Prior to being named CEO in 2014, Mr. Udell served as CCI’s President and COO and as senior vice president upon joining the Company in April 2004.

Mr. Udell has more than 25 years of telecommunications leadership experience including profit and loss management and operations at large- and mid-sized local exchange companies.

He served in leadership roles at TXU Communications including executive vice president of Business Development, Regulatory and Administration and Chief Operating Officer. He served in leadership roles at McLeodUSA as senior vice president of network services and vice president and general manager of the company’s Indiana operations, and he held management roles at Bell Atlantic in operations, carrier sales and marketing.

Mr. Udell serves on the US Telecom Board of Directors and formerly served as Chairman of the Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance. He serves on the boards of the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council and The John Cooper School Board of Trustees.

Mr. Udell received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, his MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh and completed the Advanced Technology Innovations Program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Steve Childers photo


Steve Childers is the Chief Financial Officer at Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI). He has a diversified background in accounting and a lengthy career with CCI, which began in 1986. He was named Chief Financial Officer in 2004, with responsibilities for all accounting, treasury, tax and regulatory functions. Prior to his current role, he served as the Director of Accounting and as President of the former Consolidated Market Response.


Mr. Childers served in a number of executive roles with McLeodUSA during the time of the merger with CCI, leading the company's Business Process Teams to implement revenue assurance processes and controls.


He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, serving as Treasurer. He is also a member of the Lake Land College Foundation Board of Directors and the Business Advisory Board of Eastern Illinois University.


Mr. Childers holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from Eastern Illinois University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Steve Shirar photo

Steve Shirar is the Chief Information Officer at Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI) and serves as Corporate Secretary of the Consolidated Communications Board of Directors. Since joining the company in 1996, he has served in a variety of roles, most recently as Senior Vice President managing commercial and carrier sales and customer service, and the company’s former subsidiaries, Consolidated Operator Services, Consolidated Public Services and Consolidated Market Response.

Previously, he also served as President of Consolidated’s software development subsidiary and in various capacities at McLeodUSA, progressing from Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.

Mr. Shirar’s previous work experience includes serving as President of Ameritech Industrial Infosource and Chief Operating Officer of a startup managed health care company MedAdvantage.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA in Marketing from Indiana University.Law.  He has bar memberships in the District of Columbia, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Michael Smith photo

Michael Smith is Chief Marketing Officer at Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI) with responsibilities for product management and development, corporate communications, marketing communications, advertising and consumer sales. Prior being named CMO, he held executive management positions in sales, product management, marketing and customer service since joining the company in 1989.

Mr. Smith also served as Vice President and General Manager of the company's former Consolidated Market Response based in Charleston, Illinois, and as Vice President of CLEC Sales and Business Systems during his career with the company.

He is active in the Coles County community, serving as Past Chairman of Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center and Health System Board of Directors. He is past President of the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce, past President of the EIU Panther Club and a former board member of Coles Together.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University in Business Administration.

Gabe Waggoner photo


Gabe Waggoner is Executive Vice President of Operations at Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI) with responsibility for Field Operations, Network Operations, Customer Service, and overall service delivery strategy for the Company.


Prior to his current role, Mr. Waggoner served as Director of Network Services. He joined the Company in 1996, and has a diversified background, having served in numerous management and leadership roles in customer service, construction management, engineering and field services.


He serves as Chairman of the Roseville Telephone Museum, and as an Advisory Board Member for the Consolidated Communications Foundation.


Mr. Waggoner earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Economics, as well as his MBA, from Lumpkin School of Business at Eastern Illinois University.

Tom White photo


Tom White is Chief Technology Officer at Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI) and is responsible for the company’s network design and development, engineering and network operations center functions, in addition to the administration of the company’s capital investment in technology.

He joined the company in 1992 as a supervisor in the company’s former Operator Services and has held management and leadership positions during his career with the company in the areas of network operations, field services and engineering.

He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va. Mr. White has been and is actively involved in many local community organizations giving back to the communities where he lives and works.

Ryan Whitlock photo


Ryan Whitlock is Vice President of Human Resources at Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI). Since joining the company in 1995, he has held positions in facilities, customer service, project management, repair and dispatch, field operations and sales management.


He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and an MBA from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Mr. Whitlock is a regular speaker at his alma mater, sharing information with students on various human resources topics such as labor negotiations and leadership in a union environment.


Mr. Whitlock is a former board member of the Mattoon Area Chamber of Commerce, East Central Illinois Development Corporation, Local Workforce Development Board Area 23 and currently serves on the board of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Carol Wirsbinski photo

Carol Wirsbinski serves as Chief Sales Officer at Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI) with responsibility for Carrier and Commercial sales, Directory sales and Commercial Customer Service. Ms. Wirsbinski joined Consolidated in 2011 and has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry.

Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Wirsbinski served as President and Chief Executive Officer at CitiLink Broadband and Senior Vice President at Integra Telecom of Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin.

Ms. Wirsbinski currently serves on the board of directors for The Open Door, formerly Eagan and Lakeville Resource Centers.