Public Policy Update (NATOA)
Attorney Michael J. Watza from Kitch & PROTEC will discuss the current FCC Future Notice of Proposed Rule Making on Cable franchising.
Deborah GuthrieCommunications Director/PIO, Brand Manager and Content Management Strategist, Meridian Township
Deborah is the Communications Director/PIO, Brand Manager and Content Management Strategist for Meridian Township. She develops communications best practices and procedures through digital and print communications including Media and Public Relations. Deborah graduated from Michigan State University in 1997 with a Communication Arts and Sciences degree. While in school, Deborah was accepted into the HOMTV program in April 1996 where she did a non-paid internship for one year. During that time, she began working regional sports for ESPN which led to national events including ABC Monday Night Football and ABC College Football. She simultaneously worked at WLNS 6 until Meridian Township hired her as HOMTV Production Manager in April 1998. She worked her way up to becoming the first HOMTV Internship Coordinator, then promoted to HOMTV Station Manager. She created the Communications Department for Meridian Township and became the first Communications/PIO Director for the Township. She has authored the Township’s Community Engagement Plan, Marketing and Promotion Strategy, Social Media Policies and CAMTV Operating Policies and Procedures. Deborah appears on several HOMTV programs interviewing residents, businesses owners, nonprofits, regional partners, constituents and Township staff. She has given communications presentations at local, regional and national levels. She is married with two children and two grandchildren and she loves to travel, eat and try to stay fit.
Mike WatzaCo-Chair of the Governmental and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups, Kitch
Michael J. Watza is Co-Chair of the Governmental and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups at Kitch, a full service Law firm based in Detroit, with offices in Lansing, Marquette, Mt. Clemens, Chicago, Ill. and Toledo, OH.
Mr. Watza’s practice provides litigated, legislative and regulatory solutions on behalf of municipal, non profit and private sector clients concerning Complex Litigation, Governance Issues, Telecommunications and Energy.
Michael has represented clients in State and Federal trial and appellate courts across Michigan as well as attended to regulatory matters before the Michigan Public Service Commission, Michigan Tax Tribunal, Department of Labor and Economic Growth and the Federal Communications Commission.
Michael has represented clients in the halls of the Michigan Legislature and Congress through negotiation, drafting and testimony regarding legislation on various issues including electric transmission line siting, telecommunications, cable, pipeline regulation, the formation of inter-governmental authorities and tort reform.
Michael also serves as General Counsel to PROTEC and the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, is a member of the NATOA National Board, the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Covenant House Central School Board in Detroit, Chairman of the Novi EDC, Chairman of Attorney Grievance Commission Grievance Panel #9, Immediate Past Chairman of the Administrative Law Section of the State Bar and Council Member of the Public Corporation Law Section of the State Bar.
He holds an A-V rating with Martindale Hubbell, was designated a Super Lawyer in 2007 and listed in the Cambridge Who’s Who Directory.
In 2008, Michael and Co-counsel Joe Van Eaton, were successful in protecting Michigan PEG channels from unilateral digitizatation to the 900 channel tier by obtaining an injunction in Federal Court in Dearborn v Comcast.
Michael is an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University Law School having taught Communications Law and Policy and Ethics and the Practice of Law.