Michael C. Flynn
Senior VP and General Manager of Illinois
Mike Flynn leads Frontier's operations throughout the state of Illinois, overseeing the aggressive deployment of broadband communications and responsible for every aspect of the customer experience.
Mike has had an extensive career with Frontier. Prior to July 2010, he was Vice President and General Manager for Frontier's properties in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. He previously served as Vice President -- Field Operations for Frontier's Great Lakes Region, which at that time included Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Mike joined Frontier Communications (formerly GTE/Citizens) in Dryden, New York in 1989 as a Central District Telephone Operations Manager.
Prior to Frontier, Mike ran the state of Indiana for Verizon as Director of Customer Operations and later as a Regional Operational leader with additional responsibility in Fort Wayne, Indiana for Sales and Marketing of FiOS – a full fiber optic network to the home system. Over the course of his 23-year telecom career, Mike has held leadership positions in Frontier and Verizon territories in New York, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and now Illinois.
What prepared Mike for this outstanding telecommunications career? Mike credits his military experience and education. He earned a B.S. in Applied Science/Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He also served in active duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1980-1989 and later in the Naval Reserves, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His service included missions in the Persian Gulf in 1987.
Regarding his military experience and his tenure with Frontier, Mike says:
"I couldn't be prouder of the young men and women that I had the privilege to serve with in the Navy. There were many events and impact training cycles that chiseled my understanding of leadership and aided in my building a team committed to excellence that I use every day here at Frontier.
"I would say the most harrowing experience that melded my ideas of personal leadership was definitely when our sister ship the USS Stark was shot by two Exocet missiles from an Iraqi F-1 Mirage in May 1987 while we were both in the Persian Gulf on a peace keeping mission. (Attack on the USS Stark) We were there to keep the Persian Gulf shipping lanes open – very much what the Navy continues to do to this very day.
"You learn a lot about yourself when you're in harm's way and committed to the safety of your team. Shortly after the attack and ever-vigilant of possible repeat attacks on patrol near the Straits of Hormuz (in range of Chinese Silkworm missile batteries on the coast!), I made the longest but most important phone call in my life! My call was from the Persian Gulf to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida where Mary, my wife and I lived. We spoke over a MARS link (Military Affiliate Radio Station on board USS Stephen W. Groves My Ship ) to an Aircraft Carrier in the Red Sea, then by an HF Ham operator in Germany who linked us to a Ham Radio operator in Connecticut. He patched the simplex call into Sprint Long Lines to my Florida home. Mary was very glad to hear my voice since little was known of the Gulf situation other than a US Naval Ship was attacked by an Iraqi fighter aircraft and there were known casualties.
"From that experience I learned a lot about leadership, the world, and why family and freedom are important. I cherish the time I had in the Navy and sleep well knowing other young men and women are now where I was, keeping liberty alive and the hopes of many around the world who long for peace, a peace we sometimes take for granted here at home. I salute the military forces and praise Frontier for taking an active role in support of our vets and active service members, who live in harm's way so we may know and live with a true sense of freedom!"
Mike's supervisor, John J. Lass, President of Frontier's Central Region, says, "Mike is a proven leader who has demonstrated a great ability to manage operations, engage employees and enhance customer, business and community relationships. His track record is outstanding, and his expertise spans sales and marketing, operations and support services. He plays a vital role as Frontier grows its properties in Illinois. He is a great example of the dedicated military veterans who provide extraordinary leadership to Frontier's day-to-day operations."
"Brothers in Harm's way -- Persian Gulf, July 1987" After the USS Stark attack, Mike Flynn, LT USN (left) and his older brother Don Flynn, Senior Chief Master at Arms in front of the SM-1 SAM missle battery on USS Flatley. Mike is now the SVP and GM of Illinois for Frontier Communications, and Don is now a Memphis Police Officer after having served our country for over 20 years in the US Navy. (Note: Mike says, "I was leaving the Persian Gulf and Don was just getting there – My mom? She was very nervous, as she had a son in harm's way 10 of the 12 months in 1987.")
Mike Flynn (center) with Vice ADM Cotton, Chief of Naval Reserve (left) in Memorial Hall at the United States Naval Academy and Mike's roommate from the US Naval Academy, RADM Ken Braithwaite, Vice Chief of Naval Information.